I’m Addicted to Temporary Wallpaper

I was hesitant to go as bold as this gold and white chevron in my entry. After I had put it up I wondered if it was a little bit too much. I decided to give it some time to grow on me. It’s fun, under $50, very easily replaceable, and takes just an hour or two.

I also used temporary wallpaper as an accent to my south-facing walls. This paper makes me feel so fancy and is so much more interesting than paint.

The brick wallpaper was my first experience putting wallpaper up vs. spending a million years tearing it off of walls either in my own prior homes or helping friends. I guess you can say it was addicting. I put it inside the cupboards as well to make it look as if the brick goes to the ceiling. 😀

The last wallpaper that I’ve used was in my bathroom renovation. I was originally going to buy a busier print from a store on etsy, but found this pattern/color on sale at Target and couldn’t pass up the deal.

You never have to worry about the commitment or your resale value. Just put it up, enjoy it and take it down when you need a change!

Orange Wood-Cave Goes Polar Bear White

I could see the potential for this space when I was first looking at the house. It was obvious that the prior owners made updates, once upon a time. The woodwork was extensive and included the entire perimeter of the basement. You can see there is also crown molding and built-ins. The TV built-in has been redone, but the mini-fridge built-in is something that is still on my to-do list.

You can see, it was like an orange wood 80’s showroom down there. Easy fix, that I knew was going to take a long time. I wasn’t going to be able to use a roller for most of it because of all of the grooves, trim work and cutting in.

I used liquid sand paper to wipe it all down with before painting. I’d used it before on my banisters, railings and kitchen cabinets and it works really well. It’s the consistency of water. I use a wash cloth to apply it and then wipe back over the areas with mild soapy water to remove the white film that it leaves after it dries. Wear gloves. I’m not sure, but I think this would eat your skin off.


Once the glossyness was removed from the woodwork, I used Behr paint with primer. Even with that, I needed to go back and do 3 full coats of paint to cover up all of the wood.


Around the same time that I was painting the basement, I also found out that my Amazon Prime membership has music that I can listen to! I found an 80’s station, cranked the Billy Joel and Michael Jackson and got to work. Time was flying until it was 9 hours later and I still wasn’t done. I knew this was going to be a big job, but I’d estimated 1 day and it was definitely going to take longer than that.

I don’t know if the fumes started to get to me or what, but I decided to try a faux finish to make it look like grey barn wood. Holy crap. That was a big NOPE! You can see in this picture that I was also dealing with how to paint the bottom trim without getting paint on the carpet. I ended up pulling the carpet up and then tacking it back down when I was done painting.


Similar to when I was painting my kitchen, I started to wonder if I should also be painting the window trim. I didn’t want to add another day to this project, but decided that I had to do the window trim, too…


I spent a total of 400 years painting the basement. It included the panels, the windows, the crown molding and all of those wooden light fixture plates. Thank goodness I learned about the 80’s station on Amazon to help get me through it!


Bathroom Updo

I call this a bathroom updo because I didn’t really tear anything apart other than the seashell tile border. The entire bathroom is tiled from floor to ceiling, and even on the ceiling in the shower. Demolition of all of that was something that I wasn’t ready for. I hadn’t even imagined that I could do something like that without having to hire someone.

In this updo attempt of mine, the goal was to make my bathroom feel less like the Golden Girls had waved their wand in there. I removed the seashell tile border, painted the outdated cabinets white, covered up the mirror that had ‘One Day at a Time’ etched into it and replaced the shiny silver light fixture, and gold switch covers. Later on I also used granite to cover up the countertop and sink combo.

Removing the seashell border was pretty easy. I had to buy a dremel and a grout removal bit. The grout removal bits are pretty spendy and I ended up needing two of them. I think they’re $25, but without that bit the job would have taken me much longer and I would have likely ruined the surrounding tiles.

Seashell Tile Border

Updo Glass Tile Border

The old etched mirror was literally grouted up onto the wall with the tiles. Rather than create a big mess, I just covered it up. The barn wood is sold at Home Depot. The two vertical planks are screwed onto the wall. I placed screws where there were grout lines to keep from cracking the mirror and tiles behind it. See ya later, ‘One Day at a Time…’ 😀


I’d become pretty confident with concrete after having done my kitchen island. I had no idea whether it would actually bond to the slick countertop/sink material, but I didn’t think I had anything to lose by trying. I sanded the countertop before applying the concrete, but that’s the only prep I did. I applied 2 full layers and a third layer in the sink area. After doing a bunch of research on types of sealers, I ended up sealing it with the same sealer that I used on my kitchen island. It held up really well! I could use it and clean it just like any other countertop. No issues with water, heat or cleaning products.

concrete skim in progress


The new light fixture was from Menards and pretty inexpensive at $49.99. I’m using past tense. Remember, this is my Bathroom Updo. The renovation came many months later…



Bathroom Before and After the ‘Updo’


Kitchen DIY: Before and After

Now that most things are complete, I thought it would be neat to take a picture from the same position as the before pictures that were posted when the house was for sale! And yes, I did *almost* everything myself. I took a few weeks off from work and had my lists. There were really long days and nights during the demo and installing the flooring, but I am super thrilled about how it turned out!


Kitchen Before


kitchen after

kitchen after 2

  1. remove flooring
  2. remove wall
  3. paint cabinets
  4. replace light fixture
  5. new appliances: fridge, dishwasher, oven
  6. build island
  7. custom fit pantry
  8. concrete kitchen island countertop
  9. granite countertops
  10. paint window
  11. new faucet
  12. glass cupboard inserts


  1. I did need an electrician to come rewire the wires that were in the wall I took down. I would have felt comfortable doing this myself, but it was January and 1 of the wires was for the furnace. There was also a wire that I couldn’t figure out. Turned out to be my doorbell.
  2. I did need a HVAC person to come re-reroute the hot water heater exhaust that was in the wall I took down. I actually ended up needing a new hot water heater that would route out of the side of the house vs. through the roof.
  3. I did have the dudes from Craigslist fabricate and install my granite countertops.