What is a Wash Stand?

A wash stand is a piece of furniture designed for holding a wash basin and usually has provisions for storing toiletries.


In the realm of interior design, a wash stand, also commonly referred to as a washstand, is an essential piece of furniture, particularly in bathrooms or bedrooms, before the widespread use of built in plumbing. Initially designed in the 18th and 19th centuries, these stands served as a portable washing station, comprising a stand for a wash basin, a pitcher (for pouring water), and sometimes a mirror. It often included a lower shelf for storing towels and other toiletries. Today, while the practical necessity for such a piece has diminished due to modern plumbing, wash stands still find a place in home decor for their aesthetic appeal and historical value.

Contemporary designs may vary widely, from reproductions of antique styles to minimalist modern interpretations that incorporate materials like metal, stone, or glass. When incorporated into the design of a bathroom, wash stands can lend a certain historical charm or sophistication, depending on the choice of material and design. They also serve as focal points or decorative elements in bedrooms, bathrooms, or even in some cases, dining rooms, carrying on the tradition of their practical use in a more stylized manner.

In addition to their decorative appeal, modern wash stands offer practical utility by incorporating storage space beneath the basin area. This could include shelves, drawers, or cabinets, making them a functional component of space management in design. The choice of a wash stand can significantly influence the overall aesthetic of a room, making it a critical consideration in interior design.


Wash stands are commonly used in residential settings, particularly in bathrooms and bedrooms, as a decorative and functional piece of furniture. In commercial settings such as hotels, boutique inns, and bed and breakfast establishments, vintage or antique-style wash stands can add to the ambiance and thematic decoration of the space.


  • Can a wash stand be used in modern bathrooms?

    Absolutely! A wash stand can be a unique and stylish addition to a modern bathroom. With contemporary designs that blend functionality with aesthetic appeal, they can complement the rest of your bathroom decor while adding a touch of historical elegance or modern sophistication.

  • How can I care for an antique wash stand?

    Caring for an antique wash stand involves regular dusting and gentle cleaning with a soft, damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the finish. It's also wise to keep it in an environment with consistent humidity levels to prevent wood from warping or splitting.

  • Are wash stands only available in wood?

    No, contemporary wash stands are available in a variety of materials, including wood, metal, stone, and glass. The choice of material can significantly affect the stand’s appearance and fit within the overall design theme of your space.

Practical Application

When selecting a wash stand for your home, consider the overall design theme of your space. A wash stand can be more than just a functional item; it can be a significant design element. Think about the style you want to convey, the materials that would best suit your interior, and the practical aspects like storage needs. Vintage or antique wash stands can add character to a room, while modern designs can offer clean lines and a contemporary feel. Utilizing a wash stand effectively can enhance the aesthetic and functionality of your space.