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Bathroom Furniture

Your vanity is the centrepiece of your bathroom. It's where people stop when they first enter and leave the room-whether it's to fix makeup, wash hands, or check their appearance. Replacing your vanity can give your bathroom a fresh look without the cost and commitment of a complete redesign. "Bathroom vanity" generally refers to the mirror and lighting over the sink; the sink and countertop; and the cabinetry beneath.

Many vanities incorporate medicine cabinets behind mirrors; others have freestanding pedestal sinks without cabinets beneath. When buying a new bathroom vanity, here are a few things to keep in mind. 1)Style that fits your bathroom. Bathroom vanities come in many styles-from ornate antique pieces involving richly carved cabinets and gilt mirrors to sleek, modern styles with glass sinks and steel fixtures But the vanity you choose must fit the décor of the rest of your bathroom, or it won't look quite right. You may fall in love with that richly carved Louis XVII cabinetry and marble countertop, but if the rest of your bathroom is functional tile, it won't improve the look of your room. Pick a vanity that will look good in your bathroom-or you'll need to make significant changes to make a new style fit.

2)A size that fits the room. The bathroom vanity you choose shouldn't overwhelm the bathroom-a large, ornate antique vanity set with a thick, framed mirror would definitely look out of place in a compact water closet. However, it will look equally out of place if it's too small; a sleek glass sink on a pedestal might look a bit diminutive in a vast master bedroom as well. When looking for a vanity, choose one that fits the space you have-not the space you wish you had.

3)A realistic amount of storage. If you don't have a lot of storage space elsewhere in your bathroom, you'll probably need that space beneath the sink. Pedestal sinks can be stunning, but they can also cut down on the space you have to keep bathroom essentials such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Medicine cabinets are also essential for toothbrushes, toothpastes, medications, and grooming supplies-so unless you have room for a cabinet elsewhere in your bathroom, choose a vanity that makes efficient use of space.

4)Lighting that works. Many bathroom vanities come with light fixtures over the mirrorsThe lighting by your vanity is important-it needs to be both bright and flattering. Frosted glass can soften bright light and give more flattering illumination. Overhead lights cast harsh shadows; sconces on either side of the mirror will make the lighting more even. 5)The right countertop.

The countertop can be made of marble, stone, laminate, tile, or a wide variety of other materials. Look for a surface that's smooth, durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. Whatever material you choose, your countertop should be all one piece, free of seams and cracks that can collect dirt. In addition, look for a countertop with a backsplash so that your walls stay clean and dry. 6)The right height for your home.

The bathroom vanity you choose should be high enough so that the adults in your house can wash their hands comfortably, without stooping. If you have children in the home, you may want to consider a vanity that's slightly lower-but very young children will often need a step-stool to reach the sink anyway. 7)An appropriate basin. When choosing a basin, it's important to match the style of your bathroom. But it's just as important to consider the type of use your sink will get.

Glass and other premium materials often require more work to keep clean than more functional materials such as enamelled cast iron or vitreous china. If you're putting the sink in a seldom-used guest bathroom you may have more leeway than you would for a heavily used bathroom. 8)Practicality or drama? Glass Basins are gorgeous-and they always make a dramatic statement. But spots and watermarks are obvious, and they have to be cleaned often in order to look their best.

High-quality wood may need to be polished, as will some fixtures such as brass and bronze. A framed mirror might be beautiful, but if it doesn't have a medicine cabinet behind it, it might not be the best choice for your bathroom. When choosing a bathroom vanity, make sure that it's functional as well as beautiful.

Your vanity makes a big impact on the look of your bathroom. If you want to give your bathroom a new look without redesigning the entire room, a new vanity can do the job without breaking the budget. Take your time in choosing a vanity, and you're sure to find one that will breathe new life into your bathroom.

Gregg Jones is the featured writer for WDBathrooms.co.uk UK Bathrooms and Showers specialists. For more information on a wide range of walk in showers visit http://www.wdbathrooms.co.uk

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