Makeup stations are often the domain of custom bathroom cabinetry and antique furniture. Even though makeup areas generally consist of little more than a simple countertop extension, it can be quite difficult to find pre-made vanities that come standard with this feature. That said, if you want to avoid the expense and hassle of having a vanity custom built, and you’d like your makeup station to be a part of the actual bathroom vanity rather than a separate dressing table, using pieces from a modular vanity set to build a bathroom makeup vanity might be your best option.
Even the few bathroom vanities out there that come with built in makeup stations are almost always modular in nature. That is, they use a simple bridge piece to connect two smaller single vanities. When sold as a single unit, these might look totally seamless, but they’re also limited to a single size and shape. Modular vanity collections provide a similar visual result, but are much more flexible in terms of style and layout.
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The concept behind modular bathroom vanities is fairly simple: instead of just designing a single bathroom vanity, a collection might include vanities of multiple sizes, as well as add-on storage pieces, like extra sets of drawers or countertop bridges to connect one piece to another. Building a bathroom makeup vanity can be as simple as adding on a small table next to your vanity, though. Some come with built in drawers for added storage, but a simple surface situated at just the right height to use comfortably while seated is really all you need.
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Depending on the size of your bathroom and your own personal needs, a bathroom vanity with a makeup area can be as wide or narrow as you want. Bridge pieces are usually between 20″ and 24″ wide (though they can be as narrow as 12″), but can be combined to create much larger surface area and provide more room for sitting. As a bonus, the storage in the makeup station itself can be supplemented with storage on the sides of the vanities adjacent to it. While most vanity sets are twinned rather than mirrored, most will have at least one set of drawers directly next to the makeup area.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of building a bathroom makeup vanity from modular pieces rather than having them custom made is that designer vanity sets tend to have a lot more style even than fairly well designed custom cabinetry. While you can get decorative cabinet boxes and cabinet doors custom built, pre-made vanities come with details that standard boxes simply don’t – like curved designs, tall legs, and nice add-ons like wood backsplashes, shelves, and towel bars.
Plus, because modular vanity sets are designed to be more flexible, there’s more room to pick and choose the type of vanity and the type of storage you want. Most modular collections offer base vanities in 24″, 30″, 36″, and 48″ inch widths, and any of these can be combined with additional drawer storage, side cabinets, or even other vanities, bridged together with a makeup area to create a bathroom makeup vanity in just about any size or shape.
What that means is that while most custom cabinets are designed to take up a whole (usually large) bathroom, a bathroom makeup vanity made from modular parts can range anywhere from a relatively petite 60″ (like a traditional dressing table) to a wall-to-wall or full room installation, depending on the type and number of parts you choose to combine. In a way, this is the best of both worlds: the ability of custom cabinetry to scale up for a large room, and the ability of a pre-made vanity to work well in a smaller space.
Admittedly, these modular sets are still a bit rare and can be somewhat difficult to find, but as homeowners increasingly seek out bigger, more luxurious, and more customized bathroom spaces, more and more designers are starting to offer them, and more designs, pieces, and configurations are becoming available all the time. Since bathroom vanities with makeup areas are both so desirable and so rare, this middle-of-the-line compromise for building your own bathroom makeup vanity will only become more popular.
What are you looking for in bathroom makeup vanity furniture? Do you just need a small place to sit to do your hair, or do you really want a large makeup station to spread out and enjoy while you apply your makeup? Let me know in the comments!