Ok, so we don’t have a catchy name for this weekly feature yet, but what we do have is an amazing little apartment in Seattle being renovated by one of my best friends.

Erin loves fashion like I love interior design. She’s Elle, I’m Elle Decor. And each of us find inspiration in the other. So, when I need to find the perfect shoes, I go to her for advice. And when she decided it was time to renovate her place, she came to me. And we both decided that the best idea we’ve had in a while is to capture it all on a weekly weekend posting!

The ‘dining room’. Kitchen doorway to the right, reading nook to the left.

Here’s the scoop. Erin’s place is a 475 sq ft with one bedroom, one bathroom, a small kitchen, and a little living space. The great hardwoods and decorative detailing give the space character. The wallpaper does not.

The bedroom with one random lone wall sconce.

Starting today, the renovation begins. It will continue every Saturday where we’ll follow this project from beginning to end, asking you for advice, ideas, and maybe even a little constructive criticism 🙂

So, let’s get this party started! Without further ado… Erin’s first post!

There once was a girl who lived in a raspberry, or maybe a watermelon, you be the judge. All I know is it felt like I was living in Candyland and that had to change. However, being a first time homeowner, this is virgin territory – you mean I actually get to (have to?) make every decision on myself? Paint colors, flooring choices, lighting… I just opened a Pandora’s box of dĂ©cor. Thrilling but also overwhelming.

I now have so many questions to answer, so many options to choose from – like a friend recently likened to me, its like planning a wedding – you have the overall vision for what you want the final product to look like but the devil is in the details.

The Adventure Begins: To Wallpaper or Not to Wallpaper?

Closeup of wallpaper in the bedroom.

That is the Question. The answer: NO! Please dear home decor lovers, do not torture the inheritors of your handiwork with the misery over removing some pattern you probably put up on a whim. No one puts up wallpaper and doesn’t regret it later. Patterns are meant for pillows, seat coverings, perhaps the occasional piece of pop art, but not the entire wall (or apartment!)

Time to tear it down!

After more than 16 hours of steaming, tearing, pulling, and picking with my freakin’ fingernails I no longer live in Candyland. Instead I’m now in a construction zone, looking at bare sheetrock otherwise known as a blank canvas!

The bedroom with its chocolate brown trim.

The reading nook ready for inspiration.

Now the question is, what to paint?

I’m looking for a combo of clean and classic on the rocks, shaken with some warm and inviting, with a twist of chic to top it all off. But this is a huge decision – this is the foundation of every other choice I make going forward. Neutrals? Tans? Blues? Greens? What about trim? What about contrast, juxtaposition, uniformity. HELP!

So the first question is… if you were me, where would you start?

What do you think?

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  1. Hi Erin!

    I just found this blog, and am loving it because I am in the same place! I just moved in to a new apartment in Seattle (renting, though)and it is basically a blank canvas. To top it off, I am cohabiting with my boyfriend. He (of course) would prefer to live in a cross between a hunting lodge and a Vegas loft. sigh.

    Anyway, it looks like you and I have pretty similar tastes. On that note, I think you started in exactly the right place, the walls! I see you settled on a nice white (nothing wrong with that)that will be the perfect back drop for the rest of the rooms. I am going with a slate gray for mine, like on the cover of the May domino.

    It has been a while since your first post. Have you decided on accent colors yet? Seeing as you love fashion, which season’s fashion week inspires you the most? The nonchalance of Resort? Down to earth fall? Eclectic spring? I think that will be an excellent guide for color selection.

    Looking forward to reading more about your decoration adventures!

  2. That was fun to reread and I’m dying to know… Have you softened up about using wallpaper or are you still making a plee to stop the patterned wall insanity??

  3. This post is almost 10 yrs old – but you do know mix 1:1 hot water and fabric softner, splay it on the wall till damp and peel off after 2-3 Mins?