Archive for February, 2013

It’s Time for This Floral Chintz to GO!

February 6, 2013

Digital Image This wallpaper is original to this mid-1990’s home. My, oh my, I sure was hanging a lot of these floral chintz patterns in those days.  In the process of being stripped off, the photo gives a good shot of what these designs were like.

This is in a large master bathroom, and will be replaced with a tone-on-tone geometric trellis, a much calmer and fresher look.

Floating Over Glossy Paint

February 5, 2013

Digital Image Here I’m skim-floating the top of a dining room wall, so it will be smooth for the new wallpaper. The painters had spray painted the chair rail, and a band of gloss paint had gotten onto the textured wall. In floating over the texture in this room, it was interesting to note that:

1. The new joint compound (mud) dried much more quickly in areas that were not painted. This is because the existing texture on the wall, which is also made of mud, absorbed moisture from the new coat of mud, which quickened drying time.

2. The glossy paint was slick, and didn’t hold the wet mud well. Joint compound is sticky stuff, and I have no worries about it staying nice and tight on the wall once it’s dry.

In the photo, you can see the noticable difference between the areas with gloss paint underneath, and with untreated texture / joint compound underneath.

I Love Clients Who Communicate!

February 3, 2013

I am dealing with a number of clients right now who are very good at keeping in touch with me, in particular about their wallpaper selections. I love this.

I have been able to counsel one away from a heavy, 54″ wide (!) paper that would be logistically difficult for her small powder room (54″ goods are meant for commercial spaces like hotels), with another about where she could get a better price, and with another I was able to refigure the amount she needs to buy, based on the pattern repeat, and still another who was choosing a British paper, which comes packaged in different sized rolls, plus needs special paste. In addition, all these people are keeping me aprised of their shipping dates, personal schedules, and more.

Yes, it’s a lot of e-mailing, phoning, and keeping tabs. But it makes scheduling so much easier, and it sure helps the client purchase the right amount of a good quality wallpaper.

3M Is Confusing Me; Stupid Packaging

February 3, 2013

Digital ImageOn the left is a sanding block I am used to buying, 3M brand. On the right is what I found at Lowe’s today, along with a package of sandpaper, also 3M, I bought at Home Depot yesterday.

As a regular purchaser of this product, I didn’t recognize the new packaging. Or, maybe it’s not new, but a different line of a similar product? Maybe it’s a cheaper grade? The label makes me think they are trying to look “green.” But to me, it looks cheap, and it reminds me of the “generic” packaging craze back in the early ’80’s.

You’ll also notice that the green label doesn’t say diddly about the product. on neither the sanding block nor the sand paper. It doesn’t even say WHAT it is. There’s not even a product name, nor is there a company/brand logo!

I hope this isn’t a new permenant label, and I hope it’s not an indication of labels to come. Manufacturers should clearly lable their products, include a name, and explain what it’s supposed to do. And a little more effort in the color and graphics and layout would help attract the shopper’s eye. And, yes, please include the manufacturer’s name and logo, so the customer can easily spot the brand he’s looking for.

Shopper Wants to Touch & Feel – Can’t Do That On-Line

February 1, 2013

I just had a call from a gal who is searching for wallpaper, and frustrated at the lack of stores that have paper in stock. Indeed, during the recent period when wallpaper was not so in style, and with the increase of consumers shopping on-line, just about all the stores that stocked take-it-with-you wallpaper went out of business. Now there are only two that I know of operating in the Houston area.

This caller was smart, because she wanted to be able to touch and feel the paper, not just look at photographs or a computer screen. She wanted to feel the composition and quality of the paper, and see the true colors.

I’m glad we talked, because I was able to inform her that the wallpaper selection books do have large samples of actual wallpaper, plus photographs of the paper used in a room setting, to give an idea of the scale of the pattern.

Knowing that, she can confidentally shop at any Sherwin-Wiliams store, or, my favorite, Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet. Sure, there will be a waiting period while the paper is ordered and shipped. But she will have a much wider selection, and be able to see the color and quality of the selections.

As a side note, the gal said that since wallpaper is so back in style right now, she thinks there should be more stores offering the product in-stock.  The thing is, the stores that did carry wallpaper stuck it out so long before finally giving up, that they were quite surely pretty darned financially broke by the time they closed their doors.  Probably not in a position to be starting up a new business two years later.  And anyone wanting to start up a new retail wallpaper store would have to have a whole lot to invest… rent, remodeling the building, stocking the store with merchandise, buying sample books – the books alone run $100-$150 each.  So I think we are a ways away from seeing new in-stock stores popping up just yet.  It would be nice, though, since there is a market for it.