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Choosing The Right Ornate Antique White Bathroom Vanities

Ornate antique white bathroom vanities are one of the most popular styles of bathroom vanities out there. But while the phrase may seem simple, all the vanities in this style are by no means the identical – and I don’t just mean the size and shape of the cabinet. The level of detailing, the color, and even the type of legs or hardware can all vary from one model to another, meaning there’s a huge variety of styles to choose from, even in this one rather specific category. If you like an antique, old fashioned French country style but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few of the differences to look for (and the impact they can have on your bathroom).

Hana Bathroom Vanity From James Martin Furniture
Hana Bathroom Vanity From James Martin Furniture
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Probably the biggest way these types of vanities differ is in color. That’s right, “white” doesn’t just mean paper white, it can be everything from bright frosting white to dark creamy parchment or anywhere in between. Even subtle differences in color can have a huge impact on the final overall appearance of the vanity, too. A pure, pristine white has a bright, clean appearance that can lend a slightly feminine touch to a bathroom, while a darker parchment white produces a more authentically antique vanity that can hold up well to a very traditional bathroom style.

Traditional Buttercream 30.5 Inch Bathroom Vanity From Hardware Resources
Traditional Buttercream 30.5 Inch Bathroom Vanity From Hardware Resources

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Similar, ornate antique white bathroom vanities come in a whole variety of different finishes. They can be solid and smoothly painted, heavily weathered, or anywhere in between. Again this makes a big difference in the overall appearance of the vanity. A solid finish, regardless of the color, is probably the easiest to pull off, as even a light wear-through or chipped vanity can look a little dingy in a room that doesn’t have ample light. But aesthetically aged vanities – like ones finished with crackle paint or simply darkened around the crevices of the woodwork can create a beautiful impression of age that will lend the sophistication of antiques to your decor.

Classic White Bathroom Vanity From Legion Furniture
Classic White Bathroom Vanity From Legion Furniture

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Many ornate bathroom vanities feature Queen Anne legs, and white vanities are no exception. But even here there’s a decent amount of variation between designs in the size and shape of the legs as well as the type and level of detail. Taller legs can give a vanity a sleek, delicate appearance that’s daintier than the more traditional Queen Anne legs. That said, maybe my favorite thing about this type of vanity is that even petite feet lift the vanity off the floor, making it look more like furniture than a permanent, built-in cabinet, which is perfect for a Victorian style or other traditional bathroom decor.

Windsor 24 Inch Bathroom Vanities From Xylem
Windsor 24 Inch Bathroom Vanities From Xylem

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If there’s usually some similarity in the style of legs on antique bathroom vanities, there’s a whole huge variety of types, quantities, and styles of woodwork otherwise. This is a feature that’s simultaneously pretty obvious at a glance and a little deceptive. While it’s easy to see how much or how little woodwork a vanity has, it isn’t always obvious how that detailing is done. Hand carved (or at least hand finished) pieces are a little rarer as they require a more hands on construction process, but are often more uniquely and intricately detailed than the more-common machine carved vanities.

VAN011T Antique White Ornate Bathroom Vanity From Hardware Resources
VAN011T Antique White Ornate Bathroom Vanity From Hardware Resources

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Ornate antique bathroom vanities typically have woodwork in one of four places: the crown, the base, the legs, and the corners. Occasionally you’ll find detailing on the doors and drawers as well, but usually this is in the form of layered panels rather than the floral or seashell detailing that practically define the style. Designs range everywhere from a simple laurel carved on the panel above the doors to amazingly detailed, beautiful touches like stylized columns, intricate leaves, shells, and flowers, and even more intricately detailed panel work, not just on the doors but on the sides of the vanity as well. As a rule of thumb, the more detailing a vanity has the more traditional the style will be, while simpler designs will have a more relaxed, contemporary feel.

Bordeaux Antique Vanity Cabinet From RonBow
Bordeaux Antique Vanity Cabinet From RonBow

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In addition to aesthetics, it’s worth considering some of the more basic requirements of your bathroom, especially if you’re redoing more than one bathroom at once. Some vanities will include a vanity top, sink, or even faucets, and many come paired with mirrors or matching storage cabinets. The last two can be especially useful if you want to keep your woodwork coordinated, as this varies subtly from vanity to vanity. Antique vanities are available in all variety of sizes, from compact single basin vanities to huge, sprawling double cabinets, but if you want to buy more than one in different sizes, it’s important to look for a company that can accommodate you.

The good news is, because ornate antique white bathroom vanities are so popular, even if your desires for these features are pretty specific, it shouldn’t be hard to find at least a handful of vanities that fit the bill, and at least one or two that offer all the features you need. What are you looking for in ornate antique white bathroom vanities?

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