Fresh, Cheerful, Feminine Master Bedroom

February 28, 2021

Here is a bright, colorful master bedroom to wake up in!

This is a textured / embossed vinyl wallpaper on a non-woven backing, by BN Wallcoverings. I hung this accent wall with the paste-the-wall method.

The home is in the Eastwood area of south Houston.

Lots of Color on the East Side of Houston

February 27, 2021

This is the first of four accent walls that I am hanging wallpaper on, in this newly-renovated and updated 1935 home in the Eastwood neighborhood of Houston.

No all-white or pale grey “farmhouse” style for this young couple!… Every room has bold, saturated color and lively wallpaper patterns.

This is an accent / headboard wall in the front guest bedroom.

The paper is by Rasch, a German company. It is an embossed / textured vinyl on a non-woven backing. You can see the texture in the last, close-up photo.

Rasch makes some of the nicest papers I’ve worked with. I did use red chalk to color the edges, so the white substrate would not peek out from between the seams.

Today, I used the paste-the-wall installation method. The material is flexible, instead of some of the stiff materials I have worked with (do a Search here). And the non-woven material is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you want to redecorate.

Oh – that white door low in the middle of the wall, I think is access to plumbing in the adjoining bathroom.

Notice Anything?

February 26, 2021

I’ve hung this wallpaper pattern before, and today I spent eight hours getting it onto the walls.

But it wasn’t until I was standing in just the right spot and while the light was hitting the paper in just the optimal way, that I noticed this.

Just left of dead center.

Personally, I find it beautiful and uplifting. In an Earth Mother, Garden of Eden sort of way.

But – shhhh! Don’t tell the homeowners. They have young children!

Soft, Sweet, and Wistful for Children’s Bathroom

February 25, 2021

Before my baby blue primer hit the walls, this hall bathroom was all white – white walls, white tile, white vanity and mirrors and sink. Just a little bit of light grey color, and a simple white line drawing on this wallpaper do wonders to give this room warmth and personality. The design reminds me of a fairy tale. The family is bowled over by the change!

The paper is by Borastapeter, a Scandinavian company. It is a superb product – washable, easy to strip off when it’s time to redecorate, soft and supple enough to make hanging it in tight areas easier, seams are virtually invisible, non-woven material so can be hung via the paste-the-wall method (I pasted the paper instead).

The interior designer for this job is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design. The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Wallpaper on Bull-Nosed Window Arch

February 24, 2021

The bull-nosed edges / rounded corners that have been popular for the last 10 years or more are a snafu for wallpaper. But when you add an arch, it gets much more complicated.

Wallpaper won’t wrap around and then under these arched areas smoothly and seamlessly, because you need to make relief cuts, or cut notches. Then you end up with V-shaped gaps.

There are several approaches to dealing with these. There are issues like ridges caused by overlaps. Paper not wanting to grasp onto and hold tight to a curved edge. irregularities in the curve.

I’ve been impressed with what many of my colleagues have done. But, as for me, well, I’ll be happy when these awkward and impossible rounded edges and curved arches go the way of the dinosaur.

For this particular room, I was lucky because the pattern was wild and non-specific enough that I could get creative.

I wrapped and then trimmed the paper to about 3/4″ around and under the rounded edge.

I could have cut a long skinny piece to fit the underside of the arched area. But that would have resulted in a pattern mis-match where the skinny strip met up with the rolled edge.

I opted for a variation on this theme, and used the branches and tree limbs in the pattern to my advantage.

So I cut a long skinny strip (actually, a number of shorter strips that I would meld into one long strip). But I plotted my cuts so the edge of the strip would run along a tree branch in the design. I had to choose specific branches that didn’t have birds sitting on them, because I didn’t want to chop any birds in half. Leaves, yes. Birds, no. 🙂

The branches also had to have at least 5″ of “open” space next to them, to fill the area between the rounded edge and the window glass without cutting off any birds or important design motifs.

The next photos will show you what I did. I had to do some tweaking. In the end, the finished arch looks pretty darned natural.

Protecting Baseboards from Splatter

February 23, 2021

No matter how careful you are, splatters and drips from paint and primers are going to fall – and onto the baseboard and floor. I hate seeing little “speckles” all over homeowners’ floors, moldings, countertops, etc.

I’ve cut thin dropcloth into strips which I tack above the baseboard or vanity top, to catch splatters. The material is absorbent on the surface, and liquid-proof on the back. They are thin and pliable.

And – oh, yes – occasionally you need a damp terry-cloth rag to cover a doorknob or projecting faucet.

Tiger Eyes Are Watching You

February 21, 2021

It takes a guts to go with a crazy pattern like this! So here we are in Sugarland (far southwest suburban Houston), in a nicely renovated home – which has been left with miles and miles of plain white walls.

Well, you’ll wake up when you walk into the hall bathroom!

The pattern is called “Tiger Face” and is by Gucci.

It is a non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method.

The paper was way thick and stiff and difficult to maneuver, especially going into corners and doubly especially going behind and under the toilet. Kinda like working with cardboard.

The cat faces though, are electrifying!

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Cushioning The Ends Of Natural Material Wallpaper

February 20, 2021

Wallpaper looks best when it arrives from the vendor with its edges just as the manufacturer trimmed them. Then you can count on it to seam up on the wall perfectly.

But it’s common for packages of wallpaper to get slammed around during shipping. This usually affects the edges, creating bashed areas that don’t look good on your walls.

Natural materials (cork, as pictured above, or grasscloth, or other natural, textured materials) – these materials are particularly susceptible to dents and fraying edges.

To nip this bud before it becomes a thorny rose, many manufacturers are placing these round protective collars (see photo) on the ends of their product, before packing for shipping.

They work pretty well. Plus, the collars themselves are made of paper, and can go into the recycling bin.

Freezing Weather and Hanging Wallpaper

February 19, 2021

Here in Houston, we are having unprecedented cold, including ice and snow, broken pipes and hundreds of thousands of homes with out water or electricity. All of that, of course, makes driving dangerous, and of course, you can’t hang wallpaper without lights, warmth, and clean running water.

But another concern is freezing temperatures and my materials. Before all this hit, I made sure to get all my water-based products out of the van and into the garage. Primer, paste, joint compound, and even things like caulk and bottled drinking water and my trusty Gatorade.

At $50 for a gallon of primer or a fiver of paste, that’s a significant investment to protect.

Some of my friends up north haul their buckets in every night. Others use various types of heaters to keep the rear of their vans above freezing.

Working Around Shading in Cork Wallpaper

February 16, 2021

The homeowners originally sought grasscloth for this accent wall in the home office. But I talked them out of it, due to the unpleasant shading and color variation issues (click on the page to the right to read more). I showed them a sample of this white-washed cork wallpaper, and they were immediately smitten.

The previous time I hung this, the material was very homogeneous in color.

But this time, it was immediately evident that there was a darker band running down the left half of the roll, and a lighter band along the right side. Note that this is not considered a defect (even though it is obviously a problem stemming from the factory). It is considered part of the “inherent beauty of these natural materials.” Meaning, you can’t return it and expect to get your money back.

Cutting strips as they come off the roll and hanging them next to each other will result in abrupt color differences between strips – as you see in the top photo. One way to minimize that is to hang every other strip upside down, so you are then putting the dark side next to it’s dark counterpart on the previously hung strip.

In this case, because the darker areas were so dark and wide, this would have resulted in the wall having a striped look. Not what the homeowners were shooting for.

The wall was exactly 12′ wide, and the material is 3′ wide, so we needed four strips to cover the width of the wall.

We had three double-roll bolts. Each 24′ long bolt will give you two 9′ strips. Thus we needed two double rolls to cover this wall. That left us with one bolt in excess.

That turned out to be a good thing – having extra paper. The color shading was bad in one bolt, noticeable in another bolt, and the third bolt was pretty homogeneous in color.

I rejected the bolt with the worst shading. Thank goodness the client ordered a little extra paper! The bolt with the second-worst shading, I discovered that if I rolled it backwards, the shading was less severe in the inner portion.

So I took two strips off this bolt from the inside-out.

So now that gave me two strips from the first roll that were pretty homogenous. Plus two strips from the second bolt that were passable.

How to keep the color as uniform a possible across the 12′ wide wall?

II knew I wanted to place the two strips from the first, “best” bolt in the center of the wall. If I hung one right-side-up, and the next one up-side-down, keeping the darker area toward the center, the color differences would be less noticeable.

But I still had to cover 3′ width on either side of those two center strips.

One strip equaled 3′ width. So one 3′ wide strip on either side of those two center strips.

One plan, I contemplated cutting each of those the two 3′ (36″) wide strips from the second bolt into 18″ widths. Hang one right-side-up and the other upside-down. That would break up any color variations into less noticeable panels.

Only problem was, then there would be two 36″ wide chunks of material in the middle, flanked by two 18″ wide chunks on either side. I thought that would be too inconsistant, visually.

It would look better to keep all the widths the same, at 36.”

The two strips I had taken off that second double roll bolt had some shading issues, with the left side being darker than the right side. I reasoned that it would be less noticeable if the darker, shaded area, was toward the outer corners – sort of as if sunlight or furniture or window shutters were casting shadows.

So I plotted to use a full 36″ wide strip on either side of the center strips. I would position them so that the lighter side of each strip was toward the center – toward those two originally-placed strips. This meant placing one right-side-up and the other one upside-down.

Thus the darker edge of the strips would be situated toward the corners of the wall – a logical place for shadows and light to play tricks on the eye.

That’s what I ended up doing. And the finished wall does really look very homogeneous!

Yes, I am quite guilty of over-thinking way more than I should. But I think the client deserves the best look possible. And, to be honest, all this plotting and engineering is a big part of the fun of hanging wallpaper!