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Gray Shaker Style Bathroom Vanities: A Hot Bathroom Trend For 2015

Of all the major home and bathroom trends of 2015, there’s one very specific feature that’s really making waves: gray shaker style bathroom vanities. These vanities are showing in bathrooms of all different sizes and styles, and many top manufacturers have included one (or several) in their new 2015 lineups. But why the sudden popularity, and will it last? We’ve got a few reasons why these very trendy vanities have become such a hit, and why they’re worth having.

Going Gray

Harper 36" Bathroom Vanity From Sagehill Designs
Harper 36″ Bathroom Vanity From Sagehill Designs

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Over the past few years, neutrals have made a strong comeback in home design, from unfinished wood surfaces to natural linens. But gray has been a particular stand out because it tends to feel just a tad more refined and sophisticated than a beige, tan, or cream, while still retaining that soft, casual, natural feel. A gray vanity can make a bathroom feel subtly more traditional and elegant than the exact same vanity in white, off white, or a natural wood, which makes it a perfect color for a transitional look that’s classy without being overly ornate or old fashioned.

Shaker Revival

36" Gray Shaker Style Bathroom Vanity VAN102-36-T from Hardware Resources
36″ Gray Shaker Style Bathroom Vanity VAN102-36-T from Hardware Resources

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Shaker style cabinets have come back in a major way over the last year or so, and for a similar reason. Shaker furniture dates back to the mid 1800s, which technically makes the style “traditional,” but the simple, straight lines and minimalist elegance of the shaker style has much more in common with a modern aesthetic than any kind of antique. That makes shaker cabinets ideal for a transitional style, too, since they have just that hint of old world style, but are simple and casual enough for a contemporary space.

Put ‘Em Together

Seacliff Nantucket 60" Single Sink Bathroom Vanity Set SCNAN60SWG from Ariel
Seacliff Nantucket 60″ Single Sink Bathroom Vanity Set SCNAN60SWG from Ariel

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Together, these two elements hit all the important notes for the overall trend toward transitional style bathrooms. Gray, shaker style bathroom vanities are elegant without feeling stuffy, and simple and streamlined without being stark and featureless. They also hit that perfect in-between spot that means they can blend well with a lot of different styles and are very easy to dress up or dress down. For example, a gray bathroom vanity paired with white marble counters and elegant lighting fixtures is going to have a very different look from the same vanity paired with wood floors and planked walls.

Play With Base Tones

Madison 60" Single Bathroom Vanity Cabinet in Dove Gray 800-V60S-DVG from James Martin Furniture
Madison 60″ Single Bathroom Vanity Cabinet in Dove Gray 800-V60S-DVG from James Martin Furniture

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Part of this versatility comes from the fact that gray is a neutral color. But unlike more traditional neutrals that almost always have strong warm undertones, “gray” encompasses a whole range of shades, from warm and almost peachy to dark steel or slate tones with a very cool blue base. Since the vanity is such a central fixture in the bathroom, subtle differences in the tint of gray you choose can have a big impact on the overall appearance of the space. As a rule of thumb, opt for a gray with blue undertones for a crisp, cool, modern look, and a lighter gray with pink or yellow undertones for a warmer, more traditional space.

Shake Up The Style

Seacliff Nantucket 42" Single Bathroom Vanity Set SCNAN42SWG from Ariel
Seacliff Nantucket 42″ Single Bathroom Vanity Set SCNAN42SWG from Ariel

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The cabinet doors are the main distinguishing feature of shaker style bathroom vanities: they consist of a flat panel surrounded by a very simple, very square frame. But that basic design can be applied to cabinet doors of any size or shape,  or even drawer fronts, which makes them vastly more versatile in terms of design and layout than any other type of traditional design. Shaker style cabinet doors hold up to even very distinctive features, like an open shelf design or an asymmetrical cabinet arrangement, and help mellow them out and give them a more neutral transitional appearance.

Staying Power?

Madison 72" Double Bathroom Vanity Cabinet In Dove Gray Oak 800-V72-DVG from James Martin Furniture
Madison 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity Cabinet In Dove Gray Oak 800-V72-DVG from James Martin Furniture

Ultimately a big part of the appeal of gray shaker style bathroom vanities is that they’re chameleons. This is a style that can blend equally well with a very posh traditional bathroom, a casual cottage style, or even a relaxed modern spa bath, simply because it falls right in between a lot of different stylistic elements and can adopt other ones easily. That also speaks to the longevity of this unusually specific trend: while these vanities are certainly a hot item now, since they have such a timeless appearance, they’re likely to have some staying power.

But what do you think of this trend? Do you like the look of these gray shaker style bathroom vanities? Let me know in the comments below!