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Kitchens and Baths

‘Everything was very beige and brown and boring’: Brightening up the bathrooms in a Maine home

A designer weaves similiar colors, materials, and textures through three bathrooms in this Freeport home.

The shade fabric in the primary bath is by Kels Haley Textiles. A HAY pendant hangs over the tub and the wood sconces are by Russian lighting company Hvoya.COURTNEY ELIZABETH MEDIA

Samantha Pappas’s clients, who moved from Washington, D.C., to Freeport, Maine, bought this house because they liked the location. The interior, however, was depressing. “Everything was very beige and brown and boring,” Pappas says. “They wanted lighter and brighter and fun.”

The directive applied to the bathrooms, too, which Pappas remade to echo the style she brought in elsewhere in the house. “We made sure that the baths flow with the other spaces and each other by using related color and material palettes,” she says.

Taking cues from the owners’ collection of houseplants, Pappas kicked off the design scheme for the primary bath with green zellige tiles from Clé. Like Pappas, the clients appreciated the look of the handmade tiles. “People either love it or hate it,” Pappas says. She counterbalanced the imperfect, 4-by-4 squares with a crisp walnut vanity and mirrors with aluminum frames. The stylized fish pattern of the Roman shade picks up the blue undertones and uneven coloration of the tiles.

Pappas lined the shower walls in matte porcelain tiles that resemble maple slats. “They totally look like wood, down to the tonal variations,” Pappas says. The cylindrical sconces made from upcycled pine tie the vanity to the shower, and the hand-wrapped yarn pendant over the soaking tub carries the pale wood tone through to the adjacent area.


The kids also got a wood vanity, though theirs is made from reclaimed teak. Pappas’s pairing of teak with rough-hewn mirrors conveys the same handmade feel that the zellige tiles achieve in the primary bath, but at a more budget-friendly price. The designer continues playing with wood, or the idea of wood, with the whimsical wallpaper: a Hygge & West pattern picturing navy-colored wood wedges. The effect is gender neutral, and not too childish, just as the clients requested.


Pappas created a third iteration of the palette for the powder room. Here, she offset the vintage flavor of the tamboured rosewood vanity with another playful Hygge & West wallpaper, but not before sliding two rows of teal tiles between them. The smaller room sings with its mix of slats, squares, and wavy shapes, and like the others, doesn’t skimp on texture. “You want to touch everything in these rooms,” she says. “It’s really satisfying.”


Interior design: Samantha S. Pappas Design, samanthaspappas.com

Contractor: McNaughton Construction, (207) 357-6743


In the powder room, the Blu Dot mirror is a contemporary contrast to the traditional Tracey Boyd vanity from Anthropologie.COURTNEY ELIZABETH MEDIA
In the kids’ bathroom, Cedar & Moss ceramic ceiling lights have a ridged texture that ties to similar profiles in the other baths.COURTNEY ELIZABETH MEDIA
Designer Samantha Pappas purchased the primary bath’s matte porcelain, wood-look shower tiles online at TileBar.COURTNEY ELIZABETH MEDIA

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.