Wallpaper In The Nursery?

I know it sounds kinda crazy, but after painstakingly removing five different wallpapers from this house… we’re considering putting some up. I think I even passively mentioned it in this post about the nursery mobile.

Ever since we imagined the idea of these built-ins, we pictured making the space between the two of them sort sort of accent – either with a color or pattern or treatment of some sort (in our first post we even mentioned a planked wall). Those ideas fizzled a little bit after completing the built-ins and realizing they had a lot of stuff on them (so we didn’t want to clutter up that space between them above the crib too). But neither of us could quite shake the idea of still doing an accent of sorts somewhere in the room. And one night while perusing possible wallpaper ideas for the showhouse, this puppy caught John’s eye.

He went rogue and without even consulting yours truly (cue your outraged gasps) and ordered a sample of it and its darker counterpart, for $5 each. With tax and shipping it was $13 total. Thirteen bucks that would either earn him a sour look from me, or make him a hero.

Well, he got the sour look alright – not for the $13, but because I can still vividly remember the claw-hands I had from wallpaper peeling. The good news is that when he explained that Spoonflower wallpaper is removable, all was right with the world again. And I really liked the pattern too (it feels like something that could grow with the bun, and not be too fleeting or “young baby”). The hero part is still TBD though.

The samples arrived a couple of weeks later. They’re nice and big, and they revealed a detail that John hadn’t detected online: a subtle linen-like texture in the gray tones that I also thought was a nice touch.

We ran upstairs to tape them up on the walls, just to get a feel for them in the room, and John went rogue again and put them on the wall with the bike prints. He must be getting braver (I think it’s the beard, guys). Since we’re both less tempted to mess with the look of the built-in wall, he said he thought that wall might be the answer instead. Forgive the terrible phone pic.

We snapped that with my iPhone so I could mock-up a full-wall version of the space in Photoshop. For those wondering how I did it, I just dragged the photo I shared above into Photoshop and laid it over another picture I took of (almost) the full wall. Then I just adjusted the size of the overlaid detail photo of the wallpaper until the patterns matched up and were the same size (I had the opacity of the top layer down a little so I could see when that happened).

Once I knew the wallpaper pattern was the right scale, I put the opacity back up to 100% and cut out the rest of the iPhone pic so I was just left with a rectangle of wallpaper that I could manually tile until it filled the whole picture. Lastly, I cut out around the objects like the frames, doors, and the changing table (which were still in the image behind the tiled wallpaper) so as I deleted the wallpaper in front of them, it appeared to run behind them.

I also tried a version where I adjusted the color to look like the darker sample that John also ordered, but it was pretty clear to both of us that we preferred the lighter one.

I thought it was a little hard to judge without seeing a plain wall meeting the accent wall to give it context, so I used the same technique to mock things up on this photo that I already had of the room. The colors probably aren’t perfect (the curtains look neon here), but it definitely helped us to picture everything – and it confirmed that the light version wouldn’t clash with the wall color or anything.

I still wasn’t convinced that was the right wall for an accent (I feared it might look too busy with the bike art in real life) so we also mocked it up on the crib wall to see if our original idea was better. We stared at it for a second, but I think we both prefer the bike wall. It just felt too crazy over the crib with all the items on the built-ins, the mobile, the patterned crib skirt, etc.

I also tossed some bold green up there just to see if a hit of that above the crib would be fun. It’s not great photoshop (looks pretty flat) but we didn’t really love it.

I also tried something sort of charcoal-ish to balance the chair out. This one made both of us do that “eh, not bad” face while staring at the computer. It looks kinda nice with the white crib and the mobile.

To add yet another possibility to the ring, a sweet reader named Annie had emailed us this quick mock-up she did with some chunky stripes painted behind the crib, which also gave us pause. You know we love a striped wall

We’re still sort of letting things simmer, but we’d love to hear what you guys would do. Would you go for the wallpaper on the bike art wall? We like that it’s removable, so it’s not too much of a commitment. Do you prefer a solid wall of green or charcoal or even some stripes behind the crib? Or should we just stop being crazy and leave things the heck alone? Part of us is really excited to add one more layer of interest into the room (we’ve never put up wallpaper so that would be a new adventure – and most of the elements in here are really neutral). Then again, we still want this room to be a mixture of playful and cozy (as opposed to that’s-just-straight-up-crazy). What do you think?

What would you do?
[check one]


As a little Friday bonus, here are four fun projects, chats, or questions going on over on the Forums. We also announced this week’s giveaway winner, so you can click here (and scroll down to the Rafflecopter box) to see if it’s you.

by HouseofGold
by WanderingKate
by kschrav
by stclaircatherine


Paint, Light Fixtures, Doorknobs, & Green Vanities

I’m thinking we should post pictures of blue ceilings more often on Instagram, at least judging by the reaction we got to this pic from the Homearama Showhouse on Monday. Then again, it may have just been thanks to Sherry’s dancing girl emojis.

As those high-steppin’ cartoon ladies indicated, we’re pretty psyched about how things are shaping up over there. The bold “Skydive” color that we chose for the office ceiling (by Benjamin Moore) came out better than we imagined, and we even got to use one of our favorite lights that we designed last year. But although there has been TONS of progress since our last update two weeks ago, it’s unfortunately not the kind that makes showing the rest of that room any more exciting. Once you look down it’s still pretty empty.

Emptiness aside – the hardwood floors have all been sanded and stained/sealed (hence being covered for protection), most of the house’s painting is done, most of the lights and cabinets are installed, and even little details like doorknobs are getting checked off the list. Since we fell hard for the look of a backplate in our own house, we went that route as sort of a nod to what we’ve enjoyed here, but upgraded them with white porcelain knobs. Here’s a close up for you, and you can see two of them together in a more panned out shot of the doors above.

The glass pocket doors that lead to the dining room have also been installed. They still need to be painted, along with the front door, but we’re loving them. Especially that transom window at the top. Oh to have 10 foot ceilings…

Don’t mind the height or crookedness of any light fixtures. We walked through the house a while back to pinpoint all the lighting locations we’d need – not only for fixtures and sconces, but for can lights as well – so those junction boxes all had to be installed ahead of time (and we had to select all of our lights beforehand, so we could determine their placement). Now that the electrician has put everything in, it’s exciting to see things in place – but we still have to adjust them once the furniture is in (for example, our dining chandelier will hang a lot lower – it’s just lifted for now so people don’t walk into it).

As for fixture sources, the Loft Shade Chandelier is hanging in the foyer and the light in the dining room shot below is the Industrial Modern Island Chandelier, both generously donated by Shades of Light. We’re also excited to see the dark color on the walls (it’s Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore) above the wainscoting we shared two weeks back. Although each room is only around 5-10% complete (they still need furniture, art, window treatments, and accessories – most of which we have selected, but some of which are still on our eight-page shopping list), it’s a lot easier to visualize things now that there are actually painted walls and light fixtures to reference.

The living room and kitchen are open to each other, and they’re both staying white (which will allow us to add a lot of color with furnishings, art, & accessories), but we also added a Hale Navy (by Benjamin Moore) accent wall to the fireplace, which is mostly complete. That same navy color will be on the kitchen island across the room, so we can’t wait for the space to come together more. You can also see a hint of the dark Jacobean floor color on the edge of the stairs in this photo.

We really like the white painted mantel and marble surround against that dark navy fireplace column. It’s a gas fireplace but the cool herringbone brick pattern in the back makes it feel little old and weathered. Our builder had it wired for a TV above the mantel, but for the show we’ll be hanging art there instead of one of those fake model-home flatscreens – and it just might be an oil painting of Burger The Wonder Dog.

The kitchen cabinets are installed, and shocker-for-us: none of them are white – although the ones in this picture aren’t really their final color. Everything’s still in a pretty unfinished state (some of the doors and drawers are missing, there are no counters or appliances, the backsplash still needs to be installed, etc) but we couldn’t resist sharing a shot of one of two lights that hang over the giant kitchen island. We’re really trying to step out of our comfort zone and take risks to keep the show fun – and we thought these Accordion Chandeliers, which were also donated by Shades of Light, fit the bill. They look kind of crazy right now, but we have a plan. At least we think we do.

They’re the very first fixtures that we selected for the house back in December, so it’s kind of a mindfreak to finally see them in place. The island below them is also Hale Navy (a nod to that fireplace on the other side of the room) so we can’t wait to see how they look when things come together more.

Upstairs is seeing similar progress. Many of the lights are in (there are three of these Glass Jug Pendants in the hallway), and the glass pocket doors were installed on the playroom / reading room / library. Meanwhile the stairs are still a death trap thanks to their lack of a railing. It’s a miracle I haven’t fallen over that yet while trying to take a picture. And I basically put a security detail around ol’ preggers every time she even looks in its direction.

The jack-and-jill shared bathroom between the kids’ rooms is shaping up nicely. Nearly everything is in except for the faucet, sink, and mirror. They were preparing to install the counters as we left to get Clara at preschool – so we can’t wait to see those in place. The main color in this room is in the vanity, which we had the cabinet company paint Courtyard Green (this is the one we matched to a side table that we saw in Target).

It’s not a great shot of the floor, especially because it’s dirty at the moment, but they’re white lantern tiles from the builder’s local supplier, Mosaic Tile (with gray grout so it’s more kid-friendly over time).

The last update we have for you guys is an area that we’re calling the “Master Atrium.” It’s a little spot between the master closet (to the left) and the master bathroom (to the right). We’ve ordered a big leaning mirror for that wall (which is painted Stonington Gray by Ben Moore), so that will go right under the Driftwood Pendant that we purchased. We loved it so much in person that we were almost tempted to get one for our nursery at home, but we worry it won’t give off enough light for a whole room (it just needs to illuminate that small nook in the showhouse).

The most exciting thing to report is that builder John and his crew are fast at work trying to wrap everything up in the next few weeks so that we can start moving furniture in before our early April deadline (the house is supposed to be finished so it can be photographed for press for the show during the first week of April – and of course we have our own mid-April due date to work around for finishing touches). We’re simultaneously thrilled and terrified to be moving from the construction phase to the furnish & accessorize phase. Just hopefully not in that way that makes anyone go into labor…

PS: For those asking about Homearama tickets, they’re usually $10 (children 18 & under are free) but you can get them for 20% off (and show some love to Habitat if you’re so inclined) here. The show is open Thurs-Sun, the first three weekends of May.