Ostriches in a Toddler’s Room

January 22, 2017
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Mothers love this cute pattern, and I’ve hung the pink version in little girls’ rooms and bathrooms many times. This more neutral colorway went on all four walls of a toddler boy’s bedroom. I love the way the color coordinates with the rich chocolate brown woodwork and ceiling.

This This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, a British company, and is called “Ostrich.” It’s on a non-woven substrate, and is a paste-the-wall product (rather than paste-the-paper), and is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

It was bought at below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Great Houston Chronicle Story About Wallpaper

January 20, 2017

Click the link to read about modern trends in wallpaper. Click the link, and you can scroll through photos of wallpaper in room settings. I hung the diamond, stone, brick, and circle wallpapers. Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs, is the interior designer quoted in the article, and I am privileged to work with her several times a year on wallpaper installations.

I’m a little disappointed that wallpaper is described as a “luxury item,” because, while this article mentions some really “far out there” materials (LED lights), in real life, room-transforming patterns and textures are available at reasonable costs for “average” people in “everyday” homes.

If you’re getting the itch for how wallpaper can personalize and transform your home, send me an e-mail to wallpaperlady@att.net

Shiny, Shimmery, Sexy Silver Cork in a Laundry Room

January 19, 2017
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This wallpaper is composed of thin slices of real cork on a paper backing, frosted with a delicious silver metallic ink. Women love this dazzling paper, and I have hung it a bunch of times, in powder rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and more, in several different color incarnations. In this home, the husband loves it as much as the wife! I hung it in a laundry room of a beautifully renovated home in the Runnels Creek neighborhood of far west Houston.

It is by Thibaut Designs, pattern #839-T-7047, and was bought at a below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. A fellow Wallcovering Installers Association member hung an identical paper today, but it was by Scalmandre – I’ll bet his client paid a whole lot more for that high-end designer’s name.

Reach Dorota at (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

DON’T CUT UP THE WALLPAPER BOOKS!

January 18, 2017
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Oh boy. The wallpaper store generously let shoppers take this wallpaper selection book home for a few days, and look at how it was returned. “Someone” took a razor and sliced out the sample of blue cork. And another “Someone” didn’t even bother to be neat, but crudely ripped out the most popular colorway sample of Candice Olson’s “Onyx.”

Wallpaper shoppers – DON’T DO THIS. First of all, we know who you are. After all, to check out the book, you filled out a form with your name and contact info. Oh, and that same form had a waiver that you signed, and the first line, in all capital letters, said, DO NOT CUT THE BOOKS. Did I mention that you signed your agreement that you would not cut up the book, and would return it in its original condition?

But beyond that, there is no need to do this. You can easily and very inexpensively order samples of any wallpaper pattern you like, and that sample will be much larger than the puny page you ripped out of the book. It will arrive in just a few days. But even quicker – you can snap a photo of the sample, front and back, and have it immediately.

Did you stop to consider that those wallpaper sample books cost the stores $100+ each? It takes a lot of wallpaper sales to cover employee salaries, facility costs such as air conditioning, phone/Internet, parking lot, etc., and then extras such as a good selection of wallpaper sample books. And if a page is missing, then another shopper will miss the opportunity to see and consider that wallpaper selection.

Please click and read the “Comment” link below,  which is from my favorite wallpaper retailer.  (Click the page on the right entitled “Where to Buy Wallpaper.”

Ripples in the Tail Ends

January 17, 2017
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Here is an imitation grasscloth that I like a lot. And, when I have clients interested in the texture and natural material look of grasscloth, I try to steer then toward this. It is much more uniform in color, the seams are just about invisible, and it will not stain easily or run like real grasscloth likes to do.

When I got to the last 5′ – 6′ or so of each bolt of wallpaper, though, I found these creases and punctures running horizontally across the back of the paper.

In all probability, once the paper backing gets wet with paste, it would smooth out and lie flat on the wall, and the horizontal ridges would not be visible. But you never know that for sure, plus there is also the possibility that paste could ooze out from the punctures in the backing of the paper and onto the surface. It would be impossible to clean paste off the textured surface of this material, so you could consider that strip ruined.

I chose not to put this paper on the wall. I had the homeowner order enough paper that I could discard these two 5′ lengths of paper, and use fresh, unmarred paper instead.

This is a faux grasscloth product from a book called Grass Effects. It is a string cloth material that has the texture that people seek these days. But, because it is a man-made instead of a “natural” material, it has virtually none of the color variations, shading, paneling, bleeding, staining, or other problems of real grasscloth. I love this stuff, and I try to steer clients to consider it.

This wallpaper is in the EcoChic line by WallQuest. It can be bought below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Map & Anni-Mal Mural for a Baby’s Room Accent Wall

January 15, 2017
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Here is a neutral-hued, map-and-animal mural for an accent wall in a baby’s nursery in Baytown (a distant suburb of Houston). This is a new home, and the walls had the typical builder’s heavy-ish texture. I spent the first five hours of the day smoothing the wall. The prevents bumps from marring the face of the mural, and provides a smooth surface for the paper to adhere to.

I don’t know the manufacturer of this mural, but I am not keen on their quality control. As with the last time I hung this mural (exactly one month ago), the seams were not cut straight (see photo with pencil pointing to a jagged edge), and that resulted in some “gaps and overlaps.” The seams also did not lie down as nicely as I would have liked. (See photo) The paper did lie tighter and flatter to the wall as it dried, but the slight gap between the seams remained.

In addition, we had discrepancies in the size of the mural compared to the dimensions of the wall. Please read my previous blog post about this. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/soft-toned-map-mural-for-a-new-babys-room/ For any wallpaper project, and especially for something custom-made, like this mural, always have the wallpaper installer come out and measure BEFORE you order your paper.

In this case, the homeowner measured his wall accurately, but he had not realized that 2″ should be added to EACH SIDE to allow for trimming at the ceiling, floor, and sides, and to accommodate for unplumb walls and unlevel ceilings and floors, and the twisting and warping that happens to paper when it becomes wet from the paste.

The manufacturer added 2 cm to the mural’s dimensions, but this scant amount was not enough to camouflage the sloped ceiling line, so they ended up with a gap between the paper and the ceiling, that grew from 1/16″ to 1/2″ as the mural moved from left to right across the wall. The good thing is, the homeowner is going to install crown molding, which will cover this gap nicely.

This is an adorable pattern that is popular with mothers-to-be. Plus, the mural is printed on a durable canvas-and-vinyl material, that will resist dings, tears, water, and grimy little fingers. 🙂

Wonderful Zen-Like Faux Grasscloth

January 14, 2017
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This powder room had been wallpapered with a floral pattern, probably back in the early ’90’s. Then someone painted over the wallpaper with a faux finish pattern on the top 2/3 of the wall, left the bottom 1/3 a coordinating solid color, and rounded it out with a border around the middle. It all looked pretty good, but it was outdated, and the new homeowner wanted something fresher.

Originally, she was considering grasscloth. I quickly discouraged her from using that material, because of the very visible seams and the horrible color variations that can appear between strips, and even within strips. I was happy when she chose this instead.

The new paper is from one of my favorite books, Grass Effects, in the EcoChic line by WallQuest. Because it’s a stringcloth, it has the texture that people are loving right now. But because it is a man-made product, rather than a natural material, it does not have the shading and paneling and color variations and visible seams that make real grasscloth so disappointing.

To the far left of the second photo, there is a seam, but you cannot detect it. The third photo shows the same seam from a different angle, and it is more visible, but that’s the camera talking – in real life, this seam was barely visible. The close-up shots show the texture of the material. This company makes other versions that have a more horizontal pattern, and that look even more like real grasscloth.

I really like this paper, and I hope more people will choose it, instead of real grasscloth. It is more water and stain resistant, too.

The location of this job was Sugarland, in far southwest Houston. This wallpaper was bought at a below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

“Smoke” On A Floating Wall

January 13, 2017
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This wall in the dining room of a very contemporary new home in the Spring Branch area of Houston “floats” in the middle of the room. This breath of smoke floating across the wall adds a distinctly ethereal feel.

The interior designer on this job is Neal LeBouef, of L Design Group, who was expertly assisted by Anthony Stransky. I love working for these guys. And homeowners love their creations, which are crisp, sleek, modern, a bit edgy, yet still warm and comfortable.

The smoke mural was custom made to fit the wall, and came from Murals Your Way https://www.muralsyourway.com/ , a member of the Wallcovering Installers Association (WIA). Their murals can be printed on various materials, and I chose the vinyl on an Osnaburg backing.

Each of the three panels was about 42″ wide, and they were meant to be overlapped and then double-cut (spliced) at the seams. Great care was taken to not get paste on either the surface of the mural or on the ceiling, and to not score the wall while splicing.

I have a specially made 2 1/2″ wide plastic tape that keeps paste off surfaces, and another special 2″ wide polystyrene plastic strip that protects the wall from cuts from the razor blade, and a specially made non-slip straightedge used as a guide while trimming. All of these were invented and made by fellow members of the WIA (Steve Boggess and Eunice Bokstrom). Probably boring for the average blog-reader, but exciting stuff for us paperhangers. These things really helped make this job turn out perfect.

Hiding The Manufacturer’s Name

January 12, 2017

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This wallpaper was bought on-line from Walls Republic Wallcoverings. However, they are not the manufacturer of this paper. If you look at the bolt of paper on the bottom of the photo, you will see that Walls Republic has stuck their own label over the identifying information on the manufacturer’s label. The manufacturer’s actual label is revealed on the roll at the top of the photo.

A lot of retailers do this. It’s not a bad thing, but it is a little confusing.

Wall-Mounted Faucets & Wallpaper

January 11, 2017
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Trimming wallpaper around plumbing fixtures can be tricky, and with fancy-dancy wall-mounted faucets and handles, it can be a real trial. The builder of this new home understand that. Plus he wanted the wallpaper to be as seamless as possible, without a lot of relief cuts (cuts made in the paper to allow the installer to work it into difficult positions).

So he let me put up the paper before the faucet and handles were installed. It was much easier for me, and it gave him an intact wallpaper surface, so no worries about visible cuts or about water finding its way into seams and causing curling.

Sorry the 2nd photo is so dark. There are some visible relief cuts in the paper, but they are small and close to the pipes, and will be covered by the plumbing fixtures.