before & after: killy & oliver’s bathroom + evita’s studio

i hate those ads for painter’s tape that depict happy couples (in pristine clothing) grinning as they peel the tape off a wall, revealing a perfectly precise striped surface. guess what painter’s tape? i’ve tried you before and it’s not that easy. to be fair, it might be because, while i consider myself a speedy, accurate painter, rulers and measuring are not my thing. this bathroom makeover from killy and oliver makes me want to try again though. the changes they’ve made to their small bathroom totally liven up the space, and i swear i have never seen such a fun combination as those yellow stripes with that gorgeous shower curtain (an anthropologie gem). they run a small design firm together in nyc, so it’s no surprise they’re pros at mixing color and pattern. great work, killy and oliver! -kate

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for more of Killy & Oliver’s bathroom and Evita’s studio after the jump!

before we moved into our current apartment, my boyfriend and i were moving out of places every nine months or so. while nine months may sound like a good chunk of time, in moving terms it’s basically a minute. the result was that lesser used rooms (cough *the dining room* cough) would exist permanently in a “before” state much like this one. we finally said enough, and turned the dining room in our current place into something far more useful: a studio. i’m extremely grateful to have the space, but sadly it looks nothing like this studio. evita’s airy, elegant and eclectic studio puts my ramshackle room to shame. i love the mixture of dark wood and antiques against the icy blue walls. you can see the same refined color palette and love of vintage style in her handmade accessories, which are available in her shop, le papillon vert. forget working, i want to live in this room! great work, evita!


Wow, I have SERIOUS studio envy now.

That room is clean without being too sparse – – great work, Evita.


Hi! A painter’s tape trick for achieving precise lines: seal your tape with a thin layer of matte medium and peel your tape off almost immediately after painting.

Love these before and afters!


Lovely! could you please share the name of the paint color? Thanks.


Is that a punching bag? What a great idea for a creative space!


Paintable caulk can also be used at the edge of painter’s tape (thin bead, pressed down with finger) for a clean line, but it also makes a tiny lip, so probably not the best for stripes. It worked wonders when I painted brown above my white beadboard though!


i love the green piece next to the little penguin (it is a penguin, right?). I would love to know what its purpose was/is…


It’s a kaleidoscope made by our dear friend Aileen Loy as was our wedding gift last year. It was made from a vintage sewing box. It has photos of us and things we love and even lights up!


Great studio, Evita! Thanks again, Kate – and Design*Spongers!

Hilary and Christina, the shower curtain is from Anthropolgie. We bought it about a year and a half ago, and, unfortunately, they’re no longer selling it.

For the stripes we painted the walls white first, then used the blue painter’s tape for “delicate surfaces,” which made peeling the tape a cinch, and the lines smooth:

Up close, it almost looks like wallpaper, having nothing to do with my painting skills, which I disclosed on our blog:

Sarah @ The Ugly Duckling House

After using FrogTape, attempting to use the blue painter’s tape is a total joke. Instead of treating it with medium or caulk, FrogTape requires no extra help at all, and leaves a clean line. I compared the two on the exact same wall here.

I’ve now gotten so much practice at painting that I try not to use either, but if tape can’t be avoided, I go for what I know will work better.


I agree that sealing the tape with matte medium works really well.


Killy, I love your bathroom! We have a similar color scheme in ours.

I can’t tell from the pictures – what did you do about the window in the shower/tub? I have a similar situation and haven’t yet come up with a solution that is: cute, waterproof, and affording of privacy.


Hi, I know everyone wants to know about the paint color and shower curtain but I am wondering where you got the lovely painting (or print?) that is stunning against the yellow stripes. Thanks


that shower curtain is awesome and really brightens up the place. I applaud your patience with the stripes, well done!


Abby: Thank you! We put a few layers of translucent window film on the window and hung the two plants to provide a natural curtain. I went into a little more detail on our blog:

Liza: The painting, depicting the favelas in Rio, was a wedding gift from friends. They brought it to us from Brazil (with a stop in Argentina and California – a well-traveled piece of art!) after we spent a week with them in Rio.

Megan: Thank you. My husband has all the patience in our little family!


I can’t really say just how jealous I am of this workspace. Very. Extremely. Head-exploding-ly!


Is it safe to say that this is the first clock that has been featured on a bathroom wall? I never thought of it before and it makes perfect sense to watch a clock when you are getting ready to rush out the door; especially in a world of cell phone time users instead of watch wearers.
…oh the design possibilities!

Tina W

where did the frowning penguin come from? he’s fabulous!


Love this bathroom. And, honestly, can there ever be a better visual representation for happiness than yellow and white stripes? Seriously doubt it.
Well done!


Evita’s studio is fantastic. I wish I had that kind of space. It inspires me to create!


I am definitely the same way about painters tape!! Small sections, that don’t take too long to tape off – like around windows – I’ll do. But I’ve gotten really good at cutting in around the ceiling and doors!

But these stripes are amazing! So fun and bright!

Tiffany Rooprai

I always seal the edges of painters tape with the base color (or color next to the one I am painting) and let it dry. Works perfectly as any “bleed” is the color it should be bleeding into. Then I paint a few coats of the new color. I try to remove the tape after painting, or I have on hand a razor blade to run along the tape line for a clean removal. I actually like the little ridge when I’ve painted three or four coats, but it depends on what I’m painting (cool with a plaid design). This trick works best for corners of walls that are being painted different colors.


Can you tell us about the metal “rack” against the wall with scissors, etc. hanging from it? Is it something you made? Love it.


LOVE the bathroom. Beautiful. Where-oh-where did that shower curtain come from?