I’ve always loved the unique shape and design of a vintage pedestal sink. But lately, I’ve noticed a variety of eye-popping new twists on this old favorite.
Pedestal sinks date back to the early 20th century, but they are still in style. Recently, manufacturers have upgraded the design. Modern pedestal sinks feature innovations like floor-to-waist-height basins and materials like acrylic and tempered glass instead of traditional porcelain.
A pedestal sink—whether vintage or modern—can be a striking fixture when prominently placed in your bathroom.
Are Pedestal Sinks Old Fashioned?
The only answer to this question is definitely not! Pedestal sinks have been around for many years in one form or another but have always been an essential bathroom fixture. They remain in style today.
During the early 20th century, pedestal sinks were the original, fashionable bathroom fixture, and everyone had one. A pedestal sink was a popular item at the time because bathrooms were very small. A pedestal sink did not take up much room as it did not have built-in countertop or vanity storage space around it.
Around the 1930s, people’s needs changed. Bigger homes with more space became more affordable, which meant that there was space for oversized bathrooms and more prominent bathroom fixtures. In addition, many people replaced their pedestal sinks with bathroom vanity cabinets with built-in sinks to get the extra storage space that most families required.
However, the pedestal sink did not disappear completely. A version of it remained and over time, pedestal sink styles evolved.
Pedestal Sinks Are Great in Small Bathrooms
Many people continued to use this simple bathroom sink as a classic elegant décor statement in their bathroom. For a small bathroom or powder room, the pedestal sink remained the best choice. Why? Because the pedestal sink creates the illusion of space. Also, since it has no countertops, it prevents clutter from filling up a small bathroom. (Here are 10 other ways to make a small bathroom feel luxurious.)
What’s a Contemporary Pedestal Sink?
The standard pedestal sink is simple in its design, comprising two separate elements. The top piece is a broad basin that collects water. Faucets are attached to the basin. The bottom part is a simple vertical pedestal attached to the floor, which carries some of the weight of the basin.
Many modern bathrooms are modeled after vintage or traditional styles. For example, the contemporary pedestal sink captures the elegance and sophistication of the 1930s, along with updated modern materials and attachments that complete the old-world look and feel of the sink.
For any discerning modern homeowner, a bulky bathroom vanity would simply be out of place with the old-world feel of the modern vintage feel bathroom. Modern pedestal sinks break the mold when it comes to style and elegance.
How Do You Modernize an Old Pedestal Sink?
Although traditional vintage bathroom fixtures in the past used white, grey, and bronze as prominent colors, modern faucets can be used to update the look of your old pedestal sink to match the home’s décor. The glazed porcelain finish of a traditional pedestal sink is now available in many designs, colors, and shapes.
If your old pedestal sink needs a revamp, there are ways that you can improve the look of the sink without spending too much money and time.
Polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, and satin brass fixtures and finishes offer a more traditional look and feel and can be used to upgrade your existing, old pedestal sink. These materials are easy to find, practical, and are striking when paired with wood cabinets in the color of your choosing. (Check out my post about the easiest faucet finish to maintain.)
Try these decorating tips to enhance the look of your space without losing the elegance, style, and charming feel of the pedestal sink:
- Mirrors and lights. Install an attractive, stylish mirror above the pedestal sink. Match the mirror to the décor to continue the look of the space. Add vintage wall lights above the mirror to complete the look.
- Shelving and storage. Floating shelves can be used for extra space in the bathroom. Display candles, plants, and flowers next to linens and towels. Slide baskets and bins under the pedestal sink to store toiletries and other essentials, or place an old wooden table under the sink. Use a classic color theme throughout the accessories to continue the theme.
- Bathroom accessories. Coordinate towel rails, toothbrush holders, and coat hooks to complement the style of the space. Wrought iron rails and light fittings pair very well with wooden shelving!
On Trend Options for Pedestal Sinks
Other than the standard, square, or rectangular, vintage-looking pedestal sink, there are so many available styles on the market to complement any space:
- Square pedestal sink – This is a great way to make a small space look big. To get the airy feel in the room, add a compact toilet, add a round mirror and keep the clutter out!
- Pedestal sink with textured basin – A traditional pedestal sink with a wavy-textured basin adds a unique elegance to a large, uncluttered bathroom. Add a variety of standing boxes for storage space.
- Hourglass-shaped pedestal in matte black – Pair this sleek design with black and white accessories – a contemporary, elegant look for a small space.
Pedestal Sinks: Top Picks
Although I think that any of the pedestal sinks above could make a beautiful addition to your home, these three knockouts are my personal favorites!
The Monaco Pedestal Sink provides a beautiful modern-day take on a standard bathroom fixture. Unlike most other pedestal sinks, it does not have a separate basin and pedestal; instead, it is a single structure ceramic construction in a ringed conical shape.
This sink is meant to be wall-mounted. Made of ceramic, it has a high-gloss finish that protects it from scratching. With sleek sides, it’s easy to keep clean.
Available in white or matte black, this pedestal sink will add contemporary flair to any bathroom.
The Bohemia glass pedestal sink offers another modern take on the traditional pedestal sink. This contemporary pedestal sink is made from red oak. The basin, made of tempered-glass, sits on top of a matching base.
Cleverly, the base accommodates toiletries and personal effects while also catching any water that splashes over from the basin. A towel bar on the front of the pedestal adds practical convenience to this unique, beautiful bathroom fixture.
The Bohemia glass pedestal sink is available with gold brass, stainless steel, or chrome fixtures. A single chrome or stainless steel faucet and all the supply lines are standard issues with this sink. In addition, all the drainage and plumbing pipes that connect the faucet are hidden behind the pedestal, so no unsightly clutter!
The 16 inches (40cm) square-shaped basin is classy as well as functional. The Bohemia glass pedestal sink will fit in with any bathroom style and design scheme while adding a traditional clean feeling to your space.
The Fresca Quadro pedestal sink is the perfect sink to add a touch of sophistication to your bathroom! With many different faucet styles to choose from, this super stylish, minimalist pedestal sink will add a modern flavor to your space.
This pedestal sink has a unique shape – it is square and broad at the top and then curves towards the wall at the base. This solid acrylic, 23 inches (58cm) all-white pedestal sink resembles the number seven when viewed from the side. The basin is a rectangular shape and has a single faucet hole.
This classic pedestal sink does not have any storage space, so consider mounting a mirrored medicine cabinet to the wall above the Fresca Quadro pedestal sink.
What to Know Before You Buy a Pedestal Sink
While pedestal sink will add sophistication to your space, there are some considerations to be aware of if you’re:
- Replacing a built-in vanity with a pedestal sink, you’ll need to upgrade the plumbing and replace any tiling.
- Choosing an extra-heavy pedestal sink, you may need to reinforce the floor to accommodate the weight.
- Replacing a traditional sink with a new pedestal sink, the old faucets may not fit the new pedestal sink.
Where To Install a Pedestal Sink
If you’re getting a pedestal sink as part of a bathroom remodel, be sure to check out this post by designer Kathleen Finley. She walks you through how to organize what can otherwise become an overwhelming project. Then read about how to save big money on everything from sinks to plumbing installation during your bathroom renovation.
And before you buy that pedestal sink (or find a vintage one in a salvage yard), consider the following:
- How big is the bathroom? A pedestal sink for a powder room or a half bathroom is an excellent choice as they don’t take up as much room as traditional sinks. However, a pedestal sink might not be the right choice for an oversized bathroom, especially if you need additional storage space for a large family.
- What style/design do you prefer? A contemporary pedestal sink can be the focal point of a bathroom. So if you’re just beginning a remodel, consider finding the pedestal sink that you love and then decorating the rest of the bathroom around it.
- Does your pedestal sink need a backsplash? The answer depends on where you install the sink in the bathroom, as well as the depth of the basin on your pedestal sink. To pin down the answer to this question, be sure to read my post on whether pedestal sinks need backsplashes.
Top Tip: To capture the look of a vintage 1930’s bathroom, install a white, square pedestal sink. Add a chrome faucet, black and white tiles, a pivoting mirror, and, to add to the classic style, a freestanding clawfoot bathtub! (See my buying guide for clawfoot tubs to learn more.)
So Are Pedestal Sinks Still in Style?
Both vintage and contemporary pedestal sinks can provide uber style when the bathroom decor features the sink. However, if you add the sink to the bathroom as an afterthought, it can easily look out of place.
So give considerable thought to where you install your pedestal sink and which faucet finish you purchase to go with it. For help, read my in depth guide to choosing the best faucet finish for your bathroom.
Deciding on which pedestal sink to install in your home is like going on an exciting adventure! A whole new world of décor and style will open up before your eyes as you look for the perfect fixture to compliment your unique style and design.