Cute Wallpaper – But It’s Time To GO!

March 24, 2017

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This striped wallpaper design with coordinating topiary border was very cute, yet sophisticated – back in the ’90’s.

The homeowner is a realtor, and is up-to-date on decorating trends. She is ready for something more modern in her kitchen and breakfast room.

I stripped off this wallpaper today, and, most likely, the homeowners will prime and then paint the walls, rather than rewallpaper.

The home is in Tanglewood (Houston).

Teen Daughter Gets a Personalized and Hip Bedroom

March 23, 2017


What teen girl wouldn’t LOVE this room?!

This geometric design is softer than most, because of the rounded lines. Nonetheless, the strong black-on-white color scheme ensure that the look is pumped up and vibrant.

The interior designer of this house in West University Place in Houston is Neal LeBouef of L Design Group. His rooms tend to be crisp, open, and warmly modern. The wallpaper went on one wall in the bedroom, and is a paste-the-wall product.

“Scrim” Backing on Solid Vinyl Wallpaper

March 22, 2017

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This thick vinyl wallpaper has a deeply-embossed surface. To support that, the material has been fused to a “scrim” backing – a loosely-woven fabric that is sort of like fine, strong cheesecloth.

While I don’t like solid vinyl wallpapers with a paper backing (because the seams tend to curl up in humid environments), those made with this woven scrim backing are a whole ‘nother ball game … They are tough and durable, resistant to water, resistant to humidity, can be washed, can be banged into, etc., all without worries of damage.

The manufacturer is York Wallcoverings, and the paper was bought through Dorota 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.

Wallpaper in Chiffon & Champagne

March 22, 2017

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The homeowners of this brand-new home in the Memorial City area of Houston envisioned a textured surface for their powder room. With this paper, they got both texture and movement!

I admit, I wasn’t crazy about this wallpaper when I started. But as it began to work its way around the room, and as light began to hit the folds of the textured “waves,” it all began to look very elegant. Young and vibrant, yet still elegant.

The pattern is called “Chiffon,” and the color is like champagne. It is by York Wallcoverings, and 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.

Water Stains on Wallpaper

March 21, 2017

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This wallpaper has been up for 10, and possibly as long as 20 years.

It is an uncoated paper wallpaper, probably the type that we call a British pulp. It is in a bathroom, and, over time, water splashing onto the backsplash (or possibly the housekeeper’s cleaning solution) has been wicked up by the paper, and caused the water stains you see here.

A paper with a thin vinyl coating, like most American papers have, might have held up a little better. Also, a thin bead of clear caulk along the top of the backsplash might have prevented water from getting into the cut edge of the paper and discoloring it.

There are good things to be seen here, too. Thin papers like this one (as opposed to paper-backed solid vinyl wallpapers), stay nice and tight to the wall, even in humid rooms like bathrooms, and even when water is splashed on them. Over all the years this wallpaper has been up, all of the seams are perfectly intact. And even though there is staining where water has gotten into the paper, the paper has stayed nice and tight against the wall and the backsplash. A paper-backed solid vinyl would have curled away from the wall, and would have looked much worse, and been impossible to repair.

Another reason to buy paper, and stay away from paper-backed solid vinyl.

Wild & Whimsical Wallpaper

March 19, 2017

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Today was fun! Just look at that wallpaper! I had another client considering this pattern a few months ago, but she chickened out. It is a bold and dramatic design, so it takes the right person to bring it into her living space.

In this case, that was a master bedroom, in a decades-old brick 4-plex that was recently remodeled into a single-family home. The style is light Industrial Modern, with plenty of Mid Century Modern touches tossed in. The home is in the First Ward, just down the street from the Summer Street art studios, so the artsy-feel all fits together.

This is a playful and busy pattern, but the colors are muted, so it feels subdued and restful in this bedroom. Still, it is the kind of design you would want on just an accent wall, as here, because it could be overwhelming if it were on all four walls of the room.

This wallpaper pattern is called Daintree, and is by Thibaut Designs. It was lovely to work with. The homeowner is also the interior designer – Laura Michaelides of Four Square Design Studio. Their office just happens to be directly across the street from the home. 🙂

This home won a Good Brick award from Preservation Houston, and will be on their home tour April 29 & 30.

Anaglypta Textured Wallpaper – Tough Day at Work Today

March 18, 2017

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This homeowner wanted to brighten up a drab bathroom (previous paper was a dark tan, with no pattern). She loves texture, and was thrilled to find this herringbone “man’s suit” pattern by Anaglypta.

This is an embossed paper, and the herringbone pattern is quite deep and tactile.

So all that was quite nice for the homeowner. What was not so nice for me was that the material was positively horrible to work with.

It was so thick and stiff that it was honestly impossible to unroll it, let alone lay it out flat so it could be pasted.

Even gentle handling could cause it to crease. Laying my straight edge against it could cause it to crease.

It was impossible to paste, book, and then table-trim, as one would do with a “normal” wallpaper.

I finally started sponging the back with clean water, which relaxed it enough to open it up, so I could paste it.

Once I got a pasted strip to the wall, it was not easy to press the hard stuff against moldings or ceiling, so it was difficult to get tight cuts in those areas.

Cutting around curved crown molding was a challenge – I couldn’t see around it or feel through it, so it was tedious going.

The seams showed a little, depending on what angle you are looking from, because the puffy texture of the herringbone on one strip didn’t necessarily line up with the puffy texture on the next strip.

The last pic is a shot of just this. The photo doesn’t look all that bad . … It looks worse in real life.

It took me probably twice the originally planned time to hang this bathroom. Let’s just say that I was there ’til way after dark.

The end result, though, is that it looks great. The homeowner loves it, and said that she is “beyond pleased.”

Still, I’d like to point out that there are companies that make textured, embossed, paintable wallpapers that are not such bugger-bears to work with. Most of these other brands are softer and more pliable, and will allow themselves to be worked around turns and moldings and etc. My wallpaper source (below) can help you find one.

I hung this in a guest bathroom in a newish home in Montrose (Houston). The wallpaper is by Anaglypta, a company that dates back to the 1800’s. The paper can be left as-is, or it can be painted.

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.

Fun Wallpaper Pattern for a Not-Too-Serious Master Bath

March 17, 2017

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This fun and somewhat ethnic looking wallpaper pattern went into the master bathroom of a newly remodeled 1939 brick bungalow in Montrose (Houston).

The homeowner kept saying, “It changes it SO MUCH! Before, it was just all white. Boring white. This has personality, and the room feels larger, too.”

The wallpaper is by Hygge & West, an on-line company. Unlike most of their papers, which waffle, and curl at the seams (see yesterday’s post), this one was a positive delight to work with. I am guessing that that’s because there is not as much ink on this pattern.

“Otomi” Forest Frollic Wallpaper Pattern by Hygge & West

March 16, 2017

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Like animals? Like the forest? Like a little whimsy? Then this wallpaper pattern is for you!

I hung this in a children’s bathroom in a very nicely remodeled 1939 brick cottage in Montrose (inner Houston). The bottom 1/3 of the walls was shiny white subway tile, and the straight-lined vanity cabinets below were painted a strong, glossy yellow. The navy blue wallpaper pattern looked smart against the white tile, and the color perfectly complimented the yellow cabinetry.

This wallpaper pattern is called “Otomi,” and is in the Emily Isabella line by Hygge & West. This wallpaper can be bought on-line.

Wallpaper on the Azalea Trail Home Tour, 2017, pt II

March 15, 2017

I attended the Azalea Trail Home Tour yesterday, which took me to four homes in the rather exclusive neighborhood of River Oaks (Houston). As always, I was scrutinizing the wallpaper.

One traditional style home had a very classic design of wallpaper (sort of a damask) in the dining room. Ever since I attended a Wallcovering Installers Association convention seminar years ago on “balancing” wallpaper patterns, I have been obsessed with the concept. This means that you position a dominant feature of the pattern so that it is centered on the wall. (Do a Search here to see some of my previous posts.) Normally, you can do this once in a room. Thereafter, the pattern has to fall on subsequent walls as it comes off the roll.

But in this dining room, there were about three walls that had the pattern centered. It looked wonderful, because the design was centered on a main focal wall between two windows, and again on an adjacent wall behind the buffet, an then on another wall that was highly visible.

Now, how can this happen?

I really studied the room. And I realized that all the draperies in the room reached way above the windows to the ceiling. And the drapery fabric and hardware pretty much filled up the entire space over the windows. Meaning that, the drapes would hide anything that was above the windows.

Meaning that, if the paperhanger chose, he could place the pattern as he wanted on the walls, and then mis-match the wallpaper pattern over the windows, knowing that it would be hidden from view. Then he could move on to the next section of wall and place the pattern as he wanted.

This trick worked nicely in this room, because the wallpaper design and color, as well as the draperies and hardware were all amenable.

It also took collaboration from the very planning stages, between the interior designer and the wallpaper installer, and also including input from the drapery lady and the hardware installer.