At the most basic level, all of interior design is a balance between form and function – how good something looks versus how well it works. This is especially true of furniture: ideally you want a sofa that looks good and is comfortable, but often only end up with one or the other. Bathroom vanities are the same; the most utilitarian bathroom vanities are often squat, square, and boring, while many beautiful, decorative designs aren’t exactly optimized for storage. That’s why I love smart design features like integrated towel bars that add functionality without diminishing or marring the appearance of the bathroom vanities they’re attached to.
Why A Towel Bar?
I’ll be perfectly honest – slapping a towel bar onto a bathroom vanity is one of those simple, brilliant ideas that I’m ashamed to say I probably never would have come up with on my own. I’ve started seeing lots of modern bathroom vanities (especially those designed for smaller, urban bathrooms) with this feature built in, just a simple towel bar on one side or the other or both, or sometimes on the front bottom edge of a wall mounted vanity. These allow you to (obviously) hang a hand towel or washcloth where they’re easily reachable while taking up almost no space and, with many designs, being almost invisible from the front.
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A Simple Addition
What I think is so smart about adding towel bars to bathroom vanities is that it’s something that’s easily done even to an existing bathroom vanity. If you have a freestanding vanity that isn’t butted up directly against a wall, it’s easy to simply mount a decorative bar to the side. This can dramatically free up your counter space or wall space by allowing you to hang your hand towels in a more convenient and compact space. In some very very small bathrooms I’ve even seen toilet paper rolls affixed directly to the side of the vanity, which can make a layout a little more convenient.
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Maximize Your Wall Space
The best thing about bathroom vanities with integrated towel bars is that they’re a simple way to save a surprising amount of space. Not all are large enough to house full-sized bath towels, but if you have a complete set of bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths, adding a towel bar to one or both sides of your bathroom vanity makes the latter two more accessible and usable, without needing to add an additional towel ring to the wall. Clearing up this space on your walls means you have more room for other wall mounted bathroom accessories or even storage cabinets which make much better use of your available wall space.
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This one is simple: the closer your hand towel is at hand, the less likely you are to drip or splash after washing your hands. Now, okay, I know this isn’t exactly a huge problem or anything (only a terrible infomercial would try to tell you otherwise), but it is a surprisingly nice little convenience. Hand towels on your counter mean a wet counter, while reaching for a towel on the wall means dripping on the counter and floor. A towel bar that’s a little closer at hand just makes things that much neater. Plus, if you have a towel or washcloth reserved specifically for washing your face, you can keep it close at hand and easily hang it out to dry.
Great For A Guest Bath
In a guest bathroom or half bath, many of these things won’t apply: you won’t need to store many, if any, toiletries, and probably not a whole lot in the way of spare towels. But if you want to make it clear to your guests which towels are for show and which are for hand drying, opting for a vanity that puts a towel up front and center is a good way to get the point across. The hanging towel also helps create a more casual vibe, while a colorful modern design offers a cheery yet relaxed style in a space where you don’t need a lot of storage.
Works For Master Bathrooms, Too
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All that said, this is a trick that works quite nicely in a larger bathroom as well – especially for a double vanity. In a bathroom for two, you’ve got two of everything: two sets of towels and washcloths, which means two towel bars taking up your wall space, a double wide bathroom vanity (or two!), and two people’s worth of toiletries. Having a simple towel bar on either side of a big double bathroom vanity is just one simple, easy way to clear up some of that counter space clutter and make a bathroom more usable for two.
Do you like the idea of adding towel bars to bathroom vanities, or do you prefer to keep a full towel set on display?
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