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Making A Case For Upgrading To A Modern Master Bathroom

There’s a pretty strong stigma when it comes to different styles in master bathroom design: big bathrooms tend to have a traditional aesthetic, while smaller ones skew more modern. The simple reason for this is that modern bathroom vanities are, by and large, the better choice for small spaces. They’re often better designed in terms of storage and have smaller profiles than similar traditional vanities. But assuming a contemporary look won’t work for a big bathroom is a mistake. While modern vanities tend to be streamlined and a little on the minimalist side, they can be a stylish addition to a larger space, particularly if you’re aiming for an open, spa-like feel.

Traditional vs. Modern

Oasis 72" Double Bathroom Vanity 378-V72D-OAE from James Martin Furniture
Oasis 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity 378-V72D-OAE from James Martin Furniture

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Traditional design is so ubiquitous in large master bathrooms because the look is all about filling up space: big, hefty furniture with lots of ornamentation, plenty of accent pieces, and making everything as opulent as possible. The assumption, of course, is that the inverse is true: because modern design is more streamlined, it won’t be able to adequately fill up a big room. But this simply isn’t true. While traditional design is all about the details, a modern aesthetic relies heavily on white space, incorporating the parts of the room where stuff isn’t in order to create something visually appealing.

Wall Mounted Wonders

Mercer Island 72" Double Bathroom Vanity in Coffee Oak 389-V72-CFO-A from James Martin Furniture
Mercer Island 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity in Coffee Oak 389-V72-CFO-A from James Martin Furniture

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To that end, a lot of large modern bathroom vanities are wall mounted, which offers a few unique advantages. Filling up a master bathroom with a traditional vanity means a big, hefty piece of furniture that can really dominate the space, but a lean, minimalist wall mounted vanity can cover the same amount of horizontal space while taking up a whole lot less visual space, making your bathroom feel more open. But it doesn’t make your space feel under-decorated, like a wall without any art on it; rather, it’ll help a large space feel relaxingly spacious rather than merely full of stuff. Bonus: it’s a whole lot easier to clean your floor, too!

But What About Storage?

Columbia 72" Double Bathroom Vanity in Latte Oak 388-V72-LTO-A from James Martin Furniture
Columbia 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity in Latte Oak 388-V72-LTO-A from James Martin Furniture

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One of the apparent advantages of traditional vanities is that they have a lot more storage. After all, a wall mounted vanity almost literally cuts the amount of storage you have in half. But on the flip side, in a larger bathroom, chances are you probably don’t need (and might even have trouble making use of) a full wall-to-wall suite of cabinets. Long modern bathroom vanities give you all the counter space you need, and put storage where it’s easiest to get to – right at waist height – rather than making you bend down and dig in a traditional cabinet. If you’re worried about cutting out the bottom half of your storage entirely, look for a vanity that has storage shelves underneath it; it retains much of the white space and accessibility, but gives you a little more storage to work with.

Smarter Storage Matters (Even In A Big Bathroom)

Bel Air 59" Double Bathroom Vanity In White and Chrome 356-V59D-CHR from James Martin Furniture
Bel Air 59″ Double Bathroom Vanity In White and Chrome 356-V59D-CHR from James Martin Furniture

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Cutting down on the size of the vanity is just half of it. Modern vanities also typically have different types of storage. Big traditional vanities usually run pretty heavy on the cabinets, borrowing a little bit from conventional kitchen designs and filling up your space with standard box-style storage. But modern vanities rely more heavily on drawers and open shelves that make your items easier to access, and smaller cabinets that give you plenty of room for larger items, but that won’t be left with a lot of unused space inside like a big square cabinet box.

Simple, Clean, Open Vanities For A Spa Style Master Bathroom

Tiburon 59" Double Bathroom Vanity in Coffee Oak 868-V59D-CFO-A from James Martin Furniture
Tiburon 59″ Double Bathroom Vanity in Coffee Oak 868-V59D-CFO-A from James Martin Furniture

Many modern bathroom vanities also have a more open design, with shelves and cubbies that let you store items not just where they’re in easy reach, but totally out in the open. For those prone to clutter, that might not be the best idea. But putting pretty bottles of toiletries and big, puffy white towels on display can give your bathroom a fantastic spa like look and feel. It’s a trick used by actual spas that ensures you always know where everything important is without having to hunt for it, and can honestly give a sense of purpose to the inevitable chaos of a busy bathroom.

Better Design From Top To Bottom

Bliss 60" Double Sink Gray Oak Bathroom Vanity FMB60D-GO from KubeBath
Bliss 60″ Double Sink Gray Oak Bathroom Vanity FMB60D-GO from KubeBath

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Even non-wall-mounted modern vanities that take up as much physical space as their traditional counterparts are often a better bet for a busy master bathroom, especially ones that swap out cabinets for drawers entirely. This seemingly insignificant change has a few important ramifications. First, drawers allow you to use all the space inside your vanity efficiently. Because full-extension drawers can be pulled all the way out, you can easily access items stored all the way in the cabinet and see everything you have stored there without having to take any of it out. Also, drawers can more easily accommodate your vanity’s sink and plumbing with as little wasted space as possible, which is especially useful on the two-sink double vanities you probably want for your master bathroom!

Modern vanities are typically more streamlined and minimalist than traditional ones, but if you’re looking for smart storage and a simple, spa-like style, you really can’t beat a modern design for your master bathroom.

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