Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Restoration Hardware Sale

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been thinking about redoing my guest bedroom.  When I first moved in to the house, I thought it would be fun to turn my urban cottage into a vintage farmhouse.  I don't know where I get these ideas.  

The first room I gave a facelift was the guest room and I put up this wallpaper.  It seemed to say "vintage farmhouse."  But now that the outside of the house is almost done, I'm not feeling the farmhouse interior anymore.  So I'm now lamenting my decision to install wallpaper that I no longer love/want. 

I've seen a lot on the blogs about the new look at Restoration Hardware, most designers feeling that it's a past-due look.  Love it or hate it, have you seen their linens?  I think they're gorgeous.

I've always loved the gray-brown color combination and they've got a lot of it.  Aren't these handsome? And they were having a 20 percent off everything sale this weekend so I thought I go find something from which to take inspiration for the guest room.  

But before I take down the wallpaper, I think maybe there's something I can do to it that will make it work.

So I pasted some pieces of wallpaper onto some large pieces of cardboard and while they were drying I ran to Ben Moore to get some paint samples to experiment.

Photo:  DecorPad

I thought if the walls were gray, I could paint my old dresser...

Photo:  Lone Ranger Antiques look like an old Gustavian piece.

The bed is the Ethan Allen Quincy bed but it a brown finish so with linen that looks like this... might look great.

So here are a few samples of Amherst Gray glazed over the wallpaper.  The first (on the left) is straight paint brushed on really thinly.  The second (on the right) is 50/50 glazing liquid and Amherst Gray brushed over the wallpaper.  

And here's another test (on the right) using the paint color (White River) that I've used throughout most of the house.  I kind of like how this tones the pure whiteness of the wallpaper and minimizes the pattern at the same time.  This might work.

I took my samples outside so I could photograph them for the blog and I was really captured by the reds...

...on my Japanese maple... old chimney on the house...

...and the leaves on the ground.

But I have to get to Restoration Hardware.  So I go back in the house to get ready to go...

...and one of the cats was sitting in the perfect light to take a few glamor shots.  (You have to take advantage to these opportunities when they present themselves)

And I'm finally out the door to Restoration Hardware to buy some new bedding at 20 percent off to jump start the project.

I'm so excited about my new purchases.

This is what I came home with.

I stopped into the garden center to see I could find some urns for the front porch and I saw these most beautiful dwarf hollies called "Little Rascal" and a Red Twig dogwood. 

 I moved a little azalea called "Parade" from the side garden to the left side opposite the dogwood.  The shrubs I can easily keep pruned to stay below the line of the deck.  

The holly have the most beautiful reddish mahogany colored tips on the branches that look beautiful with the deck and the dogwood.

Dogwoods I know can grow like weeds but I believe you can cut them back to almost nothing in the spring to keep them under control.  I just love their red color in the winter.  And if it prove to be too much, I can always move it.

I wasn't planning to do any landscaping until spring but having a few things here really make it look much more finished.

After planting everything, I realized I hadn't eaten today... I made the potato soup I saw on The Gardener's Cottage blog this morning.   The soup took all of about 10 minutes to make and it was great!  Janet's version is vegan but I used real milk and I didn't bother to peel the potatoes.  Super easy and it hit the spot on a gray, chilly afternoon.

I never made it to Restoration Hardware.  

But I had a great day.


  1. Too funny. Life can be that way sometimes!

  2. Sounds like you had a fabulous day! I spent mine huddled around the fireplace! No more more fall.
    Anyway, you make laugh everytime you post - or comment could you not make it to RH?! I wish I had lots of money to buy all their linens. Maybe in my stocking. :)
    The glazing technique turned out different than what I imagined - I like them all but especially the sample with the glazing medium. I think it will be sexy with the grays and browns. I can see some mercury glass mixed in too.

    Wasn't Janet's soup great? I made it too but barely mashed the potatoes. I had three bowls!

  3. I am laughing at you being side tracked. Welcome to my world!!!! Did you know that once you paint on wallpaper it is HARDER to strip? If you even think you might want to get rid of it GO AHEAD!!! I learned the hard way. :(

  4. hey,

    do not remove that wallpaper!!!

    glaze over it, paint over it but don't remove it or i'm never speaking to you again.

    ok maybe that's a little dramatic, but i love it.

    glad you like the soup.


  5. The best laid plans....
    Fun chatty post today. I kind of like the gray over the wallpaper, but do you REALLY want to be peeling that painted wallpaper someday when you're over it and ready for something new? I'm thinking that would be a big NO. So, I say live with it or peel it off. You'll love yourself in the long run. And I wish I had that soup right now.

  6. Well, you have been busy! I enjoy seeing what you're up to!

  7. I loved seeing your whole day. I thought that soup looked scrumptious too and wanted to make it but opened a can instead.

    Now about the glazing the wallpaper...I LOVE IT. I saw wallpaper painted with a white glaze years and years ago and have always loved this look.

    I loved the gray glaze...I think the second version. But all look good. I'd definitely try this before tearing it all off.

    They say you should not paint over wallpaper...and I spent weeks pulling all the wallpaper off in my living room but in the breakfast nook it seemed so stuck to the wall and had been painted over previously...that we left it.

    I discovered last week that in one corner of the room it has come loose. I couldn't help myself...I have a little pull and large amounts came off. I kept pulling and pulling and there is no going back now...I'm going to have to redo the whole room. Another project.

  8. Love your idea about glazing the wallpaper, and love how you documented the day! I've been admiring Restoration Hardware's new look myself, very French industrial combined with great texture and natural materials.

  9. Hi Steve,
    I love your wallpaper! LOVE IT! I think it's very subtle as is. I also think it offers a nice brightness to the room. I would vote to redecorate everything, minus painting over the wallpaper. See how it looks then, you can always paint over it later.
    And I think the decor change will create a whole new look for the's just such a beautiful pattern and as subtle as it is, I think it would be quite stunning with the more modern and sophisticated look of the grey contrasts.
    Just me two cents!
    Scratches for kitty!

  10. So much to comment on! You had a much busier Sunday than I did. I don't know what to say about the wall paper. I know it's pretty much impossible to remove if you paint over it but I would want to change it too for the direction you're going in. I love holly, lucky you. I love Restoration Hardware, the nearest one to me is Toronto, so I won't be going there anytime soon. Can't wait to see the bedding you choose. Love your kitty too, say hi from me. The soup looks delish, I'm going to try it your way. Phew, I'm tired now. Bye.

  11. I love the glaze over the wallpaper too. especially the lightest one, but I agree, it will make it MUCH harder to remove, should you ever decide to do so! I, also, learned that from experience...
    Sounds like a beautiful, wonderful way to spend a day!

  12. Love that post!! Sounds like you had a perfectly perfect day. I love a day spent puttering and decorating. Your plans for the guest room sound marvellous. I love that wallpaper and would not paint over it myself, but I know what you mean when something doesn't go with the theme any more.

    Yes, everyone is griping about Restoration Hardware but I think their linens are gorgeous. I have no problem with their furniture and Belgian look either - I could work a piece into my decor but don't want the whole lot. I do find their stores rather gloomy right now - so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face here (they are in a mall so not many windows). I love their paint and I am thinking of painting some walls in Stone or Graphite. I also love their draperies.

    Your new plants are lovely - the dogwood is a star. Yes, you have to keep it pruned but they are great winter interest. Your house is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!! I live in a part of the world where the character homes are few and far between and are in gentrified inner city neighborhoods and are utterly unaffordable. One day, I vow I shall have one but likely when I retire to a smaller town. I see you are in MA too. Oh, I hate you! In my secret dream life I live on the New England coast in a small town in a big house. I got that in my head when we used to drive on the Maine coast en route to NH where we summered with family (I grew up in New Brunswick, Canada). I figure MA is just far enough away from family but close enough to fly to in an hour or two.

    Anyway, I am rambling. Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, I am very sweet. And that Boulevard Clichy under snow painting is gorgeous and the small print I have of it always comes out this time of year to get me in the mood for snow (arriving this week).

    Nice to meet you! Linking to you!
    Best, Terri

  13. Several years ago in, I think, Country Home magazine I saw this wash technique over wallpaper that was very similar to what you have here. It looked great then, and looks great here. I prefer the lighter wash, just enough to tone down the pattern without losing it entirely. Vintage farmhouse is pretty flexible, when you get right down to it. Funk it up or funk it down, and it still looks great.

  14. Ok Steve....who told you you can't have a farm house in a big city?

    I will put a call into my wonderful "paper hanger" Barbara and see what she says. She has been hanging wallpaper for 30 years!

    I like the glaze...very subtle. You may want to check out new papers, like Anna French, which look like your glazed version, only you won't have to worry about the stripping part down the road.

    ; ) kelley

  15. You have such great taste that no matter what you end up choosing it is going to look terrific. The wallpaper as it stands right now is lovely. Restoration Hardware is fun to walk around in but too pricey for me unless there is a sale. I get great ideas though.

  16. Don't tell Janet, but I'm going to make the soup your way- only substitute 1/2 heavy cream & 1/2 milk.
    Life is short and if potato soup isn't comfort food, I don't know what is!


  17. I got some good advice a few years ago; ignore the carpet and decorate as if it were not there. I say ignore the wallpaper and pull the room together in your head first; then see whether or not the glaze is even needed or if your perspective of the paper is completely altered by the additional changes you have made. Two cents worth. Not that you needed it!

  18. Dear Steve, I really like grey rooms and have two bedrooms and a study decorated in grey clay paint. It sets off other colours so well.
    I like your wallpaper just as it is but would wish to have less of it by putting up a picture rail above the windows and door and bringing down the curtain rail to that new level. The area above the picture rail would marry in with the ceiling and create a much calmer room.
    Painting the furniture will make a huge difference - and then you'll have to go out and buy some of that fabulous bedding!

  19. Gray is, the new white! My vote is the wallpaper stays and with a glaze. I love and know that bed. I see charcoal drawing through out that room. I see a marble or plaster bust. I see black milk glass. I see a black globe. I see a small brown distressed leather chair.I see a little a I mean a little lavender color. I see linen from R.H. in that room. Good luck, the place looks great. K

  20. Loving your ideas for your bedroom, sounds wonderful! Have a sweet day!

  21. Although the effect of the glaze over the wallpaper is lovely I would hesitate to do it for all the reasons mentioned above. But all the ideas for the room sound lovely and you should do what you want.(-: You had a very fun sounding day...sometimes it is good to be side tracked.

  22. I just found your blog and I love it! The wallpaper is lovely in my opinion - I was wondering if you could tell me where it was from? Thanks so much.
    I'm sure whatever you do to the room will be gorgeous.