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In the market for a new bathroom vanity, or considering a way to improve an antique? Whether you’re starting fresh with the latest modern trends or making minor tweaks to something traditional, it’s important to put a bit of thought into your vanity—after all, it’s the center of your bathroom. Any mistake can throw the entire room off; two great features, which clash horribly, aren’t any better than two bad features. So keep these three tips in mind as you navigate your options and plan your upgrade:

1. Research first

You don’t want to start setting budgets and making plans without a firm idea of what bathroom vanities cost, what models look like, how valuable that antique you have might be, and other factors. It’s easy to get yourself in a big mess because you start with a plan and try to make it work despite any realities in the way; learn your stuff first.

2. Set a goal

Once you know a bit about bathroom vanities, you can set a single overriding goal, which will come first on every decision. Maybe you want to value function over form, maybe you’re looking to add a certain color or pattern so you can use a particular set of bathroom mats and shower curtains to great effect. Figure out your first goal—and your second, third, etc. Establish a firm priority, so you know what to do when priorities conflict.

3. Establish your budget early on

It’s easy to let upgrading your vanity get away from you, if you don’t set down budgeting considerations early on. You might also shy away from things you really want without looking at them too closely, if you haven’t already committed to a larger budget. Decide what you’re willing and able to spend, and use that to inform the decision-making process.

Parting thoughts

Remember, this is like any interior design project: you want to look at utility, theme, and mood, and build around a single goal. Do that, and what you end up with will be great; throw design features together in a hodge-podge, and they’re going to end up undermining one another. Take your time, plan thoroughly, and get a bathroom vanity you’ll love.