Forget everything you think you know about what a vanity should be

On paper, this vanity must have sounded odd: “How ’bout we put a table—no cabinets—against a floor-to-ceiling window and throw a sink on it?” But its pin-worthy execution proves the worth of interior designers: They see possibilities that we can’t. Here are the design lessons we’re taking away from this bathroom vignette—and what you should, too.

1. Use your view.

If you’re lucky enough to have a bathroom with an exterior wall and a killer view, maximize it. Your first instinct will be to keep the windows modest for privacy—but fight that temptation: Install as many windows as possible, and upgrade from standard panes to glass treated with a privacy tint or film that’ll let you see out, but not in.

2. “Vanity” doesn’t equal cabinetry.

All you really need to qualify for vanity status is a sink and a little counter space. That often comes in a cabinets-on-the-bottom, counter-on-the-top combo, but that’s not etched in stone. Think outside the box: An antique dresser, a floating quartz slab, a lab table—if it can support a sink and plumbing, it can become a vanity.

3. You don’t have to put the faucet behind the sink.

Think about it: If the spout (our Addison faucet in stainless steel) were stuffed behind the vessel sink, its metallic curves and elongated body would be hidden and less impactful. Placed off to the side, the faucet adds asymmetrical interest to the minimalist vanity and draws the eye down to the exposed plumbing beneath, creating one continuous steel line.

4. Mirrors aren’t required.

That thin piece of glass that constantly reminds you of your laugh lines and makes you question that eye shadow? It’s not a must … at least, not above the sink. Bathrooms need a mirror for shaving and makeup application, of course, but it need not hang over the vanity. If a mirror stresses you out or just doesn’t fit your design (like this space), move it to another wall, or use a portable vanity mirror instead.