Ettie Newlands

It’s amazing how many memories come down with wallpaper.

“Freshening” the bedroom admittedly got a bit out of hand, leading to stripping the walls down to the paneling that greeted us when we moved in.

The house would be Bob Villa’s dream come true, because it’s just a few years shy of my own age. That’s old, even for a house.

The 1950s brown paneling was unacceptable in 1984 when we moved in, so we – “we” as in “my husband” - painted it a creamy color.

Years later, to break up the boring, we added a border of daffodils.

I’ve graduated to the more sophisticated hydrangea as a favorite flower. But back then, those ladies in bonnets that daffodils look like to me, lined the bedroom walls.

I know, what was I thinking?

When that was no longer a novelty, we – gulp – put up wallpaper.

Three walls were wallpapered, and one was painted, which was the “Makeover Madness” version of Joanna Gaines back then.

Remember Shari and Matt from HGTV’s “Room by Room” about 20 years ago? The wallpaper was their fault.

So, part of the “freshening” process has involved “OMG, strip the walls back to the basics, and make everything non-descript, minimal white.”

And so began the daunting task of removing the three walls of paper.

That first level, or actually the last, depending on how you look at it, was a burgundy spongy-looking effect.

Remember that? That’s how long it’s been since we “freshened.” And believe me, I said that several times to my husband while we – this time it really was we – pulled that paper down.

Now, the walls – three of them, at least – are crispy white. One is gray, but not wallpaper.

It’s gray paint in honor of embracing gray, as in hair, just overall, in general.

“Kinda plain,” isn’t it?” my husband asked about the new, white, non-patterned walls.

“Yup, blank slate, minimal, clean, unencumbered,” I told him.

He decided not to put the painting supplies too far away.

“No telling when you’ll have a new favorite flower,” he said.


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