Decorating a small bathroom is always a pain. For most people it means choosing the difference between a vanity that’s either 24″, 30″, or 36″ wide. But in truly small spaces, width isn’t the only concern. You also have to worry about how far your vanity extends away from the wall. Most conventional “small” bathroom vanities are big enough to disrupt movement in these teeny tiny bathrooms. That means you need a more elegant solution. Modern space saving vanities are both narrow and sit close to the wall, making them an ideal option for extremely small spaces.
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Most typical small bathroom vanities are sort of squarish. An average “very small” wall mounted vanity clocks in at about 24″ wide and equally tall, and about 20″ deep. These have a nice, trim appearance that works pretty well in a small space. But if the problem with your bathroom is tight walkways, that 18″-22″ vanity depth can start to crowd you. Space saving vanities, on the other hand, can clock in at as little as 10″ deep, sitting flat enough against your wall to allow passage even in the tightest space.
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The obvious drawback here is that a vanity that small doesn’t really give you much to work with. The cabinets are necessarily small, which means less storage than you might hope for. The cabinets are typically simple ones, without the fancy drawers or cubbies you find on larger space saving vanities. That said, ALL the space inside the cabinet is usable, with no faux-drawers or panels blocking precious storage space.
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These shallow, space saving vanities often have offset faucets. That is, they shift the faucet assembly to one side of the vanity rather than putting it against the wall. This change is what allows most of these vanities to be so trim. An offset faucet makes it possible to push the whole vanity closer to the wall. The full width of the sink is still there to catch water from the faucet (so you don’t have to worry about splashing), but the depth of the sink can be condensed, making the whole unit more compact.
If you really don’t like the look of these compact sinks (or if you just cant get used to the offset faucet), there are lots of space saving vanities that take a slightly different approach. Rather than rearranging the sink and faucet to shrink them both, these alternate designs keep a nearly full-sized sink attached to the scaled-down cabinet, creating apron-like sinks that have a subtle cottage feel to them. These larger, curved sinks do increase the footprint of the vanity somewhat. But since they’re lean rather than bulky, they’re easier to move around than a full sized vanity. That makes them one of the few options for fitting a larger sink in a very small bathroom.
It’s worth noting, too, that wider sinks can be more or less subtle. While many of them have that iconic curvy front apron that’s reminiscent of pedestal sinks, it’s possible to find sleeker, more modern variants where the sink widens only ever so slightly, giving you a little more room in the basin without significantly changing the appearance (or footprint) of your space saving vanity. Regardless of the shape of the sink, though, the plumbing has to fit inside the cabinet as well. Many manufacturers conveniently leave this detail out of their product photos, but it has a big impact on the amount of available storage space.
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The other major drawback to having a sink and vanity this small is that you won’t have any counter space. What little room there is is taken up almost entirely by your faucet. That means these super small bathroom vanities don’t leave you room enough even to store your toothbrush out in the open. The small size and accessibility of the vanity cabinet can help make up for this somewhat. But be aware you might need to get a little creative – with things like wall-mounted toothbrush holders and soap dishes – if you plan to use the space as more than just a guest bathroom.
Making a very small half bathroom is definitely a challenge, but with the right tools, it isn’t impossible. Streamlined, scaled down, space saving vanities emphasize compact efficiency and can help you make the most of even the smallest bathroom.