Would You Rather…

So we got back the cabinet drawings from our cabinet maker (I think we’ve found one, fingers crossed), and now I’m wondering which cabinet layout is the best use of space.

I originally wanted to go with this configuration below – double sink basins with a bank of drawers in between and a sit-down makeup area at the end:

master vanity with makeup area

But now that we have the “final” drawings back, it turned out that the bank of drawers could only be 10 inches wide.  Is that too puny?  The drawers could still be used for makeup and toiletries, but probably not a hair dryer. And I feel like the vanity has to have some drawers, so removing the bank of drawers entirely doesn’t seem like a good option.

I really like the idea of a sit-down vanity, but maybe it would be better to go with our original, “backup” drawing that has double sink basins and a large bank of drawers at the end (where the eaves slope down) instead of a makeup area.

master vanity with drawers

If this were your house, which vanity configuration would you prefer?

UPDATE: I don’t know if this will impact your preference at all, but there is a linen closet in the master bathroom.

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  1. Robin says:

    I like the 2nd one!

  2. jenn says:

    I like the second one best. more drawers the better! The idea of a sit down vanity is nice, but how many people actually use it?!?!

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      I might be the in the minority on that one – I use mine every day, ha!

      • Cassandra says:

        I love to sit down to get ready. I think it adds a touch of luxury. If there is a linen closet to store bigger toiletries I say go for option 1!

    • Katie says:

      Yep, that’s what I thought too! I definitely would not use a sit down vanity.

  3. KathyG says:

    Second One!

  4. Victoria says:

    I like the first one. Go with your gut….

  5. christy says:

    I definitely prefer the top one. Little drawers are cute – women love them. Big drawers just hold junk. The hair dryer can go in the linen closet. And women will LOVE the sit down spot – whether or not they actually use they’ll IMAGINE themselves using it and that could help sell the house!


  6. Rob O. says:

    This is an “out there” proposal, but have you considered one large trough sink with dual faucets instead of the dual basins? Might just save you enough space to get your seated vanity area…

    This is what I have in mind for my cramped Master Bath:


  7. Bethanie says:

    What if you made the two bottom drawers into one big double-height drawer? If you like the aesthetics of the 4 drawers, you could still leave the front as a fake double drawer. Then you could store bigger items front to back.

    • Susannah says:

      That’s what I was thinking too. Then the deep drawer could hold the blow dryer, straightener, curling iron, etc right where you need it AND you get to keep the vanity (which I would use daily!)

  8. Janet says:

    If there’s a linen closet then go with the first one. The drawers would be enough and anything too big for them can go in the closet.
    By the way, I just found your blog this weekend and spent many hours looking over each of your flips. You guys do a wonderful job and I love how you make the spaces functional before you make them beautiful!

  9. Sarah says:

    Second. I’m not a make up girl, so a sit down vanity holds no appeal for me and the wider drawers would be great.

  10. kristin says:

    OK…I like the second one better because who really uses a vanity–besides you as stated above. :) You need drawers but having them be big enough to actually hold essentials is important. (Yes, I know there is a closet but that holds towels, TP, sheets perhaps…) Now, the downside with #2 (although my preference) is that the drawers are only easily accessible to one person. If two are getting ready at the same time you have to go around the other or ask. Let’s be honest–we are not all morning people and/or could get irritated by this “ritual”. I think each could benefit from drawers. SO…for drawing #1 just turn the vanity into a nice big bank of drawers. That would end up being the woman’s side and the husband could have his own bank of drawers (smaller ones) to his right. Each have what they need within an arms length! Oh, and the separation between sink bowls is nice so you are not bumping elbows! My husband and I each have our own cupboard (almost ceiling height) and it is great to have what you need on your own side!

  11. Katie says:

    Hmm….I’m torn on this one. I love the sit down vanity – and I would actually use it too, but probably only if I could easily reach my makeup storage area. I wouldn’t want to reach across the cabinets in between. It looks like there wouldn’t be room to put the small drawers next to the vanity? For that reason, I say go with option #2.

  12. Monica says:

    I would definitely go for option 2. Not sure on the dimensions but I would prefer 2 banks of 3 drawers (his and hers!) instead of the single bank with 4 drawers. Cost is more but I think more usable since you have the linen closet for the larger items.

  13. Lara says:

    Option #2 for sure. Also, my bathroom has deeper drawers (as in 1 shallow drawer and 2 deep drawers where you show 4 shallow drawers) and I LOVE it. Best thing ever. I can fit so much in there that I couldn’t in a typical drawer.

  14. I like the second option as well…although is there a reason the bank of drawers could not go between the sinks? For some reason I think it odd that it’s on the end by itself. I think it’s my need for everything to be linear and balanced:)

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Agreed, that would be ideal! But the ceiling slopes down on the right-hand side so someone wouldn’t be able to stand at the sink there. :(

  15. Berry says:

    Can you put electrical outlets inside a cabinet? I personally would not use a sit down vanity, but what I do like is a cabinet with holsters inside the door for hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons etc. Being able to leave them plugged in yet cords out of sight is a definite plus.

    I can’t visualize the bathroom, but I’d suggest 2 sets of storage to go with the his and hers sinks. Perhaps a thin set of drawers on the left and a wider set on the right.

  16. Kimberley says:

    Go with number 2, but move the drawers to the middle so that they are accessible by both parties. I have a similar setup in my master bath. My husband uses the 1st drawer, I get the 2nd one, we keep our facecloths in the 3rd and extra toiletries (toothpaste, Q-tips, bar soap, AND our hairdryer etc in the last one.

  17. Amanda says:

    We really like our layout. We have his and hers doors, each with one wide and fairly deep drawer underneath. Between those cabinets is a sit-down vanity area with two shallow drawers at the top of the sit-down area. There is enough clearance below the two shallow drawers for a stool and for someone to sit comfortably there as long as they aren’t super tall. My favourite part of this set-up is the deep and wide drawer below my doors.

  18. Peggy says:

    I’m not much of a makeup girl, so for me, the sit-down vanity would be wasted space. I understand the issue with the sloped ceiling, and yet, the idea of drawers accessible to only one sink seems like a problem to me. Could you do something like #1, but with a stack of drawers where you have the kneehole? I would equalize all those elements, too. Or, another idea I just had would be to put stacks of drawers at each end and two sinks together in the center, or a trough sink (as mentioned above) with two faucets.

  19. Leslie says:

    I’d go with #1. Having the drawers in the middle of the vanity is more convenient for both (if there are two people) sharing the space.

  20. Dee says:

    I wouldn’t use a sit down vanity area, but I’d definitely use drawers. I would go with the 1st choice if you turn the vanity area into more drawers, otherwise I’d rather have the 2nd option. Definitely make some of the drawers deeper so you can fit all the bottles, hairsprays, etc. Under the sink everything gets jumbled around, and I would not want to run to the linen closet every time I need an item to get ready in the morning. I like the drawers in between the sinks so that the person at the left sink has easy storage too. Whatever you choose, I know you’ll make it look beautiful!

  21. Lena says:


    Love them, need them in my life. Especially in a bathroom.

  22. I agree with Dee. Lose the vanity and put drawers on both sides. In option 2, the person using the left vanity has no drawer access. I did a custom vanity with 12 tiny drawers that each turned out to be only 5 inches wide inside. They are super functional and organized.

  23. Who sits down? I have had that feature in my last two houses and would MUCH prefer drawers. I end up tucking a laundry basket in that spot so it doesn’t look so awkward. I vote go for storage — no on ever complains about too much bathroom storage! :)

  24. deb says:

    OK, I know EVERYONE seems to want two sinks these days, and this is a house you want to sell ASAP, but I just don’t get the whole having someone in the bathroom with you when you’re getting ready. I really don’t want to watch my husband brush his teeth, and I don’t particularly want him watching me brush mine. I remember when we got married, a friend of mine advised me to always close the bathroom door to keep the romance alive! I thought it was good advice then, and I still think it’s good advise today. Guess what I’m saying is, if it was me, I’d maybe do the trough sink Rob O. suggested above in the middle (if the ceiling height can support it in the middle – you indicated it was sloped to the right) and put drawers on either side. Then, if two people really feel the need to share the bathroom they can each use one end of the sink and have their own drawers on either side??? Ah…decisions, decisions…whatever you do it’ll look terrific, I’m sure!

  25. Kate says:

    1. If possible make the cabinets 34″ (or whatever is standard for kitchen height)
    2. Go with 1 but instead of knee space use drawers

    Little drawers for him; more storage for her. Perfect.

  26. Definitely go with the 2nd one! Nobody sits down in the bathroom unless they’re…SITTING DOWN, if you know what I’m sayin’. ;)

  27. Charisse says:

    I like the second one, but in either case, have you thought of making one or two of the drawers deeper in order to accommodate your hairdryer and taller items? You could build dividers also, which might further aid in organization?

  28. RachelD says:

    We have a sit-down vanity space but I have never used it- I just don’t like to sit down to put on make-up. I like access to the sink to rinse my hands, etc, so sitting down doesn’t work well. Also, who has time with little ones running around? I have it on my list to fill in that space with a shelf. But I do know people that sit down for make-up, so it could be a feature. If you keep it, I would make the lowest drawer deeper to accommodate a hair dryer.

  29. Maggie S says:

    I like the idea of using the first idea with a second set of drawers on the right side instead of the vanity.
    Drawers are so much better than under-cabinet storage for finding things

  30. Anne says:

    I’d do the drawers in between the two sinks to space them out and get some elbow room in between them. Forget the makeup vanity.

  31. Molly Stone says:

    I like the first one more. Different cabinets and drawers are available to storage differnt kind of things. More kitchen cabinet ideas could be found here http://www.bhg.com/kitchen/cabinets/styles/kitchen-cabinet-ideas/.

  32. Lillian says:

    Leave the drawers in the middle but make the bottom one or two extra deep! in my bathroom the drawers are about 10 inches wide, but the extra deep bottom one fits my hair dryer great! You could also install those pull out drawer-ish things under the sink, those make unusable under- sink space 8000% better.

  33. Lee S. says:

    We have almost the same Vanity in our home now as the second one except the 4 horizontal drawers are in the middle so hubby and I can share them. We also have drawers above the 2 vertical drawers too. Not sure how much space you have to work there but might be an option. Def #2. it works well for us.

  34. Dan Brusca says:

    I prefer the second one. It looks more, I don’t know, neat looking?