Gray bathroom vanity ideas are popular and practical addition to a wash space.
Combining a one or more sinks alongside essential storage space and sometimes a mirror and lighting, vanity units serve an key purpose in a bathroom, but, as they are also one of the largest pieces of furniture in the room, they can also have a big visual impact, so it's important to think about color and design, too.
Being a versatile, neutral shade, gray is an easy color to decorate with as it pairs with so many colors and can fit with all sorts of looks, from traditional to contemporary, so when it comes to bathroom vanity ideas, gray is a very practical choice.
Gray bathroom vanity ideas
When choosing gray bathroom vanity ideas there's plenty to think about, from size and functionality, to shape and also what tone of gray will work with the rest of the space.
Do you want a bathroom vanity that makes a design statement or a design that fits discreetly into the space? Is ample storage essential, or are you looking for an open-frame design to create a light and airy feel? All these questions are important to consider when it comes to designing a bathroom vanity. Below we've rounded up an array of gray bathroom vanity ideas to help get you started.
1. Choose a classic shaker design
If you want a vanity unit that will stand the test of time you can't go wrong with a classic shaker design in a neutral color like gray.
'Shaker vanity units work in either traditional or contemporary bathrooms because of its simplistic yet beautiful design. It’s a timeless style that won’t look dated in 10 years,' says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs (opens in new tab).
'To add a contemporary twist, look to bold pinks, teal, green, dark greys or even black as it can add drama and interest, particularly when teamed with pewter, brushed chrome or brass handles and brassware.'
2. Create a focal point with a dark gray bathroom vanity
White bathrooms or gray and white bathrooms (opens in new tab) without the use of different tones or textures. While choosing black or dark grey vanity units may seem like a bold move, here the charcoal vanity unit together with the black fixtures and fittings help to bring depth and structure to the space while the beautiful marble bathroom flooring and wall tiles bring essential texture in place of color.
3. Keep the space bright with a light gray
If you've got a master bathroom with a large double vanity unit then painting it a dark gray could be too dominating and may make the piece feel heavy and cumbersome. Opting for the subtlest of greys will enhance the feeling of space and bring a fresh, uplifting feel.
4. Create the illusion of space
If you have a small bathroom then choosing an open frame vanity design will make the space feel more open as will opting for a neutral palette of subtle grays and whites as demonstrated here.
With its natural wood counter top, this gray vanity and the shiplap wall paneling make great country bathroom ideas.
5. Maximise storage with a large fitted design
Opting for a custom-made vanity unit is a great way to maximise bathroom storage in a bathroom as it can be tailored to make the most of the space. Featuring draws and cupboard space this unit has ample space for toiletries, make, up, cleaning and medicine products, keeping the rest of the surfaces clean.
Here the large vanity has been painted in the same gray as the walls to help it seamlessly integrate into the space and enhance the feeling of space.
6. Choose a design with metallic detail for sense of luxury
Combining sleek lines with reeded drawer fronts and brass detailing, these bespoke gray vanity units from MH Costa Construction are real statement pieces which help bring a refined and sophisticated feel to this luxury bathroom by Finkernagel Ross (opens in new tab).
'This project showcases a fabulous balance of materials and finishes. The gray/blue color scheme is warmly contrasted by a rich wooden floor, and gleaming brass fittings. Our Bute bath in a painted finish forms the centrepiece of the space, whilst the bespoke vanities on either side provide a sense of symmetry,' says James Lentaigne, creative director of Drummonds (opens in new tab).
7. Create a contrast with light gray and dark grays
Here interior designer Tracy Morris used an array of different gray tones to create a bathroom balanced monochrome bathroom which is far from bland. A fitted, shaker-style bathroom vanity and a herringbone marble floor bring shape and structure while the use of two tones of gray together with white highlights bring depth. 'Contrast is a great way to enhance the grey paint color. The white trim and dark shale cabinets allow the walls to have a personality of their own,' says Tracy Morris (opens in new tab).
'In this bathroom we knew the tile was going to be the star of the show. Brought together in a herringbone pattern, its mix of Bardiglio, Thassos and mother-of-pearl certainly catches your eye,' she says. 'We needed a paint color that brought all these tones together without competing in the space,' adds the designer who opted for walls in Benjamin Moore (opens in new tab)'s Silver Chain.
8. Bring texture with wood
Gray bathrooms can run the risk of feeling cold and clinical, so it's important to introduce texture help bring life and interest. Featuring a grained, grey wooden vanity unit alongside veined marble wall tiles this bathroom puts natural materials centre stage rather than the use of color.
When it comes to decorating neutral spaces, 'don’t be afraid to mix materials. Timber looks most beautiful when accompanied by natural stones,' explains Samantha Wilson, interior designer and founder of Collection Noir (opens in new tab).
9. Choose a raised gray vanity to showcase a tiled floor
A feature floor of patterned bathroom floor tiles is a wonderful way to add personality to a bathroom. If you're thinking of having one then consider choosing a floating vanity unit or a vanity on legs to let the floor shine.
In this en-suite bathroom the simple gray vanity has a veined marble top which helps subtly balance the pattern on the floor but also continues the theme of pattern and texture established in the bedroom with its toile wallpaper.
10. Make a design statement with an a-symmetric design
Featuring a single sink on the right with just a single sleek black handle the far right drawer, this streamlined vanity makes a contemporary feature in this space.
Practically, having just a single sink leaves plenty of countertop space, perfect for storage or using as a dressing table.
11. Transform a vintage table into a vanity unit
If you're decorating a bathroom on a budget but don't want to compromise on character then upcycling an old piece of furniture into a vanity unit can be a brilliant solution to an expensive new piece, plus it helps reduce waste, too. It's also a perfect idea for those that love decorating with vintage.
Here an old console table has been fitted with a pedestal basin and painted a deep charcoal and fitted with brass draw handles to create a beautiful statement piece.
What colors go with gray in the bathroom?
The beauty of choosing a gray palette for a bathroom is that it is a versatile color which partners with most colors on the color wheel.
'We’re quite fond of designing with grey because it is such a versatile color. It comes in so many different shades ranging from cool, smokey grey to dark charcoal, that work well for furniture, drapes, wall coverings, the list continues. Grey can also act as a neutral, refining influence on a space that can be over saturated with bright colors and patterns,' says Lauren Williams of MV Architects (opens in new tab).
Though often paired with black and white as part of pared-back bathroom schemes, gray can also pair well with many colors, from pastel pink to vibrant teal. Barrie Cutchie design director of BC Designs (opens in new tab) suggests grey and yellow are a perfect pairing.
'Just last year, in 2021, Pantone named yellow and grey their colors of the year, and with good reason. Their message was clear, that together they convey “a message of strength and hopefulness.'
'Rather than using solid block colors, pair a pastel shade yellow boat bath with grey patterned tiles that have undertones of white. Having white intermixed shows off both the yellow and grey without competing with either.'
If you're looking for a color to pair with grey in a bathroom then, 'choosing a warmer tone will stop the grey feeling cold, while wood accessories and plants will give the space life and a sense of warmth,' adds Barrie Cutchie.
Should bathroom cabinets be darker or lighter than walls?
Whether you choose bathroom cabinets that are lighter or darker than your walls is a matter of preference and will depend on the look you are trying to achieve.
If you have a bathroom with white or light walls, as many do, then opting for a darker cabinet or vanity can be a good way to create a focal point and provide a grounding feature within the space.
Choosing a cabinet that is the same color as your walls will help it blend with the background and can create the illusion of space.
Alternatively, setting a light cabinet or vanity unit against dark walls can be striking design feature.
Pippa is Content Editor on Homes & Gardens online contributing to Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors print issues. A graduate of Art History and formerly Style Editor at Period Living, she is passionate about architecture, creating decorating content, interior styling and writing about craft and historic homes. She enjoys searching out beautiful images and the latest trends to share with the Homes & Gardens audience. A keen gardener, when she’s not writing you’ll find her growing flowers on her village allotment for styling projects.
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