Inspiration

Wood Countertops in Bathrooms

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

When we were looking for a countertop for our hall bathroom makeover, I knew I’d be painting the cabinets white so I wanted something economical that would provide warmth and contrast, so wood went straight to the top of the list. We chose a butcher block countertop, routed the edge, stained it dark, then used Waterlox to protect it. Two and a half years later, I’m happy to report our wood bathroom countertops have held up extremely well, there is no water damage and they still clean up very easily.

We also have a wood countertop in our kitchen and while it’s a higher maintenance surface (you can’t place anything hot on it or leave puddles of water for long periods of time) it also still looks beautiful 8 years after installation. A wood countertop in a bathroom has to be watched for signs of damage or rot because of its frequent exposure to moisture, but a product like polyurethane or Waterlox that renders it waterproof is the key to long term functionality and beauty.

wood countertop white bathroom vanity

elle decor espagna

floating wood vanity wood look tile

capital building

wood and white bathroom

a parallel architecture

ikea cabinet vanity wood bathroom countertop

apartment therapy

wood bathroom countertop vessel sink

hooked on houses

gray vanity wood bathroom countertop

design milk

gray stained wood bathroom countertop

better homes and gardens

The live edge or wood slab raw edge against contrasting surfaces like porcelain or painted wood is a showstopper.

black and white bathroom wood floating vanity

jodie rosen design

navy vanity wood bathroom countertop

design*sponge

One of the reasons people turn to wood as a countertop in kitchens or bathrooms is the desire for more organic materials, a trend that has been growing in the past decade, one of several trends I’m highlighting over at the Interior Collective blog. Stop by and weigh in with your thoughts on the topic of trends in bathroom tile.

Have you thought about or installed a wood countertop in your bathroom? What did you treat it with and how has it held up?

Styling Traditional Wood Furniture

Monday, May 11th, 2015

I received an email from Sarah with a design dilemma, she like many has inherited a unique piece of furniture, it belonged to her grandmother and recently was restored by her father to its original wood state. Sarah wants to keep the heirloom buffet in her home, it has sentimental value, but her dilemma is how to create a stylish look with this piece that sits in her dining room.

grandmothers buffet

Personally, I love seeing wood pieces like this in a home, they add richness and warmth, and mixing pieces from different periods makes a home feel collected over time. The use of traditional wood furniture like this can be a purposeful placement by antique lovers, or a much treasured heirloom like Sarah’s that a family wants to keep.

In this case my first instinct is to change the wall color to anything other than brown with fresh paint or perhaps a wall treatment, and add a large scale mirror or art gallery  above. I might replace the pulls with something sleeker like these and place a large potted plant or tree to the right.

To style it there is so much she can do with decorative accents to create a layered appealing look. Here are a few examples I found where both bloggers and designers have tackled this same issue and styled traditional wood furniture in a contemporary way.

Below a gilded mirror and trio of classic blue and white chinoiserie accents (two vases, one lamp) introduce shape and color. Books and a smaller work of abstract art balance out the center of the arrangement.

traditional chest modern styling

the pink pagoda

A monochromatic white palette dominates this vignette, from the wall paneling to the shapely accents in an odd numbered arrangement; the purposeful use of white allows the piece to take the spotlight.

antique chest of drawers white objects

traditional home

You can’t go wrong with a pair of sleek lamps, partner them with a few smaller pieces of art in various scales and petite shapely objects, then add a touch of greenery.

traditional chest modern lamps

house seven

Simplicity is another approach, using a large scale mirror anchored by a pair of lamps with modern black shades. Prop another smaller piece of art in front and rotate a bowl of fruit or vase of fresh flowers weekly.

modern mirror lamps on traditional console

mark ashby design

Don’t overlook the opportunity to make a statement on the wall, beautiful grasscloth wallpaper and a glossy bamboo pagoda mirror add panache and a pair of ginger jar lamps introduces a lovely blue and white pattern.

wood buffet jessie miller

jessie d miller

Again a chinoiserie ginger jar always complements the style of the traditional chest, and an orchid in a polished silver champagne bucket adds an elegant touch. Above this chest hangs a mercury leaf mirror flanked by two gold leaf sconces, on top a smaller piece of abstract art and stack of books balances the vignette. 

ashley goforth traditional chest

ashley goforth design

What’s happening with the furniture around the traditional piece can also influence the styling. Below Tobi does an masterful job of layering blue accents in the form of books, artwork, and a lamp on this wood bedside chest, playing off the tones in the fabric on the headboard and wallpaper.

traditional wood bedside chest

tobi fairley

In Jana’s great room she styled her bookcase simply with varied book placement and floating artwork, but also notice the use of contemporary textiles to balance the traditional furniture in the room.

traditional bookcase

jana bek

This antique chest was modernized with lucite knobs then surrounded by a collection of art, and how fresh the space feels with that fabulous pink tufted chair off to the side. The styling on top is eclectic and fun, mixing a whimsical cachepot and fern with a unique sculptural lamp.

traditional chest lucite knobs

house beautiful

Pairing traditional wood furniture with contemporary accents can be done and successfully! How have you included antiques or heirlooms into your home’s design?