Archive for March, 2012

Eating My Words on Graham & Brown

March 30, 2012

OK, I have to take back some of what I said yesterday about Graham & Brown ‘s wallpaper. I still don’t care for their low-end solid vinyl papers. But today I was visiting Dorota, my favorite wallpaper sales source, at the Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet just west of Kirby (713) 520-6262, and she showed me many other types of papers made by this company. It seems they have many lines, types, qualities, etc. Including one that has real gold leaf paper, made to order, that sells for $1600 a roll!!

Yes, I have done some of these other papers, including the pink one on my website gallery page http://wallpaperladyhouston.com.

 

Here’s some more Graham & Brown  http://www.grahambrown.com/us/product-type/Wallpaper    Really cool patterns – it’s easy to see why people are drawn to them.  When you click the link, I have installed the very first pattern “Frames” in a hallway, and the homeowners tacked up their own family photos inside the frames.  (One of their not-so-hot solid vinyls, though – stick with their other types of papers.)

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wallpaper hanger houston

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Ask Before You Buy

March 29, 2012

Ahhh,,,Here’s a question I like to get – BEFORE the purchase is made.

I got an e-mail from a client who has been searching for wallpaper on-line. She sent me a link to a pattern she likes, and asked for my input. She has concerns about both the placement of the pattern on her walls, as well as the quality of the paper.

Well, as far as the pattern fitting the walls, that I can help her with once I am in the home and looking at the space, hopefully with a wallpaper sample book in hand.

The other concern – boy am I glad she asked. Not to knock a manufacturer, but Graham & Brown makes solid vinyl papers that I just do not like. Not much at all.

Solid vinyls usually have gritty porous manilla paper-like backings which tend to absorb moisture in humid conditions (bathrooms in humid Houston) and then the seams can curl – just a bit, so it’s not possible to repaste them. Also, that particular brand has seams that just never look good, even when the paper is freshly hung. I cringe whenever a customer buys it.

G&B has great marketing and is easy to find all over the Internet, plus the price is low, and the patterns are attractive. All reasons why so many people are drawn to it.

Luckily this lady contacted me and asked my opinion before hitting “Check Out.”

I suggested she contact Dorota at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet just west of Kirby, who can track down a similar pattern in a much better quality.

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wallpaper installer houston

A Historical Tour of Previous Wallpapers

March 28, 2012

I did a bid in a house in Bunker Hill Village that was built in 1958. The original owners still lived in the house.

When I arrived, the homeowner had left over rolls of the papers that had been used to decorate the home over the years. First she told about how the original paint all over the entire house was green, green, green. I know that green exactly – it’s called River Oaks Green, according to one article I read, and was quite the rage back in the ’50’s. People painted it on walls, woodwork, cabinets – everything! A murky, muddy, dull, medium green, to me it’s pretty. But very dark and depressing, I would think, to have on every surface.

While the wood work in woman’s entry were RO green, the walls had been papered in a plain pattern of blue and green (RO Green!) speckles on a white background, with flecks of metalic gold. I loved seeing this paper, as it reminded me of the rolls and rolls of paper we had stashed in the basement of our family store in St. Louis, South Side Wallpaper and Paint Company, where I started working when I was 12.

Anyway, back to wallpaper – The homeowner said that she loved her original choices for 20 years or more, but eventually wanted a change. Now it was the ’70’s, and MOD was in full swing. The paper she chose for the living room was MOD – REALLY MOD. It was a dark navy background, with BRIGHT flowers all over it, about the size of a baseball, in red, yellow, blue, orange, white, and green. Really a wild pattern. She said she loved it, and lived with it for many years.

Then, come the ’90’s, she had the paper removed, and had the living room painted a quite neutral color. Now, in 2012, she is redecorating again, but will only freshen up this time, repainting with the same colors.

I really loved this reminisce, and was especially happy to see the rolls of original papers.

The painting contractor, by the way, is CertaPro http://central-houston.certapro.com/ The homeowners were so pleased with them several years ago, that they are using the same company for this latest re-do.

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wallpaper hanger installer houston

It’s Good to be Back in Meyerland Again!

March 27, 2012

Back in the ’90’s and early ’00’s, I worked in the greater Meyerland area quite a bit. Don’t know why, but I haven’t had many jobs there, comparitively, in recent years.

But lately, I’ve gotten a good number of calls there.

It feels good to be driving the familiar streets again, and getting inside the ’60’s era ranch-style homes – most with floor plans I have seen a zillion times! 🙂

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wallpaper hanger houston

Grateful Client

March 26, 2012

A few months back, a friend asked for info on how to strip wallpaper. I sent her my write-up on that, and she went to work.

Today I opened my e-mail and read this message: “Hi Julles!

Just thought that I had never thanked you and let you know that we got the project done. I know one thing……I will never be a professional wallpaper remover. Oh my lands, that is tedious, time consuming work. I am happy with the results, but I won’t be removing anymore anytime soon.

Take care and thanks again. Karen”

I always say these kinds of people make my best customers – they have done it themselves, they know how hard it is, and are very happy to pay someone else next time it comes to wallpaperl! : )

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wallpaper hanger houston

Flaw of the Day

March 25, 2012

Thibaut 839-T-964..

Smeared ink leaving noticeable green streaks down the left side of one roll, about 2′ in length, ruining an entire 8′ strip.

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wallpaper installer houston

Painters Ain’t Decorators

March 24, 2012

I hung wallpaper this week in a home where PhilPaint was doing painting work. http://philpaint.com/ Excellent company, by the way, with nice guys and good work.  They can even do things like repair Sheetrock and install crown molding, saving the homeowner having to hire multiple companies.

Anyway, one of the painters would come into the room where I was working, to talk about wallpaper, and other topics. We had lots to talk about.

Then I mentioned how I had visited the client’s home to do the bid, and helped them look through wallpaper selection books. I started talking about pattern and scale and color and coordinating with furnishings, etc., and how much I enjoy helping people choose their papers.

Then I noticed the guy’s eyes starting to glaze over. He didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.

“Don’t your painting clients ask you about color selections, or decorating ideas?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “They don’t ask, and I’m glad, because I would not know what to say about decorating.

Well, I guess that, from the customer’s point of view, paint and wallpaper are two different things. Paint mostly freshens a room, while maybe adding some personality if it’s a specific color. But wallpaper really makes a statement, and influences the whole feel and decor of the room. So the wallpaper choice really has a whole lot more to do with the final look of the room. And homeowners like to ask me my ideas about that.

Another thing is, I guess because I’m a gal, homeowners feel I’m more decorating-oriented, compared to the average painter guy, who would rather stick to his brushes and rollers than talk interior design.

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wallpaper installer houston, interior design, painter, homeowner

A Pleasant Surprise on My Answering Machine

March 22, 2012

I checked messages on my answering machine the other day, and had the pleasure of listening to a very nice message.

It was a recent client of mine, and she was calling simply to tell me how much she liked her wallpaper, and that everyone who had seen the bathroom just loved the paper.

Now, isn’t that nice? To go to the trouble to look up my number and phone and leave that messge! Sure made me feel good. And yes, I saved the message! : )

For the record, the paper is simply lovely. We put it in a new bathroom in a renovated attic space in an older (1940’s) home. The bathroom will serve two bedrooms, both to be used as rooms for young people – sort of like the old days of boarding.

The wallpaper is a Thibaut pattern from their Historic Homes collections. I have hung it a zillion times in a bunch of colors. It handles well, goes up beautifully, holds up for years with no problems, and is sooo pretty. Gee, if all manufacturers took a lesson from Thibaut, there would be no need for my series of “Flaw of the Day” posts!

Here’s the link: http://www.thibautdesign.com/collection/roomset.php?patternID=126&productID=2577

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wallpaper installer hanger houston

Glass Bead Wallpaper – Round II

March 20, 2012

I hung another of the new glass bead wallpapers last week, very similar in color and style to the one by Disney I did a month ago, except this one has swirly circles, instead of intertwining verticle lines. It was on one accent wall of a dining room. Antonia Vella by Seabrook GM 1282 http://www.seabrookwallpaper.com/products/default.aspx?patternID=gm1282&t=&styleID=&subjectID=&search=a

I didn’t like the Antonia Vella as much as the Disney wallpaper. The AV had flaws due to either banged edges, or edged damaged by the shrink wrap, which pulled it too tightly, as well as something that looked like a manufacturing crease all the length of two double rolls.

Also, the glass beads came off very easily, and it was a real circus trying to keep them off the back of the paper (wallpaper is rolled up with the front beads against the back!). Even though the beads are the size of a grain of sand, they really show up under the paper, especially with the shiny surface.

In addition, I didn’t think the seams laid as flat as with the Disney paper. Seams usually look better once the paper is dry, though, so I am hoping that is the case this time.

On the plus side, though, the manufacturer did include some of the most complete and specific information with the instructions, which is pretty rare.

The end result was lovely and dynamic. I’ll soon have photos up on my website. http://www.wallpaperladyhouston.com/index.php

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wallpaper hanger houston

Azalea Trail 2012

March 17, 2012

I went on the Azalea Trail Home Tour this past weekend. It’s a wonderful way to get a glimpse of what’s behind those ritzy doors in River Oaks – along with a tour of fantastic gardens.

I am always checking out the wallpaper in these homes (River Oaks homes tend to have lots of wallpaper), probably drawing the curiosity of the docents, who will be going on and on about furniture, paintings, sets of china, and there I am, staring at the WALLS! : )

Anyway, surprisingly, (with the exception of Rienzi, which is on the tour every year) there was only one home that had wallpaper this time, and it was in only one room, the powder room.

It was a lovely pattern, quite expensive, traditional in style, whch is typical of River Oaks decorating. It was a ribbon-type lattice pattern in gold, with monkeys in the spaces between the ribbon.