After years of white and gray being the go-to colors in interior design, the big question on everyone’s mind has started to be: how in the world do we get a little color back into these bland, grayscale spaces? Nowhere is this more true than in bathrooms, where white has been the most-used color from floor to ceiling for the last decade. The good news is, if you have a washed out white bathroom, you can totally transform the look of your space with one simple change: replace your current setup with a natural wood bathroom vanity.
There are two main kinds of bathroom renovations. First are small projects, ones you can do yourself in a weekend, for maybe a few hundred dollars. Second are ones that’ll take a contractor weeks or months of demolition and installation to pull off. But replacing your bathroom vanity is one project that falls right smack dab in the middle. It’s certainly more expensive than upgrading your sink or shower head, but typically won’t take more than an afternoon to get installed, especially with professional help. Not to mention, if you opt for a vanity that’s roughly the same size and shape as your current one, you won’t need to deal with any other overlapping projects, like repainting, re-tiling, or moving your plumbing.
So, in the grand scheme of big-ticket bathroom renovations, replacing your bathroom vanity is one of the simplest, most affordable, and most doable. That said, it will have a huge impact on the look and feel of your space. Instead of hammering out all your tile to upgrade to something in a different shade, installing a natural wood bathroom vanity will put a big swatch of warm, rich color right smack dab in the middle of your bathroom. Especially on an all-white backdrop, a wood vanity will stand out, lending just the right touch of honey-toned warmth to make the existing white feel crisp and clean rather than washed out or sterile.
That isn’t to say that a wood bathroom vanity can’t be part of a larger update. Combined with other tweaks and tricks (like updating your hardware, replacing your tile, and even repainting), a wood vanity can have an even larger impact. But the right vanity won’t need those other elements to prop it up. That’s what makes it a great choice for a smaller project: upgrading to a wood bathroom vanity can bring your bathroom up to date in one fell swoop, without putting the space out of commission for the weeks or months needed to do a more involved project.
Maybe my favorite thing about this trick, though, is that it can work for just about any white bathroom – big or small, modern, traditional, or anywhere in between – and with just about any light or medium toned wood. Why? It’s all about color and contrast. Against an all-white backdrop, there’s nothing for whatever wood you choose to clash with. Better still, a white backdrop will make both make a wood bathroom vanity stand out, and pick and reflect some of the warm base tones of the wood, making your space look and feel cozier and chasing away the blue-gray shadows that often plague all-white bathrooms.
A natural wood bathroom vanity isn’t exactly a narrow category, either – it can encompass everything from a rustic driftwood to a sleek birch laminate, and everything in between. The important part isn’t what type of wood you choose or how it’s finished, but that it has a warm base tone and isn’t too dark. A wood with a blue-gray undertone – or one that’s stained to any very dark brown – won’t have the same impact, and can even make a white bathroom feel colder and more bare than it already is.
That said, with those broad limitations in mind, there are a world of choices out there to help you get a look you like. Even better, many wood bathroom vanities come pre-paired with matching add-ons, like mirror frames or storage cabinets. Not only do these vanity sets make it easy to get a coordinated look throughout your bathroom, they also help spread out and increase the total amount of wood in your bathroom without adding too much to the price or scope of your project.
While there are lots of ways to add color to a white bathroom, upgrading to a wood bathroom vanity is a great way to make a big change without re-imagining your bathroom from the ground up.