Dining Room PROGRESS!

Back in September, I posted some mockups of different inspirational gallery-walls into our dining room.

We have this large wall in our dining room between the doorways to the front hall and the kitchen. The wall actually runs along the length of our staircases.

We opted to go with the assymetrical gallery wall look.

I purchased a ton of white frames from the Christmas Tree Shoppe, with the frames ranging from $3-6 per frame.

Then I followed the YoungHouseLove gallery wall tutorial.

I traced around all of our frames and make newspaper-sized templates of all our frames. Then I played around with them on the wall until I had a set-up that I liked.

Then I needed to hang the frames.

Now, I thought I had followed their tutorial, but now that I’m looking at their photos I definitely ignored their tutorial (and didn’t take in-process photos! Oh the agony!)

They measured out where the wallhanger was and made a little “x” where to put the nail:


I took the newspaper template OFF the wall and laid it over the back of the frame. Then I found where the wall hanger was and poked a little hole in the newspaper with the nail.

Then I put the template back on the wall exactly where I wanted it and I knew exactly where the nail needed to be.

Sorry for no visual accompaniment.

It was easy-peasy. The only hard part of the whole project was trying to add hangers to a few frames that were “standing-only” frames.

Suffice to say that I love it!

There is a bit more tweaking to be had, but it’s nice to finally get some art and photos on our walls in this house.

Moose did install a new thermostat. Thank you for noticing!

Actually, I always felt like the thermostat and dimmer looking like they were floating awkwardly. Now they feel more hidden.

At first I was a little nervous about having so many frames on the one wall, but it balances out the large wall of windows, wall of sideboard/cabinetry and huge chandelier (which I’m still undecided about).

My favorite part is walking in the front door! As soon as you look to the right it looks like we actually live here now!

Yay!! It’s only been 7 months, but it’s starting to look like home.

Why yes, those are new curtains you see. I have been holding out on you.

I made them out of Button Bloom, a line of outdoor fabric from Joann Fabrics. I believe I bought it on clearance at $5/yard. I call them “Fake roman shades”. Really they are just a valance with a fold and they hang on a tension rod.

(This room is extremely hard to photograph by the way. It’s so sunny, which makes it my favorite room, but all my photos are way too bright!

Gallery Wall

If renovating was a race, our dining room would be in the lead. Not that that’s saying much!

So far we’ve stripped the wallpaper, painted the walls, trim and ceiling and added the beadboard wallpaper. I’ve also painted all the cabinet bases.

We still need to refinish and hang the cabinets, install the drawer pulls and change out the swirly chandelier for a drum shade chandelier we bought, oh, in June. I just bought fabric to make our curtains (yay!).

Our dining room walls are nearly all doorways, windows and cabinets except for the one long wall along the stairwells going up and downstairs. We plan to put in a gallery wall of frames – and there are so many options!

Today I’m pondering a few directions we could go.

1. Black and White Asymmetrical


I’m not sure how I feel about black frames in this room. It’s already to airy with the pear walls and white trim. I do like the jumbled look of this layout. You can see where they started with the center line and started “growing” out from it.

2. Mirrored Surroundings


There is also the possibility that we could buy a large mirror, to reflect all the light coming into the room, to anchor all of the smaller frames.

3. Lean-To


I think this is my favorite so far. It’s the most non-committal. It’s always nice to avoid hanging frames in the wrong place and filling the wall with holes. For this option we could install two narrow ledges and leave frames against it. On second thought, would I be concerned about frames falling over and the glass breaking? Hmmm…

4. Grid Lock


This is the most simply and straightforward gallery wall option. I do like the symmetry of it, but I think I would dislike having all the photographs the same size.

Do you have a wall of photos? Which one do you like best?

Beadboard Wallpaper: A Thorough Review

Earlier I showed you my progress in the dining room.

I know, I know. I know what you are all thinking.

“Why on earth are you putting wallpaper UP when you’ve been spending so much time taking wallpaper down!? Haven’t you learned?”

Here’s the thing: wallpaper is easy to take down when it’s been put up properly.

I ordered my beadboard wallpaper through the blog Southern Hospitality. It was great – it arrived very quickly even though I just paid for standard shipping.

I was not sure how I was going to like the paper and was very interested to see it in person. It was much thicker than I expected. It had an almost foam-like texture. The grooves were much deeper than I expected, thus giving the beadboard quality.

I have wallpapered before, but never alone. It was actually pretty easy!

I measured and cut my first piece. (Always leave some extra. And start in the most hidden corner.)

I dunked it in my trough (Home Depot, $2) of warm water. Then I folded it over itself and let it sit for a few minutes. This activates the wallpaper paste and causes it so get very sloppy on the backside of the paper.

Note: This was pre-pasted wallpaper. I bought paste just in case, but I definitely didn’t need it.

Then I unfolded the paper and put it on the wall. The wallpaper will be very maneuverable for a few minutes. You will be able to slide it around into place with both hands. Since this has a stripe in it, I used a level to make sure each piece was put up straight.

Then I used a wallpaper scrapper (not a technical term. 99 cents at Home Depot) to adhere the paper to the wall. This is the messy part. Be sure to have lots of wet paper towels around because the glue will be coming out the ends of the paper.

Hello Wallpaper Boogers!

I usually took some extra glue with my finger and put it over the creases before I wiped it all away with a wet paper towel.

After all the excess goop was taken care of I used a seam roller (Home Depot, $2) to go over all the ends and seams to make sure it stays tight to the wall. I went over the paper with a final scrap to make sure there were no air bubbles. At this point you should get up and look at the wallpaper from different angles and distances to make sure you aren’t missing any air bubble underneath the paper.

Finally, take a metal ruler and sharp razor blade to cut off the excess paper. This can be a little difficult so do it gently so you don’t rip the piece (therefore, having to start over).

Then repeat every 34 inches!! : ) Wait 24 hours and then you can paint.

For outlets I carefully placed the paper and cut a rectangle over where the outlet was. Window molding is slightly more tricky. Just go slowly and use small cuts.

It IS possible:

I really enjoyed the process and am planning on trying it in several other places in my house!¬† I like it because I didn’t have to take off the molding, nor did I need to use any sort of cutting machine. (Which I don’t know how to do.)

(Still no cabinet doors. Still no corner rounds.)

I think it looks like it has always been there.

I did read that you could install door stoppers if you have a door handle swinging into the wallpaper a lot. The foam texture could take a beating and leave an imprint. Fortunately, I don’t have that problem in this room!

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Doing the whole room cost around $40 (including shipping). That is a lot less than real beadboard, and I am sure I would have made many more (and more irreversible) mistakes.

How do you feel about beadboard? How about baked beans? How do you feel about alliterations in general? Am I crazy?

An Inspired Dining Room (And Beadboard Wallpaper Returns!)

Right after we bought this house I came across this photo in a magazine. I don’t know what magazine it was out of and it, clearly, has been wrinkled and stored for a little while from this photograph I took of it.

I love it! I love the crisp white cabinets and warm, farmhouse wood that creates casual, cozy eating spaces like this.

Does the layout look familiar to you? It did to me!

(Our dining room when we bought the house)

After I stripped the metallic leafy wallpaper (which you saw here), took down the cabinet doors for refinishing (which I have yet to do… la la la) and painted the cabinet bases (Valspar Swiss Coffee). Break out the singing angels!

(*ahhh! Crisp color!)

This room needed a serious color infusion. We ended up choosing Behr’s Dried Palm (satin finish). It was the fastest/easiest paint decision we have made yet.


During the day I was describe it as Juicy Pear. At night I would describe it as Sage-y Lime. I love it. It’s perfect with blues, yellows and whites in the summer and will be great with cranberry and evergreen in the winter.

The next step was *drumroll* BEADBOARD WALLPAPER! Remember I posted about beadboard wallpaper here? Well, I ordered a roll and I L-O-V-E it.

I still need to add the corner rounds and (obviously) the hardware and cabinet doors, but we are one step closer.

(Sidenote: The chandelier in the dining room is ginormous. I can’t take a picture in this room without getting at least one or two swoopy arms in the way.)

I will follow up in another post all with a full disclosure review of the beadboard wallpaper. Overall, it was great and easy to use.

Decorating magazines or online sources like Pinterest are a great way to find inspirational rooms that will have similar architectural characteristics as your own home.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

How to Remove Wallpaper – Part I

My Mom was big into the wallpaper back in the day. I remember helping my Dad take down and put up paper quite a few times. I remember going to the wallpaper store (do they even have these anymore?) and looking through all the kids wallpaper books while my Mom browsed through all the options.

I think it started with my childhood bedroom. My Dad, little brother and I raced around my yellow bedroom tearing down the paper while my Mom was grocery shopping. We wanted to surprise her.

Fast forward.

My husband and I bought our first house. This first house had a few rooms with wallpaper that really needed to go.

Here is a photo of our dining room wallpaper in all it’s 80s, mauve, metallic leaf glory.

This was the first room that we decided to tackle.

Tools Needed:

1 spray bottle
white vinegar
hot water

Take your spray bottle. Fill it 2/3 of the way with hot water.

Fill the last 1/3 with white vinegar.

All you need to do is spray it on the paper and let it sit for a minute. Then use the scraper (if possible I like to use plastic to protect the drywall).

You can use the scraper to start pulling up the edges.

If all goes well, this will happen:

Once I got a little piece away from the wall I just pulled it with my hands and the whole piece came off.

One solid piece.

Okay, I should probably warn you. That never happens. Never.

But for this room it did. Woo hoo!

Once I stripped the room of all the paper I needed to wash the walls. To do this I just used my hot water/vinegar solution (2/3 water to 1/3 vinegar) and used a sponge.

Some people like to use steamers, but I don’t like them. They explode really hot water all over your hands. Some other people like to get the chemical solutions from Home Depot. I would recommend starting with hot water and vinegar. It worked like a charm for this room.

If you’re having trouble with the paper you could always buy a scouring tool to perforate the paper and allow the water/vinegar solution to soak in deeper.

And that was it.

Shouldn’t it feel more complicated than that?

Well, the next room wasn’t so easy. That’s why this is only Part I.

To be continued… *cue scary music here*