Wisdom Comes Suddenly

Goodnight Sewing Room

January 13th, 2014 · 6 Comments


This room has long been the controversy of the house. I can hear my sister, Jenny, and dear friend Lydia, looking away before they throw up in their mouths. Sorry.  Let me be more delicate. Before they crap their pants in horrified rage that I hung this wallpaper in my sewing room. Sorry. None of that is true. Well, some of it is true, just not the parts involving bodily fluids. I’m still angry that 22 years ago they wouldn’t let me put colored twinkly lights on our shared Christmas tree in college. And now I blog and they don’t (SOME people are too busy working at law firms and being Dr. This That And The Other Thing), so I can say whatever I want. In a study with an N=3, I can prove that college kids who like white lights and fancy Christmas trees turn out to be quite successful. College kids who like their trees to look like they were rescued from abandoned toy stores grow up to be Writers who hang hideous old-lady wallpaper in their sewing rooms. Who is winning? You be the judge. Criteria: Funniest girl wins. DAMMIT JENNY! That dry sense of humor…bests me every time. Moving on.

So in accordance with my series on saying goodbye to this house before moving, I am doing a follow up piece to “Goodnight Yard”. Obviously, any Realtor worth their salt would tell me this paper has to go.  Luckily, my good friend Jennifer is such a Realtor and she reads this blog. She has seen the countless beautiful projects that were produced with this wallpaper as my MUSE.  She knows how personal this room is to my PROCESS. So she did the only kind and prudent thing imaginable: she told me take this wallpaper down before it burned her corneas.  Joking. About the corneas. Not about the part where it would scare away qualified buyers faster than a house full of cats and birds. Wait. That doesn’t make biological sense….moving on.


I happen to know a wallpaper expert, and he goes by the very formal title of “Dad”. He is very sweet about taking down all the wild ideas I beg him to put up. Unfortunately, after 8 solid hours of stripping at this paper, we discovered that while the walls had been painted before we hung the paper, they had not been primed.  For anyone who has ever stripped wallpaper off un-primed drywall, you are groaning at this dilemma. Goodbye wallpaper, and goodbye drywall.  THIS was NOT an improvement over the psychotic rose garden.


THIS represents the many hours which followed the many hours stripping the wallpaper.  Dad patched.  And then I patched. And then there was the sanding.  And more patching.  And more sanding. There was some time in consultation with the guy at Menard’s.  And the guy at Lowe’s. And the one over at Home Depot. All helpful, all certain you can just never patch and sand enough.  How many times did I watch “Love Actually” while I worked on these walls? Enough to quote the entire movie forward and backward, proving it is the Palindrome of movies. We’ll investigate this very real possibility on another day.


To everyone’s relief (including mine), we ended here. This is “Cress Green”, a color which coordinates with the fresh hallway paint, which coordinates with the new colors on the first floor, which coordinates with the new color in the basement. 80% of the house is now decorated straight off the palette known as “Serene”, as I figured every host on HGTV would approve of that word (along with college roommates who swear their hives went away as I swiped on the last stroke of paint). Sara would have preferred the palette “Party Like A Rock Star”, but again, we’re trying to sell the house, not keep it.

It’s a funny little coincidence that 8 years ago this room started out as a Guest Room we called “The Green Room”. And now, after innumerable dioramas, dresses, Halloween costumes, craft projects, curtains, mended clothes, birthday party invitations, Valentines cards, thousands of hours staring at very ungreen wallpaper, and how many hours do you suppose I sat at the sunny computer? Now, it’s officially green.

Goodnight Sewing Room. Goodnight Air. Goodnight beautiful things that were once lying everywhere…


Tags: The Girls

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lydia // Jan 13, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Well, I can tell you this. IF I had known, 20 years ago, that denying you your colored Christmas lights would lead to the kind of psychotic break that results in retina-burning grandma rose wallpaper all over your room, I would have let you have them! I got one Xmas of white lights and 5 years of seared eyeballs in your sewing room!

    So, in my estimation, your current house has now covered old lady rose wallpaper, laundry room wallpaper with strange Federalist buildings on it, ducks adorned in seasonal attire, colored lights, overstuffed mantels, and giant light up Christmas trees hanging from your roof. You should have it all out of your system now. I will expect your next house to be decorated in cream, taupe, beige, and ecru. Bwahahahahahahaha! XOXO

  • 2 Pre-K Teacher // Jan 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Sooo sad! I loved the old lady garden wall paper. The room impressed me as a sunny, warm place to be creative. It no longer looks like your bright personality. I look forward to seeing your new creative space.

  • 3 The Momma // Jan 13, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Mrs. S, I know! I’ve been neutralized!

  • 4 Aunt Jenny // Jan 13, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Hold the phone!! Dad didn’t prime the walls BEFORE he hung the paper? Dad NEVER fails to prime a wall. He primes primed walls “just in case.” This can only mean the pink floral infested visual torture caused his brain to malfunction. I’m very sorry you are losing your creative space. But, I’m certain it will only be outdone in your new house. I just pray it’s not with a turquoise fern and hummingbird print on a mint background.

  • 5 The Momma // Jan 14, 2014 at 6:27 am


    The wallpaper you have mentioned is very specific. I can only imagine you’ve actually SEEN this wallpaper somewhere. Where? Come on Jenny. WHERE can I find this TREASURE?

  • 6 The Momma // Jan 14, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Lydia, I have never, ever decorated the Local Duck. He would never stand for such nonsense. And the giant tree hanging from the roof was for the girls! Wait…are you referring to the one Greg built before they were born in Florida? Yeah. OK. That one was for us.