Wallpaper Inspiration

wallpaperinspiration1I’m one of those people that sees a vintage bathroom and goes gaga.  Especially when the tile is colorful and the original sinks and toilet are intact.  I have seen so many movies that have bathrooms (and kitchens) in 50s and 60s glory and vowed long ago that not only would I keep a vintage bathroom in my future home, I would look for a house with one.  In this area that’s a little hard to come by, with flipped houses prevalent on the market and do-it-yourself types.  Well, to my astonishment, a house we saw this week had not one but…three.

Now, these bathrooms are sort of like gambling.  There are gorgeous designs and then…some that would take a bit of creativity to spruce it up.  Certainly a level of risk is involved.  The family bathroom in this particular house has white arabesque floor tiles, turquoise sink basins, toilet and tub.  White tile encases the room from the waist down, and the vanity is a little funky in not my favorite way.  So what would be the best case scenario for keeping this bathroom that isn’t my ideal color palette but still something I would never replace?


I’ve seen it done by Bailey, and I know that it would be the easiest way to punch up the dated bathroom.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a million times better than looks produced in the 80s and 90s and especially builder grade beige options found in new construction.  But turquoise?  Definitely a color I’d have to wrap my head around.  But once I started to mull it over, I realized it could be the coolest bathroom ever.

wallpaperinspiration2 wallpaperinspiration3

The wallpaper options above are Quadrille and Meg Braff.  I was looking at the ritzy designers and while lots of options had turquoise, none of them seemed quite right.  Then I found these toile/chinoiserie patterns and I knew!

Be bold!  Be bold!  And everywhere be bold!

It reminds me of Lilly Pulitzer or Kate Spade, or even Tory Burch.  Using a wallpaper that tried to subdue the turquoise was just not as exciting (or effective) as making it all crazy colorful (all of this visualizing is solely in my head, mind you).  Incorporating a few pretty hand towels to mix up prints and carry the colors throughout the room would also be nice here.  As for the other surfaces, I would want to re-grout the white tile with a darker gray to make the unique shapes pop.  The countertops are regrettably fuzzy in my memory, but I think I would try to reimagine the house’s original humble sixties design.  Or who knows, they may just fade away with all that awesome wallpaper going on.

Of course I’m just dreaming here; but I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to finally see a local house align with my vision!  We hope to look at it again this weekend with a sturdy checklist and keen eyes.  Wouldn’t the owners be shocked to know I already have a design for one room figured out!

How would you tackle a 60s turquoise bathroom?

Kate Spade bathroom | David Kleinberg bedroom

Quadrille Fabrics | Meg Braff Designs

D. Porthault Paris | Leontine Linens



  1. Mary Ellen · · Reply


    1. Good wow? Or bad wow?!

  2. Mary Ellen · · Reply


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