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as published in
Garden State HOME & GARDEN Magazine

Bathing Beauties
-by Fran Wood
     When designers lined up for rooms in which to display their talents at Wisteria Heights, the Junior League of Montclair-Newark's fund-raising showhouse, Carolyn Bronson wasn't among them.

     I said, " 'just give me the room nobody else wants'," recalls Bronson. And that's what she got, a long-neglected attic bathroom with no apparent element of charm. That was just fine with the proprietor of Creative Walls in Upper Montclair, for she's made her reputation in rooms such as these.

     Bronson first dealt with the walls in the 1920s bath, covering the eaved portions above the flat wood molding with a vinyl-coated wall covering in a green, cream and russet-red paisley design. The plaster tiles beneath the chair rail were skim-coated with a thin layer of plaster to facilitate the application of a green and cream foulard print paper. The two-toned chair rail and window molding, color-matched to the wallpaper, ties the two areas together.

     Even the old-fashioned tub didn't have much going for it. "The outside had been heavily plastered, so restoring it was out of the question," Bronson says. Instead, they smoothed out the plaster and applied the same russet and green tartan plaid fabric she used for the shower curtain. "It was a practical solution, since the ample lip of the tub prevents the fabric from being soaked with water."

     She stripped the old floorboards, covered them with a dark stain and coated them with polyurethane. Accessories complete the look, including a few Bokhara rugs, a step-stool near the tub and wooden furniture pieces. Wood-framed mirrors hang on the wall, and a reproduction brass chandelier provides a soft glowing light. Two small lamps on a table beside the sink add to the subtle lighting effect. Bronson's final touches were wood mini-blinds on the window.

award winning bath design
click on image to enlarge

collaged photos of long-neglected attic bathroom
click on image to enlarge

207 Bellevue Ave  •  Upper Montclair, NJ 07043  •  (973) 783-3611
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