People seem surprised when I tell them that planning a bathroom is just as much work as designing a kitchen. In fact, it's sometimes more work because you have to fit lots of fixtures into a small space.
And, allow for easy and safe movement in a room where people are often wet and unclothed.
And, place fixtures that spew water, like the shower, next to fixtures that are made of wood, like the new vanity you're designing.
Oh, and the new room has to look fantastic.
The essential bathroom space planning tool
Before you can design your vanity, you need to plan the space, and the essential space planning tool is the floor plan. A floor plan is a bird's eye view of the room; imagine your room has no ceiling or roof, and you are looking down on it.
Here's the floor plan for a typical hall bathroom: tub, toilet, and sink are arranged on one wall with circulation space in front of them. The floor plan tells you how big your new vanity can be, in this case, 36 inches wide and 21 inches deep.
(I've drawn this floor plan with a CAD (computer-aided drafting) program. You don't have to buy and learn to use CAD. A hand sketch works just fine. Learn the four steps to drawing a successful floor plan here.)
Bathroom facelift or a gut job?
It's easy to figure out how big your new vanity will be when you're giving your bathroom a "facelift" and swapping one 36-inch vanity for another of the same size. What if you're gutting your bathroom and the size and position of the fixtures are up for grabs? Then, your task is more complicated and more interesting.
Play with different layouts until you know exactly where you're vanity will go and how big it will be. Only then will you be ready for the next step in designing your new vanity - deciding between off-the-shelf and custom-made. That's Part III of this series; stay tuned.
This blog post is part of a series.
Designing Your New Vanity, Part I - Feel
You're Reading: Designing Your New Vanity, Part II - Space Planning
Designing Your New Vanity, Part III - Off-the-Shelf or Custom?
Designing Your New Vanity, Part IV - Choosing Your Sink & Faucet
Designing Your New Vanity, Part V - Choosing Your Countertop & Backsplash
She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas.