Frank Lloyd Wright Quote

"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union"

Frank Lloyd Wright

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Making Good Progress

I managed to spend a few hours this weekend scraping 3 decades worth of old wallpaper off the dining room walls. You can clearly see where the original moulding used to be. The more I uncover, the more motivated I get to put new moulding back up.

Now I need to decide if I should paint the walls below the plate rail the same color (red) as will be on the upper part of the wall, or if I should put in paneling and paint it the same color as the trim (white). What do you think?


  1. srsly, why did previous owners rip off the trim? Was simplifying the wallpapering process THAT necessary. Your house seems eerily familiar to mine in this respect! Would be interesting it Benjamin Brumwell built your house as well.

  2. Personally I would consider doing the ceiling the same wall color if not too dark and the lower panels a couple notches darker same color (deep). Assuming you will paint the trim go with a rich cream (no white). You may be able to discover the exact cross section outline of your missing platerail. From the picture it looks to have once butted up to and stopped at the left on a door jamb. If this is so carefully strip (chemical) that area of the jamb to reveal the ghost. Try to find other houses by your same builder or ones close in style to examine and copy the missing woodwork. Now mill duplications in the same kind of wood as the rest in case you will refinish in the future. Leaving the lower panels plaster as original opens up so many other cool possibilities such as historic decorative paint treatments/wallpaper, stencils, leather, etc. Fun stuff. Check out my restoration articles in Cottages and Bungalows magazine for more tips. Good luck!

  3. Will the trim in that room be painted? I recently helped a client who had a similar situation in her bungalow dining room. Weird as it may sound, we ended up painting the plaster wall sections between the trim strips with the same creamy semi-gloss off-white paint we were using on the trim, and now you would never know that she doesn't have solid wainscoting all the way around the room. This won't work if the woodwork will be stained, of course!

    Other approaches would be to paint the wall sections below and use a coordinating wallpaper up above (which might empty your kids' college funds: or you could create a similar effect by painting the upper and lower walls areas the same (or similar) colors, then stencil above the top rail:

    I've often thought that the linen insert panels were gorgeous too, but they're not the best choice if you have kids in the house.

    I have seen two-toned wall treatments that I've liked, but you need to be careful - it can also turn out sort of circus-tent-y!

    Do you have Photoshop? It's a great no commitment way to try out some different approaches. :-)

    Or you could just move into our house. The woodwork is in great shape, but we're so burned out on fixing it up, we're thinking we may need to pass the torch to a new family. :-(

  4. Stephanie,

    Do you have any pictures of that dining room you could share? Painting the plaster is one idea I'm considering, but I'm afraid there will be too much white in the room. As of now our plan is to do the walls in Devine's "Blush" and the trim in "Icing".

    Your last paragraph sounds like you guys are feeling defeated by your house. You're not really thinking of throwing in the towel are you?

  5. Hi! I actually need to get photos of that room because my business web site is painfully out of date. I'm friendly with the client though, so I can see if she has and photos she could email me. I'm sure she wouldn't mind and it would be much faster than waiting for me to get over there and take "official" pictures, considering I finished that job shortly before Ginger was born. In August of last year.

    I think Devine Blush is a really lovely color for a bungalow dining room - such a nice muted red. :-)

    Not to sway you away from Devine, but have you checked out any of the new Benjamin Moore Affinity colors? Beautiful! Some of the Yolo colors are really gorgeous too (although I'm biased about Yolo - Janie Young - the "Yo" in Yolo was my color theory professor in college and I think she is really great.)

    Given my line of work, I've got fan books/swatches for most of the paint sellers in town. If you ever want to take a look at/borrow any of them, just let me know. I'm happy to share.

    Sigh - I don't know if we're really going to throw in the towel or not. It's not as if we aren't emotionally attached to this house. We're just have so much left to do and we're just so tired. I'm not really sure if it's the remodeling or the new baby. Maybe a little bit of both! Either way, we're feeling a little overwhelmed these days....