Studio First Steps

So far, every room has had a “wild card,” or something that we’ve never done before. Which is fun, because it keep us on our toes, but it also keeps us from ever knowing how long something will take.

Let’s see if I can name all the wildcards for finished spaces (in ORDER):

  1. Exterior : Ummmm….. the whole exterior
  2. Kitchen : A Renovation where I had to decide where WALLS GO
  3. Butler’s Pantry : Muriatic Acid and Antiquing Mirrors
  4. Laundry Room : Crown Moulding, Wallpaper, Building Countertops, Dyeing Wood
  5. Black Bedroom : Curved Woodwork, Building Cabinets
  6. Study (this was the most intact room we’ve done) : Extending Crown Moulding and Picture Rail
  7. First Floor Bathroom : Building a Wet Room, Designing a Hex Tile Floor Pattern from Scratch
  8. The Library : Adding a Fireplace

In my Studio, the Wildcard is the Ceiling – fixing the damage and rebuilding it. The plan is to pull the ceiling tiles from the parlor (right below – also starting to fall down from the same old water damage) and hopefully use those to repair this. But IT’S S MYSTERY if it will work!

Here’s the ceiling damage when we moved in. We covered it up when we bought the house with a plastic board to keep birds out. I mean, if I was a bird, I’d want to live in my house, too. But if you don’t pay rent, you are BLOCKED.

First step? Getting the cabinet out, so we can have better access. This cabinet is cool and useful bit it’s also going. The top board has a lot of water damage and is very warped, and we need to be able to fix the walls behind it. The doors are in good shape – we will keep those and hopefully incorporate them somewhere else in the house.

Also, once I added the giant cabinet, I basically killed any wallspace in this room. So, this is the wall that my computer and desk will go on. I can’t wait to blog in here!

Despite how this looks, Oakley is a TERRIBLE project manager.

Doors are off! You can see another style of wallpaper underneath.

This wall is GROSS. Having lots of KN-95s around has been helpful. Never do this without safety equipment, despite what you see on HGTV when no one wears anything ever.

Gross. Gross. GROSS.

Cabinet sides and top out – just the structure frames to go!

Finding that old house treasure : Mold. Mold doesn’t grow on plaster because it needs paper to thrive, bit this wallpaper trapped behind wood and being fed water for years? It’s like a Thanksgiving All-You-Can Eat Buffet.

Pulling off the side rails also pulled down some fragile plaster.

The top support rail was held on by ALL OF THE NAILS IN THE UNIVERSE.

This is seriously overkill. And it’s basically a weapon now.

Clean slate!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the wallpaper behind the cabinet. More on this later, but at first I was CONVINCED this was really super old wallpaper. (Spoiler Alert – it’s not).

I love it so much!

And yet, another mystery. Can anyone explain this?


“But I thought you weren’t letting birds in here if they didn’t pay rent?” Okay when they are THIS FABULOUS they can DO WHAT THEY WANT.” And then, I found the world’s most perfect sconces to go with this wallpaper and it’s like the universe is screaming at me that this room of mine is going to be perfect.

I mean. Look at these. These will flank the twin bed / daybed that will be in this room.

The colors are AMAZING.

The dots on the tassles and the dots on the wallpaper are amazing.

The gold in the sunlight is incredible!

So, there are some gross pictures followed by amazing pictures and I need one to be able to handle the other! Also amazing – the view out of the window. I love my little street.

All of the wall repair – coming up!



  1. Absolutely love the wall paper you chose! And those sconces! I am a big fan of whimsy and that design ticks all the boxes! Can’t wait to see more.

  2. Wow-the new wallpaper is TO DIE FOR!! Sorry I was yelling – i could not help myself! I am looking forward to seeing it up on the walls. The sconces are lovely.

  3. Those sconces are pretty fantastic on their own but wow are they perfect for that wallpaper.

    I so appreciate seeing all aspects of your projects, from start to finish. It’s all so interesting.

    Okay, I’m laughing at the sheer number of nails in that support rail. Whhhyyyy???

  4. That wallpaper is GORGEOUS! It looks like the color shifts slightly. And the sconces are a perfect match. What a find. I’m so excited for this room. All of your rooms are beautiful, but my favorite is still your laundry room, but I think one this will top that.

    Question, why is this room not more rectangular? One corner has the chimney, but why are the other corners bumped out? HVAC?

    I can’t wait for this room to be finished. Color, creativity, and whimsy all in one space. My beige McMansion brain is exploding. 😁

  5. LOOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEE that wallpaper!!! And those sconces with it!!!!!! They were made for each other!

    And I’m with others who are all laughing at the number of nails in that support rail. hahahahahahahahaaa I’m picturing some handyman years ago putting a couple in and seeing it pull away from the wall, so putting a few more in, and it’s not quite snug against the wall, so putting a few more in….heeheehee

    1. Amy, could you share the maker/pattern name of the wallpaper? (And, fingers crossed that there’s a fabric of it as well…!! I have a chair that this would be perfect for.)

  6. I love how you aren’t afraid of color. Also love your little street. Martin Place Historical District is a treasure.

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