One Room Challenge Fall 2016 – Week 3 – Ceiling & Wallpaper Calamities

One Room Challenge Fall 2016 – Week 3 – Ceiling & Wallpaper Calamities

I’m loving the direction of the Master Bedroom, but this week, we had a problem…

ceiling falling

Remember when I told you the ceiling in our Master Bedroom had some cracks and was bowing?  We have some experience with what can happen.

car smashed

Even though this happened two years ago, it is still fresh on our minds.


Most of the ceilings in our 1919 home were originally lathe and plaster which means they are about four inches thick and extremely heavy.  (we took out TWO TONS of debris when our porte cochere ceiling went down)  We think some of the ceilings have been changed at some point, and we have replaced a few in the rooms we have renovated, but we watch closely for any problems in rooms we are not sure about. Our bedroom has been concerning us for awhile now, and we felt it was time to have it looked at.  It seemed to be getting worse and worse.

After the furniture was all moved out into our landing and bathroom (which makes the bathroom a bit of an obstacle course), we started taking out the the most worrisome part of the bedroom ceiling.

This resulted in some rather scary cracking sounds and then a HUGE crash.  Luckily, everyone got out of the way, and needless to say, we are so happy and thankful we decided to take it out when we did.

ceiling falling

Something we did not plan on was the ceiling falling and ruining our perfectly fine grasscloth wallpaper.  womp-wooooooooomp

ripped wallpaper

I actually have a couple of rolls left of this wallpaper, and for a moment, I thought maybe I could replace the panels that were ruined.  Upon closer inspection (and this is sort of hard to explain), I observed the actual fibers had been damaged by the fall.  I tried manually rearranging the strands of grass so they would be positioned correctly, but there was so much dust and scraping, I realized doing this would be fruitless.

Not only is this an expense we did not see coming, I am disheartened thinking about trying to get new grasscloth wallpaper ordered, delivered, and installed on the tight timeline we are already on.

But the more I look at the room, the more I notice how the old wallpaper takes on an almost orange tint with the ceiling wallpaper sample next to it.

sample city

Therefore, the walls are Sample City.  I am a big fan of the texture and softness grasscloth brings to a space, and if I had my druthers (and it was not weird), I would grasscloth every room!  Grasscloth can go so many directions, but I know I want a paper for this space that is not too rough, with a slight sheen.

wallpaper samples

The new ceiling is installed, and although I am not a fan of recessed lights, we installed four of them for a few reasons:  1. The room is not centered on the windows, so a central fixture was out, 2. Four small light fixtures would be difficult for the same reason – the windows not being centered would throw the whole room off, 3. The ceiling wallpaper is so pretty, I do not want to distract from it, 4. I knew if we used smaller 4″ can lights, we could paint the trim to blend in with the ceiling paper, and 4.  I wanted to do wall sconces around the room, but my husband was not a fan of that idea and prefers overhead lighting and more practicality over ambiance. : )

Something else I did not foresee is the new gap between where the picture rail trim belongs and the new ceiling.  (Plaster walls require hanging things from the picture rail to avoid damaging the walls.)

wallpaper samples

Since the new ceiling is not concrete, it is much more shallow than the old, which creates an opening of variegated size around the room.  We carefully, gingerly removed the old picture rail trim before starting on the ceiling, and we cannot simply move the old picture rail up when we put it back because it has warped in places over time as the house shifted.  We need a level trim to go against the new level ceiling, and then we can butt up the old picture rail trim to the new.  Sidenote: Isn’t that old arched nook sweet?

fix trim gap

Removing wallpaper is a beating, and I am not looking forward to it, but my youngest is a faithful little assistant.  : )

remove wallpaper

Another big project I want to tackle next week is the closet.  This old closet opening is getting about 18″ wider to make better use of the storage space, and this door will be replaced with the ones I told you about last week.  The blue opaline knob that I LOVE is staying though – it is moving to the bathroom door.

old trim

Goals for next week’s post: trim and doors painted and ceiling wallpaper done, closet opening completed.  (!!!!)

**A special HUGE thanks to Rick Goodwin and his team for escaping the crash, taking out the rest of the gaping ceiling, and making it new and smooth all in ONE WEEK.  This was a feat in and of itself, and I am so grateful.**

If you need to catch up:

One Room Challenge Week 1

One Room Challenge Week 2 – The Plan

Be sure to check out the other participants in the ORC by clicking here!

Follow me on Instagram to get sneak peeks of this project, plus my client work.

And now for the winners of the Table Grace Cards!  There were so many Instagram entries that I ended up pulling three from that pile, and one from the Comments pile.  The first video is the Instagram winners, and the second is the Comments winner.  Watch them below to find out if my sweet assistant pulled out your name, and I will be contacting all four of you today to get your cards to you!  I so wish I could send one to each and every one of you, they are so special.  I do hope you will get your family a set or put them on your Christmas list!  Thank you so much for participating!

Until the next story.

xo, G

  • Tammy
    Posted at 07:36h, 19 October Reply

    My special helper with removing wallpaper – vinegar! Use a solution of warm water and vinegar (4:1) and a large sponge. I wet a large section with the solution, then move on to a second section, then go back and peel the first. If it isn’t peeling off easily, wet it more! Good luck

    • Grace
      Posted at 14:03h, 20 October Reply

      I’ve never tried that! Thanks Tammy! We just put this paper up a few years ago, so I’m hoping it won’t be too bad! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. xo, G

  • Jeanne
    Posted at 09:12h, 19 October Reply

    Oh my…Oh my…staying calm through all of this…wow…can’t wait to see the transformation. You are a Decorating Rock Star!

    • Grace
      Posted at 14:03h, 20 October Reply

      Awwww thanks Jeanne! I feel like I’m calm most of the time! 😉

  • Shelley
    Posted at 13:47h, 19 October Reply

    Phew! Glad no one was hurt and that your ceiling was repaired so quickly.

    • Grace
      Posted at 14:04h, 20 October Reply

      Hi Shelley, thank you! Yes, I could not believe we got it done so fast! I feel like nothing ever moves quickly around here. 🙂

  • Lisa
    Posted at 15:26h, 19 October Reply

    Yikes! I’m thankful everyone is okay. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

    • Grace
      Posted at 14:04h, 20 October Reply

      Thanks Lisa! xo, G

  • Susan
    Posted at 21:32h, 19 October Reply

    Goodness, you guys have been through it! Good luck with the remodel. I’m sure you will leave us all stunned like always! I’m excited to see another reveal from you.

    • Grace
      Posted at 14:05h, 20 October Reply

      Hi Susan, I appreciate your confidence! I think it is going to be great! 🙂

  • Teresa s
    Posted at 01:22h, 20 October Reply

    Woohoo, I won! That never happens!
    My family owns a super old house with these same plaster ceilings. I remember forwarding your blogpost with the smashed car to my aunt with the hopes that she would have the ceilings checked out. So glad to hear that this second one came down with no injuries beside the wallpaper!

    • Grace
      Posted at 14:07h, 20 October Reply

      YAAAAY!! I’m so happy for you, Teresa! Thank you for being a faithful reader. 🙂 I will email you for your address. Hope your house never experiences these ceiling issues! We feel like we have everything repaired and under control – our house had some severe roof issues when we moved in, and there was some fairly significant water damage. We think that contributed to this issue. I’m so happy you won, congrats! xo, G

  • heather
    Posted at 17:40h, 20 October Reply

    Oh my gosh!!!! We had the SAME ceiling cave in issue in our home. It was AWFUL. And so scary. It happened on the eve of my 40th birthday, so the whole thing sent me into full force mid life crisis 😉 The room is looking great, despite the setbacks. I CAN’T WAIT to see it.

  • Stacy G
    Posted at 05:41h, 21 October Reply

    Ugh..setbacks! I get it. Renovations in a very old home just never seem to go according to plan. We had a small plaster ceiling cave-in in the living room a little over a year ago. It narrowly missed our television. Your poor car!

  • Jen Fancher
    Posted at 13:03h, 21 October Reply

    Wow! Even with the setbacks – you have made amazing progress!! Can’t wait to see the final reveal!

  • Carrie
    Posted at 16:28h, 21 October Reply

    I love grasscloth too! And I see absolutely nothing wrong with having it in every room. 🙂

  • Norma | The House that Will
    Posted at 08:45h, 02 November Reply

    Phew! That was a lucky escape with the ceiling. I love the new wallpaper and can’t wait to see the final reveal!

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