Find your fashion
Once you've determined your style objectives for your bathroom – modern, vintage, traditional, eclectic, or something else all together – shop for a vanity and sink to fulfill your vision. Study photographs in magazines, books, and online to find decorative elements that appeal to you, such as clean lines for contemporary themes or classic recessed panels for traditional appeal.
Then seek out a vanity and sink with characteristics, materials, and colors befitting your style goals. You can successfully combine looks, too, by linking subtle design references between pieces. In this guest bathroom, for example, the homeowners wanted sleek materials with hints of cottage charm. A vintage dressing table stands in as an enchanting vanity while a new concrete countertop lends a modern vibe. It's paired with a vessel sink that's clean and contemporary, yet it's also reminiscent of a vintage pitcher and bowl set so it makes the connection to a bygone era.
Another option is to let either the vanity or the sink take the starring role. For example, select a dramatic vessel bowl of hammered bronze and pair it with a clean-lined console-style dark wood vanity. Or, find a vanity with a theatrical personality, such as a filigree wrought-iron console, and top it with an undermount sink paired with the understated elegance of a soapstone countertop.
Find color connections to visually link your vanity, countertop, and sink. Even very subtle color similarities can allow the pieces to work together. You can carefully match materials or colors or simply select similar shades. Pairing opposites, or complementary tones, is another strategy that can yield dramatic results. The shining nickel finish on this hammered bowl imparts a glam look that pairs perfectly with the gray veins in the white marble console vanity. Silvery metal banding on the vanity emphasizes the relationship between the sink, the veining, and the console accent pieces.
Consider vanity height
In the past, the standard height for a vanity cabinet was always 30 inches, purportedly to suit the height of every user in the household. Today, however, you can select a vanity height that feels most comfortable for your frame. If you're tall, consider a vanity height between 34 and 42 inches, for example. Visit a showroom or home improvement store and stand in front of various cabinet heights to see which would best accommodate you.
If the bathroom is shared, compromise on a height somewhere between the ideals, or select vanities of differing heights to suit each user. Keep in mind if you opt for a vessel sink, which sets on top of the countertop rather than in it or beneath it, you must subtract the height of the vessel bowl from the height you prefer for a vanity top.