Find A Happy Place

This is what I’ve been telling myself for the last two weeks. You know how in Peter Pan, they can only fly when they think of happy thoughts (after being thoroughly doused in pixie dust? What I wouldn’t give for some pixie dust…)? Happy thoughts are hard to come by sometimes. Especially when this is what you’re working with:


Yes, that is a door that goes outside. No we don’t have deck. It just goes out onto the roof.

We’re working on it.

Anyway, with about 80% of all our wall surfaces having some kind of paper attached, we knew that this was going to be a big part of our lives for a while. What we didn’t take into account was the fact that many of the rooms not only had multiple layers, they had multiple layers beneath multiple layers.


I think in the girls’ room and in the office/nursery we counted 8 layers of wallpaper total. And it wasn’t just the walls we had to contend with.

Ceiling Wallpaper

The was (multiple layers of) paper on the ceilings as well. I’m totally aware that this was the fab fashion once upon-a-time and I’m sure it was completely charming at one point. But all it was really doing was making the rooms look like dark holes. The rooms themselves are particularly large, so when you have darker walls (and ceilings) it just adds to a feeling of limited space.

So, for the last two weeks we’ve been peeling wallpaper down. We’ve probably sunk at least 20 hours into taking down wallpaper. We’ve rented a steamer twice because we couldn’t get it all done in one day AND the master bedroom had a thick, almost vinyl material wallpaper that wouldn’t allow the steam to pass underneath it, even after scouring the surface.


But fear not, it’s coming down whether it wants to or not. When you set aside the fact that it’s a pain the butt to take down, it’s been really interesting to see the different layers of wallpaper. Some were baby-nursery themed, others were florals that I wish could have been salvaged. But in the end, all the rooms are looking a little like this:



After some last-minute cleaning/sanding/priming, these walls will be ready for paint! The floors are getting cleaned too so that they’re ready for sanding and staining (!!!). We’re almost done with all the rooms! Right now I’m channeling my inner-Dori from Finind Nemo and sing a steady, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

Even though these aren’t glorious “after” pictures, they’re pretty motivating “process” pictures and it’s starting to feel like we’re getting close to being able to move in.

However, I have to admit, if I never see wallpaper again… it’ll be too soon. I’ve even started to notice that wallpaper is  coming back again and it sort of makes me want to vomit.

This room is beautiful, but all I see is a headache, and I’m pretty sure the smell of wallpaper glue is permanently engrained under my fingernails. No amount of design-catalog amazing-ness will ever make me want to put up wallpaper.

Having said that, our plans are still to leave the dining room as-is. Wallpaper will stay in there. I’m anticipating being able to afford a professional if we do ever decide to take it down.

Now we’re stirring and testing paint colors and I’m really excited to be able to share with you some serious “after pics”! Cross your fingers our non-designer eyes picked some good colors otherwise I’m going to be cursing paint too and then we’re really screwed.

What did you guys do last weekend? I got myself to a couple of new thrift stores and was completely enchanted by some of the stock they carried. Anybody turn on some Christmas music yet?



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