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Old and New: Mixing it up

Old and New: Mixing it up

Mixing the old with the new has always been my style but I also love to find new uses for old things.

My husband gave me this beautiful pine window frame from Danish Country Antiques, located on Charles Street in downtown Boston.  He gave this to me when we were dating so it was 25 years ago.  Back then I lived in Boston and was always in and out of local antique shops.

Fast forward to our home that many years later.  We inherited some finishes in our kitchen that I would possibly change but I do love the built-ins originally from Scandia Kitchens. To warm up the all white look I took the antique pine window, blew up a few black and white photos of our children and had them matted into the window.  It's one of my favorite pieces in this kitchen.  It fits the space at the desk perfectly.  

I find it's sometimes challenging to display family photos or a collection because it can look messy unless you know what you're doing.  I often hang very symmetrical collections of frames because it looks clean but this is a nice alternative if you have a window frame that is in good condition and is an unusual or larger size.

Tracy Foley
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You can hang wallpaper but follow the rules!

You can hang wallpaper but follow the rules!

I just cannot help myself. I am a "do-it-yourselfer" and I am finally coming clean.  I love DIY.

I love the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment that I get out of painting a room or repairing a piece of furniture. The moment I hear someone say "you can't" my reaction is to say "I'll definitley do it".  The problem is that I then have a paintbrush in my hand at 11:30 at night and I'm cursing the fact that I didn't properly tape the room off and now I just want it to be done.  That's the pattern so why should it be any different when I want my tiny foyer to have wallpaper in it but I want it done immediately.

So, I decided to do it myself and because of this I wanted to pass some lessons on to other do-it-yourselfers in case they are interested in doing a wallpaper project before the holidays.

1. Measure. Really. I measure furniture and spaces all the time but I am a bit lose with those numbers . . . about 9 feet or approximately 5 x 7.  This does not make for a good wallpaper installer. Measure accurately and leave two extra inches on each side.

2. Start with the right tools and maybe double them. I had the scissors, exacto knife and squeegee-like tools but the wallpaper paste sticks. As much as I cleaned the tools off it is still a messy process (The video's make it look like the paper magically adheres). Start with an extra exacto knife on hand - I found that to be my most useful tool.

3. Don't worry about waste. I know these things are obvious but I don't like to waste and I want to move quickly.  I attempted to use some of the smaller pieces I had cut away and the wall just ended up looking messy. Use the entire sheet so that it looks smooth even if it is a small corner and you have to cut away 3/4th of the paper. Do it!

4. You actually can do it if you have the time. This is not rocket science. It's time and patience and with that anything is possible. Kids will be home soon, many other things on the list need to get done. You know the drill. I did try to rush my way through it and as it turns out I have one more piece to redo because of that but I'm super proud of myself for trying and it's a foyer not a family room.

My husband came home from a business trip and asked who I had used to wallpaper the foyer (a room very low on the its of priorities as far as projects go). The lights were dim so he couldn't see the air bubbles around the light switch, but I was more than happy to tell him that I had done it myself.

Thanks a million to Cecilia Walker of Cecilia Walker Designs for her gorgeous Calisole wallpaper that makes me so happy every time I look at it.

If you have any real life wallpapering tips to share please pass them along.  I'm sure this will not be the end of my wallpapering projects. tracy_foley@comcast.net

Tracy Foley
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