7 small bathroom vanity ideas to copy if you can't splash the cash

Beaut looks for compact spaces

Mono bathroom with white vanity and hearts and kisses wallpaper
(Image credit: @trimtechdesigns Photo: @margaretrajic)

Ahh... the humble small bathroom vanity. Quite literally, part of the furniture when it comes to keeping a small bathroom organized. This savvy, storage staple combines space for a sink, with a countertop, and shelving, and is an absolute winner for hiding away your haul of cleaning sprays, toiletries, and other miscellaneous bathing essentials. (They're fab at hiding ugly plumbing too boom!) 

And if you're renting or working with an especially snug space, a nifty freestanding vanity unit versus a built-in option is the way to go. So let's take a peek at some super cute ideas for itsy-bitsy ensuites, pint-sized powder rooms, weeny water closets, and more.

1. Style up your vanity counter for zen spa vibes

Styled vanity candle detail with candle, earthy hand towel, and white accessories

(Image credit: @the_calm_coastal)

Guests due and looking to speedily glam up your cloakroom like yesterday? It's doable! Add some pretty to your vanity counter with cute bathroom decor buys to beautify a small wet room in a flash. Introduce chic bathroom accessories or sneak in a soap bar into a shell or vintage dish. Pop a floral stem in a vase, light a glowing scented candle, and hey presto, a speedy update with details that count. Make sure you organize bathroom countertops for a mess-free space too (absolutely vital in a cozy wet room).

2. Elevate your white vanity with drawer knobs (and wallpaper)

White custom vanity in mono bathroom with hearts and kisses modern design wallpaper

(Image credit: Trim Tech Designs; Photo: @margaretrajic)

Oh, my eye — we're obsessed with the fresh mono aesthetic in this punchy little bathroom! “Custom cabinetry, especially in frequently used spaces like a bathroom, allows homeowners the ability to have form meet function and create a space they truly love,” says Steve White, designer at Trim Tech Designs.

But If going bespoke just isn't an option right now, you're not missing out! Perhaps your apartment already includes a white vanity that you can easily chic up with some luxe little drawer pulls? Go one step further and use your "white anchor" as a foundation to let the walls do the talking with a transformative bathroom wallpaper idea.

3. Pack a punch with a two-tone vanity

Punchy small bathroom with cute two-tone vanity and co-ord graphic, pink patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: @emilymangusinteriors)

It's amazing how a splash of color can entirely transform a humble piece of furniture into a style statement of bright delight! We're in love with this punchy small bathroom space by the wonderfully talented Emily Magnus, founder and lead designer, Emily Mangus Interiors. The perfectly petite vanity adds an energizing two-tone color pop to the cozy corner, coordinated to dazzling effect with the graphic and playful wallpaper design. The neutral wall paneling harmonizes and balances the character-filled scheme, and note how the paneling lies horizontally as opposed to vertically to visually "open up" the small space. Clever stuff!  

4. Upcycle for a unique look

Upcycled vanity table in gorgeous bathroom scheme, finished in rose paint, with round white sink, brass hardware, terrarium, and florals

(Image credit: @dustsheets_and_decor)

Craving some crafty wholesomeness for your weekend? Fill your cozy space with personality (and fun!) with a DIY vanity transformed with love (and just a tiny bit of sanding!) 

Think outside the box when it comes to what could potentially be a wonderful little vanity unit. Have you already got something at home that could be reworked in a new light with some chalk paint revival? A sad-looking console table, or a nifty little bedside cabinet even? It's all about thinking creatively, working with the space that you have, and acting thriftily peeps!

Talking of the rosy gorgeousness above, Poppy, @dustsheets_and_decor, says: "Still one of my favorite up-cycles. This table was a $36 Facebook Marketplace bargain and after a bit of work, good paint, and new handles she’s looking fabulous!" We totes agree!

5. Glow up your vanity (literally)

Small modern, cozy bathroom with painted half paneling in earthy hues, arched wall mirror, brass wall light, and arched decor on walls, with tiny bathroom floor tiles in mono pattern

(Image credit: @tinadoodles)

Illuminate your vanity situation with a small bathroom lighting idea to glow and go every morning...

"Task lighting in the bathroom is where it all begins," explains Marie Botsis-Premici, co-founder and director at The Montauk Lighting Co. "Some pretty important jobs are undertaken in the bathroom, including makeup application, shaving, and other daily grooming routines. The best place to start with light is at eye level. Mounting wall lights on either side of a mirror provides you with shadowless illumination and the best results for a single vanity area."

We're digging brass lighting designs (like the above by @tinadoodles) to add a luxe finishing touch with a hint of glam.

6. Invite more relaxed, boho textures into your tiny space

Relaxed boho, jungalow bathroom with natural textures and houseplants galore

(Image credit: @palim_tintin)

Is boho decor your vibe? (Absolutely!) Take free-spirited feels to your bijou bathroom with a natural vanity unit that entices all the senses with grainy gorgeousness and tactility...

@palim_tintin has totally nailed this look with her plant-filled oasis of cozy calm. We're adoring the coordinating, slatted vanity unit, and mirror, which both have a tropical-vintage feel, creating a rooted and authentic space that transports the soul.

This look is all about layering, so go big on the natural materials, woven textures, and macrame galore! 

7. Max out what you have

Gorgeous rustic and bright bathroom with open shelving vanity unit in white clay finish, and generous stone sink

(Image credit: @thewhitehome)

Bathroom reno goals y'all! Peter Irvine, digital creator, @thewhitehome, transformed his previously "meh" bathroom into a wabi-sabi style spa, featuring a DIY plinth for the eye candy stone sink, using an offcut from the kitchen countertop, which he then plastered and painted, the clever chap! It looks amazing! 

And we're all for mixing it up with open shelving on the vanity unit instead of doors for a change. Of course, a reno is often out of the question when you rent but if you've got a similar vanity and want to make it more functional and feeling like your own, woven storage baskets are the way to go. Making a versatile small bathroom storage solution and ideal for concealing anything and everything, whilst adding depth to a neutral scheme with effortless rustic textures and earthy hues, why wouldn't you?

Christina Chrysostomou
Acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket. I'm the in-house appliances expert and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.