Before & After: How a Little Stencil Added a Lotta Drama to a Living Room

by hookedonhouses on February 24, 2012

When I saw this orange stenciled wall in Shoshana’s living room over at her interior design blog Love Your Room, it stopped me in my tracks. How fun is that clover-shaped pattern? I would never think to do something like this, but I like it.

Here’s how the room looked before it got the stencil treatment:

Shoshana, an interior decorator in Pennsylvania, created her own stencil out of poster board (she shows you how on her blog). Then, after tracing it in rows across one wall, she began painting it with Sherwin Williams’ Caribbean Coral:

Here’s how it looked after the stenciled wall was finished and the room was put back together:

Orange may not be your thing, but you can see how a simple pattern can really change the look of a room. It makes me want to stencil something around here! (Or, better yet, have her come over and stencil something for me–ha.)

For more photos and step-by-step instructions showing how Shoshana created her stencil and painted the wall, visit her blog Love Your Room.

I’m also inspired by the stencil that Roeshel did in her stairwell over at DIY Show Off:

It’s a more subtle look if you’re not ready to go full-on clover orange. I love ‘em both! You can see Roeshel’s makeover on her blog.

Have you stenciled anything lately?

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Luciane at February 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

That’s a dramatic change! I’m doing some things around my own home lately and I love seeing things that inspires me.

Also, I just want to thank you, Julia, for always prepare great posts for us. I know you do this for years now and it can get a bit tiring at times, and we wonder if people are really enjoying what we do. I just want to let you know that even though I’m here for almost 2 years now, I never get tired or bored w/ your posts. I’m always looking forward them. Thank you for making us a little happier everyday!

Have a blessed weekend!


Luciane at

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 8:22 am

You are such a sweetheart, Luciane. What would I do without readers (and commenters) like you? Thanks! :-)

Jenny Allworthy February 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

Oh, that woman is so talented. She is a real artist. I could just curl up on that couch and stare at those inspiring pictures on that fab wall for hours. With a pot of coffee of course!

karen@strictlysimplestyle February 24, 2012 at 8:17 am

I love the way the clover design is echoed in Shoshana’s pillow.

Nancy February 24, 2012 at 8:29 am

Love the stencil. We’re about to tackle stenciling a hallway tomorrow.

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 8:40 am

Ooh, fun! Can’t wait to see how it turns out, Nancy!

Mary Kate @ The Willard Writer February 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

I LOVE that stencil! It’s so fun and bright. Doing something like that takes guts … I hope I have those guts someday!

jennie w. February 24, 2012 at 8:47 am

I did something similar in my dining room (which we changed into a mudroom). Stencils are kind of a pain but they are a lot of bang for the buck. If you’ve got elbow grease but not a lot of money, they simply can’t be beat!

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

I love that you converted your dining room into a mudroom, Jennie. Never would have thought to do that, but it really makes sense for your family. Thanks for the link!

Brigid February 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

Love the stencil!!! Wondering where I could put it in my home? :) I am sure the hubby would not be totally on board with this one LOL! Thanks Julia!! Have a great weekend~hope it’s not snowing where you are!!

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

They’re predicting some snow this afternoon but right now it’s sunny and pretty nice out! Guess I’d better run all my errands now, huh? :-)

jodi from new jersey February 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

Wow! Really pretty– normally I don’t like one wall different from the other three in a room, but with a stencil it just looks right. I thought of the room without the orange clovers and…. yawn. What a fun idea. Going over to check out her blog. Thanks, Julia!

Sarah @ housecrazy February 24, 2012 at 9:09 am

The orange clovers are very striking! And I can’t help but think what PATIENCE those creative souls must have when they do stencils! It looks so tedious!

Gill February 24, 2012 at 9:59 am

Love the orange stencilling! Really adds some punch to the room. But must have taken an age to do.
Am having great difficulty leaving your blog – I keep seeing post that i just have to view!
Thanks for sharing!

Mary February 24, 2012 at 10:05 am

Wow – it think is takes guts to “go for it” like that – and it paid off – it’s gorgeous!

Valorie Hart The Visual Vamp February 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

Amazing! They are such neat jobs! xo xo

Roeshel February 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

I LOVE Shoshanna’s wall too, Julia! She is so talented and did an amazing job! I’m with Lucianne…love coming over here for all the gorgeous home eye candy and beautiful ideas!

Thank you so SO much for the shout out as well! That wall was such a last minute quick idea and made a huge difference. It’s just so fun. (and small walls don’t take nearly as much patience or energy)

Have a great weekend!

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

I love how you pulled it together with things you had as a “last-minute quick idea,” Roeshel. Great job!

Molly @thewaffler February 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

I’ve been thinking about doing a tree stencil in my daughter’s room, as I can’t free hand a straight line, let alone a tree. I’m going to check out the tutorial on creating your own to see if I can save a few $. Thanks for the great post!

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 11:57 am

I haven’t done a stencil since I decorated my daughter’s nursery years ago. I painted a little rose and ivy border around the room. I’ve never done an entire wall like this, though. I’m really tempted to give it a try. Maybe in my home office, which is small and therefore has just a small amount of wall space to cover! :-)

Laura February 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

Yes, I stenciled a short hallway and I really love how it came out. I painted the walls red and did a black and cream stencil on top. Much smaller scale than the ones you pictured. It looks like wallpaper.

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

Ooh, sounds really dramatic!

Cindy February 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Wow. That is GORGEOUS and impactful. Love it!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions February 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I love both, but the orange is just wonderful! Such a nice way to bring in a color like that and not have it be overpowering. I have two wall stencils that I need to get going on. I’m really hoping for a nice transformation like these.

Brandy February 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm


Do you know anyone with one of those inexpensive projectors (the kind that blow-up the image on the wall)? They work great for projects like you are talking about. Just find the picture you want to replicate. Place the projector on top and position to enlarge the image to the size you want. Then, get out your trusty number 2 pencil and trace. You can even number the sections to create a paint-by-number effect. Fill in with paint and enjoy!

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Great idea!

Amy @ The Button Casa February 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I think it looks fabulous, although I doubt I would do a whole wall. I imagine I’d run out of steam halfway through then I’d have another half finished project mocking me. I hate it when my house mocks me ;)

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Me, too, Amy! Hate when that happens.

Kim February 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

What a fun design. I love the orange. I love how people are starting to use stencils now instead of wallpaper. That way they can easily be painted over.

Brandon @ Southgate February 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm

We recently had some trim work done on the upper walls of our two story foyer, and highlighted it with a different paint color and a panel of wallpaper. I had a time finding the wallpaper, and had decided to just do stenciling when I ran across a paper that was ideal. At any rate I am still thinking of stenciling SOMETHING, and it may just be my powder room. Would I be crazy to paint it black and do silver stenciling over that?

hookedonhouses February 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I think it sounds kinda cool! If you do it, be sure to post the pics on your blog, Brandon, so we can see. :)

Jane February 25, 2012 at 8:34 am

Brandon- go for it!

When we bought our house, the entire guest bathroom was black, even the toilet. Eventually, we changed the wall color to a lighter, almost pastel green and it is lovely. But the all black was elegant, kind of miss it. We had soft lighting and on special occasions we added candles.

We did one weird moment when a tv repairman come to our home, asked to use the bathroom and backed out quickly, saying in alarm, “what is wrong with the water in your toilet? It is all black!” I had to gently explain that clear water in an all black toilet would reveal the naturalky black color of the toilet bowl . But that only happened once and we’ve had that toilet for years. it came with the house and I loved the black bathroom at first sight.

Her Inner Voice February 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Not a stencil, exactly, but after seeing this, I am itching to try it! I’m wondering if two colors would be too busy. What we have right now are painted stripes (a dark cream and a light taupe) in our foyer and up along the main stairs. It always gets confused for wallpaper, and for some odd reason I take pleasure in that.

Destiny February 24, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I have been thinking about a stencil for at least nine months now. I just need to jump on it!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy... February 25, 2012 at 7:59 am

Gorgeous. I love all the vintage pictures she framed too.
Alas, I’m not sure I can commit to a stencil.

Jane February 25, 2012 at 8:24 am

Love this room! Adds a custom look and paint is easy to change, eventually.

Reminds me of the time I painted purple stripes on our old gray sofa in permanent fabric paint.. Covered up the stains from raising 3 kids.. The sofa is now replaced but the lamp base in the same room….with the year 2000 proudly printed on it in black Sharpie by a then 5 year old has a place of honor in the space.

Adopted, he went through a stage of putting his name and the year on various items, usually in pencil. That lamp base was an exception. Only a Sharpie would do to make just the right “statement” on the gray base. Adds just the right quirkiness to the space- and doesn’t every room need a touch of black?

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints February 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

Wowza!! Looks awesome. I can’t even imagine the nightmare of a project like that. In my opinion stenciling is one of the most challenging of all craft projects.

Mayra February 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Oh, so tempting to DIY, yet reluctant to try because the stenciling may end up crooked & sloppy. Oh, why not??? It’s just paint and time, right? Thanks Julia for sharing :D It’s a very inexpensive project that makes the room pop w/ attitude.

Shoshana February 26, 2012 at 11:41 am

Wow Julia, thanks oh so much for including my wall on your fabulous blog!! The wall was a labor of love and puts a smile on my face every day, AND lets everyone know my personality as they walk into my home! Roeshel’s wall is hot! Diamonds are a girls best friend! You work hard to have a home, and the love you show it is personal and never needs to be defined.

Shauna@ Satori Design for Living February 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm

This looks fantastic! I love the pop of orange and how the simple stencil elevated the room from bland to very interesting.

excitingla February 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm

i LOVE the look of stencils – they can really change up a space that feels otherwise tired or boring. i wish i didn’t live in an apartment – i could really be into some chevron stripes!

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