I recently added a 1951 Formica “Vanitory” brochure to my collection. A Vanitory is a lavatory (to wash your hands) and a vanity (to powder your nose) — all in one. I love this brochure, because it not only shows 10 Vanitory designs, but also it clarifies that Formica Vanitories were not actually sold by Formica — they were an idea… a concept… the goal was to design your own. In fact, this snapshot of 10 Formica bathroom vanity designs also includes a “Vanitory Imagination Stimulator.” You gotta love the marketeer who came up with that one. Let’s take a look — and I’ve included a slide show of each Vanitory design 1000 pixels wide.
Questions and answers about the Vanitory:
What is a Vanitory? The term Vanitory is the name for a combination lavatory bowl and vanity counter surfaced with Beauty Bonded Formica.
What is the Practical Advantage of a Vanitory? It means room to be comfortable — a place to put things down — handy storage space — convenience of toilet accessories — and of course added beauty and color.
How many kinds of Vanitories are there? There is no limit on the number of sizes and designs of Vanitory units. A Vanitory is not a specific product but a basic idea for better living.
Why Formica in the Bathroom? No other material can match Formica for beauty and down right practicality. Its dozens of cheerful color patterns are super smooth and pleasant to touch. Formica is unharmed by boiling water, alcohol or cosmetics. It wipes clean with only a damp cloth — never needs refinishing or painting.
Does the Formica Company make Vanitory units? No, Formica makes only surfacing materials which are fabricated by a skilled craftsman in your town into a finished Vanitory to fit your own bathroom.
If you’re thinking about designing a retro style bathroom vanity for your bathroom, there are a lot of great ideas… err, imagination stimulators… here!
Slide show of vintage Formica Vanitory designs:
To view gallery, click on any image, it will enlarge, use the arrows below the image to move forward or back: