The Studio Bathroom Walls

Yesterday I shared how I painted the studio bathroom tile black, which I’ll admit, was sort of a big commitment. I wanted the room to feel girlie and fun, but still modern and interesting. It’s technically our guest bathroom as well, but since Heather is living with us in the guest room, it’s mostly just her…

Yesterday I shared how I painted the studio bathroom tile black, which I’ll admit, was sort of a big commitment. I wanted the room to feel girlie and fun, but still modern and interesting. It’s technically our guest bathroom as well, but since Heather is living with us in the guest room, it’s mostly just her and Kate and I that ever are in the space. So basically, I felt like I had free reign to go as girlie as I wanted!

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The previously white walls felt really stark in here since the only light source was (and still is) a pair of wall sconces, so I decided to warm up the color and to get a little experimental with a fun pattern.

After swinging by The Home Depot and picking up a few rolls of Scotch Blue™ Painter’s Tape to experiment with, I finally had a lightbulb moment.


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I used a roll of .94″ ScotchBlue (it’s the Original Multi-Use 2090) to make an abstract line pattern on all the walls above the tile and even on the ceiling. I was inspired by this uber-talented artist that Domino featured in the current issue. He did a similar treatment to the walls in his home using duct tape. I love how these little lines are so simple and they make such a big visual impact.

To make a pretty fast process go even faster, I cut the tape (5-7″ or so in random lengths) in large batches all at once before applying the strips to the walls.

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It’s easy to make the abstract pattern and it actually looks best if you don’t over-think things while you’re placing the tape on the walls.
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Like with any painting project, it’s important to really press down the edges of the ScotchBlue tape before you paint.

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Don’t forget to let the line continue in and through the corners and be sure to start some pieces below the actual starting line (the tile in my case). This makes the pattern look more like wallpaper.
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We have some slight texture on the wall in some places so I did my little trick of sealing the edges with a quick layer of the base coat before painting the top coat. Works every time!
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I like to peel the tape off while the paint is still wet. I don’t know if that makes any difference in the end result, but it feels like it would, right?
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The color we used for the base coat is my favorite white, Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, and the top coat is the prettiest blush color called Spun Sugar by Sherwin Williams (I had both color matched at Home Depot). We don’t have any windows in this bathroom, but I’m thinking this color would be gorgeous in natural light. So pretty and soft for a bedroom.
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The pattern is playful enough that it would look adorable in a kids room, but when paired with black and brass accents and with lots of art hanging on the walls, the abstract pattern feels modern and cool.
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I added lots of white to the room to break up the sea of black tile and to balance out the warmth of the Spun Sugar walls.
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I also came up with a new way to reface old 80s cabinets that I’m really happy with. The basic idea is to use hardboard to create a faux front. I think I’m going to put a twist on the technique for a redo of our kitchen cabinets, so stay tuned for that tutorial!
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The pretty horn knobs are from Anthropologie. I LOVE them!
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Lots of big artwork helped to brighten this space too. I picked up these frames at Target and I love their extra-wide mats.
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Luckily the mat openings were meant for 8×10 prints and I had just picked up this book of Matisse prints in the same size for just a buck at a used book store.
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Doesn’t get much more girlie than this right?
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Also did you notice how I moved the Safevieh gold and marble table in here? It fits well and I love the way it looks against the black tile.
I had to turn down the contrast in this photo so you could see the new sconces. I talked about them here. They’re from Triple 7 Recycled on Etsy and they literally could not have been easier to install, especially since the mounting hardware is exposed. I had these babies up in about 20 minutes! I love them and I love the way the light from the exposed bulbs plays on the abstract line pattern on the walls. It’s really soft and dreamy in person.
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I’m all for complicated, time-consuming DIY projects (you know I am!), but sometimes simple-and-quick hits the spot, you know? I love the way this one turned out! :) A big thanks to ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape for coming through for me yet again.
(PS Check out their Pinterest page for some really great painting ideas!)
(PPS ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape gave me a $50 e-giftcard to the Home Depot to share with you readers. Just click here to enter.)
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Visit ScotchBlue™
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Visit Home Depot on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.


Join the Conversation

125 thoughts on “The Studio Bathroom Walls

  1. I agree with Keyi. There is quite a difference between constructive criticism and just being blatantly "brutal"…aka rude. No one deserves to be bullied or shamed for their work. Jenny – you did an awesome job with a $0 budget. Blog bullies are all over the place. Just know that every time I check in to see what you're up to on the blog, I'm blown away with admiration! Sure, not all of it suits my taste, but that's not the point of your blog. You are showing the world how to do great work without breaking the bank. You will always have my support. And for what it's worth, I actually loved the powder room. It's glam and feminine without yelling "girly."

  2. I SO love your blog and how open you are on here and I hope you don't get too discouraged by the tactless naysayers. Haters gonna hate. Man, I can imagine how frustrating it must be though to have an argument in the comment section about criticism. So uncomfortable. Rah! xo

  3. We have a black bathroom, too (love it!). Have you tried shaving your legs/applying makeup in it yet? Our tub surround is white, so I was just wondering how well the light is holding up in the shower. We have a smaller bathroom with the equivalent of 4 lights, and floor to ceiling black (with white shower). Maybe a plug-in sconce on battery-operated light would give a little more brightness?

  4. I'm hoping maybe something is getting lost in translation re: negative/constructive comments. Because I will admit I'm also a little turned off by how it was presented here. I think you're put some fantastic content out on your blog (I love your upholstery tutorials and frequently refer back to them when I have a question), but I will have to admit the response doesn't seem entirely professional. Maybe there were worse comments here that were deleted, but it always rubs me a bit of the wrong way when bloggers seem to only expect to receive positive comments. It doesn't mean I'd ever get to the point of writing something hateful or rude, but I want to feel like a blogger is open to all opinions. not just effusive praise.

  5. Hey guys! Thanks for chiming in about the negative comments thing. Like I said yesterday, I'm sick right now so maybe I didn't do the best job of filtering/editing my earlier comment. I just wanted to be clear that constructive comments are totally A-OK with me! I just don't love the mean ones. :)

    Thanks again, as always for reading LGN and for being a (generally!) very supportive community. xo

  6. The 90's brass toilet lever and shower trim look strange against the chrome faucet. I just sold a house where I had to take a cut in price because of dated "fit and fixtures"…my master bath had brass in it.

  7. I am in the camp of 'love what you do' but 'don't really love this.' I am a fan of the wall pattern, I really like it! I'm just not a fan of the painted black tile myself.

    I am also a bit turned off by what you said above. Direct quote: 'So just in case you were wondering if I wanted any "constructive criticism" here – the answer is, probably not.' followed by backtracking to 'I just wanted to be clear that constructive comments are totally A-OK with me!'

    I don't know if you deleted 'mean' comments, but I don't see any. I just see some that aren't in love with this redesign.

    That's going to happen, and it's not their room, so it's really your opinion that counts! But I think you need to understand that your readers want to be part of the conversation, even if they don't agree with the choices 100%.

  8. Oh Jenny Jenny Jenny. Whilst being the biggest lover of your blog, it breaks my heart to agree with the comments about being turned off about your response. I get you are upset but it IS what you do for a living. My response to anyone would be a. don't blog and keep your home renovation projects just for yourself (which would be a huge shame) or b. Don't have a comments section at all. The very nature of a comments section is that you're "inviting"
    People to comment. The whole "please comment, but only if it's praise" type attitude and isn't really in the spirit of blogging and is likely to rub people up the wrong way.

  9. I've been a reader for years and I must say I'm constantly amazed at your abilities. I can't begin to comprehend how you look at a space and can conceive of both the artistic and aesthetic side as well as the sheer engineering of it all! You are truly talented and original and I think this bathroom is wonderful, eclectic, and whimsical. I think the work you've been doing on your new house is just breathtaking and I love the attention to detail you provide when you share laborious step by steps.
    And I'm sorry, but I have to throw in that I'm aghast that people would leave rude comments. That is the equivalent of walking into someone's home that she's redone and saying, "Seriously? You like this house? I'm sorry, but it's hideous." It is bad form, poor manners, and just nasty. You didn't solicit opinions or open this post to a vote and I'm sorry your feelings were hurt; rightfully so.
    Keep on – you're fabulous.

  10. I've read your blog on and off for awhile now. Today I decided to comment. I love what you did with this bathroom. Its different yet feels very classic. The colors, black with the peach are good choices and the use of gold just makes it all work – the gold here is perfect. This bathroom has a real designer flare – think people like Miles Redd or Kelly Wearstler. I appreciate you taking some chances, doing your own unique thing, and coming up with this interesting design. Thanks!

  11. I don't care for the bathroom (not my style), but your entitlement is the real turn off. Negative comments are part of the deal… surely you know this by now.

  12. Those who blurt out their negative opinions and call it "constructive criticism" sure have a high opinion of themselves. Jenny, your blog is my favorite so keep it up! While negative comments are part of blogging, you are not in the wrong to be turned off by these people who lack social graces.

  13. Jenny, sick or not, your response to the negative comments was 100% on the money. Just saying, "I hate this, this is hideous," is NOT constructive at all. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and I've never read such mean spirited stuffed here. And subsequent comments about being disappointed in how you reacted and that it makes you seem "entitled" are ridiculous.

    My husband said, "If people said the stuff they said online in real life, they'd probably be punched in the face." :)

    Love your work and your attitude.

  14. Love your work and your "keep things light" attitude, Jenny! Feel better and try to ignore the negative folks…(easier said than done, I know).

  15. Jenny – thank you for sharing your creativity and your home with us! I check your blog often because I find it to be very fun and inspiring. Even if something is not quite my style, I still love to see new, creative ideas! You are amazing. Thank you!

  16. I don't think there is an issue if I wanted to say that I might not have chosen that shade of pink or if I suggested that vertical pieces of tape would have looked better to me. Offering up different possibilities expresses perfectly that what has been done might not be your favorite. It also might not be that you know what possibility you would like better but to say I think a different shade would look more updated seems harmless enough. What does seem aggressive and mean spirited is to describe how revolted you feel by the finished product. Isn't it possible to treat someone you respect with courtesy? You might not love every idea and I doubt anyone coming forward with so many ideas expects everyone to love them all. It's obvious to me when that level of respect is still there, even if you aren't in love with what you see. It also seems very obvious when comments are made with disregard for how it might hurt someone who puts hard work and effort into what they are sharing.

  17. At the end of the day it doesn't matter to me what people think of my house because I live in it and I love it. But clearly you do. I don't love the wall color but I love your idea and that's what life is about to me having ideas, running with them, learning from the experience and them and doing them better next time. If all you ever want is positive comments and people to say their negative things on gomi so you can ignore them you're going to end up with a lot of silence. Own what you do and love.

  18. So just in case you were wondering if I wanted read any more entries of your blog – the answer is, probably not.

    If you think that your tone was appropriate in your initial comment, then my tone is appropriate as well. I also doubt your illness had anything to do with your entitlement.

  19. I think it's amazing that you try new things, have innovative ideas, and make bold choices. You consistently wow me by thinking outside of the box. I'm equally impressed that you spoke out against comments that were unkind.

  20. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    Thank you Jenny for what you do. You're a constant source of information and inspiration. Let the negative comments be what they are. Your readers know what to pick and choose as a take-away. You certainly can't please everyone.

  21. I don't generally comment–maybe once or twice–but this conversation has become disconcerting. Is it really that awful to expect people to be kind? You can be kind and disagree someone at the same time. It's possible to be respectful of someone and offer constructive criticism.

    Several people have suggested that a blogger should be open to all comments–they want their voice to be heard!–but perhaps it would be helpful to place oneself in the blogger's shoes and think about s/he would feel upon reading your comments. How would you feel after doing all this work on your home–while balancing other commitments, a personal life, etc.–to read someone who blithely dismisses your work as hideous? Someone who, in all likelihood, has considerably less knowledge than you about this topic?

    I don't mean to sound sanctimonious; we're all just trying to muddle through–and I don't know why this struck such a chord with me. It just seems to me that collectively we're indulging in narcissistic tendencies to the point of losing our empathetic abilities (and various empirical studies back up this point).

    Anyway–I really love reading LGN and I'm grateful that it's here. The amount of work that Jenny's already put into this house is amazing (seriously, it's been just a year since you've moved in, right?). I feel like the blog's taught me a lot about the things I can do and the way I want my home to feel. Thanks.

  22. I think because Jenny is deeper into the design world, she is more comfortable with super-dramatic elements than many of her readers. The 80s echoed the art deco era, and that is all coming back, like it or not. Just because you haven't seen it yet doesn't mean it's not totally hot right now. Great job as always, Jenny!

  23. Just started following you about a month ago. Really enjoy your story and your ideas. I love this bathroom concept. Love all of your decor in gold, especially the towel hooks. Where did you find them?

  24. "Thanks for keeping things light here friends" is a blogger comment I have always taken to heart and made me feel comfortable adding comments on your site.
    Love all the sharing you do and the general over all feel of kindness inherent on this space… oh yeah and the good design w/ a realistic eye on the pocket book is "just another" reason to stay!

  25. D+I+A expressed my thoughts beautifully… I also feel that especially since this is Jenny's home – an extra layer of thoughtfulness/consideration/tact is the right thing to do…

  26. Complete genius as usual, jenny. Love it. You have a limitless well of ideas and the remarkable energy to see them through. I've been a fan since before you moved to NY and your are still my favorite blog!

  27. I'm continually impressed with your design/artistry Jenny. Do I have the courage to paint my tile black….? Probably not, but I sure am constantly pushed to be more creative and innovative with my design decisions when I see what you do – thank you for this! Please continue to share your gifts and talents with us. Don't let the few negative commenters overshadow all the supporters you have out there! : )

  28. I am flabbergasted at how people don't seem to understand the difference between constructive criticism ("I like this but might have done that differently") and being flat out rude. I've read plenty of comments on other LGN posts where people have said something wasn't necessarily their cup of tea, but did so in a nice way. Not once did Jenny say she had a problem with it.

    Clearly she does not feel "entitled". It's her blog, her ideas, her job. There's a big difference between someone telling you they might do something differently and telling you what you did sucked. Would you take that from a boss? I don't think so. And if you would, you shouldn't!

    Can we please stop creating drama and be kind? I'd hate to think that this negativity could continue and lead to the removal of the comments section entirely; or – heaven forbid – Jenny no longer feeling comfortable enough to share her ideas with us. That would be a huge blow to the design community AND the blogosphere.

  29. I am trying to absorb all this and post a fair comment. I have been blogging since 2006, which is shocking in and of itself!! I got TWO negative comments in all that time because I am in a niche where people are overwhelmingly supportive. Each time I got a negative comment, it absolutely devastated me – I was unable to "consider all positive comments! Ignore the meanie!"

    So I truly get how a negative comment feels like a knife in the gut.

    If my blog had ever gotten popular enough for me to quit my job, I sure would have jumped at the opportunity to be a full time blogger. And, then I would be in exactly the position Jenny is in now. There would be a couple nasty comments now and then. Such a bummer.

    So, what's the deal anyway? Well, sadly, things happen at my real job that are pretty similar to getting a nasty comment on my blog. Yes, it is true. Politics are brutal and there are always a few snakes in the grass and yes, when bad stuff happens at work, it really does upset me – every bit as much as a nasty comment upsets me.

    Therefore, all I can say is a person really does have to find a way to ignore the meanies and carry on. Jenny, your newest post is a fantastic example of what I would like to think I would do, if I happened to be a blogger of your caliber.

    I think the vast majority of us know that it is better to be tactful and constructive. But there will always be that minority that just doesn't have the self-awareness to behave more appropriately. It is sad and it is a fact of life.

  30. I thought this bathroom looked awesome. You constantly inspire me. I don't know how you manage it all! And your eye is brilliant – you don't need me to tell you that!

    h8rs gon h8

  31. I don't see anything wrong with what you said or how you feel. Your blog inspires me continually…just super classy and you do it yourself! Love it!

    Everyone always has and always will have an opinion…oh well.

    Take Care!! :)

  32. This is what I love about your blog. Your design decisions are so uniquely you. You really stand apart from the endless house tours I see on other design blogs (not that I don't enjoy those, but I appreciate your distinctly different way of doing things). I also love that you mix in seriously laborious makeovers (like your stairs), with quick and cheap makeovers. And finally, I'm always impressed by how frequently you post, and how each post is chock full of pics and ideas.

  33. I absolutely, absolutely, ADORE the rug you chose for the bathroom. Plays perfectly off the wall color and the black tile. Can you pretty please share where you got it? I'll give you a million dollars!

  34. I'm loving this tape pattern! I was thinking something like this, Keith Haring-esque, for the laundry/office–love the 80s vibe. But now I'm thinking 80s vibe via Laura Ashley with ginormous flowers. All subject to change ha! Looking forward to your clawfoot bath, too!

  35. If you accept the praise, you have to consider the criticism. I never understood bloggers who won't allow negative reactions to be posted about their content. If you put it out there for public review, be humble enough to allow others their honest opinions. It seems narcissistic to create something artistic and then pout when people have an honest reaction to you that doesn't align with how you want to feel about it.

    Here's two opinions I have: your blog is one of the few design/DIY blogs that I remain subscribed to because your content is genuinely and consistently GOOD. I hope you'll accept that praise from a long-time reader and fan, for whatever it's worth. This bathroom paint job, with the tape? It strikes me as a desperate attempt to do something original with your sponsor's product and the lackluster results reflect that desperation. I hope you'll accept that feedback as well, for whatever it's worth.

  36. I think this make over is absolutely stunning, I can't believe what an enormous difference there is between before and after! I love the black tiles and floor (I MUST do this at home, so lush!), the sconces by the mirror are to die for and I think the idea with the white tape stripes is such a cool contrast to the classical bits of the bathroom. Also I love that you painted the ceiling as well. Truly, a fantastic job!!! I really don't know where you get all the creativity from time after time after time, but I'm loooving it!
    Best wishes from Switzerland

  37. So all these comments really have me stirred up, and I want to bow up to them for you, but I'll only get myself in trouble. So I'll just tell you that I think you're genius, your ideas are always so creative and outside the box, and I so appreciate you sharing your talents and ideas with us everyday for FREE! xoxox

  38. I love this! I think the black is really glam, and the pink is just the right shade to not be over the top girly. I just bought a house and plan on doing almost the same thing to my (dated-70's!) bathroom. Thanks as always for all the great inspiration!

  39. The reality of having a public blog is that the public is going to read it. When our friends are introduced to something we have done that they don't like, chances are they will tell you it's great to spare our feelings. The public are not your friends, so for the most part, will have no inclination to spare your feelings. I don't really think any of the "negative" comments were really presented in a mean way, although I can see some of them have been removed,and I didn't read through ALL of them. I think you present yourself as a professional, and as such, people are responding accordingly. When we leaf through a magazine, we make mental notes of what we like and dislike, it just so happens that because this is a blog, people are able to voice that. Unfortunately, not only is this your creative work, but it is your home, so you have double the reasons to take it personally. I don't really think it's fair to require people have to have "constructive" feedback to be able to say they dislike something. You aren't presenting your work to your peers, just the public. People will disagree with you, people will disagree with me, that's just the reality of putting yourself out there, especially on the internet. Just shrug it off.

  40. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing risk-taking, inspiring, out-of-box ideas. You are one of the most creative bloggers that I have ever read and your blog has pushed me in how I decorate my own home. This comment controversy is ridiculous. We don't all have to be best friends to treat each other with courtesy, do we? I thought your response was just fine and you don't need to feel like you need to justify it by being sick.

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