How To Style The Perfect Corner Vanity
"Vanity kills — it don’t pay bills." These foreboding words, sung by '80s group ABC, may apply to the excessively vain — but not when it comes to the bathroom vanity. A well-conceived vanity design and placement may up the value of your home when it comes time to sell it.
Beyond economic value, quality of life comes with a bathroom designed to make your life simple and easy to manage. Today’s busy lifestyles make primping time a luxury for many, so being able to maneuver easily around your daily routine is day-to-day gold. Sometimes placing a vanity in the corner is dictated not only by bathroom dimensions but also plumbing. But given the opportunity, maximizing an oft-neglected space opens up the possibility for added features such as corner seating.
Utilizing the corner space doesn’t limit your options to a diagonal sink and cabinet setup. Instead, it creates an anchor for a his-her double sink option with optimal counter space while creating interest in a nook of the room often overlooked and underutilized. More counter space also allows for the ultimate bathroom goal: seating that isn’t plumbing.
Moreover, ample surface area adds drama, glamour, and personal style with functional décor that brings aesthetic joy. After all, the goal is to have a pleasant and efficient experience getting yourself ready to face the day and the world!
A dreamy example of employing all these design theories and practices is in the master bath of the reality star and fashion designer Whitney Port, which was featured recently in Architectural Digest. Along with her husband, Tim Rosenman, Port updated the bathroom without having to move existing plumbing lines, and replaced a dated tile bath with a floor-to-ceiling marble corner vanity. By removing the original tub and expanding the size of the separate shower, the new corner vanity extends the length of the main wall. By using the corner space, Port could create an area where she could sit and apply makeup. The design created a semiprivate feeling with the corners recessed into the wall and lit by inset wall sconces for generous close-up lighting. And beyond the practical application, she created drama with an entire wall ensconced with marble (dare we say pink marble?).
Another thoughtful execution is to create a seating space within a corner by constructing the vanities on each perpendicular wall and bridging the unit with a mirror and padded vanity stool.
Bathroom decor may sound like an oxymoron to some, but many options provide function and visual appeal. Many tend to think of bathrooms with a fixed wall or overhead lighting option. But why not a lamp? Extending this double-sink corner vanity to the mirrored wall allows for this coordinating wood base lamp to add a touch of smart sophistication to the room.
Candles are another element that can turn a utilitarian bathroom into a spa-like oasis. Tom Dixon’s Elements Air candle has a light and crisp scent and sits in a lidded jar that rests elegantly on a pedestal. Baobab Collection’s Eden Forest Candle channels an African vibe: It is set in a decorative yellow-and-green encasement and features exotic notes of grapefruit, vetiver, and green tea. If an Italian destination is more your escape fantasy, Fornasetti’s Coromandel candle in a blue ceramic jar covered in gold flowers takes its cues from the abundant gardens surrounding the Fornasetti house in Milan. Plants or flowers are also an unexpected way to style a bathroom while infusing energy and life into an oftentimes underconsidered space.
For après-shower beauty products and perfumes that are themselves a work of art, why not make them a focal point of the space and display them in a chic tray? Glass, metal, resin lacquer, or this smart marble version, seen on the Instagram feed of Rosie Huntington-Whitely, shows off an enviable fragrance collection. Marble lends itself to this coordinating box from The Marble House, available at NestCasa.com, that marries Marquina marble with a white Carrara lid.
Divvied up, the Fearless and Voltage stacking tray sets from AVF home can be used throughout the house with neutral slate gray or bronze base and transparent Lucite edges: These vessels adjust to any room’s décor. Another option is a chrome-handled white leather tray with a metal base by Giobagnara to withstand a steamy environment. For a tray with a complete matching vanity set, try the Italian-made Arcahorn in Ivory Lacquer from Nest Casa. These handsome accessories such as soap dispensers and toothbrush holders make simple tasks a luxury.
Choosing the final touch to top off your vanity is a delight. The Eclectic London Duo soap and lotion set from Tom Dixon offers a heady, sexy experience of black pepper, oud wood, vetiver, cedarwood, and patchouli. A sleek black leather and chrome jewelry tree and mirror from Giobagnara, on Nest Casa, along with a jewelry bar and valet tray, hold your most precious baubles securely in plain sight. If a more traditional jewelry box is more your speed, try this belted version from Riviere Italy in cream leather or a hexagonal-embossed style.
Arca Horn’s black horn box displays tissues with panache, begging to be whisked out of the box for some use. Guest towels are not only refined but recommended for proper hygiene. Along with a soap and lotion set, this set of six embroidered hand towels featuring a coral motif from Riccio Caprese make a great hostess gift.
The pièce de résistance of any bathroom decor might be this limited edition portrait of La Liz by Terry O’Neill. In it, the legendary actress sits in a corner vanity table applying makeup. While no one put that baby in a corner, watching the many facets of her million-dollar look come together will have guests staring into this corner for hours.