Walnut + White Tile Bathrooms

We’ve done this combination a few times, and it’s no mystery why – it’s both warm and modern, classic and fresh. Our clients often worry about whether they’ll still love the design decisions they’ve made years from now, and choosing this combination is one way to make sure you do!

Metal tile edging creates crisp, clean lines while also referencing the finish of the plumbing fixtures.

William Street Bathroom

We didn’t have much room for this master bath – it was a game of inches to fit everything in – but that’s no reason to be afraid of dark, rich materials. Here, even our custom-designed medicine cabinets get into the game, with lots of practical storage and a fun sliding compartment. ⁠Look closely on the vanity front, and you can see that the walnut is grain matched – that means all the drawer fronts are cut from the same piece of wood, and the grain is continuous across the drawers. Good woodworkers and cabinet builders do this as a matter of course, and it’s a real level-up from off-the-shelf cabinet systems.

One of our favorite vanity tips: make sure there are middle drawers, so that you can access items without having to step back from the mirror to open the under-sink drawer.

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Province Street Bathroom

Here, our white tile is matte white glass, and our walnut has a much more wild and active grain. When choosing wood, it’s important to choose not only the species, but also the grain type, which is usually determined by how it’s cut [rift sawn, plain sawn, veneer, etc]. It can all look beautiful, it just depends on what you’re going for. Glass tile can also add warmth and depth, and is a slight twist on plain white ceramic.

With so much action in the wood, we also chose to keep things simple by not including external cabinet pulls – here, there is an integrated finger pull at the top of the vanity doors and the bottom of the medicine cabinet.

Also, notice the inside corner where tile meets tile, under the medicine cabinet – see how it lines up, as if the tile was folded? That’s another small detail that makes a big difference, and is standard practice for good tile setters!

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Kirkland Street Bathroom

Here in this primary bathroom, we used a walnut veneer with marble floor and shower tiles in another twist on the theme. Sometimes “veneer” can have negative connotations, and it shouldn’t! It’s a time-tested, traditional method of creating wood furniture, and just another way of cutting a log to reveal grain patterns. Here, you can see the pattern of the grain repeating, as the log was literally unrolled by the saw in a long coil. The pattern is grain matched across the whole front of the vanity, of course!

To underline the walnut’s warmth in an otherwise white bathroom, we used brass fixtures throughout – they have a “living finish,” meaning they will patina with use. We also used a warm gray grout to pull out the pattern in the marble and tie the space together across the spectrum from lighter to darker tones.

We also designed this vanity with sharing in mind. Not every bathroom has room for a second sink, but what you *can* do is give each person their own dedicated storage. Rather than one central medicine cabinet, here we did two – one for each person, flanking a flat mirror. Similarly, each person gets their own bank of drawers, with central storage in the center for larger items. Just because double vanities are what you *think* you need doesn’t mean you actually need them – sometimes clever solutions like this work better!

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