“T” Time

If Teddy ever forgets what letter his name starts with, he now has a whole wall to remind him.

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Sherry and I settled on a plan for a subtle accent pattern on the wall between the built-ins. Our original plan was to paint the Ts, like Sherry did for Clara’s raindrops. But after some of you suggested things like vinyl decals in the comments, we decided to give that a whirl instead. Vinyl has become a pretty mainstream option these days, especially for kids’ rooms. It’s removable and affordable, so we see the appeal. This tube – which is meant for Silhouette craft cutters – was $5 from JoAnn with a coupon. We don’t own a craft cutter, but that didn’t stop us from cutting simple line shapes by hand.

First we had to determine the size of our Ts. The wall space was around 88″ wide, so I figured some multiple of 4″ would make life easiest. But I mocked up two sizes with printer paper cut into 1/2″ strips – just to be sure that we both liked the 8 x 4″ version because it looked right (and not just because the math worked out). Thankfully we did.

With the size selected, next we had to lock down the arrangement. I cut out a few paper templates, taped them up, and we moved them around until we liked the layout. Happily, the pattern that we liked could easily fit into 4″ increments.

The next step was cutting a bunch of 1/2″ vinyl strips: some 8″ long, some 4″ long. I’m sure this would’ve been faster if we owned a craft cutting machine, but it wasn’t too hard to execute by hand. Here were our materials:

I started by making a simple guide on my board (three small pen dots on the wood at the zero inch, four inch, and eight inch spots). That way once the vinyl was rolled out, I could easily slice off an 8″ section.

With a 8″ section of vinyl cut and taped down on both sides, I used the ruler to tick off 1/2″ marks on both sides of the sheet.

Then I lined up the ruler to each set of marks and sliced through the vinyl (it took 2 passes – one to get through the vinyl, and one to get through the backing). Then I just moved down the sheet until the entire thing had been carefully shredded into 1/2″ strips. Making 4″ long strips meant following the same steps, and ending with one last cut down the center. I needed about 70 in total. It wasn’t particularly difficult work (sort of that auto-pilot, get-in-the-zone stuff).

Applying the decals to the wall was also pretty simple and repetitive. Since we were basically creating a giant grid on the wall, I knew that keeping things level and equally spaced was key. So I started at the top middle of the wall and worked in small sections, making pencil marks with a level and yard stick.

How I measured & marked the wall may be TMI for most people since it’s really specific to the shape/size of the decal you’re applying, but if anyone’s looking to recreate this look exactly, here’s the rundown. With my yard stick held vertically (and checked with a level) I marked the vertical spacing of each row – as seen below in the RED dots. Next I held the yard stick horizontally on each mark (again, checked by a level) and marked the middle and both ends of each T – as seen below in the BLUE dots. It sounds a lot more complicated than it was.

Then I used those marks to place the vinyl strips. You can sort of see my light pencil marks below, but I’ve added blue dots to help you see how they guided my placement of the 8″ strips. Once the long strip was placed, I used my center mark to add the 4″ vertical strip. I just eyeballed these since it was pretty easy to make such a short strip look vertical.

The vinyl was really easy to work with, so I’m glad we made that choice. It held tight to the wall with just a quick smooth of the finger and so far nothing has peeled up on its own (I started the project before Memorial Day and worked through last week, so some of the first strips have been up for almost two weeks). And just for kicks, I tried removing one to see what happened. It took a decent amount of work to get my nail under the edge enough to peel it off, and a decent amount of pressure to yank it off, but once I did it came off without damaging the wall. Initially when we considered vinyl vs. painting for the Ts, we worried Teddy might be able to peel them off when he’s older/more mobile, but I doubt Clara could remove one.

It was our first time working with self adhesive vinyl and I’m impressed with how crisp and grid-like the design turned out (something I’m not sure we could’ve achieved with paint alone). It’s nice to have some subtle pattern and interest between the built-ins. And the $5 price tag is pretty nice too.

We didn’t extend the T’s behind his crib, just because we thought the lines would look busy with all of the crib slats. But I did save some extra strips to add once he moves to a twin bed (we also have about a quarter of the vinyl roll left for backup). But let’s not jump that far to the future yet, okay? This kid is already 12 pounds. They really do grow up too fast.

I like that if we ever tire of it (or if Teddy requests something else down the line), we can just remove it and move on. Although it does make my geeky heart swell a bit to imagine what Teddy will see in the pattern besides his first initial. A bunch of squares for hanging his drawings? A bunch of cliffs for careening toy cars? A giant Plinko board?

Other than needing a light fixture overhead, I think we’re done in here for now. And you know we love a good before and after, so here’s a reminder of the carpeted pink-trimmed room we started with:

Did you guys finish up any projects this weekend? Or do anything outdoorsy? We squeezed in a few long walks and even slipped through a street festival on Sunday. Teddy loved the candied bacon on a stick.

Note: I spared you all from like two dozen T-puns that I was thisclose to unleashing throughout this post. Like how I think the wall fits Teddy to a T. And how I hope he thinks it’s T-rrific. And how I didn’t need a TI-82 to calculate the placement of my decals. Remember those?



The End Of The Show

Here we are, folks. After over a year of planning, second guessing ourselves, more planning, sweating, and filling our car with vases and egg chairs, we’ve reached the end of the Homearama Showhouse tour. So in celebration of completing this whole-house marathon of sorts, we’re kicking off this post with a whole-house video tour. Nothing too high tech. Just me stumbling through the house:

Photo-wise, there are few rooms on each floor that we still haven’t shared/sourced for you. So let’s slide through the dining room, powder room, mudroom, guest room, guest bathroom, and the laundry room.

We love dark wall colors in a dining space, so for this room we chose Kendall Charcoal, which we balanced out with white trim and linear wainscoting that we had John the Carpenter build (you can read more on that – and what inspired it – here). Then we added in some color with everything from the chairs and the art to the curtains.

The peacock chairs were donated by World Market, the weathered trestle table was from Green Front Furniture, the art is from HomeGoods, and the rug is from West Elm.

The curtains were made by U-Fab in this fabric.

The light fixture is from Shades of Light, the (slightly wrinkled) table runner and those blue rimmed glasses are from World Market, and the rest of the table decor is from HomeGoods.

Let’s head over to the mudroom, which is beyond the pantry that we showed you in this post. The mudroom is painted Kendall Charcoal like the dining room, but again all of the white (this time from the built-ins and two big doors) helps to keep the room from feeling too dark.

We gave Carpenter John some direction – like the beadboard backs, the stained wood bench, etc – and then he executed everything. The prism light is from Shades of Light, the tile floor is from Mosaic, the floor runner is from HomeGoods, and the baskets and styling accessories are mostly ours, though the “I Like Big Books And I Cannot Lie” bag is from Fountain Bookstore.

As shown in the video, the glass door on the left leads down to the back patio while the other door (shown below) goes out to the garage. We wish we had a few extra hours when it came to styling this room (we’re not loving the mismatched baskets and the not-very-full shelves) but we were scrambling like crazy in the end. Looking back, it’s kind of a miracle we didn’t just tape up a piece of paper that said “imagine this full of soccer gear, school stuff, and other fun family clutter.”

Across from the pantry is the half bathroom, which we thought would be interesting with a big back wall full of accent tile from the floor to the ceiling. The tile we landed on is called Snow White Seaweed Wave from Mosaic and the wave pattern was actually much more subtle in the sample that we saw, but the shipment of tile that we got featured a deeper accent color. Mosaic warned us that shipments could vary beforehand, but we didn’t end up minding the change. We think it’s one of those happy accidents that it turned out a little bolder since most people who see the house in person name this tile wall as one of their favorites.

The pedestal is the Kohler Tresham (the same line as the toilets in the house), the faucet is Brizo Baliza in polished nicked, the mirror is from Target, and the sconces are from Shades of Light. Sherry wishes those lampshades were whiter like the trim/sink, but they don’t really bother me.

Heading upstairs, the laundry room is one of our favorite spaces thanks to the wallpaper along the back wall. It’s MissPrint’s Pebble Leaf, and it was donated by WallpaperDirect.

The lights are our farmhouse pendants from Shades of Light in a happy lime color. We thought a random pop of citrus would be fun since the room’s palette is otherwise pretty subdued with black, white, gray, and blue. The non-wallpapered walls are painted Steam by Benjamin Moore, which is just slightly warmer than the Simply White that we used everywhere else (it matched the back of the wallpaper better, so that wall didn’t look yellowed by comparison).

The floors are big 12 x 24″ tiles called Travertino White Field Sunrock found locally at Mosaic. Again, we choose some lighter elements to balance out some of the darker things in the room like the deep wood-toned cabinets and the steel gray appliances.

The counters are soapstone and, like the kitchen, we went with a nice deep stainless steel sink and a pull-down faucet (this ones is the Leland faucet from Delta). We’d love a work sink like this in our house (we’re always moving dishes to wash our paint brushes).

As we mentioned in this post, we made an 11th hour call to have the carpenters build a wall-to-wall floating shelf which does two things: it fills the visual void above the counters/appliances, and it also provides a lot of convenience and function since it can house everything from dust pans and laundry soap to baskets full of washcloths and other cleaning supplies. We tossed various things from HomeGoods and Target up there to demonstrate.

The other room at the top of the stairs is the guest bedroom, which Sherry and I both agree is “the one that got away.” It didn’t come together as well as we originally envisioned and we just didn’t have time to make those last-minute tweaks (finishing around 25 spaces in 2-3 weeks meant that getting to every last adjustment for every space was a pipe dream, so we just scrambled to do as many as we could). We don’t think it’s horrible or anything (a bunch of people who walked through even called out things like the curtains or the art as favorites) but we think with a few changes it would have been more our speed.

Our original idea was to bring in some warm tones just for some variety (we didn’t want the whole house vibe to feel too cool) but this room accidentally turned into the space where everything was brown. We picked the wall color from one that we liked using during book shoots (Taupe Fedora by Benjamin Moore) but when we finally got to load everything else into the space (a tan bedspread, a wood nightstand, etc, etc) it looked blah. So we switched up as much as we could, like white furnishings, lighter bedding, and colorful art in some crisp white frames – but we really think changing the wall color would have tied everything together if we had the time (maybe a light platinum or subtle gray-blue). Speaking of the art, you may recognize this calendar-turned-art from our old hallway.

There are still elements in here that we really love – like the curtains from U-Fab, which are a more subdued colorway of the ikat curtains from our old dining room (which currently live in our guest room). The lamp is from HomeGoods and the nightstand is from Green Front Furniture.

The queen-sized headboard is also from U-Fab and it’s another piece we love (once again that wall color worked against us and it just sort of blended in). It’s upholstered in a metallic fabric with gold nailhead trim (and it’s for sale too, if you’re interested!). The bedding is from Target, and the pillows are from HomeGoods.

On the opposite wall is a dresser from Green Front Furniture with a colorful armchair, which was a last-minute buy from World Market. The other last minute purchase was the patterned rug from HomeGoods, which made a HUGE difference in the room not feeling super bare. If only those walls were a different color, we think it would have come together a lot more.

The art and vases were from HomeGoods and the gold candle was from Target.

We were going for something simple, classic, and light for the guest bathroom (it’s not nearly as big as the master bath) and we thought a little hint of “vintage” would be fun in here, so some of the details subtly nod in that direction.

We went with a tile wainscot through the main part of the bathroom, using a family of tile from The Tile Shop called Imperial Ice Gray Gloss. It’s my favorite part of the bathroom – well, that and the bridge faucet from Brizo. The counters are classic carrera marble, the mirror is from Target, the light fixture is from Shades of Light and the bud vases on the toilet are from World Market.

I’ve already proclaimed my love the the Tresham toilet, so instead I’ll draw your attention to the floor – which is the hex version of the penny tile we used in our last kitchen from The Tile Shop. We also added glass knobs to the cabinets (donated by Liberty Hardware) and a seamless glass shower door. It’s not an open shower – it has a door on the right that swings shut to seal the water in – that’s just hiding behind the bathroom door in that first photo.

We were originally going to use the same tile in a different color in the shower, but decided that might be too jarring for such a cozy bathroom. So we continued the same stuff that we used on the wainscoted walls into the shower, which we really ended up loving once the clear shower door went in. The wood bench is from HomeGoods.

And so ends the tour of the showhouse. We’re planning to make a House Tour page with photos of each room, a rundown of sources, and the video tour all in one spot, but in the meantime you can peruse each of our previous showhouse posts here (they go all the way back to the beginning if you scroll back through them).

It was a huge honor to be invited to help with such a fun undertaking, and we’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn more than we could ever imagine about new construction, to work with amazing people who are like family to us now, and to be able to send our fee to Richmond’s Habitat For Humanity (you can read more about that here and here). And you know Sherry’s angling to house crash the future owners so we can share how the house works for a real family (you know as opposed to an imaginary one) so there’s always that to look forward to.