Geometric Wallpaper Makes for a Stunning Entry

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Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

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Geometric prints like this are very popular right now. They look great in the room – but they can be a real challenge to the installer. Walls and door / window moldings are never perfectly plumb, nor are baseboards and ceilings perfectly level.

With a wild pattern or a forgiving floral, you would never notice patterns going amiss. But with a rhythmic geometric design, your eye will catch any little element that is off.

Here, in some areas, I chose to hang the pattern off-plumb, so that it would align with the un-plumb vertical lines of the woodwork. Doing it this way made sure that the design motifs were uniform in size as they dropped from ceiling to floor along the door moldings – even though that made the top black triangle drop down a little as it moved across the ceiling line.

I was lucky in this room, because the height of the strips over the doorways was short, and I could fudge things a little and bring the pattern up to where I wanted it to be, with the black triangle hitting the bottom of the crown molding, which put the design motif back exactly where I wanted it to hit the ceiling line. See 3rd photo.

In the corners, I followed the rule, “It’s better to match the pattern in the corners, than to have it run perfectly along the ceiling.” I won’t go into details, but that corner in the 2nd photo took quite a bit of plotting and work. The pattern does not hang plumb, and it does not run straight down the door molding to the right. But, in the end, you don’t notice anything amiss, and the overall look is fantastic.

With all this engineering and plotting and manipulating, the two walls in the second photo took me about three hours to hang. The rest of the room was equally challenging.

In addition, the paper was thick and stiff and difficult to work into tight spaces. It was a “paste the wall” product, but when I tried that, I got puckered seams (due to the “dimensionally stable” paper expanding when it got wet with paste), as well as curled seams (due to the substrate absorbing moisture from the paste at a different rate from that of the inked top layer of the paper.

So I threw caution to the wind and ignored the manufacturer’s admonitions to “Paste the wall. Do NOT paste the paper.” Instead, I pasted the paper, and let it book (sit wet) for a short time, before I hung it. This let the paper absorb moisture from the paste and expand as much as it wanted to BEFORE I got it to the wall. It also made it more pliable and easy to work with.

It also, unfortunately, made the surface less stable, which meant that I had more instances of ink flaking off the paper. In fact, I had to discard one whole 9′ strip, because of one crease-with-chipped-off-ink. It was small, but it happened near a light switch plate, so it was in a very obvious spot, so had to be replaced. Note: Always buy more than you need, so you will have extra in case of the need for repairs down the road..

Fudging the pattern, hanging things off-plumb, and not accepting flaky paper paid off, though. Despite all the little indescrepencies that I fret over, none of them are really noticeable at all, and the the finished room looks fantastic.

This wallpaper is by GP & J Baker, a British company. It’s in their Groundworks line, and is by Ashley Hicks, for her famous father, David Hicks, who is well known for his black, gold, and cream geometric patterns, the most well-known being the hexagon. Google it, or do a Search on my blog.

The interior designers for this job are Neal LeBouef and Anthony Stransky, of L Design Group. Wonderful guys, and I love their crisp, clean, sophisticated style. The home is in West University Place (Houston).

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