Archive for February, 2014

I Love Stripping Off My Own Work

February 18, 2014

Digital ImageI hung this striped floral wallpaper in a West University bathroom more than 10 years ago. Today I replaced it with something else. The old wallpaper held up absolutely perfectly all these years, yet it stripped off easily enough today. And the walls were left in absolutely perfect condition, thanks to proper wall prep and the use of a good primer the first time around.

Out of Africa and Into Houston

February 17, 2014

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Digital ImageThese wallpaper patterns went in a new home in the Galleria area of Houston. The snake skin paper went on the headboard wall of a master bedroom, with a textured silver wallpaper on the other walls (hard to see in the photo).

The zebra design went on an accent wall in a first-floor study. A lion mural is still to come…

Both papers were a thick vinyl material, textured to mimic real scales or hair, and were on a non-woven backing. The manufacturer is Rasch, a German company.

Today He “Fixed” It.

February 16, 2014

Digital ImageOK, the finished job looks decent enough. But you know what? He should have removed the light fixture, and had his patch continue all the way behind it.

Good Job, Mr. Electrician – NOT!

February 15, 2014

Digital ImageIn the bathroom where I was working today, the electrician installed this light fixture. See the bottom of the round electrical box, exposed below the fixture? This box is supposed to be covered by the light fixture, or covered with a UL-approved material.

This was done while the guy stood on the homeowner’s new marble countertops, including the very fragile 2″ lip in front of the sink.

The Most Weirdly Angled Room I’ve Ever Done

February 14, 2014

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Digital ImageThis is an under-the-stairs powder room in West University Place. A paperhanger friend called it the “Alice in Wonderland Optical Illusion Room.” Plotting how to position the pattern on the various surfaces was a (fun) challenge, and I think it turned out great in the end.

The wallpaper is a British brand, Nina Campbell, and the interior designer on this job is Shirley Webb, in Houston.

Curling Nina Campbell Pulp

February 13, 2014

Digital ImageDigital ImageI love the old-fashioned pulp papers made by British wallpaper companies, so I was looking forward to working with this paper by Nina Campbell. But it turned out to be very stiff and difficult to maneuver, and when it got wet with paste, it the edges curled really badly, making it even harder to handle and keep clean, and giving me a real workout trying to keep the seams flat on the wall.

Wallpaper – It’s Time to Man-Up!

February 12, 2014

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Digital ImageThis bathroom is used by the homeowner’s son. The flowery wallpaper was fine while he was a toddler, but now that he’s in grammar school, it was time for something more age-appropriate. This neutral colored, woven grasscloth pattern will work for him through his school years and into college.

And – surprise! – it’s not grasscloth at all, but a faux made from vinyl. I encourage people to look at these faux grasscloth options, especially in bathrooms. Real grasscloth comes with many problems; this vinyl stuff is virtually problem-free.

It looks as good as the real thing, but it will not stain or bleed if splashed with water, cannot be damaged by little boys’ “bad aim,” the seams are absolutely invisible, and there is no paneling or shading (difference in color or texture between strips).

This wallpaper is by Thibaut, from their Texture Resource collection, pattern #839-T-14135. I like the Thibaut line of fauxs better than most of the others I’ve seen.

This was bought through Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern paint on Bissonnet, for less than retail price. CALL AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT before heading over. (713) 520-6262

Plotting A Wall With Grasscloth

February 9, 2014

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Digital ImageMost grasscloth comes 36″ wide. Because the material cannot be matched, all of the seams and strips are very noticeable. So rooms look better if the strips of grasscloth can be “balanced” on each wall. Meaning, they should be plotted and centered and sized to fit the space.

In addition, most grasscloth, including high-end brands like this Phillip Jeffries “Juicy Jute” pattern, have blotchiness at the edges, where the dye is not applied evenly. To get rid of this discoloration, an inch or more can be trimmed off the edges of each strip.

To balance the strips on a wall, the width of the space has to be measured, the center has to be located, and then a little math needs to be put to use, to figure how wide each strip should be to cover the space, hopefully landing either a seam or the center of a strip in the center of the wall.

Confusing? Well, trust me – it’s worth the effort and mental gymnastics to plot out how these panels will fall on the wall.

Also note the “shading” or “paneling” (difference in color) between strips. This is normal with grasscloth, and is not considered a defect. If you want grass cloth, be prepared to live with this look.

My Helpers at Work Today

February 8, 2014

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Phillip Jeffries Juicy Jute Grasscloth in an Entry & Dining Room

February 7, 2014

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Digital ImageBefore I set to work in this home, all the walls and all the woodwork were cream. It was a very bland and un-defined look. Once the warmly-colored, textured grasscloth went up, the main thing people said when they first saw it was, “It really warms up the room!”

This grasscloth is by Phillip Jeffries, and is called “Juicy Jute.” It was bought for less than retail price through Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint in Houston. CALL BEFORE VISITING HER (713) 520-6262.

Note the paneling / shading (color difference) between the strips (look above the windows, next to the strips behind the clock), and even within the same strip. This is normal for grasscloth, and is not considered a defect. If you purchase grasscloth, be prepared to love this look.