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Elegant & DRAMATIC New Wet Bar Redesign

Hello Farmers - Happy Autumn!

Let's talk Wet Bar Redesign. I know, crazy right? Our home renovation was completed not that long ago, and I'm already re-designing the wet bar? Let me explain.

When you’re focused on your rooms as spaces much as I am (I'm down right obsessed), it’s easy to become tired of them and crave something new, quickly. One such space was the bar I designed and had installed in the great room. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the space, I just wasn’t ever crazy about the wall paper, nor the execution of the architectural arch.


I originally chose the paper for its shimmer and texture to bring some elegance to the bar. The gray tone was selected to support the theme in the rest of the room.

Fall home decor in the Great Room at Rock Haven Farm.

This is our current great room dressed in a little bit of Fall color.

I’m not sure went wrong, but after installation, the paper didn’t seem to have the amount of shimmer it had previously, nor did it have the right gray undertone. The color was reading way too blue.

I tried to live with the it for almost a year. I wanted to tear it down so many times but didn’t. One day I was walking through the room, and I couldn’t control myself any longer. I just started stripping the paper. It felt so good. With no exact plan for what I wanted to replace it with, a little anxiety stepped in. Also fear. My husband doesn’t really ever notice changes I make with decor, but my goodness, if it’s something I DON’T want him to notice, of course he does. And this little exercise in mental anguish relief would certainly reach his receptors. As I played out the impending confrontation in my mind, worry seeped in, and I immediately stopped tearing off the paper.

Wallpaper removal at the Wet Bar at Rock Haven Farm.

This is what it looked like when delayed sanity stepped in. I'm embarrassed to say it remained like this for many months.


Early on in the original design process, I decided the elliptical arch-top transom above the front door would be an element I wanted to repeat throughout the home, and the first space that received the arch was the new wet bar. Without going in to all the detail, I can say it didn't turn out as I had hoped.

As my redesign played out on Instagram over the last couple of weeks, I showed these mock-ups below in my stories.

I just couldn't accept the resulting arch any longer. It was driving me nuts. It just looked incomplete and, well, lame! Both the room and Mrs. Colonial deserved better. In order to install all new trim to replicate the desired example above, the arch would have to be reworked, and the width of opening would have to be reduced. Instead, I decided to DIY it and give the illusion of a greater architectural feature without all the work.

Here's what I did.

First, I removed all the remaining wallpaper. (Except on the ceiling and the inside wall of the arch. That stayed in place.)

Next, I installed a thin trim along the inside of the arch.

Wet bar DIY at Rock Haven Farm by Sandy Sheldon.

Then, I painted on five coats of BM White Dove. I was very pleased with the illusion of a greater depth/width of the arch, and the layering of so many coats of paint gave it the appearance that it could be original to this old house!

Wet bar paint application at Rock Haven Farm by Sandy Sheldon.

After the arch was painted and complete, I gave the walls a good standing to try to remove the remaining wallpaper glue and patchy primer coat. Unfortunately, I was left with a surface that needed greater attention. There were significant "blemishes" that would not have taken the new finish well.

I addressed that by putting on a coat of joint compound in the problem spots. After a light sanding, I had a smooth surface and I was ready to finish the walls.

In my mind, I had four options for finish. I could:

1. Paint the walls green to match the cabinetry and give it that luxe look that is so popular today;

2. I could paint the walls black to give it an elegant, dramatic look;

3. I could paint the walls in a gray shade without the blue undertone to match the grays in the room; or

4. Install a new wallpaper, a scenic black and white paper I loved.

I was torn. I liked all the options and felt either one would work in the space. I did, however, have a favorite that I was nervous about pulling the trigger on. I decided to let those of you who follow me on Instagram decide. 80 percent of you voted for . . .

BM Tricorn Black applied at the Wet Bar by Sandy Sheldon.

So three coats of Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black it was!!! (Notice I used a dark primer coat to enable me to begin with a uniform surface.)

I'm so happy with how the new redesigned wet bar turned out.