Friends, I need your advice! For those of you who haven’t been following Whimsical Blue Living from the very beginning, there is a room in our house that is affectionately referred to as the “Clown Room”. You can read the whole story of how we discovered it here. Shortly after we moved into our little castle we removed some faux wood paneling in a bedroom that had been converted into an office many years ago. Underneath the paneling we found this….
At first it was quite a shock, and I didn’t care for the circus theme at all. But over time it grew on me. The colors were cheerful and it had so much whimsy to it. The circus theme with animals was cute, it was just the clowns that creeped me out! It appears to be hand painted wallpaper, so clearly someone put a lot of time into creating this design. I liked it even more after the family who lived in our little castle in the 1960s visited our home. They were amazed that the clowns had been underneath that paneling the whole time they lived here, as they had no idea! Apparently there was a family who lived here years before them who had a little girl nicknamed “Gypsy”, and we wondered if the room was hers at one point before it was turned into an office. The history of it intrigued me! In the top corners of the room I’ve found traces of floral wallpaper underneath the clown wallpaper, so I know that the clown wallpaper isn’t the original 1927 design. But it is vintage, and it’s so unique!
So, here’s my dilemma. Clowns and circus themes are not my style. It’s cute and whimsical and old, but I don’t LOVE it. This room is not a nursery, it’s currently being used as an office/storage room for all my junk and all the baskets of clean laundry that I need to fold and put away. Recently we’ve had a break in our home improvement projects and I’ve been able to finish unpacking and settling into our house (you know, after buying it almost four years ago). This room is finally getting the attention it deserves, and soon it will be ready for a mini makeover. All it really needs is some small repairs to the walls where we removed the paneling, some fresh paint, and new trim (the trim we removed with the paneling was not original, it was that skinny trim that was popular in the 1960s-1970s).
Honestly, we could have easily done this project already, I just can’t decide what to do about the circus wall! When we first discovered it, I planned to simply paint right over it. But it’s so quirky and charming and vintage, and if I paint over it the design is lost forever. I’m leaning towards covering it up with something like paneling or beadboard so that it is still protected and intact underneath, ready to be discovered someday by future homeowners! Is it weird that I want to make a scrapbook with detailed notes and pictures (and maybe even some of these blog posts) for the future owners of our little castle? I guess I figure that anyone who would want to live in this house in the future (like, when I’m 104) would have to be an old house lover like us, and any sort of history would be fun!
So, I’m leaning towards preserving the clown wall while still making the room whimsical and blue. But what should I cover it with? It needs to be something pretty, but relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Historical accuracy is a bonus too! My husband, while sharing my love of older homes, is not quite as keen as me to save this quirky circus design (since it isn’t technically original), so the preservation has to be a quick and easy process!
Any suggestions or ideas? Am I crazy to keep the clown wall intact underneath something? Or would I be crazy to paint right over it? What would you do? I’m excited to work on this room and make it more functional as an office/guest room, and not just the random room where I toss all the junk and close the door. After years of living in a construction zone, I’m ready to tackle this room and add my whimsical blue style!
I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Seriously, I need your advice and ideas! And please be sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive an email every Sunday morning with the posts from the week. That way you never miss a post!
Have a beautiful day!