CUTE Girl’s Bathroom

October 30, 2014

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Several years ago, I papered this young girl’s bathroom in West University Place with a sweet yellow and navy floral stripe. It served her well while she was little, but now, as a pre-teen, she needed something a little zippier. This fuchsia trellis really fills the bill.

When the gal came home from school, she loved it!

This wallpaper pattern is by Antonia Vella for York Wallcoverings, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Detailed Work

October 29, 2014

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Hanging wallpaper is not all flat walls and simple cuts at the ceiling. Often there are corners and molding and windows and the like, to cut around.

Here is an example of a pretty simple decorative molding, and how the wallpaper was trimmed to conform to it.

Flaw of the Day – Ink / Glass Bead Smudges

October 28, 2014

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Digital Image These smudges of mis-placed ink and glass beads ruined about 8 running feet of wallpaper (at about $100 a roll!). This was in the first roll I opened, and I about freaked out, because I assumed the defect would run through all 10 rolls of paper. I feared we would have to order new paper, reschedule the job, the homeowners would not have their room done in time for the holidays, not to mention disruption to their household.

However, luckily for all parties, the defect only effected about a third of one bolt of paper, and there was enough to finish the job.

Note to self: Always suggest the client buy an extra roll of wallpaper!

Candice Olson Glams Up a Bedroom

October 26, 2014

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“Before” – plain, boring, vanilla walls.

“After” – gorgeous color, texture, personality, and a little glamor, thanks to the sparkly glass beads embedded in the material. Note the homeowner’s use of orange accents, which really enliven the room. Not shown is a streamlined orange divan to the right of the bed.

I would like to say that the wallpaper makes the room, but, honestly, I think that the whole room comes together and lives large, thanks to those small pops of bright orange.

I hung this on one accent wall in a bedroom in a newish home in the Rice University / Southhampton neighborhood.

This trellis design is by Candice Olson for York Wallcoverings, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Empire Star in a Powder Room

October 25, 2014

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Digital ImageOh, how I love the classic patterns! This Empire Star has been around for ever, and will never go out of style. Many wallpaper companies print it, but this one is by Osborne & Little, a British outfit, and is printed on what we call a pulp stock, meaning, dry brittle paper with no coating. That means it will stain easily, but this particular one has held up in a powder room in a home with young children for several years.

I hung this paper a few years ago, in a home in Tanglewood, and was called back to replace two walls, after a water leak upstairs damaged the Sheetrock. Luckily, the family had bought a little extra, so there was enough – just enough – do fix the room.

(They also wanted the ceiling done, and it would have only taken two 36″ long strips, but, try as I might, I could not make it work without splicing pieces together, which would have been noticeable. They’re going to paint a complimentary color, instead.)

The interior designer on the job was Shirley Webb. I love her rooms, and she is just lovely to work with.

Silk Wallpaper – Sealed, Trimmed, Railroaded, No VOC’s

October 24, 2014

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Digital Image Today’s wallpaper install was a little atypical. The interior designer had found some silk fabric that the he and the homeowner (a soon-to-be-first-time-mother!) loved. It was to go in the bathroom adjoining the new nursery. The designer had the fabric mounted on a 36″ wide non-woven backing, which is a common contemporary substrate for wallpaper. He went a step further and had the material sealed, to make it more durable and to prevent stains. Good move, especially in a child’s bathroom!

The designer had ordered enough square footage of the material to cover the one wall the homeowners wanted papered. However, the material was 36″ wide, and the wall was 48″ wide, so I needed two 9′ strips to cover the wall. So, while there was enough square footage, there was not enough running length to provide two 9′ strips.

I played with it a while and figured that there was enough to cover the wall if I ran the paper horizontally (called “railroading”) instead of hanging it vertically. This meant two horizontal seams instead of one vertical seam, and it meant that the “clouds” would be positioned sideways. I discussed this with the homeowner, and she was fine with it – the most important thing was to get the beautiful fabric and color up on the wall…and before the baby came!

The backing was uneven in width, plus, some of the silk had gotten wrinkled at the edges where it was attached to the backing. So the goods had to be hand-trimmed to cut off the selvedge edge and the wrinkles, and to straighten out the edges and get them parallel. That’s what I’m doing in Photo 1.

In addition, the wall was a little less than 9′ high. So, with 36″ wide material, I had to be careful how much I trimmed off each edge, so I would end up with three strips of paper that, stacked one atop the other, would be wide enough to cover that wall. Plus, because the seams would be very visible, the panels needed to be similar enough in width to look uniform on the wall.

I ended up trimming two strips to 34.5″ wide, and left the final one untrimmed on the bottom edge, so I could trim it precisely against the baseboard once it was in place.

In the second photo, you see the paper running horizontally, as it butts up against the doorway, waiting for the last piece to be positioned below it. The third shot shows the finished wall. You can see that this “water-stained” pattern has no design to match, so all of the seams carry a mis-match. Photo 4 is a close-up of the mis-match. From a distance, you don’t notice it much, and it’s considered part of the hand-crafted appeal of this product.

Another interesting thing is that, the edges that I cut by hand didn’t come together on the wall as nicely as most wallpapers do. I only had two seams, but I wasn’t 100% in love with the way the first seam looked, so, even though I know that most papers pull closer to the wall and look much better when they dry, I wanted the second seam to look better while I was still there.

So I did what we call a double cut – which is a fancy paperhanger’s term for a splice. I overlapped the seam area about a half of an inch, taking care to keep the proportions as close to 34.5″ wide as possible (who’s gonna notice a half an inch, or even an inch, difference in width?!), protected the bottom strip of silk paper with waxed paper to prevent paste from staining it, put padding beneath the area to protect the wall from being cut into, and then used a straight edge and a new, sharp razor blade to cut through both layers of paper (but not through the padding).

Once the excess paper on either side of the splice, and the padding beneath it, were removed, the seam was nice and flat and perfectly butted. The pattern mis-match was still there, but that’s just the nature of the beast.

As you can see, the finished wall looks great!

Oh, also, like many first-time parents, the homeowners were concerned with fumes and chemicals getting into the baby’s room. I made sure to keep the door between the bathroom and the nursery closed, and I used a primer that, although it has a little scent, contains no VOC’s or harmful fumes.

Popular Pattern

October 23, 2014

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Boy, people sure love this design. I have hung it in several colors, in a good number of homes. Today I put this in an under-the-stairs powder room in West University Place.

The young homeowners have a fairly traditional house, and are trying to “contemporary-ize” it up a little. I think this wallpaper does the trick!

This wallpaper was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Grateful and Full

October 21, 2014

Digital ImageEvery once in a while, a customer feeds me lunch. It sure makes you feel good, when someone does something unexpected like that.

Powder Room Medallion, Grey & Silver

October 19, 2014

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Digital ImageHere is a silvery motif on a dark grey background, that I hung in a powder room in a new home in Bellaire. It’s hard to get good photos, especially in such a small room but you get the idea. (You shoulda seen me jimmying the ladder around the toilet, vanity, door, chandelier, over and over again, to get in and out of the room, and up to the top of the walls!)

A very unique feature in this room is the domed ceiling, with arches on every wall. The last photo is a shot of the ceiling, at one of the corners.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Paint Splatters on Floor

October 13, 2014

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In that same new construction home, I was preparing to prime the walls in the dining room, and while putting dropcloths down, I noticed these little splatters of paint, on the brand new floors, all along the base of the wall, in every room. Whoops! Looks like the painters forgot to use a dropcloth!

My wallpaper primer is white, and I wanted to be sure I was not blamed for this, so I grabbed the job foreman and made sure she knew the speckles were there before I started.


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