House Lust

The War of the Wallpaper continues and at the suggestion of many readers, I’m giving fabric softener a try. If this doesn’t work, I’m heading over to either Lowes or The Home Depot tomorrow to purchase a wallpaper steamer. I will not surrender…victory will be mine! Hear that, wallpaper!!!

See that baseball wallpaper behind the fabric softener. That’s in my son’s bathroom and it’s adorable paper…but I guess I’ll be tackling it sometime down the road, too. It went well with his baseball themed bedroom. If you’d like to see this bathroom, let me know and I’ll share it with you sometime. This will be another bittersweet remodel.

As promised, I opened the sealed door this morning and…

Here’s how the flooring looks so far with just one coat of poly. The color isn’t quite golden enough, so we’ll work on that when the flooring crew comes back on Monday, but I’m definitely liking hardwood flooring in this room…soon to become my office/study/playroom/retreat.

I’m having trouble visualizing what I want in this room besides the Pottery Barn Bedford office furniture. I envision a seating area with a lamp and table for those times when I want to sit down, relax and read a bit. This room is going to be more than office. I want it feel a little like a retreat, a fun place. I think I’m going to have to slow down and quit trying to “complete” this room in my head and let it evolve like all the other rooms in my home have done…know what I mean? I’ll get the office furniture moved in and “live” in here a little while…then I’ll know the direction to go from there.

On a fun note, Julia at Hooked on Houses just celebrated her Blog’s 3 year birthday! Whoo Hoo! I love visiting Hooked on Houses and Julia is one of the nicest, Bloggers you would ever want to meet! In herpost about how she first became inspired to start her blog, she talks about getting her inspiration from the book, House Lust: America’s Obsession With Our Homes.

I’ve been meaning to order this book for some time and I finally did. Julia was right…it’s a great read! I don’t want to do anything (including remove evil wallpaper) but read this book! It delves into why we not only love our own homes but why we love seeing the homes of others. It also gets into the issue of how the grass is always greener on the other side…the “if onlys” we think about regarding our own houses.

See you on Sunday evening for Metamorphosis Monday! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on in your homes!

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  1. I can only wish for a room….actually, I have a room. It needs to be redone. I have no idea how to address it…one wall of windows, one wall with French doors…one wall with the entrance and closet door…and one wall that has a very large art niche. I think I will just sit in the middle of the floor!

  2. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Kate, that sounds like a beautiful, light filled room. Don't let those doors or windows intimidate you! You can place furniture in corners (like I did my bed in my guest room…see sidebar) or even in front of the windows. My office furniture is going in front of the windows, but I'm pulling it out some from the windows (I think) to allow for opening of the panels. What do you want to do in that room…are you thinking about a home office? Send me some pics and I'll post them and we'll ask readers for their ideas. 🙂

  3. Through My Red Door says

    Hi Susan, I'm loving following your progess for this room. I too have a room I plan to turn into my office/den. It's serving as my sewing room at the moment, but when my children move out, one of their rooms will be my new sewing room. Then I will also turn one into a guest room. These posts are making me think more about what I want to do!

    Thank you for sharing and also the book. It sounds like the same thing I've wondered about for a while!

    Can't wait to see your room finished. I'm sure it will be beautiful like the rest of your house!


  4. Susan, This room is going to be gorgeous!!

    I'm wondering why you had the floors put in before finishing the wallpaper removal and painting the walls? Is it because the sanding of the floors would mess up the newly painted walls?

    Thanks for sharing this remodel!

  5. we three dogs and me says

    I actually just finished stripping off wall paper that had been on since the 7o's. I used of all things refresh because it had a sprayer on it that worked. You do have to soak it good and don,t let it dry. I did a little at a time and then scored it with of all things a gadget that had projections like a cheese shredder even a fork will do it. It took me several days but you can't hurry it.

  6. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Pam, it's because I've been trying for a week to get it off. LOL Nothing has worked. I getting ready to chew it off with my teeth next, I think. LOL

  7. I love Julia's blog too.

    The floors are looking great. I am truly excited for you! and yes I would love to see the baseball bathroom.

    I think once you get that steamer you won't dread taking the paper off the bathoom walls. Although, you have to promise to take a break before the next project!

    I have my own little project today that has lead to finding a MAJOR problem around my fireplace. Not sure who to call first, a roofer or a contractor??!!

    Hope you are enjoying your Saturday!

  8. Susan, if you have room, how about a chaise lounge in there. Strictly for the cat, of course!! 🙂
    On another note, did you receive the photos I sent to you re the afternoon tea?

  9. Marilou of Lulu's Lovlies says

    I gave up on one room years ago and applies a primer that covers everything under the sun then painted 2 coats of paint over it, it worked fine and no one was the wiser, also one room that had wallppaer I did the same things only after that I used a texture paste that you could manipulate anyway you wanted and that was really fun and it looked great and I even did that over paneling after a couple coats of undercoating then you can paint it. My solutions and why, well I'm single and had to do it myself and it was budget friendly and still looked great! Blessing and Hugs Marilou

  10. Sandy at Teacup Lane says

    One thing I've learned reading your blog, Susan, is that you are a very hard worker. From your exterior landscaping to your interior decorating/designing you do the manual labor. You must take great pride in your final results knowing the hard work it took to achieve your beautiful outcomes. I'm looking forward to seeing your office/craft/rest room when it is done. It will be as lovely as the rest of your home.

    I love the name of that book "House Lust". I think I have that….can't get enough of anybody's home. And I really like Julia's blog "Hooked on Homes" too. Both you and Julia have wonderful blogs….both filling up my "house lust" on a daily basis.

  11. Ruby’s Upcycle Designs™ says

    The anticipation of the finished look is killing me! I can't wait to see it finished! xoxo Beth

  12. I guess Ill have to break down and order this! Julia got me intrigued, and your second recommendation seals the deal!

  13. OurGreatEscape says

    The only *real* way to remove wallpaper is with a steamer. You'll thanks yourself!

    I've tried all the tricks: fabric softener, windex, the remover solution along with the paper tiger.

    Just break down by the steamer:-) Keep a plastic putty knife handy to scrape of the wallpaper pieces.

  14. Linda @ A La Carte says

    Susan I'm trying to learn from your experience with wallpaper. We have a bathroom we are in the middle of redoing and taking down the wallpaper is next.

  15. Susan- Love the hardwood! I got three layers of wallpaper off in my kitchen using fabric softener and the thing that perforates the wallpaper first–oh yes, it's called a paper tiger. I used Dollar Tree softener too! Good luck-hang in there. I have no doubt you will win this battle 🙂

  16. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Megan, when did you send them? I have to confess…I'm terribly behind returning emails. I just checked my inbox and don't see any. Please email me at [email protected].

  17. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Oh…Megan, that's an idea. I have a chaise in my basement, but it may be too large. Thanks for reminding me about it! 🙂

  18. Love what you are doing with the decorating of your new office! I love the flooring and I am anxious to see it all together. I would love to see the bathroom transformation too…good luck with the wallpaper removal!

  19. As far as wallpaper…I don't know. My son bought a house with quite a bit of it. I have tried the fabric softner, the house sure did smell good but I didn't feel it worked any better than just hot water. Still working on it, thinking of renting the steamer myself.
    I love your floors, I have hardwood floors in my livingroom that have been covered with carpeting for the last 26 years, I would love to have them. My husband doesn't like hardwoods though and that is how I lost the argument 26 years ago, pregnant at the time and my husband pointing out they wouldn't be that good for a baby to crawl on! But my son is all grown up now!

  20. Designs By Pinky says

    A few years ago we decided to remove every bit of wallpaper in the house. WHAT was I thinking? Some of it came off very easily, other rooms, it came off in 1 inch pieces. It took forever. But it is so worth it in the end. We went with a totally diffeerent look in paint colors. I LOVE IT!!!! There are SOOOOOOOOO many things we need to do here I really wish we could just MOVE and start over. We have been here 27 years and I so want something different. I am so anxious to see your room done. YOu are SUCH a hard worker. Thanks for the tip about the book. Seeing other peoples homes is one of my FAVORITE things to do!!!! XO, Pinky

  21. SavannahGranny says

    Love the floor. It really turned out beautifully. Can't wait to see the finished room. I bet you cant either.
    The fabric softener will work. I have used it many times. I works best if you score the paper first. You can purchase the scorer at the home center. It is round, fits in the palm of your hand. Roll it "lightly" over the paper. The paper will be randomly scored. If you press too hard the teeth will also score the sheetrock. Spray on the fabric softener, it will seep through where you scored. Worked great for me.
    Yes, we want to see the bathroom. You know we want to know EVERYTHING! Hugs, Ginger

  22. Hi Susan,
    I can feel with all your trouble because we redo our house since 20 years. And it is always lot of hard work. But be sure, your floor (if it is real wood) gets more and more golden by the time. Don't cover it in the first year with carpets, you will see the difference after a while. Wish you a sucessful progress in your work.
    Greetings, Johanna

  23. Sandy @ Cottage Style Decorating says

    I can really relate to slowing down and just letting the room "evolve". I usually have a general idea of what I want to do with my rooms. But when I get into it they take on a life of their own, sometimes going off in a totally different direction.

    Love your progress so far, especially the wood floor.

  24. Susan good luck on the removal. The trick is to use very, very hot water the hottest you can stand. My hanger told me about this, he said you have to saturate it really well. At least the room will smell really great. Did you score the front so the liquid can get to the back? I have removed lots and lots of wallpaper and I still love the look of wallpaper. In fact I have done a couple of post on the process of choosing. I want new entry wallpaper!!! Still looking. You are such a hard worker!!! I am going to order that book, sounds perfect!! Kathysue

  25. My Cottage Charm says

    Hey Susan 🙂
    Been there done that with the fabric softener…it didn't work for mine. (it was like yours…stuck like glue!) I'm thinking you'll own a steamer before the end of the week! lol 🙂 Wish you were closer, I'd just run mine over to you!
    The floor is lovely, by the way!
    Oh…a chaise is a lovely idea! Can't wait to see it all come together! Have you decided on a color scheme?

    Wishing you luck with the paper!
    Missy 🙂

  26. Evening Susan

    I don't want to upset anyone, but that is one thing I have noticed about American bloggers they do have impressive houses and wonderful tablescapes but there is more to life!!

    My blog is about our wonderful country here and the places we visit. I only ever show off my garden , and that is only when it has lots of colour or snow.

    Saying that I am still nosey and like to see what everyone is doing in the house and I am very jealous that Phil and I are not decorators or DIY people.

    Your room is coming along lovely and I think a chaise longue is a great idea!! Jackie in Surrey, UK.

  27. Julia @ Hooked on Houses says

    You are so sweet, Susan. Thanks! xo

    P.S. Good luck with that stubborn wallpaper!

  28. Brenda Kula says

    Looks like a fantastic book! I always used vinegar and water when taking wallpaper down. Good luck with it, Susan. That is trying stuff, that tacky wallpaper that won't come off!

  29. I agree that a steamer is the way to go. Just go buy you one…they aren't very expensive. Be careful not to steam yourself! I'm getting ready to tackle "flocked" wallpaper that we think was put on bare walls…or maybe over 1 coat of paint, that has been on there for 31 years! And we are the idiots that did it! Never again… The only way I use wallpaper now is to make sure it is "sized" first. Most of mine is gone, just a couple of borders. Good luck! You won't regret getting the steamer. And then you can tackle that bathroom!

  30. I've got to check out that book!

  31. On Crooked Creek says

    I've been enjoying your continuing post of the flooring. "Mr. Ed" and I sat on the deck with our tea this afternoon. . .can you believe it 70 degrees on the prairie in January? The carpet is shot and we've been thinking 'wood floors'. Time will tell. Keep those post coming!
    P.S. I have my Mother's loveseat in our home office! Check out Anna Griffin's books for a look at her office! Gorgeous! I'm sure yours will have us all turning GREEN with envy!

  32. designchic says

    Your room is looking wonderful. Know you are thrilled with the floors…following along with the progress!!

  33. Susan, absolutely love your blog. Thank you for inspiring us with such beauty. Could you please give us the recipe for the lovely mini heart shaped cakes you featured in your tablescape the other day. Thank you and continue to "beautify" our world.

  34. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks! Well, the gingerbread ones that you saw under the little dome in the Valentine's Day Breakfast were just made from a gingerbread mix I got at Trader Joes around Christmastime. But, the ones I showed with the raspberry filling…those were made with an old recipe I got from my Mother-in-law. That recipe is posted at BNOTP. Just click on Tabletop♦NapkinFolds♦PartyIdeas at the top of the blog and scroll down until you see "Recipes & Serving Ideas" and click on "Coconut Cake." The recipe that I used for the heart cakes with the raspberry filling is the "1234 Cake" Recipe that you'll find under that Coconut Cake link.
    Hope this helps, 🙂

  35. new to the blogging world, came across your site from another, love it, i suggest you go rent a steamer, quick and easy, and love the hard wood floors, after my house flooded from katrina storm, it was way to go , with a waiting list of 6-12 months for carpet , i decided to put the hard wood floors my self, and love them , so much easier to keep clean. Love your valentine table set up in you room , makes me want to do something like that for my hubby. thanks for your ideas and the recipe for the cakes, i will be returning to your blog.

  36. The Quintessential Magpie says

    Susan, I'm proud of you. Very proud. I bet fabric softeneer will work. For the bathroom, what about bead board in there? You had talked about it in the BR, but you could just go straight over the wallpaper with it. We opted to do that in a bath in our house, and we used the real bead board because it has more depth. 🙂

  37. martinealison says

    Bravo! les travaux avancent!… Bientôt tout neuf! Bisous

  38. tmillion29 says

    Cant wait to see the end result! As far as removing wallpaper, I have done it in EVERY room of my house. I use AJAX dishwashing liquid, one third AJAX to two thirds water in a spray bottle with a spray nozzle. Keep the bottle heated in a crock pot half filled with water or let it sit on top of the steamer to keep it warm. I do not score the paper but spray the next few strips I will be removing and let it soak for about 10 minutes. I then start steaming from the bottom up and if the paper was applied correctly it should come right off. Good luck!

  39. The floor in your room looks beautiful. I agree that sometimes you have to live in a room (or a house) before you know which direction to go with it. My current house has been just that way. Of course I've driven my family crazy moving furniture around, etc. but I think I'm finally there!

  40. I purchased a similar home to yours here in Atlanta 5 years ago. There was wallpaper everywhere, most of it containing the color pink. We had no luck even with a steamer getting that paper down. With only 1 room left with wallpaper we learned to put a primer on the paper, then mud the seams and imperfections and then sand.
    We then primed those areas before putting paint on it. It is not PERFECT, but does the trick. You may want to consider this for your bathroom. A friend has suggested we have 1/4" drywall put over the paper. We haven't resorted to that yet.

  41. Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top says

    I don't know if you have already gone to buy a steamer or not but that is what I used when I removed wallpaper around my house. It worked the best. It DOES take lots of time though but it worked the best. I hope you find something that works.

    The floor is looking good! 🙂

  42. Sorta Fairytale Girl says

    the floors look so beautiful! i wish you much luck on your war with the wallpaper…what a daunting task 🙁
    i love Hooked On Houses too, such a great blog! i'm interested in reading that book as well. see you on Metamorphophis Monday…you have such a great blog by the way!!

  43. The floors are looking great — can't wait for the reveal! That book sounds interesting. I spend a whole lot of time on my house. I always have, even before blogging, and it might tell me why — if I really want to know!

  44. recently found you — enjoy your blog — about the wallpaper – go get a steamer == they don't cost that much — and they work wonders! thanks for sharing
    Sandy in VA

  45. Hi Inspirational Sue,

    After messing up sheetrock walls in two rooms while stripping wallpaper a few years ago, I used wallboard compound mixed with water to a thick pudding-like consistency to fix the dents and gouges. Put it on with a putty knife — about 2" is easiest to work with, overall — let it dry, and lightly sand. If necessary, do another coat after the first one dries. Two thin coats are better than one, as one thick coat tends to crack. Spackle might not be the best choice — it tends to shrink and "pull away" once it dries. Use a good primer/sealer like Kilz before you paint, and you've got a professional job.

    One other thing I wanted to note: you mentioned putting up crown molding, possibly. Hubby and I did that in the two spare bedrooms when we first bought our house, and we're so glad we did. It makes the room look bigger and so much more elegant. In your beautiful house, it would be the perfect finishing touch. It's really not difficult: simple math and a good miter saw (not electric, and not expensive)are the only tools you'll need, plus a small tool to drive the nails below grade, and then fill in with putty before painting. The only drawback is you need two people to install it, since you should have one long piece for each wall for the best look. Enlist hubby or your best girlfriend!

    Are you familiar with ? A great website with tutorials on how to do just about anything.

    Noticed you crossed off the bank robbery and you're still here — glad it was a success!

    Marlene in TX

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