10 Things I Learned About Wallpaper: Kids Bedroom Update

I wish I could blog full-time. I really hate it when a week went by without any post. When you have a baby in the house, 24 hours seem like just 12. Kenya just turned one today and honestly, for the past 12 months, our house is in chaos. Although I did care about it, I just didn’t bother re-organizing it because I just didn’t have any energy left for the house when most of my focus was on Kenya. Now that she’s becoming a little bit independent, I’m also gaining my freedom back! Yey, more time for DIY projects!

Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m redecorating the kids bedroom and here is what I have done for the past week. Bryce had been sleeping on the floor for weeks so I really had to finish this room.

before

If you saw my moodboard for this room, you know now that I would be attempting to install wallpaper by myself with a little help from the hubby, of course. I already psyched myself that it wouldn’t be an easy task but it turned out to be quite doable for a first-timer like me considering all the challenges we encountered. Since this is a DIY project, I used this brick wallpaper from Heim (Wilcon Depot) which, I think, was really affordable for P660/roll. IMG_62591. The wallpaper paste is usually in powder form and has to sit for at least 25 minutes before it is ready for use. So I suggest, dissolve the paste first and then measure and cut your wallpaper while waiting for the paste to be ready.

And don’t start at 8 in the evening and expect to finish before 10, especially if you have kids to put in bed. Yep, I thought, since there’s the two of us working, it could be done in an hour! Me and my excellent scheduling!

2. Using a level ruler, draw a straight vertical line from ceiling to floor somewhere in the middle of the wall. Do NOT start from the edge because not all edges are perfectly straight. This straight line will be your guide when hanging the wallpaper. (I nailed this one! Haha!)application33.We started on the left side, cutting the part where the window is, then worked progressively on top and bottom of the window. When we got on the last strip (no.7) we realized that no matter what we do, the pattern at the bottom of the window wouldn’t match unless we’re really, really, really, REALLY lucky.

The lesson: If you’re using patterned wallpaper on a wall with a window, cut your strips as if there was no window. Install the whole strip but do not put paste on the area where the window is. Once installed, cut a hole in the window area using an X-acto knife, leaving 2-3 inches allowance around the edges.

4. And because I didn’t include the window area in my measurement, I got short of wallpaper (see photo above.) The following day, I went to Wilcon Quirino to buy another roll and surprise, that model was out of stock and the nearest branch that had one was in Ali Mall, Cubao. Of course, I had to rush there so we could finish installing the wallpaper before the paste hardens.

The lesson: Save yourself from unnecessary trips to the store. Always measure the entire wall and never exclude the windows. It is better to have an extra roll especially if the pattern is quite complicated. Twice, we had to cut off almost a foot long before we could find the correct pattern that would match the previous strip. Having a lot of excess wallpaper is way better because you can use the extra for other DIY projects.

5. Before diving into this project, I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to hang wallpaper. Those two involve soaking the entire roll in water but the instruction from Heim said just to wet the back of the wallpaper with water using a clean brush before applying the paste. I didn’t know why it had to be done but when I hung the second strip, I’m really grateful that the paper was wet enough so it can easily be moved to close the seams and match the pattern.

application2

6. When smoothing out the wallpaper (I used a piece of foam board), do not apply too much pressure. Hubby did one strip and it started having air bubbles after a few minutes. Apparently, he pressed too hard that almost all of the paste were pushed out during the process.

7. I didn’t adhere the edges around the inside of the window, thinking I would just trim it when the paste has settled (after 4 days). But after a couple of days, I didn’t think it would hold up considering the two little dwellers in that room. So I applied water and paste again and adhered it inside.

The lesson: Do not wait for days to do this so you wouldn’t have to accidentally peel off the already installed paper.

8. When trimming the excess paper off the edges, use super sharp blade. The wallpaper is still soft from water and it might be torn if the blade is dull. Good thing I have lots of spare X-acto blades. :)

9. Make sure that there are no wrinkles on the wallpaper when adhered on the wall. There was one on my last strip and I thought it would work if I press hard enough. The following day, the area had air bubbles. I had to make several slits to smoothen it out again.

The lesson: The wall should be completely smooth for the wallpaper to adhere properly. Any bumps or unevenness on the wall would create air bubbles and you wouldn’t want that.

10. Slight gaps between sheets are inevitable so I painted them with my left-over brown paint. It is not exactly the same color as my wallpaper but it would do. I also painted the inside on the windows where the edges of the wallpaper didn’t quite “make it.”

So there’s my first try on hanging a wallpaper. Maybe next time, I’ll try doing a bigger wall or an entire room. Haha! For now, I’m thinking of what I would do with my left-over wallpaper and paste.

Here’s how the room currently looks like (Sorry for the bad quality of the photo.) No curtains, proper beddings and chair for Bryce yet. I hope I can finish decorating it next week since this week would be very, very busy.

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Decorating Your Man’s Cave (Man Cave Make-Over)

I have been asked by Alex, a community manager for Man Crates to come up with a post highlighting some items one could gift to a guy who is looking to decorate his new man cave. By the way, Man Crates is a new US-based company that ships awesome gifts for men in custom wooden crates that he has to open with a crowbar! It ships internationally but, of course, it won’t be cheap. I wish they would open a store in the Philippines. I would totally repurpose those adorable crates!

Anyway, as we are all probably aware of, most guys aren’t into decorating. My husband, for example, would find a room sufficient as long as it has a sofa, a table and some mismatched chairs for his friends to sit on. He probably wouldn’t even bother painting the walls or buy proper lighting fixtures. You might even mistake it for a storage room!1412603431252If we ever had an extra room in the house, that is after I have my own craft room and home gym (hehe!), this is the way I would decorate a man cave. I’d really love to play around with texture in this room. I would love to make it look modern-rustic like an old-world tavern because it will make the men feel like they are in another place, sort of like an escape from home. Who wouldn’t want that? Haha!

The idea is to keep it as low maintenance as possible because I know most men would rather have that room exclusively theirs. No girls allowed, yea? So, design-wise, I think it is best to keep the furniture to a minimum, have a low maintenance rug and lots and lots of storage to hide those manly clutter!

Below are some of my man cave gift suggestions:

Man Cave Essentials

  1. Leather Sofa – Leather gets better with age and can withstand beverage spills and salsa splatters.
  2. Chest-Type Coffee Table – To keep furnishings to a minimum, they have to be of more than one function. This coffee table can store magazines, DVDs, books and random knick knacks.
  3. Hammered Mugs – How fun it would be to drink your beer the old-fashioned way? Hehe! Plus, since it’s not glass, no more risk of breaking it.
  4. Wooden Chip Bowl with Dip Holder – Guys may be careless (well, umm, most of them, I think) so, wood is much more durable the ceramic ones.
  5. Dart Board – Yes, I know. How stereotypical! But it has a cover so you wouldn’t have to know it’s a dart board especially if you DIY the front part into a wall art.
  6. A Huge Reclaimed Solid Wood Buffet – It might be pricey, but it sure will last for generations. This can be placed under the wall-mounted TV to store the video player, game consoles, etc.
  7. A Canvas/Leather Pouf – It provides extra seating and a place to put his feet up while watching the game. Again, it has to be dirt-resistant.

Throw in some black and white throws and a plain red colored one for some accent and a couple of low maintenance plant and the man cave now has some slick style!

Click here for more gift suggestions for your man.



Colorful, Loft Inspired Shared Kids’ Bedroom

Weeks ago, I mentioned that I am redecorating Bryce’s bedroom to make room for Kenya and so I sold all of the furniture in that room. Below is my drawing of that room’s “evolution.”

When we had the second floor renovated four years ago, I had a cabinet built on the left side of the entrance. I wish I hadn’t done this because I could think of a much better furniture layout should that cabinet have not been there. Well, I wasn’t expecting another baby then, so now, I just have to work with what I have.

furniture plan-old

I had the bed and the dresser custom-made (see this post for detailed pics and description). Bryce’s bedroom also served as a guest room whenever my folks from Baguio City visit us. All of Bryce’s clothes were in the dresser so the built-in cabinet pretty held nothing at that time except for our suitcases and old clothes. (See Bryce’s ‘before’ room here.)

When Kenya came along, I transferred Bryce’s clothes into the built-in cabinet so Kenya could use the dresser. The dresser was then moved just outside of our bedrooms, beside the bathroom, because that’s the only available space. Then last year, I turned the single mattress from the pull-out into a daybed for our living room. And since the pull-out is pretty much useless now, I decided to move the bed against the wall to make more space. The drawers under the bed were still very useful in holding Bryce’s toys and beddings.

furniture plan-new

I wasn’t able to sell the trundle bed because we couldn’t get it down to the ground floor. It was built in the bedroom and I didn’t know that it wouldn’t fit our stair landing. Too bad, I already had an interested buyer for the bed. Our good friend, Ryan is an excellent carpenter and he was able to modify the bed into my required size.

From 48″ width, Bryce’s bed is now just 36″, just appropriate for his size since he won’t be sharing it with anyone anymore. Kenya will occupy the pullout, probably early next year. And because Bryce is home schooled, he now needs a proper study desk. He’s sharing my office and I want my corner to be exclusively mine! Wahaha! I don’t like seeing Kumon assignments and colored pencils on my desk anymore!

Colorful, Loft Inspired Kids Bedroom

When we discovered we were pregnant, I was kinda hoping for another boy although I really wanted a girl. We don’t have an extra room anymore and decorating a shared bedroom would be a challenge if ever we had a girl. If we had a boy, I would probably still change the bed size, get a bigger study desk but retain the wall color. Much cheaper! But again, this is another excuse for me to redecorate so I’m not complaining!

I love Land of Nod’s furniture so I have to take some inspiration from them. I always wanted to try having a brick wall in the house and I guess this is my chance. The walls will be neutral so I can play around with colorful decors and accessories. Of course, I don’t want it to look too boyish, girly or childish but rather fun, laid-back and comfy.

I have already finished priming the walls. I hope I can finish this room by the end of the week so our house can finally have some order. When you’re a breastfeeding mom, it’s impossible to continuously work for four hours!



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