Keeping Colors Calm: A Beautifully Neutral Bathroom Makeover

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(Image credit: Kabir Teja)

Project by: Paula Guzman of Paula E Guzman Studio
Location: Midtown, Manhattan—New York

Paula’s project is an excellent lesson in both balance and working with what you got. Working with and not around her bathroom’s shortcomings, she created a serene space without a major overhaul.

(Image credit: Kabir Teja)

From Paula: This is the decoration of a small, prewar bathroom in my last apartment. It was your typical boring bath with plain white subway tile and very standard fixtures. My main challenge was working around the unusual colors in the porcelain floor tile: a mix of purple/pink, taupe, and blue. Instead of trying to fight this strange coloration, I used it to begin my color story, which reminded me of the colors you would find inside a seashell.

(Image credit: Kabir Teja)
(Image credit: Kabir Teja)

To balance the heaviness of this busy flooring, I painted the walls above the subway tile in a medium shade of taupe-y grey. I decided to keep the rest of the decor white/neutral, added natural elements like the sisal and linen shade, and once again referenced the flooring colors in the textiles and decor. Lastly, I incorporated a photograph entitled ‘Fly on the Wall’ which was taken by my boyfriend in India.

(Image credit: Kabir Teja)

Resource List:

  • Paint Color: Benjamin Moore – Silver Fox
  • Shower curtain: John Robshaw Textiles
  • Roller shade: Bali/Lowe’s
  • Hand towels: Serena & Lily, Concrete
  • Tray: Waterworks
  • Ceramic Match Striker: Schoolhouse Electric
  • Frame: IKEA
  • Ebony Stool: French vintage
  • Polkadot Bowl: Urban Outfitters
  • Glass Vase: Canvas Home

Thanks so much, Paula and Paula E Guzman Studio!

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Inspired to give your bathroom a boost? Can’t do a major reno right now? Check out this bathroom upgrade for a few tips of the trade for an inexpensive and removable new look.