Archive for November, 2017

Grasscloth Wallpaper on Un-Straight Outside Corner

November 16, 2017

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Outside corners are difficult, because they are virtually always off-plumb or un-straight. Thus, trying to wrap wallpaper around them can result in wrinkles within the strip, or an un-plumb or wavery edge, which is impossible for the next strip to butt up properly against.

Obtuse angles like this one are even more onerous for the framers. This outside corner ended up being quite irregular. I knew that it would be impossible to wrap stiff grasscloth around it without having gaps or wrinkles in the strip, and that the far edge of the new strip would be wavy and unsuited to butt another strip up against.

So I gave up the idea of trying to wrap the strip around the corner. I decided to end the first strip right at the edge of the obtuse angle. And then to start the next strip at the other side of this same angle / wall.

So I cut the width of my grasscloth strip an inch wider than the width of the wall. Then I hung the strip, then took a razor blade and trimmed off the excess the paper so the strip followed the contours of the outside of the obtuse angled corner.

For the next strip on the opposing side of the corner, I butted it up against a plumb line, which left an inch on the right side hanging over the obtuse angle corner. Then I used a new, sharp razor blade to trim off the excess, so that this strip, too, conformed to the undulations of the wall.

That’s what I’m doing in the first photo. It’s a lot more tricky than it looks, because you’ve got to cut so that the edges of the two strips butt together, without gaps or overlaps, or edges that got cut off too much, and without disturbing the lay of the grass fibers on the paper backing (meaning, without fraying the edges of the grasscloth or causing the fibers to run either up or down. (They should lie perfectly horizontal.)

The blue plastic tape is to keep paste off the surface of the other strip.

The finished corner is shown in the second photo. I think it turned out pretty nicely. And way better than having large wrinkles, or an edge that is too crooked to butt up against another strip of wallpaper.

I am hanging grasscloth in the home office / den / library of a new home in the Richmond / Fulshear area on the southwest side of Houston. The wallpaper is by York.

More Photos of the “Ladies Only” Bathroom

November 15, 2017


I love the way the mirror mimics the curves in the silhouettes.

The paper was purchased through Dorota Hartwig at (713) 520=6262.

Folks – Please Read EVERYTHING, Including the Fine Print

November 14, 2017

When people first contact me, I send them an “info pack” that explains the wallpaper process and how I work. It has a lot of helpful and important information.

One point is my time frame. I am usually booked up 2-3 months, so most likely I will not be able to help homeowners who want to have their wallpaper up quickly.

Another is that I don’t work on construction sites, but prefer to install the wallpaper after all the building is over and the other workmen are done and gone.

There’s a sentence advising people that I work in private residences only – no businesses or commercial settings.

I also don’t work in mid- or high-rise buildings, or many other multi-unit complexes like apartments or condos. Townhome compounds with shared driveways can be difficult, too. It has to do with multiple trips back and forth to the truck, and with hauling 50 pound buckets of paste along with bulky equipment like my 7′ long pasting table, and not blocking the neighbors access to their garages.

If people would read the information I send them, they can often discern early in the game if their situation is one that I am a good match for.

If You Buy Grasscloth, Expect To See The Seams

November 12, 2017

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Grasscloth is popular right now, but buyers must be aware that, because there is no pattern that can be matched, all the seams will be visible. In addition, color variations are to be expected.

The top photo shows a slight color difference between two strips. This is called shading or paneling. This is not a defect. It is considered “part of the inherent beauty of the natural material.”

The second photo shows a lighter colored line that often appears at the far edges of the grasscloth strips, due to irregularities in the dying process. This can often be minimized by trimming off the edges of the material. But sometimes the lighter area extends beyond the area that can be trimmed off. And if you trim off too much, you will have narrower strips, and may well run out of paper before you finish the room.

The bottom photo shows a seam where the lighter colored edges were successfully trimmed off, and a nice butted seam resulted.

Wallpaper Once Again In Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

November 11, 2017

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Quote from the magazine: “An oversize pattern makes a small room look larger, says designer Erin Hedrick. Though large, the leaf-shape motifs on this wallpaper (Lotus by Galbraith & Paul) don’t overwhelm because they let a lot of the cream background show through.”

It’s a cute pattern that works well in this powder room, and a number of my clients have chosen similar themes. I would have tried to center the leaves, though, so they would frame the mirror equally on either side, and also land smack in the center behind the faucet.

This is the October 2017 issue.

On-Line Article About Wallpaper

November 10, 2017

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-looks/tropical-jungle-wallpaper-for-your-home/

Fireworks Light Up A Baby’s Ceiling

November 10, 2017

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This soon-to-be-new-mom has loved this wallpaper pattern for eons. I worked for the couple in their previous home, and she really wanted to use it, but could not find the right space. Now, in a larger home and with a baby girl on the way, Mom finally found the perfect place to showcase this fun pattern.

The fireworks pattern spreads out sensationally across the ceiling of this nursery. It really pulls your eye up, yet doesn’t compete with the other décor in the room. Mom is going to use some bright pops of blue accents through out the room, as well as one large painting that pulls in the blue color.

This wallpaper is a product that had a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand, which is tedious and time-consuming. It is made by Donghia, and 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.

Getting Wallpaper Onto A Ceiling

November 9, 2017

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I don’t often hang wallpaper on ceilings. But every now and then I’ll take one on.

Because I have neither scaffolding nor a helper, I’ve devised ways to defy gravity and get the paper up on the ceiling with minimal anguish.

After the paper is pasted, I book it in several shorter accordion folds, instead of the traditional 3′ and 6′ split. I place two ladders facing one another. I get on one ladder, position the paper, then use push pins to hold it to the ceiling while I walk from the first ladder to the second.

I smooth that paper into place, then use more push pins to hold it to the ceiling, climb down, move the ladder, climb back up, unbook one or two of the accordion folds of wallpaper, smooth it into place, tack it to the ceiling, climb off the ladder, move it, and repeat.

Two Months After Hurricane Harvey Things Are Not All Right In Houston

November 8, 2017

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Some of the homeowners effected by this massive storm contacted me shortly afterward, seeking help with insurance quotes, repairs, etc. But now that more weeks have passed, I am getting a second wave of calls.

Some are from people whose homes are finally getting put back together. Some are from people who are half-way through initial repairs. Many more are not yet back in their homes, or who are living (“camping out” is a more appropriate term) in what is a shell of what was once their former home (read below). And there are countless families whose homes are just now coming out of the water, or that are still not yet approachable, or that have been underwater for so long that they are unlivable – meaning, totally destroyed, not salvageable, mold-infested, insurance won’t pay to fix it, you can’t sell it because no one will buy it, you can’t fix it yourself because you don’t have time because you have to go to work and you don’t have the money because insurance won’t cover it, and your brother has been very kind to let you stay in his home for two months, but it’s wearing thin because they want their privacy back and you want to be back in your own home … but it’s unlivable.

I visited two clients today who were effected by the flood. These photos are from a homeowner who lives in a neighborhood that was “intentionally flooded” when officials made the decision to open the reservoirs, which would save many thousands of homes and families, but would knowingly flood the homes of thousands more.

The city has been through this neighborhood THREE TIMES already to pick up debris – more keeps piling up. Most of it is white… drywall, doors, tile, door and window trim,,, and much of it is brown … wooden floors, cabinets, furniture. And books, clothing, artwork, television sets, garage stuff, toys, anything the sewage-tainted water could have touched or wicked its way into.

All the homes look like ghost houses – uncovered windows, empty rooms, lawns scraped to bare earth by the mechanical claws that swooped up their soggy Sheetrock and personal belongings. All the drywall is torn out, the bottom 4′ of it. No flooring, just the cement slab. No doors, no trim, no kitchen, no cabinets, counters, appliances, no toilet. My client and her family were living holed up on the 2nd floor. All they had downstairs on the concrete floor was a folding table with plastic chairs around it, and remnants of an easy-to-fix meal – sandwiches.

All this while trying to maintain a “normal” American life – going to work every day, kids going to school, mowing the lawn, walking the dog, church, groceries, laundry – but there is no washing machine, no hot water heater ….

All while trying to coordinate contractors, selecting tile and wallpaper, find the best deal on major appliances, juggle financing ….

Here is the “new normal” for hundreds of thousands of American families along the Gulf Coast.

Palm Fronds in a Powder Room

November 7, 2017

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Just about everything in this house is expansive white – woodwork, walls, cabinets, appliances, even the floors are a whitewashed light grey. The house was just begging for some color and pattern somewhere …

This palm leaf wallpaper adds a lot of personality to the powder room, yet is understated and easy to live with. With only two colors and a fairly homogeneous pattern, it feels more like a texture than a pattern.

This attractive foliage wallpaper pattern is by Serena & Lily, and is called, simply, palm. The paper was nice to work with, and will stay nice and flat to the walls for decades to come. The house is in West University Place (Houston).