Vanities, Tubs and Mirrors: Designing a Bathroom Around a Statement Piece

A well-chosen statement piece is an easy way to elevate the design theme of any bathroom. From vintage mirrors and vanities to modern rugs and tubs, statement pieces exist in all shapes and styles.

To enhance a bathroom with a bold and sophisticated look, follow these style tips for choosing a statement piece – and designing a cohesive space around it.

Choosing Statement Pieces

If a client wants to add a statement piece but they aren’t sure which one, consider common design rules and principles for choosing statement elements. New York City-based interior designer and home stager Cheryl Eisen says that a high-quality sofa or light fixture can amp up the style factor in any space.

If a bathroom is spacious, an ornate chair or sofa can certainly add elegance to the space. If there isn’t room for a sofa, or a statement light fixture simply sounds more appealing, there are a number of options. Interiors and lifestyle writer Kalie Eyman suggests opting for a vintage-inspired chandelier, which can make an impressive statement in a bath of any size. Or, a client might choose a decorative pendant light, which can be placed over a mirror or vanity to free up wall space. Lighting Collective explains that the pendant style and material can influence the piece’s hanging height, so keep in mind where the light will be positioned before choosing it.

A featured design item can also be considered an investment piece – something of high quality that retains its value over time. Marsha Faulkner of Studio M Interior Design says an investment piece should stir an emotional connection. Whether a Persian rug or a piece of antique furniture, the homeowner should feel a special attachment to the piece.

Featured Art and Mirrors

Art and mirrors can also work well as a statement pieces in the bathroom. Larry Stewart Custom Homes explains that, depending on the size of the bathroom in question, art can be a great way to play with scale.

For example, one large piece in a small space can make the area feel larger and help maximize the sense of floor space. In designer Darryl Carter’s home, a large vintage mirror leans on the vanity, adding an antique touch that feels balanced when paired with gold fixtures. The imperfect finish of the mirror draws attention to the piece and helps enhance its role as statement piece in the room.

statement chair

Freestanding Tubs

Due to their classic and evergreen style, freestanding tubs are a popular choice for a bathroom statement piece. Jean E Kitchen and Bath Design writes that a statement tub can help add direction and purpose to a bathroom redesign. Since there are so many ways to style a clawfoot tub, they can add balance to almost any design theme.

At One Kings Lane, designers Tara Shaw, Brooke Giannetti and Steve Giannetti provide a few examples of how to style a statement tub. Shaw balances a modern, minimalist freestanding tub with vintage European wall paneling. Although this bathroom showcases both modern and vintage elements, keeping all of the decor in varying shades of white maintains a sense of cohesion.

Glass walls and enclosures can be used to balance the look of a freestanding tub. Brooke and Steve Giannetti, founders of the Los Angeles-based design studio Giannetti Home, surrounded the pewter tub in their home with sheets of wall to ceiling class. This creates a greenhouse effect, connecting the indoor space to the plants and greenery outside.

Vintage Vanities

If a client finds a dresser or table they’d like to use as a statement piece, freelance writer Eleanor Büsing suggests adding an undermount or overmount sink basin. This is a simple way to utilize the dresser, especially in a smaller bathroom that might not fit both a sink and a vanity. To enhance a statement vanity, Büsing recommends an elegant mirror on the wall behind it. Or, for vanities with open shelves, wicker baskets holding towels and toiletries can add style while enhancing storage.

More ideas for styling a statement vanity come from Sam Ferris, a contributing writer for Houzz. Ferris explains that homeowners need to make a few important design decisions before choosing elements that will enhance the vanity. For example, he says that it’s important to decide what type of lighting will accompany the vanity, and whether or not there’s a need for new drawer pulls. Considering hardware, faucets, sinks and mirrors before installing a vintage vanity can ensure cohesion throughout the bathroom.

Statement Colors and Patterns

Choosing a statement piece that features a particular pattern or bold, on-trend color is a smart way to achieve an interesting design look that’s still balanced. Interior design writer Emily Brooks says that mixing patterns, colors and materials create a sense of individuality in a bathroom.

One idea for incorporating a colorful statement piece comes from Jenni Li, founder of the textile company Intiearth. In Li’s black and white bathroom, classic style is enhanced with a patterned rug in bright orange. This pop of color helps draw attention to the floor and the elegant bathtub without overwhelming the space.

A similar feel is achieved in the home of creative consultant Michelle Adams, who founded The Maryn, an online shop. In this example, a small and colorful Persian rug adds color and pattern to a mostly white bathroom. The geometric pattern of the rug also achieves cohesion with the shower curtain, which features minimalist black and white shapes.

vintage crystal chandelier details

Achieve Cohesion and Balance

After selecting a statement piece that feels right, here are a few designer tips for creating a cohesive, balanced look.

Award-winning designer Kerrie Kelly explains that, to design around a statement piece, it’s important to maintain a cohesive and consistent look. “No matter what objects you include in a bathroom, some basic design rules will help keep the result cohesive,” she writes. “Start by looking for a visual connection. It might be a common color element or it could be a specific style or texture, either in the pieces themselves or the backdrop they are displayed against.”

Another idea for achieving a design balance comes from UK-based design firm Cream and Browne. They suggest melding older furniture pieces with new ones to create a balanced look that’s both modern and vintage. When using a piece of statement furniture in the bathroom, keep in mind that the pattern and color of other elements play a key role in keeping the room balanced.

For example, luxurious wallpapers and glamorous light fixtures can be balanced alongside a furniture piece with a similar style. According to Reagan Hayes, Inc., a design firm that crafts high-end furniture for interior design and architecture firms, a bold piece might also be balanced with less ornate decor to help the statement piece stand out.

Images by: Yann Maignan, kanzefar/©123RF Stock Photo, volokhatiuk/©123RF Stock Photo