The Farmhouse | Wallpapering the Baby Nook

THE FARMHOUSE

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.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 8.2

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:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Closet

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.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 1.2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 7

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!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 9The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 11.2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 10The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 12

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.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 2

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:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 13

Yeah we’ve got our work cut out for us!

More on this room: before photos, priming/painting, pulling up carpets. And the introduction to the farmhouse: here.

I’d love to hear what you guys think about the wallpaper. And our grand idea for converting the closet to a baby nook.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. The Boo and the Boy has got to be the best website for fun, kid room inspiration!  I’ve also pinned a lot of my favorites here!

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.

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4 Comments

Comments

  1. I think it’s super smart. The only thing that made it a closet was a rod, and now the rod is gone. Ha! Perfect nursery solution. I admit when I read your first sentence about priming the wallpaper I was a little horrified. I hope it works. I have never heard of anyone papering over wallpaper before. You will get it all done, now its only a matter of organizing and making the bed. Have a great Holiday weekend.

    • Thanks Alison. Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how the wallpapering over wallpaper thing works out. I’ve heard from other readers that have done it without any issues…crossing my fingers!

  2. Most people who live in an old house should be able to testify that papering over paper has a long history. I did the same thing in my bedroom (primed over existing paper then re-papered) because i could not remove the existing paper without completely damaging the walls. In your case it was in good condition, so much the better.

    Stripping 4+ layers of wallpaper isn’t fun for anyone and you might have been in for more than you bargained for if you started removing it and found multiple layers underneath. Often Victorian houses had wallpaper installed directly on the bare plaster, no paint underneath, and that is near impossible to remove without having to skim coat the damaged plaster. The wall paper looks great and I think the design is appropriate for the house and a more modern home.

    I thought about putting my own bed in a closet once when I was looking at a studio apt that was actually 700 sqft but had only had windows on one wall and a huge closet. There are even outlets in that closet and a window which already elevates it to a level higher than just storage.

  3. The wallpaper is heavenly! The baby will love waking up to those playful animal scenes. Just keep the crayons away or your kids might confuse the black-and-white wallpaper scenes for a coloring book;-)

    I have to add that your baby nook is the largest old house kids’ room closet I have ever seen. Is that a window in there? Lucky kids!

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