This One Nate Berkus Bathroom Decorating Tip Breaks All the Rules

published Oct 23, 2023
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Head on view of a black bathtub, with gold finishes in a bathroom with beige and brown checkered wallpaper, green circular sconces and a rectangular gold framed mirror, and a beige stool to the right of the bathtub. On either side of the mirror are black armoires with glass doors.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

Rules were meant to be broken — at least that’s what Nate Berkus says about his Small/Cool bathroom design scheme. Although the designer followed the rule of symmetry for the space, he mixed it up a little by breaking up the even look with different accessories on either side of the bathtub. 

Working on behalf of his line NATE HOME by Nate Berkus, he began by arranging two full-size shelving units on either side of the bathtub to create a calming visual for one of the rooms in a home that’s usually reserved for relaxation. He used wooden Urban Outfitters cabinets that feature a glass door to keep necessities like towels and products hidden from plain view, but still within reach. He also chose a vintage-inspired gold-trim rectangular mirror to center, behind the freestanding soaker tub, which acts as an additional focal point in between the two shelves. 

But from there, instead of keeping up with the symmetry, he chose different accessories to break up the visual balance just enough to keep the room interesting. On one side of the tub, he added a small Colin King for West Elm acacia wood stool to hold extra washcloths and a plant to make the bathroom feel a bit warmer. On the other side, he added a beige bench as an extra place to hold flowers, towels, or even bathtime must-haves so it’s functional, yet design-friendly at the same time. The whole room features luxurious, crisp white bath linens from his NATE HOME by Nate Berkus line (manufactured by mDesign), which is available for purchase from Amazon. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

“We love mixing old and new for a look that feels layered and elevated, and our Small/Cool NYC space is no exception,” says Nate Berkus, who designed this room in collaboration with his own line NATE HOME by Nate Berkus. “We started with a classic check pattern typically found on floors and gave it new life by taking it vertical with grasscloth wallpaper. From there we paired modern, geometric pieces, such as the arched cabinets and round sconces, with vintage-inspired elements, like the mirror and chair. The end result is a space that feels interesting and unexpected.”

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

If you want to mix up the symmetry in your own space, try pulling together two similar items, like a wooden stool and a lighter-tone bench, to place at either side, which will keep the room looking interesting and cohesive at the same time.