Casa Prestanski Part 1: The Powder Room

Well… we did it!  After 2 years of living in our home, we FINALLY completed a room in our house.

You’d think that as an Interior Decorator that my house would be stunning… but it’s like the old adage the cobbler’s kids never have shoes.  I’ve been so busy doing it for everyone else, our OWN home has constantly been pushed to the backburner.

But since our studio was forced to be shut down with the Pandemic and construction is limited only to essential, what is usually our busiest time of year has turned into a time when we can slow down and actually get some stuff done around here.  I’ve still been working full time, but there isn’t really enough to keep both Kyle and I busy, so he’s basically become our contractor.

For reference, we have a 120 year old Stick Victorian in Chatham, Ontario.  

Over the years, the home was grey washed by previous owners (meaning, the entire house has been painted various shades of grey and beige).  While I don’t have anything against neutrals, trying to modernize a Victorian is SO not my jam. I’d much rather bring back the detail and beauty that was once was a part of this home’s history in an updated way that it still feels fresh today.

The entire house will eventually be touched, but on the priority list for this year is:
1.  This powder room because there were a lot of cracks in the woodwork. Also, it’s a small room so it felt easiest to tackle.

2.  The front double parlour.  It was painted grey.  And we have grey furniture.  So, it’s grey on grey on grey and just feels drab.  It’s the first room you see at the front of the house and it’s glorious stained glass windows have been covered by California Shutters.  We’re going to completely tackle the window and wall treatments in this room.

3.  The back family room.  We spend 90% of our time here (when we aren’t on the porch).  It needs absolutely everything:  floors, fireplace, furniture, walls, ceiling…. oy.

Because we haven’t had the time to really sit down and map out what would do our old girl justice, we’ve just randomly put some paint here and there, thrown in our furniture from our old place (which really doesn’t suit this home) and put doing the house on the “someday list”.

Designing my own house has always been more challenging than designing for someone else because I love SO many styles and come across amazing products every single day.  It’s like a combination of FOMO and shiny object syndrome on steriods.

So we decided to tackle the powder room knowing that just a bit of paint and wallpaper could really spice her up.

Here’s what the powder room looked like before:

This is what the powder room looked like before Interior Designer Heather Prestanski got a hold of it

Don’t mind the cat box.  They live here too!

The floors are great and the perfect example of what I always preach:  STICK WITH CLASSIC TILE IN TIMELESS COLOURS.  For reference, timeless colours include white, black, navy, some shades of green, and taupe.  Most other neutrals are NOT timeless.  

It would have cost a pretty penny to have these floors redone.  They were put in 20 years ago.  How many people can say that their floors still look as great today as they did 20 years ago?

Notice how they laid the tile to begin with.  A 4X4 taupe along the edges then 2X2 white tiles one row in.  Then they filled the middle in a diamond pattern with the 4X4 taupe.  It made a very simple and inexpensive tile feel a lot more impressive.

The first step we took when designing this room was to choose a wallpaper.  Kyle hated the yellow french country paper that was already in the room and wanted something more bold.

After many months of hunting, we found this gorgeous paper by Graham Brown.  It’s called Allure.

Interior designer in Windsor does flat lay to show wallpaper and paint options

One project that was actually done in the house was painting the doors on the main floor in a beautiful pure navy (pictured here).  We have a number of french doors throughout the main floor and 3 solid doors so this was a huge undertaking that we didn’t want to change. 

The navy is Dress Blues by Sherwin Williams.

This paper was perfect because the same shade of blue was in the hummingbird’s head and belly.

Our next charge was to pick our paint.

I knew that I wanted to do the ceiling in a contrasting colour.  This is something I do a LOT because leaving a ceiling white is like forgetting 15% of the room.  Adding a ceiling detail like an accent colour can really take the design up a notch.

Kyle REALLY wanted a strong colour and a lacquered look on the walls, whereas I wanted a matte finish with something softer.

We went back and forth on the colour for a while.  Up until now we had it in our heads that our kitchen would eventually be done in green.  So we didn’t want to do that.  We didn’t want it to be teal or blue either, since we have a lot of those colours going in other parts of the main floor.

We both loved the idea of purple, but there’s very little purple in the paper and the bit that’s there is REALLY strong. 

Purple is the hardest colour to work with.  It can easily cheapen the look of a room if it isn’t exactly right and, since the right purple wasn’t in the paper, we decided instead to pull a deep wine colour from the floral.

The homeowner isn't always right when it comes to colour and design

The black paint is where the wallpaper would go.  I always recommend painting the wall the same colour as the background in the wallpaper because paper will shift slightly over time and even the most perfect job with a dark paper will show seams.  Painting the wall really helps.  Plus, priming and painting over the current paper (which was in perfect shape with no corners lifting) was easier than removing the paper that was already there.

We decided to go for it and try the lacquered look, knowing that the shine would show the slight imperfections in the wood.

After spending 2 full days caulking and filling all of the cracks, we primed and started painting the ceiling and the wine colour…

And we hated it...

The shine was just too unforgiving in our 120 year old house.  It needed to be more matte (which means I got my way! Yay!)

When shifting to matte, we also decided to move to green.  Although we would love to do our cabinets green, we know that it’ll be many years down the line before we redo our cabinets.  Honestly, they’re completely fine despite being 20 years old.  A simple update of the backsplash and hardware will really spruce it up, and when the time comes to redo the cabinets we’ll probably want something else anyways.

So, green it was!

We choose the most perfect shade of Olive called Basil by Sherwin Williams.

And for the ceiling, we got the purple that we originally wanted!  It’s called Victorian Plum by Dulux.

Here’s what the paint looked like in progress:

Windsor Powder Room design in progress

We like it much better.  While I realize that many people despise green, it’s one of our favourite colours!  Others might prefer the spiciness and warmth of the wine colour, however my rule is to stick to the colours you’ve loved since you were a kid.

You’ll never get sick of colours you’ve always loved.

In this case, we flip flopped the colour scheme.  Green on the walls, and the purple tone on the ceiling where we could go a little more outside of our comfort zone.

The homeowner isn't always right when it comes to colour and design
Windsor Powder Room design in progress

The painting in this room was NO JOKE.  This tiny room took the same amount of time as our 24′ long double parlour… poor Kyle!

Once the paint was done it was time for the paper to go up!  I was so excited!

I have to say, the paper was really easy to work with.  It’s a paste the wall application which I ALWAYS recommend because the prepasted stuff rips easily and the paper that’s removable because it’s basically a giant sticker is an absolute nightmare to try to get smooth.

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Our interior designer pulled together the colours perfectly in this colourful powder room

Gah!  I love it so much ya’ll.  It makes me so happy every time I walk into this room.

We wanted moody and fresh, yet historic feeling and I think we totally nailed it.

Here’s the final result:

This green and floral powder room by Windsor based interior designer is a stunner

Here’s a peek at how perfectly it goes with our kitchen.  Notice how the ivory in the paper picks up on the cabinetry?

Powder room styling done by interior decorator in Windsor
The small details that make this powder room design ultra luxe

Here’s a side-by-side of the design transformation:

This is what the powder room looked like before Interior Designer Heather Prestanski got a hold of it
The Decorator played into the depth of the panel moulding for this stunning powder room design

The antique vanity looks so much richer and I just LOVE how adding colour to the walls created depth and highlighted the intricate details of the panel mouldings.

I can’t wait until we can finally have people over to see it!  Until then, I’ll just enjoy staring at it and plotting the next room on our list.

Are you moving, building, renovating or redecorating?  Let us help you make your home stylish, comfortable, and a reflection of who you are.

Check out our full range of interior decorating and design services here.