The Second Floor is Taking Shape

Hey, no more visible lathe! We have walls!

Hallway: Now with Walls!

That’s the door we’re going to reuse for the new nursery, casually hanging out all akimbo at the end of the hall there. You know, where the 125-year-old subfloor is exposed? Living with the floor ripped up like that for a few weeks hasn’t been as bad as we initially thought it would be, but one of the kids’ bedrooms is over there so we will be glad to have an actual floor down sooner than later.


The wood on the second floor wasn’t in great shape when we bought the house, and when we started pulling it up for this project, we saw why. It’s a very thin material — not nearly as nice as the solid wood downstairs. It’s old for sure, and it has reached the end of its useful life, so we’re going to go ahead and redo the whole hallway rather than just patch the portion that we’re working on now. It’s something that we knew would need to be addressed eventually, but doing it now will mean holding off on some of the more fun stuff we’d rather spend our money on. (Sorry, potential front porch swing. Maybe another time.)

Kitchen to Nursery Conversion

There was a strip of wood molding along the walls in the former kitchen (soon to be nursery!) at chest height, matching up with where the beadboard backsplash behind the kitchen sink ended. After the wood was removed, the wallpaper had to be partially stripped so that any patching to be done could adhere directly to the wall. It looked like the paper was just applied over bare drywall in some sections and we were worried about potential damage, but it’s peeling off fairly cleanly and easily with just water. After our contractor is done working in there, Brandon will finish stripping the remaining wallpaper.

Wallpaper Removal Head Start

I’m about seven weeks from the baby’s due date now, so I’m not sure how the timing’s going to shake out, but the baby will sleep in our bedroom at first anyway. Really, we’re just aiming to get the loudest, most disruptive work completed in time, and thankfully that looks like it will be on schedule.

Chicago Public Transportation

The Best Benches
My Writing, Elsewhere…

  • Need a seat? If you like the look (or the ease of cleaning) of unupholstered benches, I’ve got you covered with a dozen of them right here. Or maybe plush softness is more your thing? Bam: 15 upholstered benches to choose from. And all at plenty of price points, too.

Three Easy Wallpaper Projects

I flew out to New York a couple of weeks ago to film a segment at the Meredith studio for Better TV. (I went to six cities over the course of a month while in my third trimester, so I’m glad to be done with traveling for a while!) I shared a few wallpaper project ideas for the video below — ways to use it besides on your walls — using the allen + roth line from Lowe’s.

Filming with Better TV


Decoupaged Letters

We spelled out “LOVE” to give the basic idea in the video above, but I think it’s the kind of project that would be great for personalizing a nursery or kid’s room (either with their name spelled out in full, or just their first initial).

Materials Needed: metallic brocade wallpaper • water and a small brush (to activate paste) • scissors • craft letters

Instructions: Place a letter face down on your wallpaper, trace the shape, cut it out, and set aside. Next, begin covering the sides of your letter — a little water will activate the glue on the paper’s backing. (If using paper that isn’t prepasted, Mod Podge works well for this project.) Long strips of paper are fine for straight sides, but smaller pieces work well for curves. After all of the sides have been covered, affix the top piece and smooth into place.

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Drawer Liners

Lined drawers are always a nice touch, right? You could use adhesive paper made for drawers of course, but wallpaper comes in so many more colors and patterns. Lined shelves, in a closet or otherwise, are another opportunity for customization. And if the wallpaper has a nonwoven backing like the allen + roth line does, it’s easy to remove if you ever want to change the style.

Materials Needed: striped wallpaper • water and a small brush (to activate paste) • scissors and/or razor blade • metal ruler or other straight edge • drawers or shelves

Instructions: (Pretty sure you can figure this one out without instructions, but here goes!) Cut a piece of wallpaper to the size of your drawer or shelf. Activate the paste on the back of your wallpaper by applying water with a brush, and place the paper in your drawer. Smooth, then trim edges with a razor.

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Bookcase Update

We used grasscloth to add texture and change the color of the back of a bookcase, but obviously you can use any style you like, depending on the look you’re going for. And that bookshelf? Truly a quick and easy project. We had actually started with a white bookshelf on set and the grasscloth looked great on the back of it, but it wasn’t reading well on camera. In a very quick, very last minute switcheroo, we swapped out the white bookshelf for a black one instead. I think it took all of 15 minutes from start to finish!

Materials Needed: grasscloth wallpaperwallpaper paste • razor blade • metal ruler or other straight edge • bookcase

Instructions: Remove the backing from your bookcase if possible. Trace it onto your wallpaper and cut out. If the back of your bookcase can not be removed, measure and cut a piece of wallpaper to size. Activate the paste on your wallpaper by applying water with a brush, and place the paper on the back of your bookcase. Smooth, then trim edges with a razor.

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Come Say Hello

Remember, I’ll be at my local Lowe’s this Saturday, offering one-on-one design consultations and doing another fun project with wallpaper that you can make and take with you! RSVP to to make sure you’ve got a spot.

Style Saturday Invitation

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