Archive for January, 2018

A Long Pattern Repeat = A Lot of Waste

January 31, 2018


This wallpaper pattern has a long repeat (the number of inches that go by between one design element and the next time it appears further down the wall) that did not sync up well with the wall height. In addition, it was a straight across pattern match (the same design motif is at the top of the wall on every strip). Both these situations eat up a lot of paper.

That means that you have to unroll and cut off a lot of paper before you get to the particular element of the design that you want at the top of the wall. In today’s case, with a 24″ pattern repeat, I was throwing away about 22″ of paper for each strip that went up on the wall.

By the end of the day, there was quite a pile of it. You can’t tell by the photo, but that roll of 22″ scraps is about equal to a full single roll, possibly more, of wallpaper.

This is a good reason to always buy a little extra paper.

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Workin’ On Ridding A Wrinkle

January 30, 2018


Even though this is a brand-new house, erected by a skilled custom builder, all of the walls, floor, and ceiling were off-plumb / unlevel. That’s not such a big deal when working with a wild abstract pattern or a typical floral. But when a geometric wallpaper pattern like this is applied to out-of-kilter walls, the resulting pattern match is going to be very visible.

In the top photo, the wall to the left is bowed. Trying to get a straight strip of wallpaper to fit into the crooked corner resulted in two very large (24″ high) wrinkles near the floor. That makes it difficult for my next strip of wallpaper to butt into the corner tightly, and to match the pattern, and still maintain its straight edge on the right side. This edge has to stay straight, because subsequent strips of wallpaper will be butted up against it.

My solution was to make some vertical “relief cuts,” following along the design motifs (top photo), from the baseboard up to the point where the wallpaper begins to torque out of shape. Because the wrinkles were so big, I had to make two vertical cuts, instead of just one, to ease the resulting pattern mis-match out over several inches, so it would be less noticeable.

When smoothed back into place, you could not see any pattern mismatch at all. (second photo)

Tight Trellis Forms a Muted Backdrop in a Heights Sitting Room

January 29, 2018


Here is an example of a bold pattern that doesn’t feel heavy at all. Because the design motifs are small, and because the color palette is kept to just two colors, the overall effect is not overwhelming. Instead, it creates the perfect backdrop for the light sconces and other furniture (not pictured) in this sitting room in a new home in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

This wallpaper pattern is a classic, and is made by Schumacher, who has been manufacturing wallpaper for more than a hundred years. Look closely, and you can see the “raised ink” texture to the paper. The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. She works primarily on new-builds or whole-house remodels. Her look is fresh and crisp, but with a lot of warmth and living for real life tossed in.

Hick’s Hexagon in a Houston Heights Powder Room

January 28, 2018


This large powder room (it has a shower!) in a new home in the Houston Heights originally had all-white walls (like the rest of the house). Interior designer Stacie Cokinos suggested wallpaper to warm the room and add personality. The homeowner had never used wallpaper before and was skeptical, but she tentatively agreed.

What a wonderful choice this turned out to be! The wallpaper defines the space and transforms it from timid to bold. But, because the color palette is limited, the feeling is not chaotic. The color coordinates beautifully with the dark brass wall sconces. Previously, the white woodwork blended in with the white walls. But now the dark color of the wallpaper makes the beautiful door moldings stand out.

This is a popular pattern, and I’ve hung it, or variations of it, a number of times. The design is by David Hicks and is made by Cole & Son, a British company. It’s a non-woven material, and is meant to be applied by the paste-the-wall method, but I had better results with pasting the paper.

The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. She works primarily on new builds, and mostly in the Heights neighborhoods. Her look is spacious, clean, and crisp, with a little fun tossed into the mix.

Getting A-head

January 26, 2018


I plotted the layout of this pattern to have the leopards’ heads be at the top of the wall, just under the crown molding. This worked nicely for the first three walls. But due to unplumb walls and a very unlevel ceiling, as the wallpaper strips moved from left to right across the four subsequent walls, these poor leopards got their heads got cut off.

I cut new intact heads from scrap wallpaper, and appliquéd them onto the cats’ chests. A little snipping and trimming was needed to get the various body parts to line up.

The leopards’ necks are a little shorter than when they started out. But that is much less disagreeable than half-heads. 🙂 From 9′ down on the floor, all the eye can see is that the animals’ heads are lined up perfectly under the crown molding.

Skulls, Brains, or Leopards?

January 25, 2018


From a distance, do you see skulls? The homeowner’s daughter says this pattern looks like brains. But move closer, and you will see the real design motif – leopards! They are cleverly intertwined into a trellis pattern. I love the fool-the-eye effect!

I hung this in a powder room in a home in Bellaire (Houston) that was damaged by flooding from Hurricane Harvey. (I hung the original paper when the family bought the home in 1992.) The family has moved back into their home, and using something quirky and fun in the powder room has added a lot of personality to the newly finished space.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, 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.

Color Difference Due To Fading Over The Years

January 24, 2018


I hung this original paper more than 15 years ago. Some areas had become stained, so I was called to fix it. Luckily, the homeowner had saved the left over paper, so there was enough to replace the damaged strips.

You can see a slight difference in color between the strip on the left, which was hung 15 years ago and has been exposed to light all that time, and the strip on the right, which has been stored in a dark closet until I put it up today.

Nifty, Fishy Kill Point Disguise

January 23, 2018


When you wallpaper a room, you work your way around the room, until the last strip meets up with the first strip. This is usually placed in an inconspicuous corner or behind a door, because in this last corner, the pattern will not match.

This large powder room did not have any “inconspicuous” corners. Any mis-match of the pattern in a corner would be very obvious. So I chose to put this last mis-matched junction above the door. The wall area over the door was only 12″ high, which helped.

In the top photo, the first strip is on the left, and the last strip has come around from the right. The pattern motif that ended up in this spot just happens to be the same on both the left and the right strips. The problem is that there is a 1″ gap between the two strips.

To bridge this gap, and to disguise the resulting pattern mis-match, I took a scrap of paper that would match the pattern coming from the right side. (Note, this would not work coming from the other direction, because the koi fish would be harder to alter in a pleasing way.) I trimmed along the design in an irregular line. See second photo.

When I butted this against the existing strip to its left, the pattern matched at the seam. The irregular cuts that I made along the pattern meshed with the design on the strip to the right. It’s not a perfect match, but it’s enough to fool the eye, and from the floor, no one would notice. See the last photo.

And it’s a heck of a lot better than having the pattern down a whole 8′ corner not match.

Flaw of the Day – Torn Wallpaper

January 22, 2018


This tear appeared about half way through a double roll bolt of wallpaper.

The pattern was forgiving, this would fall in a high and not-very-noticeable area, and we were very short on paper, so I went ahead and used this strip.

Now that it’s up and dried, no one will ever notice.

Lively Watercolor-y Koi Pond For A Flooded Powder Room

January 12, 2018


What a fun paper! I have a koi pond, so that makes me doubly crazy about this pattern!

I hung this lively pattern in a large powder room in a home in the Memorial area of Houston that had been flooded by Hurricane Harvey. It’s four months after the storm, and this is the first person whom I have seen who has had repairs finished and who has been able to move back into her home. (See the darker drywall at the bottom of the wall, in the top photo? That’s the new Greenrock that replaced the drywall that got damaged by water.)

The rest of the house is very traditional, with a lot of antiques. So going with bright color and a fanciful fish pattern was a bit of a leap. But you can get away with a lot of drama in a powder room, because you don’t spend a lot of time in there. And the homeowner was ready for something uplifting.

This pattern is by York, in their SureStrip line. I love both the manufacturer and this line of papers. It is a thin and pliable non-woven material, turns corners nicely, and will hug the wall tightly. It is nice to work with, and does not shrink when it dries, so no gaps at the seams. It is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.