Nell’s Nursery: Bead Board Wallpaper

Nell’s room is a work in progress, and is going to remain that way until we move the double bed into her room in early 2014 to get the 4th bedroom ready for baby Peyton Manning.

I always had a game plan for this room, but since I found out within minutes of our move that we were expecting #3, my painting and projects kind of came to a sudden halt. It drove Caroline crazy – every time she suggested she come up to help me paint a room I made an excuse for why I didn’t want to do things too quickly. When we finally told my my parents that #3 was on his or her way (we wait to tell everyone until the first trimester is in the rearview mirror), she finally understood my sudden heel dragging and immediately asked if she could come paint. I readily accepted her offer.

On Move-in Day:


So, Caroline and my sister came up while we were in Florida and painted Nell’s room. The top half above the existing chair rail went Gray Owl, and the bottom half they just primed white in preparation for bead board. I have a personal preference for chair rails that serve a purpose, rather than just chair rails that break up a room, so I knew I wanted to add bead board underneath the existing chair rail. But adding real bead board meant taking off the chair rail – and the baseboards – and waiting for Mr. B to have a few weekends to work on the project either with me or while I occupied the kids. And since B’s been super busy between work, finishing up his Master’s (one more semester, friends!), a non-profit he’s involved with and everything else I volunteer him for, like coaching T’s soccer team because history has made me not trust anyone else with my kids, I was pretty sure adding bead board to his plate in 2013 was going to push him over the edge.

Painted and primed (please excuse the terrible lighting that makes this gray paint look yellow-y beige).


So, I started researching paintable bead board wallpaper. And the reviews I read told me to go with the Allen and Roth version from Lowes. So, I picked up two rolls, and while B was in DC last month, Caroline dug up her old wallpaper tools and the two of us relearned how to wall paper. It’s kind of fun! Everyone I mentioned this to was skeptical, but in the end, everyone was really impressed with the results.


The process of putting up the wall paper was really easy. I just cut everything to the right length and followed the instructions on package – soaked the paper for 30 seconds, let it set for 5 minutes, and we applied. Caroline and I took turns squeegeeing out the glue – this wall paper had a ton of extra glue. We opted not to paint the wall paper. We were prepared to if we needed to, but it was actually really white and matched the trim in the room. The seams aren’t noticeable, but we were very careful to butt two pieces right up against each other to avoid any seams. And can I just say? Using scissors to cut around outlets instead of a dremmel? Heaven on Earth.

Finished product the night we wrapped this project up:


When B got home he was shocked that it was actually textured, and he said he’d wished he’d known about this when he did bead board in our old powder room – cutting around all those appliances was a pain. So anyway, bead board wallpaper gets my seal of approval. I wouldn’t use it anywhere that’s going to get a lot of abuse – like under our kitchen island, just because I do think it would be prone to tearing under foot kicking circumstances – but I’m a convert. We took this picture just as we wrapped up the wallpaper, and since then the bookshelves have been styled (as much as you can style an 18 month old’s bookshelves), pillows have been added, and the room is coming along. I’ll share progress photos soon, but:

Now I need your advice. I’ve still got to figure out window treatments. What would you do? The window seat necessitates either shorter panels or a roman shade (I’m not going the valance route). Would you go solid or patterned? The ikat fabric on the window seat I’m in love with, and I have pillows in coral chevron. The chair and ottoman are moving to the baby’s room – and will be recovered when I meet him or her – so ignore that stripe that doesn’t work with the room. The bed we bring in will likely have a quilt or patterned duvet on it, and in the long run the scheme here is gray and navy with pops of sea glass and coral. I was leaning toward a solid navy or white roman shade, with maybe some grosgrain ribbon trim, but I’m just not sure. I’ve thought about a subtle pattern, but being so close to the larger scale ikat I’m not sure. So, help me friends, what would you do if that was your daughter’s window? Panels? Roman Shade? Pattern? Solid? What color? Thanks a million.



  1. I love the idea of a white roman shade with a thick navy grosgrain ribbon on the bottom- something 2″ wide or so, to give it some weight. That way the ikat and chevron really pop as the focal points of the room and they aren’t competing with other patterns. The wallpaper looks great. Definitely adding this to my list of house ideas!

  2. I love love pattern mixing, but am not that good at it. If I was, I think drakes made of a fabulous print would be awesome. Since I am not, I would probably have a solid in my home. Nice job on the wallpaper!

  3. I think a roman shade would be perfect here. I’d go with that over panels.

    As for pattern – I’m torn. I want to say a pattern, but then I read Jenn’s comment and kind of agree – I love the idea of the ribbon detail. Honestly, I think it would look good either way. I’m not normally a pattern mixer but I did a lot of it in Henry’s room and I love it.

  4. What if you did a solid navy roman shade with coral ribbon detail… If you like monograms, you could add her monogram in the center in gray or a sea glass tone

  5. I vote white roman shade with a coral ribbon detail – maybe in a greek key pattern? LOVE Kylie’s idea of a monogram on the shade!! How cute!!

  6. My mom made roman shades for every.single.window in my Reunion-area home. In my son’s room they are white with blue grosgrain ribbon trim running down the sides. Just enough to break up all the white. Navy or coral ribbon would look great on white shades in Nell’s room! I’m so lucky – ours open top-down and bottom-up which gives lots of options for privacy while still letting in the CO sun. 🙂

    I am seriously considering beadboard wallpaper in our builder-boring powder room so I appreciate your review. Thanks!

  7. Great job Emily! Usually we have been seeing hang beadbaord wallpaper in their kitchen or bathroom, however, it complemented the nursery quite well. I would choose some dark 2″ cherry wood blinds for the windows 🙂


Speak Your Mind