August's Room The Victorian House

Wallpaper in August’s Room (A Cautionary Tale)

August’s room was already wallpapered with pale blue and white stripes when we bought the house. August is an awesome little boy, but he’s not the kind of kid we’d trust to be gentle with the walls. I’d planned to work with the wallpaper until it got trashed (in a few years?), then redecorate. I had already picked up some bedding for him six months ago, before we had even thought about moving, but look how great it looks with the stripes!

August's Bedding

I bought a plain wooden bed from IKEA over the weekend, and I’m planning to upholster it myself. I’ve already ordered a few fabric samples, and I was excited about how cute his room is going to look. It’s not much yet and the furniture placement may change, but can you imagine it with that bedding and the bed done up in a great navy blue? So much potential!

August's Bedroom

We already had a brown rug and a brown corduroy glider, so I brought those into the room too. I know some may say that brown and blue is so ten+ years ago, but you know, in a kid’s room? Working with what we’ve already got? It’s not bad. Plus we were continuing the transition from crib to bed that we’d started with August up at the lake house, and I thought it might be comforting for him to have the familiar glider in his room.

August's Room

Except my boy decided to speed along the wallpaper removal. Yesterday, I noticed a little hole about the size of a quarter, right in the middle of the wall. I didn’t think it was there before, but then I thought that maybe I had scraped it with the bed while I was assembling it? It was possible. I hoped August wouldn’t notice and that it wouldn’t get much worse.

It got much worse.

Peeling Wallpaper

He called me in last night, about twenty minutes after I left his room and said good night. His blanket was messed up. I guess he didn’t think I’d take notice of the giant portion of peeled wallpaper?

I had to stifle my laughter. “August, no! You’re not supposed to do that.” “No, it’s OK,” he told me. “See?” He pointed to the space between the bed and the wall. He had been peeling the wallpaper and dropping it down there. Like, ‘hey mom, it’s OK. I’m being neat about it.’

Looks like we don’t have to work around the wallpaper anymore.

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  • Alicia
    September 12, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Hey, at least it’s coming off easily, right?

  • Kathryn
    September 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    He’s not so subtle in his wallpaper opinions.

  • Jessica @ Sunday Loves
    September 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Yeah, the positive is that it’s coming off very nicely. I don’t see any crumbling horsehair plaster. HURRAH!

  • Laura
    September 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Hey, get him to peel the entire room. Keeps him busy, right?

    Peeling wallpaper would have been irresistible to me lying in that bed. I so get him!

  • Lisa Campbell
    September 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I am impressed with how your kids’ rooms look so put together already! Except the hole in the wallpaper, haha. I made a headboard and upholstered that same bed from Ikea for my daughter and we’ve loved it. I’m thinking of getting another for my younger daughter and then upholstering them both in the same fabric since they share a room. I’m excited to see what you do with yours.

  • Kerry
    September 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    LOL Kids are the best :)

  • Catherine
    September 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Peeling wallpaper is something my little guy would do, too! You should definitely put him to work. :) His room looks great, peeled wallpaper and all!

  • Gretchen
    September 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Didn’t this exact same thing happen with Bobby on Mad Men last season?! It sounds like you’re a much better mother than Betty is ;)

    • B
      September 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      That’s why this story sounded so familiar! Even down to tucking away the torn off pieces.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Really? That’s awesome! I am certain I would love Mad Men, but I’ve never even seen an episode. Someday, Brandon and I will start, and then we’ll have seasons upon seasons to watch, marathon-style!

  • Julie
    September 12, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Ha! He’s hilarious! Well, I’ve scraped a TON of wallpaper (in very old and not so old houses), and if it is coming off in big pieces like that, it shouldn’t be too bad! It’s such a messy job, but such a satisfying one.

    I was thinking of that same ikea bed frame for my daughter…thinking of sewing some kind of slipcover for the headboard. Can’t wait to see how his bed and room turn out!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 12, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      I’m hoping it turns out well! I wasn’t going to share his room today because I’m not going to be able to get to the bed immediately, but then well, the whole wallpaper thing happened.

  • Rebecca H
    September 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I did the same thing when I was about 5 or 6. My parents were out of town on vacation and I had just been sent to my room by my baby sitters. I was very angry, and boy did I show everyone. I also drew on the naked wall behind the wallpaper. I had (have?) a bit of a temper…

  • Joni
    September 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    That’s awesome! Thanks for the laugh, August.

    “I’d planned to work with the wallpaper until it got trashed (in a few years?)” … or a few days :)

  • Laura @ Rather Square
    September 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Looks like you may have a new home renovation assistant! And one that works after hours, too. Kind of like a wallpaper elf…

  • Laurie
    September 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Oh man! That was such fast work. Maybe he will end up being your demo guy?

    And I adore brown and blue. All hues and intensities. I think it’s classic and beachy.

    It does sound like it might be a great combination for August. Denim. Lots and lots of indestructible denim.

  • Valérie
    September 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    HA! at least it wasn’t the drywall… which is what my son peeled off before we put moldings on. Now we have to repaint :(

    I wouldn’t put August and Mathias is the same room, lol, imagine the destruction!

  • Brittney
    September 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    The little stinker! :) At least you’ve got an excuse to re-decorate now. I’m loving the simple lines of the bed. Does it hold a twin mattress or a crib mattress? We’re looking to possibly transition Hudson when the new baby comes in January and I just haven’t found many kid beds that are simple and cute!

  • Jessica
    September 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Have you considered maybe just taking the wallpaper down on this wall and painting it as an accent wall? Then hopefully you can hold off on peeling the rest of the paper. Good luck! At least it was in your own home. My 3 year old did it to my mother-in-laws bathroom.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      I hope your mother-in-law had a good sense of humor. Eeep.

  • Carin
    September 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Must be the age. My little guy decided he needed to pull the faux grass cloth wallpaper we had in our hallway one day. We were going to live with till we did some temps, now it looks like it is coming down this fall. Oh the joys!

  • Stephanie
    September 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Wow, my parents would have put the smack down on me if I’d done that as a kid.

  • Kimberly @ Turning It Home
    September 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Oh my! The things toddlers do! Thanks for the laugh… taking scissors to our bed sheets has been the worst that has happened in our home. I’m glad I don’t have the only trouble maker in the world!

  • Kristen
    September 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I had some vintage wallpaper I wanted to save in my new-to-me old house. I noticed a big red circle had been drawn on it shortly after we moved. Upon questioning, my daughter’s comment to her little brother was…”Even though it’s called wallPAPER, it’s not really the kind of paper you draw on…” oh well….

  • Janine
    September 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    *huge laughs* Well, he’s ready to join your blog! August Redecorates: A Making It Lovely Occasional Op-Ed.

  • Sarah from a fine line
    September 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Oh Nicole, your telling of this story is so sweet, and hilarious, and sad all at the same time. I was considering adding this wallpaper:
    to my 3 year old daughter’s room. Is that a terrible idea?

    • Making it Lovely
      September 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      It’s not a terrible idea! It depends on the kid. Eleanor was *shocked* that August had peeled the paper. “August, WHAT DID YOU DO!?”

  • jbhat
    September 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Funny! The paper looked cute! Maybe painted stipes are in order.


  • Claire
    September 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Haha! You’re a great writer. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Kristin
    September 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Been there! And blue & brown are still good together!

  • laura
    September 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Oh my! Funny and cute and terrifying all at the same time. I am considering wallpaper in one of my kids rooms:)

    House Envy

  • Virginia (The Heartographer)
    September 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Haaaaa, that is so awesome! I absolutely love Kid Logic, don’t you? I totally think working with what you have rocks, and I kinda dig that corduroy glider. Beats microfiber, in my opinion! And yes, now you are freed from constraints AND you can entice your kiddo into helping out with this and all future Wallpaper Removal Projects! Yay!

  • Charmaine// All in a Soiree
    September 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Just stumbled upon your blog utterly adore the way you write content, so refreshing.

  • MelD
    September 13, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Why not do like the Scandinavians used to and put an interesting wall-hanging around the wall at bed level? Then he couldn’t pick at the wallpaper any more and the destroyed portion would be hidden till you’re ready to renovate… I think people used to do this for warmth (the Shakers had it, too…).

  • Sarah @ 702 park project
    September 13, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Make sure to take a good look at your walls when you pull down the wallpaper. You never know what you might find. We found an awesome handwritten note from the husband and wife team that hung ours in the ’50s. Such a cool treasure!

  • Karla
    September 13, 2013 at 10:51 am

    The only thing I can think is “we’ll at least it’s not yellow”

    • Making it Lovely
      September 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

      That was one of my favorite stories when I was a teenager.

    • Karla
      September 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Ack! Excuse the autocorrect.

  • Jo
    September 13, 2013 at 11:25 am

    At least it looks like it’ll come up easy!

    My son to work on a wallpapered bathroom while on the potty. I went in after him to find a pile if paper on the floor!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Oh no! Gotta do something to pass the time in there, I guess.

  • Caro
    September 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

    So funny! Totally something my little guy would do that his older sister wouldn’t have dreamed of. Boys are just so different from girls! Where is the cart next to the bed from? Cute idea for books and toys!

    • MelD
      September 16, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Ikea does a similar one in white and turquoise.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      It’s from IKEA!

  • Mary
    September 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Where is his bookcase/bin from? We recently moved to a different apartment. I wanted to install bookshelves on the walls but the landlord is a wee particular about nails in the wall. I’ve been fishing around for some sort of book caddy or bin to stash the books. They are currently sitting in garbage bags :/

    • Making it Lovely
      September 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      It’s a rolling kitchen cart from IKEA.

  • Lucy
    September 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I love how you took it with a chuckle. We are very laid back and understanding parents,too. At least the walls look decent under the paper!

  • Brittany Lauren
    September 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Now you can have the fun of both picking out a fun wallpaper! He sounds like such a sweet little boy! I would love to incorporate wallpaper into my son’s room (he’s only 11 weeks) but I want to wait and see more of his personality so we can have fun decorating his BIG boy room one day! And I’m so happy to read you were an easygoing parent about the peeling! :)

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  • Jordana
    September 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Hi, Nicole.
    I’d like to know where August’s bed rail is from.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 18, 2013 at 11:48 am

      It’s from The Land of Nod. It fits perfectly over the side.

  • Elisabeth
    September 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Gosh I’m hoping you can still salvage the paper! Any chance you can swing the bed around and make a taller headboard to cover it? Pillows and a picture to top it off? Also, the olive rocker would be so beautiful against the pale blue. I love that combo.

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