Classic Chinoiserie Toile in Powder Room

October 30, 2020

The homeowner chose the rough marble tile backsplash wall in hopes that it would enliven the room. But with the other walls painted a bland taupe, the effect fell flat. She chose this classic 2-tone “Pillement Toile” by Scalamandre to add softness to the room and to bring out the tile wall. Mission accomplished!

This was not the easiest wallpaper to hang. For starters, like many higher-end papers, it comes with a selvage edge that had to be trimmed off by hand. (5th photo)

Also, as with many hand-screened prints that are made with “stinky inks” – the ink smells like mothballs – the ink, substrate, and moisture from the paste all fight each other, resulting in what we call curl. (4th photo) There was also some warping and stretching. It took quite a bit of time and effort to finesse that strip in the fourth photo to lie flat and tight to the wall.

Once the paper started to dry, the seams laid down tighter to the wall.

If you’re curious, that blue plastic tape in the fourth photo is placed on the edge of the wallpaper to prevent paste from getting onto the marble tile wall. Once the wallpaper is trimmed along that edge, the tape is removed. Voilà! No need to wipe paste off the stone!

The home is off Braeswood in Houston.

Blessed Help From The Plumber Makes For A Better Wallpaper Outcome

October 29, 2020


This powder room in a contemporary-styled home has wall-mounted handles and faucet that protruded from the wall several inches.

When I first visited the home for an initial consultation, I explained that making “relief cuts” in the wallpaper in order to work around these fixtures would result in lots of slits in the wallpaper … which could be visible, and which also would potentially provide openings that could allow splashed water to wick in behind the wallpaper and cause it to come away from the wall.

The homeowners arranged to have a plumber come in and remove the fixtures.

This allowed me to hang the paper much more easily, and saved me about an hour. But most important, it eliminated all the cuts and slits, and the potential problems mentioned above.

I kept the holes as tight to the plumbing stems as possible, to eliminate any gaps between the wallpaper and the fixtures. When the plumber comes back to reinstall the handles and faucet, if need be, he can easily take a scissors or blade and enlarge the holes a bit.

Surprises Are Not Good

October 28, 2020

When I visited these clients a few months ago, they asked me to measure their kitchen.

But when I arrived to start the job today – Surprise!

These doors were open, revealing a laundry area I had never seen before.

We did not have enough paper, nor had I allowed enough time, to paper this additional area.

Luckily, the homeowners said this laundry nook was not “as important.”

And double luckily, the navy blue on white savoy pattern in the laundry nook coordinates quite nicely with the navy blue with white birds wallpaper that I will be hanging in the outside kitchen area.

Stay tuned …

Art Deco Heights Powder Room Revisited

October 27, 2020

I hung this gold-on-grey Art Deco inspired wallpaper in a powder room in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston a few months ago. I was back to paper another room, and couldn’t resist taking a shot of the completed room. The house is from the late 1800’s, and – cool fun fact – the mirror was found under the house and is believed to be original to the home.

The interior decorator is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design.

Dark Wallpaper Printed on Dark Backing

October 25, 2020

Usually, wallpaper is printed on a white substrate. But, because wallpaper tends to shrink a little when it dries, often you end up with hair’s width gaps between strips, which can show thin lines of the white backing, and also sometimes the wall itself.

This manufacturer went the extra mile and printed on a darker substrate. This greatly reduces the chances of white peeking out at the seams.

Gorgeous, Traditional Dining Room Revisited

October 23, 2020

I hung this cream-on-blue classic damask pattern wallpaper in the dining room of a home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston a few months ago. I was back today to wallpaper another room, and couldn’t resist taking a picture of this beautiful room, all decked out for a dinner party.

The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design.

Shimmering Trees in Heights Entry, Historic Home

October 22, 2020

Built in 1895, this 4-square home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston recently underwent a renovation, so the rear area contains many modern aesthetics. The front areas, though, including this entry, are original to the home.

This wallpaper was chosen as a way to unite the classic spaces with the newer areas.

But also, the homeowners thought the all-white walls felt cold and impersonal, as well as blended in too much with the white fireplace.

This “Shimmering Foliage” pattern of gold and shadows on a white background met all the criteria!

The tree design leans traditional, but the metallic gold color and abstract print are what I call “sassed up” – just enough modern feel to blend with the newer areas in the rear of the house.

I particularly like the way the gold trees accentuate the gold filigree on the fireplace. The homeowners may use a light touch with metallic gold craft paint to highlight some of the carved wood even more.

Just the wall behind the fireplace was papered. Putting this bright, shiny paper on all four walls would have felt overwhelming.

The wallpaper is by York, one of my preferred brands, in their line by designer Antonina Vella. It’s a non-woven material, and can be hung by the paste-the-wall method. But I got better adhesion as well as flexibility by pasting the paper.

The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design.

A Soaring Change!

October 21, 2020

The top photo shows the classic savoy pattern by Waverly that I have hung so many times – in the early ’90’s. Time for an update!

The new wallpaper maintains the same navy and white colorway, but in a stronger presence and with more upward movement. I mean, what lifts your spirits better than soaring shorebirds?!

I really like the way the navy background stands out against the white woodwork. Much of this kitchen is the area above the cabinets, and the color and pattern play out very well in that short area.

This wallpaper is by Anderson Prints. It is a traditional paper, and was fairly thick, compared to most of their papers. I think the extra heft was due to the manufacturer printing on a dark substrate. This helps keep white from showing at the seams as the paper dries and shrinks a tad.

Speaking of which, I was pleased that the paper did not shrink much at all. With a dark paper, even the smallest shrinkage will allow the wall surface to peek through.

The job is an older townhome in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. The wallpaper was bought through Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet.

Super Cool Birthday Card!

October 20, 2020

Look what my very creative and artsy sister sent for my birthday! Those are all individual pieces, hand-painted and hand-cut, and intertwined.She’s never watched me hang wallpaper, but she sure got the process and the tools spot-on!This card is a keeper!

The envelope was the first thing I saw, and I got a huge kick out of that. I mean – staples, edges trimmed rounded. Pretty much something like I would do. I had no idea this personalized, hand-crafted card was inside!

Really Cool Ombre Mural in Montrose Powder Room

October 17, 2020

The furnishings in this home are traditional, so I was surprised when the homeowners chose this ombre (shaded, graduated, faded) pattern for their powder room. I have to say, it turned out fantastic!

This innovative look is a mural, packed as two 36″ wide panels per “roll.” It took seven panels (four rolls) to do this very small powder room.

Each panel is 8′ high. Like most newer homes, this townhouse has 9′ high ceilings. So, to shorten the wall height, the homeowners decided to add a very short wainscoting at the bottom of the wall, topping it off with a strip of decorative chair rail molding. The deep navy color works perfectly with the tones in the mural, as well as the graduated saturation effect. I like it better than having the design come all the way to the floor.

The homeowners said it was near Divorce Court, with both of them squeezing into this 3′ x 6′ space (and toss in a toilet), trying to measure and hammer and paint and agree on install steps.

They were wise enough to not tackle hanging the wallpaper themselves. 🙂

Back to the wallpaper. This is by Brewster, in their A Street Prints line. It is a non-woven material, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method …. but I chose to paste the material, for more flexibility and for getting around obstacles like the vanity and toilet.

This wallpaper should strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. The mural was purchased from Southwestern Paint / Benjamin Moore near the Rice Village, but can also be bought on-line from various vendors, including Brewster’s own website.