Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My first big DIY projects in the new house

Well hello! How was your weekend? We went away for a mini family vacation to one of our favorite places on Earth -- New York City. As always, we only stay for a few days but we pack in a TON! I've shared our love of the city many times over the years and shared tips on what to see and do on a quick trip to NYC. Be sure to check it out if you are looking to travel there!

We're back and settled and I'm finally going to bite the bullet and buy a new saw this week. It disappeared in our move and I'm feeling frozen without it. I have so much I want to do in the house and I gotta have one to get moving! All these ideas are swimming around in my head -- I wanted to share a few with you.

Before we even had drywall in this house I knew what I wanted to do with this fireplace wall in our family room:
Tall ceiling and fireplace in family room

We LOVE love love the tall ceilings in this room. 

I've shared this photo with you before because it was our inspiration for our old house. We looked into adding on to that house years and years ago, and this picture was my dream for the family room: 
Tall fireplace wall with gray paint

Well idea that was squashed quickly -- the quotes for a project of that scale were way too much. So we did the next best thing (for WAY less) and knocked down a wall instead

But when we walked into this house...I knew I could recreate the look, at least a bit. Obviously our current ceilings aren't as ornate as those in the photo, but we do have the fireplace! I've always known I wanted to add a dark paint to the fireplace wall, now I just need to figure out the color. And the wall treatment! That's the part I'm most excited about. I want to do something with molding but haven't decided on the exact look just yet. It's almost there in my head...

That wall is calling out for something to add some contrast to the room!

And remember when I said I wasn't going to add built ins next to the fireplace? And remember when I said don't quote me on that cause I may change my mind? Well...my mind may be changing. ;) I'm starting to get an idea in my head of how I want this to look and I think simple built ins would be lovely. We'll see what I decide! I know my ideas will change because I have to live in a space a long time before I know exactly what I want to do.

One project I want to start sooner than later is our powder room: 
Small powder room with gray vanity

Funny, because our powder room was the first room I redid in the old house nearly 14 years ago too. It was my first project with power tools and let's just say I'm a little bit more knowledgeable now. ;)

I want some contrast in here too (can you tell I love it?) so I plan to add a simple board and batten look to the bottom two thirds like I did in our old family room:
Tall white board and batten

And then I've been playing around with wallpaper on top. I saw this gold flecked peel and stick wallpaper at Target last week and fell in LOVE!: 
Gold speckled peel and stick wallpaper

Gah, I just think it's awesome. (Here's is an affiliate link for that version.) I just don't think it's enough contrast for me in this room. Instead I'd really love to add this to my master closet someday. 

I found this linen-looking wallpaper online (also at Target as well) and I LOVE IT:
Blue and gold linen-like wallpaper
It's a navy blue (you know I love that) with gold in it. The room has brass accents so I think it's going to be really beautiful. The reviews on this peel and stick stuff are great online -- have any of you tried it? I'm really excited to try this out!

A project I hope to finish up in the next few of weeks is the stairway wall. You may remember this inexpensive wood wall I did in the old house:
Inexpensive wood wall in stairway

We loved it so much I'm going to do it again, just with some tweaks. 

The landing to our basement in this house is quite a bit bigger, so it will make even more of an impact!:
Landing wall in stairway

Those frames have been sitting there since we moved in! I've had them for years (from IKEA) and every time I went to get rid of them (we didn't have room for them in the old house) I decided against it. I'm glad I did! They're going to look SO good on that wall when I'm done. I may have to do something fun with the light fixture as well. 

I've also been playing around with molding ideas for the long wall in our foyer:
Long foyer with dresser and round mirror

Right now I'm planning on going with a floor to ceiling idea like this one: 
Floor to ceiling trim squares/wainscoting on wall

I've always loved the full wall look and am excited to add it to this house. (It's just a larger version of this wainscoting I've done in the past.) I think that wall will be perfect for it -- I just have to decide on a color. I'm thinking white but may go crazy and pick a dark color. :) Our foyer gets a lot of light so I can go darker in there if I want. We'll see what I decide!

By the way, if you know a source for that photo let me know! I've had it saved for awhile. 

Now I'm off to find a new saw! I'm ready to dive into this projects. Let me know if you've tried that peel and stick wallpaper and if you have any tips! It's been so fun to dream up these projects for our new home! 



  1. The fireplace wall (and built-ins:)) are going to be amazing!

  2. Can you source the plants in your foyer--hoping they are fake as I don't have a green thumbQ

  3. Thank you for sharing! Everything looks great and I can't wait for the future changes! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  4. OMG that's awesome! I CAN NOT WAIT to see it when it's done! You are so talented and have such a great knack for interior décor!!

  5. I can't wait to see all your ideas to come to life!!

  6. Yes, I've used the removable wallpaper. I used it as a backsplash (pretty much 0 budget available) in my kitchen in the painted/whitewashed brick color. Unless you touch it, and from a reasonable distance, it looks real. It is very simple to hang, although I was using short pieces, not 8 ft long pieces, but can't imagine it being difficult since it is easily pulled away from the wall and re-positioned. It has more of a vinyl feel than paper, but no shine unless you get a pattern that has shine. I had 20 feet of wallspace between counter and bottom of cabinets to cover and it cost approx $80 with some left over. It's certainly a lot less mess since you don't need paste or in the case of the old "self-stick" wallpaper, a water tray. I think you would love it, especially with brand new walls. My backsplash wall area was less than perfect but the brick pattern with its textured look was wonderful in hiding the imperfections.

  7. I think that Katie Bower (BowerPowerBlog) has used the peel and stick gold pattern wallpaper on her stair risers...looked super cute!

  8. Long time reader but have never commented.
    I did a wall in my kitchen that looks like chippy shiplap..It was a bitch to put up..I had to have another set of hands. It would not stick and then when it did, it fell of the next day...So what to do? I bought some wallpaper paste and put it on there and it held and has not fallen off since. This has been about 6 months ago.

  9. I've used the Target removable wallpaper in a few spots & love it! I did a small space in my laundry room, it held up well so I did a wall in my guest room. I did it myself, no problem. No issues with it coming off. You can check it out @faithfootballandfairytales.

  10. Sounds like those movers owe you a saw, lady!!! How frustrating! I'd love to know which saw you are getting and why you like it - you inspired me to buy my first saw but it's only a little hand held circular one....but considering my complete fear of saws it's a big step for me!

  11. I love the idea of adding the more formal trim to the entryway and I see you'll use the wider, rustic board & batten in your bath. I have been so wanting to add wall trim but love both and can't make up my mind! Maybe I don't have to!!

  12. I used peel and stick wallpaper in the game room over the beverage center. It was only about a 6 foot length - but it fell within 2 days. I put it back up (with staples at the top - you can't see them) but then within 2 months the paper shrunk so that where the seams are there is space. I would NOT recommend peel & stick wallpaper! At all.

  13. I’m so excited to see your plans come together! I used the removable wallpaper from Target to do an accent wall in my little girls room. I like how it turned out but I don’t know if I would use it again. It seemed a lot like contact paper and I had a really difficult time getting the pattern to match. I had to like stretch it to make it work. With that being said I don’t think the imperfections are very noticeable and I do like how it turned out. Best of luck!

  14. I love the inspiration for the fireplace wall and the foyer will look great with some molding. Can't wait to see. BTW, isn't it super frustrating when things go missing after a move? grrrr

  15. We did peel and stick on a small wall as an accent in our entry way. It was from Target. I agree, it was just like hanging contact paper for us. We had a challenge getting patterns lines up. We tried and tried, and still had a crease thru it. Unlike regular wallpaper you wet in the pan, there is no give or slide once on the wall. We DID get compliments on it, but I think that is because after, we hung a mirror, added a bench in front, etc. It covered places/mistakes where a lot of swear words occurred when hanging. If you expect perfection, this is NOT for you. If this wall won't have things hiding some of it, I also don't think this would be for you. One point in the "pro" column - cost. We remove ours after two years. It did do some damage to the wall, but we were adding wood accents which covered the scars to the sheet rock.

  16. You have so much energy and soooo many ideas! The nice thing about a house with white woodwork is that you can add your own details at a fraction of the cost the builder would charge (crown molding, etc.). Unfortunately, I live in a house with OAK woodwork and cannot add anything since matching stains would be difficult.

    I see a ceiling project in your future! Just like in the inspiration pic!


I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!