A young couple traded bland for beautiful with layers of lacquered paint and patterned fabrics all over the house. | Story by Terri Sapienza
What happens when a self-proclaimed "non-beiger" buys a traditional home that's completely covered in neutrals? In the case
of Bailey and Pete McCarthy, some major redecorating! Bailey, a decorator, writer of the lifestyle blog Peppermint Bliss (peppermintbliss.com), and owner of the Houston-based bedding company Biscuit Home, is best known for vibrant spaces packed with personality. Her
longtime blog followers have watched her chronicle two previous home renovations online, and they've applauded her liberal
and daring use of pattern and color. However, Bailey calls the work she's done on her current 1930s Houston house "a bit more
subdued." The finished product, which is drenched in rich jewel tones and furnished with sophisticated fabrics such as velvet
and leather, is really a reflection of Bailey's signature style. "It's moodier and darker than our previous homes, but it's
still whimsical," she says. "Colorful doesn't necessarily have to mean bright."
A reproduction French industrial table by Old Plank Road (oldplank.com) stores copper cookware.
Bailey replaced the lower cabinets and gave the uppers new life with glass doors and brass hardware. Tired of white kitchens, she drenched the entire space in a custom deep, dark green in a glossy lacquered finish. Her collection of white dishes and serving pieces, an impressive La Cornue range, and a white subway-tile backsplash add interest and break up the swaths of green.
The hand-painted floral wallcovering was the starting point behind every other color choice in the bedroom: the apple green rug, the pair of chartreuse gourd lamps, the hot pink velvet upholstered bed, and patterned linens from Bailey's own store, Biscuit Home.
Hung a Canopy
The room's finishing touch is a stunning pelmet made of Brunschwig & Fils Les Touches Pink fabric edged in a green tassel trim. For the canopy's interior, Bailey used multiple yards of ivory silk for a luxe look.
A pretty pink ceiling (Yours Truly by Benjamin Moore) crowns the flirty and feminine bedroom.
Bailey, a bedding expert, says it really is what's on the inside that counts.
1. Invest in Quality Basics
Spring for down or down-blend inserts for your pillowcases and duvets. "They will be the softest and last the longest," she says
2. Go for Durability
Choose soft sateen or crisp percale 100%-cotton sheets with a thread count of 200 to 350. Bailey uses lots of color and pattern for both their style and practicality. "We live in our bed and have dogs and babies in there all the time!" she says.
3. Keep it Crisp
She recommends folding the sheet over the coverlet to introduce contrasting pattern. Place the duvet neatly at the foot of the bed.
4. Add Accent Pillows
"Euro shams and sweet boudoir pillows pretty up standard sleeping pillows, and the different sizes are nice for reading or watching TV," says Bailey. Plan on at least two sleeping pillows per person, depending on the size of the bed.
Bailey relocated the tub and tucked it into a cozy surround that includes a pair of glass-shelved hanging cabinets and an inset beveled mirror. The mirror adds sparkle and enlarges the space, while the rows of open shelving give the room lots of storage and the vintage-apothecary feel Bailey wanted.
Chose Simple Colors
There's a lot going on in this tiny room, but the classic black-and-white palette with brass accents keeps things from looking chaotic. The millwork's lacquered finish adds depth and polish, and the traditional pattern of the marble hex floor tile is a nod toward the house's 1930s roots.
Millwork Paint Black Satin (2131-10); benjaminmoore.com
Framed, beveled mirrors over the petite tub visually double the size of the room.
Splurged on Sinks
As part of the bath's remodel, Bailey made sure to carve out room for a facing pair of handsome Carrara marble-topped washstands with polished brass legs. Their generous size doesn't leave a lot of extra floorspace, but for Bailey, the sacrifice was worth it. "I've had my eye on these sinks forever," she says. "They are major statement pieces." The medicine cabinets above replace lost storage space.
Art Deco-style sconces by Urban Archaeology flank the mirrored medicine cabinets.
Went for Drama
Rich browns and olive green are now the dominant colors in the once white-and-gray sunroom. "We're homebodies, TV-watching people, so we wanted the room to be more of a cozy den," says Bailey. She enveloped the entire space with a dark brown hue in a chic lacquered finish. Furnishings in various textures (including wool, acrylic, sisal, brass, leather, and wood) keep the deep palette from feeling flat, while fun patterned fabrics (such as a zebra print and a scenic velvet with flying ducks) give the room an extra layer of personality.
Rebuilt the Cabinetry
Bailey redesigned the built-ins to house the television (it previously hung in a corner) and provide the family with a combination of open and closed storage. The raised-panel doors give the cabinetry an upgraded look that feels stately and symmetrical.
Wall, Trim, and Cabinet Paint Mink (2112-10); benjaminmoore.com
Roman Shade Fabric Flying Ducks Velvet Sky by Mulberry Home (leejofa.com), available through DCOTA; 954/921-7575
Lacquering the walls took weeks but was well worth it. "It totally makes the room," says Bailey.
Added a Bar
A previously empty corner by the back door now houses Bailey's favorite part of the room: a fully equipped wet bar with a wine fridge, hammered-copper sink, and ample shelving for her collection of glassware.
A leather countertop edged with nail heads and a faux-tortoiseshell wallpaper add glamour.