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Bathroom update can be easy By Design: Shelf and wallpaper give old-fashioned bath newfangled charm.


We live in a comfortable but not very elegant wooden clapboard house. We're considering a spruce-up for the master bath. Along with old-fashioned white fixtures, it has rose-painted walls and a white ceramic tile floor.

All that you may need to do is to install a good-looking wallpaper treatment and perhaps a narrow shelf running the width of one wall. The photo suggests the cosmetic improvement that can result from these two simple alterations.

The shelf is primarily a utilitarian addition.But even a shelf and a row of pegs do introduce some visual variety to a room that might otherwise be a bit monotonous.

Despite what you've probably heard about the damaging effects of moisture, you shouldn't be afraid of using wallpaper in a bathroom. With the right kind of material and installation, wallpaper usually outlasts paint and is certainly superior in decorative value.

The wallpaper in the photo, from Thibaut's "Gestures" collection, has a painterly quality to its printed pattern. It resembles tiles of the sort found in Moorish-Spanish haciendas. The faux tile design is called "Alhambra."

Its "antiqued" appearance incorporates the blue and yellow combinations that typify this style. Wallpaper in these colors would complement your white fixtures and ceramic tile floor.

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