Fog-Hued, Finely-Textured Grasscloth in a Formal Dining Room

August 5, 2015
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The photos aren’t great, but the room looks fantastic. This is a 1940 home in River Oaks. Although it’s a formal dining room, and the chandelier screams “fancy, traditional, classic,” I love the way the interior designer (Elizabeth Mann) used furniture with a decidedly contemporary feel. The slightly shiny, finely-textured grasscloth, in the color of a foggy day, is the perfect backdrop, and helps balance the glitz with the sleek.

The grasscloth is by Phillip Jeffries.

Be Sure to Look at the Room Set Photo

August 3, 2015

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When you are looking at wallpaper samples in the selection books, you get to look at a page maybe 18″ x 24″. But to know what the overall pattern will look like, be sure to look at the photograph with the wallpaper installed in a room setting.

This particular pattern probably showed some smeary blue and light blue colors on the page in the selection book. But, as you can see, the overall pattern splayed across a wall definitely has a strong striped effect. This could come as quite a surprise, if the homeowner had not looked at the to-scale photograph in the book.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpapers, 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

Mystery Dots Killed With Kilz

August 1, 2015
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This powder room was originally painted a very dark brown. The new homeowner had her painters cover it with a good quality sealer and stain blocker, oil-based KILZ Original. This makes a good wallpaper primer, too. So I didn’t need to do any prep, but could just start hanging wallpaper.

But when I looked at the walls, I noticed some light dots all over one area. It looked to me like possibly something bleeding through – as if oil or mold or something had gotten onto the wall. This is a problem, because these substances can bleed through wallpaper and stain the surface.

Or – the dots could have simply been because the painter had a lump stuck to his roller, and it was leaving this pattern with each rotation of the roller.

But you never know, and I didn’t want to risk having something stain the new wallpaper. Even though I had been told that the room had been painted with KILZ, and I know that that product seals off stains and prevents bleed-through, I wanted to be extra sure. So I got my “emergency” quart of KILZ out of my van and daubed more on, on top of each of those little dots.

In the photo, you see some dots, and some daubs of KILZ.

You Can’t Always Trust the Label

July 30, 2015

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Today I am hanging a wallpaper that looks like leather (made by York). It has a texture, but no pattern to be matched from strip to strip. Yet, on the label, it claims to have a drop match. In reality, this textured paper has a random match, which means there is nothing to match.

In fact, this pattern looked best when it was reverse-hung, meaning that you hang one strip right side-up, an the next strip upside-down, etc.

Incidentally, when you have a textured, random match paper like this, be aware that you will always see the seams a little. See the second photo (The little bumps and ridges will disappear as the paper dries.). On this particular paper, the seams looked really good, and were not very noticeable at all. I was pleased, as this is not always the case.

Wavy Laser Line – What’s Up?!

July 29, 2015
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Wow – the line from my laser level projected onto the wall is nowhere near straight! What’s up?

The wall is bowed – in many directions … horizontally, vertically, and in various spots, but particularly in the center. I suspect there might have been a door on this wall, that was removed and Sheetrocked over, and perhaps they didn’t get the new framing straight. It was hard to float the wall (to smooth it), too, because my flat trowel kept skipping over the dipped areas.

When I moved my laser line to the left edge of the strip, I was able to get a straight line, and the wallpaper hung nice and straight and true to plumb.

Interestingly, this is the third or fourth house with bowed walls I have worked in in two weeks. Some were new homes, some were remodeled homes, and this one is a ’60’s era one that has had many improvements done to it over the years.

Classic Pattern in Blue & Tan in a New Home’s Powder Room

July 26, 2015
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This elegant pattern in soft blue on a pebbly tan background is the perfect compliment to the marble backsplash over the sink. What’s even better is how this powder room pulls together the rest of the rooms in the new home … Most of the walls are either tan or soft blue, and the dining room just across the hall was papered in a similar wallpaper pattern in brown and tan.

The wallpaper in this room is the bridge that melds both color themes together.

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.

Today’s Client Kept Me Well-Stocked With Snacks

July 25, 2015
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Another 3-D Wallpaper Book – You’ll Think the Paper is Three Inches Thick!

July 24, 2015
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I went to open the cover of this wallpaper selection book, and I swear, my hand was groping for something it thought was 3″ thick … The illusion is that deceiving!!

The book is called Venue, the designer is Kenneth James, and it’s made by Eijffinger. The book has many variations of patterns, and lots of photos of room sets – but my camera didn’t do them justice. If you want something to really bring a cutting edge to your contemporary style home, and dazzle your friends, (and totally befuddle that guest who’s unsteady from a little too much imbibing), you NEED to check out this book!

Contact my favorite wallpaper source, Dorota Hartwig, at Southwestern Paint near the Rice Village (Houston), (713) 520-6262.

“Almost” the Imperial Trellis Design

July 23, 2015
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This is a handsome (and more affordable) knock-off, of a classic wallpaper pattern called the Imperial Trellis, that has been around for, well, for maybe more than 100 years. I have hung it in a number of colors, but this is the first time to do it in such a dramatic and bold dark grey color. Unfortunately, my danged camera ate most of my photos, including shots of some tricky and impressive measures I had to take to keep the pattern matched while dealing with some very un-plumb walls.

Here is the one shot I have. It tells a lot. This perfectly centered first strip of wallpaper took me about 40 minutes to hang. I had to find the center point on the wall based on the faucet (a pic of the sink and faucet disappeared – thanks, cheapie camera!) and the light fixture (you can see a photo of that), and then calculate how that translated to the placement of the pattern on the bolt of wallpaper, and then where I should line up the edge of the first strip of paper, so that the center of the design aligned with the faucet and light fixture.

That’s the Cliff Notes version – a whole lot more math and engineering and planning went into that first strip. :)

I hung this in the powder room in a new home of a young family in the Woodland Heights section of the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

This wallpaper pattern is by Ronald Redding, 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.

Sharp Looking Faux Grasscloth in a Master Bedroom

July 22, 2015
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I love it when my clients listen to me. When I first met with this young family, they were considering grasscloth in their master bedroom. I told them about the shading and paneling problems (difference in color between and within strips of paper), and also that a delicate, stainable and shredable material like grasscloth was not the best choice in a home with rowdy little boys.

I suggested they look at the immitation grasscloth products, which are made from vinyl and are water resistant and very durable, and which have none of the color problems. They did, and they loved it! I’ve hung this woven-look material in neutral colors many times, but this is my first time to hang the navy blue version.

This was an accent wall behind the bed in a new home in Oak Forest. It looks fantastic. And the material will hold up to just about anything those two boys can do to it. :)

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.


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