-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
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.