An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

DIY Paris Fini: Walls 3 and 4 August 25, 2014

A: Activities

Wall 3: Paris Mural

Wall 3: Paris Mural

Talk about procrastination. Or let’s just say we were hard at work on our #summerbucketlist. After a December 2013 start date, my 11 year-old daughter’s Parisian-themed room is finally complete. Until two days before the start of school, we hadn’t revisited the room since April 16, 2014 (see the post on walls 1 and 2 here). Now, we’re calling it fini (finished in French).


Wall 3: The Mural

Paris Cafe Table

Paris Cafe Table

I enlisted my sister-in-law to help with the wall mural. I pulled out photos, scrapbooks and postcards from my visits to Paris for inspiration (see our Paris Pinterest board). For more inspiration, Ava referenced her Monster High Doll packaging most recently from Scaris (Monster High’s version of Paris).


Ava had definite ideas about the wall and used her sketchbook to plot it out. Notable items – a wrought iron fence in the foreground, a cafe table and pastries at Cafe de’ Flore, the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coure, a bridge on the Seine, Scaris-inspired city scenes and St. Germain des Pres. In front of Cafe de’ Flore, we placed an actual French Vintage Cafe Table ($174 on EBay).


We sketched in pencil, then we went over it in black paint. We used a smaller point Sharpie for the Scaris fine detail. Then came the color accents. I used a watercolor technique by placing a small amount of color on the wall and taking a damp cloth and streaking or in the case of the clouds, swirling it, to diffuse the color.


Wall 4: The Reading Nook

The board and bench

The board and bench

Since the mural was definitely proving to be ongoing thing, we gave it a temporary rest and shifted our focus to Wall 4. I had this idea for a very long bench with cubbies for storage and a large whiteboard framed by curtains. For starters, we adhered two large white boards (2’x4′ each) next to each other on the wall. We used teal blinged out ribbon from Michael’s to frame the whiteboard. To complete the reading nook, we found one zebra print curtain and two tiered white ruffle curtains for a steal at Bed Bath & Beyond. The zebra print easily draped above the nook as a canopy over three dowel rods.


I’m not one for dyeing, but the white curtains would not suffice. They called out for teal. After a lot of research and grave warnings about chemical dyeing processes, I still decided to go for it. I found a large pot for $35 at Northern Brewery and Supplies and ordered the dye (it is VERY special because it’s a certain type that works on 100% polyester (note – blends are much easier to find generic dyes for)). If I had a top loading washer, it would have been an easier process too. I had to dye each curtain separately, so it turns out one curtain is a bit lighter than the other, but they are spaced far enough apart so it’s not obvious. Overall I am thrilled that it even took and that it was so easy.


Reading Nook

Reading Nook

Now for the bench. I referenced two bloggers DIY bench for inspiration and the how-to (See: CraftThriftWed and Mommy Vignettes). We purchased the white 5-opening Ikea Expedit bench for $70 (which has since been discontinued (since Feb 2014)) and 2 black wicker baskets. Ava and I assembled the bench together, then I enlisted my parents to help with the bench cushion project. My dad had extra chipboard on hand and arrived with it precut to the exact dimensions.


The search for foam was not as easy. We ended up purchasing a custom cut four-inch high piece of foam from A-1 Foam and Upholstery at a discount because it was glued from scraps rather than a whole. It was $55 and I couldn’t tell the difference. My mom helped us sort through the limitless options at JoAnn Fabrics to land on the navy, teal and white fleur-de-lis patterned fabric. We stretched our $20 roll of quilt batting around the chipboard and foam and stapled it in place. Then we did the same with the fabric, pulling it as tight as possible. …and Fini!


DIY Paris in Process: Walls 1 and 2 April 16, 2014

Filed under: Activities — edamomie @ 11:05 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A: Activities

Paisley and Paris

Paisley and Paris

The never-ending DIY project: my 10 year-old daughter’s room. The discussion began in December 2012. At that time we could not reach a compromise on many important details, so we abandoned the project until a later date. See the blog post here. Then her younger brother got a room redo in June 2013. Finally, in November 2013, we were ready to take another look at it. This time around, Ava and I were on the same page pantone-wise and total project-wise.


The inspiration occurred on a stroll through PBTeen where the Lola Paisley pattern in purple was on sale. I bought the sheets, a sham and a Paris embroidered pillow. Then it was time for paint selection. We took the sham to Home Depot and matched the colors for the wainscotting (dark purple, Behr, Crowning), the chair rail (teal, Glidden GLN6013, Peacock) and main walls (light purple; Behr, Winter Amethyst). Three walls would share the same pattern and on the fourth wall that’s visible directly across from the door, we opted to do a Parisian mural – Ode to the Eiffel. That wall would be creme.


Ava's Room Ages 2-10

Ava’s Room Ages 2-10

Even with the excitement of a fresh coat of paint, painting over the hot pink, baby pink and light green watermelon scheme of my daughter’s youth brought on waves of nostalgia. Off came the wooden birds and followers that adorned the walls. The sweet baby pink eyelet curtains too. With my Dad and I on paint detail, we knocked it out pretty quickly all over the course of Christmas. I painted three sets of wall shelves from hot pink to dark purple and name letters from baby pink to teal. My daughter and son painted all of the other loose ends they could from the hook rack, to mirror trim to a tissue box.


Wall 1

Wall 1Then it was time to design each wall and its details. The longest walls of the room on opposing sides would be easiest. For Wall 1, we hung two purple shelves, high and centered; a grouping of three Pottery Barn picture frames (reused from previous room decor); and an IKEA 5-hook set (not shown here). The creme frames with openings for 4×6’s for 9, 3 and 1 photo got photo refreshes in black and white. Photos from her recent tenth birthday and family photos from 2013 replaced the professional pictures of her from age four.


The matting for the frames got a paint-over from pink to teal and dark purple. I was shocked that this actually worked and paint didn’t saturate the cardboard-based matting too much. We found a wrought-iron Eiffel Tower candle stand at Bed, Bath and Beyond for her dresser and I used material from the bench project (more details in the Wall 3 blog post) to recover the once hot pink chair cushion. I arranged the decor for shelving and the dresser and desk tops. Ava continues to tweak it to her liking. I’m calling it done.


Wall 2

Wall 2We move on to Wall 2. This wall has two windows so the first task is finding curtains to replace the pink eyelet ones. At BBB, we find four deep purple curtains with a subtle pattern of polka-dot for $15 each (80% off). Her twin bed with a tall headboard fit nicely between the windows. I hung the now purple shelf high on the wall above the bed and uncovered three white wicker baskets from my closet with lavender gingham liners to place on the shelf.


Below the shelf, we know we want to hang the three Christopher Straub fashion sketches I bought Ava for her birthday last year. We headed back to Papyrus where I purchased them originally and pick up three frames – two black and one teal. We positioned these below the long shelf and above the headboard. We consider this wall done for now and make a note to eventually find a night stand. For the time being, she’ll use her clip-on lamp for reading in bed.


Next up will be Wall 3, the bench, canopy and white board wall; followed by Wall 4: the Paris mural finale. We’ve been working on this wall on occasional Sundays since December! It will have an end point soon though, if I have any say in the matter. Stay tuned….


See photos and progress on our Parisian Room Pinterest page.





%d bloggers like this: