How to Design a Bathroom Vanity

It may sound simple: design a bathroom vanity. However, there are many small details to consider in ensuring that the end result is something that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical and functional. A bathroom vanity is something that we literally use every single day: we wash our face and hands, we brush our teeth, we brush our hair, we apply make up – you want your vanity to not only last, but also be easy to keep clean and pack plenty of storage!

Design a Bathroom Vanity: Storage Solutions

Storage space in a family bathroom is a must; ensure you’ve considered storage options that will suit your requirements and design style. We find that drawers are usually best; you can easily access and see all items you have stored away using drawers whereas cupboards can often be restrictive. Consider including one deep drawer that will easily store tall bottles and the like, as well as one shallow drawer to store smaller products such as make up and hair brushes. You can then add in dividers or trays to further enhance the organision of your new vanity.

Drawers are an excellent storage solution for a bathroom and can even be customised to fit around your plumbing as demonstrated in this example. Image: Houzz

Selecting a Bathroom Benchtop

Bathrooms can get messy: hair everywhere, make-up spills, soap marks, toothpaste blobs, you name it! Select a vanity top that will be durable enough to withstand the daily battering a family’s bathroom vanity will receive. We find the best options to be reconstituted or composite stone such as Caesarstone, Quantum Quartz or Smartstone. For more information on different benchtop options, checkout our benchtop guide here.

Caesarstone’s luxurious Statuario Nuvo is pictured here in use as both a vanity top and wall cladding. Visit Caesarstone’s website for more information.

Selecting a Bathroom Basin

With so many basins to choose from, the options can be overwhelming! Benchmount basins (basins that sit on top of your benchtop) are trending at the moment, with feature basins made of unique materials such as stone, concrete or crystal being popular choices. Another popular option is the undermounted basin which is installed beneath your stone countertop however, it is important to note that grime can often get caught in the lip between the stone top and the basin itself. Visit bathroom showrooms and ensure you’ve physically seen the basins you are considering; check that the size and depth is suitable for your needs and that the material it is made from is both durable and easy to maintain.

Countertop or Benchmount basins are a trend that is here to stay! Image: Reece Plumbing

Selecting Bathroom Tapware

Once you’ve selected an appropriate basin, look into matching tapware. There are many options available: mixers or sets with separate hot and cold water, wall spouts, tall or short tapware fittings, different styles ranging from ultra modern to traditional types. Ensure your tap is both suitable in height and reach for the basin you have selected and compliments the overall style of your new bathroom. It is also important to keep in mind that if you are including an opening medicine cabinet over your bathroom vanity, make sure your tapware’s height will not interfere with opening these cabinets.

Give yourself some space!

It is inevitable that things will end up on the counter rather than neatly tucked away in storage. Whether it’s a hairbrush left on the counter or your family’s toothbrushes beside the sink, there will usually be an assortment of bathroom necessities left out on the counter. Ensure you’ve allowed ample counter space – even if you are super neat and tidy in your bathroom, the extra space is always a plus!

This super tidy bathroom vanity includes an enormous amount of storage – perfect for a large family bathroom. Image: Virgina Voice

Design a Bathroom Vanity: Benchtop Height

Traditionally, bathroom vanities have been installed at a height of around 700-800mm above finished floor level however, this height is steadily increasing as people are finding it to be a tad too low. We are seeing a shift towards a higher installed vanity unit, even up to the same height as standard kitchen counters: 900mm above the floor. With a higher vanity, you are not crouching or bending to wash your hands and your storage space beneath your basin is also increased.

When installing a countertop or benchmount basin however, it is also important to take the actual basin’s height into consideration when designing your vanity unit; you may consider lowering the benchtop height to allow for the top of the basin to be at 900mm instead.

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We love this elegant vintage styled bathroom vanity, complete with aged metal mirror frames. Image: Apartment Therapy

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Of course, a mirror over your vanity is a must! A great way to include more storage in the bathroom and to keep things such as toothbrushes and make up off the countertop is to include hidden storage behind your mirror. This can be in the form of a ready made mirrored medicine cabinet or an in wall cabinet, where most of the cabinet is built into the wall with only a small part of it protruding: just enough so that you are able to comfortably open the doors. If you don’t need the extra storage space, a decorative mirror is a beautiful compliment to a bathroom: think framed or shaped mirrors that simply hang on the wall above your vanity unit to add a decorative touch to your bathroom design scheme.


Of course, always accessorise your new vanity! Include necessary items such as a bin and perhaps a small hand towel rail for practicality. Add colour and texture with your bathroom accessories, such as tumblers, soap dispensers and colourful towels that will give the space character and style.

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Glamorous metallic bathroom accessories are a great way to add a luxurious touch to your design. Including shiny metallic pieces will help brighten up the space by allowing light to bounce around in the room. Image: PillowTalk
How to Design a Bathroom Vanity
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