Monday, November 7, 2011

Wallpaper look without the wallpaper price!

My most recent design project has taken place in my own entry way. My husband and I built our house over 3 years ago and "we", well I guess I should say "I" went CRAZY trying to decorate it as fast as "I" could. And let's just say it didn't go so well. As a designer, I can decorate ANYONE's home except my own and I appreciate all design styles so I just threw together a mix-match of styles all over the house. As my own biggest critic, I would do a project and then hate it. So, not only did I waste time, 3 years to be exact, but a lot of money as well.

About 4 months ago I had what Oprah would call an "ah-ha" moment. I finally realized that in order to love the decor in my home, my husband and I needed to decide on it together. It needed to be personal and have an overall cohesive design plan. After all, it is OUR home. So we sat down together, looked through photos, and talked about what styles we liked. During this talk I just kept thinking we have been together for almost 8 years and we are just now figuring this out!? So we came to the conclusion that our personal style was Hamptons-Transitional with a Rustic touch. We loved fresh, open, airy spaces with cool colors and a non-literal beachy feel.

After this "ah-ha", I knew it was time to get to work to make this a home that we loved. I thought the best way to do this was to start in the entry way and work from there. Here is a photo of what the entry way looked like before...

Black and silver with damask everywhere. Beautiful stuff, don't get me wrong, but definitely not our style. I cleared the room out and luckily we have a basic khaki paint in the entry way (it used to be lavender...don't ask). You can also see in the mirror reflection the damask wallpaper in the wall niche. I began by ripping that down and in the process was inspired by an article I read on painting your own wallpaper. I knew I was on a "one income family" budget and this sounded right up my alley. I am going to show you step by step what I did to get a completely custom look for the cost of a quart of paint and a small paintbrush!

Step 1: I bought a quart of light blue paint. Behr color: Contemplation. I then painted the entire niche with that color.

Step 2: I found a picture of a quatrefoil online in the size I wanted and printed it. I cut it out, and traced it onto card stock. After cutting it out of the card stock I used pencil to trace it onto the wall in the niche right on top of the blue paint. This part took a while. I would spend about 30 min at at time working on it while my son slept. Needless to say it took a few days to finish. But SO worth it!

Step 3: I poured a small amount of the blue paint I used for the wall into another container and added white paint to it. I was trying to lighten the color just enough so it would stand out from the blue wall without being too bold. I then took a small art brush and painted the lines. This also took quite a bit of time, but I love to paint. I find it so soothing. And your lines DO NOT have to be perfect. The repetition in the pattern helps to distract the eye from any little mistake. Besides, who is going to be looking at it that closely anyway? Your mom or your best friend? Maybe, but they'll be so impressed they won't care!

Step 4: This is what the overall finished pattern looks like. I love that it has the look of wallpaper, but it is also very subtle. This is a great, inexpensive way to dress up any nook or niche in your home!

Step 5: Decorate! I decided to use an unfinished 1x4 from Home Depot for shelving. My husband cut it right down the middle to make 2 shelves. I then white washed the shelves using an old can of grey paint I had lying around. All I did was add water and brushed it on until I got that beachy, grey, driftwood look. I used "L" brackets from Home Depot to secure the shelves to the wall. Then came the fun part. I just ran around the house looking for small decor items to "style" the shelves with. The artwork was just some old art I had lying around. I ripped the art out and had 2 beachy prints made at Walmart for $8!! The books are from the DOLLAR STORE! I just took the ugly plastic covers off to reveal the solid hardback of the book. ONLY $1 each!!

I absolutely love the niches now and the entryway is almost complete. Once finished I will post a before and after photo. Hopefully you can use this wallpaper paint technique in your home somewhere. Think outside the box and use any pattern/color combination you can think of!! And, if this project is a little too intimidating for you and you live in the Dallas area, you can call me to help you along the way!

1 comment:

  1. I have watched the changes take place and the new look is outstanding.Sometimes it takes more than once on a project to get it right. Good work.