small space, big impact

If you’re going to try something bold or bright or unique, sometimes it’s easier to try it in small spaces. That way if it doesn’t look great, it’s only a small loss in time and effort compared to what can feel like years off your life when updating a huge room. Trust me, I know. Plus, shapes and designs can help make the room appear bigger. Bonus!

I’m still trying to convince Paul that a wallpapered wall in the guest room and/or dining room would make for an amazing wall, but he’s not convinced… okay, and I’m a little scared myself.

Examples from Pinterest:

I took my own advice for my half bath and added some wide strips! A renovation blog called young house love had done stripes in their old house and since then, I’ve wanted to try, what seemed like a simple technique. Here is their tutorial for their bathroom strips.

Here is our half bath before my updates. It’s a really small bathroom, so it was rather difficult to get good photos of the space.

I started by painting the entire room one color. I started with the lighter strip color just because we had more of that paint left over from painting the hallways. Darker colors are actually easier to paint over than white walls or lighter colors. If you have the same amount of paint, start with the darker paint color, it’s easier to cover. I painted the whole bathroom with Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee OC-45 in eggshell.

I then waited a couple of hours for the paint to dry.  During the down time, I did some intense math and thinking… how many strips do I want?  How wide?  Which color do I want to start and end with?

Answers: I decided on 6 dark strips, 7.9 inches, and dark on the bottom and top, the dark paint against the white baseboards and soon-to-be-white crown molding will make for a more dramatic effect.

I’m not going to lie, measuring out 7.9 inches was difficult, realizing the wall and floor were not exactly straight, was extremely irritating!  All I want is 6 stupid stripes on the wall! Ahhh!  At this point, I wanted to throw my pencil and hit the wall with the level… so I walked away.

I took a shower. A very long, hot, shower.

I told myself: I’m not stupid, life isn’t going to end, all of my efforts will not look like DIY amateur work. I went back to the project with a new attitude.

I marked a line every 7.9 inches down one side of the bathroom starting at the baseboards and then used  a level to mark along the wall and applied blue painters tape accordingly! I won the battle! It actually wasn’t that bad, once I realize the world wasn’t against me.

This may have been emphasized by my choice of listening material.  I like to listen to books on when I paint, and this time I was listening to the The Girl Who Played with Fire.  I tend to become the character I’m reading/listening to, so when realizing my measurements weren’t coming out right, I wanted to take my boxing skills to the wall and assumed the government was after me. Yep, this is me. (I recommend the whole series; dark, but fun and suspenseful.)

Next, I applied two coats of Benjamin Moore Halo OC-46 in semi-gloss. I was really nervous with the high sheen of the semi-gloss vs. eggshell, so I sampled it on an extra piece of drywall in our garage . It was a fun combination.

The thing is, I ordered the paint on my lunch hour, over-the-phone, and picked it up that evening. I thought I had asked for satin or eggshell over the phone?!? But ended up with an already mixed semi-gloss… so it will have to work! No returns on mixed paint.

Once you are 100% done with the second coat of stripes, make sure to take off the painters tape before it completely dries; this is something a lot of people forget to do.  If you wait until the paint it completely dry you may chip your straight-line-work, making for more frustration than satisfaction. Also, make sure you press your painter’s tape down hard, especially on the edges that will touch the paint; it will be less likely to bleed.

I waited 24 hours and washed all the walls for any residual pencil marks, then touched up any other imperfections in my paint job.

Now, it’s time to put in the new gear!  I went to Lowe’s and got a new medicine cabinet door (but the mirror was smaller, and I decided against it), toilet paper holder, towel rack and knobs.  The white framed picture has a piece of the vintage wallpaper in the kitchen; yes, I kept a piece!

I hope you all explore a bold design option in your spaces.

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