...because home doesn't happen overnight.

IKEA dresser bench 10

Mabrey’s big girl room is finished! I’m sorry to have kept you waiting for so long, but this project took place in real time amid real life which means it took forever. I’ll be sharing a series of posts this week discussing different aspects of the room because I feel like there’s too much for one post. Actually, that’s how I tackled the room…by breaking it up into smaller, easily digestible projects. Last month I shared how we customized a plain Jane trundle bed. Today I want to talk walls. I promise pretty pictures are coming soon, but this post includes a bunch of grainy, in-progress, iPhone photos. Brace yourself!

big girl wall paint

The nursery walls were a deep charcoal with blue-green undertones. I absolutely love the color and am keeping it in my back pocket for future reference, but it was time to brighten up the room to reflect Mabrey’s, ahem, vibrant personality. (No joke, I just overheard her telling Everett, “That’s what you get. Don’t mess with me!” #strongwilled) I removed everything from the walls, patched holes and sanded them smooth in preparation for paint.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the teensiest bit concerned about painting a light color (Benjamin Moore white dove OC-17) over such a dark color (Benjamin Moore dark pewter 2122-10). I consulted with my local Benjamin Moore sales rep, and he assured me that the self-priming Natura line was the way to go. I was prepared to roll on three or four coats to get full coverage, but it only took two coats and a little touch-up. Yay for projects that take less time than anticipated! It also helped that the trim was already painted Benjamin Moore white dove, so I didn’t have to tape it off. Even though the walls are an eggshell finish and the trim is semi-gloss, stray brush marks aren’t noticeable. I painted three of the four walls. I left one wall dark thinking it would be a good backdrop for Stikwood, but that idea didn’t really pan out. (More on that in a minute.)

After the walls were painted I had the wall behind the headboard wallpapered in Cavern Home’s tapestry wallpaper in zuni. Yes, I paid someone $125 to install the wallpaper. It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I’ve successfully hung wallpaper by myself in the past, but this paper was a little different. For one thing the wallpaper was not pre-pasted, so I would’ve had to invest in adhesive anyway. Second, the edges were untrimmed meaning someone other than the manufacturer (preferably a professional installer) needed to trim them prior to installation. The process can be a little tricky if you aren’t familiar with it. I wasn’t willing to wing it for fear of botching the entire project. So I found a local professional installer via the Wallcovering Installers Association. I called three or four installers before I found one that would take on such a miniscule project. He stopped by one Saturday morning and, in less than hour, the wallpaper was up. I couldn’t write that $125 check fast enough. So. worth. the. money.

The lesson? If you’re considering “untrimmed” wallpaper, be prepared to hire out the installation.

We planked the fourth wall in Stikwood’s vertical caramelized bamboo. It’s the same wall treatment we used on the bunk wall in the boys’ room. (You can read more about that project here.) This is where the dark wall (the one I didn’t paint white) became problematic. The wall isn’t perfectly flat (thank you old houses) so no matter how hard we tried, a few gaps showed up between some of the planks. The dark background accentuates the gaps. Luckily, they aren’t noticeable on the finished wall. They’re one of those things that really only bother Steve and me because we’re the ones who hung the planks. Still, if I had to do it all over again knowing what I know now, I would have taken the time to paint the wall white. Live and learn.

I think that covers all four walls. (Corny pun, so sorry.) Normally, I wouldn’t use three different wall treatments in such a small space, but I like breaking all the rules in children’s rooms. Mabrey’s room isn’t even 10′ x 10′, so I feel like the walls are one dimension I can have fun with without taking up precious floor space. I spent very little on actual furniture pieces, so there was more room in the budget for wall coverings. And since I only used wall coverings on two of the four walls, the splurges were relatively affordable.

Do you have any unique wall coverings in your home? I’ve always loved the idea of a simple kitchen set against planked walls, either rustic or painted. Something similar to thisthis or this or this.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

10 Comments

28.August.2016

It takes a while to get a room done, especially if you keep changing ideas! My problem!

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28.August.2016

Hi Dana,
Love this room and all of the wall decorations! Would you share where you purchased the straw/wicker round bowls that hang on Mabrey’s wall?

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replied on August 29th, 2016

I’ll include them in a big ol’ source list later this week!

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29.August.2016

So sad to see those dark pewter walls go (love that color!), but the new room looks amazing!

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29.August.2016

Are you happy with your decision to go with the white paint? I think you’ve talked before about how the room doesn’t get a ton of natural light. We’re moving from a loft with huge unblocked windows to a house with big trees in the yard and I’m trying to figure out what color to paint the walls. White is always my favorite, but I know it can look dingy if there’s not enough light.

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replied on August 30th, 2016

I do like the white! It feels bright and really fresh. It helps that the BM white dove isn’t a stark/cool white but more of a warm white. I don’t think I would like it as much if all four walls were white. It helps to have some pattern from the wallpaper and warmth from the wood wall.

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29.August.2016

Thanks for sharing the update. She is quite the ham with the camera, she is cute and so is her room. :)

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replied on August 30th, 2016

“Ham” is an understatement. Girl has loads of personality and spunk.

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16.November.2016

I stumbled upon another child’s room with three wall treatments, I thought you might be interested…
http://jestcafe.com/2016/05/11/one-room-challenge-wk-6-big-reveal/

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replied on November 16th, 2016

LOVE. Thanks for sharing!

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