One Wallpaper, Three Baths

brown and Lyford Trellis bathroom wallpaper by China Seas - Quadrille via Atticmag rom China SeasBathroom wallpaper can add welcome pattern in addition to color.

If there’s one room in my house that I’d wallpaper it would no doubt be a bathroom. Unless tile is used lavishly, bathroom wallpaper is the quickest way to get visual interest in what’s often a rather small space with oddly interrupted surfaces. The right paper can help unify the look and provide a charming backdrop for mirrors, art and accessories. In a previous post called Powder Rooms Papered, I explored a variety of bathroom wallpaper. Here, thanks N.Y. to designer Tom Scheerer who has used the same Lyford Trellis pattern by China Seas for Quadrille in three different baths, it’s interesting to see how a change in colorway and accessories alters the mood and the look.

A lattice or trellis motif suggests a garden-y feeling and a bamboo always feels exotic and traditional as it was a Victorian staple. But the dramatic brown on natural version of LT [top], in a Florida house, enhances the Victorian antique style bamboo washstand and matching mirror. This bath has been seen a good deal and we also featured it in our Five Faces of Wallpaper post. Justifiably — it’s a graceful classic.

aqua and white Lyford Trellis bathroom wallpaper by China Seas - Quadrille via AtticmagThe very same bathroom wallpaper, in aqua and white (with brown accents) is so understated in this white bath it hardly seems like a sibling. Obviously beachy, it marries well with shell sconces. And, notice how the medicine cabinet is  centered on the pattern — perfect!

brown and natural Lyford Trellis bathroom wallpaper by China Seas - Quadrille via AtticmagUsing the same brown paper in a different powder bath, Scheerer picks up the orange accents for the vanity shirt. While the orange was hardly noticeable above, here it draws the eye down to a fairly dull sink feature. Much more interesting is the white-painted bamboo motif mirror reflecting tropical palms through an open window.

(Source: Tom Scheerer, Quadrille)

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Sevres Blue Obsession

Sevres blue house trim – Veranda via AtticmagThis 300-year old hue is rarely seen today, yet it’s one of my favorite house colors.

Psychologists probably wouldn’t give me a positive assessment for being a blue-and-white person. Orange is happier. Yellow more cheerful. And gray is far more soothing. Still, I’ve come to terms with my blue walls and blue furniture and a front door painted

Sèvres or Cerulean blue which went out of style when Marie Antoinette lost her head — and never returned. But those of us who revere the 18th century adore Sèvres blue as a choice for exterior house components such as shutters, gates, planters, trim, fences and doors. French designer Jean-Loup Dirand used a variation on Sèvres for the trim on his house in Provence [top]. An interior of the house was shown in our Color Poem post.

 Sevres blue garden gate - Veranda via AtticmagDirand also used it on this stunning gate to his walled garden.

 Sevres porcelain cupid cup – Trouvais via AtticmagOf all the blues out there, sevres blue (pronounced sevv), also known as Cerulean, is less admired than its cousin turquoise and less chic than sapphire. In the world of home décor and furnishings, this is the namesake body color of decorated porcelain made in France since 1738, of which this Cupid cup is an example. Yes, it’s gaudy with gold and a little putto. But color had to be intense and gilded to be seen at a time when candles provided the only interior lighting after sundown.

Fine Paints of Europe Zuider Zee blue Dutchlac front door – AtticmagIt also happens to be the color I chose 12 years ago for my salvaged front door. It adds personality and harmonizes with  the red tones of our cedar shingles so I doubt I shall ever change it.

Sevres blue paint swatch – Society for All Artists via AtticmagThe Society for All Artists includes a swatch of acrylic resin sèvres blue in their color collection.  House-paint companies give it e various names which may vary with the undertones of green and gray. Farrow& Ball calls it Chinese Blue. Fine Paints of Europe lists it on their Classic European color chart as Zuider Zee Blue after the famous inlet in Holland. Benjamin Moore dubbed it Cool Blue (2058-40) and describes it as the “shade of tropical waters” and as a “saturated sea blue.” Saturated is a key word in this discussion because most people find it too intense for interior walls.

 Sevres blue shutters on a cottage – Artesanato & Humor de Mulher  via AtticmagOutside, colors always appear many shades lighter. It works well muted on the shutters of this English-style cottage.

 Italian residence in Friuli with Sevres blue trim – tempodadelicadeza via Atticmag The owners of a former 18th century mill in the Italian province of Fruili, also used a muted variation on the theme to set the shutters apart from the climbing greenery on a white house while not upstaging it.

weather worn Sevres blue shutters on a stone house - weloveprovence via AtticmagBack in Provence, even weather-worn shutters on an ancient stone house with a terracotta tile roof benefits from this old-fashioned pop of blue that reaches out to the color-lover in all of us.

(Source: Veranda, trouvais, ssa, artesanatoehumordelmulher, tempodadelicadeza, weloveprovence)

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Luxurious Window Layering

layered window treatments in a bedroom include a labender check Roman shade under lavender print drapery panels  - Amanda Nisbet via AtticmagThere’s an art to coordinating fabrics when it comes to window treatments and prints.

That rises to the level of a fine art when window treatments are layered and two different fabric patterns are used on a single window. Many contemporary windows are not layered — only draperies, or perhaps a Roman shade, is used. In this ambitious and elegant example a fabric-covered Roman shade is installed beneath a pair of drapery panels. More commonly, bamboo or another natural material would be coupled with curtains.

But the airy windowpane check (no pun intended) is a good choice if the shade needs to be totally light blocking — say for a bedroom.  Plus, the check is a classic and well paired with the solid textile on the chair and ottoman.

Why take the risk with a second pattern in the same scale and color family for the draperies? l expect it’s to do the unexpected — and there can be a sumptuous look with a window where fabrics are layered. Factor in a fourth fabric on the accent pillow and a fifth for the cashmere throw on the ottoman and the rule of using odd numbers is clear. But don’t snap your fingers. A less skilled or daring designer than New York’s Amanda Nisbet, who is known for her fabulous use of color, might not pull it off as beautifully. Every so often, a room contains an element that should be studied. I think this is one of them.

(Source: Amanda Nisbet)

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Curved Oak Kitchen

 Mafi curved oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagA high rise apartment in Sydney with showstopping curved oak paneling plus a glassed-in extension.

One of the more interesting minimalist kitchens I’ve encountered features bold horizontal curved oak planks on a dividing wall [top]. The gray-oiled color reminds me of old French Limosin oak wine barrels. Actually, the radius curve is made possible by special wood planks made by mafi, an Austrian supplier of timber planks and oiled flooring with distribution in Australia. Extending from the entry of the open-plan apartment around and into the cooking-dining space, the paneling covers the interior wall and becomes a general backdrop. A central island has an induction cooktop set flush, and a base clad in matching oak planks. The aesthetic is to keep things looking smooth and even the box-shaped vent hood hews to minimalist lines. On the non-business side of the island, the sleek white counter has a ledge with seating for casual meals.

 Mafi curved oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagFlush planked doors conceal two storage pantries. The door to the master bedroom suite lies just beyond the curved oak wall.

 Mafi curved oak plank kitchen withpaneled walls – CM Studio via AtticmagAdjacent to the pantries it’s possible to see light peeking from a flush double door that conceals a home office, which is an interior room. The apartment has a rather eccentric floor plan that could be described as the shape of a fan with the curved part cut straight.  The kitchen occupies the center and the aisle also functions as a passageway from one side of the apartment to the other.

 Mafi curved oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagTucked into a center niche on the far wall of the kitchen, a double sink sits alongside a pair of Miele ovens. The glare on the left side results from the glassed in extension that encloses the center section of a long terrace.

 greenhouse area of Mafi curved oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagBecause the core of the kitchen is so dramatic, the greenhouse side comes as such a surprise. This night view shows the long dining table that sits beneath the greenhouse-style extension which must offer spectacular views early in the morning and at sunset.

Living room view into Mafi curved oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagStanding in the living room, it’s easy to see the wall of windows that runs the length of the apartment with a stunning amount of daylight flooding the kitchen, where travertine tile takes over from sisal. The apartment is the work of CM Studio’s dynamic young design team of Christopher Glanville and Megan Burns, who have been collaborating since 2012. When I die and go to heaven in Australia, I hope they will accept me as a client.

(Source: CM Studio)

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Painted Illusion

paint is used to create a color block door frame on an opening between rooms - Skonahem via AtticmagA color block door frame can transform the opening between two rooms.

It’s fascinating to see the way paint can be used to create visual effects. Previously, I’ve written about painted-on headboards in bedrooms, where a professional color consultant created headboards in the master bedroom and her kids’ bedroom with blocks of paint color. The job was so skillful it’s not obvious there is no actual bed furniture until you look very closely.  The French term trompe l’oeil means “fool the eye” and murals painted on walls are another way to make a room look larger or wider; wallpapers also can serve the same purpose. But in my mind, no material is better, or more cost effective, than paint when a transformation is needed in a room.

Recently I found a photo [top] of a doorway with no molding or other architectural embellishments. It’s the type of opening that can result from a renovation when two rooms are connected by removing a section of a wall, but no door is needed. This ingenious solution uses dark blue paint to create a color block door frame that  heighten its importance as a portal. While the doorway is highly staged it also shows how a problem opening might be turned into a focal point. The dark painted-on door casing helps widen the opening significantly and command attention. While this might be a somewhat eccentric look, it could be very effective in an open plan home where walls meet awkwardly or where an interior room is opened up to gain more light. Best of all, once the proper proportions for the color block door frame are calculated, it becomes an easy DIY job that requires nothing more than some basic measuring skills, a quart of semi-gloss paint, a paintbrush, roller, and a container of Frog tape (check out their how-to video gallery) to help keep the painted frame crisp and perfectly neat!

(Source:  skonahem)

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