Before & After: Meh Marble & Woeful Wallpaper Get the Boot in This Library Transformation

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(Image credit: Trey Freeze)

Normally, wallpaper and marble are two elements we can’t get enough of. But in the case of the library in the home Debra planned to flip, it was all a little too much. With a gray paint and a pretty ingenious update to the flooring, this room did a total 180.

(Image credit: Trey Freeze)

From Debra: This space was the first thing you saw upon entering the house — and the worst. The wallpaper and marble flooring created such cacophony of pattern that it was slightly nausea-inducing and somewhat explains why the house was on the market for over 120 days before we bought it. This is exactly the sort of thing we love to fix.

(Image credit: Trey Freeze)

The best and happiest surprise in the whole remodel was the wallpaper in this room. We started stripping it the day we closed and it pulled right off — no steaming required. The marble flooring gave us pause; the cost to jackhammer that up was prohibitive. In the end we decided to float a cork floor over the top of it — worked like a dream.

I love cork flooring so soft and quiet, perfect for a library room. The second happy accident was the huge bookcase/shelf thingy. I picked it up at a Restoration Hardware warehouse sale and it just worked out that the gray almost exactly matched the paint that had already gone up. This room was pretty quick — paint, flooring, decor. The whole house reno took about 18 months and cost around $130,000.

(Image credit: Trey Freeze)

I love this room, it was so peaceful and relatively painless to update. The after photos were for the real estate shoot, I actually had a LOT more books on those shelves and I like things a bit funkier, but my stager friend makes me tone down the personality for MLS shoots.

Debra’s words of wisdom: Go for it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done the project a week before selling a house and wondered why I didn’t do it sooner so I could enjoy it.

Thank you, Debra! You can see more on Debra’s blog, With the Barretts.