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My Strategy To Bring Color, Pattern, And Personality Into The Farmhouse Bathrooms And Kitchen (Without It Feeling Dated In 15 Years)

I know I’m not alone here. So many of us want our homes to be interesting, colorful, and, full of personality. But when the doors are shut and we’ve stopped scrolling through Instagram we are actually drawn to living/cooking/bathing in rooms that are more neutral, relaxing, and just easy both visually and practically. I’m not talking furniture/art, I’m talking hard, permanent finishes that are the hard, permanent decisions. I want to stay at a Kelly Wearstler hotel where I have no idea what I’m going to see at every corner, but “exciting” isn’t the adjective I use for my main bathroom. Beautiful, interesting, relaxing, bright, airy, full of intentional detail – those are the words I want to use.

Furthermore, last week after a friend professed her love of bold colors in her home, I thought to myself with a sigh, “Ah yesI once did, too“. This friend was 29 which made me wonder, is this an age thing? Around 7 years ago my tolerance for bold color and lots of pattern in my home started decreasing. Why? Originally I placed the blame on children, naturally, with a backup suspect of “living in a chaotic-to-me city”. But after further investigation, I believe the shift started happening when I started having to make permanent non-styling renovation decisions that involved color and pattern. The year I had Charlie was the year that we remodeled our first home. Perhaps it’s not age, it’s the grownup necessity to make timeless choices that are meant to be PERMANENT. That’s the real horror word in renovation… P.E.R.M.A.N.E.N.T.

You’ve seen my style and color evolution up to this point – I never predicted I would love living in this neutral house so much. But what is next? Will I stay this neutral at the farm? Am I ready for more color and pattern? The kids are now 5 and 7 – they produce so much less mess, are so much easier to take care of, I’m so much less exhausted, and living outside of the city is just innately less chaotic. All those culprits are gone. Perhaps, for this renovation, I’m finally starting to feel experienced in this process, like I really know what I’m doing and I’m ready and willing to take some risks in more calculated ways for long-term color/pattern success.

**This is just the strategy for ME, if you are a maximalist and love an explosion of color, PLEASE embrace that and know that I will be double-tapping your photos for life because I LOVE how bold you can be with patterns and colors. You do you, and I’ll do this. 🙂

I’ll Put Bold Patterns And Colors On The Floor – Not In Eye-Line

It’s simple science, ask any optometrist. Your eyeballs don’t “SEE” the floor as much as you do a wall that is in your exact eye-line. Therefore you’ll tire of a pattern on the floor much less. I came up with this theory and I’m the only one to blame if I’m wrong about this. But I have proof. The tile on our patio in LA is in that high contrast blue and white and is rather busy (if not totally classic), but I’ve never gotten sick of it, EVER. In fact, I myself pinning it over and over again for the farm. You only see it when you turn the corner to go outside and it’s a burst of welcoming joy. You see it when you go to sit down in the living room, and you just get a hint of it and again, the joy. I don’t know why this was so genius to me, and maybe this is short-lived advice, but when I’m considering patterned tile in our house I’m leaning towards going more colorful on the floor with less happening on the walls.

design by the spaceologists | photo by paul massey | via living etc

That is not to say that I won’t put colored tile or patterned wallpaper anywhere, I LOVE our wallpaper in our old main bathroom because it’s so soothing and neutral (and hand-painted, light and special – I love Farrow & Ball so much), I’m just going to leave the more bold moments on the floor.

Use “Safe” (Classic) Tile Applied In Unexpected Ways

design by michelle smith | via coco kelly

While I wouldn’t do floor-to-ceiling penny tile, I love the idea of taking an element you’ve seen a million times and doing a more unexpected version of it.

design by leanne ford | via the albion bath company

This is a GREAT example of that – that penny on the ceiling is ridiculously good. It’s a tile setter’s total nightmare, but how beautiful is that bathroom???

We are also considering doing a custom hex or penny tile mosaic on the floor (or wall?) and while it might be simpler than these ones about, I love a border or a “rug” around a field tile.

design by gamble + design | photo by echo and earl

That is a GENIUS example of how to take a simple herringbone mosaic tile and do something interesting with it. I wish I had thought of it myself. But I think you get the point – how can you be creative with classic materials???? This is a great challenge.

Staggering Different Sizes Of The Same Classic Tile

I also love the idea of taking a classic subway tile like these above and installing them in different lengths. You almost barely notice it at first and then you look harder and can see what they’ve done. I’m not sure if it’s random, or likely 3-4 varied lengths. But we agree that this is a great way to add interest and personality in a quiet way.

Floor To Ceiling And Wall To Wall Of ONE Tile

design by fernando santangelo| via food 52

It’s becoming an increasing trend that we are pretty darn into, but can be a budget buster, too. Granted these tiles are STUNNING, but even a simple subway tile on all the walls would look so pretty (if not clinical). I know that this isn’t a ton of color, but again it’s about impact and personality in a “hard to feel dated” way.

image via cle tile

The sheer volume of tile on that bathroom above adds so much impact. Floor to ceiling, and wall to wall – if we can afford it.

I’ll Stay Within My “Color Comfort Zone”

I for one know what tones I’m extremely comfortable in, and since this is my home (especially for the main spaces) I will not be intentionally pushing myself into a discomfort zone just to try out a new color or prove that I can use an orange tile. Now, that being said, if Arciform can help me bring in some colors outside my comfort zone I’m listening. I’m not totally shut off, but I can’t imagine that I’ll be opting for a hot pink penny tile – while nothing is WRONG with it. Not sure you know this, but I like blue. It makes me happy. I passed that love down to both kids (mostly through flashcards, hypnotism, associative techniques, etc). The kid’s rooms will be different as I want to give them a lot of autonomy over it (which will be hard as a designer but so fun as a mom).

Here are some more photos to really drive my love of blues, greens, and soft whites home:)

design by gmtw architects and kinnersley kent design | photo by paul massey | via living etc
image source

All those colors make me feel so soothed, soft and happy. I can’t wait to show you where they are going to go…

So that’s where my head is at currently as I’m staring at one million tiles, paint chips, and pinning patterns all day every day. I’m currently putting together all the room by room mood boards (which is SO FUN) and we are this close to finalizing the floor plan to show you (hopefully coming soon).

Opening Image Credits: Design by The Spaceologists | Photo by Paul Massey | via Living Etc

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4 months ago

I know exactly what you mean. I categorize my favorite interior designers into two groups based on the rooms they design: places I’d like to visit (creative, unique, inspiring, usually bold) and those I’d like to live (more neutral, comfortable).

I love the idea of a custom hex pattern. I hope you share the whole process of how it’s designed if you do it.

MKK
4 months ago
Reply to  Jenny

Yes, one can appreciate a design, but could not live in it!

One caveat: When the tile pattern on the floor gives you Vertigo. One house in our neighborhood has a tile on the kitchen floor that would have been better on the walls.

i love the tile inspo pictures. i think using the tiles for maximalism is a great idea. i have always LOVED that gamble + design kitchen. sigh! saving all these ideas for my next house!

LouAnn
4 months ago

That herringbone mosaic tile pattern is absolutely stunning, as are most of these images. Very psyched to see where you take this in your farmhouse.

ottan
4 months ago
Reply to  LouAnn

I love it too. Expect it’s really hard to get the ceiling that straight though for the tiles to line up perfectly, which is quite a bummer.

Matty
4 months ago

‘The kids are now 5 and 7 – they produce so much less mess, are so much easier to take care of, I’m so much less exhausted’ –
that made my heart go pitter patter!!! My kids are 2 and 5, so much mess, so much exhaustion, forever cleaning up spilled milk, and yelling about eating on the new linen couch….
But perhaps I am ahead of my mom timeline here. I am actually craving color in my home. I think it is pandemic and boredom induced. I just remodeled a bath in our basement, and perhaps not being the main bath in the house, I really took some design risks- bold tile choices, but all period appropriate and what our 100 year house could have originally had.

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  Matty

Oooh, the basement bathroom sounds interesting!👀

K
4 months ago
Reply to  Matty

I also have a 5 and 2 year old and that line also caught my attention immediately!

Suzanne
4 months ago
Reply to  Matty

My child is 17, and I’ve always craved and had color. When she was younger, there was just less decor. Almost every surface was bare, coffee tables, end tables, only books on shelves. I’ve added more just in the last two years. You can have color, it’s the clutter that’s brutal as a parent.

Eliot
4 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne

Yes, exactly. Color is fine (although no white or light colored upholstery or rugs!), but I’m just dreaming of a time when I can confidently put a vase of flowers on a side table or an art book on the coffee table.

Jessica
4 months ago
Reply to  Matty

I had the exact same thought when I read that sentence! Mine are 3 and 1 – I’m totally exhausted by the end of the day and the thought of life being easier definitely caught my attention, phew!

Kristi B
4 months ago

Lovely! It’s funny I often think about your willingness to hear EVERYONE’S opinion on your home. I really respect your commitment to it because I think it’s got to be sort of tiring at times. I get that it has helped you create better designs, also you’ve created a real community. Sometimes I think I would have gone the route of Design Sponge who to me said, “this is someone’s HOME…show that you are a guest when you visit online.” You’ve continued to allow folks to share yet at times made it a hybrid model by saying: ‘this is decided. Case closed. Please respect that.’ Cheers to you for getting messy and doing the daily work of both listening and having a boundary. Although at the end of the day it’s your site and you can do this anyway you want. I like both models: Grace’s old site and yours. Gives different vibes to the online visit. Your style of feedback ironically feels more high energy/’colorful walls’…hers felt more like ‘white walls’/a place to rest online.

4 months ago
Reply to  Kristi B

Beautifully put, Kristi!

Rusty
4 months ago

Hahaha 😹 “I passed that love down to both kids (mostly through flashcards, hypnotism, associative techniques, etc).” Too funny!

All the bluey-greeny kitchen hues convince me even more with my plans for my kitchen. Yaaay! Great inspo!

Your version of my “loud-on-the-floor, quieter up above” is great!
I agree about the eye being surprised by colour or bold pattern on the floor and then cruizing around and resting somewhere else. I think that’s timeless. 🥰

Since you expressed your Shaker style dreaming, and I’ve deduced it’s not a farmhouse restoration, but a farmhouse renovation … I feel so much more comfortable about the whole process. Until that point, what was introduced as the project snd what was being undertaken, were entirely different things.
Niw, I’m simply settling in for the ride of your Farmhouse Renovation.🤗

Pam
4 months ago

Love the greens and blues! The last few pictures look very European to me.

Heather Amsden
4 months ago

“I passed that love down to both kids (mostly through flashcards, hypnotism, associative techniques, etc).” LOL!!!!
Ok, let me just throw this out there: subway tile is SO ubiquitous now. Isn’t it going to feel dated in a few years? It’s like the shag carpeting of 2020. Everyone can afford it and everyone has it which to me indicates that it’s only a natter of time before the inevitable backlash (yes, I am starting it) and also…wall to wall subway tile in any pattern looks like an asylum. That is just too much grout to comprehend cleaning unless you have a full time staff.

Suzanne
4 months ago
Reply to  Heather Amsden

Subway tile is a classic, so it can read 1910 or 2010. It’s the other features that will give it away.

Eliot
4 months ago
Reply to  Heather Amsden

Yes, I’ve been wondering the same thing about subway tile!

Molly
4 months ago
Reply to  Eliot

I first saw subway tile in a home in 1997. It’s been good and classic for almost 25 yrs now to my knowledge. I wonder if that’s past the danger point of getting dated or if the tide is about to turn and soon we will consider it to be dated. When I think about square tiles (maybe 3×3 inches), they were used all the way from the 50’s (pink and green) through the 70’s (avocado and harvest gold) and into the 80’s (I still have white ones in my kids’ shower). They definitely do look dated to me, so I guess I’m arguing for your side of things. Something can be classic for a VERY long time of 30 years but not stand the test of time forever. Shit, now what am I going to choose when I do my bathroom? I totally thought subway tile was foolproof.

Catherine
4 months ago
Reply to  Heather Amsden

I agree about subway tile. I think it’s already starting to feel dated. I KNOW it’s classic but… it really didn’t start appearing ad nauseam in modern design until around 2010 or so. I could be wrong, but it was hardly used between 1940-2010 (I’m not a designer or an expert on this matter so I could be totally off base, but the first time I can remember hearing about it was in 2009 when a friend was inspired to do her kitchen in subway tile after seeing a Design Sponge post). I see it in almost every flip/spec house listed for sale… it just seems like such an easy, safe, obvious choice that has become so commonplace it makes me yawn and yearn for something more special. I know it’s cheap, and classic, and unoffensive…but I’m so over it.

That being said, I LOVE a good handmade subway tile, aka zellige. For some reason, even though trendy now, I feel like it looks less dated. Probably because it’s less commonplace due to cost.

Lane
4 months ago
Reply to  Catherine

Catherine, you made lots of good points. I think it’s about quality and design. Tile from 1910 was perhaps better quality, not mass manufactured cheaply? Maybe the design was simpler and more elegant too. I have no idea. But I still love those old white bathrooms I sometimes see on redfin. On the other hand I dont like the bath my dad has in 6×6 white tile 18 years ago, or my white subway tile backsplash. But I think it’s because it’s poorely done. It looks very cheap. I like handmade zellige tile too. I wonder if that’s gonna feel outdated. Perhaps the key is not overdo it, choose quality tile, and make simple and elegant finishing choices. In general, I love a white and black bathroom. I did a stacked porcelain tile in off white (matte finish) and graphite porcelain floor, with chrome and black metals. It doesn’t seem to age.

Isha
4 months ago
Reply to  Catherine

I am old enough to remember when subway tiles were something you tiled a subway with. Now it is omnipresent like no other building material. It may be classic but totally identified with a time in fashion and therefore has a great capacity to look dated when the next wave breaks.

Lane
4 months ago
Reply to  Heather Amsden

Subway tile is classic at least in the Midwest. Many prewar apartments had them. I lived with them in 1995, and penny white floors (over 80 year old tile). All white in the bath and kitchen, with a narrow black stripe. Lots od Frank L Write homes had them too, and those of his students. It was old, but much easier on the eyes than the colorful tile from the 50s and 60s. That tile plus iron bathtub with enamel coating kept really well through the years.

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  Heather Amsden

I have ORIGINAL 100 YEAR OLD SUBWAY TILE in my kitchen!😳

Suzanne
4 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

That’s awesome, Rusty! I did handmade (not zellige) subway tile in all my bathrooms, but I have a 1912 Craftsman, and it feels right. I’ve only updated areas that were already redone and chose materials that felt authentic for the period with updated features (steam shower). I definitely see some trends that feel overdone, but the subway tile is usually not the one. I think it may be too many trends in one place, shiplap plus subway tile plus open shelves plus oversized island pendants, but I can’t narrow it down to one thing. I just know it when I see it.

Brigitte
4 months ago

While I like the idea of penny tile, especially age appropriate to the house, will it be easy to clean? I think the bigger the floor tile, the easier to clean because dirt doesn’t have as much opportunity to sink into crevices/grout. Since you expressed a desire to have a home that is easier to maintain going forward thought I’d bring it up🙂

Suzanne
4 months ago
Reply to  Brigitte

I have basketweave marble mosaic tile in one bathroom, and it is by far my favorite. It always looks fantastic, even when it’s dirty. I avoided lots of grout in other bathrooms, and now wish I’d tried penny tile.

DeniseGK
4 months ago
Reply to  Brigitte

Grout can, and should, be sealed once it has been installed and cured. So many people either skip this step when they DIY or allow the tile people they’ve hired to skip it. Mostly because people don’t know about it (maybe even the tile setter, it’s not just that they are lazy; could be that they weren’t taught to do this)! It really should be done. If grout is fully sealed, cleaning it is a comparative breeze. Grout will need to be resealed, for many people this is something they need to do every year or two which is not an onerous frequency. However, sealing and resealing can also be DIYed and is much easier than tiling or grouting so many more people can do it successfully.

Mary
4 months ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

DeniseGK, Your comment has reminded me that we are coming up on the 2 year mark of sealing the grout in the kids bathroom, probably time to re-examine and add to the projects list!

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

Hhhmmm…. how do you remove the old sealant to then apply the new one??
I’m interested, coz I might need to regrout my shower.

Sarah
4 months ago

I’m loving the blue tones in the kitchen, but… I’m SO nervous about the durability of painted kitchen cabinets vs natural wood. We are beginning a kitchen remodel in a few months and it’s the last decision I have to make. We have three littles and I know how hard they are on doors and drawers. (These will be brand new cabinets, not a home paint job) Help!!!

Amanda McCullough
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

go wood – we did our kitchen last year and i just picked a wood I LOVE and is timeless…..wood will always be “in” if you love it……the painted stuff does wear…

Meghan
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

One of my big Reno regrets is doing a dark colour on our lower cabinets – Hague blue by FB. While the colour is gorgeous, the dark colour shows every speck of dust, grime and grease! I am a bit of a neat freak, so it bothers me greatly! The kids have also chipped the paint with their toys (and teeth (animals!), despite the promise of a hard durable finish. If I was to redo, I’d do a beautiful light wood or white (we have white on the top and stand alone unit and it is way more forgiving!). Good luck!

ottan
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

I have lacquered, factory finish cabinets, also Hague Blue, and I wish I had done regular paint. It might not be as durable, but it’s easy to touch when (not if) the paint chips. I don’t find the dark color hard to maintain, but I am the kind of person that regularly cleans the cabinet grooves with a Q-tip, so there’s that…

Susan
4 months ago
Reply to  ottan

I am so grateful to read all these comments against painting the cupboards. We had thought about painting our lowers a dark blue & decided against it. I’ve always been a little sad about it, but reading how hard it is to keep them looking good, I am glad we stayed with wood tones. Thanks to everyone for their real world info!

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  ottan

Q-tip made me laugh!😹
I clean nooks n crannies regularly, but I use a fluffy-ish rag.
I think I’m a bit OCS @cleaning sometimes so hearing other people do this stuff helps!

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

OCD

Rachel
4 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

Just wanted to add a thought about using terms like ‘OCD’ in regards to being overly tidy etc.

I really don’t mean this to come across rude or lecturing in any way, as I notice myself doing this too however am trying to be aware of it.

Just this week I have listened to a favourite podcast and seen numerous instagram posts using it in this casual, joke-y, way. I know I still do this myself using the word ‘depressed’ as slang for feeling down about something but I feel really sensitive about this topic now having been diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago. I had zero understanding of the disorder as I only associated the word with it’s ‘joke’ use and I feel OCD has the same problem with so little people understanding what it really is and how it is nothing to do with being clean.

I know this can sound a little over the top but I do think language is powerful and this contributes to the stigma with mental health.

Beth
4 months ago

Love this blog so much! Emily, I love how you allow us into your home and life like a friend would. Thank you! My kids are 9, 8, and 5, and I have been reading since before Charlie, so it has been so fun to watch them grow up and see you evolve as a Mama!!!

My older kids are boys, and the oldest (almost 10) is now in a place where he plays with fewer toys! It will happen!!! And the oldest go out and bike alone together. For an hour or two! A HUGE perk of a pretty safe neighborhood.

Also, this may be totally personal taste, and I know this is a bathroom we are talking about, AND while I love all of the pics you put up here (they are gorgeous!), I have a weird thing where I don’t love it when floors change throughout one floor. So tile in a kitchen, wood in the hallway, tile in an entry, carpet in a living room gets me crazy. I want one thing through the whole floor. Bathrooms are different! And maybe mudrooms. That’s just me!

Suzanne
4 months ago
Reply to  Beth

So funny, I’m like that, too. Planning my kitchen now, and I keep going back to matching the flooring on the rest of the floor (except the bathroom). Oak hardwood is classic for my Craftsman home, but I might have original fir in the kitchen, in which case, I’ll try to make that work.

Timmi
4 months ago

Well, we just have remodeled and I fought myself to do all neutral hard surfaces. I love pattern and color! But, I knew from experience of doing several builds and remodels that what you said is right ~think permanent! We did concrete floors and white mid century tiles in our 1950’s mid century home. The only place I have anything bold is a scattering of turquoise tile in the bathroom shower.

Amanda
4 months ago

Love it, especially those last photos of the blues and greens but I can’t wait to see the floorplans! I check everyday to see if you’ve posted them! 😜

Irene
4 months ago
Reply to  Amanda

Same here! Emily, have you thought about doing regularly scheduled farmhouse posts like you did with Mountain House Mondays? I’d be so excited to be able to look forward to something like “Farmhouse Fridays” every week.

4 months ago

I could easily be happy in a space that was a neutral white on white paradise OR a pattern filled colorful rainbow house…I call myself a style chameleon- haha!

Roberta Davis
4 months ago

This will be so fun to watch. Personally, I think I would find a room that was all tile on all walls and floor (and maybe ceiling) too cold, hard and echo-y. Not that drywall doesn’t echo, too. I like all the colors!

We once owned a beautiful custom 1941 house. In the middle of the night, we heard a loud crash in another room (2 times before we figured it out). Finally went into the jack-and-jill bath between the kids’ rooms (they were only there in the summer, for the most part) and found 2 tiles had fallen from the ceiling in the tub/shower.

Emily Johnson
4 months ago

It seems perfectly rational to me to have neutral colors and traditional styling in the permanent features an architecture of your home. I believe most of your past, super colorful homes have been in old buildings, which have that base layer. I would be happy to see you make this home indistinguishable from any other farmhouse of the era (assuming its done elegantly) because then you’ll put rugs and furniture and wall paint and light fixtures and art over top of it.

Suzanne
4 months ago

I love all your inspiration photos here. I do like color, particularly on walls, but in a minimalist way, infused with lots of white accents. I rarely have pattern, maybe some stripes or a small print. I love the way patterned tile looks, but I’m not sure if ever do it. I tend to stick with classic subway tile. We are designing a kitchen, so it’s been fun to see the direction you’re going, since while I have Craftsman house, I love the simplicity of Shaker design, so I always mix it in. Yesterday, I came across this house, and thought of your farmhouse. While I know you typically don’t do yellow, I know you mentioned possibly trying some. Make sure to look through the slide show of the whole house at the end. It’s so dreamy!
https://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/kitchens/a34659088/hendricks-churchill-jessie-sheehan-farmhouse/

Donna
4 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne

oooooh! This is yummy. Thank you for sharing this. I usually think of Shaker as subdued, but the bright color really works here.

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne

I never used to be into yellow, before this Old Girl, but theyellow really brightens everything up! It’s happy.
After I chose the yellows, I read that yellow (just not the baby poo tones) is really god for the central nervous system. For those of you who may think colour therapy is “Woo-woo”, settle on … it’s a happy, uplifting colour.😊

Suzanne
4 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

Yellow is my happy color. It’s in most of the rooms in my house. I also have a dabbling of blues and greens. But the yellow kitchen in that link I provided was how I discovered that house. I love everything about it. However, my house is a classic Craftsman with dark wood trim that I will not be painting. I think the look works great for Emily’s farmhouse though, and I can’t wait to see her implementation.

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne

My Old Girl is an Australian Craftsman with dark trim and yellow walls!

Suzanne
4 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

Rusty, It’s a great combination!

Brigitte
4 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne

Thank you for the link! Team yellow🌞

Susan
4 months ago

I am so looking forward to these design posts. We are just in the midst of painting our colored walls and ceilings back to a neutral light cream.
The colors, while adding a lot, also restricted the colors I could use in my furniture, rugs, and accessories.
We haven’t made any changes in 15 years and it is time! I can’t wait as I’m sure these posts will be just the inspiration I need

Annie K
4 months ago

What if you solicit photos from readers of their put-in-place decisions 10/20/30/40 years ago that they’re still happy with!? It’s hard to see what ages well when Pinterest is so new and full of staged shots. I’d love to see! I picture New England cottages, French pastoral kitchens, and Midwestern scandi woodwork.

Molly
4 months ago
Reply to  Annie K

Great idea!

Catherine
4 months ago
Reply to  Annie K

I like this idea!

Lea
4 months ago

OMG. I can NOT wait to see. This is like a novel that I want to hurry up and read the ending. This is going to be GORGEOUS beyond anyone’s wildest dreams!

Erin
4 months ago

YUP. For me it’s like my minimalist wardrobe. I want my basics elevated, simple, and flattering, and then I can swap out accessories as the seasons/trends change. My home isn’t intended to impress, it’s intended to live in and nurture.

It’s all looking very beautiful!

Patricia
4 months ago

My comfort zone is neutral for any surface that is tricky or expensive to replace and bold on easily replaced or removed surfaces. I love colorful throws, pillows, ottomans, curtains and pictures. My sister hung her handwoven (by her!) very colorful rugs. And picked up the same colors with pillows made with appliqued textiles. And books with colorful jackets.

It will be fun to follow your process. You share things before they’re “perfect” so we can see mistakes and course corrections. That helps so much.

I concur about the hex tile. I’d love to see those plans.

Meredith Bynum
4 months ago

So Em, I love you, but I have to say that these examples just feel so fuddy-duddy and English. Where is your wonderful fresh, light, HAPPY inspiration? And honestly, as a designer, aren’t you going to want to change things around every few years?

CC
4 months ago

I absolutely love all these inspiration pictures, and can’t wait to see what you come up with! Like you, blue is my first love but I’m also into a bit of green on the side, and I love a patterned floor, so I know I’m going to live whatever you decide. However! I think it’s just unavoidable that some of what you choose is going to date. There’s literally nothing I chose from 20 years ago where I wouldn’t want to change at least some of it (except my husband, he can stay) . We are so steeped in our current aesthetic climate that I don’t think it’s possible to know what will be classic and what will look dated 15 years from now. I mean, there’s some things that are more likely to pass quickly (I’m looking at you, terracotta) but things like patterned floors might be glaringly 20s by 2035. And I think that’s totally fine! I just don’t think “won’t look dated” is an impossible aim, unless you have a crystal ball, in which case please look for the lottery numbers rather than wasting your magic powers on tile predictions 😊 I think what I’m trying to… Read more »

Liz
4 months ago
Reply to  CC

I agree! The current design aesthetic is so ubiquitous (thanks to the huge onslaught of photos available via social media) that there is no doubt in my mind that it will look dated at some point.

I just finished watching all the seasons of Design Star for the first time. I was startled to see the designers in the first couple of seasons happily and proudly choosing color palettes, faux finishes for walls, and furniture that we would consider hideous today — just 15 years after the shows aired. Only 10 years ago, they were ripping out and redoing original mid-century modern kitchens (“Hideous!” “Dated!”) that people would pay massive amounts of money to own just a few years later when it became the latest trend.

At best, a design is merely a snapshot of the tastes of a time. The more personality it has in it (tile over all the walls, patterned floors), the more likely that it will be termed “hideous!!” sooner. And then, in about 30-50 years, will likely become the next “gorgeous retro” that people are clamoring for.

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  CC

Good point, however, classic is classic for a reason.

Lane
4 months ago
Reply to  CC

It costs between $20k and $35k to do 1 bathroom. Materials for my small bath were between $12k and $15k in 2015. I didn’t use any stone. It took my husband and dad over 6 months to finish because they were both working full time. It would cost me at least $25k if I had to pay for labor. I just don’t understand this attittude that it’s okay to redo in 10 years. Why should it be so disposable? This attitude has a negative impact on our Earth , our pockets, and time. I think it’s necessary to put a fresh paint or wallpaper. However,I don’t get why one would need to redo the entire bathroom they designed a decade or two ago. $25k is alor of money to most people.

CC
4 months ago
Reply to  Lane

Last time I redid a bathroom it cost me under £2k, so maybe that’s where I’m coming from.

Rusty
4 months ago
Reply to  Lane

Yesss!!!
There is NO PLANET B 🌏

DP
4 months ago

I love the blues and greens. After living with harvest gold bathroom (tub, tile and toilet!) I like having neutral fixtures and tile. My bathroom colors come from paint and accessories.

Eve
4 months ago

I am with you on loving most of those pics/rooms-I esp like the copper penny tile border in that kitchen! So cool and classic!! But the pic of the all white tiled bathroom looks like a hospital/mental hospital, etc so I am def not a fan of that-WAY too much of the same thing. It makes my eyes and mind bored and not wanting to go in that room. But, dat’s me. I am imagining my future kitchen lately and my style has evolved from very similar to your style done back in the Glendale house and the house before that, to liking more neutrals with just pops of color. I love the mountain house esp the kitchen (may steal some design from it! lol) but I would add some color. I am where you are now pretty much in what you want for the new house. I have discovered what I don’t get sick of is white, black and wood. Then maybe add some colorful tile, artwork and wallpaper. And the colors I like are similar to yours, blues, greens, etc but maybe a bit darker than your choices. I def love windows and lots of light! I am… Read more »

4 months ago

Beautiful work right here. Everything are good…

Vida Tuch
4 months ago

Love the reasoning and the inspiration photos are lovely. One think I would try to take into account as part of the design is the base area detail where the floor and wall tile meet. Just a thought.

Rebecca
4 months ago

That arched tiled bathroom ceiling took be back to my misspent youth in Mexico 🙃
Love I, no way I could do that here, but it is glorious.

Robin
4 months ago

loving it all, then got to the last few photos. While I love the colors, as a fellow native Pacific NWener, should warn you the grayed blues/greens might not be the best in the land of always cloudy. Perhaps Arciform might have suggestions?

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