Kristi's Studio

Pretty And Bold Ideas For My Studio

Well, after an almost-12-hour day of laborious work on the studio yesterday, my brain and body needed a break last night, and I was desperate to focus my attention and thoughts on something pretty and creative. So I started looking for ideas for decorating my studio.

The other day I wrote a post about my biggest decorating mistake, and it’s one that I don’t want to make in the studio. In the other areas of the house, I always ask Matt his opinion about things. He very rarely gives me any input (his standard response is, “If you like it, go for it!”), but I do still try to consider him and avoid anything over-the-top girly in the rest of the house. Only every once-in-a-while will he actually have an opinion, like his standing request for “no pink walls.”

But the studio is mine. All mine. I don’t feel obligated in any way to ask Matt his opinion about how I decorate it at all. And this is my chance to go crazy, make it as girly as I want, and use all the colors and patterns I want.

It’s actually a little overwhelming to me to have such a large room to decorate, with complete free reign over the decorating. Parameters actually make the decisions easier, but I have no parameters in there. If I want to paint the whole thing hot pink, I can. (But don’t worry. I don’t want to.)

What I do know is that I want pattern. I love flowers, trees, birds, stripes, and geometric prints. I can put stripes, geometrics, and even trees and birds anywhere in the house. So perhaps this is my chance for flowers. Lots of big, bold flowers.

I could actually imagine using gorgeous, bold floral wallpaper like that one, and then painting my cabinets the pinkish red in those flowers. Too bold? I don’t think so.

But I do think that particular wallpaper might be too dark overall for me. Even though my studio gets lots of light, I’ve gravitated towards more light and bright colors and patterns over the last few years.

Too much? I’ll admit, that might be too much for even me, especially for someone whose favorite colors are blues, greens, and blue-greens, but I respect the heck out of any designer who will take bold chances like that. (Although I find that rug very distracting in the overall design.)

If I use wallpaper in my studio (and I really, really want to!), the trick is going to be deciding where to put it. The room is so big that I think it would be overkill to wallpaper all of the walls. That would also cost a small fortune, and I don’t want to spend that much on wallpaper, or spend a month installing it.

So I’m thinking that I’d just put it on the walls that are between the cabinets on both the the long front wall and the “office” area of the studio. It would be something like this…

The wallpaper shown is Tulipani in Graphite by Designers Guild, but obviously it’s way out of scale. 🙂

That front wall makes sense to me. The built-ins cover the entire wall from side to side, and there’s a clear angle where the wall stops and the ceiling starts, as you can see here…

But I’m not so sure about the “office” wall since the built-in area is off to one side of the wall, and the wall goes much higher, well beyond where the built-ins will be.

So that makes me think that if I do a fun wallpaper, I should just keep it to the front wall and not put it in the “office” area, right?

I guess another option would be to put it on the ceiling.

Ummm, wow, right?

I love the look of a wallpapered ceiling, but I can’t even imagine actually installing that myself. I’d tackle it in a bathroom…maybe. But a room that’s 20 x 22 with a vaulted ceiling? Probably not. That would be a job for a professional, for sure.

Anyway, my mind is spinning with different possibilities. I have free reign, and approximately 1200 ideas I still want to try. How I’ll narrow those down to decorate one room in a cohesive way is beyond me.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa P
    May 9, 2018 at 9:36 am

    I love that you want to do something bold and colorful and truly you. I totally get it. The ONLY thing that I will caution you on is that whatever color you put on your walls, ceiling, and cabinetry will impact how you read the color of the projects that you work on in that room. I’ve noticed that problem a lot in interior photography. The colors on the walls in a room can dramatically impact skin tones, clothing, etc. in photos. So, just something to think about.

    That being said, I love the Ashley Interiors office space with the graphic wallpaper on the ceiling. I think that room is a good mix of bold colors, while still having enough neutral space that it wouldn’t totally ruin your ability to read the colors of your projects while working. You would definitely need to rent some sort of scaffolding if you were to wallpaper that ceiling!

    Good luck deciding! It’s hard to make decisions when you have free reign! Sometimes it’s nice to have to listen to someone else. 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Connie in NJ
      May 9, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      This was my exact thought too as I was reading your post. I would probably avoid the ceiling for this reason (even though I love the idea) and I would only go crazy on the front wall and then be careful about what coordinating paint color you use for the rest of the room.

      Love that you feel you have no limits in this room! Wish I had a space like that even though it could be overwhelming!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 9:36 am

    I’ve had several papered ceilings thru the years and love them but my vote for your area would be paper on the front wall and bright coordinated paint on the ceiling and perhaps on your walls behind your office-or maybe not but I’d start with those ideas. (also in agreement, my papered ceilings were always professionally hung and are very tricky to hang)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lez Fairbanks
    May 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Hi, how about stencil pattern on the ceiling

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Hmmm, that wallpaper on the ceiling is something I need to think about our “library.” It’s pretty neat!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa M
    May 9, 2018 at 9:57 am

    This is going to be so exciting to see come to life. But…don’t think of your other rooms as a mistake. You’ve incorporated beautiful color throughout your house. The neutral walls are a great landing spot for all of your creative colorful accents. For your studio – go bold! Have fun! Make it the creative, colorful space you crave! Looking forwarding to reading along on your journey for this space.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:02 am

    I have recently seen beautiful bright velvet chairs. So I quickly looked at World Market and saw a light green velvet office chair and at Pier one saw velvet arm chairs in bright color for $169.
    Why not the butterflies and birds wallpaper that you liked so much?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!! I think I would put the wallpaper in the area behind your desk only. That would add lots of color and drama in your personal space. On the front wall, since there are two windows, you will have a chance to add coordinating fabric selections on window treatments (roman shades would be my guess). You also have room for artwork on the wall, and maybe some chairs in the open spaces….. I know that whatever you come up with will be fabulous!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      May 9, 2018 at 11:04 am

      I agree with Sharon. Also, have you considered maybe doing a wall in chalkboard paint? It could be a wall where you can scribble designs, jot notes, put down ideas before you forget them, list your “to-dos”.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:07 am

    I like the ceiling idea!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      May 9, 2018 at 10:23 am

      DITTO….That would look awesome.. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.I love colors too…!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I get it. I have always promised Steve he will not have to sleep under a blanket of flowers. LOL!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Love your idea of both walls.
    Could you run a piece of trim along the top of the wall paper between the two cabinets for separation?

    It will be beautiful regardless of what you choose😁

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    May 9, 2018 at 10:20 am

    You are going to have fun with this mulling, and you will know the right pattern when you spot it because it will knock your socks off. A “this is it” moment. I can’t wait to see your choice. (I am hoping for flowers.) You’ll grin every time you enter that room. I would like to see wallpaper on the wall, rather than the ceiling. The wall is the natural place for the eye to go as the room’s focal point.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Ooooh, I love the wallpaper ceiling idea! How about a nice grass cloth in the office (“more serious-business) area, and the floral in your Kristi -creative area?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:50 am

    If you put some sort of molding at the level of the cabinets over the door on that part of the wall, you could paper above and use maybe colored chalk paint around the door and it wouldn’t look strange. It would also give you a spot for notes.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      May 9, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      Kristi hates chalk paint – I don’t but I understand where she’s coming from .

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        May 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm

        Could use regular paint, too. The framing with molding would allow a sort of frame to separate two different wall treatments. I’m just throwing out an idea.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Seeing these wallpapered ceilings brought back a memory from the early 1970s……. I worked in Orlando, FL for a construction company that had an interior decorating division. I was fascinated with, for example, lattice and flower papered walls and coordinated just lattice or just flowers papered on the ceiling, plus foil!!!! Shiney wallpaper made the rooms glow in that Florida sunshine!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I hope you use the wallpaper in your #1 favorite picture on Instagram! It’s a modern take on Jacobean style with all the birds, flowers and colors that you love! Perfect! Go for it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Will there be any sort of blinds on the windows? I can’t remember. But what if you did your birds and butterflies motif as a wallpaper on the front wall, and as matching blinds of some sort. That wall could have lovely continuity and could lend lots of colors to other walls and pieces.

    Of course, you’ll come up with something that will blow all of us completely away!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 10:58 am

    My vote would be to do the front wall. I love the paper on the ceiling of the dining room inspiration. It has flowers, pinks, and your blues and greens.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Love the bold flowers on front wall!! Not sure about behind office “space”. That may be too busy 😉 JMHO

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      May 9, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      The front wall would look great! How about using the same wallpaper in the backs of all your shelves/cabinets? It would continue the theme without being overwhelming. Enjoy the process of deciding!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I personally LOVE when you share the beautiful artwork and paintings you create! I wonder if your heart would be more fulfilled creating your own works that you can move around at will, against a solid background, than a vibrantly patterned background which might limit what you can do on top of it. (Not sure if that makes sense?)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

    That ceiling wallpaper makes me feel like the ceiling is going to come down on me! Though I have no idea how it would look if you are actually in the room; I imagine it would probably be less noticeable (unless you keep looking upwards 😀 ).

    The office area could have a horizontal panel connecting the tops of the two shelf units, like kitchen cupboards sometimes have. (You could even build spotlights in it). Then the wallpaper will seem like part of a whole built-in unit, and not a wall thing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Love all your ideas for the studio! Can’t wait to see it all come together! I was just looking at your first video; could you please remind me where you purchased your bamboo blinds? Also, since I trust your opinion, my dishwasher had a slow leak and warped my hardwood floor. Is it possible to sand and refinish the kitchen floor, or would we have to replace it? Unfortunately, the hardwood floor runs throughout my entire house, so I am so upset about this! Thanks so much! You’re truly amazing!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      May 9, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      My bamboo shades are from I don’t think they have my exact ones anymore, but they have a huge selection, and they’ll send you samples.

      If your floor is real wood, I would absolutely try to sand it and refinish it before considering replacing. You could at least try it and see if you can sand the warped area down enough for your liking. If so, then just put some new finish on it and be done. If it doesn’t work out, then you would have had to replace it anyway, so nothing lost. You can just test an area with a hand held rotary sander first (with some really rough — maybe 80-grit or rougher) sandpaper on it first to see if you think it’ll work. Then if it looks like it’ll work, rent a big floor sander if the area is large enough to require that.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I love the bold wallpaper on both the front and office wall area. It is not that much wall space given the cabinets and windows, especially in the context of such a large room. A piece of molding on the office wall could give the definition you need to stop the wall paper at the cabinet height. So exciting to see your progress!

    In thinking about wall surfaces, you also might consider the function of a pin board for fabric samples and tear sheets, white board for brainstorming floor plans and other project drawings, or other wall characteristic like magnetic or chalk for lists and brainstorming projects etc. Maybe the back wall next to your desk… The function you need may be different if the studio is just for personal use vs organizing several projects for different clients. Project cubbies may be useful down the road. Although I suppose you could just as well use that now with all the simultaneous projects you have going on in your home!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    I love your ideas! The Tulipani in Graphite is gorgeous! The pattern on ceiling is great, too. In keeping with your artist bent, you may want to consider a non-wallpapered wall where one of your utility tables will be. As an artist, I find that at least facing a more neutral space when I’m painting is conducive to better color and pattern choices in my work. If you are trying to decide BETWEEN putting wallpaper in your work space or your office space, I would vote for office space. Seeing lovely cabbage roses or some other bright florals would cheer me every time I look away from my computer. And that would leave the work space as a blanker (more blank?) canvas in which to soar with my ideas.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Long ago we had a low ceiling in the kitchen and I painted it and hand stenciled it around the border. That said, I can’t see spending all this time and money on high ceilings and then doing something that makes it feel lower . Wallpaper around the desk area is my vote . As big and Fun as you can find !

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    I can’t wait to see what you pick! From your inspiration images post, it struck me that they mostly had a fair amount of white, with bright, non-dull colors and used both warm and cool colors. If you keep in mind whatever it is that speaks to you about those rooms, I’m sure you can make your office exactly right for you 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lindia Gordon
    May 9, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    I almost fell over when I saw this blogger’s MBR re-do because it is so stunning with the wallpapered ceiling. I am now on the search for the perfect, muted wallpaper for my dining room rehab. That being said, you have high, vaulted ceilings in your studio, if I remember correctly. I would paint those puppies white and enjoy the vastness of them! Just let them soar! When white they will reflect a ton of light for you. Then I would wallpaper the front wall and pick a contrasting color in chalkboard paint for around your office desk/cabinets so you can write things on your walls. Or hang a solid color wallpaper and put some acrylic or glass panels up and make a writing surface for chalk markers. The only caveat, is reaching the wall behind your desk and computer, etc. I’m a little on the shorter side, lol, so I might have trouble with that! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    THANK YOU for that tulipani link; I’ve been looking for a fabric in that type of style for ages to go on roman shades. Not that it’s an easy thing to get designer fabric without a trade account…

    As for the wallpaper, if you’re going to put it on a gable wall, I vote run it all the way up to the ceiling. Nice and bold, and should accentuate the height of the ceiling

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Flowers are lovely and very inspiring. My teenage girls always wanted wild rooms and we achieved this with fabric ‘glued’ on the walls with starch. Easy to change out when they invariably wanted it changed. Looking forward to your decisions!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t remember what your furniture placement plan is but if you run the wallpaper down to the floor, it will be hidden. I would put color on the walls and pattern in the window dressing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    May 9, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Hmmm, I’m really surprised by the comments here. I’m going to probably be the only naysayer here, so please don’t take offense. IMHO, which means nothing, I feel that a creative space needs to be void of distraction, so that the mind can be free. I know….boring! BUT, it does help to not have undue influences when you are deciding a color palette for someones’ space. And, what if you welcome a client in to the space and they think “oh, my, can this person understand what I want when she is surrounded by something I abhor?” It could happen.
    I think you could be expressive in the area where the french doors are, and in the bath space. That could show your inner self without obstructing your creative flow.
    Sorry to be on the opposite side here, but I wanted you to think from all directions. And just take my words and toss them aside if they offend!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Have you ever heard of or seen putting fabric on the wall instead of wallpaper? We lived in military housing where the walls had to be painted white and you could not wallpaper. I took fabric and soaked it in liquid starch and it worked beautifully. When we were ready to move on to our next assignment, I pulled the fabric off and washed the starch off and the walls were perfect. I worried that the humidity in the bathroom might make it come unglued but it never did. Easy, easily changeable, and waaaay cheaper than wallpaper!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      May 9, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      I have, and I actually tried it once, but my walls were way too heavily textured for it to look good.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I have a very large dark floral wallpaper (similar to the first picture) by Ellie Cashman on one wall in my guest bedroom and absolutely love it. THE other walls are black matte and shiny stripes. IT is stunningly beautiful (in my opinion) would be happy to send you some photos of the room. Check out her website she has all kinds of patterns and color ways.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    I love reading about what/how you do things and I enjoy learning things from you, even if I may never actually DO them.

    While reading your thoughts on the wallpaper, this came to mind-from the movie TOOTSIE.

    It’s just a thought.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 9, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve been totally fascinated with wallpaper on the ceiling… but I cannot imagine how challenging it would be to install myself. Surely that would be a job I would pay someone else to do and let them have the sore arms, shoulders, and neck. 😉

    Have fun dreaming!! Follow your hunches and do whatever your heart pleases. It’s your muse!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 10, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I’m with some other comments here that I think a really bold pattern repeated on too many walls (or at all in the studio) might interfere with the projects you want to workvon in there. I’m not sure whether you plan on working from there with other clients one day, so that might not be an issue, but can you imagine doing your planning and executing creative jobs for yourself and/or others which might clinch with the patterns that are already in the room? I know, that concern might lead to rather boring mono-coloured walls, sorry! If you want to have at least some space in a pattern, I would probably go for the front wall with the two windows.
    As much as I like picture of the room with the graphic patterned ceiling, to me that would feel like overkill, as if there is no breathing space. And it would be a pity if that would have the optical effect of lowering the ceiling because that wide open space is what makes your studio room so very special, in my opinion!
    I’m sure you’ll find the right decision and I love being able to watch your progress, but for once I don’t envy you this vast open area of possibilities…

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      May 10, 2018 at 8:36 am

      my comment above might be a bit confusing: I like that picture of the room with the patterned ceiling despite the patterned ceiling 🙂 hope that makes sense

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 10, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I love the idea that you have that total space to make your own. I will caution you to be careful about the ‘busyness’ of the room as it might interfere with your creative process. I seem to do better with a quieter surrounding but maybe that’s just me. Enjoy the process and I’m sure whatever you do it will be a reflection of you and your creativity!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carole Prisk
    May 10, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Wallpapering a ceiling is very hard. We have done it in much smaller spaces than yours and it is exasperating. Gravity is against you and it keeps falling down. You think you have it attached and there it goes again. Keep your sanity and paint your ceiling. Wallpapering one wall in something bright and beautiful sounds like fun to me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 10, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Wallpaper can be very cool in the right spaces and I think you are right to focus it in a certain area, whether the ceiling or parts of the walls. And it’s quite true what they say, “What is old is new again,” for splashing bold wallpaper on the ceiling or wall is totally a chic mid-mod style (especially in the 1970s) and now it’s stylin’ again. Some of those old patterns really were amazing and it’s pretty cool to see them reintroduced for this time after so much “griege!”

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca Neustel
    May 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I would say to go for that bold, colorful, floral wallpaper that you love! It may mess with some people’s creativity, but I think a neutral space might have the opposite effect on you and your creative expression! I feel like neutral spaces have been pounded into people’s heads for so long, they can’t imagine doing anything different.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carla from Oregon
    February 26, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I thought you created that beautiful floral wall paper to go in your studio, did you change your mind on that?
    I am excited to see what you come up with, I know it will be bright and beautiful.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      February 26, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      I didn’t change my mind. This post is from May 2018. I created the floral wallpaper last month (January 2019).