During a renovation, the path of least resistance is most likely going with the status quo. Doing something the way it’s always been done—say, installing a bathroom vanity with a standard rectangular or square profile—means you’ll have lots of styles to choose from and your contractor will be very familiar with how to go about the project. Deciding to try something different is definitely a bigger, more complicated lift, but let us remind you, beauty is pain. If you want a bathroom vanity that doesn’t just work in your space but fits seamlessly, a bathroom vanity that doesn’t look like everyone else’s, you’ve got to think outside the box (literally). Start digging for premade designs outside the norm—see one we like, below—or you can always go the custom route. Either way, keep an open mind. Your vanity could be circular. It could be triangular. It could be some weird shape that doesn’t even have a name!
Italian ceramics company Cielo sells a perfectly cylindrical vanity with hidden storage called Tiberino.Photo: Courtesy of Cielo
A quirky brass sink at Seattle restaurant Willmott’s Ghost.
Photo: Kevin Scott
In the new Seattle restaurant Willmott’s Ghost, located in the Amazon Spheres on the company’s campus, the one-of-a-kind bathroom is shaped like a wonky teardrop and wedged into a tight corner. It was designed by Heliotrope Architects (as was the rest of the space) and brought to life by Dovetail General Contractors. “The brass sink and counter were custom-designed and fabricated to fit within the specific curving geometry of the Spheres, and the hand-forging methods for crafting the sink are a departure from contemporary building methods,” Chad Rollins, principal of Dovetail, explains. The bowl was made by hand, pressed around a mold to achieve the right shape, and then fused with the vanity’s brass top and sides to create one continuous piece.
“This brass statement, hand-polished to achieve a velvety luster, is suspended from a structure placed behind the walls, which are clad in handmade Moroccan tile,” says Chad. “The brass feature is a hallmark piece fabricated by a Norwegian metalworker and is a reminder of how complexity and extraordinary beauty was once and can still be obtained.”
A triangular vanity dreamed up by design firm Shapeless Studio for a Manhattan apartment renovation. Millworker and Workshop Brooklyn founder Michael Harmon crafted the cabinetry.Photo: Hagan Hinshaw, Blurry + Hinge
For Shapeless Studio founders Andrea Fisk and Jess Thomas, an unusually shaped bathroom vanity was born out of necessity: The space they were remodeling had a layout-disrupting five walls. A custom triangular design saved the day. “Andrea drew this and kind of laughed as she handed it to me, and we were like, oh, it fixes everything,” Jess told Clever when we featured their renovation of this prewar home on the Upper West Side last year.
Sometimes, a subtle adjustment is all you need. In this small Milan bathroom, above, Italian firm Marcante–Testa installed a lacquered MDF built-in vanity with one curved corner and a floating drawer, which ensure the piece takes up as little floor space as possible. Oh, and it showcases color-blocking at its best. See? So much good can com from designing outside the lines. And for the headaches along the way, there’s aspirin.