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Two-Vanity Bathrooms: Practical Solution to a Shared Space

Step into High Style with a Bathroom That Has Dual Vanities

 

Over the years, the bathroom has been redesigned, reconfigured, and furnished with luxury amenities to look and feel more like a personal spa, where one can relax, unwind, and be comfortable.  It is – perhaps, next to the kitchen – the most renovated area of the home.  Just think of all the modern makeovers in bathrooms – standalone soaking tubs, walk-in showers, colorful tiles, double sinks. And today, another trend – two vanities – continues to fascinate designers and homeowners.

No longer just a functional piece of furniture in the bathroom, the vanity – whether split into two distinct units or stretched to form separate dressing/grooming areas with their own mirrors and sinks in one elongated cabinet run – has become the stylish centerpiece of the bath.

two-vanity bathroom in House Plan #107-1015

The understated design of this modern bathroom in a 2-story, 4-bedroom Florida style home plan features two vanity areas with vessel sinks in one long run of cabinets and countertop (House Plan #107-1015).

 

 

Why Having Two Vanities Makes Sense 

If you’re like me and watch a lot of HGTV and the wonders done by the “fixer-uppers” on average homes, you know that a favorite wish list item is a double sink/dual vanity. Even for couples, sharing a sink after a few years presents a few challenges. So why stress out about the limited mirror space and “wait time” to get ready in the morning?

With a little adjustment, you can have an even better and more stylish design fixture in your bath: the split vanity.

Split vanity in mater bathroom of House Plan #161-1044

Check out the space in the master bath of a 2-story, 6-bedroom Craftsman-style home plan with split vanities far enough apart to allow a couple to get ready in the morning without bumping into each other (House Plan #161-1044).

 

Here’s why the two-vanity design has gained popularity over the past decade – and become a hot trend in home design.

  • Everyone needs much needed space to get ready in the morning. Having two separate and fully furnished vanities provides that personal space – plus storage to organize toiletries and other items. 
  • A two-vanity bathroom eliminates “traffic” in the area by allowing couples to move around freely so that they can wash up, shave, apply makeup, brush their teeth, and prepare for their day without feeling rushed.  
  • By redesigning the bathroom and installing the split vanity in an area separate from the toilet and shower/tub, you can open up the bathroom and give it a larger and airier look.  In addition, big families can increase the usability of the room – with one person using the sink while another is taking a shower.
  • Because the split vanity can be a standalone unit, homeowners can get as creative as they desire when choosing materials, lighting fixtures, and other décor accents.
  • Lastly, the split vanity is a good investment. If you decide to put your home on the market at a future date, it may resell faster at a better price – because of the high demand for homes with two vanities.

Two-vanity bathroom in House Plan #106-1281

The master bath in a 3-bedroom Ranch style home plan – with this streamlined but appealing split vanity with two mirrors and two lavatories – can be an attractive feature for potential home buyers (House Plan #106-1281).

 

 

Two-Vanity Design Configurations

The vanity is normally the focus of the bathroom, so be sure you choose a design that is fashionable and fits your budget and style. Here are a few configurations to think about that may work for you.

 

  • Open up the space in a smaller bathroom by using a door to separate the vanities if you prefer two distinct units. You’ll notice that there’s still ample counter space on the vanities – even with the door between them.

Two vanities separated by a door in master bathroom of House Plan #141-1097

This smallish bathroom in a 4-bedroom, 3-bath European Country single-level home plan gets a “bigger” look by physically separating the two vanities  (House Plan #141-1097

 

  • You can still share counter space and not run into each other by installing a seating area for applying cosmetics, blow-drying your hair, and other necessary preparations in the morning.

Two vanities separated by a seated makeup space in master bathroom of House Plan #101-1353

This attractive and spacious master bath in a 2-story, 4-bedroom Tuscan style home plan comes with a seating area built between the two vanities to separate them (House Plan #101-1353).

 

  • Another option for a shared counter space for the traditional split vanity design is putting a cabinet in between. In addition to providing the necessary personal space, the cabinet makes for extra storage room in the bath.

Two bathroom vanity areas separated by a cabinet in House Plan #153-2019

A 1-story, 3-bedroom European style home plan comes with a master bathroom, which features this split vanity and shared counter space separated by a cabinet (House Plan #153-2019).

 

  • One popular design configuration for master baths in luxury homes is building the tub and shower in the middle of the two vanities – providing easy access to them after a shower or a long, relaxing bath.

Two separated vanity areas in master bath of House Plan #175-1073

A Mediterranean style home plan with 6 bedrooms and 5 full bathrooms outfitted its master bath with these split vanities, which flank the tub and shower (House Plan #175-1073).

 

 

A Bit of History

Long before indoor plumbing, there was the bathroom vanity. In its most primitive form, it was just a small table in a bedroom with a pitcher of water and a basin for washing the face and hands. Technology – with inroads into indoor plumbing – and societal pressures for cleanliness and a germ-free environment – led to the “hygienic” bathroom complete with tiles and other hard surfaces. 

Old washing stand as "first vanity"

Considered the first “vanity,” a simple table with a basin or bowl and a pitcher of water for washing up in the morning – a wash stand – was outfitted with a towel bar as a standalone grooming spot.        

 

During the Victorian Era, the bathroom was actually an extension of the bedroom as women spent more time there to luxuriate after their baths.  While the floors were tiled, there was also carpeting in the bath to complete the relaxing and lush atmosphere. The vanity became a wall-mounted sink with two faucets for hot and cold water – and a drain. It developed from the minimalist and purely functional into a more lavish and expensive fixture with a mirror and cushioned chairs. 

Wall-mounted sink as a bathroom vanity area

As inroads were made into indoor plumbing, most homes featured a wall-mounted sink with a drain and faucets for hot and cold water as well as a mirror and perhaps a seat to serve as the “vanity area.” 

 

At the beginning of the 20th century, with indoor plumbing more improved and gaining in popularity, the “vanity” actually became an actual bathroom vanity. It had drawers and cabinets like some of the bedroom furniture in the home. Some of them came with ornate and elaborate woodwork from the Victorian era. Experts note that this vanity is the first true bathroom vanity as we know it today.

Example of what the first real bathroom vanity looked like

This may be what the first real bathroom vanity looked like – with a lot of the features of regular bedroom furniture such as drawers and cabinets.  

 

Through the years, bathroom vanities reminiscent of the ornate Victorian style were streamlined to be more practical. The elaborate trimmings and embellishments have given way to simple lines that are more casual and comfortable and better suited to the vanity’s function and purpose.

Today, the emphasis continues to be on simplicity, comfort, and utility – without sacrificing the attractiveness and appeal of the vanity. Like the bathroom and kitchen, personal taste dictates the design and lines of the vanity.

Two-vanity mater bathroom in House Plan #106-1315

Simple and minimalist define the design of this vanity in the master bathroom of a 1-story, 3-bedroom luxury style home plan with Craftsman influences (House Plan #106-1315).

 

With all of these designs at your fingertips, isn’t it time to get a split vanity that’s just right for you and reflects your personal style and taste?

 

Footnote: The top left photo of the lead image in this article is the master bath of a luxury Mediterranean style home with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths. For more details, click here (House Plan #175-1064).

 

 

RESOURCES:

The Rise of the Luxurious Suburban Master Bathroom

The Evolution of the Bathroom Vanity

 

Two Vanity Bathroom Home Plans

two-vanity bathroom house plans

Split Vanity Bathrooms

Split Vanity House Plans

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