If you follow me on Instagram, you saw a sneak peek of our nursery progress. I had BIG PLANS for the nursery, as I mentioned a few posts ago. I was very excited about creating something special and fun for Zuzu, and after browsing on Pinterest, I was inspired.
The nursery at the new house is a very small room--roughly 10'x10', so I wanted something that would really make it pop. It has pretty high ceilings (compared to our current house), so I wanted to take advantage of that as well. I decided to do stripes on the ceiling, but instead of your "basic" horizontal stripes, I decided to have them start in the center (at the light fixture) and fan out around the room. And since there's no crown molding in this house, I thought we could add our own trim about a foot from the ceiling (I think it's called a picture rail at that height). Then the stripes could continue down the wall a bit.
I had a fabric swatch I wanted to use for curtains, so I took that with me to Sherwin Williams and paired it up with paint colors.
|This paint combo card matched my fabric (not pictured) perfectly so it became my inspiration|
The first thing we did was give the entire ceiling a coat of fresh white paint. Then we measured down to the top of the door trim, because that's where I wanted the picture rail trim to line up. We ran painters tape all around the room, exactly where we want the trim to go, then I primed the top section of the wall and David painted it the same white as the ceiling.
|Painting over the lavender. Zuzu is looking for trouble.|
Then we let it sit for a week. On Saturday afternoon we were finishing up the master bedroom (well, to be honest, we ran out of paint so really we were just done for the day) and we thought about starting on the nursery stripes, but we decided that at 4:30pm we were exhausted and getting hungry and doing something that required mathematical thinking AND cooperation would simply put too great a strain on our marriage. So we went home and showered and went to Lowes and then out to dinner. (Yay for the babysitting co-op!).
On Sunday, we were fresh and eager to get started on the nursery. I'd hired a babysitter to entertain Zuzu for two hours at our house so we could work without interruption, also known as the incessant whining of a teething ten-month-old who only wants to be held by her mama.
I knew I wanted four stripes of Begonia on each wall, so we started out measuring each wall to determine the width of the stripes. This is when we discovered that it's an old house and the walls aren't exactly equal in length. So the stripes are not perfectly uniform (they are roughly 14 inches), but you'd never notice the difference unless you came in with your yardstick. Which would be awkward and also rude.
We measured the walls, and divided by 8. Four white stripes, four coral stripes per wall. We put the marks on the Frog Tape that was already up to delineate the placement of the picture rail trim. Then I went around and labeled each stripe "W" for white or "P" for pink (even though it's a really bright coral, it was just easier to call it pink).
|It's hard to see, but there's a penciled "W" up there.|
We had talked about using a chalk line to make our stripes, or using a string tied to a screw in the light fixture-hole at the center of the room, but in the end it was easiest to just stick the end of the tape on the corresponding stripe already placed on the wall, and then stretch it to the center of the room.
I had printed out a 16-sided shape from the shape function in Microsoft word (a suggestion my brother made) so we used that as our basic guide for lining up our stripes. I knew they wouldn't be perfect since the walls aren't a perfect square and the ceiling's not perfectly straight, but I wanted to get them as close as possible. (I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to sewing, but I totally am when it comes to painting stripes). I stood at the wall and David stood in the center of the room and we stretched the tape taut, then pressed it into place, making sure it would adhere smoothly to the slightly textured ceiling.
It took us almost two hours to slowly make our way around the room. 16 stripes total means 32 pieces of tape meticulously stretched, lined up, stuck, and smoothed into place. (Note--the stripes look uneven because the tape is inside the white lines so there's more surface area exposed to be painted pink.)
It was exhausting, and doing all that work with our arms over our head was like a cardio workout in itself. It was a chilly 60 degrees out, but we were so warm we turned off the heat.
In addition to putting up the stripes, I added a sticker of tape in the middle of each stripe that was to stay white, so those are the green dots you see. The last thing I wanted was to screw up and accidentally paint the wrong stripe pink.
We were left with a little pinwheel of painter's tape, and my arms were already tired!
It was about this time that the babysitters arrived back home with a sleeping baby in the stroller. Their work was done, so David carried the entire stroller and sleeping babe upstairs so she could snooze in the nursery as I started painting. Fortunately, Zuzu slept for almost two hours, and I got a lot done.
First, I used a brush to paint the center of the pinwheel, where the pie-wedges got really small, up by the light fixture-hole. Then I edged all along where the ceiling meets the wall, and in the four corners. Then I took a smaller roller and started rolling. I found it less daunting to break the room into smaller chunks, so I rolled all around the walls first, then started on the ceiling and worked my way from the inside out.
|Brush strokes in the middle and roller on the wall, done. Now I just had to make them meet.|
I'd gotten about halfway done with the first coat (we've found that the textured plaster walls always require two coats) when Zuzu woke up. David had just finished up the master bedroom (we'd gotten another gallon of paint so we could do the second coat) so he came in and took over the rolling while I kept the baby entertained. It took him another hour or so, but we were left with this:
And then we peeled back the tape and saw this:
|Ta-DA! Isn't she beautiful?|
It truly wasn't that hard to do, although it looks impressive (even to me!). It was definitely time consuming, but it was more tedious than it was challenging. Totally worth it, though, as far as I'm concerned.
I smile every time I see the room. I think it looks so bright and cheery and exciting. David calls it the Big Top Tent, but it is NOT a circus themed nursery, as I do not care for clowns. Or the mistreatment of circus performing animals. I do, however, like a nice striped tent.
We still have to add the picture rail, and we've decided to paint the trim in this room white. We've discovered that the trim is pine stained to look like the oak floors (hidden under the carpet in here), so I'm not as worried about salvaging it, and the trim in this room is not in great condition. I think a crisp white trim will look really nice. Eventually we're going to refinish the hardwood floors, but I'm already on the hunt for a great rug because the carpet is older and while it's not worn out (it was a little-used office space previously), it is faded so you can see where they had placed furniture. I also plan to sew some curtains (I need to order fabric this week). We'll stick a small ceiling medallion up there to cover the points of the stripes, and I have a special project in mind for the light fixture. It might just be above my skill set, but I'm going to tackle it if I can get my Crafty Cousin Amanda to come in town for a weekend and
So that's our Major Progress at the new house!
Other Things We've Done:
- painted the bathroom (Light French Gray, to be consistent with the nursery across the hall, and because it goes with the shower curtain we already have)
- painted the front bedroom
- painted the master bedroom and sitting room
- painted the pantry and repapered the shelves
Man, that list seems short considering the amount of time it's taken us to get through it (three weekends working long days).
Things We Still Want to Do
- repaper the bathroom shelves
- pull up carpet upstairs
- have upstairs and downstairs hardwood refinished
- put new carpet runner on the stairs
- make/buy window treatments
- repaint downstairs rooms (eventually)
- purchase a buffet for storage in the dining room
- make light fixture for the nursery
- stencil the half bath downstairs
And that's not even including David's plans for the lawn, garden, and chickens. I feel like a certain home/lifestyle/DIY blogger after making that list. Haha.
The big move happens this weekend (!) and the only thing on that list that really has to get done this week is repapering the bathroom shelves. Oh--and we'll figure out some makeshift window treatments. Everything else is on hold until we have the time and/or money to make it happen.
In the meantime, I'll just be hanging out in the Big Top Nursery, admiring my handiwork.