Choosing the right kind of vanity can make or break a bathroom space

Bathroom vanities that imitate guestroom furniture fit more easily into bathroom floor plans than furniture built into a space.

Bathroom vanities that imitate guestroom furniture fit more easily into bathroom floor plans than furniture built into a space.


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Hotels, from luxury through select-service, are palettes for designers to weave their magic. While they look to achieve this through every space, bathrooms in recent times have been given increased focus. This is particularly true as it relates to choice of vanity.

Modern hotel bathroom vanity design has focused on transforming vanities into freestanding, high-end furniture. According to Jenny Scheffris, director of design for interior design firm Inkwell Design House, the goal in using faux furniture as bathroom vanities is to distance bathroom design from the aesthetic of the 1990s.

“It’s bringing back a real design aesthetic to the hotel bathroom where before it was devoid,” Scheffris said. “Rather than remind a guest they are in a hotel, new design directions are more complete; they want to make a guest feel like they are in a second home.”

“The idea is to de-institutionalize the bathroom,” said Tony Patel, partner at Georgia-based Newport Design Group Architects. “Though it looks like furniture it is still attached to the wall, and it humanizes the space.”

Patel recommends using these vanity pieces as a way to counteract imperfections in room construction. “Space can sometimes vary inches from room to room, and free-standing elements such as these vanities can be used in any space,” Patel said. By installing a free-standing vanity, hotels can shave off time that would otherwise be spent on field cutting to make a given piece fit into a smaller space, which could also potentially reduce the quality of the edges in the piece as well.

Looking forward, Patel expects the inclusion of more plugs in the vanity space for guests who like to use their phones while brushing their teeth. Guestrooms have slowly been integrating with guest devices, and Patel says that the bathroom vanity is next.

“The costs to install these features are not high, but there are some concerns,” Patel said. “Where do you put that plug? How far from the sink should a plug be? It will create new issues with design, but it is coming and it will catch on.”