Thursday, April 26, 2012

Removing Wallpaper 101

Yes, I said it, REMOVING wallpaper...
Doesn't the thought of it just make you cringe? What a job! I've heard horror stories about it being so messy, time consuming, and labor intensive! But, guess what? It really wasn't that bad! I am going to take you through step by step on how to remove wallpaper and I hope this will make your project a whole lot easier!

This is a photo of what my master bedroom has looked like for the last 3 years. Pretty, yes. Our style, not so much. Like I have said so many times before when talking about my home, we were so excited to finally own our first home that when we first moved in 3 years ago, we went design crazy in every room! We didn't stop to think about the overall cohesive feel we wanted the home to have. Until now. So now that we have a plan we are working on re-decorating our home room by room. And we have now come to the master bedroom.
I can't express how important it is to decorate your master bedroom!!! Majority of people leave the bedroom for the very last project, if they even touch it at all. In every apartment and home we have ever lived in, the master bedroom is always one of the first rooms to be decorated. Your master should feel like the one room in your house you can retreat to. It should give you a calm, serene feeling. Somewhere to rest and take in a deep breath at the end of a long, exhausting day!
Yes, our room definitely had that feeling, but I just kept wishing that it were more Cape Cod, beachy, and airy. So begins the re-decorating. Starting with removing the wallpaper accent wall...

Our wallpaper was put up by rolling on wallpaper glue. So this is the process I found worked best if that is how the wallpaper was applied (not by soaking the strips in water and using the adhesive on the backside of the wallpaper). The first thing I did was peel off the first layer of the paper; the actual printed part of the wallpaper. It will peel off much easier if you always pull from the bottom up. I peeled up a corner and pulled it all off in strips. This left behind a yellowish, thin looking paper that was glued to the wall.

Next I used a spray bottle filled with HOT water and liquid laundry detergent. The hotter the water the better. I sprayed it on 2 strips at a time so that I would have enough time to get those strips down before they dried. Once it was completely soaked, I peeled it up from the bottom in large sheets. You can use a large putty knife to help get your edges up.
It came off so nicely! You can see it revealed my paint swatches from before the wallpaper went up!

This is the wall after all of the wallpaper was removed. You can see where each individual strip was. I allowed the wall to air out and dry for a day before painting.

Last, but not least, I painted the wall to match the rest of the room.
This color is Porpoise by Behr. It is a pretty good shade of grey, but it changes a little in the light throughout the day. And I got to cheat a little by not having to take the paint all the way to the ceiling because my amazing husband is putting up crown molding this weekend!! YAY! I'm so obsessed with crown molding and hope to one day have it all over the house!

I hope if you are working on a wallpaper removal project that this helps! Keep in mind that my paper was only up for 3 years. Those of you removing paper that has been up for decades or has been painted over, you may find it to be a little more tricky. This will give you a good start though! Good Luck!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Hallway is Finished!!

  3 rooms down, lots to go...
The Hallway is finally complete! And yes, the hallway counts as a room! It is the main hallway that leads you from the entry of our home into the main living areas and passes my new office along the way.
I have taken lots of pictures and I am going to talk you through the entire design we go!

The first thing we did was add the chair rail with picture frame molding below. I painted it all white to give it that Cape Cod/Hampton's feel. On the main wall, I really wanted to display my favorite family photos. I bought these frames from Big Lots for only $12 each! I loved the idea of having them all match. And the best tip I can give you for framing photos is to make sure the frames have matting! Matting gives it a much more professional look!
I found this photo on pinterest showing different ideas on how to hang your photos. There are so many fun compositions! I liked the idea of using a shelf to add dimension. I hung 2 of the frames and leaned the 3rd on the shelf (I already had this shelf hiding in a closet!)
I printed the photos at Costco. And if you're not printing your photos at Costco, you NEED TO! They are so inexpensive, you can send them in online, they will have them done in only a few hours and they don't charge you for "one hour" printing, and the quality is amazing! I printed all of these photos for less than $10!!!

I loved the idea of using the long frame that held 3 photos to display my favorite photos of my husband and I during very important events in our lives! The first photo is an engagement photo when we were just babies at 19! The second photo is our wedding day and the 3rd photo is a maternity photo from our first pregnancy! The rest of the photos are current family photos!

From there, I used 2 candle holders to frame in the photo area. I bought these 2 candle holders at Kirkland home for $15 and then spray painted them white! I wrapped 2 old green candles with jute to give them a rustic feel.

Here is a before and after from when the house was first built and now. It is a long curved hallway. You will see the builder gave us one of those really fancy fishbowl lights (LOL) up above. Not only did I hate the look of it, but it gave off no light at all. So we replaced it with this new one!

I bought this at Cabela's!! YES I said Cabela's. The 'everything outdoor' store! They have a entire Home and Cabin section online! And it was only $39!!! I love the Harbor look and the rubbed bronze!

 Here is a before and after of the plant shelf. I didn't want too much on this little ledge, so I went with 3 hurricane lanterns and a few white twigs. I already had the lanterns and the twigs were $10 at Hobby Lobby. I just cut them down to size and set a few inside of each lantern.

This is the other side of the hallway.

 Since this side of the hall is really curved inward, I had to hang small decor items so that they wouldn't stick out. I used a clock that I had hanging in my kitchen, 2 picture frames and then my brilliant designer of a husband (don't tell him I called him that) suggested hanging a lantern with a plant hook. I LOVED that idea! So unfortunately I can't take credit for it...But, the lantern was $7.00 at Ross and the plant hook (on the plant isle) is from Lowes and was only $3.99. I love that it adds dimension to the wall!

So there you have it! Another space complete in my home! Now onto the master bedroom! I have already begun and will have some photos for you later this week! I hope this hallway will inspire you to get creative in your home and do it all on a very small budget!


Monday, April 16, 2012

New! Baby Bouncer Seat Covers!

Style with Wisdom's Etsy shop is now open!! We just listed our first item available for sale! Our shop is called Decor Remedy by Style with Wisdom. We are going to be offering a wide range of items from custom textiles, and digital graphics, to baby items and up-cycled decor! We are so excited to be offering these products that are affordable for everyone!
This first item is a made-to-order, custom baby bouncer seat cover. I just finished this one for a friend of mine and it turned out so cute! After scouring the Internet and Etsy she wasn't able to find anything or anyone offering this service, so she hired me and I've decided to list it on Etsy.
You pick the style, colors, and details and then send us your old seat cover. We will make the new one and send your old one back with it! This way you keep the safety and padding of the original and the new cover goes right over top for a new, fresh, fun look!

Here are some before and after photos! This would be a great shower gift for a friend having a second baby! Message me if you would like more details!

Custom Baby Bouncer Seat Cover $50

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Thumb Just May Be Turning "Green"

Green Thumb;
1.   A natural skill for gardening
2. A person with this skill

Hmmm....a natural skill for gardening...yup, not me! Well, now that is all in the past. I think my thumb just might be turning a shade of green. Thanks to my complete backyard overhaul, some much needed knowledge from my MIL (aka the Queen of Gardening), and a little gardening fashion.

But seriously, I was never the outdoorsy type. Even as a little girl. I was way too busy playing dress up inside. And even now into my 20's, ok fine closer to 30's, I still seem to kill every plant I touch!!
I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were working on a complete backyard makeover and I am almost ready to show you photos and share the story! I don't know much about gardening, but I am so excited to share some tips with you that I have learned along the way!

Here are a few things I now know for sure:
1. You MUST use fertilizer if you want your flowers to look amazing.
2. You MUST pinch off any dead/dried up buds if you want new ones to grow in their place.
3. You MUST water regularly.
4. Research what types of flowers grow best in your area. Obviously in Texas I needed to find drought resistant and full sun flowers.
5. You need to use a mix of gardening soil and potting soil when planting your new flowers.
6. A little gardening fashion never hurts :)

 This stuff is seriously magic for flowers. It is Alaska Fish Fertilizer. About $5 at Lowe's. I use about a Tablespoon of the fertilizer mixed with a gallon of water (I pour it directly into my watering can), once a week on all of my flowers and shrubs. I will warn you, this stuff smells NASTY!!! But, it works! My flowers quadrupled in size in only 2 weeks and they look like they could be in a magazine!

 And this is Miracle Gro Bloom Booster. Also about $5 at Lowe's. I rotate between this and the Fish Fertilizer. You only need to fertilize about once a week. This works the same way. One scoop into your watering can and add water. This is like steroids for flowers. You will have crazy blooms after using this for a few weeks!

 And here is my gardening fashionista gear! Come on, if anyone can find a way to make gardening fashionable it was going to be me! It is much more fun wearing these cute gardening boots around the yard than a gross old pair of tennis shoes!

 How cute are these!? These gardening boots were only $19.99 at Target!

 And this pair of gloves and shovel were only $1 each at Target! They were in the dollar section at the front of the store. I NEVER walk into a target without checking this section first and neither should you!!!

So, I hope that you all learned some new gardening tips today and if you are like I used to be, without any green thumb, I promise if you follow these tips it will change! Hey, I even have a board on Pinterest called 'For my not so green thumb', guess I need to go change that now!

Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bringing the Outdoors In...Literally

  Ok so most of you know that we are slowly working on re-decorating our home room by room. I am one runner rug away from finishing the large hallway that connects the entryway to the rest of the house. I can't wait to share photos with you within the next few weeks. But, finding runner rugs is like looking for a needle in a haystack and I've been looking for weeks! So, since that is holding me up, I am cheating on the hallway with the living room fireplace mantle. I know, I know, I am suppose to being doing one room at a time and finishing it before I move on, and I am no where near ready for the living room. But, I keep getting inspired to decorate my mantle with moss balls, so I did. And this is where we are literally bringing the outdoors in.

I spray painted 3 old candle sticks I had shoved away with a matte white spray paint and then sanded them down to reveal the black underneath. I added the moss balls and they look so beautiful now and match our beachy, rustic style.

But, the moss balls are the highlight! I am going to take you through this easy 3 step process on how to make your own moss balls. Store bought, these can cost you $20-$40!! But, you can save tons if you just make them yourself! The green Styrofoam balls are around $3.99 and it only takes 2 packs of preserved moss to cover 3 balls. Each pack is around $3.99. It cost me less than $20 to do all 3! 

This is the green Styrofoam ball before. You want to use green instead of white so that nothing shows through the moss.

Next you need to take a small piece of the moss and lay it moss side down. You are going to use hot glue to adhere the moss to the ball, but you cannot put the hot glue directly onto the ball because it will melt from the heat. Place your hot glue onto the backside of the moss and then set the ball on it. Use pressure to hold it together for a few seconds. Repeat this process until there is no more Styrofoam showing.

This is the Styrofoam ball completely covered.

And here is the finished product! They look just like the store bought version! Maybe even better! Remember to think outside the box when decorating!! I love using candlesticks to hold items other than candles! Use decorative balls, vases filled with decor, picture frames, anything you can dream up!

Ok, ok, now back to the hallway I promise! Pics coming soon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Love Affair with Wainscoting

Yes, I'll admit it, I have a love affair with wainscoting. And trim, and board and batten, and chair rails, molding, paneling, bead board, you name it...I love it all! Especially painted white. It is such an inexpensive way to add character and interest to a space!
 Now when you are a fan of Cape Cod and The Hampton's design styles, wainscoting is a must. I am in the process of adding little touches of trim all over my home. Here are a few inspiration photos I have been drooling over...

Chair rail with picture frame molding

Bead board


You can find all of these photos and more on my pinboards on Pinterest! Follow me here!

Aren't they beautiful!? That is definitely the feeling I want my home to have. It is so fresh and airy. It reminds me of the beach, which automatically makes you feel calm and peaceful!
So now that the office is finished, I am on to the long hallway that leads from the entryway and office to the master bedroom. The first thing I knew I wanted to do was add a chair rail with picture frame molding below. We have 12ft ceilings in our home and sometimes the walls look like they go on forever! I thought that some trim would be the perfect thing to break them up a little. Here are some photos of the process from start to finish!

This is the finished product! I love it soooo much! Did I mention I love wainscoting?? What a huge transformation for very little time and money! Each piece of trim only cost 85 cents per foot!

This is a photo to show the process. First we measured the length of the wall where we wanted the chair rail trim to go. Our hallway takes a very sharp, rounded turn at the end of the hall, so we had to stop the trim there. We used a miter saw to make our cuts and a nail gun to nail it up.
Next we added very small trim in boxes below the chair rail. This part took quite a bit of math to plan everything out before hand. We had to account for the length of the wall, how large we wanted the boxes, and the outlet on the wall. But it really is up to you and how you want it to look!
Finally, we finished by giving it 3, yes, 3 coats of white paint. It takes a lot to get a smooth white paint look and I like to use satin when painting wainscoting or any kind of trim. I also used putty to fill the nail holes from the nail gun. I love to use the filler that is pink when you put it on and then it dries white.

This is the opposite side of the hallway and it curves the opposite direction. Luckily we used MDF trim for the chair rail so it was able to bend just enough to go with the curve. We used a stud finder to make sure we were putting the nails into studs on this wall. I love this little wall now and as you can see I have begun decorating it with a clock. But, decorating this wall is definitely a challenge because it is so curved. I am going to have to get creative. We built this house 3 years ago and I have never put anything on that wall until now. So exciting!
I am so thankful for my husband's handy man skills on this project. I was squealing like a little school girl while my husband was putting it up. Funny how excited one can get while putting up something as simple as trim. Believe me, standing in the baking isle at the grocery store and the trim isle at Home Depot come pretty close in my book...