1. excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc
2. an instance or display of this quality or feeling; something about which one is vain.
3. a wide, counterlike shelf containing a wash basin often with shelves or drawers underneath.
4. a cabinet built below or around a bathroom sink, primarily to hide exposed pipes.
Of course, I will use the word as it relates to the bath area. A vanity can be in multiple options for its intended purpose of hosing the sink. It's the modern wash stand, so toss out the pitcher and bowl for plumbing and instant water. I always try to push the bar a little when designing a bathroom. It is an area you will use everyday (unless the powder room - will cover that room one day) in your residence. There is a real need for the space to be well thought out to yield function and longevity. At the same time, planning can also become overwhelmed with decisions that put you back to basics. Keep interest with a vanity so the space is not sterile or you may as well use commercial wall sink and post a "restroom" sign on the door.
When you consider the sink bowl being integrated into counters, there are wall mounted or floor cabinets. Each are sometimes personal preference, but require behind the scenes work as far as position, plumbing and flooring. I'm not recommending a favorite, but bathroom room can be elevated up just by thinking of the object you may overlook (literally) each day. I enjoy a various styles and it depends on the space, style, budget and what makes practical sense. One trendy innovation that I have never used and shall never after a personal experience (Vienna 2009) is the vessel sink. It is in no way appropriate for a daily used bathroom. I take on projects and would not even consider a project where someone insisted to use a vessel in the master bath.
Ok, back to the positive notes with finds, projects and styles to show you....
Try recycling furniture or find a 'new' old piece over a weekend. A skilled carpenter, like mine, can retrofit the base cabinet to support an undermount sink with a new counter. You could use a wide dresser to create dual sinks. Consider having the furniture sprayed in lacquer for new and waterproof finish.
Tradition with a twist that yields a custom focal point with integrated counter.
Modern style with pure function. Well planned to hide plumbing.
Keep in mind that if you are planning to remodel a bathroom, walls may be moved or shifted. This allows you to decide and select the perfect vanity and have walls put back around it. If you find that 44" dresser and your space is 42", it's worth the retrofit so you don't think back to the "wish I had".