Making a small room into a piece of art

Pickering's powder and utility rooms. Photo by Lauren Allen.
Photo by Lauren Allen.

So your house was built in the late ‘90s or early 2000s and it’s missing some character. Sure, you can overhaul the place and add some color to minimize the millennial gray, but what about those little rooms? The half-baths and the doors on doors hiding away all of the small spaces in your home?

Nicole Arnold Interiors and Kim Pickering found a twofold solution to just that — open it up and then brighten it.

The Pickerings are a fun couple, everyone says. And their house fits their personality.

The Pickerings found Arnold  through advice from a neighbor. Half of the houses on the block either used Nicole Arnold Interiors or do now after her recommendation, Kim says.

During the pandemic, Kim began looking for something to do and decided, now that her children were long moved out of the house, it was time to redo some of the rooms.

She called Arnold, who got to work first redoing the upstairs, then the master bathroom, the breakfast nook. Then the laundry room.

Pickering's laundry room with Texas themed wallpaper. Photo by Lauren Allen.
Photo by Lauren Allen.

Originally, a cramped offshoot of the main living space held a half bathroom, the laundry room, a wine closet that had a nonfunctioning air conditioner and three different swinging doors.

The multitude of doors, once opened, made the space dysfunctional, Arnold says. So they decided to remove the laundry room door and turn the space into a room worth seeing.

Kim found the now-signature Katie Kime Dallas-themed wallpaper, and the Nicole Arnold team ran with it.

“It’s so small, so I said, ‘Let’s do something fun. Let’s do something wild,’” Pickering says.

In addition to the wallpaper, they painted the ceiling pink and installed custom black cabinetry.

Pickering's laundry room with Texas themed wallpaper. Photo by Lauren Allen.
Photo by Lauren Allen.

“We made sure that we incorporated details that the black cabinetry was all new and custom, the floor tile, everything was worthy of being seen from the main room of the home,” Arnold says. “But when you look at the powder bath, we took the flip side.”

Pulling from the boldest color of the laundry room, Arnold and Pickering leaned into the pink motif with bold Rifle Paper Company floral wallpaper. The Pickerings contrasted the bright, bursting florals with clean-lined black hardware.

“Kim loves flowers. She’s just blooming,” Arnold says. “You can see walking up onto her front porch, she just exudes personality and bloom and happy, delightful things. And we felt that wallpaper embraced that perfectly.”

The powder bath and laundry hardware is gold with black glass, while the bar area’s drawer pulls are adorned with white quartz.

Pickering's powder room with bright floral wallpaper. Photo by Lauren Allen.
Photo by Lauren Allen.

The bathroom’s details were too intentional to be hidden, and the swinging door still posed a nuisance, so Arnold turned the bathroom door into a pocket door.

“There were a lot of things that we paid attention to, especially detail-wise, to preserve the functionality in those spaces, but also to make that design a Wow Factor,” Arnold says.

And what started as a project aimed to increase functionality turned a bathroom and laundry room into a space worthy of the Pickering’s showing off to guests.

“This beautiful hallway is amazing. It makes me so happy every day to come in that back door and see fun,” Pickering says.

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