Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Master Bedroom Makeover Part 1 (in which we gleefully say bye-bye to butterfly wallpaper)

For Christmas, my brother and sisters and I decided to give my parents a gift of a different sort.

You see, for the last 20 years, my parents have lived in a bedroom that had…interesting…wallpaper all over it. With butterflies on it. Or perhaps moths? Either way, ew (unless you’re into that sort of that thing). Check it out.

butterfly wallpaper

It was the first thing my mom said she’d change about the house when they moved in, but life happens quickly. And so the wallpaper stayed.

Last spring, I got a kidney stone. I know it seems unrelated to this story, but no. To make a long story short, I had to have outpatient surgery to get it out. The surgery was in the morning, and by the time the afternoon rolled around, I was bored out of my mind sitting at home. So I convinced the fam to help me get this wallpaper down. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening spraying, ripping, and scraping the wallpaper and subsequent wallpaper gunk off the walls. It was great fun.

And then 8 months flew by, and we figured it was time to make the next move. So we gifted my parents with a series of coupons for various bedroom makeover tasks. 11 total. Sometimes we could gift the supplies, but the main gift is labor and motivation. Here’s the list:

1. Move everything out of room

2. Rip out carpet

3. Sand, stain, varnish/paint/install flooring (depending on what’s underneath the carpet)

4. Bridge the height difference between the kitchen floor and their bedroom floor

5. Sand (more!) wallpaper residue off and remove chair rail (or finishing chair rail)

6. Add trim around windows and finish the windows (they were installed 10ish years ago and never stained, varnished, or painted, so the raw wood has to go!)

7. Paint ceiling, crown molding, walls, baseboards and doors (if they want)

8. Make industrial pipe-style curtain rods, perhaps spray painted

9. Sew drop cloth-style curtains or equivalent

10. Move everything back into room

11. Design and hang wall decor

Let’s take another look at what we got ourselves into, shall we?

old master bedroom wallpaper

The room definitely has potential, but there are some limitations! The chair rail is about 1 foot shy of going around the whole room (since one of the windows was narrower than the original), and it would be tricky to match the style and stain of the existing chair rail. Also, the ceilings are low (7 feet? Lower than normal, anyway), and though there’s great crown molding, the ceiling is textured with lovely swoops. And there’s a ceiling fan that has seen better days. The jury’s still out on what to do about that. I have ideas, but we’re on a budget!

Once all the gifts were opened on Christmas, I sat down with my mom to see what she wanted. Here are the inspiration images we’re working towards. We looked specifically for board and batten treated walls, craftsman style, and wood trim (since mom is against painting the existing closet doors since they’re still in great shape).

This doesn’t have stained trim, but you can get the idea from the wood table and chairs.


Nice, huh? I even like the red in this picture, and I’m usually not much of a fan of red these days.

Here’s a pic of wood trim with painted paneling that my mom also liked:


Who knows where we’ll end up? We’ve already begun the process, so fasten your seatbelt and hang on for the ride. More posts on this room to come!