With the arrival of August at the end of every summer, do you ever find yourself wondering, where did the time go?!? Didn’t we just clean out the book bags, file away the report cards, and purchase our pool passes? Even the best, well-spent summer vacations must come to an end. So here we are again… school is in session and life shifts into full speed.
Since I married a teacher who later became the high school principal, our lives have always centered around the ever-present school calendar… (sigh). Because of this I’ve always sort of felt like the new year really begins in the fall… i.e. my 2014 resolutions begin now. Be more organized, wake up earlier, be more patient, find time for fun, cook healthy meals, etc.
So, while my kiddos were at summer camp during the last week of our summer break, I found a little time to tackle my ‘be more organized’ resolution and redecorated my chalkboard accent wall.
Let me just start by saying chalkboard accent walls are a super easy way to add a little personality to a room in your home. I painted the chalkboard paint on the wall in our kitchen leading up to our landing. It’s a fun wall that you can see part of as soon as you enter our back door. Chalk paint is forgiving and even works well on our old plaster walls.
Since I painted this wall last year (just before I painted my chevron stairs), I’ve done several different things with it. Most recently I wrote and drew little phrases all over it. Cute, but smear-able as you walked up the stairs. Not practical for long-term. Plus, I felt like it just looked messy. For me, part of being organized means clutter-free even if my house isn’t really clean.
I decided it was time for a change. And, I erased all of it.
It looked bare and boring. So I thought this would be a perfect time to review Wallternatives™ Wall Decals. I met their people at the Haven Conference this summer. I was already familiar with and had previously purchased Royal Design Studios stencils because I love the variety of patterns they offer. But, I had never purchased their wall decals or designer vinyl.
NOTE: For my review, they sent me a complimentary set of designer vinyl in a pattern and color of my choice. But my views expressed here are completely my own.
It was a tough choice picking out what I wanted. There are so many cute patterns and wall decal designs I could have used on this chalkboard wall (as well as other rooms in my house), but in the end I wanted something to help us be more organized and make the wall look more polished so I decided on their Classic Frames Vinyl Wall Decal Set in mint.
They have a fantastic selection of trendy matte vinyl colors and the mint is the perfect compliment to my vintage blue/red kitchen color combo. Since I primarily use white chalk, it ads a pop of color on the black wall and stands out against the chalk.
I am very comfortable with vinyl installation. I use a Silhouette Cameo to cut my own vinyl on projects and I have previously installed wall vinyl Star Wars decals for my kids’ bedroom walls a few years ago. Even if you haven’t ever done it before, you shouldn’t be intimidated by vinyl installation.
Wallternatives™ come with this handy plastic applicator to burnish your vinyl on. Although they recommend smooth painted walls with eggshell paint finishes, I found they stick very well to my bumpy, chalk painted plaster walls – even after my walls had been primed for chalk (i.e. wiping chalk all over the walls and dry erasing it in a circular motion to prep for chalk writing). I just had to be a little extra careful when removing the transfer paper on extra bumpy spots. But my kids have since scribbled over them and they remain durable and affixed to my wall. No peeling!
With these particular frames, I laid my pattern on the floor first and then installed them one at a time. My pattern changed a bit after installation but this gave me a good idea to work from.
This picture quality isn’t great, but I wanted to share how the transfer paper works if you’ve never worked with vinyl. Simple remove the paper backing and your left with your pattern adhered to the sticky side of the transfer paper. Simply lay your design on the wall and start burnishing (rubbing) it on with the plastic applicator. Then slowly remove the transfer paper while pulling down in the direction of the vinyl, careful not to pull toward you and accidentally pull the design from the wall. If you are a little worried, ask a friend to help.
They gave away tons of free samples of their wall decals at the Haven Conference. I picked up this quote. It fits well with the vinyl frames. With two elementary school boys in the house, everything is all kinds of awesome, isn’t it?
I LOVE THE MINT COLOR, don’t you?!?
I don’t plan on removing these for a long while, but I know that they can easily be removed for up to 3 years if I change my mind again. That’s the best thing about decoration with vinyl – it’s less permanent than wall color and a lot easier than painting.
Cheers to a more organized school year and life to all of you!
We aren’t held captive to the school calendar of events yet, but when it hits full swing, we have some fun places to add messages, reminders and notes to keep us both organized and motivated for the rest of the school year.