The dark wood dresser from Nadeau didn’t come with a faucet attachment. It didn’t come with a sink. It didn’t come with a sleek ivory countertop for stacking soap, skincare and the daily paraphernalia of the teenage boy who would be utilizing it. But when Krystal Matthews spotted this piece of furniture typically reserved for the dry, cozy confines of a bedroom, she swatted those notions away. This gem, she thought, belonged in the bathroom.
View this post on Instagram
Incorporating unexpected elements throughout a house is no new trick for Matthews, who regularly mixes classic and contemporary style to create eye-catching interiors. In the case of updating the aforementioned bathroom to match her clients’ desire for a functional space with a modern aesthetic, Matthews knew that some surprising features—namely, the wood dresser and a pair of stark black sconces—would be just the thing to offset the trendy white subway tile while still melding with the masculine slate flooring, dark sink fixtures, and light-reflecting gold finishes.
“I’ll peruse places like Nadeau a lot for things like vanities, and even side bars for kitchens,” she says. “If you put a piece of stone on it, typically your plumber can rework the piece fairly quickly, and you can often still use the drawers, though we cut through the back to incorporate the plumbing.”
To ensure that your unusual addition doesn’t become the ugly duckling of an otherwise cohesive room, Matthews recommends choosing a “star” feature that informs the rest of your design choices. “If a client says they don’t have anything in particular that speaks to them, I go out with them and help find something that lights up their eyes,” says Matthews, noting that it’s often on trips like these where ideas like this one to use a dresser in a bathroom are born. “Then we start building out from that star.”
In this bathroom, elements like the white subway tile play a supporting role that Matthews says is important in not only creating a cohesive space, but allowing that one show-stopping element to have its time to shine.
“So many times, when people are looking at a light fixture and a rug and a coffee table, they want this big, elaborate version of all the things. But something has to be the backup singer. A room is a symphony, and everything needs to harmonize,” she says.