Obviously the guest bath is still a giant work in progress, given we just started tiling last week. However, I do have an exciting update to share! The vanity is in (yay!)…. well- it’s not permanently secured, but it’s in the room. I’m counting that as a win and it was a fun first glimpse at how the space will shape up. That brought me to this post idea- sharing ways to customize a readymade bathroom vanity, because that’s exactly what we’re doing for this project. It’s an affordable way to get a custom look. Click through for the latest update and to see how the bathroom vanity is evolving.
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It’s no secret… custom bathroom vanities are expensive. Yes, you’ll be getting exactly what you want, but you’ll also have to pay a premium. I’ve priced them out in the past and quotes typically start at $8k+, and that doesn’t even include the sink, hardware, countertop, etc. I’m a fan of taking a less expensive route for a custom look. I prefer to buy a readymade bathroom vanity and make it feel more unique to a space by making modifications. The perks to this method? It looks more customized, better fits the budget, often comes with extras (sink, hardware, mirrors, countertop, etc), and is unique to a room or design plan.
Below, I’m sharing six ideas for upgrading a standard, readymade bathroom vanity… from easiest (or least expensive) to more difficult or time consuming (or more expensive). Obviously you don’t have to do all of these things, but can pick and choose what works best for your space. Before I dive in, I will say- I selected this beautiful Ariel Stafford vanity (which is currently 10% off through 2/28) for the bath because of the gorgeous cabinetry door style, clean lines, simple undermount sinks, and large size. Those are all things you should consider, even if you plan to customize. Here we go!
#1: Remove the Backsplash and Side Splash Slabs // This customization option is FREE and takes zero effort. Lots of vanities that include a countertop, also include loose slabs for a backsplash and side splashes. Unless they’re 6 inches or taller, toss them or use them for another project (DIY serving boards, coasters, or something). The short, dinky ones are a sure giveaway a vanity was “readymade” and they can really cheapen the overall look. Instead, try tiling a backsplash and take it all the way down to the countertop. You could even use a solid piece of stone or have a larger backsplash made. It will look so much more custom!
#2: Switch the Hardware // I almost always trade the hardware on readymade vanities. It takes all of 5 minutes and is an easy, inexpensive way to upgrade the aesthetic. Above you’ll see the hardware my vanity arrived with. It was honestly good- a clean, stainless, simple drawer pull, but I wanted something more feminine for the vanity in this room. I loved the pulls from my previous office SO much and we had two extras, so I ended up buying more of the Amerock Glacio clear / polished nickel hardware for this project.
In addition to cabinetry pulls and knobs, my vanity also came with two mirrors. Although the size was great, I wanted something with polished nickel to match the hardware, so I’ll end up using one of the mirrors it came with elsewhere in the space (above the burl vanity). All of that to say, you could also consider switching out the mirror(s) if it comes with one (or two, in my case).
#3: Paint the Vanity // Paint is an easy solution for everything. In my book, it’s the easiest way to create a big design difference on a budget. I love my white vanity as is, but painting is certainly a great option if you’re in the market to transform a readymade piece!
#4: Swap the Faucets // Some readymade vanities come with plumbing fixtures. The sinks are usually amazing- white, simple, undermount, and beautiful. The faucets, on the other hand, are typically not as ideal. Sell or donate those and replace them with an alternative for a more customized look that better fits your design plan. Usually everything metal arrives matching with a readymade set (the faucet, the hardware, mirrors, etc), and you know I prefer to mix metals for a layered look. I’m not into matching everything. Swapping the plumbing fixtures is a great way to make things appear more custom. My vanity didn’t come with faucets, but as a reminder- I’m using the Delta Cassidy widespread faucet, shown below. I’ll have champagne bronze plumbing fixtures AND polished nickel hardware throughout the space to add more depth.
#5: Install Millwork // You can easily customize a vanity by adding trim pieces- or even extra sections. I’m going to spill a secret that’s currently happening in our guest bath as an example. Our ceilings are extra tall in this house (which I love!) and I realllllly wanted the vanity tower to connect to the ceiling / crown moulding, rather than having a weird gap or negative space. Therefore, Emmett is in the process of adding a shelf to the lower portion of the vanity tower. Check it out below…
This will not only allow for a place to keep toiletries that are used regularly (soap, lotion, cotton swabs, mouthwash, etc), but it will also close the negative space by adding additional height. In the above image, the white pieces are the readymade portion of the vanity and the natural wood pieces are the sections we added.
Eventually we’ll paint the wood sections to match the existing white center piece. If you’re not sure how this will look, I photoshopped an example further down in the post! Keep reading and scrolling.
#6: Trade the Countertop // Lastly, trading the countertop is another way to drastically change the way a readymade vanity looks. I really wanted a black vanity top to tie in the contrast tile. We’re using this nice American Olean black gloss pencil liner to border the chair rail in the bathroom. I had my heart set on a dark stone. After a quick trip to my local remnant yard, I found this nero marble that was leftover and was going to be scrapped, so I had it fabricated to size. Lowe’s also carries a almost identical looking quartz option- Silestone Marquina.
That pretty much sums up my thoughts on customizing a readymade vanity. Hopefully it helped to spark some ideas! I promised to show you a visual of where my vanity started and how it will look once we’re finished with modifications. I performed a little magic in Photoshop and this is pretty accurate as to how it will look…
What do you think? Small tweaks really made a huge difference! Regardless of how you choose to modify or customize your readymade vanity, I’m positive it will still cost less than having a custom one made.
I also have to take a minute to brag on the floor tile– I’m so obsessed with it! If you missed that post last week, check it out here. Questions? Other ideas for customizing a readymade vanities? Are you liking where we’ll end up in terms of the modifications? I’d love to hear in the comments below!