One of the biggest requests I’ve gotten since announcing our final year here at Design*Sponge was: when are you going to show more of your home? I’ve so appreciated your kind emails and curiosity about what we’ve been doing in our house, and the assumption that we’ve done much of anything since we moved in. Because honestly, for the first few years we were just fixing lots of structural non-design things (drywall, septic issues, fencing, insulation) and then saving up to work on “one day” decorating projects. But thankfully, that “one day” has now come, and Julia and I have finally started to dive head-first into a ton of decorating projects around our house. This week I’ll be sharing two huge makeovers that involve some pretty major paint and wallpaper moments.
Today I’m starting with our bathroom makeover because it is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever done in a home I’ve lived in, ever. Mainly because it meant I got to work with a wallpaper pattern I have been dreaming of for years: Cole & Son’s Nuvolette, which I got from Rejuvenation here in the U.S. It’s been pinned to every personal Pinterest page I’ve ever had and finally, it’s pinned (and pasted) onto my actual home. So, welcome to my stormy new bathroom! xo, Grace
“After” photographs by Kelly Merchant
Walking into this room feels like my idea of heaven. I feel like I’m being swept around in a storm, but in the best way possible. With the windows opened and our view of a tree-filled hill behind us, it’s like finding a safe spot in nature to wait out a passing rainstorm. I’m also so glad we decided to have the wallpaper installer (we worked with Michael Germain in our town, because there’s no way I would be able to do this good of a job on my own) do the ceiling. People on social media thought it would be too much, but I love the feeling of being totally surrounded in breezy clouds.
Our next makeover on Thursday is mega-DIY heavy, but for this room, the only DIY elements were our bathtub, shelving, and switch plate covers. I used super basic black paint (literally just called “Black”) from Benjamin Moore in eggshell to paint the tub to bring out the tiny etched black lines in the print. I mocked up different colors in Photoshop (grays, blues, etc.), but I wanted the black accents in the room to really stand out, and I’m really happy with the way the black gives the space an even more intense vibe. (For anyone painting a tub, try using these shorty brushes, they’re easy on your hands. Thanks for the tip, Rachel!)
The day after I finished painting this (I wrecked my back craning around the wall), I took a bath in here with the windows open. It was my breezy dream come true.
The other DIY element here was creating fronts for the shelving (which Julia cut for me) and then covering them in wallpaper to match. I used Gorilla Spray Mount glue to attach the paper and it was much harder than it looks. I gave up on trying to match the pattern (sorry, Michael!) and just focused on getting good cuts so the edges were clean. Then I went totally obsessive and decided to cover the stepped display Julia made for my “potions” (aka, my skincare products) in paper, too.
In the corner I decided to take down the towel hooks and move them to the back of the door because I was worried about a ton of wet towels slowly drying against the wallpaper. I know wallpaper in a bathroom is always a tough sell, but between the windows and a strong fan, I’m feeling okay about any potential peeling moments. But the towels feel safer being moved to the wooden door.
Julia and I both love Russ & Daughters — a restaurant in NYC — so we framed a bag from the shop and I love the way that it adds a few more bold black details to the room.
Thanks for checking out our new bathroom! Stay tuned on Thursday for the reveal of our brand new *PINK* living room!
Chair, Mirror and Tub: Vintage (Tub was in the house, Chair was found on eBay in 2015)
Rug: Vintage from Etsy (TwoGirlsandaPug)
Wall Sconces: Sabinal Tree Branch in Gold
Paint: Doors are “Black Onyx” by Benjamin Moore, Wainscoting is “White Dove” by Benjamin Moore.