This design project was custom work at it's best. The client was building their new home and had a master bathroom that needed a vanity. The space was 93" wide, and they wanted to fill the space wall-to-wall, rather than have a unit with open, and somewhat unusable space on either side. It's pretty difficult to find a vanity that size in the store!
At the onset, we discussed general vision including wood species, dimensions, obstacles (like plumbing), and level of rustic-ness they were going for. "Rustic" is one of those terms that have become very popular, but can mean something very different from one person to the next. The degree of rustic can be altered with finish choices, design elements, wood texture, and overall shape and design. This particular client loved the all-wood look, but wanted a less rustic finish. So we knew we would need to use more traditional-looking lumber and keep the number of knots and other character features to a minimum. You can get an idea of what I'm talking about in these images.
Then we talked about the specific elements they were hoping to have like cabinets, drawers, open shelves, etc. A vanity of this size has a lot of room to play with! Kent had the idea of a pull-out trash bin in the center of the unit, and the client loved that. Then it was time to mock up a first draft!
Design review and approval
It can be difficult to translate the vision in your head to its physical reality. Part of our custom design process is producing to scale drawings of the piece. We don't rely on back-of-the-napkin sketches, we mock up each design in a 3D modeling software. This allows us to use actual dimensions and have a more accurate idea of how certain elements will work before we start building. Having the 3D model gives the client something to review to see if their original vision is what they actually want.
Furniture design is interesting because you have to factor in aesthetics and function somewhat equally. You want something that looks great and appealing to the eye, but you also need it to really work in the space and provide a purpose.
After reviewing the first draft, we realized that since the vanity would meet walls on either side, it would be good to have a little more elbow room at each of the sinks. The client also mentioned they were interested in having some open cubby shelves, if possible. We tinkered around with the design, keeping in mind some of the plumbing obstacles, and we had a second draft.
Upon review of this draft, the client mentioned they would prefer having the cubby shelves more in the center of the vanity. I had to tinker with the dimensions a bit to provide more space at the sink and get the cubby shelves in the center, but we made it work!
The whole purpose with custom design is to make sure someone can get what they are looking for, and make it work for the space they have available. There is no better feeling than making that happen! Doesn't this vanity look perfect in it's final home?
If you were designing the perfect vanity for your bathroom (no limits!), what features and characteristics would it have?