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Decorating Articles
Giving Kitchens and Baths Sophisticated Style

This Spring Decorating with Wallpaper By Jaima Brown (ARA) -

Kitchens and baths, the most frequently used rooms in the house, are also the ones most apt to be decorated with wallpaper. That is no coincidence, because no other decorative product does more to brighten an interior space than wallpaper.

Until recently, however, kitchen and bath wallpaper was primarily limited to themes that were cute, but based on trite themes such as fruit in the kitchen and seashells in the bath. This spring the rules have changed. The freshest decorating trend for both of these rooms is to treat them like real rooms, with all the style and individuality given to the so-called "showcase" rooms of a home.

The celebrated toile de jouy, a fine-line pattern that originated in France in 1760 and depicts charming country scenes, is at the top of today's design trends. For the overall kitchen background pattern, we've used an elegant black-on-tan rooster spot toile design from the new Maxwell Kitchen and Bath Collection from S.A. Maxwell Co. The motif adds sophistication to the kitchen and is also compatible with currently popular black appliances. The toile design technique borrows from even earlier Oriental designs, which makes it appropriate to combine the rooster toile with a teapot border from the same collection. Each teapot in the pattern carries its own decorative interest, ranging from a contemporary leopard design to colorful antique reproductions. The variety of the teapots allows ample opportunity to tie the border in with other decorative elements, such as pottery and serving dishes.

For added drama, the border is repeated -- one row above another -- in the backsplash area, creating a perception of shelves of interesting teapots in stunning colors, including red, that add dimension to the wall space under cabinets and above the countertop. This kitchen, like many, is open to adjacent rooms. The red leopard print from the same Maxwell collection seamlessly eases the transition between the kitchen and the rooms beyond it while providing the overall area with a sense of unity.

Trails of yellow sunflowers and blue hydrangea add height to the walls of the master bathroom and, combined with a watercolor plaid pattern on the ceiling, turn it into a relaxing spa. A double row of the sunflower diecut border from the same collection frames the two different patterns, but also joins them together. One border is placed at the top of the walls, where its sculptured edge reaches into the room. A second border abuts the wall border, but is installed at the edge of the ceiling, where it reaches into the watercolor plaid.

The smallest room in the house -- the powder room -- becomes a treasure with the application of the Maxwell Gardenview Window Mural, a 23-inch square wallpaper appliqué that expands the sightlines from this once windowless room to a luscious floral garden with mountains and a waterfall. The appliqué can be installed in minutes. It is a showstopper by itself, but becomes even more interesting against a background pattern of tiny bunches of colorful berries.

Like all collections from S.A. Maxwell Co., the Maxwell Kitchen and Bath Collection is arranged according to color families, making it easy to mix and match patterns. Like all Maxwell collections, it also contains a wealth of ideas for adding distinctive details.

To locate a retailer that carries collections by S.A. Maxwell, call (847) 932-3700 or visit Courtesy of ARA Content

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