Colorful Configurations

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Since we last connected, after the world changed, I’ve managed to pick myself up, dust myself off, start all over again, as the song goes. After all, it is spring!

I now relish daily walks in nature, absorbing the radiant composition of colors I admire at every turn. The essences of hues and patterns express an understated, yet bold beauty that fills me with wonder and awe.

Outrageous spring flowers in my neighborhood

Spring flowers still take my breath away, swelling me with gratitude to be alive. Their sumptuous colors lift my spirit, heal my soul and keep me present in the moment – now essential for my well-being.

Lately I’ve been dreaming of how to replicate the exquisite multihued designs I see outdoors with like-minded arrangements indoors. While nothing can fully emulate the supreme beauty of Mother Nature, I wondered if I could create a different perspective to evoke that blissful feeling and elevate my mood after I’ve consumed the day’s news. I know art can awaken that state of mind, but now I want entire rooms to make me feel good. But how?

The Answer

Master bathroom remodel with handmade Moroccan tiles in process

The answer came from my clients. I took on a flooded bathroom remodel project in Houston late last fall where we recently installed luscious white handmade Moroccan tile on the floors and in the shower. A professional geologist, Susan chose translucent white quartz for her vanity counters to complete the look. But as the project progressed, she kept asking, “how do we bring in color?” There are many ways to enliven a neutral palette, but which one to choose… what about wallpaper?

Pierre Frey Sur Le Nil Naturel wallpaper to complement Moroccan tiles

I searched the San Francisco Design Center for wall coverings I thought Susan might like and mailed the samples to Houston. I also suggested she peruse the Pierre Frey website for a wallpaper that really spoke to her. She chose an Egyptian themed wall covering with oranges, greens, pinks, golds, browns, black and white on a creamy background. The vibrant print depicted a symphony of palms, pineapples, birds and animals. Although Susan and I worked together for years at her home in Santa Fe, I didn’t know how much she loved pineapples. “They make me happy,” she confessed. That’s important, I thought. I will be featuring Susan’s completed bathroom in a future blog.

The Hallway

Living in a painting Kirby-and Robert's Casa

As pictured in the last blog, after we dolled up Kirby and Robert’s living room fireplace with glossy black paint and saucy black and white checkerboard, the couple wanted more.

Dotty Charcoal wallpaper by Peter Fasano for their hallway

I scoured the SFDC for whimsical wall coverings and sent samples to San Diego for Kirby and Robert’s appraisal. They selected a simple but edgy black and white polka dot Peter Fasano design that coordinated with the living room fireplace.

Although it has garnished the hallway for years, the cheerful design has never tired and presents a neutral backdrop for the couple’s treasured art collection. Recently, Robert and Kirby selected another playful wallpaper for their dining room, and I’ll feature that in an upcoming blog as well.

The New Kitchen

I fell in love with this tantalizing Pierre Frey design for my new kitchen in California

I have never used wallpaper in my own home, but my myriad wallpaper searches for clients finally piqued my interest. I fell in love with a tantalizing Pierre Frey design for my new kitchen in California. We have a 100-year-old Spanish Revival home that we are about to remodel, and I want the rooms to nod to the historic architecture, yet offer a few jazzy surprises that will keep the old house vital.

For Nature Lovers

I am considering Orla Kiely Multi Stem wallpaper for my art studio

This Orla Kiely House design for Harlequin offers a fabulously festooned wallpaper inspired by nature. It enlivens a space with its exaggerated color and vibrancy, invariably eliciting a smile. I’m now trying to fathom where I can use this glowing variegated design in our newly inspired – but distinctly old – house. Perhaps in my small art studio to brighten up the lower floor.

For Dog Lovers

Toby adores Mr Fox wallpaper from SCION’s Spirit and Soul Collection

Toby adores the Mr Fox design from SCION’s Spirit & Soul Collection and insisted I include it. I’m always telling him he looks like a fox, with his big pointy ears and long fluffy tail. My canine Kenobi proposes hanging the wallpaper in the laundry room, where he can curl up by the dryer among the little foxes that flaunt his favorite doggone color – orange.

For Texture Lovers

Combining old world bathroom fixtures with Weitzner Headlines wallpaper creates intrigue

Weitzner makes this outstanding handmade textured wallpaper called Headlines out of twisted magazines. I think it might look great in our tiny soon-to-be powder room with a French vintage style sink and antique brass washstand. Combining classic old world with provocative contemporary creates nervy intrigue in both modern and traditional homes.

Wallpaper can magically transform the feeling of any room. I hope these wall coverings inspire your color, shape, texture and pattern sensibilities in ways that make you smile. There are many companies that create juicy wallpapers in a wide array of designs and pricing. Check out the websites of those listed above, plus Schumacher (top image).

If you are staying safely at home these days (and you should be), the time is right to teach yourself how to install it. Just navigate around YouTube for a few good tutorials and motivation will overtake you.

Flamboyant spring thistles and lime green ferns growing wild in our garden

And go for a walk (respecting social distancing) to bask in the enchanting beauty of spring! It will make you feel good – I promise!

Sending blessings of love, health, and beauty to all of you,

Linda Applewhite's signature
Devilish Toby Little Fox
Devilish Toby Little Fox
Showing 13 comments
  • Cynthia S Dahl

    Beautful, beautiful as usual.
    Good to read you are doing well, Linda.
    Ahh…yes, SPRING, thankfully!

    The first wallpaper. That is Schumacher. Love, love, the colors. Happy and fresh.

    Take care. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

  • Charles R Shipp

    You were right the wallpapers are great and so are you and Toby. I love the one for your new kitchen. Miss you!

  • Kirby

    Linda, I love your blogs. Whenever I read them I feel like you are in my living room sharing a glass of wine and giving me ideas! This is a great blog on wallpaper and especially these unique designs. Thanks and I can’t wait to see what your client’s (the re-do of the bath with the Moroccan tiles) will look like with that terrific pineapple wallpaper.

  • Torild

    Linda I enjoyed the colorful moments with your blog this morning.
    Toby the fox really put a big smile on my face.
    Love you, my chosen Sister. Keep safe while enjoying the nature.

  • Sherrie Glendening

    Mr. Kenobi and I share a love of foxes and the color orange. Great minds…

  • Jennifer Duffy

    So happy to read and “see” your wonderful Spring news. As I’ve come to expect, your ideas are chock full with wonderful artistic expression and beautiful colors and designs. Thank you so much, Linda, for continuing to share your vision quests with us. We are very lucky that you do so.

  • Yvonne Danelle Carpenter

    Great ideas. When you are feeling down, just stop and look around. Here in Northwest Arkansas, everywhere I look there are beautiful shades of green. Trees are all budding out, gorgeous Spring flowers and the sun is shining bright today. A taste of heaven on earth! Thank you Lord, for this beautiful creation you share with all your children!

  • Alyssa

    Oh Linda… you are an inspiration. I’m so glad I’m getting your blogs.

    There is nothing more rewarding than beautifying spaces. xxoo Alyssa

  • Susan

    Hi Linda
    I loved your blog . Thank you so much for the kind things you said about our bathroom project. Your blog made me so happy too. It brightened my day! I just love everything you’ve designed and all the beautiful wallpapers you’ve used. I can’t wait to see how our bathroom turns out! Sometimes I take a glass of wine in there in the evening and try to imagine how it will look ! Hopefully we will be able to see it soon!
    Thanks again and stay safe!
    Your friend

  • bob

    …lots o’ cool things…

  • Lynn

    What a fun post, Linda! I love the Headlines texture paper, my hand automatically reached out to the computer screen to touch it – hah! I see why Toby Fox likes that fox paper 🙂 Happy spring to you – loved the green and purple from your garden.

  • Jean Bennett

    Hi Linda,
    I am so glad to hear that you are doing well, we are hanging in there, here in the Northeast! 🙂 I love the wallpapers and I think my favorite is the Pierre Frey design with all those earthy colors 🙂 You inspire me to do something fun in my own space. 🙂


  • Kay Criley

    Love the tulip wallpaper that initiated your blog. I would have chosen it for our Sausalito kitchen years ago…Hope you decide to use the Orla Kiely Multi Stem for your art studio❣️Love to your foxy Tobywon❤️❤️

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