This Old House Magazine
The Bright Stuff Image Credit: This Old House Magazine
The Bright Stuff Image Credit: This Old House Magazine

The Bright Stuff

An exuberant wall covering and a trio of punchy paint colors add up to one charming vintage-style bath

Kate Wood

AN ARTFUL MIX of color and pattern makes this small bath sing. “My client and I knew we wanted a colorful tub in addition to the painted wood floor, but the palette really came together when I found the wallpaper,” says Santa Monica, CA–based interior designer Alison Kandler.

That vibrant wall covering served as inspiration for the checkerboard pattern underfoot, which is coated with porch and floor enamel in Lagoon and Pickle by Sherwin-Williams. To get that luxuriously glossy finish, TOH painter Mauro Henrique suggests a top coat of marine spar varnish, which also delivers maximum protection from drips and splashes. The tub’s bright orange —drawn from the wallpaper’s blooms— covers the sides of a new soaker from Cheviot ordered with a factory-applied finish matched to Pomegranate by Dunn-Edwards.

More tips for getting such vivid colors to live in harmony? Pick analogous colors—here, blue and green—in similar intensities to turn down the contrast on the floor pattern, and use the brightest hue on the smallest field, set off by a large swath of white. The wall covering’s navy background further grounds the mix. The result, says Kandler, “is a fresh take on classic farmhouse elements.”


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