Space of the Week: Floral Wallpaper Becomes the Defining Feature of a Formerly Bland Bathroom
Joy Green, a lifestyle and decor blogger based in Houston, found a dream home in the suburbs where she and her husband could raise their two children. It's set on a tree-lined street in an established neighborhood, and every room seems to have its own hint of character.
"The entire home was very 90s before the renovation," she says. The couple decided to start working on updating their kitchen first, and once they saw the dramatic difference a modernization made, they couldn't resist a project in the nearby bathroom. "We didn't actually budget for the bathroom at all until we saw the finished kitchen," she says.
The room was covered in a cream shade, from the countertops to the backsplash, and had a vanity that was punctuated by a large mirror. Green knew their best financial bet was to repurpose the vanity by refacing the cabinets, while their best style choice was to go bold. "In small spaces, I like to use a lot of color to create a high-punch look," she says. She spent nights searching Pinterest for inspiration, and saw that Studio McGee had used a floral wallpaper in a project she liked. Green opted to use it as a model, and picked out a William Morris-inspired pattern with a green, leafy backdrop and bright pink petals.
"We painted the cabinets a really gorgeous green color, and then matched the door frames and doors to it as well," she adds. The couple and their contractor at Stone Coverings of Houston sourced and fabricated a budget marble slab that was under $1,000 for the countertop to match the floors, and rounded the adjoining backsplash behind the sink for a custom look. Then they added brushed gold sconces to match the hardware and faucet, and the high-impact design was complete. In the full shower area next door, they kept it light and bright with white marble throughout so that the wallpaper would remain the star.
The majority of the work was completed in about three weeks last January, but it took until the spring to finish the project completely—mostly because Green couldn't settle on the right wallpaper. The most surprising aspect of it all was that since she posted this refresh online, this palette has gone viral. Green is happy the bathroom has made such an impact on her personal life and on her followers.
"I generally hear two thoughts in my comments," she says. "One is that people are concerned about resale value, while the other is that it's important to decorate with personality. I think you shouldn't have to be scared to decorate the way you want for the time being. You don't want to end up with all gray bathrooms and white countertops!"