Renovation

The use of marble in interior design has a long history, dating back as far as Ancient Rome. Marble has been used over the centuries to embellish everything from iconic architectural structures to modern day kitchens and bathrooms. Sculptures as famous as Michelangelo’s David have been carved from this prized stone and it has always held its appeal throughout the years.

Marble is a luxurious choice and is often more expensive than other solid surfaces, but is worth the investment since it’s unquestionably elegant and forever timeless. There are two varieties of Italian marble that are similar in appearance, both milky white with gray veining, and they are Carrara and Calacatta. Carrara has more delicate, lighter veining; Calacatta is a rarer, pricier stone and has bolder more defined strokes, yet both are a desirable luxury stone.

white vanity marble tile bhg

 

Slabs are the most expensive but smaller scale tile patterns tend to be more affordable per square foot. The mixture of small and medium scale motifs add interest to any bathroom space from petite herringbone to offset brick pattern tile.

marble tile shower

 

Calacatta marble appears on the walls in this bathroom, adding drama and one-of-a-kind pattern. One thing is true about slab marble, it doesn’t need embellishment of any kind. Marble has earned its beauty and is best left with its stunning and unique veining on display.

calacatta marble bathroom

 

Instead of slab on the floors or walls, look for large scale marble tiles that will give the same look, but broken up into smaller sections.

 

marble tile on wall

 

marble tile floor bhg

 

Or consider a marble basket weave tile for a decorative inset pattern that is both intricate and exquisite.

marble walls basket weave marble tile

 

One of the most popular ways to add marble to the bathroom is with slab countertops. Mix it up with tile or wallpaper in the same gray and white palette to bring additional pattern to your bathroom space.

carrara marble flooring and countertop

 

marble wrapped tub surround

 

marble countertop in bathroom

  

Looking for the ultimate in luxury?  How amazing is this retro inspired vanity washbasin with spectacular Lucite legs – stunning!

marble vanity

 

Whichever way you choose to use it, from tile on the floor to slabs on the walls to the simplicity of a countertop, you can never ever go wrong with marble in the bathroom.  Carrara and Calacatta marble are surfaces that hold a rare title, they have stood the test of time for not just decades, but centuries!

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I love to read up on what’s happening in remodeling, and while trends come and go, one choice that is consistent among homeowners over the years is the use of wood as a countertop in kitchens.  I’ve always loved the look myself and we opted for a wood kitchen island countertop years ago. 

Hard woods of all kinds can be used in a kitchen – walnut, cherry, and alder among others, and chefs love a giant slab of butcher block for its convenience in food prep.

kitchen countertops in wood bhg

 

Choosing wood as a countertop brings warmth to a kitchen space in contrast with the common cooler materials used in kitchens such as glass tile, ceramic sinks, or stainless steel appliances.

dark wood kitchen countertops bhg

 

Wood countertops are also an affordable option in comparison with pricier solid surface choices, and retailers like IKEA sell slabs of butcher block that can be stained darker or even routed with an ogee edge. 

wood kitchen countertops bhg

 

Wood countertops have a reputation for being a higher maintenance surface than granite or marble, but if sealed properly they’re virtually waterproof.  The one thing homeowners must avoid is the placement of anything too hot on the wood, but trivets and pot pads within arms reach will prevent any accidental burns.

 

The use of wood in any space brings character to your home and when cared for properly, wood countertops will remain useful and beautiful for years.

wood kitchen countertops around sink

 

Other helpful articles from the archives:

Wood Countertop Guide

Wood Basics for Kitchens & Baths

Wood Countertop Ideas

 

Have you installed wood countertops in your kitchen?  Share your thoughts and maintenance tips!

 

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We remodeled our kitchen five years ago, and I recall the initial difficulty of choosing the hardware for the space.  In the end, I chose knobs and pulls from three different suppliers and even though they are slightly different styles, they all work together because they share the same finish.

Kitchen cabinets rarely come with pulls or knobs so it’s a big decision left to the homeowner to choose a style and finish that works with the space.  A reader recently wrote to me asking about the process of choosing kitchen cabinet hardware.  Here are a few tips for making the final choice.

Contemporary kitchens look best with streamlined pulls, and sleek tubular or rectangular options are a perfect complement for this modern style.

 

contemporary kitchen pulls bhg

 

contemporary kitchen sleek pulls bhg

 

Old World inspired hardware works well in traditional or European style kitchens.

 

traditional kitchen and hardware bhg

It’s important to consider the finishes on the light fixtures and appliances in the space.  There’s no need to match every finish, you can mix chrome with brushed nickel, or oil rubbed bronze with brass, just be sure the finishes will complement each other.  With white kitchen cabinets, the good news is that any of the available finishes for knobs and pulls will always look great!

 

satin nickel pendants and chrome pulls bhg

 matching sheens in hardware and fixtures bhg

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I do a lot of second hand shopping and every now and then I’ll spy a great dresser in a thrift store or on Craigslist and think to myself, “That would look fantastic in a bathroom!”  Traditionally designed for the bedroom to store clothing, dressers are rebelling and finding their way into spaces outside the boudoir.  

Clever homeowners are now adding character to their bathroom spaces by choosing dressers as vanities instead of standard cabinetry.  Often you must sacrifice the utility of the top drawer to make room for the sink bowl, but what you lose in functionality you gain in style.  Here’s a peek at this gallery of dressers transformed into vanities in bathrooms! 

A white solid surface countertop supports two sinks with reproduction vintage faucets in this elegant bathroom with a repurposed white dresser.

 

white dresser as bathroom vanity bhg

 

Gray paint and porcelain knobs turn this elevated dressing table into a functioning vanity in this serene bathroom filled with vintage touches. 

 

bathroom vanity bhg

 

Contemporary clean lines and pulls take the spotlight in this bathroom nook where a nine drawer dresser style vanity wears a marble top. 

 

modern dresser as vanity bhg

 

Curvy drawers coated in black paint coupled with vintage brass pulls equal drama in this sophisticated powder room.

 

dresser as vanity bathroom bhg

 

In the mood for fun and feisty?  Coat your second hand find with bright colored paint and add a modern towel bar to the side for a one of a kind pretty pink vanity. 

 

vivid pink vanity bathroom bhg

 

Clean and classic is the look in this bathroom where white paint and glass knobs share a timeless quality.  

 

white dresser as vanity in bathroom bhg

 

Converting a dresser into a vanity is simple when you follow these DIY instructions.

One final tip, pay attention to your height when shopping for a dresser to use as a vanity.  A standard vanity is 30” but many adults find that height to be too short, and prefer a more comfortable height between 32” – 36”.   Bring your tape measure with you and be sure to factor in the additional inches added from your chosen countertop.

Next week, we’ll take a look at how dressers are being used outside the bedroom in kitchens, entries, and living spaces, stay tuned!


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