Pineapple Sorbet Wallpaper Nursery (Hygge & West-Rifle Paper Co)

Part One: The Why

As a child I have a very vivid memory of what our house looked like.  Wallpaper in every room.  Wallpaper in the family room (cream with forest green grid on top).  Wallpaper in the kitchen (forest green with white polka dots…or small white flowers?).  Wallpaper border in one of the bedrooms (teddy bears, ducks with mauve bows, and hearts).  Wallpaper in my bedroom (rainbow gingham, but only up to chair rail hight).  Wallpaper in the bathroom, AND a wallpaper boarder.  The next vivid memory I have is the removal and for the next 10 years hearing my mother say, “I WILL NEVER WALLPAPER AGAIN!”  It left a lasting impression to say the least.

Every year at the parade of homes I see beautiful wallpapers in the models.  I look on Pinterest and see stunning wallpaper features in laundry rooms.  Several of my blog friends have done stunning wallpaper projects: Emily’s ostrich bathroom, Amber’s floral accent wall, Kelly’s floral closet, Katja’s textured entry, Anu’s modern entry (and way more that my pregnancy brain is struggling to remember).

And then I got sad.  I was sad because I was a wimp.  I loved all the wallpapers, but I was too afraid to commit.  I stuck with stenciled walls because I knew I could always paint over them… until I found this from Hygge & West, designed by Rifle Paper Co:

hygge and west pineapple sorbet wallpaper - riflepaperco

I showed a picture to Aaron and said, “What do you think about this for the nursery?”  I was still up in the air about it, but he was VERY insistent that we do it.  He reminded me that pineapples are the traditional way to say “welcome home” therefore making it the perfect place to bring home our new baby girl.

Since we already had a plethora of baby girl items leftover from Evelyn, we were able to splurge a little to get this wallpaper.

Who better to help me install this wallpaper than the queen of wallpaper herself, my mother!  I was worried she would talk me out of it, but she was very supportive!  She reminded me that as long as I don’t wallpaper the entire house, when we ARE ready to remove it, one wall won’t be that big of a deal.

Part Two: The How

**If you aren’t doing a wallpaper project, this part of the post will be pretty boring, since it is tips and tricks of the actual install.  Just enjoy the pictures!  If you ARE getting ready for a wallpaper project, I hope this helps you and can help you avoid some of the mistakes I feel like I made.**

Since I was doing the same brand of wallpaper as Amber from Wills Casa, I read and reread her tutorial over and over and found it very helpful.  I recommend you do the same if you’re planning on Hygge & West wallpaper.

Most wallpapers are pre-pasted, meaning you just have to get them wet, then stick it to the wall.  Not this paper.  It involves a special paste that you apply both to the paper and the wall.

These are the supplies we needed: 2 buckets (one for paste, one for water), the paste (which we purchased from Hygge & West as well), spreaders, razor blade, sponges, rollers.  Not pictured: plastic floor cover.


Make sure to mix your paste ahead of time, because it takes an hour to set up.  While it was swelling, we prepped the room with the drop cloth and towels because this is a MESSY process.

The first piece is the hardest to hang.  That’s what everyone will tell you.  You can’t count on walls being level, so need to get a level and measure then draw a “plumb line” straight down.  That is what you’ll line your wallpaper up with.  (Please see pictured my cute mama below!)


When you’re applying paste to the back of the wallpaper, do it liberally.  You’ll also roll paste onto the wall.


You’ll “book” the paper by folding it into thirds, and letting it sit for about 5-7 minutes.


You’ll line the paper up (to the pencil line if it’s your first piece- to the pattern if it’s any piece after that).  Make sure you cut your pieces long, because you’ll go back and trim it with a razor blade.  Once you have the paper in place, the real hard part happens: smoothing it out.  This is extremely messy.  You’ll have gooey paste oozing in every direction.  Don’t be afraid!  This is what you want.  It’s just difficult because the paper will start to wrinkle in places.

I found the best way to avoid wrinkles and creases is this method:  don’t start smoothing with the scrapers right away!  Loosely start smoothing the paper onto the wall with your hands, almost like you’re stretching the paper into place.  Start in the middle, then work your way to the edges.  THEN use your scrapers.  After I discovered this method I had far less wrinkles.

Use the sponge and washcloth to wipe off extra paste with warm water.  The wallpaper is very durable and strong.

We have slightly textured walls.  I went back and forth on deciding if we should do a skim coat to make the wall smooth, or leave the texture (knowing it would show through the wallpaper).  We decided to not cover the texture, because when we are done with the wallpaper, we don’t want to have to re-texture the wall to match the rest of the room.  However, I ended up being happy with this decision for another reason.  It hid any wrinkles that I was unable to smooth out.  And the texture is barely noticeable.

After each strip of wallpaper was smoothed into place, we held the edge of the scraper to the baseboards/ceiling, and ran the razor along the edge to trim it.

The most frustrating part of the project was the very last piece.  We had a gap of less than an inch that we had to fill.  It was pretty unbelievable.  We just trimmed the whole last piece down to about 4 inches, then after pasting it in place, cut it with the razor.


Part Three: The Finished Product 

Here’s the nursery before:


After about 5 hours of messy work later (and a sneak peek at the dresser I scored on a thrift hunt!):


I just need to give another huge shout out to my mom for helping me with this.  Wallpapering is definitely a two person job, and I couldn’t have done it without her.  We had such a great time talking and laughing while working on a project together.  It was a really special day to spend with her, and I’m happy that when I see this wall I can remember how much fun it was to create it with my mommy!


There are 2 different seams in this picture, and you have to look really close to find them.  The pattern matched up almost perfectly, which I was surprised about because of the hand-painted nature of the pattern.


This pineapple pattern is EVERYTHING.  I love the blush color of the flowers.  I love that it’s on a white background, and it’s the same shade of white as the other walls in the room.  It flows together really well.  I love how happy and cheerful it is.

Evelyn was adorable while I was trying to photograph the room.  She loved reaching for the pineapples and patting them.


(Also, can you believe how curly her hair is?!)



We are very excited to welcome home our Tiny-girl, the pineapple of our eye.




Kitchen and Breakfast Nook (and Tom Dixon Copper Chandelier)

Moving is so hard.  (Can I get an amen?!)  When you are finally in your new place, you wonder if the boxes of your stuff literally multiplied and replenished your house.  Boxes. For. Days.  And then, your stuff comes out of the boxes, and what once fit in your old house, doesn’t quite fit right in your new house.  Aw, the moving game.

It took some time for the boxes to clear out, but I’m FINALLY starting to feel like our house is more of a home, and a livable home at that!

This post is more of a “state of affairs” of the house.  Obviously nothing is on the walls or really decorated.  But it’s semi-put-together, so I felt confident enough to share.

I love this view of the breakfast nook when you first walk into the house.  The copper chandelier is the first thing everyone notices and comments on when they walk in.


We kept our Restoration Hardware table, but the chairs were all wrong all of a sudden.  I knew the breakfast nook was screaming for a set of Eames chairs.


We had a builder-grade chandelier over the table, and I hated it.


I knew a long time ago that I wanted a Tom Dixon copper chandelier.  Fun fact, I couldn’t find one for less than around $700.  And that was discouraging, because that was NOT in the budget.  It would be a very empty dinner table (with a very pretty light) if I would have paid full price.

HOWEVER.  I found a very (seemingly) sketchy Chinese wholesale website, that sold this light fixture for a fraction of the cost!  (Here’s the link.) Right after I ordered it, I got a call from my bank verifying I indeed made the purchase.  To be transparent, I was terrified I had made a huge mistake.  But then, 2 weeks later, to my delight, the chandelier showed up!  It was as brilliant as I expected.



Forgive me, because I TOTALLY forgot to take the baby-lock off the cabinet before shooting this… and by the time I realized it, the kitchen was already messy, and the sun was down.  So, you get a lovely baby-lock in this photo.


Aaron picked this granite because he liked the way it tied with the copper light.  (We had the light picked before we even started building!)  We still have many things we want to do to the kitchen.  We have plans for a backsplash, and for making the cabinets less builder-grade and more custom.

The bar stools are the same from our old kitchen.  I’m not really sold on them being cohesive with the design plan we have going on.  But for now, they are staying (until I find new stools that I absolutely cannot live without haha).


I’m really pleased with the way the kitchen and breakfast nook are coming together.  I was REALLY skeptical of the dark espresso stain on the cabinets.  That was Aaron’s decision.  It’s very far out of my white kitchen comfort zone.  But it’s really growing on me.  I guess it’s a good thing to trust your husband every now and then!



White Subway Tile Backsplash

I am 12 blog posts behind of where we’re at with our house.  Thanksgiving week was a week long version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  My mom’s side of the family is Greek, and when the Pulos Family gets together, things get cray, in the best way possible.

My Big Fat Greek Family

When we started our kitchen renovation, our goal was to be finished before Thanksgiving.  My family was hosting a baby shower for us in our house Thanksgiving weekend, and we wanted to be 100% done by Thanksgiving so we wouldn’t be worried about unfinished projects floating around when Baby Crowder was born in December (WHICH IS THIS MONTH!).

Since we started at the end of July, Thanksgiving seemed like a completely reasonable deadline.  However, certain projects have taken longer than other projects.  The main time-taker has been the fence.  I haven’t said much about it on the blog yet (again, another post I am behind on) but when I write it, you’ll understand.  It’s like when you’re watching Labyrinth and the Goblin King fast forwards the clock…  but in real life you don’t get the joy of singing Dance Magic Dance.  And that’s a hard life.


We purchased our tile & supplies back in August, but the backsplash kept getting pushed back because of the need to get the fence finished.  When November hit, I knew there was no way we could get it done.  I really really wanted to do it myself.  But you know, something about being 8 months pregnant using a tile saw… We can’t all be Katie Bower or Pretty Handy Girl (and all the other many DIY bloggers who have bravely installed a backsplash.)

I had every intention of doing it.  But I had to call in some help to be finished on time.  (We DID finish everything before Thanksgiving, I’m just that behind on blogging.)

For the overwhelmed DIYer:


I called Home Depot, and learned about an awesome service they have called Redbeacon.  This post is completely unsponsored, just a great experience I had.  Redbeacon is a site where you upload pictures and information about your project, and you get email bids from several licensed contractors.  All the contractors have been background checked, carry insurance, and have Home Depot’s stamp of approval.  They all have ratings and reviews you can read on the site as well.  It was so easy to use.  I stated that we already had our supplies, and just needed it installed.  We got very competitive bids and fair prices.  As soon as I picked a contractor, he started the next day.  It was very inexpensive since we already had our tile and supplies.  You even pay through the Redbeacon site.  For the overwhelmed DIYer, I highly suggest using Redbeacon to finish up projects, or those little projects (like drywall!) that you never feel like doing.

And here’s the tile, simple and clean.

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

It has been a very busy summer around here, but the major projects are coming to an end.  And it feels a lot like success kid.

sucess kid twitter

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build Fence

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

Baseboards + board & batten


Counter top install


How To Paint Curtains

I’m breaking away from nursery posts today to bring you a living room update!  Our big projects are coming to a close (more on that soon!), which means I have been focusing on decorating details.

One thing we’ve been living without since demo (late July) is curtains.  It’s like living naked for the world to see.  So exposed.  I mean, cool, if that’s what you’re into.  But um, I dig privacy.

Since we have so much neutral happening in our grand room, I wanted some curtains with a punch.  As it would turn out, punchy curtains are really hard to find unless you want to pay $50+ per panel from a fancy store or custom order on Etsy.  Pretty much all other curtains are simple and neutral.

For a good long while, probably since Avatar was the cool thing… I’ve been wanting to try making fabric paint with textile medium.  Painting curtains was the perfect experiment.

I started with a plain white set of IKEA LENDA curtains, drew out a design on a scrap paper, got some votes, then started taping.  Nothing is trustier than FrogTape for crisp lines.

How To Paint Curtains

I mixed regular latex paint with the textile medium in an old mixing bowl that I was planning on tossing.

How To Paint Curtains

The ratio is 2:1.  2 parts paint to 1 part textile medium.  The handle broke off my measuring cup, so I used this old one to measure out 2 cups of paint.

How To Paint Curtains

I was so worried that the textile medium would change the color of the paint, but it didn’t.

How To Paint Curtains

My preferred color of mustard was Sherwin Williams Kingdom Gold (6698).

How To Paint Curtains

I rolled on the paint to cover the curtains nice and saturated-ly.

How To Paint Curtains

I let it dry over night for good measure.  The next day, Buster watched while I joyfully peeled the tape off.

How To Paint Curtains

However, I made a HUGE mistake.  Michael, I’ve made a huge mistake…  Normally when I paint, I use these old sheets as a drop cloth, and it’s fine.  But I REALLY should have been wise enough to use a heavier drop cloth, or a tarp.  The curtains were completely fused to these sheets.  Peeling them apart was akin to what I imagine an exorcism would be like.  Very gripping.

How To Paint Curtains

But the trouble didn’t stop there.  Because it majorly bled through onto my floors.  It was like a school bus died all over my front room.  For anyone wanting to know how to get paint off floors, warm water with a little Dawn and some elbow grease does the job.

How To Paint Curtains

Luckily the only mishaps were with my supplies.  The painted curtains were more than perfect.  It’s the love affair of the century.  Move aside William and Kate, we have new things to gawk over.

How To Paint Curtains

The final step is to heat set the fabric paint.  You can iron, or tumble dry.  I tumbled of course.

I used this tip to hang the curtain rod.  Please disregard my swollen pregnant hand and robe sleeve.  Take some cardboard and make a template to mark the holes.  Flip the template, and use it on the other side of the window for a perfect match.

How To Paint Curtains

The curtains need to be hemmed, but I’m not sweating that chore until after Thanksgiving.  We have people to entertain!

How To Paint Curtains

They are extra beautiful at night.

How To Paint Curtains

And extraordinarily magical from the outside.  I’m sure all my neighbors think I’m the coolest 🙂

How To Paint Curtains

And for pinning convenience, here you are!

How To Paint Curtains

Now that you’ve read my adventures in painting curtains, are you going to paint some fabric of your own?

How To Install Laminate Flooring… for dummies and pregnant women

Remember when I told you about this amazing deal on flooring I scored?  If you’re new, that post covers the reasons we went with laminate and the amazing price we got it for from Lumber Liquidators.  Let’s just say that it cost less than a mounted microwave.  With NO compromise on quality.  🙂

Laying laminate flooring is so easy a 5 month pregnant lady on bed rest could do it.  A literal statement.

Each box of flooring had a diagram of instructions in like manner to IKEA.  Aka, no words.  It’s pretty straight forward.

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

Okay.  The biggest thing to be learned from the steps is to make sure to put a doormat down.  You never know when the destruction of ghost feet will find you (as referenced in step 19).

We bought a flooring installation kit for about $15 and I highly recommend you do the same for your flooring installation.

how to install laminate flooring

The spacers go around the edges of the room.  Don’t be worried about gaps.  Your baseboards cover that.

It’s a pretty ingenious idea from IKEA to have the toe-kicks snap on and off.  We ran the flooring under the cabinets and were able to just snap the toe-kicks back on and it looked AMAZING!

how to install laminate flooring

The picture below shows the underlayment we used.  It’s called Traffic Master, and I picked it up at Home Depot.  I bought 600 sq ft for $28 total.  Which is a heck of a lot cheaper than Lumber Liquidators wanted to charge for underlayment.  They wanted to charge $0.40 sq ft.  Almost as much as the flooring itself.  So keep that in mind when pricing flooring.

how to install laminate flooring

When you start a new row, cut a random length, so you get a lovely staggered look.

how to install laminate flooring

The next piece snaps to the previous row nicely, but it’s almost impossible to avoid a gap between the next-door neighbor piece.

how to install laminate flooring

Which is where THIS GUY comes in handy.  Beat it with a hammer a couple times and…

how to install laminate flooring

BAM.  No gap.  Pretty sure this method crossed my mom’s mind a few time when considering braces for us children.

how to install laminate flooring

For the odd shaped pieces that needed to be cut (like for vent holes) we used a jig saw.  It was pretty simple!

Having the same flooring run throughout is like the day I realized wearing make up shouldn’t look like you’re wearing make up.  Bye bye white eye liner.

how to install laminate flooring

And to remember how bad that metaphoric white eye liner really was:

Laminate Flooring

how to install laminate flooringq

Check-in time:

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build new fence (in progress)

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

-Baseboards + board & batten (supplies purchased)

-**newly added to the list** build new banister (supplies purchased)

Counter top install (done but you haven’t seen it yet, unless you creep on Instagram)

-Back splash (supplies purchased… did you weigh in on the opinion-fest on Facebook?)

We are getting close to being done.  Our new furniture has been arriving.  We have all the rest of the materials purchased, so we are ready to buckle down and get it done!

How To Build A Brick Hearth

Did you have an enchanting Labor Day weekend?  We enjoyed a nice little holiday up to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.  It was most excellent to have a break from working on the house.

We did all our hard laboring the previous weekend.  With the completion of paint, I was all riled up to start flooring.  But Aaron buzz killed reminded me that we needed to decide on a hearth before we laid flooring.

The previous hearth was tile.  And not just tile, but tile that had the pattern of dirt on it.  I wasn’t too keen on having tile again.  #PermaDirt

DIY Brick Hearth

We kept tossing back and forth the idea of doing the same tile as whatever we decided on for the backsplash.  But I didn’t want it to be too matchy matchy.  I told Aaron he could 100% decide.  And then I immediately regretted it when he said “Red brick.”  He knew I was really hesitant, and said we could white wash them if I wanted.  However, I didn’t really want to.  I know every other blogger is all about painting and white washing brick these days… which is kind of why I didn’t want to.  I just needed to trust him on this.  A task much easier said than done.

We have a really great friend who is a brick mason who volunteered his time to help us with this project.   The total cost of this was less than $60, and we way over estimated the amount of brick needed.  We needed bricks, mortar, and wire meshing (lath).

The bricks were $0.42 in the store, the mortar was about $5 a bag, and the lath was about $7.

We used 1.5 bags of mortar for our hearth.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

I was really bummed they wouldn’t let me help… but you know, 5 months pregnant and everyone feels like they can boss you around.  Apparently there is only one type of “brick laying” I should be doing, and that should be happening in the bathroom… so…

The first thing they did after telling me I couldn’t help, was nail the lath to the subfloor where the brick would be laid.  We put a layer of the same underlayment we would be using for the rest of the flooring under the lath as a moisture barrier and extra layer of protection.  It’s not necessary, but recommended.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

Then they mixed the mortar in a bucket.  Joel had a fancy beater, but if you didn’t have one, I’m sure the old “shovel in a wheel barrow” method would translate.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

There is no exact ratio of water to mortar mix.  It should be thick, but wet enough that it sticks to the brick.  It’s hard to explain what exactly that is until you start working with it.  But you’ll know if you need to add a little more water, or a little more mix.  Just think of it as cement frosting.  It’s always easier to start with much less milk… otherwise you’ll be adding powdered sugar til the end of time.  (Which is usually what happens in this house)

How To Build a Brick Hearth

Buster supervised.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

We used a spare piece of plywood as a trough.  Anything you want to dump the mortar on will do.  Use a trowel to spread a thin layer of mortar across the lath.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

After this step, it was go-time for laying the brick.  It’s definitely more of a craft than you would expect.  We were so glad to have Joel here to help.  He was able to teach Aaron and I some tricks of the trade that we wouldn’t have known.  There were a couple bricks that needed to be cut.  Like a tile cutter, you can rent a brick cutter at the home improvement store.  Luckily Joel brought one along.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

You mortar the sides of the brick that you are sticking to something, and level as you go.  It’s a lot of squishing and wiggling it around to get it to fit.  Much like getting into a pair of skinny jeans after the holidays.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

And Indy just sat upon my lap while I watched.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

They worked from the outside to the middle.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

We told Joel that we were thinking about white-washing the brick.  He said we could get a more authentic look if we were a little “messier” with the mortar.  It would give it a worn 100-year-old brick wall look.  Perfect.  The more I thought about it, the more I loved it.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

The last step Joel did was use a little tool to even out the mortar between each brick.  And smile, of course.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

I was extraordinarily pleased when it was done.  I surprisingly LOVED it.  It has just the right amount of rustic touch.  And we decided to leave it as it.  NO PAINTING!

How To Build a Brick Hearth

It takes a full week for the mortar to dry and the color to be what it will actually look like.  A week later, this is where we’re at.  (AND you get a bonus taste of the flooring )

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

I obviously need to clean the inside of the insert… since you know, it hasn’t been cleaned since BEFORE we did a crap ton of dry walling up in this business.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

And when Buster saw the camera out, he wanted to be in on the action.  He put on his best Tyra face.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

And for the sake of enjoying a good before/after shot… I give you:

How To Build a Brick Hearth

Let’s review the list:

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build new fence (in progress!)

Paint ceiling & walls

-Install flooring (in progress!)

-Baseboards + board & batten

-**newly added to the list** build new banister

Counter top install (done but you haven’t seen it yet, unless you creep on Instagram)

-Back splash