Archive for May, 2013

Vahallan Linear Block Wallpaper

May 16, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageThis week I’m hanging some Vahallan paper in a 2-room powder room. This is some cool stuff. It has a faux finish, and is wrinkly. The wrinkles flatten when the paper dries, but you still see the wrinkled effect.

Instead of coming in rolls, Vahallan paper comes in pieces. For this installation, the pieces are rectangles and squares, of various sizes. They also make random shaped pieces, with torn edges. Plus, you can cut or tear pieces to fit an area, if need be. In the top photo, you see the pieces stacked by size, and spread out so I can see which ones I want to use.

When dry, the rectangles look like blocks of exotic stone on the wall, and the torn pieces look like lizard skin. Very cool, and it’s certain that no one else in your neighborhood has this stuff!

The rectangles are overlapped on the wall, mixing large and small. When they dry, they shrink, and you can see the outline of the piece below it showing through. It looks better to have a random pattern, than to try to line them up perfectly. In addition, some go vertically and some go horizontally. See photos 3 & 4.

It also looks best if the pieces are not overlapped all in the same direction. That would leave the effect of fish scales, so there is some plotting required to get the random look.

Another cool thing is that you can start or stop anywhere in the room. With regular wallpaper, if you want to stop for the day, you have to end up in a corner. But with this stuff, you can put a piece anywhere you feel like it, and start and end anywhere, anytime.

This particular pattern is from Vahallan’s “Linear Collection,” which has a striated design. I made sure to vary the direction of the different blocks, to avoid a monotonous room.

Here is the link to the Vahallan website:

This room is a project of Pamela O’Brien or Pamela Hope Designs. Pamela works in the greater Houston area, and is a lovely person to work with, and her interiors are gorgeous without being stuffy, definitely suited to modern living and busy families.

Finally – Someone Did Something to Prevent Banged Edges

May 12, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageWoo Hoo! This manufacturer took the expense and effort to get little cardboard “caps” to cover the ends of this bolt of wallpaper, to prevent the edges getting bashed in shipping / handling.

This is a gold-accented silver metallic cork material. I’ve hung similar in a dining room and in a powder room; this one went on the back of an art niche.

The interior designer for today’s project (sorry, not photo) is Pamela Hope, of Pamela Hope Designs. I like her style – beautiful designs that are comfortable and easy for real living, instead of making homes look like untouchable showrooms.

Thibaut Damask in Collage Gal’s Room

May 11, 2013

Digital Image Here’s an accent wall in a college girl’s bedroom. Everything in the room is in soft greys and muted tans, and the overall effect was soothing and sophisticated.

Usually, I center a large pattern like this on the wall. But in this room, the bed was not placed in the middle of the wall, but a little off to the right. So I had to figure out how far the bed sat from the wall (difficult since it had been pulled out into the middle of the room to make way for my ladder), and then find the center of that. Then, since the pattern was centered on the 27″ wide strip, I had to draw my plumb line 13.5″ to the right of that.

The pattern was not equally balanced on either side of the room, but it was centered behind the headboard, and that was the goal, as the headboard was the main focal point of that wall.

This wallpaper is by Thibaut.

Flaw of the Day – Spots and Banged Edges

May 10, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageCome on, Thibaut, you know better… Put a little bubble wrap around the ends of the rolls before stuffing them into the shipping box! I don’t know what’s the explanation for the dots or the dirt, but at least they were just on the first few inches. The banged edges went many, many feet into the roll.

Because this paper had a sheen, along with a rather plain pattern, and becasuse the bashed ends were pretty severe, I almost sent it back. But that would have postponed the job until new paper could be ordered and shipped, and until I had anothe opening on my work schedule.

Instead, what I did was, before cutting anything, I made sure we would have enough acceptable paper to do the wall. To do this, I unrolled the paper and rerolled it backwards, so the banged edges were at the inside of the roll, and the paper coming off first was somewhat better.

I plotted out how many strips I would need, factoring in the drop match (every other strip started with a different pattern element). I needed six strips, and you get two 9′ strips from each 27″ wide double roll (usually). With the undamaged paper now coming off the roll first, I marked and measured and made sure that I could get six full strips of undamaged paper.

Only then did I cut my strips. You see, if I would have to send the paper back, manufacturers usually won’t accept it if it’s been cut.

Some of the strips did end up having some banged edges, but, since these had come from deep inside the roll, they were not as bad as those on the outer edges. Besides, these usually flatten out pretty well once they are pasted, hung, and dried. And, the home owner said she was “not that picky.” (I like to make the home owner aware of questionalble situations, and get her OK before going ahead with the installation.)

It all worked out nicely, and the finished wall looks great. I’ll post a photo tomorrow.

“Wallpaper,” not “Paint”

May 9, 2013

Digital ImageI found this under the wallpaper I stripped off of a bathroom yesterday. It’s common for builders to write on the walls, to indicate where wallpaper is to go, so the painters know not to texture and/or paint the walls.

What’s different this time is that the contractor had a nice stamp printed with the word “wallpaper,” instead of just using a pencil, like most of them do.

What’s particularly pleasing is that the ink was compatible with the paper….. You see, many inks (among other substances) will bleed right through wallpapers, especially vinyl goods. That’s why contractors carry around lead pencils for when they have to write on a surface that will be papered or painted.

Flaw of the Day – Dark Blue Dot

May 8, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageThis wallpaper, by Thibony, had a small dark blue dot on the back side. If you look carefully right the point of the red tool in the second photo, you can see that it does show through on the front side.

In this case, we had enough paper that I was able to cut around this defect and still have enough to finish the room. If not, I think it might have been OK to go ahead and use this piece, as the spot is not very noticeable and it could hopefully be potted to fall in an unnoticeable place. Also, I feel this is not something that would bleed through and get larger over time. Some materials that stain wallpaper WILL become problematic down the road. Best to cut around and discard defective paper – and it’s always best to order a little more than you think you will need.

Making a Good First Impression

May 7, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageThink it’s time I got some new signs for my truck? LOL

These signs are about eight years old. I’d say I got pretty good use out of them.

I’m expecting it will cost about $600 to replace them. One of those “costs of doing business.”

Bat Wallpaper Arrived – And Nicely Packaged, Too

May 3, 2013

Digital ImageMy “Bat & Poppy” Voysey design by Trustworth Studios arrived today. It’s GORGEOUS! 

I can’t wait to put it up, plus I’m doing some other changes to that powder room (new sink from an antique music cabinet & old porcelain bowl), as well as redoing my entry wallpaper with an authentic paper from the 1940’s (blogged about previously). Just need to find a coupla days when I’m not busy hanging paper at someone ELSE’s house.

Please note the careful attention to packaging by the Trustworth company. I have NEVER seen anyone, even very high end products, use packing peanuts before. Thibaut, Schumacher, Seabrook, Graham & Brown, Astex, Phillip Jefferies and all the rest should take a note. If everyone were this careful, we wound not have to deal with banged edges or other damaged goods.

I’ll be sure to post as the decorating project moves ahead.

Empty Paste Buckets are Good for Many Things

May 2, 2013

Digital ImageThe buckets are recycleable, but there are so many other uses for them around the house, yard, and garage. My friend Lillian Spurlock Weist-Kinkaid, fellow member of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP) says she sells her empties to a local food co-op for $2 each.

I contacted a local community garden here in Inner Loop Houston. I think I got a better deal – traded a bucket for a passel of home-grown cherry tomatoes!