Last year, when my husband and I became new homeowners, I had a list of about a hundred different things I needed/wanted for the house and a million different decorating visions playing out in my mind. Slowly but surely, things are piecing together as we're creating a home for our little family of 5. Being budget conscious, we've tried to find ways to make this home our own without breaking the bank. I'm no stranger to garage sales, estates sales, logging time on Craigslist, and reusing/repurposing what we already have. That said, after many unsuccessful searches for the perfect headboard, I decided to lean toward more nontraditional routes. My thought: headboards are luxury items, not a necessity. At this time, I can't justify spending hundreds on a piece of furniture that serves no function and is merely decorative. I know the hubby is happy about that. It is probably the last thing on my list. Yet at the same time, I really dislike the empty wall where the headboard should be. I wanted something different...and big..and a focal point in the room. Problem is, it's not really safe to hang anything there, especially anything substantial, that could potentially be the cause of some head injuries. Thank goodness for pinterest! At some point, I remembered seeing a huge statement wall with framed wall-paper and thought that would be the perfect solution. But after searching for the perfect wall paper (and there's some really fantastic stuff out there...with textured and fabric varieties), I realized it would end up costing just as much as an actual headboard!!! Plus, I hear it's quite the pain to install. So no brainer, the wall paper option was out. I ran through other options...decals? Nope, giant stickers should not cost a small fortune...and I wanted more creative freedom. Painted mural? Nope, I have neither the time nor the talent of a mural artist. Stencils? It does allow for some creative freedom, it's budget-friendly, time-friendly, and can achieve the look of wall paper. No brainer!
Bring on the weekend project!
I found the perfect stencil from Royal Design Studio. I'm a huge fan of herringbone, so when I saw this "herringbone shuffle", my search was over. I'm also a sucker for ombre, so all I needed was two contrasting colors of paint.
I just grabbed two sample containers of Valspar in white and the darkest grey they had. Every shade in between, was up to me to mix. This is more than enough paint for the entire project. I think I used maybe 1/5 of the jar. And each jar costs less than $3. I purchased stencil brushes for this, but I know any clean, flat edged brush would've been just fine for the job.
Now that you have your supplies, and your blank wall, let's get started!
Draw a horizontal line where you want the top of your frame to be. Make sure it's level. We used the window frames and the molding on the ceiling and measured from there. Then find the center of the line and draw an intersecting vertical line. Again, make sure it is level and straight and centered.
Start the stencil from the center and go outward. *This is important: The edge of the pattern should be lined up on that center vertical line, not the edge of the stencil sheet.* Either side is fine as long as you're going out from the center. Use painters tape to adhere the stencil to the wall.
I stenciled by section, starting from 1. Working outward from the center made more sense to me. That way, I knew the entire wall would be centered and I didn't have to measure exactly where the outer edges would be. I alternated between right and left sides to allow the freshly painted sections to dry before adding to it.
I chose to go with an ombre effect so I started the top with just pure grey, gradually mixing in the lighter shades of grey as I went down. And at the very bottom, I went with the pure white. In several places, I put highly contrasting shades next to one another. This was pretty random because that's how I like it, but if you preferred the pattern to be more uniform, that would be easy to do as well. Also, I ended up using the stencil 4x across, spanning just a bit longer than our king sized bed. It's nice it worked out that way, but if you needed a smaller width, you can just stencil in a portion and leave off the rest. That's why it made more sense to me to go from the center out.
The frame is optional, but I feel it adds the perfect finishing touch. We went with unfinished wooden molding. They come in 8ft segments and were measured and cut at a 45-degree angle on the ends to frame together nicely. We purchased 4 and they were $4.96 each. You don't need to do the math to know that this is far cheaper than buying a custom wooden picture frame, especially one of this massive size. We just cut, sanded, and used a "driftwood grey" wood stain to finish these before adding them to the wall. The adhesive he used was liquid nails.
My handy husband was the one responsible for the trim. He first nailed each piece of trim at the very center--not all the way in, but just enough to temporarily hold the trim in place. This is for two purposes: 1) he could then pivot the trim around that center to make sure it is leveled, and 2) it helps to hold the trim in place while the liquid nails adhesive sets. Once the adhesive is applied and trim is in place, he also temporarily nailed in the ends so that the trim is firmly flush against the wall while it dries. We waited a day or two before removing those temporary nails.
The wall makes a great photo backdrop!
And guess what, we're done! Blank wall to focal wall for less than $90 total! You can do this anywhere in your house, really. Behind a desk, next to the breakfast nook, kid's room, creative corner, craft area, etc.
If we should ever rearrange and move the bed to another spot, this wall would still make a great feature wall behind a desk or seating arrangement. And if we get bored of the wall altogether, it would be easy to remove the trim and paint over the whole thing. Fresh canvas!
But for now, I absolutely love it! To complete the mini makeover, don't forget the finishing touches! I really, really love green. For me, it brings an instant breath of fresh air to any space. It also happens to be mine and my husband's favorite color.
Can you tell I'm ready for spring???
Now half of our bedroom is complete! My goal for the master bedroom is for it to become a relaxing retreat for us. I want to walk into it feeling like I just stepped into a freshly fluffed hotel suite...but even better, more comfortable, and more inviting than a hotel because it's familiar...because it's home. With three small children running around, peace and quiet is pretty scarce around here. I need a relaxing space that is clear of clutter and toys. There are designated spaces for kid stuff, like the bottom shelf where we have a few of their books, and small baskets in each night stand to catch any and all kid clutter. This room is getting there and it makes me so happy. I hope my husband appreciates it too. ;) We'll tackle the other half of the bedroom in another episode of Mini Makeover. 'Til next time, friends!
Which part of the house is your special retreat spot?