Archive for January, 2014

Yesterday’s News – A Cool Wallcovering Design

January 31, 2014

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Digital ImageVery much like grasscloth, this cool wallpaper is called “yesterday’s news” because it’s made from old newspapers and magazine pages, cut into strips and sewn onto a paper backing. What an innovative way to recycle!

Like grasscloth, though, it panels, or shades, from strip to strip. In the first photo, three strips and two seams are visible. But the first seam, on the far left, is not too noticeable. The seam on the right is quite noticeable, due to the difference in color between the strip on the left and the strip on the right.

This is not a defect; that is just how it is, if you choose grasscloth or this strips-of-magazine-pages material.

This paper is by Seabrook, # EL343

Centering a Trellis Pattern on a Window

January 30, 2014

Digital ImageWhen a wallpaper pattern has a rhythmic element like this trellis design, I like to center the pattern on an “important” wall – over the vanity, behind the headboard, etc. In this case, the only visually important element in the room was the window, so I centered the pattern there.

Flaw of the Day – Speck

January 29, 2014

Digital ImageTwo out of nine rolls of this Thibaut brand wallpaper had small specks half way through the roll. With such a light paper, I could not risk having the dark speck show through, so had to discard several feet of paper.

Another reminder of why you should always buy a little more than the bare minimum.

A Screw Loose

January 28, 2014

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Digital ImageI have an Internet paperhanger friend who insists that all the slots in the switchplate screws must be vertical. This seems more than a little obsessive, to me.

But today I tried it, and, I have to admit, it looks good. With the slots vertical, they parallel the vertical grooves in the outlet.

Sherlock Holmes Wallpaper

January 27, 2014

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photo (27)This wallpaper pattern is the same as is used on the Sherlock Holmes television series. I hung this in a teenaged girl’s bathroom in a beautifully restored 1903 home in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. The bathroom was in the former attic, now converted to a game room … you will notice that the ceiling is not level, plus there are lots of angled spaces, so the pattern looks a little crooked in some areas.

This paper was made by a company called Spoonflower. You can buy their ready-made wallpapers, or you can have them custom-make something just for you.

At first, I thought the paper would be cheap and difficult to work with, as are the products from many “boutique” wallpaper manufacturers. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked the quality and ease of installation of this paper. They only weird thing is that they specify that you overlap the seams, and that results in a ridge along each seam. But the paper is thin, and the pattern is busy, plus the lighting in the room is dim, so this was not noticeable.

I hope I can direct more people buy their wallpaper from this company.

Kill Point – Final Corner Never Matches

January 26, 2014

Digital ImageThe pattern on the last corner of a room will never match. Think about it. Unless the width of the paper and the width of the walls are derivatives of one another and play out precisely, there is no possible way that the pattern can match up perfectly in the last corner. That’s why we try to hide that last corner in the least conspicuous place, like above and/or behind a door.

In this powder room, because of where the door was located, I was forced to put the mis-match in a full-length corner, and you can see that the pattern did not match perfectly. But with this busy pattern, you really don’t notice it much.

This wallpaper is by Questex, pattern #IR20007

Flaw of the Day – Discolored Seams

January 25, 2014

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Digital ImageAfter hanging two walls, I stopped, because I thought the seams looked bad. The client agreed. Click the photos to see a larger picture. Along the entire length of every seam, there is a darker discoloration. Look to the right of the thermostat, two seams above the door frame, and one above the corner of the A/C return.

This is disappointing, and frustrating, and, well, infuriating. The client did not get her home decorated, and I will have to return at another date to strip off and rehang the room.

This is obviously a manufacturing defect. However, I know the old song and dance – the homeowner, the designer, the wallpaper sales person, and I, the installer, will advise the manufacturer of this problem. Then the manufacturer will insist that it’s MY fault. They always do. Or they’ll claim that “No one else has ever reported a problem.” We will have to argue and negotiate and hope they will refund the client’s money. And you can bet that they will not pay ME for the extra day to rehang the room.

In this case, I urged the designer and homeowner to choose another wallpaper pattern. I am confident that this is a manufacturing defect, and that even if they were to obtain a different run (wallpaper rolls that are printed at the same time), the dark discoloration would still appear. So their best option is to select something entirely different.

Interestingly, I hung the kitchen in a swirly pattern from the same book, and it was just fine.

This is a textured wallpaper pattern on a non-woven backing, by Ronald Redding for York Wallcoverings, pattern #RC3501.

Please Buy the Amount of Wallpaper I Tell You to Buy!

January 24, 2014

Digital ImageI am only half-way finished hanging this large kitchen, and look at all the wallpaper that has to be discarded, due to matching the pattern or cutting around doors and windows.

This is important to keep in mind, when measuring for and ordering your wallpaper. You cannot use every square inch, and sometimes there is significant waste of unusable pieces.

It’s not uncommon for prospective clients to get out their tape measures and calculators, and then insist that they need less paper than I tell them to buy. It’s important to have a professional (me!) measure accurately, and to factor in the pattern repeat, elements in the room, and other contributors to waste.

Extension Ladders and Wallpaper – Reaching to the Heights

January 23, 2014

Digital ImageI rarely have to pull out my extension ladder, but for this kitchen, with it’s super high ceilings, it was a must.

Copper Metallic Grasscloth in a Dining Room

January 22, 2014

Digital ImageOK, a really bad photo, but – trust me – the room turned out gorgeous, and the homeowner loved it!

A popular choice, I have hung this in several colors – silver, copper, bronze. This is a Thibaut brand grasscloth, in metallic copper on black, and I hung it on the top 2/3 of the walls in a dining room in Kingwood (Houston).

After having so many bad looking jobs with grasscloth that shaded / paneled, I was VERY happy to see that Thibaut’s product did NOT have shading issues, and the finished look was very uniform.

The homeowner had me hang the same grasscloth on the backs of bookshelves in the office, across the hall from the dining room. A great way to tie the two rooms together, and also a beautiful backdrop for the items to be displayed on the shelves.

My camera farted out on me yesterday, so I can’t show you the pics of my hands, totally black, from the ink that came off the grasscloth. That has happened every time I’ve hung this wallpaper.