Archive for February, 2016

Prime the Wall Before Hanging Paper

February 28, 2016

Digital Image

Digital Image


Ultra Prime Pro 977 is a quick-drying, pigmented wallpaper-specific primer that is about my favorite for hanging on when the conditions are right for it. It is rolled on and cut in at the edges with brush, just like paint.

Advertisements

Putting Paris On The Map

February 27, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

This install worked out beautifully for both my client and myself. He had his wallpaper in-hand and was ready to have it put up, and I had had some schedule changes and had an open day. I was happy to be able to give him a three-day turn-around.

The mural is by photowall.com. The homeowners travel to Paris a lot, and one of them loves to cook, and the bright colors and map of the city called to him. The mural in the breakfast nook will inspire him while he cooks in the adjoining kitchen.

The home is in Rice Military (central Houston), and the couple is outfitting the home step-by-step, over time, with their own ideas (sans interior decorator). They are doing a fine job. The colors of this Paris map mural coordinate perfectly with the fabrics and artwork in the adjoining living room. And they are purchasing a banquette for the eating area that will be covered with a velour fabric in a dark teal that will perfectly compliment the greens and blues in the mural.

The PhotoWall company displayed the Paris map design on their website, but then was able to custom-adjust it to fit the homeowners’ wall. When doing this, it is important to add 2″ or so to each side of the mural, meaning, a total of 4″ additional height and width, beyond the actual dimensions of the wall.

Needless to say, it’s best to have the paperhanger figure the dimensions and the bleed area of the pattern to be printed, before ordering the mural. In this case, the width was good, allowing an additional 3″ of “ease” (1 1/2″ on either side of the wall). But the height allowed only 1″ of extra paper to be distributed between both top and bottom (a mere 1/2″ at top and 1/2″ at bottom) – which became much more tenuous because the south half of the ceiling line was off-level by 1/4″ over 6′ – which meant that some of Paris could be chopped off, or that some of the tan unprinted area would be left exposed on the wall.

I know, it sounds complicated. Ordering to allow a few extra inches on each side of the mural would have eliminated all this.

But the story has a happy ending, because I was able to plot the layout and position the paper so that none of the pattern was lost at the top or added to at the bottom of the wall.

This is a paste-the-wall product, which is why you see my paste brush and roller hanging on my ladder – so I can grab them easily while applying paste to the wall.

The mural fills the wall with an explosion of color that pulls in colors from adjacent rooms, the Paris theme has significance to both of the homeowners, the price tag was reasonable, and they have a kitchen and dining area that are personalized and meaningful.

Wallpaper in Southern Living Magazine Decorating

February 26, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


I’m always pleased to see wallpaper shown in decorating features of national magazines. In the December 2015 issue of Southern Living, here are three rooms in a home that have used wallpaper – in a dining room, and two bedrooms.

What’s Going On Here? – Thick, Stiff Paper

February 25, 2016

Digital Image

Digital Image


Here I am, about to end this wallpapered accent wall in a corner. Normally, you push the wallpaper against the wall and into the corner, position the straightedge, and trim.

But this paper is printed on the newish non-woven substrate, and this one is relatively thick and stiff. On the flat accent wall, it was nice enough to work with. But when it came to a corner, and then the double angle where the corner met the baseboard, the stiff paper did not want to cooperate. It was difficult to press the paper tightly into the corner, and I had to make several “relief cuts” in the bottom left corner, to ease the paper so I could get it to press tightly against both the corner of the wall and the baseboard.

It’s important to press the paper tightly against these angles before trimming, because if not, you could end up with a trim cut that is shy of the actual corner or baseboard.

Non-woven substrates are the new “darling” of the wallpaper manufacturing world. I very much like the thin, flexible non-wovens (like Sur-Strip). But these thick, stiff, and unyielding papers shouldn’t be put on walls, IMO, and could use a little research & development and reinvention at the manufacturer’s.

“The Woods” in a Little Boy’s Room

February 24, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


Here is this well-loved “Woods” pattern again – my umpteenth time to have hung it. Of all the knock-offs out there, people love this original version best.

I hung this on one accent wall (behind the headboard) of a pre-school boy’s room in Bellaire (Houston). He is really into dragons and knights and castles, and the three-dimensional look of this pattern adds to the fantasy feel of his room.

When he came home from school, he shrieked with delight! And then he observed, “There are no dragons on it.” To which I replied with my “Wallpaper Lady’s Lecture” – “Wallpaper is for looking at, not for touching.” Meaning, Don’t even THINK of taping dragons or knights onto that wallpaper! 🙂

This wallpaper pattern is called “Woods” and is by Cole & Son, a British company. It is printed on a non-woven substrate and is a paste-the-wall product. It was nice to work with. It was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Vintage Wallpaper as Backdrop for Food in Southern Living Magazine

February 23, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


I you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that I LOVE vintage wallpaper. So I was thrilled when I saw that the December 2015 holiday double-issue of Southern Living magazine featured these beautiful patterns as backdrops for desserts in the holiday food spread.

These patterns range from the ’30’s – ’40’s – ’50’s. You can see the raised ink texture and the colors, still vivid decades later, and you can almost smell the soft scent of old paper.

Smoothing Textured Walls Means There Will Be Dust

February 21, 2016

Digital Image

Digital Image


Wallpaper looks best, and adheres best, when it is hung on a smooth wall. To smooth a textured wall, joint compound (similar to plaster) is troweled onto the wall, allowed to dry, sanded smooth, wiped free of dust, and then primed. Then it’s ready for wallpaper.

The sanding process, though, does make dust. And it’s a fine, white, powdery dust, that sifts and drifts. My ShopVac does a good job of getting it up, and then I wipe up any reside with a damp cloth.

OMG – Me Wants This!

February 20, 2016

A client just turned me on to wallpapers by “The Pattern Collective.” I don’t know anything about their papers (although they are quite pricey. AND, many actually belong to other brands, so I expect they are acting as a middle-man (and jacking up the price). Most of the patterns I’ve looked at are clever, but not necessarily something you would want on your walls.

However, I do very much like this one: http://thepatterncollective.com/collections/wallpaper/products/aurora-borealis

And this is cool, too:
Carpates

Buy What I Tell You To Buy – PLEASE!

February 19, 2016

O.K., so I showed up for work today, for an 8-roll job to put grasscloth on an accent wall in a master bedroom.

The only problem was – the homeowner had only purchased 6 rolls.

So we had to postpone until another double roll of paper can be ordered and shipped. And let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the run numbers will be the same.

This delay means the homeowners will have to live with furniture out of place, their schedules have been disrupted, and they have additional shipping costs, not to mention the disappointment of not getting their room decorating finished.

For me, it means a lost day of work, and having to juggle the schedule, to try to fit this job into my already-full calendar. For my other clients on the waiting list, it means that I could have gotten someone else’s wallpaper up, but didn’t have enough advance notice.

Black & White Trellis in a Heights Bungalow Kitchen

February 18, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

I have not been papering many kitchens lately, so it was a treat to do this one, in a 100-year-old bungalow in the Heights (Houston). The homeowner was doing cosmetic updates, and working with the existing features, like a black & white checkered floor, black appliances, and a really cool old sink. She had a new bank of cabinets built over the stove, and added a black glossy tile backsplash around the stove, to cut down on cooking splatters that could stain the wallpaper.

The walls had seen decades of treatments, and they were kinda sketchy, so I skim-floated them to make them nice and smooth. There was nothing I could do, however, about the un-level and un-plumb walls, ceiling, and floors. With a wild floral pattern, you might not notice a crooked ceiling line. But with a rhythmic trellis, you will.

One wall was nice and straight along the ceiling line – but the other was not.

So, I had the choice of several options: I could hang the wallpaper so it would look straight across the ceiling, OR I could hang it so it looked straight against the woodwork, OR I could hang it so the pattern matched nicely in the corners.

I consulted with the homeowner, and she said, “No one will pay any attention to the ceiling line, but I would like the corners to look good.” I think she was right, that making the pattern match perfectly in the corners was the least eye-jarring, and the best way to go.

Oh, and I also called in a little help from my friend Mr. Sharpie, plus a little creative trimming and twisting and overlapping and tugging.

The wallpaper is only on a few sections of wall in this kitchen, but it makes a bold statement. And, as the homeowner said, “I love it, it fits – because I am bold, too!” (She is quite a vivacious lady!)

This is a paper wallpaper, and is not very resistant to stains. So, in the area around the dog’s food and water bowls, the homeowner will have a piece of clear Plexi-Glass cut to fit the space and then use small nails to discretely tack it to the wall. The Plexi-Glass can be easily wiped clean, and the wallpaper will be protected from stains.

This wallpaper pattern is in the Anderson Prints line by EcoChic, was nice to work with, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.