Prolonged gazing into one’s bathroom mirror used to be considered quite a vice. For vanity, it is said, is the step-sister of pride. With nothing more to the bathrooms of yesteryear than a sink, toilet, and mirror, we were offered little choice about where our focus should fall once through the bathroom door. And while Narcissus brought his own demise through excessive “self-reflection, " we can probably be forgiven for rendering the bathroom mirror as our observation point of choice.
After all, the bathroom used to be the afterthought of home building and design.
Bathroom design kept to the basics: A toilet, sink-cabinet combo, and perhaps some tile. A little color matching, a couple of wall hangings, and of course, the mirror, and voila, your task was complete!
In hindsight, designing yesterday’s bathroom was really a simple and efficient process.
In hindsight, creating such a bathroom was magnificently uninspiring, unimaginative, and dull.
With limited choices, and prohibitive pricing, vanities of distinction rarely entered the equation for a homeowner without a numeral at the end of their name.
Even for those with limitless means, such a task usually involved finding the right piece of furniture in the appropriate size before hiring a carpenter (to cut a hole into the top) and a plumber (to retrofit a sink and plumbing). It required resourcefulness, planning, lots of time, and even more cash.
The Fine Furniture Revolution
The rethinking of bathroom designs came with the increasing availability of reasonably-priced middle and high-end vanity sink chests . With foreign imports driving down the cost and increasing the availability of fine furniture for every room in the home, builders and consumers began to consider investing more design dollars in the room guests very often visit - the powder room. By choosing vanity styles to coincide with their home's overall design genre, consumers have driven expansion in the vanity/sink chest market that produced a bevy of elegant and affordable products. Ball and Claw traditional vanities, French Provincial style sink chests, and hand-painted and hand-carved furniture sinks - the vanity market has truly embraced the realm of fine furniture.
Never before have vanity choices been so plentiful or bathroom sink design concepts so broad. It's not the usual sink and cabinet combo anymore; it's a whole new ball game.
A Statement Piece - A Statement Place
Forget about Narcissus, and make your vanity a virtue. Let your vanity make a statement about you.
Keep the New Yorker and Reader’s Digest, for sure, but let your bathrooms tell more about you than just your literary preferences. Make a gorgeous vanity the focal point of your bath, and with a painted canvas work of art, some carefully contemplated accessories, and perhaps even a beautiful chandelier, allow the bathroom to complement your taste and your commitment to design throughout your home.
Don’t reflect too long before deciding it’s time for a beautiful furniture vanity in your fine home. I promise you’ll love yourself for it!
Kimberly Lawn is the founding partner of Great Rooms, unique home & garden decor and furniture .
Great Rooms specializes in distinctive fine furniture for the bath and home.