(Ph. © Tim Street-Porter)There's much to love inside the rural Connecticut home of Alexandra Champalimaud, but one of my favorite elements has to be the hand-painted details in an adjoining guest cottage. Forgetting for a moment that the laundry room above is nicer—and likely bigger—than my entire apartment, I was taken with the colorful dials and dashes on the walls, inspired by Bhutanese artwork found during the designer's travels.
While Champalimaud employed a gifted Portuguese artist to create the intricate pattern, you don't need to look much further than your local craft store to get the look. Wall stencils make it easy to paint flowers and foliage—or anything else you'd like—around doorways and window sills, on kitchen back splashes and behind closet shelves, and, yes, even in the laundry room (if you're lucky enough to have one.)