Interior decorating

This summer has been a bit of a roller coaster, especially in terms of my health (nothing scary, but a series of minor maladies that were just enough to cramp my style and drain my energy), and I just started to feel better about a week ago.

I took the day off Tuesday to finish up a project I started in April but haven’t had time to work on much because of the aforementioned health issues.

As I mentioned last winter, the drywall work in our house left a lot to be desired. I repaired the cracks and did textured paint jobs in the bedroom and office, but I got tired of messing with joint compound and sanding screens and decided to try a technique my friend Erin told me about, in which you tear contractor paper into random shapes, crumple it, smooth it back out, and apply it to the wall using wallpaper paste, overlapping the edges of the pieces.

Left brown, the paper ends up looking like soft leather; painted, it resembles stucco. Either way, it conceals a lot of flaws and obviates the necessity of repairing someone else’s sloppy drywall work.

The leather look was really too dark to use in rooms as small as ours, but given my fondness for Southwestern architecture, stucco seemed about right. I did the dining room in late April or early May, but I didn’t get a chance to finish the living room until this week. Here are a few photos:

Here's a look at the paper technique. Each piece is torn, crumpled, uncrumpled, and applied to the wall with paste and a smoothing tool.
Here’s a look at the paper technique. Each piece is torn, crumpled, uncrumpled, and applied to the wall with paste and a smoothing tool.
The process is time-consuming, but it hides a lot of flaws.
The process is time-consuming, but it hides a lot of flaws.
The paper will start to bubble after you hang it. DON'T PANIC. It will settle down and smooth out as it dries.
The paper will start to bubble after you hang it. DON’T PANIC. It will settle down and smooth out as it dries.
Ignore the clutter. I didn't bother putting the room completely back together when I knew I'd be painting soon.
Ignore the clutter. I didn’t bother putting the room completely back together when I knew I’d be painting soon.

Here’s how it looked once it was painted:

As with the paste, the paint will make the paper bubble while it's wet. As with the paste, it will settle down. I panicked a little bit before I discovered that.
As with the paste, the paint will make the paper bubble while it’s wet. As with the paste, it will settle down. I panicked a little bit before I discovered that.
I like how that short little hall looks with all my family pictures hanging there.
I like how that short little hall looks with all my family pictures hanging there.
The paint is "La Fonda Terra Cotta," from Valspar's National Trust for Historic Preservation line. I love it.
The paint is “La Fonda Terra Cotta,” from Valspar’s National Trust for Historic Preservation line. I love it.
The color is a little yellow here because the lighting was odd, but you get the idea.
The color looks a little yellow here because the lighting was odd, but you get the idea.

I really like that terra-cotta color. It looks very Southwestern and makes the whole room feel warm and inviting.

I’m hoping to replace the futon with a loveseat as soon as I can find something suitably mid-century. That room is just too small for big furniture.

Emily

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