Spa style bathrooms have become more and more popular in recent years as homeowners attempt to recreate the open, airy, relaxed look and feel of bathrooms found in high-end hotels. But this design certainly isn’t a cookie cutter one: while there are similar features you can point to (like the prevalence of open shelf bathroom vanities, stone tile, or steam showers), the real point of a spa style bathroom is to combine simple, sophisticated design with a relaxed, casual atmosphere. That’s something you can do no matter where your design preference leans. Don’t believe me? We’ve got six bathroom vanities that can set the mood for a totally different type of spa bathroom to help you find one you’ll really love.
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Perhaps the most popular type of spa style bathroom vanity is the open shelf vanity, with a small cabinet or set of drawers beneath the vanity top sitting on a wide, open shelf base. This type of vanity is often found in hotel and spa bathrooms because they allow communal items, specifically towels, to be stored in large quantities out in the open. There’s nothing that quite says “spa” like a lot of plush, white towels, and a basic open shelf vanity is a great way to put them on display. With a sleek, contemporary design like the one above, be aware that your choice of faucet can really change the way you see the vanity, making it skew either more traditional or more contemporary.
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Even among open shelf bathroom vanities, though, there’s an amazing amount of range in the different aesthetics this one basic style can evoke. Taking effectively the exact same design, but switch to a gorgeous, hand-applied finish over real birch hardwood, accented with subtle carved detailing and antique hardware, and immediately you have something with a much more traditional look and feel. The wood finish helps evoke the more natural aspect of a spa style bathroom design, but the result is a slightly more sophisticated, traditional double vanity.
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Switch again from wood to a simple white finish with turn style legs and small cabinets rather than drawers, and again the look and feel of the vanity is entirely altered. This slightly tweaked design has a more old fashioned cottage style appearance. Here, the white evokes the prim cleanliness of a spa style bathroom, and helps brighten and enhance warm neutral colors to give a spa style bathroom a bright, sunny appearance.
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On the far opposite end of the spectrum, to get a much more modern look, consider lopping the legs off the vanity entirely and opting for a wall mount installation. Technically speaking, these aren’t “open shelf” vanities at all, and the admittedly don’t offer a lot of space to stow big cushy towels out in the open. But what they do do is create a lot of white space, making the bathroom feel wide, open, and airy, which is exactly what a spa style bathroom is all about. Add the white color and sleek, minimalist lines and you’ll get a vanity that’s crisp, clean, and bright to boot.
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If you’re hesitant to give up a lot of storage space – say, in a master bathroom where you don’t have a lot of room for supplementary storage, or if you just have a lot of toiletries you want to keep in a closed cabinet, you aren’t out of luck. Models like this Premier vanity from the Wyndham Collection offer the best of both worlds. Only slightly elevated from the floor, it feels a little more furniture-like than a traditional cabinet, but doesn’t sacrifice nearly as much space to open storage. Instead, it provides plenty of drawers and cabinets for two, while keeping the center portion of the vanity open for storing all those cushy white towels.
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For any type of spa style bathroom vanity – open shelf or otherwise – one of the best ways to evoke a natural, earthy feeling is to opt for lots of wood in a neutral finish. Actual hotels and spas put wood all over the place: in saunas, the floors for showers, on the walls, ceiling beams, and so on. Bare wood is a riskier choice for a home bathroom, and one that can be a little harder to find, but if you want a relatively safe (read: waterproof) option, look for blonde or natural finished vanities. The soft sandy wood color pairs beautifully with white towels, natural stone, and green glass (or even live plants!) and offers its own warm, natural presence that’s perfect for a spa style bathroom.
What type of spa style bathroom are you looking to build – something very earthy, more classic, or more contemporary? Let me know in the comments!
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