Put down the roller and embrace a different technique.

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2021 Idea House Twin Bedroom
Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Designer Sarah Bartholomew made sure to fill our 2021 Idea House with thoughtful color choices and endless inspiration. While her palette is refined, her application is daring, distinct, and incredibly interesting. Here are five creative techniques you can find throughout the house.

2021 Idea House Library Built in Banquet
2021 Idea House Library Stencil Detail
Left: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins
Right: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez

Stencil Wall Coverings

In the library, which is located on the ground floor, the walls are covered in a woven, chocolate paper by Phillip Jeffries that's framed by trim painted in Sherwin-Williams' Cotton (SW 9581). To take this one step further, Sarah added an extra special touch: With the help of artist Ken Dean, a stenciled border was painted on top of the woven paper. The pattern was picked up from the trim of the corner banquet.

2021 Idea House Twin Bedroom Stencil Wall Detail
2021 Idea House Twin Bedroom Desk
Left: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins
Right: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Another example of the amazing stencil work can be found in the twin bedroom. At first glance, you might think this is wallpaper, but it's actually stencil work covering the ceiling, floating nightstands, bulletin board, and light switch. The surfaces were painted in Sherwin-Williams' Cotton (SW 9581) and topped with delicate pattern in Azure Tide (SW 9684) that complemented the deep blues throughout the room.

2021 Idea House Scullery Storage
2021 Idea House Kids' Study/Playroom Bookshelf
Left: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins
Right: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Colorful Shelving

Never underestimate the power of a solid color. Sarah proves that in many spaces throughout the Louisville home, but some of the biggest impact can be found on the backs of shelving. In the scullery, the Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. cabinetry is painted a crisp white, but the sapphire accent on the back of the shelving and wall space make for a dramatic backdrop to collected china.

In the kids' study, Sarah introduced an unexpected color combo with rosy red, which coats the backs of the bookcases, popping off the pale green walls (Sherwin-Williams' Beetroot, SW 9695, and Barely Pear, SW 9666). "When red is used sparingly, it can make a space feel fun and still be sophisticated," she says.

2021 Idea House Kitchen with Painted Floors
Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Patterned Floors

Sarah took paint to the floors in some of our favorite areas. To create an impact in the kitchen, she chose a three-color octagon and square pattern in shades of blue and white. She even carried the pattern through to the adjoining rear kitchen and scullery spaces. While the floors are brand new, keeping the paint semi-opaque allows for the grain to still show through giving the floors a slightly worn-in and perfect look. No detail, like the floor vent, is left untouched thanks to Ken's incredible attention to detail.

2021 Idea House Blue Powder Room
2021 Idea House Entry Stairway with Painted Floors
Left: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins
Right: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

In the back powder room, a checkerboard pattern pulls its colors from the room's window treatments. This bold floor is not the only time Sarah introduced red into the house, but she does use it sparingly, focusing more on creams and blues. In the entry, a similar (but neutral) diamond pattern welcomes guests into the house.

2021 Idea House Main Bedroom in Blue and White
2021 Idea House Study Jib Door to Closet
Left: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins
Right: Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Bold Trim

Sometimes when people think of making a statement with paint, the whole room is covered in one hue. Sarah proves that you can make a big impact by focusing on the trim work. In the main bedroom, keeping the walls a soft white (Sherwin-Williams' Cotton SW 9581) and painting the trim and doors in Sherwin-Williams' Silver Lake (SW 9633) creates a serene space that allows the furniture and decor to standout.

2021 Idea House Study Breakfast Nook with Banquet Seating
Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

In the studio, Sarah chose a playful wallpaper (Nasturtium in Bigleaf by Lake August) but didn't stop there. Painting the surrounding trim and doors in Sherwin-Williams' Leaflet SW (9674) frames the painterly wallpaper like artwork. Even the ceiling over the banquet breakfast table was coated in green making the room feel cozy for family game night.

2021 Idea House Powder Room
Credit: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Embrace the Faux

One additional way Sarah pushed the paint beyond the expected is in the front powder room. Instead of wallpaper, she opted for strié, a painting technique that mimics the textural look of a wall covering like seagrass. Artist Ken Dean applied two shades of paint, Sherwin-Williams' Soft Sage (SW 9647) and Cotton (SW 9581), to create the woven pattern. The vanity and trim in the complimentary Frosted Fern (SW 9648) finishes off the space.

Want to see more of this gorgeous house? Check out the full tour here. If you're in the Louisville, KY, area you can check it out in person.

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