Category Archives: DIY

How to Hang Wallpaper: DIY Tips and Tricks from House of Brinson

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Written exclusively for Inside & Out by House of Brinson

Wallpaper is a wonderful addition that adds drama and texture to any room. But where do you start to learn how to hang wallpaper? How much of a DIY is hanging wallpaper? I’ve hung wallpaper in all of our apartments and now our new house (see the final result here). Even though we had to remove two layers of old paper through out our entire house, I still love wallpaper!

Removing Wallpaper
If you have to remove wallpaper, these tips should help.

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First, get some good music. Removing wallpaper takes a while. It might feel like forever, but the hard work is worth it.

Get the right tools. A wallpaper scorer will put tiny holes in the wall paper you want to remove, helping steam or paste remover work faster. This is a must have.

Depending on your wall type you’ll need wallpaper paste remover to help dissolve the glue, and/or a steamer. We used an industrial garment steamer which worked really well. If you have drywall, go light on the steam, it can ruin your walls if they get too wet. But if you have plaster, steam away. Some rooms required only steam, and others worked faster with the paste remover. It really depends on the paper that’s being removed.

Hanging New Wallpaper
Items to consider before starting.

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If you don’t want to do a whole room, consider papering a feature wall. This is easier for DIY and on the wallet. You don’t have the turn corners when hanging, it’s pretty straight forward. Some wallpaper can really add up and become expensive. Papering one wall helps with cost and you still get all the impact.

When selecting a wallpaper design, consider scale (make sure you order a sample or see the paper in person). Large scale patterns in smaller spaces can add drama and create interest. Or a small scale in a large space can create visual texture. Think about the design impact and scale. Is the paper a traditional design but the scale is huge, modernizing the way the paper looks? I love that many wallpaper designers are modernizing how we think about using wallpaper in our homes.

If you are hanging the wallpaper yourself, research how easy or hard it is to hang. I put some of my experience below, and some tips for buying wallpaper that is within your skill set. Hanging wallpaper is a two person job, make sure you have a DIY partner you communicate well with, cause that wallpaper paste dries fast!

Choosing Wallpaper
Terms to know when selecting wall paper.

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• Unpasted vs pasted. When I was a kid I only remember wallpaper coming with glue on the back, but now I realize you can get unpasted (no glue) paper too. Most of the papers I like are unpasted, coming from small makers or British manufactures. Some companies recommend you apply the glue to the back of the paper and in other cases you can apply the glue right to the wall. I find applying the glue to the wall pretty easy.

• Untrimmed paper. I was recently fawning over this European paper and when I read the specs I realized it was untrimmed, meaning on the left or right side of the paper length has to be cut before hanging. I’m pretty handy and have a lot of experience working with wall paper, but I will not take on untrimmed wall paper as a DIY. There is too much room for error and the wallpaper is too expensive to mess up. Hire a pro for this one.

• Weight of paper. I find heavier weights of paper easier to hang. They don’t wobble around as much and hold their shape when aligning the pattern. If you are a beginner, consider starting with a heavier weight.

• Repeat. The larger the repeat the more waste you have. When calculating the amount of paper you need and how much your project will cost. Larger scale patterns tend to have larger repeats. I personally love a large scale pattern, it so unexpected when you enter a room! Also with advanced digital printing, I recently hung wallpaper that had very little waste (see photo above — that’s all that was left!) because each strip was custom printed, so they calculated where the repeat was going to align. I was really impressed with the price, plus very little waste was created! If you see a paper is printed digital, it’s a good thing.

Get Started
Things you should know before starting to hang your wallpaper.

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Start rested. You heard me correctly! You will be doing math, and cutting with a razor blade and standing in awkward positions on a ladder. Start rested and take a break every four strips of so.

Have all your supplies handy.

Have two ladders, just in case.

Plastic fold out table, or work table is helpful. We have a few of those plastic 4 x 8 ft tables in our basement. It’s so nice to have a dedicated work surface you know is clean.

Don’t hold back on the amount of wallpaper paste you use, be generous.

Only use sharp razor blades/box cutters to trim paper. I recently hung 12 panels and changed my blade four times. If the blade is not sharp it will drag the paper creating a cut that is not clean. Have extra blades handy.

Talk about your work process before you start. You can always change it, or make adjustments. What do I mean by this? We normally have a person hold the top, close to the ceiling, and a person on the bottom, closer to the floor. The person at the top aligns the pattern middle-ish, and then the person on the bottom starts below that working their way to the floor, while the person at the top continues to the ceiling. When we first started we didn’t establish where the start point was and who was going to align first. Talk about being uncoordinated! Discuss how you will work together before you start. Trust me on this, it will make the whole experience better.

HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_Wallpaper_MeasureFeeling inspired to hang wallpaper? Check out House of Brinson’s amazing final wallpapered room here.

 

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Idea with Tulipina Design

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What do you get the Mom who has everything for Mother’s Day? Or the one who insists she doesn’t need a gift? The answer’s easy (and trust us, anything but cliché) — flowers! Don’t flowers make everyone feel special? They’ll put an instant smile on her face. Plus, sneaking a Mother’s Day bouquet into a pretty vessel ensures that the gift lasts long after all the blooms wilt.

Tulipina Spring Flowers 8

We love how Kiana Underwood of Tulipina paired her beautiful arrangements with some of our favorite vessels in these stunning shots. Our Voluminous Footed Bowl is the perfect accompaniment to her vibrant, blooming flowers.

Tulipina Spring Flowers 7

Don’t worry — you don’t have to have Kiana’s amazing floral styling skills to pull this off. Just pick out a vessel (or two, or three!) that you know Mom will love, and head to your local flower stand or grocery store. Trim and size to each vase, and tie with a big bow or rustic twine to present at Mother’s Day brunch.

(Photography by Nathan Underwood)

See more amazing flower tips from Tulipina here.
Take a peek at more top Mother’s Day gifts here.

#PBandStonyFord Home Makeover: If These Walls Could Talk

Decorating, DIY | | | 2 Replies

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Have you been following House of Brinson‘s amazing guest room makeover? If you haven’t seen their process & progress in their upstate New York estate, Stony Ford, be sure to do so by following House of Brinson and #PBandStonyFord on Instagram. We were so excited to see the new wallpaper go up — what a transformation!

You can also get some of the back story behind this couple’s amazing project and home here.

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We’re all for a great before and after (who can resist makeover magic?), but what’s particularly enchanting about the Brinson’s project is the history that they reveal and preserve along the way. The couple’s most recent endeavor — tearing down the layers and layers of the guest room’s wallpaper — disclosed several of the house’s secrets.

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A signature from the person who originally hung the wallpaper in 1939 showed up behind one of the wallpaper panels.

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Two gaps for one-time windows
showed up at the back of the room, too — hinting at what may have once been Stony Ford’s original smoking room. “We’ve always wanted to know which room in the house was the Stony Ford Smoking Room. It’s kinda famous! Ulysses S. Grant smoked his last cigar in it,” says Susan Brinson.

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What’s next? Brand new (and very dramatic!) wallpaper, fixtures, art and lots of finishing touches (like our Bailey Bedside Lamp, in the shot above). Want to see more? Read all about Susan and William Brinson’s most recent updates on House of Brinson.

#PBandStonyFord: Home Makeover with House of Brinson

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StonyFord

When Susan and William Brinson started looking for a house, they knew it had to have one thing — character. Susan grew up in a military family, and craved a home that spoke to her in a way that the bland houses she spent most of her childhood in never did.

“I told William: I want you to gasp a little when you walk in. There was only one house that made us gasp and it was this one,” she writes on the couple’s blog, House of Brinson.

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This upstate New York Greek Revival home was built in the 1850s — and now the Brinsons are tackling a full remodel in order to turn it into their dream home.

“The house was formerly owned by a famous horse breeder and has had many famous guests as a result,” says Susan. “Back in the 1860s the house was called Stony Ford so that’s what we’re calling it in 2015!”

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Among the numerous renovations, the couple is redoing the guest room — which they’ve named the Young Duchess Room, after one of the original owner’s horses. We’re excited to work with them to help transform this beautiful space!

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“Stony Ford sat empty for a number of years and so we do the renovation work. I never thought I’d remove so much wall paper,” Susan adds. “The house is a diamond in the rough! We’ll share the entire process with you from the down and dirty renovation to the fun decorating as we make Stony Ford our home.”

Follow along here on the Pottery Barn blog, at House of Brinson, and on Instagram with #PBandStonyFord.

Party Perfect: Justina Blakeney’s DIY Summer Party Decor

Decorating, DIY | | | 1 Reply

Justina Blakeney knows that the perfect party doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Getting your DIY on will help keep money in your wallet — and it can give your party some personal flair with minimal effort. These DIY summer party decor ideas from Justina couldn’t be easier — and we love the life they lend to her stunning tablescape. Take a look and get inspired for your own summer party decor, below! Tropical Place Setting Summer Party

Philodendron Leaf Chargers:
“Instead of (or in addition to!) traditional chargers use tropical Split-Leaf Philodendron leaves to under your dishes to create a pretty pop of green and an added layer of visual interest to your tabletop.”

Summer Cocktail Recipe Justina Blakeney

Leafy Name Tags:
“Using twine, a leaf, a hole punch and a gold Sharpie, punch a hole in a leaf, write your guest’s name it with a Sharpie and thread the twine through the leaf and add it to the glass. It looks refreshing, can be used as a place-marker and throughout the evening guests will be able to keep track of their glasses, which means less washing!”

Spicy Margarita Recipe

Leaf Wrapped Glasses:
“To avoid wet hands when cups get sweaty, use twine and a large tropical leaf (like a banana leaf) to wrap the cup in a leaf! It saves the hand from getting wet and looks very festive, too.”

Summer Party Centerpiece

Living Centerpieces:
“Succulents make great centerpieces, and furthermore, they make lovely take-aways for guest once the party is over. You can use any kind of vessel (even coconut shells!) and fill the bottom half with pebbles (succulents have shallow roots). Fill the rest with cactus soil and after planting your succulent, cover the top in white sand to help it look polished.”

Don’t forget to check out Justina’s full feature on PotteryBarn.com!
See the rest of Justina’s summer party & tips here.
Get her recipes for this party here.

Simple & Elegant DIY Easter Egg Decor

Decorating, DIY | | | 7 Replies

DIY Chalk Easter Eggs

Traditional Easter White TulipsWritten exclusively for Pottery Barn by Christy Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers.

When Design Studio South and I set up our Pottery Barn Easter tablescape, we wanted to challenge the tired, expected spring pastel palette that we see too often. These chic, chalky Easter eggs are ridiculously easy (it’ll take all of 5 minutes) and inexpensive — they added just the right element to our table, and can help give your crazy, artificial looking plastic eggs a simple makeover.

Stone Easter Eggs

PS: Don’t forget to check out the full tabletop & our tips here!

SUPPLIES:
• Plastic Easter Eggs
• Stone Spray Paint

Easy Easter DIY

INSTRUCTIONS:

Easter Egg DIY

Lay out your plastic eggs. Open each egg and place the halves in a line.

Choose your paint colors. Tip: Select a paint with a texture, like stone (which is what we used here). The paint’s speckling gives each plastic eggshell a very au-naturale look.

Stone Chalk Easter Egg

Spray with your paint and let dry — that’s it!

Pottery Barn Neutral Easter Eggs

Now celebrate with a glass of wine — you deserve it! In a matter of minutes you’ve crafted some seriously stylish DIY Easter eggs that are easy on your wallet and gorgeous on your table.

Vendors:
Photographer: Rach Lea Photography
Styling: Design Studio South
Floral Design: Christy Hulsey, Colonial House of Flowers
Styling: Amanda Currier, Colonial House of Flowers
Small Bites: Brownie Brittle
Pralines: From the Kitchen of Azure Rountree,
Calligraphy:  Low Country Paper Co
Flower Selection: Mark Jackson, Cutflower Atlanta
Floral Supplies: Syndicate Sales
Venue: Georgia State Railroad Museum

 

Waiting on Martha’s Tiny Laundry Room Makeover

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If you’re lucky enough to have a laundry room, odds are it’s small — and not exactly your favorite place to spend Sunday afternoons. But even if you dread doing laundry, you can still make the space neat, clean and actually enjoyable to spend time in.

View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmartha

Mandy of Waiting on Martha took that very approach when tackling her tiny laundry room makeover. “My laundry room is so small I can’t even walk in and turn around, so keeping it clutter free and maximizing the space is extremely important to me,” she says. She couldn’t add more square footage, so instead she made use of the existing space with new tools to help her reorganize and refresh the room.

Get her tips & tricks and see her laundry room makeover below!

Photography by Rustic White Photography

View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmartha

Combine wherever you can. Mandy traded out two old hampers that were taking up space for our Perry Divided Hamper. “Laundry is a necessary evil, but at least my PB hamper makes it easier,” she says. “With two compartments I can easily pre-sort colors, whites, and delicates.”

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Search for unused storage space. The unused empty slot above her laundry cabinets proved to be the perfect spot for our Benchwright Baskets. Now, they store her paper towels and out of season blankets.

Make the most of vertical space. What on earth is vertical space? Your walls, of course! It’s easy to forget about your four walls as an easy place to store things up and off the floor. We love how Mandy made use of door hooks to hang her vacuum and other laundry room storage items.

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Keep everyday items on hand. A small Newport Basket takes up minimal space on top of Mandy’s dryer, and holds her laundry must-haves — detergent, iron, steamer, etc.

See Mandy’s linen closet and bathroom makeovers, too!

How to Reorganize Your Linen Closet with Waiting on Martha

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The linen closet is one of the hidden organization downfalls of the house. Small, and usually tucked away in a hallway or back room, it’s easy to forget about it until you’re hunting for guest towels and bedding during the holidays.

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But it’s also one of the easiest spaces to tackle when it comes to home organization — one good afternoon and a few key organizing tools will result in one seriously sparkling and satisfyingly clean space.

Mandy of Waiting on Martha did just that this past weekend, using some of our favorite baskets. Take a look at her space and smart organizing tips, below!

Photography by Rustic White Photography
Handwritten tags by Jenn Gietzen

View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmartha

Break out the baskets. Baskets are the fastest way to keep your linen closet tidy, towels folded and bedding from falling off the shelves. Do what Mandy did and mix and match — some woven, some wire. “I love that you can see what the wire baskets are holding,” says Mandy. “Like my favorite striped beach towels!”

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Label, label, label. “Baskets are one of my favorite ways to organize, but sometimes it’s hard to see what’s all in them,” says Mandy. “My solution? Group similar items together and label each basket with a handwritten tag.”

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Group by kind.The Newport baskets are my absolute go-to,” says Mandy. “I use the larger size to hold bedding and linens, the smaller size is perfect for cleaning supplies, bathroom necessities and everything you need to cure a cough or bandage a wound.”

Check out Mandy’s mini-bathroom makeover here.
See more of our experts’ organization tips here.

Waiting on Martha’s Bathroom Makeover

Decorating, DIY | | | 2 Replies

Home makeovers are pretty intimidating. It’s easy to gush over before and afters and daydream about your own extreme home makeover, but when it comes to execution, budget and time can become huge barriers.

This year, we’re embracing the idea of a mini-makeover — small refreshes and organization projects that can transform a space while cutting down on time and money. Not sure where to start? No problem — that’s why we teamed up with Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha to tackle three common problem areas in the house.

(Photography by Rustic White Photography)  View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmartha

Take a look at her mini-bathroom makeover here to get inspired for your home! And stay tuned for Mandy’s linen closet and laundry room makeovers.

View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmartha

Is your bathroom feeling cluttered? Don’t worry, you don’t need new built-ins to keep your bathroom organized — these glass vessels can keep everything from makeup to sea sponges looking pretty.

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Mandy’s tip: “I’m a sucker for great beauty products, but I hate having them roll around in my bathroom drawers. My solution? PB glass vases are an easy way to hold and display all the products I use on a daily basis.”

View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmartha

Searching for more storage in your bathroom? This bathroom floor storage maximizes vertical space in small bathrooms without sacrificing on style.

Mandy’s tip: “PB’s Grant Floor Storage allows me to organize and display all my bathroom necessities from perfumes, products, to waters and candles. Plus the Grant’s ‘arms’ are great for hand towels and keeping my bag off the floor.”

View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmarthaIf you have the space, consider a portable hamper in your bathroom — this one is surprisingly chic, and makes it easy to keep dirty towels off the floor and in the laundry room where they belong.

View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmarthaBaskets solve just about any organization problem in our book. Mandy chose these wire baskets for their durability and timeless style. They’re perfect for keeping fluffy towels and other bathtime necessities on hand.

Feeling inspired? See more of our experts’ bathroom organizing tips here. 

 

DIY: Fresh Flower Arrangements from Tulipina

Decorating, DIY | | | 1 Reply

fresh flower arrangement

At the peak of winter weather (Rain, sleet, snow — the works) we often find ourselves craving fresh, clean and colorful style.

Kiana Underwood of Tulipina’s work certainly fits the bill. We’re big fans of her work (see here, here and here for some of our favorites), and these brilliantly hued centerpieces suit our blue Cambria Serving Bowls beautifully.

kiana underwood

Take a look at her refreshing take on DIY flower arrangements for winter, here:
(written exclusively for Inside & Out by Kiana Underwood)

tulipina flower studioflower arrangement how to

I am always a fan of bucking tradition (in general), and especially when it comes to holiday flower arrangements. There is so much variety to be had outside of red, green, gold, and silver for the holidays. With this in mind, I created a couple of DIY designs that are a bit outside of the norm in terms of both flowers and colors for the season.

arranging flowers how to

how to make a flower centerpiece

flower arranging

This time of year here in Northern California, camellias are in season in all sorts of shapes and colors. So, I thought they would make a lovely addition to this holiday centerpiece. In my opinion, they are just as beautiful as roses.

finished arrangement

The color combination, along with the lovely bowls, makes for a vibrant and cheery centerpiece. The arrangement inside the lighter blue bowl is intended as a corner piece, hence it has more height and variation to it. With each design, there is just enough to tie each distinctly to the holiday season without looking like every other department store or holiday table arrangement.

I hope you have a lovely holiday season!

Floral design and styling by Kiana Underwood
Photography by Nathan Underwood