KBDN August 2007

Link to Whole ArticleManufacturers are right on in their assessment that furniture-style vanities are hot, say dealers and designers recently surveyed by KBDN.

“Clients love to personalize their spaces, and a wonderful way to do so
is to incorporate a furnishing piece, rather than a built-in cabinet,” says Stacey Lapuk, ASID, CID, president, Stacey Lapuk Interior Design Group in San Rafael, CA.

Ron Benkin, director of sales, Alure Designs in East Meadow, NY, says the trend toward furniture pieces has moved from the high-end to the mid-level market due to the attractive mass-produced cabinets coming in from overseas.

Ann Porter, CKD, Kitchen Studio of Naples, Inc. in Naples, FL, says furniture-style vanities are still popular, and are sleeker than when the trend first hit.

“Materials for these furnishing can be perhaps an antique dresser, a block of wood on stone supports or a wrought iron stand holding a vessel style sink. I tend toward natural finishes, including the use of glass pedestals and leather tile among other materials and finishes,” Lapuk says.

The style of the design, finishes and top-surface choices are as varied as the clients they serve, say designers. Porter sees a demand for all styles – contemporary, traditional and transitional – in her area. “I have one client with a contemporary vanity in high-gloss Wenge veneer and another with a traditional vanity in an applied molding raised-panel door in a painted finish with a brushed glaze,” she says.

Benkin says, “On Long Island [NY}, traditional still rules, though contemporary is starting to gain popularity.” He doesn’t see a clear trend toward light or dark finishes, saying both are hot. “Combinations of light paints and dark stains are very popular in traditional as well as contemporary,” he adds.

Porter says that stone is the most popular countertop in the bath, but also finds that consumers are beginning to use other materials such as quartz, glass and terrazzo.

Vanities in the master bath are often larger, due to the overall size of the room. “Master baths used to be the small, functional extra bath, where now they are the most luxurious, largest baths in the house,” says Benkin. “The powder room, on the other hand, was small and remained that way.”

Porter says, “Master bathrooms continue to be luxurious spaces, and a vanity with a single sink is no longer acceptable. In fact, my clients tell me they want a ‘wow’ factor.”

Bathroom Vanity and Storage Trends At a Glance

  • Minimalism reigns: Designers are using clean, straight lines rather than fussy, complicated details.
  • Furniture-style vanities are a continuing trend, with styles becoming more simplified than in past years.
  • Master baths demand ample storage room, while powder room vanities are often selected for the “wow” factor.
  • Finishes and top surfaces vary widely, but stained finishes and natural stone or wood tops are most in demand.
  • Open storage options are appealing for decorative purposes, but closed cabinets win out for practicality and storage needs.
  • Manufacturers note a move toward transitional design rather than strictly traditional or contemporary.