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Dressing Up A Modern Bathroom Vanity With A Unique, Stylish Sink

Almost by definition, most modern bathroom vanities tend to be fairly visually similar: lots of sharp 90 degree angles, straight lines, a boxy shape, and a dark espresso or black finish, with maybe some shiny chrome hardware. Where modern vanities show their personality, though, is in the sinks. Modern bathroom sinks are anything but ordinary, and come in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes, and installations that give even the simplest, most starkly designed vanities a nice personal flair.

Crater Bathroom Vanity JWH-3318 from JWH Living
Crater Bathroom Vanity JWH-3318 from JWH Living

Glass vessel sinks are an iconic feature of modern design, so it isn’t surprising that many modern bathroom vanities come paired with them. These sinks are relatively simple, with a solid glass construction and smooth bowl shape, and are designed to sit on top of the vanity like an updated modern washbasin. The biggest appeal of this type of sink is simply that they look great; they come in an amazing variety of colors and designs that make them a stylish, signature touch. That said, because they sit on top of the counter rather than in or under it, they can make the counter a bit more difficult to clean.

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Portland 53" Single Sink Wall Mount Vanity Set DEC1101 from Design Element
Portland 53″ Single Sink Wall Mount Vanity Set DEC1101 from Design Element

Vessel sinks don’t just come in glass or bowl shapes, either. Porcelain and vitreous china sinks are also quite popular. Both materials are a pure, glossy white, which gives them an elegant, statuesque appearance. What these sinks lack in terms of color, they more than make up in breadth and variety of design. These sinks can be almost any size or shape, and are often asymmetrical or otherwise unusual, which makes what’s really a traditional material feel very modern. Sinks that have solid rather than curved bases are a bit easier to clean (as you won’t have to clean underneath them), and the sink’s white finish goes a long way toward making the space look clean, too.

Washington 36" Single Bathroom Vanity DEC083A from Design Element
Washington 36″ Single Bathroom Vanity DEC083A from Design Element

Low profile sinks are another common feature on modern bathroom vanities, but this has less to do with style and more to do with efficiency. You see, on a traditional bathroom vanity with a traditional undermount sink, the sink and plumbing take up quite a lot of space on the inside of the vanity. Modern vanities seek to streamline this somewhat, both with vessel sinks (which rest entirely above the level of the vanity) and sinks like these, that have very shallow basins that don’t extend down into the vanity. This also helps minimize the impact of the plumbing, which means being able to include more and more usable storage space – a key feature of modern design.

Sierra 40" Single Bathroom Vanity From Design Element
Sierra 40″ Single Bathroom Vanity From Design Element

Though they’re generally considered a bit more traditional (and, to be honest, give modern vanities a slightly more traditional feel), integrated porcelain sinks aren’t an uncommon sight. Like low profile sinks, integrated sinks are designed to minimize the impact of the sink, but in this case it’s not just in terms of interior storage. They’re also often paired with very slim bathroom vanities that sit close to the wall, saving space in a smaller bathroom. The real appeal of having a built in sink, though, is that by fusing the sink and vanity top into a single, solid, non-porous piece, it becomes incredibly easy to clean.

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Levi 24" Havana Oak Modern Bathroom Vanity L600CO from Kubebath
Levi 24″ Havana Oak Modern Bathroom Vanity L600CO from Kubebath

From here, things get a bit weird, because the sinks become an integral part of the style of the bathroom vanity itself. Now of course the same can be said of just about any sink – no matter the design, it’ll have an impact on the final look of your vanity. Integrated sinks in particular literally have to match the size and shape of the vanity they’re on. But what I’m talking about are sinks that don’t just sit on top of a vanity, but contribute to the shape and style of it. From square sinks that add extra geometry to asymmetrical vanities to multi-tiered integrated sinks that alter the silhouette of your vanity, even sinks that are relatively simple in design can be placed in a way that’s incredibly striking and modern, showing off the shape of the sink and accenting the vanity in a totally unique way.

Huntington 48" Single Bathroom Vanity From Design Element
Huntington 48″ Single Bathroom Vanity From Design Element

And then there are sinks that are integrated into glass vanity tops. This is a style you’ll only find paired with highly modern bathroom vanities, because the result is incredibly striking. A piece of molded, tempered glass is raised up a few inches above the level of the vanity, creating shapely white space and fully showcasing that simple glass sink in an even more daring way. But while the appearance of this type of sink is very bold and attention grabbing, it essentially functions just like a more traditional undermount sink, creating a smooth, seamless countertop that’s easy to clean. The real bonus, though, is that it opens up the space underneath the counter that’s typically blocked off to accommodate the sink, giving you a second countertop for additional storage.

Modern bathroom vanities are typically very simple in appearance, but that makes them perfect for showcasing a really bold, distinctive modern sink. Which of these styles appeals most to you?

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