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Entries in wallpaper (88)

Monday
May062013

Tiffani's Entry

Hi Christine,

I found your blog the other day and I was so excited because I really need help with my entryway.  I have two large art niches that have me completely stumped as what to do with them, and the large circular area next to the stairs seems to only be good for a Christmas tree.  I have thought of putting a large fiddle leaf fig or kentia palm there because I have heard they are easy to take care of.  Also I think the sconces for the wall going up the stairs are too small or they need to be farther apart and a little higher up, but I'm not sure if they will even work.  Any help you may be able to give would be wonderful.
Thanks,

Tiffani

 

Hi Tiffani,

Whenever I see tall curved walls like yours my first thought is wallpaper.  Honestly- what else could be a more perfect solution? In one day a wallpaper installer could add some serious personality to your space.  I would select a pattern that gave a glimpse into your home's personality. 

I love the rhythm that you get with the movement of these branches:

 

In your empty curved space I would add an entry table with a potted something or other on it.

 

This table is 47 x 31, nice and narrow, but still long enough to not be too small from a scale standpoint, and large enough to add a large plant.

I am also a big fan of the fiddle leaf fig, as well, but I think your entry needs more than just a plant.

 As far as those "niches" go- I hate those things.  I'd have it filled it.  I think they take a lovely space and make it look cheesy and cheap.  I see them in million dollar homes around where I live all the time and absolutely dislike evey one.  And yes, your sconces are way too small for the space, but once you put up your wallpaper- you won't need anything else.  If you want to go all out- you could add wainscoting and wallpaper.

 

Your entry has a ton of potential.  It was clealy built to be a great first impression.  Remember that your entry is the window into your home.  It should tell a little something about the people who live there.  It should welcome not only guests, but also your own family.  Ideally it is the space where your children enter and feel safe and happy.  Give it some real thought and consideration.  What feeling do you want to envoke?

Tuesday
May292012

Lacey's Kitchen

 

Hello Christine,

                I ran across your website and I couldn’t be happier!  I am hoping you can help me please please please!!!  My husband and I bought a 1938 home.  We have updated every room and we are working on the kitchen now.  We have redone the cabinets in black. We painted our countertops grey and we have backsplash underneath the cabinets black, white, and grey with white grout. Our appliances are white. The only problem is the walls. There is a chair rail and it is just a disaster as you can tell by the picture. I have tried several different colors and cannot make up my mind so please disregard the décor and the mess. We are trying to get it all together.  Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!

 Lacey

 

Hi Lacey,

This is too easy.  I can do this blog post in 3 minutes.  REMOVE THE CHAIR RAIL!  Wow- that was so easy.  Can you see how much smaller the chair rail is than the door trim?  It's too darn small.  If you wanted to put in a larger one- we could talk.  ;-)  The next thing I want you to be careful of is making your 1938 home too modern.  Embrace the age of your home.  Don't try to make it look 70 years newer.   I can only see a glimpse of it in the pictures, but the backsplash is making me wonder if you need to pull it back a bit to 1938.  Be true to your architecture.  You have black white and gray, don't try to overdo it too much with red.  I have some strong feelings about red walls- you can read about them here. 

Add some more traditional elements.- Start with a runner or rug- like this striped rug from Wayfair.

 

Add Roman shades in your windows.  Here is a great fabric from Beautiful Fabric:

I would cover your walls in a wallpaper, like the one below from York:

 

Sometimes I walk into a home and I can see - oh, there's the original moulding, there's something added later, etc.  Your trim work should all go together, like a good addition to the exterior of your home.  Ideally, you would not be able to tell the new from the original.   New trim can be added, of course, but effort should be made to make it look original to the home.  (Not if you have ugly 1985 tract home trim- I'm talking to a girl whose home was built in 1938...)  For the rest of you - with newer homes- If you are replacing your baseboards, because they are small, etc., that probably means that you should also be replacing the rest of your door trim, window trim etc.  Frequently, if you do not, not only would you have issues with scale, but also style and width issues where your new baseboard meets your old door trim, etc.

 BTW, you painted your counters?  I'm not even going to go there.

 

Thanks for writing in,

Christine

P.S. When I said to embrace the age of your home, that doesn't go for everyone either. (Hello 1980's) I also want to note that there is a difference between parts of your home that are appendages of the architecture, like your kitchen cabinetry, trim work, etc, and your loose furniture.  Those are two totally different items.  I have a friend, who I hope doesn't read this post, who had a charming brick cape cod built in the early 1900's- and inside was a light maple contemporary Home Depot kitchen, with black and white tiles.  When you have a fabulous traditional home, embrace it!   If you want a modern home, go buy one. 

Thursday
May102012

Powder Bath Pickiness

Hello Christine,

Thank you so much for your wonderful blog!  I eat it up like chocolate.
My last email got lost last year so I have finished that remodel and
started on a new one : )

I am a first time home buyer and I have gutted out my kitchen, full
bath and now I have redone my powder room but I am not sure how to
complete it.  I have included the items I would like to put in there
but thought I would run it by you first.  I won't bog you down on how
it looked and how I changed it already but I am trying to go bold with
wallpaper (which I am scared of) but I am taking your advice on the
powder room.  Now, should I do the whole wall, half way down, put a
chair molding, just use gray or white paint on the bottom below the
chair molding, help! : )

I only put a temporary vessel sink which you can see in the mirror
until I install the attached vessel sink because I was missing the
drain stopper on that one.  I would like it to have a Victorian feel,
I think.  I want to put a oval mirror with a silivery/gray ribbon at
the top to coincide with the color scheme.   Lastly, I am looking for a complimentary piece of granite to replace the top of the sink.  As
you can see, it was damaged and I got hundreds off of it, (yaah).  How
should the shape of the granite be to compliemnt the vessel sink?  The
faucet is a nickel finish and so are the sconces (I'm not really
loving the sconces though).  I just had my contractor put them in and
tear out the one vanity light over the mirror temporarily.

Thank you so much,
Liz

 

Hi Liz,

 

Thank you for comparing my blog to chocolate- surely one of the highest compliments a girl could receive! 

Let me give you a few tips for a beautiful powder bath:

First of all, attention to detail:

(designer Samantha Friedman)

Notice the crystal in the little knobs?  The embroidered towels?  The tiny pleats in the cafe curtain?  If you want to bring a real atmosphere into the room, you can't only have a Victorian feel in 50% of the elements of the room.  Your gut was right on the sconces.  Personally, I would not try to go toward "Victorian" unless you actually have a Victorian home.  Your flooring is not Victorian, your wood trim is not Victorian, it's just too far of a stretch.  How about we just try to dress it up, so the bathroom is more consistent with the console sink you purchased?

The sconce above is from Lamps Plus, the Kathy Ireland Collection.
You might not want to hear this, but I would also say that your scones are installed too high.  The light bulb on a bathroom sconce should hit level with your face.  (an average person's height)  The idea with the light is to not cast shadows on faces.  Shadows are not attractive.  They make us look like characters in Tim Burton movies. 
Ideally, you will have some light coming from above as well as your sconces.  You might consider a small chandelier. The lantern below is from Shades of Light: 
Look closely at the reflection in the room below, and you can see a third source of light.  Without that, the room is simply inadequately lit.
2.  I know that I mention the word "scale" just about every day, but I'll stop when it stops being an issue.  I want you to remember scale in selecting your mirror.
The mirror in the bathroom above is too small for the room.  I'm sure it's some special antique or something, but that doesn't make it a good vanity mirror.  What has happened above is that you end up with such separated areas.  You have the sink.  Then separate from that you have the faucet.  Then separate from that you have the mirror.  (the lights are also too  high)  Compare that to the powder below:
Can you see how the mirror is larger, and the faucet comes up and bridges the gap, creating overlap that marries the sink with the mirror?
In the same way, readers of my blog have read me saying that wall decor hung above a piece of furniture should be hung close to the furniture, creating a relationship with the two elements.  It is no different with a sink and mirror.  When you have all this wall space in-between, it's like a guy whose shirt is too short and you can see his gut.  The shirt should meet the pants.  That's what I'm say'in!
(photo from houzz)
This sink mirror combo above is great- the mirror is hung very close to the sink, and then you have some overlap, with the vase of flowers, bringing it all together like one happy family.  Here are a few more examples of both unified and disjointed combinations:
(photo from houzz)
UNIFIED
(Photo from Do you think they want me to say when I am using it specifically as a bad example?)
DISJOINTED
(photo from houzz)
UNIFIED
DISJOINTED
I also wanted to mention your commode.  It doesn't go with your sink or wallpaper either.  It is a very contemporary style, and you are trying to go so much more traditional.  The contrast is glaring to me.  (Sure- the average person might not notice- and you probably just purchased it- so this advice is for all of those readers who haven't purchased theirs yet- don't just pick one up at Costco- go to a real plumbing source and select one consistent with your architecture!)
You need a more traditional one like the Kholer model above.
Your wallpaper selection is terrific.  Do the entire room, all walls- baseboard to ceiling- be sure to add crown molding.
I hope by "granite" you actually mean marble.  I would do a Carrera marble, or something similar.  Granite is way too "kitcheny."  Your marble should mimic the shape of the sink, just like your damaged piece.  Make sure you have an ogee or other style decorative edge on it.
Wednesday
Dec072011

Wallaper Wednesday- the Tricky Bathroom

 

Hi Christine,
I'm a fan.
My master bathroom looks unfinished, and I am unsure about how to go about getting it to the next level.  
The architecture is confusing to me because of all of the different cutouts, archways, and little windows.  
Plus, the tall ceilings leave a lot of blank wall space above the mirrors.
Short of replacing tile and cabinetry, what would you do?  I was thinking about trimming out the larger mirrors and buying a decorative mirror for the vanity mirror niche or just covering it completely.  The mirror in it measures 32"x48".
If this is a good idea, what finish would you suggest?
Another thought I had was to go with a watery gray paint color--there is gray in the tile --in an effort to 
blend away the glass block, which I find horribly dated. 
Am I on the right track?  What about lighting?  Would sconces be better than bath bars?
Window treatments?
Something for the floor?
Any guidance would be much appreciated.  Go crazy.
(And, yes, I know the cluttered counters don't help.)
Thanks in advance,
Laura



 

Hi Laura,

Your bathroom is a tricky one.  Ideally I would gut it.  ;-)  But that is because I am simply not a fan of all the arches and drywall work around your windows, and cut outs, and glass block  or the tile.  Boy- was that a little too brutal?  I am from California, and I see this type of look from time to time around here, and my instinct is to "undo it" as Carrie Underwood would say. 

But that can be terribly expensive, and it all appears to be in great shape.  I can see where it might not be warranted to do a complete re-model.  The drywall thing on the left makes it hard to add sconces, but replacing the lighting would definitely be a start.  And I would try to add sconces if they will fit.  With the drywall work around your mirrors, I guess you could trim it out.  You could frame out a lot of things in here- but what is that phrase, "Throwing good money after bad..." something like that.  There is an awkwardness to the architecture.  If you went through the expense of trimming your mirrors, you might also trim out all of your cut outs, and make them squared off instead of curved.  I would get rid of the glass block altogether, and drywall over over it.  See- I feel like you asked for a simple fix, and I am going too far. 

There is another phrase that I am going to butcher.  What's that phrase about distracting people from the ugly nose by playing up the beautiful eyes?  (I am really messing up phrases this morning- help me out)  What if you just left it, (saving up for a re-model in the future where you really do gut it)- and put in a beautiful wallpaper.  A wallpaper so fabulous that you walk in to your bathroom and say to yourself, I LOVE this wallpaper.  (Instead of I hate this glass block...)  That will buy you five to ten years.  :-) 

 

 

 

 

Photos from Loney, Decorpad and Shelterness.

Wednesday
Jun012011

Wallpaper Wednesday

 

Want some wallpaper- but just a little? 

Want to add a little contrast? 

A little pattern? 

 A little pop? 

I like this wallpaper vignette behind the sofa. 

A great idea. 

 

Patricia Gray Interiors