Kitchen revealed

I know I’ve taken a wee bit of a hiatus from blogging, which makes me as sad as it might make you. I’ll go WAY out on a limb and say I’m sadder. I know I’ve discussed my perfectionist problems... for whatever reason I don’t want to share works in progress just the final. I mean, I will of course show the in betweens but I have this THING with wanting it to be final-final.

That being said, I need to start revealing. So without further ado…. the KITCHEN!

Here is where we started…. There was a LOT going on. With the sponge paint on the backsplash and three of the walls. Plus I always have been one to cram my fridge with lots of pictures; our counters were cluttered and we had another photo/crap wall.


For such a small room, we actually did a LOT of changing.

First on my list was getting rid of the sponge paint back splash. I liked it 7 years ago when we moved in, but it was looking dated. After investigating a few option, I settled on wallpaper.  WALLPAPER?! You say? Yes, wallpaper. And here’s why.  Of the options I was looking at, it was the most economical, it offered a wide variety of patterns, if I change my mind I can rip it down and change it AND if we ever do win the lottery and update our kitchen for REALZ I won’t want to cry when the contractors tear it down. Which WOULD have happened if I tiled.


When you look at it like this, it almost doesn’t look so bad!

Behind the sink was the easiest break of all. Popped right off without much work on my part.


That was EASY!



The other side of the counter… not so much


At this point I realized spackling was a must… What I didn’t realize was that I’d have to wait another full day if not more before I could actually HANG up the wallpaper!



halfway there

All spackled up and nowhere to go

Now comes the fun part. Getting the wallpaper on the walls. This wallpaper, thank GOODNESS was prepasted. So all I had to do was put it in water, double it back and then hang it up. Simple right?

It actually was pretty easy. The hardest part was figure out how to best trim the wallpaper so that the pattern remained intact. Once I got my system down I was good to go.


My tools




Yeah I used the sink as a trough, what of it?!


First sheet up, only 10 more to go!

I honestly cannot believe how much easier this was than the closet. I mean, SO much easier. I guess because the pieces were smaller, and it was all at chest level as opposed to standing on ladders and reaching awkwardly over my head. It was done pretty lickety-split.

first_wall outlets

I even got fancy around the outlets

Final_faucet final_whole counter

Gorgeous right?

So now it was MONTHS before we actually got back into the house. So all that sat under the tarps.

The ghetto corner of the kitchen that couldn't quite get the tarp to cover.

The ghetto corner of the kitchen that couldn’t quite get the tarp to cover.

And finally (I will update this with a proper after, but in the interest of getting it out there) …

2013-01-27 15.38.57

Other upgrades you may notice. We got rid of the Pergo Flooring and replaced it with 4″ Wood Planks. “Heart” it. I never had a huge problem with the Pergo like my husband did. BUT I did have a problem with the uneven floors going from the front of the house and then the slant between the family room and the kitchen. All fixed!


I know I’ve said it before but i LOVE this lamp.  Funny story: the light burnt out in it and we let it sit like that for about a month because we couldn’t figure out how to CHANGE the lightbulb. THANK GOODNESS for Google!  Once I remembered the model name/number for the lamp (Eurofase: Pop-2) we were golden.

2013-01-27 15.40.01

You might also notice I pared down on what was on the counter, namely the big-ass coffee maker. I LOVED my coffee/espresso maker however I literally never used the espresso part, and heck I needed the counter space. DONE.



I’ve also greatly pared down what is on the fridge. This is a lot more organized and calming to look at.

Of course the spice rack made the journey:



I know this might seem counterintuitive as I was trying to open up my counter tops; but the one thing I lack even more than counter space is drawer space. I saw these on EBAY and fell in love. They are soooooo splendid.



In general after making the move back from the rental, I had gotten rid of so much unnecessary kitchen junk that I actually feel really good about our kitchen and the organization in it.  I still need a better tupperware solution but aside from that. We’re good!


Hall Closet Makeover

This past weekend I had two major wallpaper projects.  The first was the kitchen, but after pulling off part of the countertop I realized it was actually going to be a two day job. So onto the next project…. the hall closet.

As I had posted the other day… here is the before:

Before… cramped, cluttered, can’t see the floor or any of the jackets inside.

annnnnd the After:

Wouldn’t you want to keep this neat!!!!

And how did we get from there to here… well let me tell you, it WASN’T EASY.

First I unwrapped the wallpaper and after reading the instructions three times realized it wasn’t pre-pasted. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! It’s 2012 how can it NOT be pre-pasted. I’m hoping one of my interior designer/DIY/crafty-crafter can tell me this because I find it reDOINKulous. So after being all fired up to finally get started, it was quite the wah-wah-wahhhhhhh moment.

Clearly I had a lot to get done, and that now included running to the hardware store. To have at least a small sense of accomplishment I pulled everything out of the closet.

A blank canvas

without the shelves or bar.

So now I was at a standstill…. off to the paint/wallpaper store I go.  I made a conscious decision to NOT go to Home Depot because I didn’t want to be sidetracked by shelving or anything else and I wanted personal care. So I went to our local Benjamin Moore Dealer, Young Paint & Wallpaper. Feeling all sorts of confident, I walked in and asked the nice man at the front desk for wallpaper paste.  …………

There was palpable silence, he was clearly waiting for me to say something else. But what? I had no idea!!!! So I just started blurting…. I know nothing about wallpaper, I ordered this online and one roll came in prepasted the other didn’t and I just want to hang it up. I did all my research on how to do it but it was based on prepasted yadda yadda yadda…. can you help me?! It soon became clear that this guy was more of a paint than wallpaper guy. So he directed me to another woman who after asking me a series of questions to which all I could answer “I don’t know.” She gave me your basic wallpaper paste with the suggestion of taking a solo cup drizzling it onto the back and then using a sponge roller to spread it.

Now I was set…. I had my supplies

One gallon of wallpaper paste… check
One sponge roller… check
ready for this???? NOPE!

I put a long drop cloth on the ground and measured off 96 inches (the height of my walls). [I probably should have thought that one through a little better, but when you get to my wrap up you will see my takeaways.]

When this stretched out the width of my living room I should have thought twice about the length

Then I started the task of applying paste. When someone tells you that you should be able to drizzle it on and then spread that would give you the impression that it is somewhat more liquid on the viscosity scale …. you would be wrong. It was much more like Vaseline. So I would scoop a bit out and plop it on the back and start spreading.

Plopping the paste

It wasn’t so difficult, just tedious. And exhausting. So after all 100 inches were properly coated (I was told to put extra at the top and bottom) I “booked” the wallpaper which meant folding it in half and then in half again paste to paste and pattern to pattern and let it rest for 3-5 minutes. Much like a well cooked steak.  I realized this would be a good time to draw my plumb line.  That is a line that is perfectly level regardless of your walls and ceiling. I took out my trusty level and put that sucker up… With no regard for the width of the wallpaper…. Then I brought the wallpaper over to the wall, crawled up onto my ladder and unfurled my “book.” Since I was by myself I don’t have any pictures of the hilarity that must have been me hanging up the wallpaper. It was on my head, attached to my legs, wrapped around me at various points. thankfully I didn’t rip any of it. After a few minutes the first sheet was up….

so proud!!!!!

After that was up, I stood back to admire it and though to myself… HOLY HELL how am I going to get the seams to match up?! What was I thinking???? Wouldn’t PAINTING have accomplished the same luxury????

ANSWERS: Very carefully… Its so pretty… and yes probably but this is WAY more fun.

So after a few tries, I figured out how to line up the paper and……. I made that seam my bitch!

what, whaaaaat?!

I AM SO HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS!!!!! Not only am I very proud of myself I am also in LOVE with the pattern and how lovely and luxurious it came out. And let me tell you I am so so so lucky that I had enough wallpaper to cover the whole thing. The seam on the right side doesn’t exactly match (except at eye level because that’s important). I never would have thought I would have run out given the area was 2′ deep and 3′ across, those 8′ high walls really killed it!

Next that needs to happen is that we get the closet organizer in there. But that’s not going to be for a few weeks. We have quite a few things going on the next few weekends.

Here is my takeaway from the project, if you are thinking about wallpapering here are a few tips that I think would have been helpful

  1. Buy pre-pasted wallpaper. What, are you like me and didn’t know that it COULD come unpasted?!
  2. If you DO purchase unpasted wallpaper, use a sponge roller to spread it! Also tape down the edges so it doesn’t roll up on you.
  3. Have a helper. Now I had wanted to do this by myself so this one is my own fault but another set of hands would have come in handy.
  4. Cut and tape up first before applying to the walls. Little things would have come to light if I had done that such as the physics of a 62 inch person applying a 96 inch strip of wallpaper to a wall.
  5. Measure twice, cut once!
  6. Hire someone!!!!! HAHAHA


Let me first start by saying, I love my husband and kids more than anything. Let me next state how they are up at my in-laws tonight so I could do some DIY (more on that later). And I will follow that up with a William Wallace cry of…..


What have I done with my day you ask? Well they didn’t leave until after lunch so all four of us went out to lunch together. E did the absolute cutest version of Twinkle Twinkle.  E at the Diner

Then it was a few errands around town, then it was down to brass tacks. Like I said, some DIY’ing around the other place. On the list was the backsplash in the kitchen and the hall closet. I’ll go step by step with that in another post, they are both a work in progress (mostly because I’m planning on finishing the kitchen tomorrow) and the closet because I have to figure out a few things.

If you’ll remember, this is what the closet looked like before we left:



Everything was thrown on the floor, it was hard to get to the shelves at the top for hats/gloves/scarfs even though I did have them in lovely bins. We had an over the door organizer for hats, which honestly isn’t very functional. It is hard to close the door with all the hats we… ahem, my husband… have.

Step by step will come in another post, but here is the first stage after…. cue the oohs and aaahs

Wouldn’t you want to keep this neat!!!!


The only piece of advice I will give is to make SURE that you get pre pasted wallpaper. This stuff…. not so much.

Now that this is done I have to figure out the shelving situation. Originally I wanted double hung bars. Then today, I got nervous about that because I realized that the kids jackets aren’t going to be so small forever. So I think I am going to get adjustable shelves. The kind that you put the metal in the back and then insert shelves… you know these:

Clearly not this big but something like it.

I am not going to have time this weekend to hit The Home Depot but it’s good to have a game plan.

So now I’m home, had myself some leftovers, a couple of Woodpecker Ciders and watching Man on A Ledge…. doesn’t suck.

I’m loving life.