A girl and her sharpie – aka how I brought Cole & Son wallpaper into my budget :)

Hi again! ¬†See, I told you I’d be back ūüôā

So, when we last met, I introduced you to my Larry, my DIY fail.  I also mentioned that I had already redone the accent wall in the craft studio, so today is a reveal post/mini-tutorial.  If you guys want something more in-depth, let me know and I will elaborate with a full-blown tutorial for you.

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I have a rather long-standing tradition of falling in love with design elements that are WAAAAAYYYY out of my budget. ¬†As much as I love those design elements, I also kinda love a roof over my head, food on my table, and, um, my marriage. ¬†All this means that I can’t blow my budget no matter how much I love a given table, rug, lamp, etc. ¬†But ask anyone who knows me, and they will probably tell you I am stubborn¬†determined (and resourceful). ¬†Luckily, I am also not afraid to take risks with paint. ¬†Here’s why:

cole and sons

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Oh, Cole & Son, your wallpaper is so pretty, so my style, so…FRIGGIN’ SPENDY! ¬†I first saw this wallpaper on Anthropologie (a website I only browse when my wallet is safely in the other room where I will be too lazy to fetch it), but at almost $200.00 a roll, it just wasn’t going to happen. ¬†So, I decided to DIY it. ¬†After looking on the internet, I found a bunch of birch tree stencils, but nixed these immediately since they didn’t really nail the original wallpaper. Plus, I thought it might hurt Larry’s feelings if I tossed him aside, only to do another stencil. ¬†Y’all know I couldn’t risk that, haha. ¬†Further searching led me to this post on Apartment Therapy, though, and I knew instantly that I was close to a solution.

marker tree

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Finally, looking over my Pinterest boards, I found this pin of Vintage Revival’s gold sharpie wallpaper.

DIY Sharpie Wallpaper Tutorial @ Vintage Revivals[7]

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Cue the lightbulb moment:  gold sharpie + hand drawn trees = the perfect solution to my craving for Cole & Son wallpaper.

And here it is!! ¬†Pardon the less than ideal nighttime photos and the “storage unit chic” look this room is still rocking – it’s coming along, but it’s not done yet.

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Here’s a quick description of how I did it:

First, I pulled up a picture of the original wallpaper on my tablet so I could refer to it as I went. ¬†This was super helpful in keeping the look uniform and preventing me from getting distracted and just doodling on my walls (not that that was EVER a concern…at all).

Next, I sketched out the tree and branch outlines very roughly in white chalk.  I also added in some knotholes.  I used the standard schoolhouse stuff that you can get at the dollar store and was perfect Рnot only did it show up really clearly on the navy walls, but it also came right off the with a damp sponge when I was done.

I then took the thinner of my two sharpie pens (I used both the medium and fine tip oil-based paint sharpies in the gold color), and drew roughly horizontal lines across the trunk of all my trees to fill them in. ¬†I spaced these about 1/3″ apart on the main trees in the foreground, and wider on the skinny trees in the background.

Next, I took the heavier point sharpie (medium) and filled in between the lines with a combination of lines and dashes.  I tried to keep the pattern fairly regular between adjacent lines, but vary it overall so that nothing looked TOO uniform.

Finally, I used the fine point sharpie to add extra dashes on the one side of the tree trunks, to make them look more shaded and dimensional. ¬†I also added some fine branches and leaves at this point, and added the Doctor’s and my initials in one of the knotholes for a personal touch.

All in all, I think I went through about 4 fine tip sharpies, and 3 medium tips. ¬†I got all of them at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and used 40% off coupons, so all in all I spent around $15.00 for the whole wall, not including the navy paint. ¬†If you add that in it’s probably more like $30.00. ¬†Regardless, my DIY job was MUCH more in my budget that the $200.00 original. As an added bonus, I got to do it in my chosen color combo, and I kept the Doctor happy ūüôā

So there you have it Рthe basic breakdown of what I did to create my own personal golden forest.  Feel free to comment with any questions you might have, and if enough people ask, I will do a full tutorial with pictures of each step and such.

Till next time,

Sarah

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Entryway makeover and an introduction…

Let’s get the formalities out of the way, shall we? Hi! I’m Sarah, and my hubby and I are in the trial by fire process of fixing up our very first house. It’s a 1932 cottage (hence the incredibly clever blog name), and while it has its quirks, we love it. Much of the heavy lifting had already been done for us (well, sort of – more on that in future posts) since the house was a flip, but in the process of renovating the previous owner stripped away much¬†of the charm that was in the house :(. So, we are on a mission to bring back that charm, while still keeping with our modern aesthetic – blending the two into something new, homey, and uniquely ours. Oh, and we’re on a preeeeeety tight budget too, so expect creative thinking and DIY projects.

Speaking of which, I just redid the entryway of our little house. Here’s (a terrible iphone picture) of what it looked like before – try not to run away in terror!

Yep, it’s a beauty, isn’t it? Cheapo college-era wire shelves? Check! Shoes everywhere, all out in the open? Check! Pathetic attempt at a drop-zone for all the mail, bags, and general nonsense we lug home every day? Right there (those would be the baskets overflowing with stuff, in case you missed it, lol).

Needless to say, this was not the first thing I wanted people to see when they walked into our home. However, we are a “no shoes” house – those dark floors show every speck of lint and dust someone’s shoes may track in – so getting rid of the storage wasn’t an option. And as much as I might fantasize otherwise, the reality is that the mister and I are not going to stop leaving our bags and such by the door. I knew I needed something with hidden storage to stow away all the shoes, and I wanted to turn that little nook into a focal point. So, off to Pinterest I went – a search which turned up these examples of gorgeousness (drool).

Problem was, I wanted something:
a) fast
b) cheap (or better yet, free), and
c) with a minimum of building (what can I say, we had just finished 450 linear feet of hand built fence, and I wanted a break from power tools).

After some looking around the house at what I already had, I realized that while the Ikea¬†bookshelves (similar) we had in the office were full, they really didn’t need to be – at least half the stuff on them we never used or needed. Just like that, I had the first piece of the puzzle! For free!

So I packed up some of our stuff, gave some more of it away, and moved the now empty bookcase into the entry nook. On its side and with some legs from Ikea added, it was a perfect sideboard. Add in a painted damask accent wall (more details on that in an upcoming post), some lighting, and a few accessories, and this nook went from bedraggled to beautiful.

All it took was one weekend and ~$70.00. I also added some of these baskets from Target to store shoes, and the rest of the cubbies house a basket of stuff for our fuzzy daughter, Isabelle, as well as bags and the aforementioned crap-ola we bring home each day.

So now, drumroll please, the after pictures!

 

….and for comparison’s sake, a side-by-side:

I know the pictures are not up to snuff. ¬†Nighttime photo sessions + iphone camera = not so hot. I will do better, I promise! I also still need to add the finishing touches, like a new overhead light (our house was FULL of the dreaded boob-lights…ewwww), and maybe a small piece of art on the short wall. ¬†But seriously, I love it so much, y’all, I can’t even tell you. For now, I’m a happy girl!

Till next time,

Sarah

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