Archive for January, 2017

I Totally LOVE This Sink!

January 31, 2017
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I love the Art Nouveau design of this undermount metal sink – and it would go superbly with the “Bat & Poppy” wallpaper in my powder room (so a Search here).

Oh, right, this is a blog about wallpaper. Well, then, look above the sink to see the paper I hung in this powder room in the West University neighborhood of Houston. It is by Exclusive Wallcoverings, a British company, and is a solid vinyl with a paper backing, and is pre-pasted. It was not pleasant to hang, and I fully expect that it will have a relatively short performance life on the homeowner’s walls.

Did I mention that I hate paper-backed solid vinyl wallcoverings?

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Surprise Treat From My Client Today

January 29, 2017

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The wallpaper I hung today was a real bugger-bear, and took me a full 10 hours to get on the walls.

Around about Hour 8, it all got a little better when the homeowner popped in with this. 🙂

Wallpaper in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine – Again!

January 28, 2017
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Better Homes & Gardens magazine has frequently included wallpaper as a backdrop in its decorating stories. The January 2017 issue has a story with wallpaper in just about every photo. 🙂 Makes me happy that wallpaper is getting such great exposure.

Featured are a variety of patterns, from bold to subdued, from focal point to background pattern, plus grasscloth and murals, too. (I am doing a lot of murals lately – must be a trend.)

Check with a professional before you buy – Some of the brands are higher-end, some are average price, some are custom made to fit your wall, some are of, uh … curious quality, and the peel-and-stick stuff I wish they would take off the market.

Adorable Pattern; Difficult Install

January 27, 2017
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Many people love this pattern, but few have the chutzpah to put it on their walls. The owner of a new home in Spring Branch (Houston) took the leap and had me put it in her powder room – and it looks fantastic.

So the finished room looks great – getting the paper up on the walls was another story.

The problem was the extremely stiff non-woven material the wallpaper is printed on. The manufacturer, Cole & Son, uses a softer, more flexible non-woven material for others of their patterns, such as “Woods,” and it’s pretty nice to work with. This stuff I hung today is the opposite.

If you are only hanging wallpaper on an accent wall, this stuff would have been OK. But in real life, you will be working around angled ceilings, light fixtures, door and window moldings, toilets, water supply lines, vanities, and the most trying of all – pedestal sinks. Trying to maneuver and manipulate the stiff and unyielding wallpaper into position without getting any creases or overlaps or gaps or cuts or abraded areas was a huge challenge.

The installation took twice as long as it should have, and there are some aspects I am not happy with. (Don’t worry – the homeowners love it.) I would be happy if I never saw it again.

Oh, did I mention that I am hanging the same paper next week? Well, at least I have been warmed up and know what I’m in for.

This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, a British company, and is called Acquario.

Gunmetal Metallic Cork Wallpaper

January 26, 2017
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The room was too dark, and likewise the paper, to get any good photos. But this is a beautiful charcoal / gunmetal grey cork wallpaper with flecks of gold that I hung on one large accent wall of a new townhome in the Bellaire / Meyerland / Renwick neighborhood of Houston. I’ve hung this or similar several times, but in the brighter silver colorway. For a single man, I like this version better.

The homeowner commented that he thought the paper made the room look bigger. I hear this a lot with patterned paper, especially in small rooms like powder rooms. But it’s good to hear that people also find that a textured wallcovering visually enlarges a room, too.

The interior designer for this job is Chris Breining of Christopher Design, Inc. The wallpaper is by York, and is in the Candice Olson line.

HOUZZ Article About Wallpaper – Featuring Lil’ Ol’ ME!

January 26, 2017

Electrical Box Placement Throwing A Wrench in Wallpaper Job

January 25, 2017
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Here is a double-sink vanity in a master bathroom (Photo 1). For this post, we are focusing on the right sink and light fixture. In Photo 2, the original light fixture has been removed. It was a “bar” type fixture, meaning that it had a backplate and front cover that were rectangular (bar) shaped, and you can see the outline of that by the different paint color in the Photo 2.

In Photo 2, you also see the electrical box in the wall that supplies power to this light fixture. It is not centered over the sink. That was OK, because the original light fixture was centered over the vanity, not over the individual sink. The electrical box was not centered over the sink. This could be because there is a stud in the way, or because it was centered over a previous, pre-remodel sink that was situated differently, or because the electrician was lazy.

Either way, it didn’t matter, because an extra length of electrical wire was added, and the bar fixture was long enough that it could be moved horizontally to the desired position over the sink, and it was perfectly centered and looked wonderful.

The problem came when my clients, new owners of this ’50’s era, mid century modern ranch style home, wanted to install an updated, sleeker light fixture Photo 3). This new fixture has a canopy (front plate) that is plenty large enough to cover the electrical box. But it is NOT large enough to cover a trip horizontally across the wall to a point centered over the sink.

Which is another way of saying that if this new light fixture is positioned over the sink, as the homeowners want, it will not cover the electrical box, and the electrical box will show. And plus, the connections will not meet safety codes.

This leaves the owners in the hapless position of either living with the new light fixture slightly off-center over their sink. OR they can have the electrical box moved to exactly centered over the sink.

This is sometimes more easily said than done. There may be a wall stud in the way that prevents repositioning the electrical box. If the box can’t be moved, and the electrician elects to run a wire along or through the wall, there will be cut-up Sheetrock, and patches and possibly humps in the wall. Lots more complications that electricians and Sheetrockers know that I don’t.

And it caused the homeowner to have a delay in the installation of their dream wallpaper. I can’t hang wallpaper until the box is moved and the wall is repaired. And more cost top to pay the electrician – on top of the new wallpaper, new towel bars and light fixtures, and labor to install all of this.

Probably the worst part is having the wallpaper install scheduled, then not being able to move forward, and then having to scramble to find a qualified guy who can get the lights positioned correctly, and all with a quick turn-around, so the wallpaper install can happen within a reasonable time of the original install date.

Moral of the Story: If you are going to change light fixtures (or any fixtues), it’s a good idea to do this before the new wallpaper goes up.

Puckered Seam Due to Material Expanding

January 24, 2017
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This is a popular wallpaper pattern, and the previous times I’ve hung it it was called “Wood” by Cole & Son. It has a matt finish and has always gone up beautifully.

But today I hung the same pattern, this time curiously with a label from “Blooming Wall.” The material had shiny surface. Both brands are a non-woven substrate and a paste-the-wall product. Because the material is dimensionally stable, it will not expand when it gets wet with paste like regular wallpapers will. So you can put paste on the wall instead on the back of the paper, and hang your strips immediately, with no booking / soaking or waiting. The Cole & Son performs as it’s supposed to.

But this Blooming Wall product did soak up moisture from the paste, and shortly after I put it into the paste on the wall, it expanded just a little, causing puckers at the seams. It also warped and twisted a little, and created bubbles that had to be worked out or cut open.

Once I figured out what was going on, my solution was to lightly dampen the back of each strip with water, to allow the material time to absorb moisture and expand before it got to the wall. This did help eliminate the seam puckers and the warping.

Ostriches in a Toddler’s Room

January 22, 2017
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Mothers love this cute pattern, and I’ve hung the pink version in little girls’ rooms and bathrooms many times. This more neutral colorway went on all four walls of a toddler boy’s bedroom. I love the way the color coordinates with the rich chocolate brown woodwork and ceiling.

This This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, a British company, and is called “Ostrich.” It’s on a non-woven substrate, and is a paste-the-wall product (rather than paste-the-paper), and is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

It was bought at below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Great Houston Chronicle Story About Wallpaper

January 20, 2017

Click the link to read about modern trends in wallpaper. Click the link, and you can scroll through photos of wallpaper in room settings. I hung the diamond, stone, brick, and circle wallpapers. Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs, is the interior designer quoted in the article, and I am privileged to work with her several times a year on wallpaper installations.

I’m a little disappointed that wallpaper is described as a “luxury item,” because, while this article mentions some really “far out there” materials (LED lights), in real life, room-transforming patterns and textures are available at reasonable costs for “average” people in “everyday” homes.

If you’re getting the itch for how wallpaper can personalize and transform your home, send me an e-mail to wallpaperlady@att.net