I just returned from The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, KBIS2015, in Las Vegas (thanks to Modenus for including us on this fact-finding mission). It seems there is a lot happening in the world of cabinet and vanity design in bathroom décor.
Once a homeowner had very little choice but to have a cabinet made and built-in wall to wall by a kitchen company. Now, it would appear this area of design has exploded with a variety of new shapes, materials, and storage. Having seen so many creative ideas, both as display cabinets and in-use in model suites, it strikes me this is an area a homeowner can have fun and save money as well.
As designers, we have found that in some situations, we are more inclined to have our clients buy a pre-made bathroom vanity. This is an alternative to having one quoted and custom-built by a kitchen or cabinetry company. This not only saves time but some cost as well. Often these vanities come with the sink and faucet included in the total price. This can help on budget rather than pricing each part of the vanity as separate pieces.
It’s important to note there are two things you need to consider to make this work. The first thing you have to make sure the vanity itself is high quality (or it won’t stand up to day-to-day wear). Secondly, the space has to be conducive to a freestanding vanity (this means they don’t go wall to wall but that there is a 3″ to 6″ space between the end of the vanity and the side walls).
But now, the really new and exciting stuff we saw in Vegas!
The same old shapes in bathroom vanities have given way to much more… dare I say it… sexy designs! Yes, that’s right! No more stacked drawers without something interesting to make these pieces of furniture stand out.
We saw super thick countertops with recessed bowl sinks (courtesy of Blanco and Dekton). We saw this trend installed in both big and small bathrooms. For instance, an onyx slab was mitered together to form a 6” edge with a stainless bowl mounted within it. This was a stunning piece of cabinet design in a Las Vegas Penthouse where we were lucky enough to have a guided tour through.
In another Penthouse in Las Vegas, we toured the master bathroom, which was very modern and the vanities completely unique. Two individual vanities with integrated sinks had been made from Dekton. This is a sheet material that is composed of porcelain, quartz, and glass. It is low gloss and very durable. This looked so unique without taking up massive amounts of space.
Still popular are Vessel sinks or “bowls” placed on top of the counter surface. Using a unique faucet paired with the raised sink can make a plain vanity in a powder room much more personal and interesting.
Wilsonart is one of the best-known surface makers in North America, and for good reason. They displayed an open, rectangular-shaped vanity made from a solid material with laminate details. For many, the idea of not having drawers in our vanity would make us very nervous. What if we just stuck to the essentials in the washroom so we can have a calm and open space? And what if we kept all small and necessary bathroom items within a medicine cabinet instead of in the vanity?
Toto, the Japanese bathroom fixture maker is best known for their excellent toilet technology. At the show, they stepped outside of their comfort zone and displayed a unique vanity. Its form was more typical but its light wheat colour was different than all the dark versions we have seen over the last few years. In addition, it featured well-positioned lights and mirrors creating a lovely atmosphere.
It’s time to bust out in the bathroom! Forget the ordinary and have a little fun in the washroom… after all, it’s the one place that you can privately enjoy your cabinet creation!