Design: NewWall Wallpaper Designs

My friend Tim works so well with wallpaper*. Christine does, too**. Me, on the other hand? Not so much.

I was basically traumatized when I moved into my own home 2.5 years ago, and I had to spend hours (and hours and hours) peeling off old wallpaper from my bathroom walls. It was absolutely a big pain in my arse.

And then there’s the ol’ commitment issue. If I install wallpaper, that would mean I’d have to commit to it. For a long while. Yikes!

So, why, you may ask, am I writing about wallpaper today? Well, let me tell you! While I do not like paper in my own home, I am definitely impressed by the art of wallpaper. There are so many beautiful prints out there that put a smile on my face, that make me curious, that make me contemplate wallpaper’s uses, and that demonstrate people’s creativity. It’s amazing, really.

When I came across NewWall’s Holden anchor print, I needed to have it. I’m going to turn it into a non-permanent work of art for my parents’ condo in Florida, and it’s going to look fabulous up on the wall. Holden is from NewWall‘s Abnormals Anonymous collection, and it’s such an amusing collection, that I thought I’d share it here.

Bruce_men_in_blackBruce – Men in Black


Buggie – Men in Black


Ernest – Gulfstream


Gossip – Men in Black


Mr. Blow – Bone Thugs & Harmony


Wheel of Fortune – Concrete Jungle

I’m also surprisingly keen on the vibrant Lobby – Red Pepper lobster pattern. If I lived on the east coast, I would just have to put this in a sweet powder room.

If you’re interested in seeing more cool wallpaper patterns, I encourage you to check out NewWall.

*See Tim‘s recent feature in Style at Home magazine.
**Peak inside Christine’s office.

Uptown: A Little Bit of Progress

I thought I would take a moment to talk about the updates I’m making around my house¬†Uptown. It feels great to be in Kitchener-Waterloo and I’m really loving so many things about my new house.¬†I’m learning new things about renos and home repairs, I’m getting to know every home improvement store in KW, and little-by-little I am making my house feel more like me.

There are three bathrooms in my house. They’re great spaces but they are all covered in wallpaper. The wallpaper in the upstairs bath came off quite easily and left no wallpaper paste residue. The walls up there are in great shape and just need some minor touchups (of that plaster/putty stuff) before they get primed and painted.


upstairs bath – wallpaper removal fun

The powder room was a whole other story. The decorative paper came off without any trouble. But…the wallpaper paste decided to stay behind. The look was disgusting. The removal was a major pain.


powder room – before – two patterns of pink & cream wallpaper


powder room – the wallpaper paste disaster

My dad bought and applied some wallpaper paste removal but that didn’t work. Then I found two solutions via Google so I alternated between them: (a) hot water + fabric softener + baking soda, and (2) hot water + vinegar. The vinegar solution worked better in the end, I think, but the fabric softener solution smelled better so I kept using it. There was A LOT of scraping involved. And A LOT of rubbing with a rough sponge. And A LOT of cleaning up with a soft sponge. It was time consuming*. The walls look half-way good now but of course there are (more than) several areas that need putty. The powder room looks much brighter so that’s definitely something to celebrate. Removing the wallpaper in this room was a huge job and I’m glad it’s over. (One more bathroom to go.)


My parents came for a visit this past weekend and with my mom’s help I’ve narrowed down my paint colours down to two! Huge accomplishment! I’ve been staring at the paint chips in every room in the house in different lights over the last month or so. Now I’m going to buy small test cans of each colour and paint large patches in each room. I hope by doing this, I’ll come to a final decision about the colour. In case you didn’t know – I’m painting my whole house white. All of it. Yes.


paint options with tile and carpet

I picked up pretty white tiles that I will eventually use for my kitchen backsplash**. The tiles look great with the paint options and the existing cabinets (Ikea I think). So far.

I’m still dating my couch options. I love the Lee couch but I priced it out for two fabrics and one will be $3000 and the other one will be $3800 (plus tax & delivery). I’m not sure I feel like spending $4000 on a couch.


Lee Industries sofa

I am really fond of the following two sofas from¬†but I have to do the final pricing on each. They’ll likely come in around $2500 or so.


The Saturday Sofa

The Saturday Sofa


The Snowdrop Sofa

Restoration Hardware has a nice option too. It would like be around the $3000 mark. I haven’t yet seen this one in person but I will soon enough. I really would prefer two large seat cushions but I don’t the the RH sofa has this option.


Restoration Hardware sofa

Alternatively, I could also go the more affordable route with Ikea’s¬†Karlstad in a couch or sectional style.



The Karlstad is a good-looking and comfortable sofa but it has a different feel than the ones above. It would change the whole look of my living room. Oh – and I’m aiming for a light grey fabric for my future sofa. Thoughts?

My parents helped me plant outside. I’m leaving all the gardening choices up to my mom since she is a retired florist. She knows what’s what. I only requested that hostas be in my garden since (a) I think hosta is a funny word, and (b) it seems like everybody is always talking about where they planted their hostas, the colour of their hostas, and how their hostas are growing. I think it’s hilarious…and I want to be part of the hosta club. I don’t have a big garden but I have just enough patches of land to let me play around.


new white flowers & some of my new hostas

My proudest moment so far in this reno business has been installing a new kitchen light. I wasn’t sure I could manage it on my own but I did! I watched a few how-to videos online (and over the years I’ve observed my dad change a few) and then I got to work. I learned about my Breaker Box and I made sure I shut off the right breaker switch for the kitchen light. I set up lamps around the room so I could see what I was doing (I decided to change the light at 9pm or so?!). I used one screwdriver in the whole process. So handy. After the electricity was shut off, I removed the existing fan/light fixture and unhooked the wires. Once the fan was down I put up my new light. Black wire to red wire and white wire to white wire. I used plastic screw caps to attach the wires. A few screws later and my light was up! When I switched the power back on I really was praying that I’d have light. And guess what? I did! I honestly couldn’t believe it. Changing a fixture is not hard at all but it is a little scary, what with the electricity bit. But as long as the electricity is off, there’s nothing to worry about. Right? So, one light installed and about 15 more to go! (I haven’t narrowed down the choices for the other rooms.)





So there you have it – a few updates from around the house. Much more to come so stay tuned!

*Note to self: Never install wallpaper. Ever.

**You may be wondering why I bought backsplash tiles before doing anything else? I found them for a super deal on Kijiji and I couldn’t let them go! More on that in a future post.


The Uptown series documents my experiences as a new homeowner. Fun times ahead!

Wallpaper Impact

This blown-up rose wallpaper in two shades is one of my favourite tricks for delineating spaces. Wallpaper and image from Scandinavian Wallpaper Decor.

Last week I took you on an imaginary trip aboard a mobile white cabana lined with beautiful wallpaper from Scandinavian Wallpaper Decor.

This week I’m back on the job looking at the impact of wallpaper in everyday spaces. Let’s explore what wallpaper and the use of white can do to proportions, furniture, atmosphere, and our creativity.

Repetition is the name of the wallpaper game. Stacked tables meet the curves of the pedestal chair in this Wave wallpaper a la '60s.

A geo use of white in the background gives definition to the room, tying the interior together and making the plush furniture float.

A genius use of white gives shape to an otherwise square space.

More angles: colour and positioning of this wallpaper transforms a rectangular corridor into a lofty room with upward reach.

Intensity reigns in this room thanks to this powerful wallpaper...

... While here, the same room is serenely anticipating a docking ship.

Have a seat and relax in our waiting room.

White lace wallpaper has a barely-there, texturizing effect in the bedroom, and it's subtle enough to play nice with bold jewel tones.

White is never, ever boring. Here, it's the star of the show and packs a punch to this regal purple. Careful disorder adds life to otherwise studied symmetry.

Silver adds shine to this white think tank.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Why not from business suit staples?

White on white is the ticket for clean and airy spaces. This white wallpaper dress embodies the swirl of design possibilities.

Images courtesy of Scandinavian Wallpaper Decor.

Special thanks to my sister Stephanie for inspiring me; her wallpaper boudoir transformation is at home among these model spaces.

White Cabana- To Go

OAS collection wallpapers drape the inside of this delightful White Cabana on wheels.

While researching for the wallpaper post appearing next week I found these lovely examples of wallpaper as the backdrop to various interiors of this oval white motor home trailer.

Wouldn’t you love a white cabana to go?

P.S. Thank you to Jordana here at White Cabana for taking me on this wonderful white blogging trip: I’ll go anywhere with you in this white white world!

Images courtesy of Scandinavian Wallpaper & Decor.