Vanities are the main source of storage in bathrooms of all sizes and shapes – from itty bitty ones with barely any floor space, to big, sprawling, spa-like master suites. You might be to scale down to something bite sized in a smaller bathroom – or up to a full suite of kitchen-style cabinetry in a larger one. But it can actually be a smart move to stick somewhere in the middle of the line, with bathroom vanities that are big, but not too big.
Pre-Made Bathroom Vanities Are Super Scaleable
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Pre-made bathroom vanities are pretty uniform in size; though there are outliers on either end, most vanities come in a standard set of widths: 24″, 30″, 36″, 48″, 60″, and 72″. These numbers are ubiquitous enough that many vanity collections include vanities with the same style and finish in two or more of these sizes, making it easy to scale the look to the size of your space. Today I want to argue that, if you’re debating between two sizes that would fit in your space, you should opt for the larger one. Why? Because…
Benefits of Stepping Up A Size
Simply put, bigger is better. You can find vanities with better or worse designs in terms of storage in any size range, but scaling your vanity up by six or twelve inches gives you some concrete benefits, more or less regardless of the style or layout of your vanity. First and foremost, you’ll have much more counter space, which is at a premium in any size bathroom – and opting for a wider vanity is really the only way to get it. Second, you’ll have more and more accessible storage, too, both in terms of cabinets, drawers, and shelves. Small vanities tend to be inefficient because they sacrifice storage space to accommodate the sink and plumbing, but vanities that extend beyond the width of the sink have storage that’s right at waist height.
Supplemental Storage Is Clunky
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Now, it is possible to get additional cabinets, drawers, and surface space one other way: with add-on cabinets, carts, towers, or stands. But while these can be a nice addition for a big bathroom that has room to spare, I’d argue that a bigger bathroom vanity is a better choice almost every time. Adding an extra foot to your vanity width rather than a foot-wide storage unit means a few things: your surface and storage will be right where you need them most (right next to your sink and mirror), and it’ll ultimately take up less space, since you won’t have the obligatory gap between your vanity and your storage cabinet. In a bigger bathroom, you can easily pull off both. But if the option is either/or, a vanity is a better bet.
Bigger Vanities For A Smaller Bathroom?
Now, it might seem counter-intuitive to opt for a larger vanity in a small bathroom. And, sure, in a really truly tiny or oddly shaped bathroom, you might not be able to fit more than a pedestal sink. But for an average smallish bathroom, upgrading to a slightly larger vanity can make a huge difference in the usability of your space. While “space saving” vanities are certainly compact, they also cut down severely on both your storage and counter space; opting for a 48″ vanity instead of one in the 24″-36″ range typically means adding one (if not two) full sets of drawers and a whole heck of a lot of counter space – both of which are invaluable when you don’t have much space to work with otherwise.
Pre-Made Vanities For A Large Bathroom
Now, all that said, if “bigger is better,” that should mean that filling up a large bathroom with kitchen-style cabinets should be a best case scenario, right? Wrong! When you have space to spare, quality starts to trump quantity. After all, you can have all the simple cabinet boxes you can fit in your bathroom, but other than towels and toilet paper, there’s not much bathroom stuff that stores well in an open cabinet like that. You’re much, much better off opting for a vanity that has drawers and cubbies, or at the very least shelves that make better use of that inside space. And if you really have more space than you can use for storage, add-ons like vanity tables make more sense than a lot of cabinets you won’t use.
One Vanity Is Better Than Two
In a master bathroom, having two sinks is a big must. But while it can be tempting to opt for two smaller vanities – separate sinks, separate storage, and a slightly more flexible installation – if you plan to put them side-by-side, you might be better off opting for a larger double vanity instead. You’ll have the same number of sinks, but rather than splitting the difference, merging the two gives you a little more surface space and lets you build storage into the gap you would have left between the two. The look is a bit more solid and less quaintly symmetrical, but it will definitely make the best use of your space!
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