Replacing a vanity with an antique chest

Earlier this year, one of our long standing Chicago clients came to us with a challenge... replace this boring builder grade vanity with something special, something that added character and personality to this small powder room. But there was a catch. Don't mess with the wallpaper. The homeowner had added it years ago and still loved it, so no cutting open the walls for plumbing or electrical, and no mill work that would mess with the walls in any way.

Oh, and also, can you do it ASAP?

Instead of building custom cabinetry (too time consuming and would likely damage the walls) or plopping in a new vanity (too bland, too expected), we took our cues from the homeowner's style and the rooms we had worked on together in the past, which have a pronounced Asian influence, as well as extensive use of antiques.

The solution was found at one of our favorite retailers Golden Triangle, a Chicago-based boutique specializing in Asian artifacts, antiques and architectural salvage.

This early 1800's carved Yang wood chest from the Shanxi Province of China had the look we wanted but, at 47 inches wide, was just too big for the space.  However with a few careful cuts eliminating the overhang of the top, we were able to get it down to the perfect width and slide it right in.

Swap the glass vessel sink with this brass piece with a rich finish that will age over time, a great match for the antique finish of the vanity, and this bathroom is a true beauty.

From run-of the mill to one of a kind! Stay tuned for updates on this awesome space. Our next challenge...the top to bottom re-design of the media room incorporating a huge (and already installed) wall-mounted TV and audio system. We have our thinking caps on for this one.