Obsessed with wallpaper, I had the perfect plan for the bathroom. I found a fabulous red magnolia print from Graham and Brown to go above the chair rail and I matched one of latte-colored leaves for the paint below. Though, as you can see, this paper is not on the walls.
The day the painters came to take on every room in the house, I asked them to leave one wall in the master bedroom and the top half the bathroom for wallpaper. The day was moving along and I called my mother to tell her my brilliant palette plan. When describing the bathroom, she asked the question, “Is that wallpaper made for bathrooms? You know, can it take a lot of humidity?” I went cold. In all my scheming, this had not crossed my mind.
I stalled the painters and raced to the hardware store in search of a Plan B. In a split decision and with a recent love of deep purples, I picked Nairobi Dusk from Ralph Lauren Paint. It is a bold, stormy color and I had no point of reference to the bathroom when picked it, but it turned out to be the perfect choice. After all the drama, each color–the creamy beige we picked to go with the wallpaper, the purple wild card, and the white chair rail– all came together with success.
Though the existing tile, vanity, and toilet were far from my dream selections, I have decided to love them until we save for their replacements. Any element that did not require a contractor or a plumber, on the other hand, was on its way to the curb. This photo is the last that was seen of the swirly wrought-iron towel holder, gold hardware, damask shower curtain, and muted paint.
Our bathroom is tiny so adding extra storage was essential. The former owner just had a mirror over the sink so I frankly don’t know where she was putting her stuff. We added a basic white medicine cabinet with a lower shelf (a must for daily toiletries) and improved the sink console by swapping out the old shiny gold hardware for a matte silver that matched the faucet. The silver theme continues to our homemade candle-lit sconce. As for the shower curtain, I resisted my propensity for florals and spared Mike with a geometric pattern. It’s from Target but the way it picks up the lower-wall color and the chair rail, it feels made for this bathroom.
I love big art in small spaces. This 1940s photograph of an aerial view of lower Manhattan was actually a raffle prize from a golf tournament (go figure). I originally won four sleeves of balls, but I happily traded them in for this historic photo of our neighbor, New York City. It nearly takes up the entire wall and its purple gray sepia tones seem to seep up from the walls in the best possible way.
The hand towels are from the same line as the shower curtain and the plush Hotel Collection bath sheets are almost an exact match to the Ralph Lauren Paint. For a lighter look, we rotate them with the textured geometric towel set hanging on the door.
Next up in room makeover series . . . the kitchen