White is one of the most popular colors for both pre-made and custom bathroom vanities, and for good reason. Not only is white a bright, clean, classic color that can help make your bathroom feel wider and more open, but it’s one that works well with a variety of different bathroom styles, from vintage cottage style all the way up to ultra modern. It’s also a color that’s much more versatile than it might seem; the type of finish on the vanity and the shade of white (or off-white) you choose can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of the vanity, so it’s important to consider what kind of white you want before you buy.
Also known as: frosting white, snow white, or true white, this is the whitest white there is, and probably the white you think of when I say “white bathroom vanities.” These are the purest, brightest white bathroom vanities, and are far and away the best at creating exactly the fresh, open, clean feeling that make white vanities such a popular choice. This simple, cottage style Madison Vanity is a great example, with a smooth white finish and minimal detailing to help reflect light and make the most of the natural light in your bathroom. It’s also just the right height to blend seamlessly with traditional 1/3 beadboard wainscotting, which helps it blend elegantly into a turn of the century cape cod or cottage style bathroom.
Antique white is, well, what it sounds like – it’s the color white turns when it’s left to age for a while, somewhere between off-white and yellowed parchment, depending on who you ask. This less-white white still has much the same lightening, brightening effect as a whiter white, but rather than the fresh new feeling of a pure white, this white gives the impression of age, lending credence to antique-inspired bathroom vanities like this Classico Vanity, as well as adding a little extra warmth to your bathroom via the subtle yellow tones. I especially like this vanity because they work the darker sepia tones into the details of the woodwork, both adding a little more age around the edges and making the subtle styling really pop.
Another not-quite-white – what I like to call blonde white bathroom vanities – are just a step past cream and on their way to parchment, but without any of the extra detailing or weathering you’d find on an antique-style vanity. This Bristol Vanity is one of my favorite examples. The slightly darker white gives what would otherwise be a straight up cottage style vanity a slightly island-inspired twist, adding a little extra warmth (and just a hint of color) to get a very different finished style. This is probably the darkest you can go and still call your bathroom vanity white, but is still much lighter and brighter than even the lightest wood finishes you can find, which makes it an excellent compromise for a small bathroom you want to seem larger without being too sterile.
Much like wedding white, this is a pure, true, driven-snow kind of white, but instead of having a matte or satin finish, we’re talking radiant, high-gloss. Simple matte white bathroom vanities often tend towards a turn of the century cottage style, but swapping a flat finish for a glossy one immediately makes any white bathroom vanity feel extremely modern. This Smile Vanity is a great example; the surface is so glossy as to be slightly reflective, giving it the slightly-plastic, slightly hands-off, perfectly clean finish that’s so iconic of a modern design. This type of white finish toes the line of being stark and sterile, but while that can be off-putting with some styles, it’s a great fit with a minimalist modern space.
In contrast to antique white, weathered white bathroom vanities can be a true, fairly white-white. The difference is, weathered vanities look like someone dragged them outside, left them in the rain, and knocked ‘em around a little. Okay, intentionally did all that stuff, for style. Okay, okay, just look at this Monte Carlo Vanity and tell me there isn’t something to it. This is a white that’s worn around the edges, cracked and pitted, and sometimes even showing the underlying material. It’s a little less clean, and a lot less “sterile” looking. In fact, weathered white bathroom vanities have a certain been-around-the-block old world charm to them, like your favorite old but maybe not antique piece of furniture you grew up with. It’s a kind of white that still helps brighten your bathroom, but adds a little extra character, too.
But what kind of tone are you trying to set with a white bathroom vanity? Let me know what look you’re going for in the comments below!