Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Painting Trim and Walls the Same Color

I am really attracted to the look of keeping trim, walls, and built-ins the same color in a room.  I think it's calming and allows the textures of the woodwork to take on a new look to create a different kind of contrast. 

I often hear clients talk about contrast between the molding and the paint color and I'm actually starting to think that less is more in many situations.  When the contrast is subtle then it becomes more about the room as a whole contrasting the artwork or the furnishings instead of bits of contrast here or there shifting your eyes around the room but missing the whole.  

I chose a subtle, muted color scheme without a strong contrast to the woodwork at our new house.  When I did that suddenly our artwork came to life again in new ways because it wasn't competing with a strong wall color.  Painting the walls and woodwork the same color can have that same effect.  It takes courage but the pay off is rich, as you can see in the images below.

Barbary Barry image via Alkemie

Source: House Beautiful.  Color is "Tobacco" by Pratt & Lamber. Designer is Barbara Westbrook.

Source: http://abigailahern.wordpress.com

Source: Apartment Therapy

Source: http://mochihome.com

Source: Apartmenttherapy.com

Source: Apartmenttherapy.com

Source: House Beautiful

  • Source: House & Home February 2010 issue
  • Products: Wallpaper, Block Print Stripe (BP 748), paint, Blue Ground (210), Farrow & Ball; console, Stacaro; pendant, L'Atelier; lamp, At Design; art, Angus & Company; plant, Florigens Design; boxes, Hollace Cluny; side table, HomeSense; rug, chair, Elte.
  • Photographer:

Source: Designer Meg Braff .  In the family room, the walls are covered in a grasscloth wallpaper and then painted blue.

Canadian House and Home 

Canadian House and Home

Canadian House and Home. 

  • Source: House & Home January 2010 issue
  • Products: Walls, Coventry Grey (HC-169), Benjamin Moore; pillow, Urban Outfitters; pheasant, Aberfoyle Antique Market.
  • Photographer:

Canadian House and Home. 

Source: Elle Decor

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bathrooms Galore with Unexpected Things to Adore

Bathrooms have come a long way!  They're as decorated and interesting as a dining room or living room and pretty much anything goes.  My favorite bathrooms are ones with surprising elements-- something unexpected.

I love this blue bathroom pictured below. The simple, modern tub tucked in the corner, the blue-blue walls above the oatmeal colored subway tiles, which are not (of course) your everyday subways.  They look iridescent and wavy and perfectly, imperfect-- just the way I like them. They match the tile color of the floor, but not the size and shape so the varied textures draw you in-- but not too much. And the wallpaper with those fab sconces!  One wall of paper in the bathroom is certainly unexpected. And, big windows in bathrooms are a must have for me.  The more natural light, the better.  What a nice room.

This bathroom pictured below is one of my favorites too.  I love the look and feel of hardwood in a bathroom and as long as you're not letting the kids run wild during bath time, it's perfectly fine to use it in the bathroom.  Really!

There's a lot architecturally going on in this room with the big transom windows, the wainscot on the walls and tub surround, and the gorgeous slab of marble which looks like a piece of art, as it is.  The original art clustered together on the wall, elegant entry hall light fixture, and collection of vintage memorabilia perched on top of the linen closet are the finishing touches that make this a room, not just a place to bathe.

Great light fixture above the mirror...something unexpected
Borrowed light hb frankroop

Pretty wall paint:  "Borrowed Light" by Farrow & Ball (Designer Frank Roop, from HB)   

 cottage charm bathroom with rustic tub
This rustic, farmhouse tub almost looks like it could get up and walk away-- to the pasture!  This is designer Darryl Carter’s bathroom and everything about it is totally unexpected.  The white painted hardwoods and bead board show the age and imperfections of the home while the perfectly placed light, tub and painting echo perfection and simplicity.  Quite harmonious. 

Source: House Beautiful. Windsor Smith's Bathroom. Is that a ballgown re-purposed as a sink skirt?  Soooo pretty!

White dove via habitually chic
Source: http://nestegg.typepad.com.  Paint is White Dove, by Benjamin Moore.
(Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber) 

 chic black bathroom with exposed tarnished brass plumbing
Remember this bathroom from Domino Magazine?  This is Jenna Lyons chic black bath (creative director of J. Crew).  I never would have expected a black bathroom could be so cool--brass with the perfect patina, bold black tub and walls.  

We get a glimpse of the fabulous Italian light fixture in the mirror.  I wasn't expecting to see that in a powder room!

Have you ever seen penny-rounds intstalled like this?  I feel like I'm in a submarine.  And, how about that funky blue sink? It looks like a mermaid.  Very unique and playful bathroom! The whole room is unexpected!

This sexy Bathroom is in an old mansion apartment in Belgium via www.architecture-view.com. Having so much black together in one place is unexpected but somehow it works beautifully.  I love that slender wooden stool and that pink cup of tea is a nice touch, stylist.  The giant mirrors help!

A classic white bathroom. Those darling pendants are unexpected dots of color

Love the unexpected use of cream subways, cream walls and cream vanity.  I especially like the cream vanity with the carrara marble.  Very soothing and a subtle change from the usual crisp white.
So glamorous!  I wonder what those wall sconces look like up close.  Is that a window in the shower?  So nice to bathe with sunlight pouring in! Those stately, vigorously patterned drapes are very unexpected in a bathroom, as well as the criss cross patterned French doors.

Even the skylight has interesting detail to match the French doors to a balcony I presume?  How nice to cool off after a steam.

I always enjoy white with wood
The unexpected wood detailing in this bathroom is so intricate it could almost be a library.  Look at that simple spout sprouting out of the beautiful tile.

The floor-to-ceiling mirror makes the room appear even bigger than it already is.  I could see a ballet bar on that mirror.  A little morning bar method routine?

The window in between the medicine cabinets is a nice unexpected touch.  I like seeing green-- it complements the brown tiles and softens this modern bathroom.

Those shiny pink tiles are so fun and go great with the gold.  Seeing so much wonderful pink in a bathroom is unexpected

How about that for a shower curtain?!!  I do wish it went all the way to the floor though

It's unexpected to see a clawfoot shower fittings in a modern tub.

What a sink!  You could bathe quite a few babies in that unexpected vessel!

An all wood sink cabinet and counter is unexpected

Exposed brick adds interest to a space.  It's unexpected to see it in a bathroom.

The square cabinet pulls look like jewelry-- an unexpected shape for a pull.  The wall sconces are gorgeous.
This elegant bathroom is timeless.  The mosaic pattern in the tub is just a little something to enhance the already pretty field tile.  Love the unexpected double glass door entry to the tub.  So chic! I bet those sinks are something special too.  Love it all!

I hope you enjoyed my tour of bathrooms!