Stucco Round 2 + Finding The Perfect White!

Hey hey!! Guys, if youre not following the Merc reno along on my Insta/Instastories DO IT!! I need your opinions in real time and it’s kind of fun to see what crazy things pop up during the course of the day!. Follow here!

Ok are you ready to chat about our stucco?!  It’s FINALLY done! We were hoping it would be done in October…then November…but apparently Santa moonlights as a stucco guy cause it didn’t happen until December. But its finished and I LOVE IT.

Just a refresher, this is what the Merc looked like when we bought it:

And this is what it looks like today!!


If you remember from my last stucco post, this is where we left off. The brown coat. A brown coat is the base of the stucco, and then a color coat is applied after the brown coat has cured for a few weeks.

One of the reasons it took so long to get the stucco finished it because we kept running into color problems. I knew that I wanted it white, but I didn’t want it to be too cool, so I had them color match my favorite warm white Sherwin-Williams Alabaster. (You can see it in my old house here)

When the sample came back it was really warm. See it compared to a plain white door?

So I took a drive and did some friendly trespassing onto newer houses in our area that were “white”. The color was almost an exact match to most and looking at them from far away I felt like they were too warm. My next door neighbor has a painted white house that is a great shade so I compared it there and it was much darker and warmer. It just looks so different in different lighting!!

Next option was to take a sample of Mandi White (my favorite “just” white) to them to match. When they finally brought the sample back it was darker and more warm than the first one! WHAT!!?

Sort of out of sheer frustration (we were weeks past the scheduled date at this point) I said to the guy who brought the sample over that I just wanted it to be white. Plain white. He sort of laughed and said “Just white? Why didn’t you say that?” The next morning he brought over the best “just white” sample I’ve ever seen. It was perfect, not too warm, not too cool. I was SO HAPPY!! It looks exactly like the white paint we used on our detached garage.

I don’t have a picture of all of the samples together cause #Court and I’ve called and left a few messages with the stucco guys about the exact formula, I’ll update this post with it once they pass it along!

We’ve still got some work to do on the front, like the giant faux door, installing our lights, and finishing the wood headers (and getting the paint paper off the windows!!) but its looking really close to the original vision!

Check out all of the past Merc posts here!

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The Merc Renovation The Series!

Hey hey!! I have been counting down the days to today for a very very long time. We are finally launching our video series for the Merc!! And also !!!!!!!! And a few more !!!!! for good measure. If you’ve been following for a while you know we are doing vlog style videos ourselves, but we really wanted to capture the reno in a professional way that was bitesize and inspiring.

Court and I are over the moon to introduce you to our series sponsor. I think you guys are going to be pretty shocked about who it is. I mean, it is totally unexpected, and not at all who you would have picked as our perfect partner for this renovation.

Sike. Its The Home Depot!!

(But, really who else would it have been?)

This is the first of 5 episodes. I’ll admit I got teary a few times seeing just how far we’ve come on the reno and the old school VR clips pulled at the heart strings a little.

When I started the blog almost 8 years ago I had NO IDEA that it could turn into this dream, I never in a million years would have thought a company like Home Depot would know who I was, let alone become my most cherished business relationship. I guess this just goes to show that you never know what is waiting down the path that you nervously take a few steps onto.

Check out the episode below, I think you’re going to love it!


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The Process of Creating the Small World Wall + Time-lapse Video

Hey guys! Man. THANK YOU so much for the overwhelming response on the reveal of the Small World room yesterday! (If you haven’t seen it yet check it out here!)

You know I try to post tutorials for everything that I do but friends, a tutorial for this wall treatment just isn’t happening. Not because I don’t think that you can do it, but because I think you TOTALLY CAN!!  Let me explain.

This room started off as a rough (and I mean rough) sketch. There were no measurements or angles or exactness. I knew the general size and the general shape and that was good enough for me. (Court was a little concerned when I pulled out my drawing)

I started off by measuring and marking the size for each building on the wall with tape. Then we got to work ripping pieces of 1/2″ plywood down and started attaching them to the wall (just make sure when you’re doing this that you’re hitting at least one stud!)

I also used 1×2’s to add detail and dimension. If you’ve ever seen Small World you know that dimension is of most critical importance, everything got layers.

Once the build out was done it was time to pull it all together. This is where I hit a creative roadblock (if you follow my instastories you were a part of this emotional and frustrating part!)

The detail was pretty much done and it was time to start adding wallpaper and paint. The biggest issue that I kept running into is that it was going very juvenile really quickly. I know how that sounds. This is a kids room, I’m using It’s A Small World as inspo. DUH of course its juvenile. But the dilemma is that my daughter is 9 and so I wanted the room to feel more old kid and not nursery. A good dose of whimsical and modern.

I started painting and almost immediately hated it. See I get this feeling in my gut and I know if I’m on the right track or not. It was just too busy with the wood and the wallpaper (even though the paper is white) and the patterns. Again, I know how this sounds. How is it not supposed to be busy?! It just felt like mixing the shapes and the colors and the elevations was just too much.

Oh and did I mention that one of the best things about this type of work is having hard deadlines, and I had to have this room ready for pictures the next day. Not a problem.

So I did what any rational person that hated what was happening would do. I started painting over everything. As I was doing this I was feeling SO conflicted. I love the natural wood, but with the floors and the dresser and the whole vibe I was going for they couldn’t stay natural.

After I had painted everything white I was so gut sick. It just wasn’t working! And now I couldn’t go back (plywood doesn’t sand well). I needed to take a break and walk away from the situation.

Have you ever listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk about creative genius? It’s SO AWESOME. Go listen to it right now! For me, creativity is spiritual. Not in a religious sort of way, but in a there-is-something-bigger-that-endows-me-with-ideas sort of way. So I left the Merc, parked my car and started to meditate and pray. It was after about 30 minutes of wrestling with my genius (have you listen to the talk yet?!) that I got the distinct impression that I needed to think bigger than the buildings. When I think of my daughter I see her potenitial as such a light. She literally radiates. So I was picturing her sitting in her bed and the idea of doing these rainbow beams came to my mind, because that is just who she is. As soon as I saw it I knew it was exactly what the space needed.

I started measuring and marking the stripes by using masonry line and nails. (You can see the pink masonry line in the picture below, see how it all meets at one central point?)

Then I got to painting. I used sample pots (if youre doing an accent wall with sections of color, 9 times out of 10 you can get away with testers and don’t need to buy full size cans.) It will save you so much money!!

And then voila! we ended up with this!

Check out the video below to see the whole process play out in a time-lapse!!




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It’s A Small World Bedroom Makeover Reveal!

Guys, I am SO excited to show you the first completed room at the Merc!!

Sidenote: You may be wondering why we have a fully decorated space when we still don’t have plumbing but this is the sometimes reality of running  a business like Vintage Revivals, I thought that the reno would be wayyyy further along when I signed on to do this makeover (remember our hopeful Thanksgiving move in date?) but it wasn’t and now here we are! I will say that having a room finished is the greatest morale booster ever, it makes it feel like we’re getting really close!

When I say that I’ve been dreaming of doing a It’s A Small World themed room makeover for 4 years that is accurate. I LOVE Mary Blair and the exterior of Small World at Disneyland so so much. So when Home Depot asked me to do a room makeover using some of their wallpapers I was excited, when I found the white and gold splatter wallpaper I was I-Won-the-Lottery-Cause-the-Small-World-Room-is-Happening thrilled.

This is what the room looked like when we bought the Merc.

Right there in the center of that space. (You’re going to have to squint and use your imagination )

It went through a few changes (you know, like walls, and adding a window)

Sheetrock and paint

And now, if you can believe it, it looks like this:

If you follow my stories on Instagram you got a full on behind the scenes view of the creative process.

We laid the floor (don’t worry, there is a full tutorial + info coming on that) in 2 days, got the doors put in,  light installed (yes that light is from Home Depot and, no, its not $$$$) and got to work!

Then we started on the wall. You should know that I’m not a planner, I had a very rough sketch of what I sort of wanted the building layout to look like.

Did I mention that it was rough?

We started building with 1/2″ ply and 1×2’s and adding details along the way based on what the design was missing. Keeping it all very Small World true to life.

This is when the buildout was almost finished and I was ready to start painting. I was so conflicted because I LOVED the plain wood but with the wood floor and the wood dresser it was just too much wood.

Also, do you ever try to be something that you’re not? Like I try to be one of those cool laidback California-ish designers that only use white, black, and wood and it’s all going swimmingly until I start to hate it and just feels flat. So then I go back to my true colorful roots and everything is right with the world again. This is a lesson that I seemingly have to learn over and over again, so if you find yourself physically unable to emulate the designs you love so much its ok, I go through that too.

The plan was to keep a lot of the wood exposed, mix in some awesome wallpaper and a few colors and call it a day. Well I hated it. After some serious trial and error, frustration, prayer, and a lunch break I finally got the inspiration that I needed. I’ve got a whole post coming tomorrow showing you every stop along the way and a time-lapse video. Until then, lets talk about the decor!

This Spatter Gold Self-Adhesive Removable Wallpaper
 was the jumping off point for the whole space. It is heavy duty, reposition-able, and has a great pattern. I love the fact that it’s removable (for the ever changing designer that I am) and one thing that I’m very much looking forward to is wallpapering the entire closet once the shelving is in! Speaking of wallpaper, head over to The Apron Blog to see some of my favorite wallpaper pairings!!

The giant schoolhouse light is just magical. It is HUGE guys, and is the perfect light to still capture the 1930’s vibe we’re going for in the Merc while being statement making enough that it can hold it’s own with the design of the room. And I love that it has such a unique shape, it just feels special. Check it out here!

My daughter’s single request (besides having dog treats in her room) was for a big bed. Knowing that the wall was going to be pretty intense, I needed to find a bed that complimented the accent wall instead of covering it up or taking away from it. This black iron bed was perfect! The color ties in with the doors, the vibe is 100% Merc, and it lets the wall be the star that it is. The best part is that a full size bed, including the frame is only $269!

I have a confession, a secret that is hurting me to my very core. Are you ready? I don’t hate beige right now. I KNOW!!! WHO AM I?! Though I will say I don’t love it as a whole house paint color, using it as an accent isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to me. For example, the rug!

It’s subtle (which this room needed) and the cable weave on it is just so good!! The color is going to be great for hiding dirt, and for now it’s great at hiding dust…that keeps floating in from the transom that has yet to have glass put in it.

Ok lets talk about this dresser. Did you think it was from a place that rhymes with Crest Flelm? You did huh? Its ok, the vast majority of the internet is going to be shocked that its from HOME DEPOT.  Seriously, and it comes in a dark walnut as well.

If you have not heard a single thing I’ve said this year hear this: HOME DEPOT HAS EVERYTHING. Rugs? Furniture? Lighting? Did I mention that our doors, hardware, and windows also are from Home Depot?

Thanks for following along with this crazy fun journey, you guys are the best!!




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