I. Am Crazy. (Aka: Kitchen Wallpaper) + A Design Lesson + #Motivation.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Look, I know my taste is not for everyone so, hey, what can I say, just bear with me.  Mike's taste, yeah, doesn't always align with mine but seeing as he knows I'm a crazy person, and it's best to let crazy people do their whack-a-doodly-do crazy things, he just lets me run free most times.

Obligatory before.  Wow.  So boring!  How did we live with that for so long?!
Case in point:  the wallpaper I picked for the kitchen.  The York Risky Business Curves Ahead* in black and white.

Obligatory before 2.  Yawn!
I received the semi-elusive Mike Approval for it.  I did.  I swear.  You might be thinking he's crazy now too.  And, well, aren't we all just a little bit crazy?

So I ordered only one double roll.  Not from Menards though as an interweb search turned up a price about thirty bucks less with free shipping.  Cha-ching!

Based on my math (I know, I know) and a weird inkling I had, I knew I could easily swing the door/window wall and then most likely above the cabinets, should I decide to go that far.

Not gonna lie.  It took some bolstering to get me going.  I mean, I put up that wall mural in the hall bedroom but, c'mon, wallpaper, matching patterns, cutting it just right, corners, moulding...that had me a wee intimidated.  Further wigging out came courtesy of reading up a bit online.  And truthfully, the pattern was larger than I expected too.  Ahem, heh, huge.

Pattern repeat is a whopping 25.5".
But then I thought, don't be silly, don't let The Fears undermine you, you can totally do this.

Ok, all right, ok.  Crazy person side wins again.

I dashed out to procure some adhesive primer as that step was strongly recommended.  If I'm gonna do it right, I gotta do it right.

Cleaned the wall with that TSP substitute* which is truly great stuff.  So easy to use and really cuts through grease and grime without being messy soapy and bubbly.

Lookie, a bag of TSP Substitute!
Next was the primer.  I grabbed one that's more general purpose primer as I knew I would not go through a whole gallon of straight up wallpaper primer* ever, hoping maybe this stuff will prove useful for something else later.  We shall see as I have a ton of it leftover.

Followed the instructions on the bottle there:  let the first coat dry thirty mins to an hour, applied a second coat, let dry and it was time to roll.  Ah ha, I said roll.  Wallpaper pun.  Ha ha.

Given all the openings and moulding and small spaces and weirdness, I took some time to plan the layout procedure.  Measuring above the doorway revealed that had I started in that corner, there would be a big seam smack between the doorway and the window opening.  Nope, not appealing.

I opted to center the first piece on that wall segment instead, drawing plumb vertical lines as guides as duh of course the moulding wasn't true.

Window trim.  Level schmevel, square schmare.
I mean, there was just no avoiding lots of tricky cuts and crap and stuff but a major seam was easy to manipulate location-wise.

One plumb line over doorway.  And look at that.  The original baby poop brown paint color before they opted for dog vomit yellow.  Omg, that's horrifying.
End of day one, the first piece is up plus a piece over the doorway.  Deep breath.  Sigh of relief.  I about pass out from excitement at how it looks.   Hol.e.crap.

End o' day one.  Crazy!  Yay fall, it's dark at like 2 pm.  Oh ok fine, it was more like 7 pm here.
Mike comes home, doesn't see it, doesn't see it, finally sees it.  His eyes glimmer, several blinks, falters backward a little, "OOoh," he emits.  He steps into my office and lets out this strange unheard-before cross between a giggle and guffaw chuckle.  He steps back into the kitchen, pauses, quietly says, "huh, ok.  I like it.  You may proceed," then walks away.

Later he's in there and blurts, "this is going to take some getting used to."  Yikes.

Ok.  Next day, time to wrap it up.  Wrap?  Too much of a pun stretch?  Yeah, ok.

The corner proved a major conundrum.  Which led to bigger conundrums.

Partial shot of the corner.
Do I do the over window over cabinet tiny two inch sliver then under cabinet area all as one piece?  Am I that crazy?  If not, where do I place seams?  How would I then line the pattern up?  Am I going to limit this to one wall?  Or am I going to go across the top of the cabinets?  If the latter, do I turn the corner and wrap or whadda-I do?

Lots of pacing.  Looking.  Pacing.  Plotting.  Thinking.  Visualizing.  Thinking.  Pacing.

F' it.  All in, baby.  (Pardon my almost French.)

Then I opt to do the issue-laden corner all in one sheet.   No seams.  Yes, I went Full Crazy Person.

I cover the cabinet in plastic wrap and go for it.  Won't lie, it was tricky, it was messy, some goofs were made, it took nearly a half hour, but somehow I got it.  Pat myself on the back, butt wiggle dance, and it was time to move along.

As I was inching towards the finish line, I started questioning my math and my inkling.  Rightfully so too.

Aw crapola.  I was 28.5" short.  (Fyi, the roll is 27" wide.)  Ack!!  Omg, do I buy whole entire double roll for one 28.5" x 24" stinkin' piece?!?!

Finn, workin' hard.
Make sure your helpful assistant stays calm and collected in panic moment such as this.

Thankfully, the crazy penny pincher that I am, I had saved every trim off.  And who the heck knows how, but by piecing two larger trim chunks together, I managed to squeak out another 27"+, just over a full width panel.

Ha!  Yeah.

Last remaining bit.
Last was a mere crooked ± half inch (flipper, not me -- I drew a new vertical plumb line after wrapping the corner).

Heh.  I mean, this was getting ridiculous.  Right?  I dug through all my scraps again and connecting yet two more pieces, squeezed out that last tiny little smidgey bit.

INsane.  Crazy.  I was shaking my head at myself for hours afterwards.  But I got it!  Pathetic as all get out, but I got it!  Holy crap.  Craziest (aside from me)?  You can't even tell.  Wheeeewwwwwwwie!!

And oh man, it's insane, the whole thing, it's insane!  It's big.  It's loud.  It's a lot.  It's fun.  It's busy.  It's awesome.  It's modern and 70's rolled into one.  It's nuts and I LOVE it.  Pete the Rock Star Realtor might be crying right now but I love it.  Love.  LOVE!  (Don't worry Pete, the directions claim it's easy to remove, just in case.)

Mike came home, peered around..."I see someone was busy today."  Nothin'.   

An hour goes by and he finally says, "I think it makes me dizzy, heh.  But I like it.  Definitely something to get used to."  So ok, at least we're on the right track!  Heh.

Gosh the granite has really yellowed.  Sheesh.
Now to kinda hurry up and get some sort of backsplash going and repaint the opposite wall (again) so my seemingly wayward plan makes more sense to Mike.

Yes, I painted the backsplash area blue to see what blue tile might be like, tie in with the living room.
But here's a design lesson for you:  sure, sometimes having a detailed design all mapped out is super great.  You have a plan, you know the plan, you can stick with the plan to the end.  Like our library.  I had a complete vision, stuck with it, and now it's as I pictured.  Score.

Sometimes though?  It's ok and good to let things evolve, change, morph, take you in directions you hadn't thought about.  That's what's going on in our kitchen right now.  And it's a good thing.

Here's the part I'm confused about though.  The wall with the window and door opening, yeah, that totaled twenty six square feet.  I measured, drew it up in AutoCAD,* ran an area measurement, likely rounded up to the even foot.  And then, so, over the cabinets I rounded up to twenty five square feet.

See?  Measured.  Oh, my sole injury on this job:  stabbing my hand with my Xacto knife, yup.  It's never a completed project until I injure myself somehow, heh.
That adds up to fifty one, amiright?  So the roll says it's 60.75 square feet.

I had practically no waste whatsoever, which I tell ya, is probably The most flabbergasting wallpaper--anomaly-impossibility Ever but it's true.  I should go buy a lottery ticket actually.

Pile of trims. 
But I kid you not.  That is all the waste I had.  Seriously.  No sh*ttin' around here.

That hardly looks like nearly ten square feet to me.  Or?  Maybe it is and my idea of nearly ten square feet is skewed, which would be sad commentary on a designer person like me.

So.  But.  It is what it is I guess.  All that matters is that I managed to eke it all out of one double roll. And eke is um, putting it stunningly mildly.

My mom used to always say to me that no one knows how to stretch a dollar like I do.  Looks like that still holds true.

But anywhooooo.  Here's the thing.  Heh, holy crap I love that wallpaper so.  Omg.  Heh.

No but really.  Go big or go home, right?  Ok I am home but you see my point.  You only live once, you may as well enjoy the daylights out of it.  Right?  Right.

View from the living room.  Yes, the icky rug is still in the kitchen.  Sigh, my sweet pea Hailey.  Missing her is heavily on my heart and mind more so lately.
So go ahead, take a leap my friends.  What's the worst that could happen?  You have to redo it?  Big deal.  Take a chance.  Go grab the bull by the horns and get busy!

What's next?!  Gosh, I dunno!  Maybe I should hit up the main floor bath since it's right next to the kitchen...omg, yikes!

*The wallpaper, TSP Substitute and wallpaper primer are Amazon affiliate links.  The AutoCAD link is an AutoDesk affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab above for more info.


  1. I love it, too. In fact, I think you should keep going with that design style.....right into the next room, and then next room, and so on. Don't stop now, in other words.......

    1. Ha! That's awesome! And please, I totally agree with you! :)

  2. Have you considered using the wallpaper as a backsplash? I think it would look awesome-only problem is you'd have to buy another role....

    1. I did, yes, thank you! I agree, it would look awesome indeed. I was concerned about water, grease, stuff splashing on it and damaging it which is why I opted not to. But it would have been great! Thanks!

  3. That is so cool! And this is coming from a wallpaper hater.
    You should get one or two of the acrylic black chandeliers from Amazon to complete the space.

    1. I'm thrilled this won you over, even if it proves temporary! Thanks so much! Those chandeliers are definitely cool -- wish I had a way to hang them in the kitchen! Thanks for the huge compliment and for sharing that link!

  4. http://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Color-CHANDELIER-Decoration-Chandeliers/dp/B015QKQT6M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448857061&sr=8-1&keywords=black+acrylic+chandelier

    Here's a link for one but there are several styles and sizes. They are inexpensive and fun.


Please no spam or links, thanks!