Thoughtful details create a delightful surprise in a very small space

Jennifer DeBarros Photo

Incorporating nature was a priority for designer Ashley Ethelyn's complete renovation of a North Spokane home. The new owners chose the home in part because of its lot, which was perfect for gardening, and they wanted to foster a connection to those gardens throughout the space. Ethelyn, founder and principal designer at Ethelyn Design, Renovations and Interiors, accomplished their goals through a warm Craftsman style, incorporating multiple sets of French doors to provide ample light and landscape views. As the expansive main floor took shape, says Ethelyn, "There was an adorable little powder room, and we were just going to continue the Craftsman look." But then she had another idea. Wallpaper.

The clients were concerned. Would wallpaper appear dated? Would it overpower the small space? Ethelyn convinced them to consider the option and arrived on-site with 10 carefully selected samples, all featuring a warm palette, gleaned from Spokane's Wallflowers store. "The warm colors were complementary to the rest of the house, so it wasn't like 'Whoa! Where did this room come from?'" she says. Not only did the wallpaper's color palette need to be a good match in the room's ambient light, but also the scale of the design needed to fit the space. "Too small of a scale in such a small quarter can make you feel dizzy," advises Ethelyn.

She held the samples up in the space, and the trio quickly narrowed the search to two. "Nothing beats having a sample in the space and living with it a little — tape it up. Instinctively you'll know whether it's the right fit for the space," says Ethelyn.

click to enlarge Designer Ashley Ethelyn. - JENNIFER DEBARROS PHOTO
Jennifer DeBarros Photo
Designer Ashley Ethelyn.

Maintaining the proper scale for the small powder room also meant forgoing shelving or a bulky vanity. Instead, Ethelyn chose a flat-topped toilet, perfect for holding a basket and an ample pedestal vanity, so there's room for a hand soap. A scalloped-edge mirror adds softness, while the separation between the mirror and frame allows a cheeky peek at the wallpaper behind it. Finishing up the space are brushed champagne fixtures. "Gold can be really bold and can almost have a yellowy tint," Etheylyn says, "while the champagne has more of a brown undertone, and we went with a brushed finish to soften it even further."

The tiny room has developed a loyal following. "All of the contractors that have been on the project working, they all love that room and they love that wallpaper," laughs Ethelyn. "They are just drawn to it. It's not so bright and bold. It has an elegance to it; it has a soft organic vibe."

Project Profile

Wallpaper: Anemone Grey Floral by A Street Prints from Wallflowers

Fixtures: Ferguson


Florals: Honey Does Florals, Spokane

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About The Author

Anne McGregor

Anne McGregor is a contributor to the Inlander and the editor of InHealth. She is married to Inlander editor/publisher Ted S. McGregor, Jr.