Drama Tween Bedroom Update!

You may know that I'm in the midst of a big makeover for my teen daughters bedroom. She's a very lucky little lady, and she's going to end up with a bedroom that a lot of grown-ups will envy. Quite possibly including me.

Like all good things, it's taking longer than anticipated, and I'm waiting on a few things and need to make a couple of decisions still, but the room should be complete within the next four weeks. Here's the moodboard again incase you've forgotten!

The starting point for the design of the room was a wallpaper by the fabulous Drop It Modern, called Kitten, that Edie and I both adore. I had actually considered it for my studio makeover last year, but ended up going in a different direction, but I guess it was inevitable that it would eventually end up in the house somewhere!

I also wanted to include decorative moulding in the room, and decided to go with quite a thick moulding to act as big frames, and have the wallpaper inside them.

I've put the moulding on one wall only (for now - I may eventually add moulding to the other three walls too), where her new double bed will go, with a large box in the middle (directly behind the bed), flanked by a tall thin one either side. The wallpaper will go inside all three boxes, and maybe the box above the door too, but I'm undecided on that right now, and I'll make that decision once the wallpaper is up in the big frames.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a bit of the process of putting the moulding up, which was also slower than anticipated (isn't it always!?) for a few reasons. One is that I'm incredibly impatient. Two is that the wall where the moulding was going is super wonky! So unlike my very straight-forward decorative moulding in the newer part of the house last year, this was way more time consuming and definitely not a job I could do on my own. It required more than just my trusty Mega-Bond to hold the moulding to the wall - it needed nails too. So I had to wait until my husband could help me, then because of the nails, more filling was required, then a spot prime over the wood filler, before I could finally paint.

I'd not intended to do a tutorial for the moulding, so didn't take suitable pictures to illustrate it (yes, I know, bad blogger!), but I've had loads of requests, so I'll outline the steps below...

You will need:

Mitre saw
Eye protection
Tape Measure
Megabond or similar strong adhesive, and skeleton gun
Stanley Knife
Panel pins
Cup and water
Kitchen Roll
Nail Set
Wood Filler
Filling Knife
Sprit Level
Eggshell and Matt Paint

1. Decide on your design / sizes of boxes before ordering your moulding / decorative trim. Most suppliers will have it in 2.4 metre lengths, and I find that anything longer is just too long to handle for me, unless you're able to work in a huge open space, or outside.

2. I have left a gap of 8cms between boxes, from the corners of the room, above the skirting, and below the cornicing. There's no dado rail in the room and I didn't want to add one because I'm adding wallpaper and wanted it uninterrupted. You may want to research what's historically correct (or just do what you like the look of!).

Figure out the lengths required for each piece and make your cuts. Make sure you have your 45 degree angles facing the right way!

If you're a mitre saw novice you'll probably make a few frustrating errors, so make sure you order slightly more trim than required. This will require a fair bit of re-setting your saw as you want to make all your cuts with the flat side of the moulding down, so that it doesn't move when making your cuts and that you get a nice clean cut.

3. It's helpful to mark the backs of the pieces as you go, so maybe number your boxes and then each piece, so top, bottom, left and right.

4. If you have nice new flat walls, and are using a lighter weight, thinner moulding, you might get away with using adhesive only like I did with thin flat stripwood in my TV room. If you can you'll save a fair bit of time, but otherwise you'll need to use adhesive and panel pins to hold each piece in place. You'll know immediately if you're going to need both by holding the piece in place. If it needs to bend more than a tiny bit to sit flat on the wall, you're going to need nails too otherwise it probably won't stay put while the adhesive dries.

5. Getting the first piece up onto the wall is always the scariest, but you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. If your walls are really wonky like mine, you may have to go back and re-cut some pieces, even if they're technically the correct length. Be generous with the adhesive, but not so much that it squeezes out the sides when you press down.

6. Make sure each piece is straight using your sprit level, and also nicely in line with the adjacent box as you go. You'll have a little bit of time for sliding each piece around a bit so that they fit together nicely.

7. If you need to use panel pins you'll need an assistant, or unwilling husband to help hold in place or administer the nails.

8. Once all your moulding is up and the adhesive is fully dry, you'll need to countersink the nailheads with a Nail Set, then fill each hole with wood filler. Once dry, sand smooth.

9. Use caulk to fill the corners and inner and outer sides of each box. This is time consuming, but really worth it for a professional, neat finish. And it hides a multitude of sins. You'll need to run a wet finger over the caulk to remove any excess and get a nice smooth finish, so that's what the cup, water and kitchen roll is for - it can get messy.

10. Spot prime the wood filler.

11. When everything is totally dry, it's time to paint. In Edie's room I've used an eggshell finish on the moulding itself and a matt finish on the walls, in the same colour.

The moulding I used is from Skirting4u who had rather perfect timing, getting in touch with me, just as I was in need of some thick moulding. It's actually intended to be used as Dado rail, and is 7cms wide. This particular shape is Antique 2. Anything much thinner would not have held it's own next to the bold wallpaper, so this really was the perfect choice.

They also have a pre-primed option, which saves SO much time. Prep is definitely my least favourite part of the process of a big room makeover, so only having to spot prime where I'd filled nail holes, was great.

The paint I've used is Earthborn Lifestyle Emulsion, which went on beautifully and covered super well in two coats. And just two coats on the woodwork too which is particularly great as woodwork often needs three to cover properly.

Oh, and I DID prime the woodwork! I didn't want to if I'm totally honest, but I promised Earthborn that I would, and they sent me their multi-purpose primer along with the paint, so I was duty bound. And it was so quick to do a coat of it after a light sand, and I guess that's why the Eggshell then went on so well and covered the way it did. Yay me for doing the right thing.

I still have to sand, prime and paint her window. I HATE painting window frames, I find it frustrating and so boring, but I want all the woodwork in the same colour as the walls, so it needs to be done. Besides it's not been painted for years, and really needs it.

The colour I've used is called Donkey Ride, and I'm a bit in love with it. It's a very soft warm neutral, that ties in perfectly with the wallpaper. In some lights it looks more grey, in others beige with yellow undertones, and then in the shadows it's more pink based, but it's always a lovely colour no matter which way it's leaning in the different light, and I can't wait to see how it looks once the room is complete.

So the room is almost ready for me to put the wallpaper up when it arrives, and she's also getting some beautiful full length velvet curtains, which she and I are both ridiculously excited about. Then there is a big surprise to come that she doesn't know about yet, that's going to make her squeal with delight, and for that, you'll have to wait and see. Keep an eye out for the room progress in my Instagram stories, and the big reveal right here in a few weeks!

This post is in collaboration with Earthborn and Skirting4u.

Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

Last year I took on the slightly daunting task of adding decorative moulding (or panelling if you like, though I would argue, not technically correct), to the back wall of our freshly made over TV room

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

It's something I'd talked about and wanted to attempt for years, but never had the guts to through with it. When the room was nearly complete, it was crying out for something on the back wall, but my husband and I could not agree on any art (or afford the art we could agree on), so on a bit of a whim I ordered myself a mitre saw, some stripwood and some heavy duty wood adhesive, and set to work on photoshop planning how I'd add a bit of wow to the wall.

These were the scale plans...

Option A.

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

and Option B.

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

Everyone in the house liked Option A best, so obviously I decided on Option B, and when I finally figured out how to set up my new favourite toy, the cheap mitre saw, the following morning, I cut all the pieces of wood to size. Like this (oh, and sorry about the less than perfect pictures that were snapped on my phone - some at night)...

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

Then I started to get nervous. What the hell was I doing? I didn't actually have a clue - I'd never done anything like this before. But I had a quick word to myself (something along the lines of, 'what's the worst that can happen, get over yourself' and 'you've spent the money, now you have to do it') and got to work.

Turned out that I needn't have been daunted by it, because it really wasn't that hard after all.  In fact, the hardest part other than setting up that saw (and yes, my husband had to help me), was getting the position right for the very first piece. After that there was no stopping me!

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

I'd hoped to avoid having to use nails to hold my wood in place while the adhesive dried (in turn, saving a huge amount of extra filling and sanding), so I went for the strongest sounding wood adhesive I could find, aptly named Megabond, and can happily report that it does what it says on the tube. That stuff sticks and does not move, yet it does give you a bit of jiggle room for a while which is exactly what I needed for this project, because the walls aren't perfect and neither was every cut on my £50 mitre saw!

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY
By the end of the day (a Friday), I had half the boxes finished, and by lunchtime on the Saturday I had them all done, including the detail around the (wonky-but-don't-worry-I-replaced-it) light switch. Rather proud of that bit.

That afternoon it was time for the boring part - all the corners needed to be filled and sanded, and all sides of each box needed to be caulked. Tedious much?

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY
Then two coats of primer, followed by two coats of the wall colour on the Sunday. This of course was the super satisfying bit where all my hard work paid off, and the moulding really became part of the room.

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY
French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

I'm so pleased I went for it; the moulding adds interest and detail in an otherwise pretty architecturally featureless room (this room is in the new loft extension for those of you that are new here). And feels fresh and modern but with a little deco nod, due to the plain profile of the strip wood. 

I'd probably have chosen a rounded or more detailed moulding in any other room of the house, and may well add some moulding to the built-ins in the bedroom one of these days, because adding decorative moulding is my new jam.

French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding DIY

And watch this space, because I've also made some new doors for the built in cupboards in the bathroom, and I couldn't resist using the left over stripwood from this project to add some moudling to them too. They look so pretty and I'll be sharing my progress in there soon.

If you have any questions about any aspect of this DIY just leave me a message in the comments below. And if you're considering doing something similar yourself, but have been a bit hesitant, go for it!