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Before & After: Grace and Julia’s Stormy Bathroom

by Grace Bonney

One of the biggest requests I’ve gotten since announcing our final year here at Design*Sponge was: when are you going to show more of your home? I’ve so appreciated your kind emails and curiosity about what we’ve been doing in our house, and the assumption that we’ve done much of anything since we moved in. Because honestly, for the first few years we were just fixing lots of structural non-design things (drywall, septic issues, fencing, insulation) and then saving up to work on “one day” decorating projects. But thankfully, that “one day” has now come, and Julia and I have finally started to dive head-first into a ton of decorating projects around our house. This week I’ll be sharing two huge makeovers that involve some pretty major paint and wallpaper moments.

Today I’m starting with our bathroom makeover because it is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever done in a home I’ve lived in, ever. Mainly because it meant I got to work with a wallpaper pattern I have been dreaming of for years:  It’s been pinned to every personal Pinterest page I’ve ever had and finally, it’s pinned (and pasted) onto my actual home. So, welcome to my stormy new bathroom! xo, Grace

“After” photographs by  

Walking into this room feels like my idea of heaven. I feel like I’m being swept around in a storm, but in the best way possible. With the windows opened and our view of a tree-filled hill behind us, it’s like finding a safe spot in nature to wait out a passing rainstorm. I’m also so glad we decided to have the wallpaper installer (we worked with in our town, because there’s no way I would be able to do this good of a job on my own) do the ceiling. People on social media thought it would be too much, but I love the feeling of being totally surrounded in breezy clouds.

Our next makeover on Thursday is mega-DIY heavy, but for this room, the only DIY elements were our bathtub, shelving, and switch plate covers. I used super basic black paint (literally just called “Black”) from Benjamin Moore in eggshell to paint the tub to bring out the tiny etched black lines in the print. I mocked up different colors in Photoshop (grays, blues, etc.), but I wanted the black accents in the room to really stand out, and I’m really happy with the way the black gives the space an even more intense vibe. (For anyone painting a tub, try using these , they’re easy on your hands. Thanks for the tip, !) 

The day after I finished painting this (I wrecked my back craning around the wall), I took a bath in here with the windows open. It was my breezy dream come true.

The other DIY element here was creating fronts for the shelving (which Julia cut for me) and then covering them in wallpaper to match. I used Gorilla Spray Mount glue to attach the paper and it was much harder than it looks. I gave up on trying to match the pattern (sorry, Michael!) and just focused on getting good cuts so the edges were clean. Then I went totally obsessive and decided to cover the stepped display Julia made for my “potions” (aka, my skincare products) in paper, too.

In the corner I decided to take down the towel hooks and move them to the back of the door because I was worried about a ton of wet towels slowly drying against the wallpaper. I know wallpaper in a bathroom is always a tough sell, but between the windows and a strong fan, I’m feeling okay about any potential peeling moments. But the towels feel safer being moved to the wooden door.

Julia and I both love  — a restaurant in NYC — so we framed a bag from the shop and I love the way that it adds a few more bold black details to the room.

Thanks for checking out our new bathroom! Stay tuned on Thursday for the reveal of our brand new *PINK* living room!

Sources:

Wallpaper:

Chair, Mirror and Tub: Vintage (Tub was in the house, Chair was found on eBay in 2015)

Rug: Vintage from Etsy ()

Wall Sconces: Sabinal Tree Branch in Gold

Paint: Doors are “Black Onyx” by Benjamin Moore, Wainscoting is “White Dove” by Benjamin Moore.

 

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Comments

  • Grace!! This makeover looks so beautiful!! The wallpaper gave SUCH a high impact visual change. I love that you wrapped the shelves and the ceiling in the paper as well. It just looks so sophisticated. Can’t wait to see more of your home spaces:)

  • Grace and Julia, I did not see nor read that you added glass to your shelves. If it’s in the budget have custom pieces cut with little clear rubber feet! It will protect your beautiful paper far longer than being “careful” will. Cheers to you both!

  • to. die. for. the most amazing bathroom. and thanks for mentioning infrastructures upgrades before remodeling, it is such an important step many skip.

  • AMAZING! So bold! If you hadn’t wallpapered the ceiling as well, it wouldn’t have as much impact. And super kudos to your wallpaper pro – all those corners and angles! WOW WOW WOW!

  • I am so obsessed with this. It’s absolutely glorious in every way! That tub! That wallpaper! Your sink and sink nook! :D

  • Looks fabulous! A romantic storm swept bathroom. I never thought taking the paper up the ceiling was too much. So glad you listened to your gut on this one!

  • So beautiful! I can imagine that just lying in that tub and being surrounded by those clouds is as close to being cocooned in happiness as you can get. Enjoy!

  • This truly is MY idea of a bathroom heaven! So glorious, lush, beautiful, and yes, stormy too!!! Congratulations – I can easily see the huge amount of work this makeover demanded. And thanks for telling the photoshop effects; with the armchair sitting there before and after one can appreciate the colour differences. I DO also love that fauteuil, it looks so ‘at home’. Well done!

  • WOW! I, too, have always loved that wallpaper. It looks wonderful in your bathroom. I would probably want to move my bed in there. :-) Enjoy!

  • This is stunning! And I’m glad you went with your gut and wallpapered the ceiling, too. It makes the room look bigger and looks like it would be an *experience* to soak in that tub.

  • This is so magical! We just papered our powder room in Abigail Edward’s ‘Seascape,’ which I have also loved forever, and pinned on every Pinterest board for years. It feels like I am inside the ocean, and I love it. Modern Wallpaper is amazing!

  • This makeover turned out beautiful, stylish and still cosy!!! I like it a lot!
    Makes me want to use a bold wallpaper in my home too!!!
    Thanks for sharing so many pictures!!

  • This is gorgeous!!! I can smell the stormy air just looking at it. And so glad you went for the ceiling — of course, right? Clouds on the ceiling! ❤️

  • I am a life-long book fan, and although I’m older than you, I love the Harry Potter series with all my heart. Your bathroom is an exact image of what I imagine the Great Hall would look like on a stormy day, shrunk down a bit, of course. This is a compliment, in case you had any doubt! In short, magical.

  • As much as I wanted to read this entire post – I could not. The ad covered the content. Even though I clicked on “stop seeing this ad” and then checked “ad covered content” it disappeared and another one appeared right away that again, covered the content of your blog post…..

    • This was actually an ad server glitch and is fixed now. We would never intentionally serve ads over content!

      Caitlin

  • Wow!!! It’s amazing how much higher, lighter and airier the rooms seems – especially the ceiling over the bathtub seems like it goes on forever. Fantastic job!

  • Just here to say o how unbeleivably terrible your ads are. People come here to look at images and design and your ads block 1/3 of the screen. I can’t even spellcheck this comment because the ads are in the way. Horrendous. I get that you have to make money somehow but this is quite ridiculous.

    • Hi G

      This was actually an ad server glitch and is fixed now. We would never intentionally serve ads over content!

      Caitlin

  • Your overwhelming amount of ads make it literally impossible to read any of your content. Most of them you can “X” out of but there remains a gigantic one on 1/4 of the left side of page (on a macbook 13″ screen) that cannot be clicked away. This is terrible experience for reader.

    • Hi EC
      This was actually a glitch with our ad server and is fixed now. We would never intentionally serve ads over content of any kind.

      Caitlin

  • To our readers who have reached out about pop-up ads covering the page, we are very sorry for the inconvenience and we are looking into why this is happening.

    Thanks so much for your patience,

    Kelli

  • Totally agree that having wallpaper in a bathroom is risky, however so worth it. Sadly we don’t have the funds to have Nuvolette wallpaper all over our main bathroom, so we’ve put it in our downstairs cloakroom instead and I’m delighted. It’s unlike anything else I’ve seen before and I love it so much.

    Look forward to reading more of your content.

    Best wishes,

    Emma at Ironmongery Experts

  • So THAT’s how you handle those weird ceilings with 90 different slopes and angles: a subtle wallpaper pattern to unify all the chaos. I love it so much! Particularly the choice of a grey pattern – a newer way to do grey I haven’t seen before. PS: agree the classic black tub base was the best choice.

  • Love that Nuvolette wallpaper from Cole & Son. I love the way the shelves are papered in the same design and I don’t think it matters that the pattern wasn’t matched, it works really well. Very impressive.

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