Wallpaper – Yes, Totally Modern, or No, So Dated?

Wallpaper Yes or No

At Penny Post we have a brand spankin’ new but totally boring bathroom. While it is amazing, it is desperately calling out for a little attention. What powder room isn’t, really?  We all have the one bathroom that doesn’t have a shower or bathtub, or the one that only the guests use, or the one in the basement family room that is tucked in the corner.  I contend that this type of bathroom should not be overlooked or left to languish.  It should be the one place where you can really experiment and be bold.

That is why I set out to breathe life into an otherwise boring bathroom at Penny Post.  We started by embracing wallpaper.  One of my favorite Street Style questions is the “Wallpaper – yes, totally modern, or no, so dated?” It’s a good question because so many people have such strong opinions on the subject.  Clearly, I fall squarely in the “Yes, totally modern” camp.

While I’m thinking about wallpaper, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you a few of my current favorite wallpaper designs.  Any of these would be perfect for your next bold move!


If you’re going coastal…

Wallpaper Yes or No


…might I suggest “Oysters for Three” by my friend, Kate Hougen of Arlington-based Mira Jean Designs.  Or the new designs from our favorite stationer, e.frances paper, for Chasing Paper.  Their temporary wallpaper makes going bold not so scary.  Another favorite is Katie Ridder’s Beetlecat for its fun graphic nature and spot on colors.


If botanicals are your thing…

Wallpaper Yes or No

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…then how about Pierre Frey’s Espalier, or Farrow & Ball’s Hornbeam in blue?  For a more subtle look try Schumacher’s Feather Bloom.  Of course I always prefer blue, but the other colors are equally amazing.


If black and white is more you…

Wallpaper Yes or No

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…then what do you think of Cole & Son Nuvolette, or Caitlin Wilson’s Burnside Buffalo Check (always a classic in my book!), or a new contemporary classic, Julia Rothman’s Daydream for Hygge & West?


And if you just want to go CRAZY bold…

Wallpaper Yes or No

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…try Ellie Cashman’s floral fantasyland, Schumacher’s Queen of Spain in any of the colors, or Eskayel’s Galileo Glass.  You won’t be disappointed.


For us, we went simple, yet graphic.  I’m going to hold you in suspense.  You’ll have to come see it when we open!


  • The latest from Amy
Owner Amy Rutherford started Red Barn because she wanted to deliver a service — to provide both old and new in one place. No longer will busy shoppers be limited to reproductions or forced to shop multiple flea markets for the look or gifts they want. The trick in blending old and new, vintage and modern, classic and quirky, is balance. And Amy’s knack for mixing rustic antiques with urban chic has created a look that is both fresh and familiar.

Red Barn Mercantile opened its doors in September 2007 with a single vision in mind: providing old and new to offer our customers signature whole-room designs at great prices.

We’re more than a furniture boutique and provide more personalized service than a big box retailer. We work hard to bring you the highest quality furniture and gifts, the most unique conversation starters, wall hangings and accent pieces, whether they come from off-the-beaten-track flea markets, or the latest designers.


1117 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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