Thoughts on vanity/dresser for Master Bedroom

sochiSeptember 10, 2012

I finally bit the bullet and tried to learn sketch-up this weekend. It is really fun to use. I'm playing around with designs for my dresser/vanity/sink area in the bedroom "nook."

Here is a 2-d picture of my bedroom, with a proposed dresser/vanity in place. (the rug, bed, drapes, bench are fictional, I don't have any of these pieces yet, but I'll probably do something similar to the items pictured). Then pics of the dresser and bed side tables. Please let me know what you think of the dresser (and the bed side tables too).

- I thinking that the dresser will be walnut and blackened (F&B). The walls in my bedroom are F&B Downpipe, Blackened on the trim, white ceilings (I'm having trouble changing the ceiling colour in sketch-up for some reason).

- what do you think of the mix of walnut and painted? Yes, no? Too cute?

- I don't think I want a vessel sink here. I considered a wall faucet, perhaps the Karbon, pictured here (partially upside down, I know). The wall that the faucet is the master bath wall, the plumbing is in there. The back wall behind the dresser is exterior, so no plumbing there.

- What do you think about having the 24" zone for sitting? Am I better off with more lower cabinets? I do sometimes like to sit to do my hair, but typically I stand - perhaps because I have nowhere to sit now?

- I'm thinking about quartzite counter on the 48" sink run, walnut on top of the dresser part. I have a fair amount of leftover quartzite from the kitchen reno (it has been waiting patiently in my garage for 2.5 years).

- I'd love to lose the upper part of the dresser, but I need the storage for all my books and house/design mags!

- The mirror over the 48" vanity will have to have lights embedded on each side (sconces aren't in the works)

- The splayed feet on the bedside tables aren't quite right, but you get the idea.

- I don't have any closet doors on my closets yet (we are viewing the bedroom through the long closet). I'm thinking the doors will be blackened with one walnut accent door.

All thoughts welcome, thanks.

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If the top is not for clothing, I would consider making it shallower, taking it to the ceiling and finishing it in the wallcolor/finish to reduce its presence--at least try it in the drawing phase.

I would also do the mirror wall-to-wall and counter to ceiling to make the edges of it all disappear.

I like your design overall but I am not sure you want to have the upper portion have that much presence is what is a horizontally oriented room.

It might be kind of interesting to do a live edge on the quartzite vanity top as if the live edge in the shower room is penetrating the wall into the bedroom.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:36PM
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The live edge quartzite idea is absolutely inspired Pal!

I will try a few different configurations as you have suggested and share later.

A couple of further questions:

- am I silly to want the sink? This would be easier to design without it. I thought it would be handy, and the plumbing is there, but I certainly don't have to have it. A sink in the bedroom is pretty common in the old houses in my neighbourhood too.

- I would really prefer the vanity/dresser to be one level, with no large upper piece. I'd prefer shelves and art on the wall above and a large round mirror on a stand on the counter. But I need storage. Could I use this area below, to the right of the bed (sorry about the creepy drapes)?

I've considered essentially continuing the vanity (probably with a step down to bring it to bedside table height) along this wall to the bed, under the window, but that would screw up the drapes, no? I have 67" from the edge of the bed to the front of the vanity/dresser.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Depending on what you use the upper storage for, you could design the doors to hang art right on them, particularly if you treat them as wall.

Think of a baroque Parisian apartment with boiserie that hides random closets and doors in it's overall design.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Sketch-up rocks! This is way too much fun.

12" deep upper cabinet. The lower section is 22" deep.

or nothing on the top. If I lose the sink I guess I'd centre the make up/seating area.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:26PM
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I sit and do my make up hair at my bedroom vanity each morning. I have never felt the need for a sink. I am not understanding the need. It gives a real hotel feel to the room, and not in a lux way IMHO. A seating area for hair/makeup is a must for me and the mirror would have to return. Maybe it is just your design, so utilitarian, your area looks more desk like than vanity. I would not want to lose the built in storage. I am loving your large tulips by the way!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 6:11AM
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I like the direction of the suppressed upper part and the mirror that runs off the edges. If you are going to sit, I think you will need knee space. But if you are going to sit I would also make counter height 30".

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:19AM
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This may be a small concern, but what will you do for a chair at the vanity? With the vanity height the same as the sink height, which I imagine will be waist high, a regular chair will be too low, a bar stool too high unless you cut the legs down. I guess that's why vanity areas are usually dropped down lower than counter tops, to accommodate the chair.

You don't show a chair in your drawing and having a chair there will alter the streamlined look of that area. That isn't a bad or good thing, just something you should think about now so IRL it doesn't look cluttered compared to your drawing.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:20AM
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Another idea, incorporates bed side table on one side - good/bad?? Lots of storage, lowered vanity (30"), blank upper wall for mirror and/or art, no sink.

hhireno - good point, I will add chair in my next attempts. Arcy, great points about the sitting area, thank you. I like a fairly streamlined/minimalist look, but perhaps I could soften it up a bit.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:52PM
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This last iteration is very William Haines, c. 1950s, or Edward Wormley. On the one hand there is something very functionalist and good about it, but on the other it may be a kind of planned obsolescence, just like some of their super functional bedroom pieces.

Their pieces became outmoded because people no longer had large telephones next to their beds, TV sizes changed, and large consoles weren't needed to control TV, Stereo, lighting, drapes and intercom the way that they were a la Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk.

So what happens if part of this construct stops working for you? Then the whole connected piece might become outmoded. I think that it might be best to keep the pieces separate rather than having one specialized piece.

If you think you need the vanity space as an actual make up vanity, I would probably include a sink but I would do something tiny like the Barbara Barry Sink for Her (and $$$700), just good enough for dampening makeup sponges,etc. and a bit of rinsing and hand washing.

As far as seating, you need enough room to sit comfortably for a short period of time maybe even a bit off kilter, but not enough to lounge, so you may be able to skimp a little. I would do Low table height though, of 28-30 inches.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 3:51PM
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Thanks for the advice Pal. The reality is that I don't really wear much make up at all. I will use a vanity for doing my hair primarily. I will put on my earrings, etc., but the main use for the area is storage. I could use a sink - I often wet my hair when styling, but it certainly isn't a necessity. That Barbara Barry sink is great. I would go small sink for certain.

I'm resisting the version with the recessed upper cabinet and large to ceiling mirror because I think it looks a little too "bathroom." Am I crazy?

I will try to come up with a couple of new or variant designs later tonight or tomorrow, thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:38PM
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I would hang a painting on the door of the upper unit and make it look like "wall". I would have whatever minimal hardware you need to open it, and that's it.

My thought on the mirror is that the less you see the edges of it, the less it is actually an "object". I think the thing that is going to say "bathroom" the most is the faucet. Too bad they don't make retractable ones.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:59PM
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