Yesterday we played catch-up with a few quick updates we’ve been planning around here, and today I’m back to share our progress. Our first step in giving the entryway a mini makeover was attacking a wall treatment. As I mentioned in the past, our main goal here was to lighten this side of the room. The last time we shared the entry it was looking like this…
However, in real time, after moving the office to the bedroom we’ve been living with this:
Even after lightening the photo quite a bit you can still see how dark, not to mention uninviting, the space is. And please ignore the random collection of pieces. Pretty much every single thing in this photo is a temporary filler and will go elsewhere as we find replacements.
To ensure that the end result would in fact be significantly lighter, we started by framing out and painting the lower two-thirds of the wall in a bright off-white (a custom match to our Ikea Adel cabinets in the kitchen/dining room).
Ricky just used a few basic 1×3′s to make the frame, the same size boards as used on the craftsman door trim around the front door. It really helps the space feel as one, like it was always there, and brings so much character to the room. I always felt like the pallet wall, opposite the entry wall, was really heavy in the room and pulled your eyes directly to that side of the room. This new feature is definitely helping to balance that out. The pallet wall was another reason we opted not to do the typical board and batten within the frame. We felt like all the horizontal pallet boards mixed with vertical board and batten slats would just be too much for the room. So glad we recognized that before it was too late.
And BAM, instantly brighter.
I’ll have to share a picture looking from the front door into the kitchen area, it’s so light and airy. I’m LOVING coming home to this new space.
Now, for the upper half. We played around with the idea of installing a gray grasscloth wallpaper above the chair rail for quite some time before settling on an option. I looked into buying it online, and even ordered a few samples, but all of the options seemed really dark and heavy. Then I remembered reading about Kate purchasing gray grasscloth wallpaper from Lowe’s. I flipped through their books with no luck, but what I did find was their selection of in-stock wallpapers. They didn’t have any gray grasscloth, but what I did find was Allen & Roth’s Grasscloth in Beige. You can probably guess what this painting-fool was about to do
At just $20 per roll and at my immediate disposal, I didn’t even question whether or not to give this project a try (most other grasscloths were only available by the double roll, costing $60+ and had to be custom ordered). I made sure to cut out a small sample of the wallpaper and paint it before wasting any time with the entire roll, and left it up on the wall for a few hours to decide if the color was a go. Which, for anyone curious, we chose to paint the grasscloth one shade lighter than our existing BM-Gray Husky wall color, with Ben Moore’s Silver Chains.
The paper was pre-pasted so I didn’t have to mess with any crazy wallpaper glues either. Hanging was crazy easy, coming from a girl who has never wallpapered or witnessed the process. I just simply cut the paper to size, submerged it in water, and smoothed it out on the wall. I picked up one of those wallpaper water trays to dunk the paper in, which was manageable with smaller strips, but if you’re looking to wallpaper an entire wall (floor to ceiling) I might suggest using a spray bottle to midst the paper instead.
In older homes the walls are never straight, so I was pretty much banking on a fight if I tried to precut the paper before hanging. Instead, I just left an extra half inch or so on both top and bottom and then cut the paper with an x-acto knife once it was snug on the wall. I found that using the smoothing tool to hold the paper in place, while I made each cut, kept the paper from sliding around or snagging.
Even with the beige color, I was already loving the look.
The seams were a little more noticeable that I had hoped for, but no worries, the paint takes care of them! From a distance they blended in quite well anyway.
I allowed the wallpaper to set up for a few days before tackling the painting phase, which is not really a “phase” at all since I painted the grasscloth exactly the way I would have any other wall surface. Bonus – it covered in one thin coat!
I’ll admit, it did lose some of the texture, which could have been assumed since we were covering the variation of colors with one solid color, but it still has plenty close up!
Form farther away, it blends perfectly with the other walls
I know, it doesn’t even look like wallpaper. Which, I kind of love. It’s a nice little surprise when you get closer up!
Here’s a very boring, and very poorly staged version of what we’re planning for the space. Of course, the mirror needs to be hung, we’ll be replacing the console with a dresser, adding a few accessories, hanging a couple coat hooks, and we might swap out the chair. We’ll see
We’ve almost wrapped up the mudroom lockers (I know, I’m jumping around on projects like a crazy person. Sorry, get used to it.), so maybe we could squeeze in DIY’ing a dresser for this space sometime relatively soon. That is, if we finish up Zoey’s closet this week. Whhhat? I know. We’re nuts. Why do we do this to ourselves? We’ll be sharing more deets later this week