I remember when I was about 10 years old, my family went to a graduation party at the house of a family friend. Construction of their new home had wrapped up just months before, so we were given a tour of the new place. The entire house was beautiful, but I wasn’t awestruck until we came to the library. That’s right. They had a library. In their house.
From that moment, I dreamed of having a library in my house when I got “old”, or, in other words, before I turned thirty. Even though my definition of old was extremely skewed in my youth, my dream to have a room completely dedicated to books and low levels of noise was right on target. So, when my husband and I were shopping for our first home, a library was at the top of my “wish” list. It wasn’t one of our requirements for a home…but it was absolutely a mega-plus.
After a few months of house-hunting, Ryan and I stumbled upon the house that would eventually become our home by accident. While coming out of an open house with our realtor, I noticed the beautiful colonial across the street and asked her “Why aren’t we looking at that house?” When she told me that I marked it as a “no” on the list of houses she gave me, I dismissed it as a mistake. However, once we were inside the house, I remembered the reasons why I had originally said no to this house. One of those reasons: there was wallpaper…EVERYWHERE.
Wallpaper in the living room. Wallpaper in the kitchen. Wallpaper in the bathrooms. Wallpaper…in the library!
Yes! This house had a library. With beautiful floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves in a deep, gorgeous wood. Even though its walls were covered in Scottish-kilt-plaid wallpaper, the library had me hooked. I was in love. Luckily, we were in love with the rest of the house too. My dream of having a library had happened before I was officially “old”.
As soon as the keys were in our hands, we got to work ripping up carpet, painting and taking down all that wallpaper. Things were going great, until we got to the library. When we took the wallpaper down, instead of drywall, we saw wood panelling. I think I would have been ok with wood panelling (the folks on HGTV make the stuff look AMAZING!), however, this panelling was ruined by wallpaper glue. And it looked so sad and retro (in a bad way) next to the dark wood of the rest of the room.
So, down with the panelling! Wouldn’t it be our luck that beneath the icky panelling was even ickier panelling? Of course it would be. Unless we wanted to hire someone to install drywall, painting was clearly not an option. As much as I hated to admit it, I told my husband the best way to go in here was…wallpaper. Since that had all but become a cuss word to him, you can imagine he was less than enthusiastic. But I promised him I would stay far, far away from anything remotely similar to the floral, tye-dyed or plaid wallpaper we had spent hours of our lives ripping down.
My original intention was to buy white wallpaper that can be painted, but once I started browsing all of the cool options available in wallpaper these days, I decided to go a different direction. I went from being a believer in paint-only decorating to someone who actually just used “cool” and “wallpaper” in the same sentence. I’m growing up, and so are my tastes: check out this Spanish Tile wallpaper from allen + roth.
Gorgeous, right? I was so excited when I picked up the wallpaper and supplies from Lowe’s yesterday. So excited that I literally did a happy dance on the way out. Luckily, I didn’t run into anyone I knew while I was doing that. Oh, wait…yes, I did.
No matter. I’m so giddy about finishing this last part of our library make-over that I’m not embarrassed at all. After the wallpaper is up, the last step will be to throw on comfy clothes, pour a big cup of coffee and grab a book from one of the shelves. Man, getting “old” feels good.