Shopping for Bathroom Vanities: A Guest Bath Renovation

I’m currently in the planning stage of a bath renovation. My bathrooms are all over 30 years old, so it’s time. The bath I thought I’d start with is the upstairs hall/guest bath. The toilet has been replaced (see that post HERE) and now I’m looking at vanities.

(Update: I’ve called this a guest bath in this post since that’s how it is being used in my home now. But for future families living here, it would be the main “kids” bath upstairs since it serves as the bath for the bedrooms, other than the master.)

Baseball Themed Bath

 

When we first moved in, this blue vanity was already here. We had plans to change it out but our son who was seven at the time really liked it. So instead of changing it, I looked for coordinating wallpaper.

Baseball Themed Bath

 

I came across this adorable (and unfortunately, expensive) baseball wallpaper on a “Street of Dreams” home tour. My son played baseball from the 2nd grade through the 11th grade and was a big Braves fan, plus the blue was a perfect match for the sink.

Baseball Themed Towel Rack in Boy's Bathroom

 

My plans are to make this bathroom more neutral, moving away from the look of a kid’s bath. I’m kind of sad to see the wallpaper go, but it’s time. Patricia who reads BNOTP had a great idea. She suggested I save a good size piece to have matted/framed for my son. I love that idea since he’s such a big sports fan and hopefully it will bring back some nice memories of his childhood home whenever he sees it. Thanks so much for that suggestion, Patricia!

I have to tell ya, I’m not good with change. I guess I’m just too sentimental because change is always hard for me, especially when it ties back to my son in some way. Even though he’s grown, out of college and living in his own home, it was hard when I turned his old room…

Child's Bedroom Renovation to a Home Office

 

…into my home office. But I enjoy this room so much now and it’s the most used room in my home these days. So change can be good and we always have our pictures and our memories, right? (See office transformation here: Creating a Home Office: The Journey)

Pottery Barn Office with Bedford Furniture and Buffalo Check Curtains

 

I haven’t looked at bathroom vanities in ages. The ones I seem to like are all free-standing. That should work if I decide to go that route since there’s plenty of space between the current vanity and the toilet. If I go with a free-standing vanity, it will also mean a new floor for the bathroom. The tile in this bathroom is fine and is an off-white color that’s completely neutral, but it will definitely need to be replaced if I decide to use a free-standing vanity.

As I’ve been shopping online, one vanity I considered was this one at Houzz called the Abbey. I would not go with that style faucet and would choose something else, but I do love the Carrara marble. I asked someone recently how a Carrara  marble top holds up in a bath and was told that it works well in baths since folks aren’t cutting with knives and working on the countertop like they do in a kitchen. As long as it’s sealed, it is supposed to work fine for a bath. Anyone have Carrara marble in their bath and has it held up well?

Note the drawer/cabinet design, how the drawer and cabinet panels lay atop the cabinet instead of being built into it. Not sure how I feel about that. It’s not bad, but there are other designs to consider. Notice how thick the marble top looks around the outer edge. It doesn’t look as thick on the inside of the sink.  (Dimensions: 48 x 35 x 22 inches)

 

Vanity

ABBEY

 

Another vanity I came across and liked at Houzz is the Katherine. I really like the curvy cabinet design and the Carrara marble top. (Dimensions: 48 x 35 x 22 inches)

Katherine 48-inch Vanity in White with Cararra Marble

KATHERINE

 

This is the Vinnova Verona from Overstock dot com. This wouldn’t work that well in a bath with beadboard wainscoting, would be beadboard overload and would probably conflict with the beadboard design on the walls. But in a bath without beadboard, it could be really nice. Wonder if it would be hard to keep clean with all those beadboard grooves. (Dimensions: 48 x 35.8 x 23 inches)

Verona 48-inch Vanity, White with Carrara Marble

VINNOVA VERONA

 

One vanity style I keep seeing is the open shelf style, but I’m 99% sure I would prefer a closed cabinet. The one below is at Overstock dot com. I just don’t want a surface I’ll need to worry about dusting/keeping clean in the bath. Plus, I’d like more hidden storage for bathroom tissue and things like that. I have a nice size linen closet in this bathroom so there’s already plenty of towel storage available.  As pretty as the open shelving is, I just don’t think I’d use it very much and don’t won’t to really worry with keeping it clean/neat. (Dimensions: 48 x 35.8 x 22 inches)

Florence Vanity with Open Shelf, 48 Inch

VINNOVA FLORENCE

 

The Ariel Kensington from Overstock is a nice design. It’s and inch longer at 49 inches, but that’s fine since I have a good amount of space between the vanity and the toilet. The slated/shutter doors are cute.

A few of the vanities I found are available with a large rectangular mirror, but if I do go with a free-standing vanity, I’m leaning toward using an oval mirror with wall sconces on either side. A mirror the same size as the vanity (like shown below) would be too large to allow for wall sconces on either side in this bath, so an oval would probably be a better choice if I do go with sconces on either side. (Dimensions: 49 x 35 x 22)

49 inch White Vanity, Kensington

ARIEL

 

Finally, another I liked is the Norwood. It’s available at Home Depot and Wayfair  Supply, but is currently out of stock. It’s supposed to be back in around the first week in May.  The Norwood is the deepest of all the vanities I’m considering which worries me a little. I don’t want to crowd out the entry to the bathroom. My existing vanity that’s not free-standing is 22 inches. The Norwood is 23.6 in depth. (Dimensions: 48 x 35.2 x 23.6)

Norhaven 48 Inch Vanity with Mirror

NORWOOD

Did you have a favorite? Know of any others I should consider?

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Comments

  1. Oooh, bath renos; this is going to be fun! (for us :)) I vote for Ariel because the shutter insert seems southern and like your plantation shutters. Hope the bat towel bar goes to your son/grandson as well as some wallpaper.

  2. I vote for the Norwood. I love the lines. Of course, as you know, I am a very traditional girl, so the Norwood fits that category. I understand how you feel about change because I too am a sentimental girl. I also agree that the Vinnova is trendy, and frankly, who wants to have to change out a guest bath vanity very often?

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  3. I like the first two. They look like they are classic and would stand the test of time. Don’t like the one with lovers because they are dust collectors. That said, they are all pretty.

  4. The Ariel. Clean lines, easy to keep clean

  5. I like the Ariel and the Katherine. I’m basing this on seeing the styling elsewhere in your beautiful home. Both of those have lots of character with some feminine curves. Neither are too trendy or too coastal, etc. All good choices! And yes, saving that square of wall paper is a great idea. You could even use it to cover a tissue box for your grandson’s bathroom or bedroom! I know how it feels to want to hold on to the feelings and the memories – and I’ll bet this is the last space for yours. “Beneath every empty nest lies the feathers of a mother.”

  6. Mary Kleiner says

    I love the Norwood that is my best choice. Hope you choose this model 🙂

  7. June Hansen says

    I like the Katherine. Very stylish and the drawers are a nice depth. The other drawers seem too shallow.

    I’m with you on the open shelf. I would always be fiddling with the display.

  8. Karen Aamodt says

    I like the Norwood vanity the best, go with that one!

  9. I’m a big fan of the curvy cabinets, Susan: first choice, Katherine, then the Norwood. I am going through the same process of deciding on a vanity, and too many options only serve to boggle the mind! 🙂

  10. Elizabeth says

    What great choices you have made. I’ve always loved the open shelf at the bottom but I’m glad you mentioned keeping it clean. Now that I think about it, kneeling on a tile floor to dust, is not what I want to do. I like the last two. The shutters are great and the last one is really nice. One thing that came to mind…how many drawers does a guest vanity really need? Whatever you pick will be as lovely as the rest of your home.

  11. For a guest bath, I would make it a little jewel box. You don’t have to have very much so you can spend more. Drop a sink in an antique piece and either seal the heck out of the wood or have a marble top.

  12. Susan ~

    Katherine and Norwood are very pretty! My vanity is about 25years old, its traditional cherry wood I still love it, but would really like a new vanity top put on it like in the marble and a undermount sink. Is that a good pick for bathroom vanity tops??

    Paula-IN

    p.s.silly question, but have you ever been to Helen,Ga?? 🙂

    • Barbara English says

      Paula, Hi I am a kitchen and bath designer. You can certainly use your cherry vanity, and it is probably better made than new. Your vanity is probably 31 or 32″ high.. The new hight is finished at 36″. The old hight is great for a vessel sink. Find a Marble with a little warmth to tie in the vanity, and a more traditional vessel bowl. It could look like an old fashion wash stand. Best of all it could be cheaper! Barbara

      • Thanks so much, Barbara for sharing those great tips! I love seeing a dresser turned into a beautiful vanity. What would be the best way to protect the vanity against water spots when it’s used as a vanity?

    • I have, I love it! I try to avoid it around Oktoberfest due to the crowds, but it’s a gorgeous area. I used to love going in a little Christmas shop there…it was Christmas all year long in that shop. I’ve hiked many times on a trail that’s just north of Helen that has one waterfall after another, leading up to a beautiful waterfall at the end. The north Georgia area is a beautiful place!

  13. Hi Susan,

    A little experience on the marble issue: I had an upstairs bathroom done about 10 years ago, and chose very large, beautiful marble tiles for the inside of the shower and the bathroom vanity. They are not Carrera, but they are marble and they were sealed. ANYTHING that comes in contact with them – water, a ring left on the marble counter top, or whatever – can and will leave a mark or an etching. So unless you are a fan of a more “lived in” marble look, I can’t say I recommend it. It’s very beautiful at first, but is high maintenance.

    • Re the choice of a marble countertop; I must agree with Lisa particularly if this space will be used as a main bathroom and/or for children though I feel it would be ideal for a powder room. That said; there are some beautiful patterns/colours of Quartz countertops (not to be confused with Quartzite) on the market that will withstand any type of abuse and are similar in aesthetics. Another wonderful plus about them, since they are made-made they will provide the next homeowner an option of perhaps using it somewhere else in the room in the event they wish to make a co-ordinated addition/change. i.e.: Shelving, a window sill etc. Also, as far as design goes options are unlimited re thickness, edging and such.
      P.S.: As you know Susan I am in the midst of renovating four bathrooms and over one vanity area we have a very large sky light. Long story short; due to heavy rains it developed a small leak and if the counter top had been marble for sure it would have left a (rust coloured) stain (similar to the colour of our shingles) as it was only noticed the following morning whereas because it was quartz there was absolutely no damage. -Brenda-

    • linda d townsend says

      Dark marble or granite is hard to keep clean. I have had a light marble that was easier, but my favorite top – Tigris Sand – is a quartz. Love, love, love it.

  14. Forgot to tell you that IKEA has some kitchen racks that would do well on the door of the bath. You could hang towels on them. Would dry well and the black is very attractive. Heard Lynette Jennings say that every room needs some black in it to anchor it. I agree.

  15. Ariel by a long shot for me. I like the cleaner lines.

    Carrera marble is beautuful, but even though it won’t be subjected to knives, keep in mind bottles of cleansers or perfumes,etc. can stain it. Having said that, I would still get it. 🙂

  16. A postscript from my earlier marble comments – if I had it to do over again, I would have chosen ceramic tile. There are so many beautiful and unusual tiles out there now.

  17. Hi Susan

    I’m wondering if the shutter doors might be a bit of a job to keep clean. My sister has a vanity with the open shelf and bought some baskets to put there, looks really nice and I think a shelf is easier to clean than all those tiny slats. Just one girls opinion!

  18. Peggy Thal says

    Fun to make changes. I like the Katherine and Norwood. Abby isn’t bad if you like more square. Not a big fan of the others. It will be beautiful!

  19. I recently replaced my daughters white single sink vanity and one thing I learned was that those small drawers really do not provide much storage and even more important the center cabinet has very limited storage considering that is where the plumbing is also housed. So the question for you then, is do you plan to store items like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, tall shampoo bottles, even extra towels? If so, you may want to consider an asymetric design with 2 full size cabinet doors+ one set of smaller drawers. I hope I am making sense 🙂

  20. Sarah Pacheco says

    First please let me say that these choices are all beautiful quality vanities and each one would make a lovely addition to any home.

    My personal preference is the Katherine. It has a classic graciousness to it. I must warn you in advance that I’m originally from the south so my taste might be biased. I personally don’t care at all for beadboard or square minimalist puritan lines.

    The Ariel Kensington is very pretty but to me it has a “beach” or “Florida” feel due to the shuttered doors. Not my personal cup of tea but it has charm.

    The Norwood is similar to the Katherine but I don’t like it as much because I don’t think the curved shape and carving on the doors works with the square flat drawers.

    Plus if I understood correctly, the Katherine is physically a better fit for your space. So that’s my vote.

    I promise whichever one you choose your bathroom will be stunning. They’re all gorgeous!

  21. Charlotte says

    I like the Katherine, loved the curved lines of it and I think it would look the best with an oval mirror and sconces.

  22. These are great! My favorites are the Norway and Katherine. They look like furniture turned into a bathroom cabinet. Interested in what top you will get. I have 20 year old cultured marble, still looks good, but would like a change myself. Thanks for your site being so informative!!

  23. The raised drawer details will be grime and dust/dirt traps as well as fluid traps (face washing , tooth brushing, etc.–For occasional use as a guest bath not so much). But no matter the frequency of use, every room grows dust magically. But aren’t they beautiful details?

    Another concern is the precision of the linear details–if the piece should settle or a drawer becomes misaligned, it will be a visual distraction and drive you nuts!

    For one with a housekeeper who cleans regularly, the additional cleaning would have to be added to the schedule, thus increasing housekeeping costs.

    Several of the styles would blend well into your home’s overall sensibilities! Unless you intend to maintain the room as a potential bathroom to serve family bedrooms, you could decrease the drawers and go full out wow, treating the room as a true guest bath in your choice of vanity.

  24. I love the Norwood but if space is an issue I would choose the Katherine. Both are beautiful!

  25. Charlotte says

    I vote for the 2nd one down or the last one. And an oval mirror.

  26. I love the Norwood and the Katherine. My two top picks for you based on seeing the rest of your home. I have no experience with marble in bathrooms or kitchens. Granite is a great alternative. We have it in our bathrooms and love it. Marble may require more work to keep it clean and polished looking is what I think. Love the white too, very fresh looking. Keep the baseball bat for your son too. Love the suggestion of the wallpaper being framed. Great idea!

  27. The femininity of the lower curves and delicate legs of the Norwood really calls to me. All are beautiful and any would make a gorgeous guest bath.

  28. Karen Welch says

    Those are all great choices! Since this is technically a second upstairs bath, and in the future for resale, may be considered by families with more than one child, you may want to consider going with a 48-double sink vanity. You may have limited options with style/storage space, but if you’re willing to give that up, it will probably pay big dividends when you sell the house (or fill it up on the weekends with grandkids!). I found one on Houzz that might do the trick!:

    Product Specification

    Manufactured By
    Fresca Bath
    Size
    W 48″ / D 20.38″ / H 32.63″
    Color
    Antique White
    Materials
    Wood, Quartz, Ceramic

  29. I definitely vote “Norwood”!!

  30. We have beadboard cabinets in our bath along with beadboard on the walls. I don’t think it is too much. Not hard to keep clean. I kind of like the Ariel, not much into all the curves and carvings.

  31. Just to give you an idea, we replaced our cabinet in our bathroom and it looks exactly like some you have listed with legs, however, what a pain that has become to clean under the cabinet. I would never choose a cabinet with legs again. I would make sure it sits on the floor flat. Its just hard to clean. You have to get on your hands and knees. Just my thoughts.

    • I was thinking about that – cleaning under it would be a pain. Plus replacing the tile – I’d keep looking for one that sits flat if it were me doing the looking! Just a thought – all these choices are pretty but I tend to look for practical.

      • I was thinking about that last night. Maybe I should be more practical in this bath since I really want to do a pretty big master bath renovation.

  32. My favorites are the Katherine or the Norwood. Both have some motion to their design and bathrooms can be pretty stark. Also, there are truly beautiful vanities other than those with storage drawers/doors, so if I were you I wouldn’t rule them out since you have a linen closet and are not lacking storage. I’m sure whatever you choose will be beautiful and am looking forward to following your progress.

  33. Linda Gardepe says

    I vote for the Katherine, very classic and lovely. I made a Very expensive bathroom redo mistake. I did a marble top and everything etched it and left a mark. I had it resealed within a year of installing it and finally had it removed and replaced with granite. Please think very long and hard about marble. There are beautiful granites that look very much like Carrera, so I really think you should check them out. Good luck, I’m sure it will be beautiful as you have lovely taste.

  34. Have you looked at Pottery Barn? They have some nice white vanities. Also, when considering your vanity consider how close to a doorway it will be. You need to be able to open the drawers without hitting the frame around your door. We went into a condo and the drawers opened too close to the frame around the door and the drawers could not be opened very far which really really limited what could be stored in them.

  35. Eowana Jordan says

    Katherine.. hands down.. pardon the pun.. but the lines are curved but not too busy.. It’s one you will never tire of. A classic!

  36. bobbi duncan says

    Susan,I like both the Katherine and the Norwood. The one I would select if you’re thinking resale would be the Katherine as it’s classic with lines that could work with anything from contemporary to French accessories, whereas the Norwood looks only French. I love the curvy models with matching curvy countertops! I have had Carrara marble in my bathrooms and, unfortunately, in one kitchen–never, never again! You absolutely can not leave a glass or most anything with dampness on it as it leaves rings and etching, scratches very easily, and requires special cleaners–way too high maintenance for me at any age, but especially now that I’m 65. It is gorgeous, which lured me in the first place, but then came to haunt me lol! Some folks really like the look of worn marble. If you don’t mind that look, then go for it–at least you’ll be forewarned. I can’t wait to see your bath transformation which I know will be beautiful. I’m in the process of looking for a new vanity and toilet for our powder room and new toilets for the other bathrooms. Our powder room is long but the vanity end has the entry door, leaving a narrow width, so I can’t go more than 21.5 inches wide. There was a pedestal sink there, but I’m not a fan, so I may have to convert an English chest if I can’t find a vanity we like that also fits the space–honey, you know a woman did not configure my powder room–ugh!

  37. If you go for an oval mirror, then I would choose the Norwood or the Katherine because they have rounded corners. The Norwood might be best since the cabinet door is square like your shutters. I think the arch on the cabinet doors of the Katherine would bother me since you have square shutters. If you decide on a rectangular mirror, then I would choose the Ariel even though I don’t really care for the drawer pulls since there are so many of them and that makes them look too big. I can’t wait to see which you choose!

  38. I love a more shaker style look, so I am in love with the Abby. It is similar to what we put in my bathroom, but is from Kraftmaid found at Lowes. We got the linen tower as well as the matching mirror. It’s a darker finisher with a white modern looking sink. Hubby and son picked out the sink. It does look nice together. Our walls on the bottom half have beadboard, but it is vinyl beadboard and baseboard. So nice to keep clean! Can’t wait to see your bathroom come together! Hugs, Brenda

  39. If you are going for an oval mirror then I would choose the Katherine or the Norwood because they have some curves. The Norwood might be best with your square shutters–I think it would bother me to have the curved carving on the Katherine with your shutters. If you choose a rectangular mirror then I would choose the Ariel with the louvers to match your window shutters even tho I think there are too many handles on the vanity. Also don’t like the handle shape on the Ariel. Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  40. Rose Marie says

    I really like the Katherine! The Norwood is another one I would love! I don’t think you can go wrong with any of your choices! You always have exquisite taste, Susan! Good Luck!

  41. Linda Palmer says

    Me again! Sorry, I meant to say the Katherine would be best because it has the square doors. (The Norwood has the curves–I got the names confused LOL.)

  42. Sorry, me again! I meant to say I recommend the Katherine! The Norwood has the curves carved into the doors. I got the names confused! LOL

  43. Sorry, I hope I can post again this try! I meant to say I would choose the Katherine since it’s the Norwood that has the curves on the doors. 🙂

  44. If you are considering the Norwood, but are hesitant about the added depth, just tape the extra depth on the floor and live with it a while. If you notice your toe going over the floor tape, that’s a big stubbed toe.

  45. My choice is the Katherine. I also love Carrara Marble but do not want to deal with the issues that come with marble. Here is a link to some info on countertops that look like Carrara Marble but are a better choice. Will you be doing wallpaper again in this bath or will you paint? Vikki in VA.

  46. The Katherine is my favorite. I love Carrara marble and have been wanting it in our master forever. Great looks, great choices, Susan.

  47. I had my handyman husband convert an antique dresser into a vanity. I love, love ,love it! Two Drawers on top and 3 drawers below so a ton of storage. The 2 drawers on top he reconfigured the insides to go around the set in sink. We just super sealed the top after we painted it white. I chose a dresser that wasn’t of great antique value so I wasn’t destroying something precious by painting and cutting. My husband has been called out many times to try to repair marble tops from spilled perfume or alcohol based things & so I would avoid it. I just saw a property brothers episode where they used marble looking impervious ceasar stone, so check that out. Good luck.

  48. The baseball wallpaper is just adorable. My son-in-law is a huge Braves fan and my two grandsons are named Maddux and Hudson.

    As for the vanity, the Katherine would be my first choice and Norwood my second choice.

  49. I like the Katherine and the Norwood. I know someone on another blog that got her vanity from Pottery Barn and it had an open shelf on the bottom but I don’t know what sizes are offered. You’ve picked out some great ideas. I’m sure this will be a fun project.

  50. I see I’m in good company in voting for the Katherine. It looks like a piece of furniture, which I like. We have black marble in our guest and master bathrooms. I love, love it. It will scratch and you can burn it with a curling iron if you’re not careful. But I love, love marble countertops, to I’m careful. I think you’ll love the Carrara marble.

  51. Cyndi Raines says

    Boy! Great minds think alike! I too vote for the Katherine and then the Norwood. Love the curves! Eager to see what your final decision will be! I know it will all come together beautifully. Yes, I agree change is hard, but you will love it when it’s finished and up to date.

  52. Norwood vert elegant. If you don’t like it you can return it to the store even if you order it on line.

  53. Definitely the Katherine. I think it works well with other design elements in your home.

    Trish

  54. I have marble in our master bath with built in sinks. They’ve held up really well. Have you thought about just replacing the vanity top.
    We just had to redo my parents master bath. We found the vanities at a place called Surplus Warehouse. Granite tops with wood bottoms. They came unfinished or finished. We got the unfinished because we painted them. We demoed the bath to the studs and floor joists because there was a leak behind ceramic tile. It had been there for over 50 years. So glad it’s over.

  55. I vote for the Katherine! Beautiful, classic lines. Many interior decorators are now recommending quartz countertops for ease of care!

  56. Linda Page says

    Since this vanity sink will go in MY bathroom, my choices are the Katherine or the Norwood. I think an oval mirror would look best. Got my new front door and glass door installed today. He had just started when I headed out to Alabama but my son says it looks really good. Now I can start painting my living room. We really have the reno bug, don’t we!!!

  57. Abbey- if you sell your house any time soonish clean lines are best.

  58. I do have Carrara marble in my hall bath and I love it! It has been in for 5 years and still looks like new. I have had it resealed a couple of times. One of those times a soap drip spot appeared under bottled soap. When the company that installed it came to reseal, they simply applied a pumice type material over that spot and it totally removed it. Then, 24 hours after that, they resealed. It looks like new and is beautiful!

  59. Katherine and or the Norwood would be choice. Can’t wait to see the end results.

  60. I love the Norwood sink…just beautiful…

  61. I like the curves and the feet on the Norwood. I have bathroom faucets that rise high and swivel. I highly recommend them, as they allow you to do more in the sink than you could otherwise do.

  62. Hi, Susan,
    Just a quick note to let you know that many of the vanities that are ordered online, come with the countertops already installed which makes getting them up stairs difficult if not impossible if the stairway turns!

  63. Peggy Gordon says

    I like the Abbey. Clean, classic lines. And drawers in a vanity are fantastic. Some of the others are a bit feminine. If you are thinking of resale, as you seem to have mentioned, a very feminine vanity could be a drawback to a family with boys.

  64. Marlene Stephenson says

    I like the Katherine, a classic beauty and would go very well with the rest of your house design. You could also buy an antique dresser and have it made into a vanity. Keep looking you will find the perfect one.

  65. I feel all the choices you made are beautiful Susan, however I do have two questions for you. Is the present vanity in reasonable condition and does it serve required storage? IF so, then perhaps you can even consider salvaging its frame and drawers equipping it with — new doors (and soft closed hinges), drawer fronts, hardware, counter top, sink and faucet(s) as I did in one of our bathrooms because it was custom built to fit the space. I kept the original glides on the drawers since they were heavy duty and they entirely opened unlike some of the soft-closed ones that do not … plus … I was even able to re-position the under mount sink to where I wanted it without any extra plumbing expense. (The carpentry cost for raised panels with decorative moulding including supplies amounted to a total of only $150.00 Cdn. funds as I chose a hybrid combination of Popular Wood and MDF Board that painted up beautifully (and didn’t have the thermo foil appearance like so many of the mass produced vanities have regardless they are wood). Also shall add, when doing my bathroom upgrade research there was mention of distance restrictions between a sink and toilet that many States in the U.S.A. seem to have so you may wish to do a follow-up on that if considering a longer vanity. Apologize for being sooooo long winded … ☺. -Brenda-

    • P.S.: I should have mentioned, that the carpentry cost I quoted was for two doors and three drawer fronts and also included their priming. Bottom line; you would never know it was the same ‘old’ vanity! -Brenda-

  66. Norwood is a bit Country French for your application. I like the first two, in order.

  67. Of these, I like the Katherine and the Norwood. I know I would definitely NOT like an open shelf or louvered doors – too much dust in a bathroom (I have found t. paper creates a LOT of dust). We also need to do updates, and one thing my husband most definitely wants is a higher counter than what our current vanity is (it’s only 30″H, can you believe that?). We’re hoping to head to our local Home Show this weekend – hoping to get inspired!
    Love the idea of framing the old wallpaper, Susan. And although I don’t mind change, I don’t like managing expectations on a project. My husband & I tend to get into tiffs over project work. 🙁

  68. Hey Susan, you featured my tiny master bath renovation several years ago. I have a marble countertop, although it is engineered, it STAINS! I know everyone is loving that marble look, but run don’t walk to the nearest counter top that looks like pizza! Haha! In all seriousness I would look at other options, especially if this will be a kids bathroom. My friend hasDupont Corian in her bathrooms and they are lovely, clean easily. The sinks are built with the countertops and they are seamless. If I were rich I would redo my
    bathrooms totally different. Also the big push is to have taller cabinets, umm, that was a mistake too. I am only 5 feet tall. I practically need a step ladder in the master bathroom. In my hall bath I have the shorter in height
    cabinet, much better!

    • Mary, thanks for those tips. What is the height of the tall vanity that you don’t like and what is the height of the shorter ones? I didn’t realize they came in so many heights. The one that’s in there now is very short and I wouldn’t mind if the vanity were a little taller.

      • Susan, I hope you don’t mind me chiming in about vanity height but I just measured two of mine and ‘finished’ heights are 36″ and another one is 33″ using the same thickness of (Quartz) counter top however due to their designs, there is really no difference in their under the counter storage capacity as the height is often made up in their base. Now keeping that in mind and considering the tasks you plan to use the sink for (basically use of a mirror and small task grooming) IMHO I feel the type and size of mirror and its placement as well as the lighting you plan to use should also have some bearing on the vanity height that is chosen. In other words; guidelines that you might wish to consider are — a) Mirror placement — framed or unframed usually 3″ between its lower edge and a conventional height backsplash or 6″ – “9” above a countertop. It is suggested that their widths be around 2/3 rds of vanity length. b) Sconces — are generally placed so lighting frames the face whereas bar lighting is often placed downward with the bottom of their shades being approximately 3″ from the top of the mirror and about 70% to 90% of mirror width. As for the use of a sink; as Mary pointed out tall versions of vanities can be a challenge for some. As for their depth, sinks are generally positioned a standard distance from the faucet which in turn are positioned a standard distance from a backsplash or wall and I think it is safe to say in most cases are a standard size that is doable for a common 21″ cabinet depth. With all that said and being far from an expert; nothing is written in stone but hopefully some of this information will assist you in making your choice. Hugs, hugs -Brenda-

        • Thanks, Brenda! I was thinking last night, if I am going to put sconces on either side, I’ll probably also need some can lighting overhead because sconces wouldn’t be enough light at times in a bathroom. I was noticing in photos online, when a bath had sconces on either side of a mirror, they usually had some recessed lighting, too. I wonder if I should go with a big rectangular mirror and do some lighting over the mirror instead of the sconces. I’ve seen it that way in some baths. Lots of decisions!

          • You are more than welcome Susan. With respect to vanity space lighting Susan; what you may wish to do is choose your vanity first, then your mirror and lastly your type of lighting keeping in mind the few guidelines above plus your options of — wall or mirror applied sconces, pendants or bar lighting. Once that is determined review electrical regulations in your area. (i.e.: Necessity of Damp UL rated or IP 44 rated fixtures and the location of switches.) As for recessed lighting again IMHO, fine if the room is large or in a tub/shower area but personally I would try to avoid them for vanity lighting as unlike a white/off white diffused/warm light, apparently they have a tendency to cast shadows and can age you ten years in looks … eeks! Last but not least, two more points: 1) You will have to decide whether you wish any on a dimmer switch. 2) How they will be wired when turning them on. In summary; “lots of decisions” for sure. -Brenda-

            P.S.: When electrical planning; don’t forget about the installation of an exhaust fan if regulations in your area dictate one. As lovely what they are … NOT … as usually encased in a cheap hunk of plastic they do make them for wall installation plus many have the options of a timer. (Fortunately after much persuasion I convinced my electrician to install mine out of sight inside my skylight(s) as I was not a happy camper after seeing his choice of placement which would have been about 14″ from my much, much more elaborate ceiling fixture(s). Don’t think so, not about to happen … LOL! FYI, installation over a doorway could always be another choice.)

  69. Most of them are very nice. My choice would be the Norwood. I believe it is the last one and also the first show in the article. I wish you would have given us the prices! That is always good to know.

  70. #1 Norwood, #2 Verona…those are the top 2 for me!!

  71. Hey Susan, I measured my bathroom cabinets. The hall bathroom (which you featured on your blog too) the height of that cabinet is 31 inches counting the counter top. The master bathroom, is 36 inches-3 Feet no wonder I struggle! haha! I love the look of it, and it was the right way to go because of the shower design, but I brush my teeth and put my make up on in the hall bathroom unless we have guests. Then I use my sons’ little tikes step up stool so I can brush my teeth, was all of this too much information?! HA! As far as lighting, it would have been nice to do the canned lighting in the hall bathroom, but it was another expense that I didn’t want to pay. I have the large mirror that isn’t popular with designers, and a bar light of sconces over the mirror. Our bathroom designer pointed out that the lighting and the large mirror would provide plenty of light without having to do canned lighting. The only place that feels a bit dark is the shower.

    Our hall bathroom cabinet is very long, and it needed the long mirror. I really like the way that bathroom turned out.

    • Wow, 36 is pretty tall, especially for your height. I just measured the one in that bath and it’s 31-1/2 inches tall. That’s what I was wondering, if the lighting above it would provide enough…that’s good to know. I’m sure if I did an oval mirror with sconces, I’ll need more light since I’d probably put shades on the sconces. This being the hall bath and one that will be used by kids, I may go with a bar light of sconces or something like that. Thanks, Mary! There are so many choices these days…really overwhelming.

  72. Recent family events have made me more mindful of aging in place. If you put in a larger vanity (depth and width wise), you may limit the mobility for an elderly guest. A few inches can make a big difference in a small bathroom. Ideally, they suggest 32″ doors and walkways.

  73. The Katherine and Norwood are my favorite. Have you thought of custom made cabinets? I had my vanities custom made when we built our house. I also went with the furniture look and although it is kinda hard to clean underneath ( a Swiffer works good) I still love them.

    • Thanks, Vickie! I just started thinking about that the last day or two because I’ve discovered there are some granites that look a lot like Carrara marble. So, will have to look further into that. I love the furniture look, too!

  74. I’m in the midst of remodeling 3 full baths – and I mean full on remodeling – all the way to the studs and subflooring which need to be replaced because the house is old and plumbing was leaking behind the walls rotting things unseen. Not fun! Then, because we live in the South, when they got in the walls and floors, they did not find any live termite activity, but it was obvious they’d been there. And had supper on us. UGH. I am overwhelmed with the selection process. I’m watching a lot of HGTV trying to get ideas and am reading blogs like yours. That does help, because 5 years ago, I would have NEVER mixed gray and brown, but now it feels natural to do that. Although I’m freaking out the contractor by putting in brown tiles and countertops with a cherry wood vanity, but then choosing a very light gray paint and all chrome or brushed nickel metal. I ALMOST let them bully me away from the gray paint, but had a “coming to Jesus” moment in which I reminded myself that they don’t have to live the result! I do! All the stuff is picked out for my husband’s bathroom now and it has spread into the master bedroom (which I did NOT intend to remodel!) WHERE is my restraint?!? Sigh. Oh well, one bath down, two to go!

    All that to say, after creating a custom vanity for my husband’s bathroom, something as easy as just buying one that is already put together and coordinated, seems like a wonderful idea! I love the Katherine – along with, apparently, the vast majority of your readers! lol! “You ARE unique – just like everybody else!!” 😉

    • Kelly, I feel so overwhelmed by all the choices, too. Thanks so much for the encouragement! It is scary since we have to live with these choices a long time. I’m glad you’re listening to your heart and not letting anyone else push you into something that isn’t really what you had in mind. Best wishes on your master bath…I know it will be beautiful, too!

  75. I like the open shelf one as this will be a guest bath and baskets under would be great to give guest to put their stuff in. Also if it is a bath for kids they could have their own basket. For re-sale it is a clean look and a little younger looking. The ones you picked are all beautiful but a touch to dressy if kids will use this bath.

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