Making a house a home, when you dont own

White Walls Living Part 2


Lets pick up where we left off. Today Ive got some more inspiring images  of spaces that look great with white or off-white walls, for those who cant paint.

bold black and white living room

A striking black and white living room. Committing to this palette for one room is a bold decision, but this black, white, grey and occasional wood grain theme runs through the entire house. It works out very nicely. The site is not in English, but I believe this home belongs to a person named Lily. Click through to see the rest of the house (Google translated to English). black and white striped chair in hallway More black and white, but this time its just used and an accent. You can see more of Annabelle Kerslakes eclectic home on Design Sponge. Isabel and Claire's Globtrotting apartment Speaking of eclectic, head over to Apartment Therapy and have a look at Isabel & Claires [colorful] Globetrotting Apartment House Tour. Aside from one lovely grey wall, its a mostly white walled home. grey couch with colorful pillowsHanne of babyramen reminds us that you dont need paint to bring  color into a room bright accessories like throw pillows can make a otherwise neutral room look more colorful. A colorful living room from sunset magazine This room is from Sunsets 2012 Idea House. White walls and still not boring. gallery wall and grey couch Another neutral pallet with pops of color in the art work (some of it homemade) and even a metallic pillow. From CecilieLykke (Google translated to English). monochromatic living room I really like this mostly monochromatic set up from ink and spindle. The mustard accents add just the right amount of color and interest. white cubbies grey couch with white walls

Both of these are from photographer Kristofer Johnsson. His website is worth checking out, as most of the photographs in the interiors section are on a white background. I particularly loved these two because of how they incorporate antiques into more modern spaces. Blog note: Ive been keeping the blogging to a minimum, because I was out of town for a few weeks. You can expect things to pick up next week. There will be lamp rewiring, picture hanging, curtain making or makeshifting, and all sorts of DIYing. If you want to keep up with me in the meantime, Im always active on instagram and twitter.
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When You Cant Paint Part 2: Contact Paper Wallpaper


A couple of weeks ago I posted about creating removable, damage free faux wallpaper with washi or masking tape. Today were going to cover what you can do with a blank wall and a roll or two of contact paper. Like masking tape, contact paper can be used on walls without causing damage, which makes it another perfect alternative to painting or permanent wall paper.

Customizable Wallpaper

handpainted contact paper wallpaper There is so much that you can do with a blank roll of contact paper and a little imagination. It can be painted, drawn on, stenciled and stamped, though I recommend doing this before you affix it to the wall, in case theres any bleed through. Theres a guest post on Apartment Therapy by Victoria Hudgins about how she created the wall paper pictured above. Is that white background still to reminiscent of you plain white walls? Well than lets go in the opposite direction with black chalkboard contact paper. chalkboard contact paper wallpaper Added bonus, you can change the design whenever you feel like it. Jovana of photographybyjovana created a chalk art wall for her daughter with three rolls of chalkboard contact paper that she found on amazon. If your  interested in a more adult look, take some inspiration from these chalkboard walls.

chalkboard wall with aquarium drawing

This aquarium chalkboard wall was created by flickr user bernielopes.

chalkboard wall with writing

Tumblr user Aufschnitt/ created this wall of encouragement/inspiration. Im a big fan of the wall of text. The same idea could be applied to a favorite song, poem, excerpt from a book or a few favorite quotes.

paint chip mosaic wall

Craftster user melissa! made this mosaic wall by gluing paint chip samples to contact paper and then applying the contact paper to her wall. You could achieve the same effect with any type of colorful or patterned paper if you dont happen to have 500 paint chips hanging around (and please dont go collect a bunch of paint chips from the hardware store just because theyre free those are meant for perspective paint buyers, not cheapo crafters).

If the thought of trying to attach whole 18×6 sheets of contact paper to a wall intimidates you, dont worry, this post isnt even half way over, and the rest of the projects involve working with smaller pieces that still give a wallpaper or paint like effect.

Stripes and Chevrons

black and white striped wall

This image comes from a New York Times article about young newlyweds who were looking to decorate their first place together on the cheap. They used vinyl wall stripes to define the dining area.

contact paper stripes

Jen of City Farmhouse also wanted striped walls without the permanence. She shows you how to do it yourself in this tutorial.

contact paper chevrons

For a slight variation on the stripe, Stephanie of Sabbe Interior Design decided to go with the ever popular chevron. She details how she made her contact paper chevron wall in this tutorial. Now if you can just find the appropriate ceramic animal head to add that finishing touch

woodgrain geometric wall

Were still on the chevron train, but this one has a twist. Its two tone faux bois! Theres not much of a tutorial for this one, but a few details are provided in this Apartment Therapy post. If you payed attention in geometry you should be able to figure this one out though, its just a bunch of parallelograms stuck together. If you didnt pay close enough attention in geometry class, then just go enlist the help of one of your math geek friends. You do have a math geek friend, right?

Polka Dots

At first polka dot walls didnt sound very appealing to me, but then I saw this gold polka dots wallpaper Joy of Oh Joy made over her office with a metallic contact paper polka dotted wall. I think I might be warming up to polka dotted walls. polka dot nursery Oh look, more shiny polka dots. This Modern, Whimsical and Mostly DIY Nursery  featured on Project Nursery still uses metallic polka dots, but it manages to create a very different look than Joys office by using smaller dots, and lining them up in straight rows. Large mod dots wall And still more dots, though not so shiny this time. Again Heather of Going Mod at Mod House Design, manages to create a very different look than the other two by using much larger dots placed very close together in rows that are nearly touching. You can check out her tutorial here. colorful polka dot wall I couldnt leave out this colorful and whimsical one from Darilyn of Pillow Mint. She painted the contact paper before cutting (or punching) out the dots. See her post for more pictures and details.

And The Rest

diamond wall and scalloped nursery   The first one is what Martha refers to as wall art. I think its meant to be a backdrop for wedding photos, but you could totally do it on a larger scale and cover an entire wall or even a room if your in the mood. [Instructions and diamond template]. The second image is of the contact paper scalloped border that Melissa Esplin created for her daughter, Penelopes nursery. [tutorial] I think it would also be cute to do it in grey, and make the scallops more irregular and cloud shaped, then randomly place some contact paper raindrops on the wall or maybe thats just me missing Seattle.

metalic triangle wall decor I saved my favorite for last. If I try one of these in my own home it will likely be this one and/or the chalkboard contact paper. I literally spent hours trying to track down the source of this image, and from what I can tell it was uploaded directly to pinterest by Joanna Lynn Smith, so Im hoping that she is the originator of this project. If shes not, and you know who is, please let me know so that I can give proper credit. Check her pin for a brief description of how this wall was created, and admire the pretty that is metallic triangles lines up in little rows. Have you tried any contact paper wallpaper projects? Do you plan to? Im always interested in how people work around the decoration limitation of renting or living in military housing, so if you have ideas, projects, pictures, etc. please send them my way.
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White Wall Living Part 1

I know that many renters and military families are stuck with a no paint lease, leaving them to work with plain white or off white walls. That probably seems pretty boring to most people, but you can still put together a great room with white walls. Heres the proof: This is how you rock a pink couch and white walls. Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell on Decor8 Simple Nordic Design. I really love that rug and the stump. via The Designer Pad. I like the bright yellow, and think that this would be easy to pull off in a rental, because its not a real fire place. All youd need to do is buy a mantle, paint it, and stick it up against the wall .  Studio Tour of Regas NY via bklynbrideonline White walls, white shelves, white couch, and this room still manages to to be colorful. Designed by Nate Berkus. If you click through the link, there are more pictures of this house. The design style is eclectic and its full of vintage pieces and all white walls . . The website isnt in English, but the link is to the Google English translation. Via  Planete Deco. Scandinavian design with animal prints and a giant A. More on the minimalist side. via Ghoofie Design. Both white walls and a small space. These people know how to work with what theyve got. You can see the full house tour by following the link. Home Tour: Greetings from Vienna on Decor8. There is hope. Dont despair over that no paint policy, just work around it and send me some pictures after you do. P.S. looking back at this post, I see that two of the pictures may actually have gray walls, but I think they would work just as well with white walls, so theyre staying.      
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When You Cant Paint Part 1: Tape WallPaper

Whether painting is strictly forbidden in your lease, or youre just not willing to paint a place that you might be leaving at a moments notice, many of us in temporary digs end up living with white walls. Now theres nothing wrong with white walls. They can look great with the right decor. Ill even be posting some white wall living inspiration in the future, but if those white walls are starting to bore you, dont fret. There are plenty of non-paint options. Today were going to explore what you can do with a simple roll of washi or masking tape (which are essentially the same thing, except washi tape is adorable because everything is cuter in Japan). Jenny of Little Green Notebook, created a faux diamond wallpaper with four rolls of aqua washi tape. you can find the how to here. I havent found very many other examples of people using this method, but I found plenty of pattern inspiration (I was considering doing this on the walls in our last place, so Ive already done some inspiration hunting).

herringbone via apartment therapy

 starburst via 4men1lady

striped hexagons via depositphotos

1. Chevron Print via Schumacher 2. Ikat Zig Zag via Royal Design Studio 3. Hexagon Weave via DecorPad 4. More Chevron via Spoonflower

Obviously these are just a few options. You could always go with stripes or zig zags, or maybe even polka dots if you have a craft punch. Geometric patterns made up of straight lines are going to work best, since tape is essentially just a straight line. Something simple like the diamond pattern might work for a whole room, but for a more complicated design I would suggest just doing an accent wall. When it comes to tape selection, the options are pretty much endless. Theres every color of washi tape imaginable, via Happy Tape And all manner of printed washi tape as well. These are pretty basic patterns. but you can get lots of cute illustrated ones as well, via Cute Tape. Scotch tape is even making decorative masking tapes now. I found 4 solid colors and 2 patterned versions (one not pictured). via Office Depot This is by no means the ultimate list of tape sources. Just do an etsy search for washi tape, and you will find yourself 5 hours later still scrolling through the options. Just remember that this kind of project is only advised with masking and washi tape. Duct tape, and other types of tape could end up damaging your walls. Im still thinking about trying this in our new house. If you end up creating your own version of this project, send me a picture or link. I would love to see your results and feature you on Temporary Digs.  
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