There are more than a few ways to quickly and inexpensively transform the appearance of a bathroom, but one of my favorites is simply applying beadboard to the walls. It’s cheap, it’s simple enough to do yourself, and it’s easy-mode for a bright, sunny classic style. But I was thinking – if beadboard works so well on the walls, why not on the bathroom vanities, too? Beadboard walls are often paired with pedestal sinks and clawfoot tubs, but beadboard vanities match a cottage bathroom to a T. While they may be a little harder (and a little more expensive) to install than simple wallboard, they’re a great way to add a breezy country cottage vibe to a slightly larger bathroom.
What Is Beadboard?
Shop Cottage Style Beadboard Bathroom Vanities:
Beadboard is a type of wainscoting that’s traditionally produced in small planks and installed piece by piece to create long stripes separated by single or double grooves, like pinstripes. Modern beadboard sheets make it easier to apply to a wall, offering a nice alternative to plain paint or expensive tile. On a bathroom vanity, the thin striped grooves of beadboard are echoed on the front face and door panels, creating a simple white on white striped pattern that instantly evokes Cape Cod and seaside cottage designs.
Why Beadboard Bathroom Vanities?
Pedestal sinks or consoles are a more traditional choice for a cottage bathroom, but this is largely due to the fact that bathrooms in turn of the century homes tend to be pretty small. Sometimes a pedestal, toilet, and tub is all there’s space for, which can make storage a problem. Beadboard bathroom vanities have that same great, classical style, but offer a whole lot more in the way of storage space, so you won’t have to rely on baskets and shelves to get the job done.
Shop Large Cottage Style Beadboard Bathroom Vanities by Sagehill Designs:
Better still, beadboard bathroom vanities come in a much wider range of sizes, from a petite 24″ or 30″ inches to wide double vanities that can easily stand up to a very large bathroom. Without large built in cabinets to back them up, pedestal sinks can be dwarfed by a big master suite, but beadboard bathroom vanities can really hold their own. The modular Cottage Retreat collection from Sagehill Designs can even be expanded to fill a whole room like custom cabinetry, meaning that even the largest bathroom can still get that simple, elegant cottage style.
Why It Works
As with kitchen cabinets, the front paneling on your bathroom cabinet doors can make a big difference in the overall appearance of the piece. Flat white doors or even simple inset or Shaker style cabinets can work with a cottage bathroom, but beadboard is so iconic and so intrinsically linked with a cottage style that even a bathroom vanity with a relatively limited amount of beadboarded surface still works to help establish the decor.
Not A Fan Of Paneling?
To me, though, where beadboard bathroom vanities really shine is in bathrooms where maybe you don’t want paneling on the walls. Subway tile is another traditional choice that produces a slightly more polished (and definitely more water resistant) surface, and walls that are simply painted certainly have their place in cottage design as well. So if you’d like to skip the wainscoting, opting for a bathroom vanity with a little of that traditional texture is a great way to enhance the style without the wall treatment.
Does It Have To Be White?
Cottage design is traditionally very (very) white heavy. At its heart cottage style is a white-on-white aesthetic, typically excepting only the occasional pastel. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. In fact, I’ve started seeing a trend toward using black bathroom vanities – beadboarded and otherwise – to put a slightly more contemporary twist on this traditional style. This is actually a trend I’m quite excited about, because I love the slightly more formal look and dramatic contrast of a black beadboard vanity in a primarily white or pastel bathroom – a great way to stick to tradition (but not too much) in an older home.
What do you think of these beadboard bathroom vanities? Do you like the classic striped look, or do you prefer the more traditional pedestal sink?
Shop All Bathroom Vanities: