I recently talked a bit about Cape Cod bathroom design – a style that combines luxury and simplicity in a compact, cottage-sized footprint. But while many of the elements that go into a Cape Cod bathroom are fairly straightforward, I think it’s worth taking a longer look at one of the ways the design is most versatile: in the bathroom vanity. Cape Cod style bathroom vanities come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. In fact, some of the most popular Cape Cod vanities aren’t, strictly speaking, vanities at all.
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At its heart, Cape Cod bathroom design is based on a cottage style. After all, real Cape Cod homes are usually vacation homes that are smaller than your average house, and come with the same compact bathrooms as other traditional cottage floor plans. To that end, the most popular Cape Cod style bathroom vanities are actually pedestal sinks. Made of simple white porcelain, these have a sleek, traditional style that meshes with the turn-of-the-century vibe of most Cape Cod bathrooms. They’re also lean and petite, which means they won’t take up much space in a small bathroom.
Wall Mounted Sinks
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Wall mounted sinks are another popular option, especially for Cape Cod bathrooms that are really on the smaller side. Like pedestal sinks, traditional wall mounted sinks have an elegant, slightly Victorian design that lends classic sophistication to this relatively simple style. Both wall mounted sinks and pedestal sinks are also finished in a simple, glossy white which enhances the bright, clean, sun-soaked feeling you want to foster in a Cape Cod bathroom. The lack of an actual vanity cabinet can be slightly problematic, but the petite size of the sink itself creates abundant white space on the wall, helping make the bathroom feel more open, even if it isn’t particularly large.
White Bathroom Vanities
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If storage is a bigger concern than tradition (and let’s be honest, it often is), consider opting for an actual bathroom vanity instead. Most Cape Cod style bathroom vanities are relatively simple in their design, and they’re overwhelmingly white vanities. If you can stick to these two guidelines, almost any vanity you choose will work with a Cape Cod bathroom design. That’s because although this is a rather traditional style, it meshes well with the modern trend toward sleek, simple lines and unembellished surfaces.
Shaker Bathroom Vanities
A good example of this is the popularity of Shaker style bathroom vanities in Cape Cod style bathrooms. Now, this pairing obviously isn’t very traditional, but the simple square lines and a basic clean white paint make this style really work. There’s just enough detail to make the vanity visually interesting, but the overall design is simple enough to promote the crisp, clean appearance that’s so iconic of Cape Cod bathroom design. White vanities of all stripes can help make a bathroom look brighter and more open, and the orderly lines of a Shaker vanity help create a neat, uncluttered feeling that resonates with prim and proper Cape Cod homes.
Beadboard Bathroom Vanities
Beadboard is a common wall treatment in Cape Cod bathroom design, but it also makes for an excellent texture on a bathroom vanity, too. The slim, repeating vertical lines offer a slightly more complex detailing than a simple Shaker style, but are so iconic that they only enhance the traditional charm of a Cape Cod bathroom. Better still, beadboard Cape Cod style bathroom vanities look great whether or not you opt for beadboard wainscoting – they can either blend in with the striped back ground, or introduce the banded texture in a tiled bathroom.
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Shuttered Bathroom Vanities
Similarly, shuttered bathroom vanities are also popular in Cape Cod bathroom design. If beadboard is iconic of cottages in general, storm shutters are iconic of these coastal cottages in particular. Historically adorning the outside of Cape Cod buildings from homes to lighthouses, wooden shutters have become as much decoration as protection, and incorporating them into your bathroom vanity is a great way to give the space that coastal Cape Cod vibe. Simple shuttered doors on the vanity cabinet mimic those traditional window coverings, while providing hidden storage that a pedestal sink or wall mounted sink don’t have.
Spa Style Bathroom Vanities
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For a lighter, more airy appearance, look for bathroom vanities with open storage rather than closed cabinets. This offers a little less in the way of private storage, but creates some lovely white space that again can help emphasize the open, airy feeling of a Cape Cod bathroom. The slatted bases are reminiscent of spa style bathrooms, which can give the bathroom a slightly more contemporary, luxury feel without sacrificing the traditional beauty. Of all Cape Cod style bathroom vanities, these are probably the most modern, but they work because they’re in keeping with the spirit of elegance and relaxation that defines a Cape Cod style.
What do you think of these Cape Cod style bathroom vanities? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments!
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