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August 29, 2012


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Not surprised at all at your changes; it is very soothing. Now feels like Bonita (at this time) and just right to me. ENJOY!


Haha, I knew you were going to change that wallpaper! I was just wondering if you'd be willing to do a "current/progress" house tour with us? I'd LOVE to see a wide shot of everything you've accomplished in the house thus far. No worries if that's too much...I know you're a busy lady! But it would be awesome to see the rooms' progress in one post! :-)


At first, I thought, 'Oh, good! The yellow is back!' But then, I found that I agree with you; the yellow is just too much. And now, in the final (?) after-picture: It's perfect!


The real question, though, is, what is that silvery piece above the stairs on that 'shelf' in the last photo? I thought that it might be the top of a bass or cello but I really doubt that.


Love it!! And, actually I like your choice of art; especially since both piece hold meaning for you. I do like the contrast of the wood stairs with the white but remember you saying they aren't in the best condition. I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide to do with them. Happy Wednesday.


I think the white looks the best too.


I'd love to do that but it's too big a job right now. One day!


I have no idea what it is. It's metal and I picked it up at the local car boot sale :)


I like the white a lot too. Also the pictures on the wall are really nice.


Ha ha, I knew the white would be back! I did like the yellow but it looks just right now.


Looks really fresh and, well, you! Love the idea of framing the old wallpaper, too x


Yes, thats you! White! I love it!


ha ha White ... tried but true. At least you gave the other options a shot. : ) And the color is calm and not distracting for that area.


I'm agreeing with you here - I like the white better, though I know sometimes it's difficult to tell from the photos. Also I love your Finnish auction pieces - fabulous. Enjoy.


I love the curve of that bannister. It is sexy.
I have wall pare original to my hose (a cape cod built in the 20s), some of which is still on the walls in a coat closet. I never thought of framing some. I also have the riginal hand drawn plans for the house from the original owner/builder. We are only the 2nd owners and have been trying to come up with a good way to display those plans on that old timely graph paper. Thoughts?


oh I so saw that coming!


I uessi really should proof before I hit post. Sorry for all those typos.


Ack! I give up.


I painted my whole kitchen that yellow one time, and somebody came in and said, "Very Scandinavian." ha.

Ramona K

Loved the yellow splash but yes, white is "you" and great with the black and white art.
I can´t wait to see what you do with your stairs Benita. Mine are exactly the same and the job keeps getting shifted down the things-to-do-list. I need a kick-start.


The white does look great, how about a print with yellow in it on that wall to pick up the yellow of the lamp? I've just done the same thing at my place covering up some bright green walls with white - it looks so much better.


Wow Benita you paint the walls more often then I do the loundry ;-)))



I found you on the Internet yet.


yellow was wonderful, too, brightened up that space. White is wonderful, too.

Die Rabenfrau

I knew, that you would do this!

Ana from Portugal

Oh dear, you had me gasping at the yellow!! I don't embrace yellow at al, I'm more of a white and gray person as well, so I can fully understand how you couldn't live with the yellow for long! Hurra to the white!!


I kind of want to second jja's comment about painting and laundry above ;-). Love the white. If there is a Swedish, or a Finnish paint company, they should think of naming one of their whites "Benita" :-).


white is right!




I love the idea of framing your home's blueprints. My friend Anne who has access to all kinds of archives once many years ago gave Martin and I the blueprints (or in our case they were brown) to all the places we had lived in together. I always intended to frame them but never got to it (a little bit because they were indeed brown) but like I said, I think it's a really nice idea!


So you just painted right over that wallpaper? Or did you take it down first and then paint?

We have wallpaper all over our apartment and I've been afraid to paint over it. We have permission... I am just scared because everything I read says it's best to take it down before you paint and you can see the wallpaper seams so clearly I just know they'll show up in the paint.

But you just do it in a weekend! Any advice? Hints? Tips? :)

And the white is the best for such a small space, I agree. But I second the comment about putting some colorful pop of yellow in art on the wall. Might liven the space up a bit.


Jennifer, if the wallpaper was hung well (i.e. no very wide overlapping seams, clean ends on top and bottom) it's not very noticeable at all. In Germany, it is done all the time. Painting on bare walls is here actually quite uncommon.

Since you don't know how well the plaster on the wall behind the wallpaper is finished, you're probably better off with painting it. Otherwise, you could be in for quite a lot of extra work on top of removing the wallpaper, which can be a drag in and of itself. Many of the older, thin wallpapers only come off in tiny bits and pieces, and the bits you miss then stick to the painting roll and get into the paint, forming new lumps on the wall when painting. And that is if the plaster isn't old and adds crumbling pieces as well… Ack. I did it here on some walls, and it really isn't fun at all.

If you're still unsure, just start with painting one wall. If you don't like it, you can still tear the paper off and not too much paint goes wasted.


WHITE!? What a surprise... :-)

It's lovely, but I DID like the paper too....


I painted straight over it. Check out Judith's comment below. It's very common over here to paint over wallpaper :).

the spectator

White = good call.

The silver thing is a corbel.


That's what I figured but since it's metal I wasn't sure in what way it would have been used.


My kitchen is that color yellow and we love it. Very cheerful.

But, in a narrow hallway I definitely prefer the clean white. And, I agree, it's very Benita. ;)

I hope the stairs end up grey like the floor at the bottom. Or white...can't go wrong with basic white.


Love the change Benita! I did not comment the last time but I thought the wallpaper was not quite "you."

I usually like yellow but somehow that wall was bringing out the yellowness of the wood, which was not the best thing.


I think it would be terrific if you painted the bannister the same shade of grey as the trim piece. It would really harmonize things. I agree that the yellow was too overpowering.


Loved the wallpaper, hated the yellow, the white is clean, neutral, totally unoffensive.


The yellow made me gasp too! And I live in a yellow house (exterior)! I think yellow inside can be a very hard color to get right. I have had several rooms in two different houses painted yellow and people either love it or hate it.

I like the framed piece of wall paper.

Lisa Flaherty

Sister??? Is that you???? <3

Lisa Flaherty

I was shocked at the yellow, thinking that "it" was the third try! Lol! I'll never forget a family story of my aunt painting the garage door an unintentionally ghastly color, and the neighbors going into an immediate uproar. She told them it was just a new kind of primer and they could relax. :) The white is lovely, especially with the gray accent line, and the photos of Wille are precious!


Paint the stairs white!

Lisa Flaherty

Oops, just clicked through to your blog, and you are not my sister, Jennifer who just moved to a wall papered apartment with permission to paint over! Lol! :)


I really like the fact that you framed one of the papers original to the house.

Debbie from Chicago

I am very quietly whispering this comment because I know it wasn't a popular opinion, I liked the wallpaper. ;-)


I love the wood of the stairs. It's tough to say though without seeing them in the flow of the house. But they look really sharp with the white and the wood steps.


I liked the dots. But I get that you're totally into WHITE.


Debbie, I liked the wallpaper, too. It just didn't match the rest of the house... sadly, it wouldn't match mine, either...

Fröken Fräken

Jag undrar om själva "problemet" är listen mellan de två olika typerna av väggmaterial (för visst är det någon form av puts nedtill?) ? Listen tillsammans med ledstången och trappornas vinklar och vrår, blir väggen för uppdelad för att man ska kunna ha olika färger eller tapeter upptill och nedtill? Ögat liksom störs?
Eller så är du bara helt enkelt som mig, väggar ska vara vita :-D


Snyggt med vita väggar. När jag ser sista bilden rakt ner i källaren
tänker jag att det skulle vara stor skillnad om den cirkelformade mattan var mörkt brun. Jag tror det skulle bli bättre.
Bara en tanke!


Maybe you could make some prints with your wood blocks and frame them with the Ikea ribba frames and put them in the stairwell.


I join your quiet whisper!


I thought I was looking through the wrong blog when I saw the bright yellow wall. Then to my relief I saw the white, yay! I knew you'd paint it white. Looks so much better... and so you.


Yeah, I think I remember that sale. You showed us a hole bunch of cool stuff like a Union Jack tray, egg cups, handles a.s.o. I didn´t realize it was metall though but anyways, it looks great in that spot and is such a fun and unexpected detail to find in a basement stairwell. As always, your are all about the details, Benita! :)


I'm a little surprised that some of you are so surprised at the yellow. It's not a new thing for me :) http://chezlarsson.com/myblog/2009/04/result-success.html It did go so much better in that bedroom than in this stairwell though.


Sorry, brunt är verkligen inte min färg :)

Noga from Israel

Perfect and the natural choice!
May I suggest a picture of a flying bird to the stairs wall? This is the Feng Shui advice for small spaces with stairs...

My stairs walls are also white. I can tell you that it requires cleaning because people are tend to hold the wall while stepping down and up the stairs.
But nothing like white!


I think a wooden flying bird is a great idea! Especially if you get one with graceful lines to accent that curvy beautiful handrail!


Okey brunt är inte din färg men om du har en mörk färg du gillar på mattan......:-)


I hate to ask, but how many coats did it take to cover the yellow? I painted my bathroom melon and now can't stand it and want to go back to white. Wondering how much of a job I would be in for!


I think I did three, or maybe it was four. There are some paints that give better coverage though. Tell your paint store people that you're painting over a bright color and they can probably advise you!


No, Lisa, I am not your sister! But your parents can adopt me if you're the kind of sister that wants to fly to the Netherlands and help a sister paint over some wallpaper! :)


Judith (and Benita):

Thanks very much for your advice! There are a few wide overlapping seams, which is what I am afraid you will see when I paint over it. But the paint can't possibly be worse than the pale pink wallpaper -- even if you can see the seams.

I just moved here to Europe a year ago and I was surprised at how often wallpaper is used here. Back in the states we regarded the stuff with much disdain, although it does seem to be regaining popularity.

Thanks again!


A link from somewhere to that bedroom post is what brought me to your blog oh how many years ago. Anyway, I really think the reason that yellow worked was because of how much natural light that room got compared to this relatively dark stairway. You would think, though, that such a bright punch of color would liven up a dark area, though. Apparently not so. Love your courage to just experiment though. I need to do that more.

Lisa Flaherty

Lol! I wish I could! You've given me a great idea for a non-profit charitable organization where sensitive people who desperately care about interior design will donate money to fly me around the world to help those in need paint over their wallpaper. You will be the first recipient of my services!

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