How Visiting a Show Home Brought a Resulting Decorating Angst

On one of our quick trips to visit my parents this summer, Painter Artist Mom (PAM) and I took a short opportunity to peruse a local decorator fabric shop that I love.  The store name is Swatches, but there’s way more in that store than swatches.

Formerly, they had a front wall filled with five-dollar-per-yard fabrics.  You know how much that thrilled me!  The fabric from our family room draperies came from there, but that fabric wasn’t on the five dollar wall.  It was on clearance, though.  You know me…never pay retail.

Goblet Pleat Panels

5-Inch Drapery Pleats for Tall Ceilings

The drapery fabric in our guest room that’s become known as The Princess Room is  from that five dollar wall.  There is long history of $5/yard fabrics in our home.  It’s sort of become my bench-mark for “Yes, I’ll take that one, thank you!”

Guest Room Redecorated

Romantic Room with Rod Pocket Panels

Along with rolls and rolls of fabrics, Swatches is filled with gorgeous home decorating accessories.  Even without the five dollar fabric wall, the decorating accessories are well worth the trip.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this mirror already.  I never would have thought to make a mirror out of these, but now I want to start a collection of cobblers’ wooden shoe forms.  How about you?


When we came to this room, I was immediately drawn to this wall.


You know how I love book print…book pages…anything with the printed word.  I’m not the only one, am I?


The wall brought a memory of helping a friend wallpaper a bathroom for her three sons.  I’d visited a show home in the Atlanta area and was inspired by a beautiful bathroom I saw there.  It looked like this picture I found on Pinterest.

Brown Paper Sack WallpaperImage Source

When I told her about it, she was all-in!  She wanted to do it in her boys’ bathroom.  Yikes!  I didn’t exactly know how to do it.  I just knew what I saw.

She collected brown paper bags from the grocer, and we spent an entire Friday and Saturday tearing paper and attaching each 4″ x 5″ random piece to the wall with wallpaper paste.  About half the way through, we wished we’d torn larger pieces!

It took a lot of time, was a lot of work, but it was beautiful!  Here’s a another picture from Pinterest.

Brown paper bag wall paperImage Source

Have you ever pasted wallpaper into a bathroom and soon found it peeling off?  I have.  I was afraid the thick brown paper wouldn’t stick well.  But, a – gulp – sure commitment would be to paint a layer of sealer over it, such as polyurethane or something I couldn’t recommend to my friend.  I advised her to check with her Home Depot to ask for recommendations that would allow her to easily remove it later.

I don’t remember what she did, but she was very happy with the wall…until…they prepared to move and, with GREAT difficulty, removed that paper for fresh paint before the home sale.

If I ever suggest something I saw at a show home, do us both a favor.  Please ignore me!

Except…now that you’ve seen the book page wall, wouldn’t you love to attach it smoothly to a wall in your house?  Can you visualize it with a sealer over it so the corners don’t stick out and the pages don’t wave in the wind?















  1. Nancy says

    This idea has been around for a long time. When paneling was popular in the 60’s and then people couldn’t stand the paneling any longer . Brown paper bags were torn, pasted to the paneling and then varnished. Beautiful …sometimes. Painted, glazed and finished with varnish.

    • says

      I had no idea. Thank you for sharing that tidbit of info. PAM painted our paneling and followed with an antiquing process, so I never saw anyone adding the papering treatment. It sounds like a good solution to ugly paneling, for sure! 🙂

  2. robin says

    hahaha Reminds me of my GENIUS idea for the walls going up the stairs in my old condo. We entered on the 1st floor. Then went up 13 steps to the main floor. The walls would get dinged every time we had to bring in something BIG. Fix a ding, get a mark that could be seen when the sun reflected off the wall. It looked HORRID. So…me being the home improvement addict that I am……I spackled the walls to look like some wall in Greece or Italy or somewhere far away that had COOL walls. LOL Any time we dinged the spackle….we just dabbed paint over it.

    It was great when we had renters in there….they dinged those walls more than a normal person would. 3 renters, LOTS of spackling…. OTHER walls, that is.

    But when my ex went to SELL the condo after we divorced (I got zilch from the sale, BTW)…he decided to REMOVE the spackle instead of telling prospective buyers WHY I had spackled in the 1st place. He made sure he told me how much work it was scraping it all off. Whaaa Whaaa Ask me if I care. HA!

    I had the paper bag wall idea a long time ago, but never could do it becuz I was a renter after the divorce. I think it would be nice in an entryway that had a small wall space. (Like I have now). I would also like to experiment with a burlap wall. Add that to my list of TO DOs! hahaha

    • says

      Your spackling idea is a very good solution! Yes, renting gets in the way of lots of improvement projects. Ha! Maybe that fact saved us from trying something stupid now and then. 🙂