I painted over the Masonite with a really good primer and then I decoupaged tissue paper in vivid colors over it — indigo blue, sunny yellow, even some silver tissue paper. It looks luminous, freckled, almost like water. Above the shower stall, I did much brighter colors and I sealed it all with a water-based polyurethane." While Cy applied his decoupage directly to the wall, his "simple French" look would work just as well applied to foam core or poster board, framed or not, and then hung on a bathroom wall for a splash of color you could change out whenever you want. "Paint the walls, or if they're mostly tile, paint the ceiling!" says Cy. "If the color doesn't work, you can paint it something else." And should you need to sell the house later, and believe the accepted wisdom that only white walls are appropriate in "For Sale" bathrooms, you can spend an afternoon painting it back. Or for just a minimal change, paint a frame and hang it on the bathroom mirror with Velcro.
The final selection of your bathroom's color palette will depend not just on the color of your tub or the tone of your tile, but also on the overall look you want to achieve. A bathroom that incorporates white marble, white porcelain and pale wood will have an entirely different look with soft green walls than with walls of metallic blue. Ask yourself: Do I want my bathroom to be relaxing or energizing? Trendy or timeless? Whatever mood you're after, the process of choosing a color will feel less overwhelming if you take it step by step. "First," says Joan Osburn, of Osburn Design in San Francisco, "pick all the colors that you like, no holds barred. Then narrow them down to two or three options. Look at them in different lights and at different times of day.
Typically you will choose a floor tile, a wall tile for the shower/ tub surround or even all of the walls in your bathroom, and an accent tile that will be used as a focal point. This is just a guideline. Don't be afraid to break the rules a little bit. There are so many beautiful tiles out there and a bathroom is a perfect place to show off some of your personality and take a risk with a fun color or pattern on your tiles. However, if you are going to go for it, keep it to one show stopper. This will make your look timeless and really create the wow factor that you are going for since it won't be competing with the other elements in the room. (Many of these super special tiles can be pricey, but if you are working in a small area like a bathroom, they might just be the splurge you need since you won't need very many square feet.
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