Built-in decor update

These built-ins were driving me crazy….they seriously needed a fresh update.

Its only been a few years since I stenciled the interiors but they just never looked quite right. They were too dark and everything displayed on the shelves looked drab; nothing popped.

I was in need of a fresh, clean look.

At first I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do; I could always paint them again or try another faux finish but I knew I wanted some sort of a subtle pattern or texture. I thought about a faux ship lap look but honestly, ship lap is everywhere these days and I wanted something different.

I remembered this single bolt of wallpaper I had bought years ago (when there were actual wallpaper stores). I didn’t have a use for it when I purchased it, just one of those “too good to pass up” deals. (I have a stock pile of “things” like that.
You know; things that I’ll use s-o-m-e-d-a-y).

The roll was opened with no label or anything so I can’t even tell you who manufactured it (not to mention that I had no hanging instructions).

No worries, I’ve hung many a wallpaper before… (but this isn’t paper, it’s fabric). Hmmm, how hard could it be right?

As it turned out it wasn’t very difficult however, if I hadn’t known how to hang wallpaper, even I wouldn’t have attempted this. This is not for your average DIYer, hanging wallpaper is not the same as decoupage.  There are a lot of things that can go wrong and knowing my lack of patience (at times), I know I would’ve ended up ripping it right off.

Because this was a fabric covering vs a paper or vinyl covering, I wanted to apply the paste to the surface I was pasting to, not the back of the covering (I didn’t want paste all over the fabric) but, in doing so the paper didn’t have time to “book”. Once the first two pieces were up, I sat back to look at it and to decide if I even liked it… Those first pieces began to bubble, a lot, but after staring at it and realizing I didn’t have a back up plan, I knew I had to try to fix it. I was able to gently pull the paper back (in small sections), apply more paste and then smooth out the bubbles. It took a little finesse but ultimately it all worked out in the end.  And, I love how it looks!

Here are some before and after photos:

Big difference right?

Now like I said, this is not for the average DIYer but there are plenty of other wall coverings, scrap book papers, gift wrap and even some decoupage ideas that could work. Here are just a few:

This is a wallpaper from York Wallcoverings, Magnolia House #MH1559.  I designed a powder room using this paper below chair rail molding.  I love the look but I also love the feel of this paper.  The design is not just printed on, it has a raised texture which ultimately makes it seem more like real ship lap.  Plus, because it’s not fabric, you don’t need to worry about getting paste on the front of it!

Believe it or not but I covered the top of this desk and the fronts of the drawers in gift wrap.  The top has a few wrinkles on the surface because it was such a large piece but because the gift wrap is so thin, they smoothed right out.

I decoupaged this pretty little cabinet with flowers cut out of napkins.  I think I originally picked the cabinet up at a thrift store, painted it all up and applied the flowers.  Seriously, the hardest part was cutting the flowers out of the napkins!

Sometimes just painting the interiors with a pop of color like this is all you need.

What do you think?