makeover in a month | blue and white wallpaper in the home office

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, My House, Office, Room Makeovers85 Comments

Welcome to part three of the Makeover in a Month series with Leslie of My 100-Year-Old Home,   Melissa of The Inspired Room,  and KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms.  Just as it sounds, we’re each giving one room a makeover in a month!  I’ve been working on adding more layers and detail to my home office.  It hasn’t been a total overhaul, but building on what was already there to make it a bit more interesting.  I started by adding 2/3-height paneling and slipcovering my desk chair and now I’m hanging this charming blue and white wallpaper above the paneling.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I had a bit of a decorating meltdown over this decision.  I wasn’t crying over a pint of ice cream or anything, but I became paralyzed when I second-guessed myself.  Should I paint the paneling a color?  Is white too boring and predictable?  Would the wallpaper be too much?  I just sat in my chair and stared at the walls, poured over paint decks, and went back and forth in my own mind about what to do.

I was putting way too much pressure on myself to get things done while I had the help of my parents.  I was also dealing with decision and project fatigue.  We had been working on projects daily and I just hit a wall.  So, we got out of the house, I took a step back and then approached the room with a fresh perspective.  Since I was feeling pressure about time, I went ahead and ordered the paper.  If I decided to hang it, my mom would be there to help.  If I didn’t, then I could probably use it in another room or for wrapping paper for a few years.  I only needed three rolls of paper, so it wasn’t a big gamble.

vintage style home office makeover | miss mustard seed

The paper I ordered is 51023 from the Blomstermala collection by Galerie.  This is the same collection my 1/2 bath wallpaper is from.

blue and white wallpaper | vintage home office | miss mustard seed

The day after I ordered the blue and white wallpaper, I told my mom that I knew I was going to hang it.  It’s what I wanted to do right from the start and I just needed to work through a little doubt as a part of the process.

It arrived at about 10:00 am a few days later and by late afternoon, the paper was on the walls.

blue and white wallpaper | vintage home office | miss mustard seed

Because we were papering such a small amount of wall, the process went fast.  What took the most time was moving all of the books off of my bookcase yet again!

blue and white wallpaper | vintage home office | miss mustard seed

The wallpaper adds a Swedish vibe that I really love.  It feels custom and very much “me.”  I’ve been using that phrase a lot lately and I think that’s what decorating a house is all about.  It’s not about making it pretty or trendy.  It’s about making it “you” and that might be quirky and unique and/or completely not-trendy.

blue and white wallpaper | vintage home office | miss mustard seed

blue and white wallpaper | vintage home office | miss mustard seed

Next week is the big reveal of our rooms and I can’t wait to show you all of the details of this vintage-inspired home office makeover…


makeover in a month | blue and white wallpaper in the home office

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85 Comments on “makeover in a month | blue and white wallpaper in the home office”

  1. No offense everyone always loves what you do, me included. But this is a little to cutesy was my taste.

  2. Marian,
    I love it!!! It has a clean, not over done look. I love that it has a Swedish vibe.
    Great choice! Question: I love the cabinet with the bird hardware. Where
    did you find the hardware, those are so unique. Again, Kudos to such an awesome

  3. It’s a great change…..and a little different from some other patterns you have chosen. I like them all, what in the world are you going to do when it’s all just like you want it?
    You make great choices.

  4. Love it! But I love touches of wallpaper and am going to be looking for some for this house…first house I haven’t tried wallpaper in…and, ahem, we’ve been here 20 years!
    Thanks again for encouraging us!

  5. I really love the wallpaper and also where it is. Having that high wainscoting and that lovely wallpaper above it gives such a lovely sense of spaciousness. I can just feel my spirits soar in that room. Fabulous design work! I might just have to copy it.

  6. That looks so pretty, love it. Following you has really helped me to hone what feels like “me” and to recognize the colors I always go back to.

  7. I like the wallpaper and the scene but can’t help thinking the panneling should be level with the top of the window frame! The ‘step’ there just looks uneven and irritating, sorry xx

    1. That’s okay! What you’re not seeing is the doors are about another foot-and-a-half taller than the window frame because of the transom. If I lined the trim up with the windows, there would still be that “step” and I think it would look odd because the trims aren’t the same. Anyway, that’s the beauty of customizing a home. You can do what looks right to your design eye!

      1. I think you hit the height of the paneling perfectly. It would look odd if it lined up with the window frames.

  8. I love the finished look. Thank you for going with your instincts. I have been trying to decide on a new look for my bedroom and this really helps me.

  9. This is simply gorgeous! Love the freshness of the paneling and the wallpaper puts it over the top! This room is just a delight.

  10. Marian, oh Marian! It is perfect in every way! Your whole house is! We have exactly the same taste in every way.
    I am always in awe of your decorating skill. You are always an inspiration! You must walk in and out of each room with a giggle of happiness, I know I would! Love it all!!!!!

    Jodie in Oregon

  11. I love everything about it – the color, design, placement, everything! One question – I love wallpaper with a slight geometric design, such as yours, but wonder what you would do if your walls were not perfectly square/plumb? Mine are not and I’m afraid the eye would go straight to the spots where the design of the paper does not end up parallel with the line of the ceiling or wainscoting or corner. Any suggestions other than just sticking to an overall design that might hide such problems? Your room is going to be such a joy to spend time in!

    1. Good question! So, when you’re hanging wallpaper, you apply the paper off of a plumb line created by a level, not off of the ceiling, walls, trim, etc., which might not be level or plumb. The pattern is uneven along the ceiling, though, but you’d have to really look closely to notice!

  12. I think it is all lovely. If you had put the paneling even with the windows it would look like a box, with a wallpapered ‘lid’.. The eye needs the ‘artist’ touch, & you have it. Beautiful! Cannot wait to see the reveal. ❤️

  13. I honestly didn’t think I would like it but I LOVE IT! It’s perfect Marian . . . Beautiful fun choice! 💗

  14. I LOVE this wallpaper! I’m so drawn to the photo with the quilt and the natural tone of the wood cabinet next to the wallpaper and crisp white wainscot. ♥️ French country is what I would call my typical style, but I always find that I lean towards patterns with a Scandinavian flavor, too. Can’t wait to see the whole room!

  15. It adds the perfect finishing touch to a well thought out space that is “you”! I’m such a fan of blue- it’s soothing and blends with so many colors, woods and textures. Do you mind if I ask you where you purchased your bookcases? Did you re-finish them or are they pre-fabricated?Love your blog! 🙂

  16. Love all the work you do but this one is a favorite! Love that your adding more YOU too your home. It’s so cozy and fun and makes you want to stay awhile ❤️

  17. Please do not take this as being negative in any way. I love everything you do in your home. It is so put together. I love the colors, the furniture style and so much more. I can never afford anything this beautiful. I would like it if you could offer suggestions on how to decorate this style or others on a budget. Most of us cannot afford new hardwood floors, faucets that we talk to and expensive antiques even though we love it all. it is hard to “not covet” your success. I know that you have worked hard for what you have. One more question: what does your husband have to say about your house since it is “so me”. I have found I sometimes make other choices for our home to be “us”, You are so talented and giving. Thank you for sharing your home with all of us.

    1. Gloria,
      I really do appreciate this comment and I completely understand. I have felt that way many times when looking at magazines or decorating shows over the years. I have always looked at what I can replicate on my budget…maybe it’s color, a furniture arrangement, textures, etc. We installed hardwood floors in our last house when I had almost no expendable income. We bought low-grade flooring and installed and finished it ourselves with my birthday money from family.

      Now, I do have more money to spend on decorating, but we still save, plan, and pay cash for every single project. I still buy a lot of things used and we do a lot of the work ourselves. Every room that has something more expensive is surrounded by pieces and projects that were free, scored on craigslist, or were great deals. It’s all a balance and I try to splurge strategically.

      I also acknowledge that working with brands and getting products is a perk of this job. Sometimes I get paid with a conventional check and sometimes I get paid in the form of a faucet or a sofa. There are downsides, though, such as no health insurance, I have to make my own retirement plan, and the income fluctuates.

      As far as the home being “me”, Jeff really doesn’t care what I do as long as he can sit in the chairs I pick out and I don’t put too much decor on his nightstand. He loves the way I decorate and rarely wants to be included in the decisions. When he does have a strong opinion, like not wanting me to paint the built-ins in the basement, then I respect that. In that way, it is “us.” 🙂

      1. Thank you Marian, explain this. I was wondering about designing the rooms with my husband’s interest with mine and budget too.

      2. Thank you for that explanation. It makes me feel so much better. I will just get ideas and do it on my own budget. My husband too doesn’t say much but when he does I try to work it out. That is us. Thanks

        1. Gloria,
          One other thing that Marian might not have mentioned is that bloggers do get lots of products given to them through sponsored posts. Bloggers will receive a product in exchange for doing a write up about the product in their own words and opinions. Marian herself has done lots of sponsored posts for upgrades she has done in her home such as her quartz countertops. I am not trying to say anything negative about sponsored posts because its part of a bloggers revenue and I believe they still have to pay taxes on the products they receive. However, it is a way many of them can afford to do high end upgrades more easier than the average homeowner.

  18. I think it’s perfect. I am a fan of the Swedish look and I think you made an excellent choice with this wallpaper.

  19. I Love it. Can you give me wallpaper info. As to paneling height…Spot On! Can you give info on guitar hanger. I have a violin and bow I want to hang also. Thank you in advance.

    1. The wallpaper is linked in the post, so that’s the best way to find it! I’ve had the guitar hanger for years, but I bet I got it from a music store. They do have wall hangers for violins and bows, too, and I’m sure a simple search will find one that’ll work for you!

  20. Hands down, my favorite room in your house. The wallpaper has a similar pattern to the quilt on the chair. I LOVE it!

  21. I think the wallpaper is the perfect choice for this room. It adds just a touch of color but, not at all overdone. I can’t wait to see all of the updates you did with your family. I know you must enjoy going in to each room to see the changes that have happened in the last month. It’s so rewarding to see the fruits of your labors. Enjoy and, thank you for sharing with us.

  22. Hi, curious why you didn’t line the board up with the top of the sill or door jam and leave the gap at the bottom where it’s less visible, painted the same color, or even pieced in to fill in?

    1. Hmmm…I’m not sure I’m tracking with you on the gap? Do you mean how the paneling doesn’t line up with the top of the window frame? I felt like the proportions of the room looked best at a 2/3 height. That was just my own design decision, but it’s certainly not the only way this could’ve been done!

      1. Yep, that’s what I meant. Didn’t know if there was a rule of some kind on that type of thing like there is about doing things in 3s, a print/strip/ plan fabric in a room etc. Thanks.

  23. The light and airiness of this room makes me smile…and we haven’t seen it all! I have two rooms in my house where I walk by and smile because I know they are “right.” I also have a room I avoid because it is so wrong!!! Like you, I hope to transform our home into something that makes me smile when I am in each room (my husband doesn’t care as long as it’s comfortable, not weird, and doesn’t cost money…). My two struggles are having a picture in my head, but unable to find it…and being so afraid to make a mistake on a limited budget, I freeze.

    1. I understand that! I got into sewing and painting because I couldn’t find what I envisioned in my head. It pushed me to learn how to create things on my own! 🙂 And I agree…I don’t like to make mistakes and waste the money. I was rushing this room a bit, but I usually wait patiently until I find the thing that’s just right. If it’s more money than I planned, then I’ll wait some more and save up!

  24. Charming, cozy, and inspiring! I really like your inspiration memo board too. I have a vintage wood frame and was thinking of taking out the mirror and putting in chicken wire. I am wondering how to hang stuff on it….clips or maybe these heavy duty magnets. Do you have the link for where you got the magnets? Thanks 🙂

  25. Born and raised in MN and now live in Washington, and when I saw the sneak peak of wallpaper in the last post I went, hmmm, Minnesota is running off on her a bit, between the vertical pine paneling and that paper it’s so Swedish! Love it!! And yet, it’s very you. I’ve been enjoying your projects and makeovers – I’ve always been excited to see what you will do. So much inspiration!

  26. I absolutely love the wallpaper and the white panelling. I am sure it would have looked excellent painted a colour also but I do love it this way. I hate making decisions like that. 😂

  27. I love it all! Just beautiful. Would love you you come to my home & decorate! Lol. But I think you have your hands full. Thanks for sharing

  28. I love the look. As a matter of fact i did the same idea in a bed room. I used a Waverly blue toile wall paper that i got at a yard sale. The companion wall paper was a blue stripe, Used that on the facing wall. I had a long table top counter installed for my sewing and I sewed toile “curtains” below to hide my clutter and make it decorative.
    You just cant go wrong with that look no matter which room you choose.

  29. Again, the hanging guitar did it for me. I’m always trying to find ways to double up on art/music storage! Every year we buy a new instrument to learn. My husband is the only one who can play all of them, but, we all aspire to one day! Your spaces are so well done, but just seem so normal and real at the same time. I mean they feel like they are attainable, for even a family of 7 like us! You inspire me. <3

  30. Having wallpapered many rooms, in old houses, I found it’s better to paint a few inches of ceiling paint down onto the walls, and that way you can keep the design of the paper the same along the top edge and not have to worry about it looking wonky. I’m not sure I described that correctly😞but I found it helped me.

  31. Delightful! It would be a pleasure to work in such lovely surroundings. My work area is in my basement which, luckilhas french doors so it’s not horribly dark but still it’s a basement. Enjoy your serene new space!

  32. This so pretty. It’s calming and relaxing. One could do lots of daydreaming in this space…and then get down to work!

  33. Marianne, I love everything you have done in this home. You inspire me to have the courage to try new ideas. You are so right that it is a compromise sometimes in our decorating when we have a husband who has opinions. Ha Ha Keep sending us great ideas in decorating as well as art. I also love to see your “finds” every time you go antiquing. Blessings to you.

  34. Exactly – make your home reflect your tastes. I think far too many people think about how something will affect the resale value of their house. I’d hate to be always thinking about my next house and not enjoy the home and the moment I’m living in now. The future is unpredictable and not in our control. (If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that.)

    1. Yes! I think it’s a fine line, but all of the people who paint their house beige just so they can sell it makes me sad (unless they love beige!) I have personalized both of our previous homes and both sold because of those personalizations. Our first townhouse had decorative paint embellishments everywhere and the buyers picked ours over a dozen other identical townhomes on the market. It made ours stand out as special and that’s what sold it. You just never know!

  35. Oh, Marian, I LOVE the room. The wallpaper is perfect! Of course I am a wallpaper person, and I’m tickled pink that it is coming back into popularity. It reminds me of a pattern that was in my parent’s bedroom growing up. Thanks for your practical, down-to-earth advice on following your own tastes, decorating on a budget and working with a spouse’s desires. The only thing I would add is to get the best you can afford, but also be constantly on the lookout for items on your wish list and check out resale shops, estate sales and inquire with shop owners. A healthy dose of patience is a good thing, too.
    Thanks for inspiring us,

  36. LOVE this wallpaper! I clicked the link on your bathroom wallpaper & this one came up at the bottom of the page. I fell in love with it immediately. And, it’s perfect with your antique quilt!

  37. Marion, I was wondering if you think paneling like this would work in a powder room or look out of place? I have a similar date/build style to your home but I am trying to keep a delicate balance between traditional and contemporary elements. Our ceilings are 9 ft in the main floor powder room and I wanted to do some kind wainscot that goes to 6 ft around the room, topped by a wallpaper as an accent like this. When I think paneling, I can’t help but remember the brown 70’s paneling in our basement when I was little in the 80’s. What I think elevates your paneling is the narrower pieces between the wide panel and what appears to be a beadboard element. This looks like it could work in a bathroom too. What do you think?

    1. Oh, definitely! it would look great. The trick with a bathroom is cutting around all of the fixtures, so I would suggest trying to install it with the toilet and sink removed if possible. Since these are in 4 x 8 sheets, that would be easiest. It would even be pretty painted in a color. I love making little bathrooms and fun feature.

  38. Wow, that wallpaper is SUCH a nice touch for that room!! It makes it fabulous! Not to mention the paneling too of course. The wallpaper is very Scandinavian, which is just right for Minnesota.

  39. Such a warm and inviting room, very lovely transformation. Also loving your bathroom makeover. I also play a Taylor guitar and have it in my art studio. I have been wanting to make a really huge bulliton board for my vision board and to hang my art work on that I don’t want to frame but just casually hang on the board. Any ideas? I see you have a rather large inspiration board in this room, where is it from? Did you make it?

  40. I think it ties everything together perfectly – those touches of blue and white are just right – not over the top overly done.

    You know there is something about that wallpaper that reminds me of the blue and white paper my older sister had years upon years ago in a land far away. : – ) Hadn’t thought about that paper in so long.

  41. Ok Marian ! You have me, the person who said ” as God as my witness, I will never install wallpaper again !!!” now thinking about adding wallpaper to my next house which will be coming in the next year. Love your choice of everything. Love it !

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