I’ve got a new post up at All Things Thrifty today. I’m showing off the next installment of the nursery over there. There are also free downloads too!
Part One: The Why
As a child I have a very vivid memory of what our house looked like. Wallpaper in every room. Wallpaper in the family room (cream with forest green grid on top). Wallpaper in the kitchen (forest green with white polka dots…or small white flowers?). Wallpaper border in one of the bedrooms (teddy bears, ducks with mauve bows, and hearts). Wallpaper in my bedroom (rainbow gingham, but only up to chair rail hight). Wallpaper in the bathroom, AND a wallpaper boarder. The next vivid memory I have is the removal and for the next 10 years hearing my mother say, “I WILL NEVER WALLPAPER AGAIN!” It left a lasting impression to say the least.
Every year at the parade of homes I see beautiful wallpapers in the models. I look on Pinterest and see stunning wallpaper features in laundry rooms. Several of my blog friends have done stunning wallpaper projects: Emily’s ostrich bathroom, Amber’s floral accent wall, Kelly’s floral closet, Katja’s textured entry, Anu’s modern entry (and way more that my pregnancy brain is struggling to remember).
And then I got sad. I was sad because I was a wimp. I loved all the wallpapers, but I was too afraid to commit. I stuck with stenciled walls because I knew I could always paint over them… until I found this from Hygge & West, designed by Rifle Paper Co:
I showed a picture to Aaron and said, “What do you think about this for the nursery?” I was still up in the air about it, but he was VERY insistent that we do it. He reminded me that pineapples are the traditional way to say “welcome home” therefore making it the perfect place to bring home our new baby girl.
Since we already had a plethora of baby girl items leftover from Evelyn, we were able to splurge a little to get this wallpaper.
Who better to help me install this wallpaper than the queen of wallpaper herself, my mother! I was worried she would talk me out of it, but she was very supportive! She reminded me that as long as I don’t wallpaper the entire house, when we ARE ready to remove it, one wall won’t be that big of a deal.
Part Two: The How
**If you aren’t doing a wallpaper project, this part of the post will be pretty boring, since it is tips and tricks of the actual install. Just enjoy the pictures! If you ARE getting ready for a wallpaper project, I hope this helps you and can help you avoid some of the mistakes I feel like I made.**
Since I was doing the same brand of wallpaper as Amber from Wills Casa, I read and reread her tutorial over and over and found it very helpful. I recommend you do the same if you’re planning on Hygge & West wallpaper.
Most wallpapers are pre-pasted, meaning you just have to get them wet, then stick it to the wall. Not this paper. It involves a special paste that you apply both to the paper and the wall.
These are the supplies we needed: 2 buckets (one for paste, one for water), the paste (which we purchased from Hygge & West as well), spreaders, razor blade, sponges, rollers. Not pictured: plastic floor cover.
Make sure to mix your paste ahead of time, because it takes an hour to set up. While it was swelling, we prepped the room with the drop cloth and towels because this is a MESSY process.
The first piece is the hardest to hang. That’s what everyone will tell you. You can’t count on walls being level, so need to get a level and measure then draw a “plumb line” straight down. That is what you’ll line your wallpaper up with. (Please see pictured my cute mama below!)
When you’re applying paste to the back of the wallpaper, do it liberally. You’ll also roll paste onto the wall.
You’ll “book” the paper by folding it into thirds, and letting it sit for about 5-7 minutes.
You’ll line the paper up (to the pencil line if it’s your first piece- to the pattern if it’s any piece after that). Make sure you cut your pieces long, because you’ll go back and trim it with a razor blade. Once you have the paper in place, the real hard part happens: smoothing it out. This is extremely messy. You’ll have gooey paste oozing in every direction. Don’t be afraid! This is what you want. It’s just difficult because the paper will start to wrinkle in places.
I found the best way to avoid wrinkles and creases is this method: don’t start smoothing with the scrapers right away! Loosely start smoothing the paper onto the wall with your hands, almost like you’re stretching the paper into place. Start in the middle, then work your way to the edges. THEN use your scrapers. After I discovered this method I had far less wrinkles.
Use the sponge and washcloth to wipe off extra paste with warm water. The wallpaper is very durable and strong.
We have slightly textured walls. I went back and forth on deciding if we should do a skim coat to make the wall smooth, or leave the texture (knowing it would show through the wallpaper). We decided to not cover the texture, because when we are done with the wallpaper, we don’t want to have to re-texture the wall to match the rest of the room. However, I ended up being happy with this decision for another reason. It hid any wrinkles that I was unable to smooth out. And the texture is barely noticeable.
After each strip of wallpaper was smoothed into place, we held the edge of the scraper to the baseboards/ceiling, and ran the razor along the edge to trim it.
The most frustrating part of the project was the very last piece. We had a gap of less than an inch that we had to fill. It was pretty unbelievable. We just trimmed the whole last piece down to about 4 inches, then after pasting it in place, cut it with the razor.
Part Three: The Finished Product
Here’s the nursery before:
After about 5 hours of messy work later (and a sneak peek at the dresser I scored on a thrift hunt!):
I just need to give another huge shout out to my mom for helping me with this. Wallpapering is definitely a two person job, and I couldn’t have done it without her. We had such a great time talking and laughing while working on a project together. It was a really special day to spend with her, and I’m happy that when I see this wall I can remember how much fun it was to create it with my mommy!
There are 2 different seams in this picture, and you have to look really close to find them. The pattern matched up almost perfectly, which I was surprised about because of the hand-painted nature of the pattern.
This pineapple pattern is EVERYTHING. I love the blush color of the flowers. I love that it’s on a white background, and it’s the same shade of white as the other walls in the room. It flows together really well. I love how happy and cheerful it is.
Evelyn was adorable while I was trying to photograph the room. She loved reaching for the pineapples and patting them.
(Also, can you believe how curly her hair is?!)
We are very excited to welcome home our Tiny-girl, the pineapple of our eye.
Hey pals. Long time no blog, amirite? I’ve just been busy selling houses and growing human parts in my belly. I’ve got a nursery design ready to execute for this Tiny girl. (I capitalize Tiny because that’s what we call her. Lil sis doesn’t have a name yet.) All the major supplies for her nursery have arrived, and I’m SO excited for it. I’m stepping into a world of things I’ve never done before. It’s scary and exciting!
But I felt bad. I felt really bad for sweet Evelyn Faye. I know she doesn’t understand/care, but I felt terrible that I put so much work and effort into her nursery, and now she doesn’t have it anymore. We actually spend a lot of time reading and playing in her room. I want it to be a place she is comfortable and wants to be. I didn’t want to copy her old nursery, but I wanted it to be reminiscent of her old room. I also didn’t want to do a major makeover until she’s a bigger kid and starts having tastes of her own.
I made a deal with myself that we would give her room a simple update before we started Tiny’s nursery.
If you remember, I stenciled a beautiful gold scalloped wall in Evelyn’s room. It was the most lovely thing. I wanted a simplified version of that, so I thought a scalloped border was the way to go.
I picked up a $0.50 poster board from the grocery store, and used an IKEA plate to trace a scallop pattern for my stencil.
I held it up to the wall and traced lightly with a pencil.
My ORIGINAL plan was to paint it gold, using the same gold paint I used for this.
However, it did not work. In fact, it epically did not work. It was the same brand (Sherwin Williams Faux Finishes ‘Gold’ – which isn’t cheap!). I was baffled. But after talking to a store associate, they said it was the combination of the brush and roller. When I stenciled, I was ONLY rolling. No brush. But there was no way to do this scallop border without using both a brush and a roller. After THREE COATS it was still this splotchy and uneven. The paint is really thin and runny, and it wasn’t going to work for how much cutting in I needed to do. I was 100% bummed.
I decided to prime over it and try another look.
The new color I chose was Sherwin-Williams Wall Flower. It is such a pretty color. Imagine if lilac and mauve had a love child. It’s so delicate; perfect for a sweet little girl.
I used a 2″ nylon brush to cut in along the ceiling and curves of the scallops, then I filled in the middle with a mini roller.
When I’d told a few people about painting Evelyn’s room, they asked where she was while I was painting. I’m happy to report that I am the mother to a very self-sufficient one year old who loves to independently play. We close all the doors and gate off the top of the stairs, and she’ll play on the landing with her toys for hours like this. She’s a happy girl! I was listening to music while painting, and she would occasionally get up and dance. She’d also come walk to the gate to check on me and make sure I was still in there, then go back to her toys.
I’m planning on hanging all the art we had in her old room. And we have a special bookcase delivery coming soon from her Grandpa Burton. But here are the scallops in their beautiful glory.
I wasn’t expecting any kind of reaction from Evelyn, but she noticed the new paint right away. She points at the scallops and smiles all the time, especially after waking up when she’s still sitting in her bed. I’m glad I have the 13-month-old stamp of approval on this.
If you recall, we don’t have a headboard. At our old house, we painted one on the wall. Also, a little known fact, we were borrowing our bedroom furniture (night stands and dresser) from my seester. So when we moved into our new house, this was the extent of our bedroom. A bed. We borrowed the lamp from Evelyn’s old room, and I was using a barstool as a night stand. It was sterile. It was empty. It was a place to sleep. It was boring.
I don’t know if this is normal or not (please weigh in on if you are/ aren’t), but I am a bedroom person. I always have been. From the time I was little, I enjoyed spending time in my bedroom. I didn’t like playing or hanging out in the family room. I’ve always retreated to my room. Mom & Dad never had much luck punishing me by sending me to my room. I wanted to be there. And now, I spend a lot of time in my room. When Evelyn wakes up, we snuggle and play in our master bedroom for awhile. And after she goes to bed at night, I like to read, blog, catch up on real estate work, and watch TV in our room. I know there is an opinion that rooms should be just for sleeping, and DEFINITELY no TV allowed. But that’s not me. It’s my comfortable place. I love relaxing by sitting in my bed.
Now you know more about me (#themoreyouknow). And now you understand why the above pictured wasn’t jiving me with. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this… As part of my Christmas present, Aaron gave me painting supplies and promised me the uninterrupted time I so desperately wanted to work on a project. And I chose our bedroom.
I found this headboard on the classifieds. Isn’t it funny how 5 years ago everyone found gold and brass things and painted them oil rubbed bronze, and now we find oil rubbed bronze things to paint gold?
Spray painting this was a process. First of all, we were in the single digits of temperatures. Do you know how long spray paint takes to dry when it is 9 degrees outside? Squints says it best, FORRRRREVVVVVERRRRR. And as you know, when spray painting, the most important thing is several light coats. So, this took 5 days. Yes. 5 days.
Prime. Gold. Lacquer. But I’m so glad I took my time. (Yes, I wore a mask. Yes, the area was well ventilated.) There were no drips, and the finish is stunning. It has a very professional factory finish because of the lacquer.
I wanted to paint the whole room Starless Night by Behr. But, I got nervous. Guys, it is a DARK color. And I was worried it would suffocate the light. Normally I don’t particularly care for just one solid color as an accent wall. I feel like an accent wall should make a real statement, not break up the flow of a room. But I wanted to test this color, and I figured the best way was on just one wall for now, and if we loved it, then go ahead and paint the rest of the room.
For months I have been looking on the classifieds for the right night stands to makeover. And there was just nothing. So I finally found these nightstands from Overstock.com. And this is what we ended up with, in just a few short days over Christmas break:
The bedding is the same we had from our last bedroom makeover (West Elm). I get a lot of questions about how the white duvet cover holds up. I bought it on black Friday 2 years ago, and it is still clean and bright. We have 2 dogs and a baby. That should tell you. I wash and bleach it about once a month, or as needed.
This room isn’t done. In fact, we are just getting started. I have some plans for improving the lamps. I have some art projects in mind to dress up the walls. But it feels good to have a start. It feels like “us.” It’s a place I want to be. (And yes, I’ve decided to go for it and finish painting the whole room Starless Night. I just need to get up the energy to do it. Growing a baby is hard…)
You guys HAVE to check out my contributor post on All Things Thrifty today!
I made this out of a piece of a cardboard box, wrapping paper tubes, and Christmas lights. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I’ll see you all next year
I think it’s a safe assumption that everyone has a pizza lover in their life.
I know I do! My bae Heidi loves pizza more than any person in this world. I asked her for her favorite pizza quote, and she provided me with, “Pizza is the only love triangle I want.”
You could make this gift for ANYONE. I would suggest snooping on their Pinterest boards for a quote or phrase they have pinned.
I’m joining up with my blog friends who are putting on a blog series called Dare to DIY. Today’s theme is give handmade. You can find more ideas over at Maybe Matilda.
After Heidi told me her favorite pizza quote, I designed it on picmonkey and printed it off.
I very carefully cut out the letters with an xacto knife to make a stencil. I realized this would be MUCH EASIER if I had a cutting machine. Hopefully there’s one in my future, but right now, I’m going old school.
I centered the “stencil” on the tote, then taped it down. I tried painters tape, but it wouldn’t stick to the bag. So I used duct tape. I taped down the middles of the letter for the stencil.
I mixed acrylic paint with textile medium to make fabric paint.
I used a stipple sponge brush to paint the tote bag.
Unfortunately, the middle of the letters on “Love Triangle” lifted up, so those got filled all the way in.
I free-handed a slice of pizza at the top of the tote. In general, I was a little disappointed how the paint bled a little. I was hoping for crisper lines. But I guess I’m not surprised after using a piece of paper as a stencil.
I still think the bag is still pretty rad. I think it works since the font I used already had a ‘handwritten quality’ about it, so the bleeds just kind of added to that. I’m pretty excited to send it off and check something off my Christmas gift list!
The older I get, the more I realize what an overly-sentimental and nostalgic person I am. There’s a quote from The Office that goes, “I wish there was a way to tell you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” And sometimes that’s how I feel.
Lately, I’ve really been missing Christmas at our old house. I LOVE our new house, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Our old house was naturally Christmasy, with the fireplace, candles, banister and tree in the front window. Christmas last year was an extra special time for me too as I really got to focus on getting Evelyn here safe and sound. Everything was a lot more meaningful. I wrote a personal blog post on our family blog about it here if you’re interested in reading my feelings.
Anyway, I decided it was up to me to make an effort to bring more holiday cheer into our home. So I decided to stretch my creative muscles and do a SEWING project. FYI, I DON’T SEW.
Since I didn’t want to dabble in zippers, I decided to sew envelope/pocket pillows. The pillow forms were 20″.
JoAnn had their red linen on sale for $4 a yard, so that was my fabric of choice. I cut 3 21″x21″ pieces, and 6 21″x15″ pieces.
Then I took my 6 smaller pieces and hemmed one of the 21″ sides. I hemmed the width of the presser foot.
Pinning the pieces together is pretty simple. Remember to lay the pieces inside out, in the following fashion:
Sew around all four edges. Again, I did the width of the presser foot.
I wanted each pillow to say “ho,” so I made this template, and printed it off in an 8×10 size.
I cut it out, and traced it onto my glittery gold iron on paper.
Then it was just a matter of centering each ho and ironing it on (according to the iron instructions for whatever iron on paper you use).
Then stuff those pillow covers and you got yourself some ho pillows! They will no longer be known as “throw pillows.” Just ho pillows!
Are they perfect? No. Can I spot several mistakes? Yes. BUT, I love them. They really do bring an element of happiness to our Christmas decor. And, as a not-sewing-lady, I’m really proud of myself haha!
Also, a walking baby means the bottom third of the tree does not get decorated!
And as much as I loved this Christmas…
I’m really grateful that this is where we’re at now.
I’m linking this project up with my friends doing dare to DIY over at Newly Woodwards.
Aaron and I have both fallen down the mid-century modern hole, and it doesn’t look like we’re getting out any time soon. Something about the simplicity, clean lines, skinny legs, warm wood that makes a heart flutter. If we stay on this road, I’ll be cutting my hair into a bob, burning all my jeans, and changing my name to June before you know it.
Keep in mind, like the kitchen and breakfast nook, everything is still REALLY minimal. We are still trying to figure out what we’d like to hang on the walls, coffee table vs ottoman, what curtains we want, and different lamp options.
We put our old couch from the basement at our old house in the living room and it was all wrong. The shape of the sectional was wrong for the shape of the room, and it was too bulky looking. And thus began the new couch hunt.
I set out for the post office one morning, and took a detour to IKEA. And the heavens smiled down on me. The floor model of Karlstad U-shaped sectional had just been moved off the show floor and down to AS-IS, and was marked down 40% from its original price. I’ll take it! I lived in a couch-maze for a week while I tried to quickly sell old beige.
I knew I wanted a Kilim rug for the living room. I was able to find this one on Etsy for a screaming deal.
This couch fits the space SO much better than our old one.
For the living room, we plan on wall-mounting the TV. I need to start looking for some good art as well. I want to get curtains, but I’m not really sure if I want to go for something strong and bold, or something soft and subtle. I also want to change out the lamp.
I bought this TV stand from Overstock.com and painted the shell bright high gloss white. It wasn’t worth writing its own blog post.
I really like the view over the Karlstad into the kitchen, and visa versa. It’s really nice to be able to work in the kitchen and watch Evelyn play.
Speaking of Evelyn playing… while I was shooting this space she decided it would be a good time to have a parade and walk around while clapping. So of course, I needed to take a video of it. It’s a pretty great way to spend 34 seconds. She disappears for a second but then she comes back.
She and the dogs are both enjoying the new couch.
We are all extremely happy to have a place to relax at the end of the day. It’s a place we enjoy being. It’s good to be home.
Moving is so hard. (Can I get an amen?!) When you are finally in your new place, you wonder if the boxes of your stuff literally multiplied and replenished your house. Boxes. For. Days. And then, your stuff comes out of the boxes, and what once fit in your old house, doesn’t quite fit right in your new house. Aw, the moving game.
It took some time for the boxes to clear out, but I’m FINALLY starting to feel like our house is more of a home, and a livable home at that!
This post is more of a “state of affairs” of the house. Obviously nothing is on the walls or really decorated. But it’s semi-put-together, so I felt confident enough to share.
I love this view of the breakfast nook when you first walk into the house. The copper chandelier is the first thing everyone notices and comments on when they walk in.
We kept our Restoration Hardware table, but the chairs were all wrong all of a sudden. I knew the breakfast nook was screaming for a set of Eames chairs.
We had a builder-grade chandelier over the table, and I hated it.
I knew a long time ago that I wanted a Tom Dixon copper chandelier. Fun fact, I couldn’t find one for less than around $700. And that was discouraging, because that was NOT in the budget. It would be a very empty dinner table (with a very pretty light) if I would have paid full price.
HOWEVER. I found a very (seemingly) sketchy Chinese wholesale website, that sold this light fixture for a fraction of the cost! (Here’s the link.) Right after I ordered it, I got a call from my bank verifying I indeed made the purchase. To be transparent, I was terrified I had made a huge mistake. But then, 2 weeks later, to my delight, the chandelier showed up! It was as brilliant as I expected.
Forgive me, because I TOTALLY forgot to take the baby-lock off the cabinet before shooting this… and by the time I realized it, the kitchen was already messy, and the sun was down. So, you get a lovely baby-lock in this photo.
Aaron picked this granite because he liked the way it tied with the copper light. (We had the light picked before we even started building!) We still have many things we want to do to the kitchen. We have plans for a backsplash, and for making the cabinets less builder-grade and more custom.
The bar stools are the same from our old kitchen. I’m not really sold on them being cohesive with the design plan we have going on. But for now, they are staying (until I find new stools that I absolutely cannot live without haha).
I’m really pleased with the way the kitchen and breakfast nook are coming together. I was REALLY skeptical of the dark espresso stain on the cabinets. That was Aaron’s decision. It’s very far out of my white kitchen comfort zone. But it’s really growing on me. I guess it’s a good thing to trust your husband every now and then!
I realize that it’s not Halloween time anymore. However, in my defense, we did announce this to our friends and family before Halloween. But I wasn’t blogging, so you missed out. UNLESS YOU FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM WHICH, WHY AREN’T YOU?!!!
We are more than delighted with this news. Surprised, but over the moon. As you guys know it took us years to get pregnant with Evelyn. We knew that was a possibility for future children as well. We decided not to prevent with a *just in case* mentality. All the stars magically aligned, and our wish came true. Evelyn and the new baby will be 16 months apart. I know it will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge I’m happy to accept!
I know a few of you are probably wondering if I have been as sick as I was with Evelyn. It is a question I get asked often. I had quite a bit of morning sickness the first trimester, which contributed to my lack of blogging. However it pretty much subsided as soon as I hit 12 weeks. Every now and then I’ll wake up feeling pretty queasy and have a little go, but I’ve been very fortunate this time around. Something I am incredibly grateful for!
And for funsies, I thought I’d pull up Evelyn’s announcement.
And speaking of Evelyn, I promise I haven’t forgotten about her monthly growth pictures. I keep taking them, but haven’t posted them. Maybe I’ll surprise you one of these days with an amazing post about how she is no longer an infant but a real live small human.