Bathroom Designs: All Is Vanity

“There are no grades of vanity,” Mark Twain once wrote, “there are only grades of ability in concealing it.”  I find it entirely amusing that we choose to call the work center where we make the best of our physical imperfections a bathroom vanity. I would guess that the first bathroom vanity was created when Ruke, a hairy cave dweller, dragged a stone next to a water basin where he could cut fat to smear on his face. The Encyclopedia Britannica poses the theory that it wasn’t until the middle 19th century that people had bathrooms in private homes. You can bet that by then, people in palaces had mirrors and vanities galore.

Today’s vanities range from the outrageous to the historical—from gaudy to simple. There are even diminutive, battery-powered vanities created for camping! Here are a few design ideas for us vain folk:

Spies R Us

black box

Alape’s “Metaphor” vanity looks as if it was designed by the weapons team for James Bond. Love the chrome-plated towel holder!

Shape Up

shape vanity

The Shape Vanity by  Villeroy & Boch is “understated” and a warm combo of wood and metal. I love when the bowl is installed atop the unit. (Pretty vain of me to think wood is earthy and therefore superior.)  See other cool examples at Architonic.

Ye Olde Style Vanity


For those who prefer their vanity served up in classic style, this Chelsea Sink Cabinet  combines a cream granite surface with a porcelain bowl, finished with a solid wood or hardwood veneer.  Home Decorators has an extensive collection for those who want to go old school.

Ye New Whatever School

what is it

China-based Dameson Sanitaryware Co. sells this medium-density fiberboard/solid wood combo set with a glass top and ceramic basin–available in white and black.



Nova Linea pops completely out of the box with this dual-sink model combining classic and fusion ideas. The original Italian creation may simply change your own personal notions of vanity.

I’ll stop here with these examples.  As Michel de Montaigne once remarked, “There is perhaps no more obvious vanity than to write of it so vainly.”

2 Responses to “Bathroom Designs: All Is Vanity”

  1. Bart says:

    These are interesting looking. I’m guessing that most of these are for a powder room, as they seem a little out there for the nuts & bolts of brushing your teeth in the morning.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    As lover of old world charm, “Ye Olde Style Vanity” gets my vote without question. Though some of the others are nice, and interesting, this beauty is timeless.

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