If you guys happened to be on Instagram at 2am on Saturday night, you were in good company with yours truly. Yes, 2am. Normally that hour is reserved for sleep or the occasional baby feeding here at the farmhouse, but on Saturday night, Garrett and I were still up finishing our first ever DIY wallpaper job in the nursery closet. For any of you who missed it, here’s a look at the wallpaper.
Stunning, right?! But before I gush over the pattern, let me back up and explain a couple of things. You may remember that two weeks ago, I shared a video in which I told you guys that I planned to leave the nursery closet as is, including the floral wallpaper and the particleboard built-ins. Remember what it looked like? Here’s a reminder:
So why the sudden change of heart?
Well my sister came to visit – which is the start to many a good story – and we spent an evening chatting in here. I told her how this room was my favorite room in the house. And how the daylight streams in making it the perfect space for writing and photography. I told her how this room had to function as a nursery for Brooks (at least until we move him in with Wilder), a playroom for the kids, and an overflow room for guests. And I mentioned that with so many big windows, there wasn’t enough wall space for a crib, a dresser and a full-size bed/day-bed.
Then my sister had this amazing idea and she said, why not put the crib in the closet. Let me repeat that: why not put the crib in the closet. Okay, hearing that now, it sounds a little weird. After all, putting babies in closets seems more of a tiny-Manhattan-apartment thing than a 2700sf farmhouse thing. But it wasn’t weird, it was brilliant! And here’s why. We don’t really need an oversized, door-less closet in this room, and by gutting the built-ins and putting up some fresh wallpaper (preferably something less feminine for Brooks), this wouldn’t be a closet anymore but a cozy “baby nook” for the crib. And the rest of the room can be used as a playroom/office/guestroom.
See what I mean? Brilliant!
So I immediately got on Anthopologie’s website and ogled the wallpaper. I was a little indecisive in picking the pattern at first – they have sooooo many great options and after waiting 8 years to wallpaper something (anything!), I didn’t want to get it wrong – but we finally settled on the Kalahari Vignettes Pattern by Florence Balducci. It’s whimsical, and simple, and feels totally appropriate in a 104-year-old nursery/playroom/office/guestroom.
While we waited for the wallpaper to arrive, Garrett demo’d the built-ins, took off plate covers and a couple pieces of molding, patched the walls, and primed the existing wallpaper.
When Saturday night finally rolled around, we got the boys to bed and then Garrett rummaged through the garage for some tools while I watched YouTube videos on how to wallpaper (this one and this one were helpful). Since it was dark and we were in a race to bedtime, I didn’t get any photos of the process besides a quick iPhone shot. But in the end, pre-pasted wallpaper installation was a totally do-able DIY and it took us just over 5 hours to complete. That’s about twice as long as I would have anticipated for a 6’x6′ closet, but wrapping the interior corners and cutting out for the small window really slowed us down. I would recommend that if you ever find yourself wallpapering, you watch lots of YouTube videos and give yourself plenty of extra time.
I should also confess that we did something the experts don’t recommend in here: we wallpapered over wallpaper. In our defense, the existing wallpaper was in really good condition and had no bubbles or rips. And we went to the added trouble of priming it, so the pattern wouldn’t bleed through. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if that was a huge mistake or not, but so far, I can’t tell what’s on the subsurface – it just looks beautiful!
I wanted to mention one more thing. We are not going to wallpaper outside of the closet in this room. Our walls are really textured plus wallpaper is super expensive (this pattern rings in at $88/roll and we used 4 rolls just in the baby nook). The rolls that are hung up outside the closet are there so I could get some well-lit photos of the pattern.
Now that wallpapering is done, it’s time for us to get this room ready for Labor Day guests, who arrive on Friday. That gives us three days to tidy up. We’re going to need it, because this is what the room looks like right now:
Yeah we’ve got our work cut out for us!
I’d love to hear what you guys think about the wallpaper. And our grand idea for converting the closet to a baby nook.
p.p.s. Alicia Keys stopped wearing makeup and I’m all about it!
p.p.p.s. In case you were wondering, this is what summer nights are like at the farmhouse.