If you’re a city dweller (or just generally live in a house that’s not a mansion), you probably don’t have a huge bathroom. At best, if you’re lucky, maybe it’s a bit spacious. But even so, who doesn’t want to make every square inch of counter space count? Each bathroom below has ideas for your counters that live somewhere between the pretty and the practical, so go ahead and show your vanity some love. Chances are, you’ll make your bath better and your life easier in the process.
Have you ever seen a more modern, monochromatic vanity setup? This black, white and gray color palette from Ollie & Seb’s Haus is straight out of the high-end hospitality world, and it’s working. Everything looks simple, clean and gender neutral. Best takeaways here are: edit your countertop clutter down to a few key toiletries, use a pretty tray to corral them and make sure everything fits within a tight color palette if you want your bathroom to feel super stylish, cohesive and spa-like.
Designer Amber Lewis strikes again with a pretty boho chic master bath and vanity. She has the whole counter tray thing going on here, but what’s of note for me is the simple flowers she added to style out the space (and those amber soap bottles). I also think it’s smart, whether you’re shopping for an off-the-shelf or custom vanity, to look for something with lots of storage, both closed and open. After all, that’s what keeps your counters clutter-free at the end of the day. I love the recessed shelving at the base of this piece. It’s a great spot to stash often used items like towels, for example, and baskets or trays down there will help keep stacks neat.
I’ve said it before, but a plant (or even a couple of stems in a bud vase) goes a long way on a bathroom vanity toward adding a little bit of life in what can sometimes feel like a sterile space. It looks like Studio McGee used a baby fiddle leaf fig here, but if you’re looking for some easier-to-care-for varieties, check out our bathroom-friendly greenery guide.
If you have the room, artwork is a nice option. You can lean it against the wall, either in between double sinks like Bliss At Home did here or close to a corner. You could also put it on a little easel for more stability (and to get it off potentially wet countertops). Obviously, nothing too big or super precious here—maybe just a pretty photograph or something in a frame that will protect the piece somewhat from the humidity.
Apothecary jars look great, too. You can use them to corral things like cotton balls or even millennial pink Himalayan bath salts as shown here, from Glassy Glam Living’s Instagram, so they definitely earn their keep on the counter.
If you tend to do your makeup in the bathroom, then you probably need a place to store it. A makeup bag works, but if you’re a beauty junkie, meet your match: Muji clear stacking storage. I’m a total fan of these acrylic drawers (as are the editors at Into the Gloss) because you can see exactly what’s inside, and they keep everything separate and in its place. The only issue is counter space. You need a decent amount to pull this off.
Another option is a tiered tray. Again, this keeps things like washcloths, soap, cotton swabs and other toiletries handy and organized.
The perfect vanity styling marries form and function. Pick your best solution based on how much space and stuff you have to work with.