My coastal Maine bathroom, with its pebbled shower floor, marsh scene tile, and antique meadow grass botanicals, gets its inspiration directly from nature.

Between Meadow and Marsh

Our home is situated perfectly between the shoreline and a small meadow.

On a beautiful summer day, in one direction the view is marsh grass, cattails, soaring sea birds, and blue ocean stretching to the horizon.

And in the other, tall meadow grasses and wildflowers sway gently in the breeze, bees buzzing from bloom to bloom.

You can read more about our natural meadow in my blog post Natural Landscape: Our Coastal Maine Wildflower Meadow.

I have designed my home to tell the story of this magical setting.

So that the interior reflects the exterior.

Elements from outside finding their way inside.

Blues and tans, the colors of ocean and sky, sand and rock.

Seagulls perched in the living room.

A sailboat in a window appearing to glide by on the water.

A fireplace made of stone unearthed from the property.

And now, the primary bathroom a mix of meadow and marsh.

But, it has taken a while to get there.

Inspired by a recent find when out antiquing with my friend Ann from Dabbling and Decorating, I spent the week working on the shower/toilet room.

I am excited today to share my progress with you!

The Upstairs Baths

The floor plan of the two upstairs bathroom is identical — both are tucked under the eaves, with slanted ceilings and two rooms separated by a pocket door. One is private, for the toilet and shower/tub, and the other is communal, with sinks.

But the similarities stop there, as they have very different vibes.

The hall bathroom is bright, with south-facing windows and crisp white-painted tongue-and-groove paneled walls. The floor is also wood, painted a deep blue to match the tiled tub surround.

Custom-designed wallpaper — nautical charts of the local waters — highlights the slanted ceilings.

You can read all about this bathroom in my post Chart Your Way to A Classic Coastal Bathroom

This bathroom is very much grounded by a sense of place.

Let’s see how the primary bath is the same, but in a different way!

The Hard Finishes

I picked out the hard finishes — tile, flooring, cabinetry, countertops, and fixtures — for the home’s baths long before we moved in.

I had a strong design visions for both the downstairs and upstairs hall baths.

For the primary bath, I fell in love with an antique mirror at a consignment store in Maryland and a tiled coastal scene for the shower.

But I started with no overarching vision.

Same for the primary bedroom, where I had just the antique cottage bedroom set that I loved, but no real plan.

Design Surprises

This has proven to be both a positive and a negative. I have struggled pulling both these spaces together. It has been a slow process and I have to admit I have stumbled a bit.

But on the flip side, it has also been interesting to see where the design process has led me. And I have, at times, been a bit surprised by the direction things have gone!

I never expected, for example, I would end up with a teal green and blush pink bedroom and bathroom! But it works, and I love the color combination.

In the bathroom to go with the antique mirror, I had custom cabinetry made. Surprise! It is darker wood and more formal than I would have thought I would choose. But it is gorgeous .

And the other surprise — a gray green quartz countertop that goes with the tile I chose for the shower.

There, for the walls, I went with a classic white subway tile, surrounding a tile “window” scene of marsh grass, cattails, and blue heron. Does this view sound familiar?!

On the floor, a natural pebble, like Maine’s rocky shoreline.

Similarly, the bathroom floor is a ceramic tile that mimics natural stone.

I kept the finishes natural to reflect the marsh and meadow which surround the home.

I added an antique cottage dresser with a dark faux wood finish, that coordinates with the cabinetry, and hung some artwork.

While I loved all the individual elements, and they related well to each other, the space just didn’t feel finished. It was just kind of blah.

Something was missing to pull it all together.

The Walls

That something, I decided, was the walls.

The Dilemma

During the build process, I had also been asked to choose paint colors long before I moved a stick of furniture into the home.

I confidently chose all my colors, except for the primary bedroom and bath. This is a fairly large room with a vaulted angled ceiling. There is no door between the sink area of the bathroom and the bedroom. I felt everything — walls, ceiling, and bathroom — needed to be painted the same color.

The color I settled on was again not typical for me — Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray. It is a pale blue green gray. A chameleon color that sometimes looks gray and sometimes a blue green.

I love it when it is blue green, not so much when it is gray. Maybe one day I will repaint, but that would be a big job.

In an attempt to add “that something” to the bathroom, I thought about adding wallpaper. It is hard, though, to find someone to hang it it around here, and, with all the ceiling angles, it was more than I could tackle myself.

I tried a stencil. It looked too 1980’s.

Thought about hand-painting something, but decided I lack the artistic ability.

I even bought blank stamp pads with the idea of creating my own design.

I wanted to bring the idea of the meadow into this space somehow.

The Solution

And then when I was out with Ann at Cabot Mill Antiques Mall in Brunswick, I noticed a stack of antique botanical prints — pages from an old book.

What really drew me to these was that they weren’t the usual flowers, but all different kinds of grasses.

The perfect meadow touch to go with the marsh shower!

I pictured a grouping of them in the shower room, set against a wall painted a medium tone.

This week I got to work!

I painted the walls Benjamin Moore Castle Walls. Surprise! A gray green with hints of blue. It is a lovely color.

The ceiling is now the color the walls used to be — Wickham Gray.

You know I love a small space painted a saturated color!

I bought the cheapest frames I could find for the odd 5×9 size of the prints, and painted them Rainy Day, a couple shades down the paint card from the wall color.

The frames are not real wood, so the paint did not adhere well to them, but I actually like how the original black color shows through in spots. I enhanced this finish a bit by going over them with a dry brush. Now they have an antiqued look. Surprise!

I love the focal point the new gallery wall creates – both through the doorway and within the room.

The other artwork in the room pops against the darker walls. And the deeper shade also frames the white shower nicely.

Lessons Learned

My design journey with the primary bedroom and bath has been a lesson in patience. Allowing the process to unfold and not trying to rush it.

Sometimes waiting for serendipity to provide just the inspiration I need.

I will now have to wait patiently to see how the other side of the bathroom comes together. Maybe I will paint the ceiling in Castle Walls to tie the two spaces together… We will see!

And speaking of patience, I plan on typing up a step-by-step tutorial on how I hung this gallery wall so evenly. I have a method, but it does require attention to detail. And patience.

I will be sharing that the middle of next week.


This Week Into Next

I spent a lot of time this week working on the bathroom.

It is amazing how such a small space can be so much work. But bathrooms are tricky with all the fixtures (painting behind a toilet is zero fun), and this room had the addition of all those angled ceilings.

I am a careful painter, but I am a messy one too. I get it all over me. And I hate washing brushes and rollers. Honestly, sometimes I just throw them out.

So I am glad to have this project done!

Now I have the mudroom to address, with another ceiling to paint…

A little Ina

I entertained myself in the evenings this week watching Be My Guest with Ina Garten on Food Network/Discovery app. This is such a delightful show! Ina invites a celebrity guest to spend a day with her in her gorgeous barn kitchen cooking, eating, and chatting. They always end with a drive in Ina’s convertible to a nearby Hamptons destination — maybe an antiques store, a historic home, or just for a cup of coffee on the beach. Ina is so humble, and of course her guests — Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, Nora Jones, Erin French, and others — are always thrilled to join her.

I can’t wait for Ina’s memoir, Be Ready When the Luck Happens, to be released on October 1!

A little deVol

I have also been enjoying perusing the book The deVol Kitchen: Designing and Styling the Most Important Room in Your Home.

With chapters on color, antique furniture, lighting, accessories, and finding inspiration, there is so much to gain from it to enhance all areas of your home. And I love the story of how they came to be.

Plus, bonus, the images are total eye candy!


A lot of cleanup

The crew came to do the final (I hope!) cleanup from the multiple floods we had over the winter.

I know we are lucky that we had no damage to the house from the storms, but the seaweed and debris on the lawn was no joke.

Additionally, with all the rain we have had, the waterside lawn is a mucky muddy mess. At least some of the ruts and piits are filled in with dirt now, so hopefully the standing pools of water will soon dry up.

And I won’t have to use the dog shower every time M&C come in from being outside!

A hopeful sign is that the marsh grass is sprouting on the shoreline. Mother Nature does renew herself beautifully!

A little time In Zoe’s Kitchen

It is cauliflower week in Zoë’s kitchen.

Tomorrow she is sharing recipes for a cauliflower galette (never had it) and spiced cauliflower nachos (so yummy!).

That’s it, friends!

See you again sometime in the middle of next week!


Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...