Falling in love with thrifted finds & the great wallpaper dilemma of 2011.

This past weekend was a work weekend. A long and exhausting work weekend devoid of fun and blog reading and napping and other things I usually fill my weekends with. On Sunday we all went to brunch and, just after, Andrew and I peeked into a thrift shop and happened upon this:

It was love at first sight. I knew that with some paint and sanding and elbow grease (ew), she could be beautiful. I wanted her for our foyer, thought she’d be perfect and oh! what luck in finding something that would look so nice there just after having a conversation about how we really needed a bigger, more badass piece to welcome people into our home. But then I realized that she is not at all what she appears to be.

I didn’t care. Sure, it wouldn’t work for the foyer because we need drawers in which to stow our random bits of household stuff, but surely we can find a place for it somewhere?!? Andrew was sceptical. I begged and pleaded and told him it would work in the foyer anyway before decided that no. It will go in my office. Because what better thing to put in my office that a sneaky ceder chest?

I have named her Eleanor.ย She is in desperate need of paint and new drawer pulls but I am at a loss as to what color would befit such a lovely lady.

And then, there’s the dining room. I mentioned previously that it was brown, very brown, and that the brown just hasn’t wowed me and that the stack of wallpaper samples wasn’t making things any easier. A lovely Irish blogger suggested I share the samples and solicit the help of the internets in making a final decision.

The dining room looks like this:

Like I said, it’s brown. A lovely brown, but still brown. It is too dark. Even with light furnishings and white billowy curtains, it is still too brown, too dark, too heavy.

What we’d like to do is wallpaper above the chair rail, and paint dark grey or almost black below, leaving the trim bright white.ย 

The wallpaper options:

Initially, I thought #1 was going to take the cake but now when I look at them I can’t decide. I go to bed with thoughts of these three prints in my mind and I can’t pick. Or I pick and then immediately change my mind. Andrew loves #2, or at least he did an hour ago when I asked him. I want the room to gain some light on the walls and I want it to be bold and dramatic and lovely.

Please, dear Internets, tell me which is your favorite. Or, if you hate them all, tell me why. Wallpaper is serious business and I need your help.

29 thoughts on “Falling in love with thrifted finds & the great wallpaper dilemma of 2011.

  1. Oh wow, those are all loud patterns. I think 2 would be way too loud for that much wall, especially in an area you spend a lot of time in. I have trouble seeing 3 in large scale and don’t think it’s quite chic enough for that space. So that leaves 1. I think it will feel like a lot of black and white, but if that’s what you’re going for, then it works. You do have colors in both adjoining rooms, so it would all balance.

    I love a chair rail and white trim. Have you thought about doing wainscotting below and wallpaper up top? You could paint the wainscotting a grey or black and it would have texture and color and would balance out the print without being just a solid wall of color. I’m thinking specifically the vertical bar wainscotting.

    Thirdly, and you didn’t ask, but I like the brown. What if you did a brown family patterned wallpaper up top and kept the bottom brown, or did an overlay of sorts of a pattern OVER the brown, to lighten it and break it up?

    Can’t wait to see what others suggest.

  2. I’m agreeing with H to the Izzo. No. 1.
    2 is a bit too much. Really. I have no real opinion on 3.

    The trunk is fantastic and holy crap it will be so much easier to paint than if there were drawers! LOVE IT!

  3. I vote #1, it’s crisp and simple but still pretty. #2 has too much black in it, and I think you would be in the same situation you are now with too dark a room, especially considering the bottom part of the wall will be dark too. and I just don’t like #3. Simples!

  4. Love the dresser/cedar chest!

    From the little bits I’ve seen so far, your home looks so pretty! For the wallpaper, my gut instinct was #1. But, I also like #3. The middle one is just too dark for me.

  5. What a find!! Totally Mining Monday approved. I love anything that isn’t what it appears to be.

    I like the #1. Two is a bit severe for an entire wall, and the pattern for the third would drive me nuts. Just me though!

  6. LOVE that chest trunk!!

    I like #1 but I think #3 would stay interesting because you could always find new patterns in it every time you looked. At least, I would spend a lot of time staring at the walls if it were in my dining room. Also, I love that mirror on the wall – I always want to try that but can’t find a place for it to work in my house. I like how it makes the whole room feel so much bigger! You’re going to post your decision/the results, right??

  7. That trunk is a great find! i would go with option 1, the other 2 I fear would overpower the room. Let us know what you end up going with, I want to see it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I love the chest! I would love a project like that to make over!

    Number 2 is my favorite, but I think that if I were to use that, I’d want to use a color below the chair rail.

    If I were doing black and white I would probably go with a damask myself, but I’m oddly obsessed with them lately.

    1. We’ve got a whole stack of damask wall paper samples but couldn’t seem to find exactly the right now. They were all either too formal, or just sort of silly. I do LOVE damask though!

  9. Rhiannon

    I agree with some of the others that 2 would be a bit to heavy. 1 is simple, delicate, lovely. My vote. Though 3 is nice as well. Tough choice. Good luck!

  10. Helena

    I loved wallpaper #1 I think it would look beautiful in your dining room and go well with your attaching rooms. But you guys have great taste, I love the way you have decorated your house so far, so trust your instinct. What a super cool trunk. I love finding cool furniture and making them your own with a little elbow grease:)

  11. I like 1!! 2 I think would be too heavy, and three … just hurts my head a little. It looks too close to a spidey web. And that freaks me out.
    I like number one! It’s pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Love the idea to add yellow! We’ve got a yellow living room that’s right next to it so I think bringing in bits of yellow to the dining room too would help the rooms feel connected.

  12. mindy maier

    number one!!!

    number three looks like a spider web and number two is just too much.

    also, don’t rule out the brown…it could work with wallpaper. black and brown together is in, ya know!

  13. That cabinet is gorgeous!!

    I think No.1 is my favourite pattern, but I’d be worried that what you have planned is going to make the area too cold, rather than making your home, well, homey!

  14. Ash

    Well. I love it the way it is, but if you must.. I agree with evryone else – #1. #2 would be so busy it would drive me nuts, and I agree that #3 looks like a spider web. Not that spider webs are bad, but it would be a little creepy eatting dinner surounded by a spider web… IMHO.

    Love love love the cedar chest – I’d not paint it but would sand & refinish in the original dark wood. What a find! Perfect place to store blankets & hats & coats & anything wooly. Be sure to post pics of the process on all of your projects, please!

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