Archive for November, 2019

Tanzania Leopard Spots in Grandkids’ Bathroom

November 21, 2019


Here is a really popular pattern by Thibaut that I have hung a good number of times. This is the first time that it came in vinyl, though. (It’s usually paper.) Do a Search here to see other rooms I’ve put it in.

The vaulted area is the rear portion of the ceiling. The homeowner and I discussed painting the “beam” dark brown – I think she should.

The 10’+ high, steeply vaulted ceiling with its weird angles and narrow crevices was difficult to get wallpaper on. Once done, it looks great.

The homeowner wanted something cute and ageless, because the grandkids will use this bathroom. It’s on the third floor of a townhouse in the Galleria / Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, called “Tanzania,” and was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – 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.

Good Catch After a Mistake

November 19, 2019

Whoops! Somebody (me 😦 ) cut a wallpaper strip to 6’24” instead of 6’34”.

This William Morris wallpaper is expensive, and I didn’t want to just throw away the too-short piece. So I figured a way to use scraps to save it.

At the bottom of the too-short strip, I trimmed horizontally along an element of the design. From the scrap pile, I found a piece with a corresponding pattern, made sure it was the right length to reach the baseboard, and then trimmed the top horizontally to match up with the design on the piece already on the wall.

The reason I trimmed along the swoopy line of the design is that I wanted to eliminate a straight horizontal ridge showing under the two strips once they were overlapped on the wall. The eye might notice a wide, non-conforming, horizontal ridge, but it won’t notice a narrow overlap that follows the contours of the pattern.

I put the short strip in place, and the pattern matched perfectly.

But there was a slight sheen from above, glinting off of the cut edge of the wallpaper in just a few spots. You can just barely see this in the second-to-last photo.

So I pulled the two strips of wallpaper apart and put them back together, but reversed the sequence, overlapping the top strip onto the lower strip. Now there was no cut edge for light to catch or bounce off of, and now the overlap / ridge is completely invisible.

Note that the surface of this wallpaper was a vinyl (plastic) material. Wallpaper paste won’t stick to plastic very well (it’s too slick). There is a special adhesive called VOV – for Vinyl Over Vinyl – formulated to make this bond. But I don’t always trust it.

So I often use clear caulk, which I call Super Glue for Wallpaper. Under the right conditions, it’s a wonderful solution.

Note: There is a technique called a double-cut, which is a method of splicing two strips of wallpaper together. A double-cut eliminates the possibly-visible ridge that you get when you overlap strips of wallpaper. For various reasons too complicated to get into here, in this case, and especially down low and behind the toilet, I preferred to use the overlap-and-super-glue technique.

William Morris – Symmetry and Balance

November 17, 2019


As you see in previous posts, William Morris designs of the Arts and Crafts Period were all about nature and symmetry and balance.

When hanging wallpaper with a strongly symmetrical pattern (like this one), it looks good to balance / center the pattern on a main focal point, such as where the mirror will hang over a sink.

After you place that one strip, the pattern on the subsequent strips will pretty much fall as it comes off the roll.

In this room, after I centered the design on the vanity wall (see previous post), when the pattern worked its way across the walls to these narrow spaces between doors, it landed so that parts of the motifs would be cut off vertically. I thought I could make it look better.

So I tweaked things a bit and moved the floral elements so that the design would fall smack in the middle of the space between the doors.

This threw the pattern match off a bit above the doors.

But I’ll bet you can’t spot it.

And the finished effect is much more pleasing, with the flowers perfectly centered as they march their way down the wall.

Too Much White – Insert Some Definition!

November 16, 2019


Referencing the room in my previous blog post, note how the beautiful doors and moldings in this master bathroom are lost in a see of all-white.

Once the wallpaper went up, the contrast of colors accentuated the detailing of the millwork.

William Morris Wallpaper in Bellaire Master Bathroom

November 15, 2019


The homeowners had lived in England for six years. There they picked up a love for the turn-of-the-last-century renowned trend-setting British designer William Morris, along with tons of other English tastes.

They returned to their Bellaire (Houston) home to find it flooded by Hurricane Harvey. After extensive repairs to the first floor (which included me wallpapering their powder room https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/william-morris-pattern-in-bellaire-powder-room/ , they decided to update their master bathroom. Note that I had hung the original small-print wallpaper (no photo) 20+ years ago (and still in perfect condition, I might add. 🙂 )

The homeowner incorporated her love of all things William Morris with the new bathroom, and chose this lovely “Snakeshead” pattern, in an earthy green / gold colorway.

William Morris was a pioneer of the Arts & Crafts decorating style, which incorporated symmetry and a love of nature.

This is one room that is defying the trend to all-white or all-grey. Even the cabinets and mirror frames are a warm wood tone (instead of white or grey). Note how the colors of the wallpaper dovetail with the stained wooden mirror frames.

Beautiful, beautiful stuff!

Moody Blue Powder Room Update

November 13, 2019


The owner of this home in Sugarland (Houston) is good about keeping up with styles and updating every now and then. This powder room was previously wallpapered with a pinkish stringcloth. It had faded to tan over time, and had also suffered at the claws of the family cat.

The new selection is a faux finish vertical pattern in a muddy blue / grey / brown colorway which is pretty popular right now. There is a slight pearlescent sheen.

This wallpaper is by Mayflower, and was quite nice to work with. It was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – 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.

Questionable Repair to Stringcloth

November 12, 2019


Some time after the stringcloth wallpaper went up in this powder room, the homeowners installed a new pedestal sink that wasn’t as high as the original one. Or perhaps the stringcloth got stained by water splashing on it.

For whatever was the reason, a portion of the wallpaper had to be replaced.

The installer used some good splicing techniques, and he was working in a very awkward and tight location. However, there were a few things he could have done better.

First and foremost – he should have matched the pattern! He should have made sure the strings lined up correctly.

Second, stringcloth will fray when it’s cut, so this type of splice repair is always going to show a bit of a frayed edge at the cut edges.

A better alternative would have been to strip off and then replace the entire section of wallpaper, from floor to ceiling, and preferably all the way to a corner.

Of course, to do that, you would need enough left over paper.

Fading on Stringcloth Wallpaper

November 11, 2019


The circle on the right is where I removed the towel ring. On the left is where I removed the switchplate cover. You can see that the stringcloth that was exposed to light has faded a bit over the years it has been in this powder room.

Another interesting thing is the amount of dust that has collected inside the switchplate cover. This is because of air suction inside the wall – probably due to a leak in the ductwork somewhere.

Why Not To Put Natural Materials Where They Will Get Splashed

November 10, 2019


Here is a silk stringcloth that has been in a powder room for several years.

Stringcloth is a natural fiber, and is prone to staining when things get splashed on it. A bathroom is a particularly bad place for a delicate material like this, because of the likelihood of being splashed by water or other.

Grasscloth is another natural material that is best hung in rooms where nothing will touch or splash on it.

Why Not To Put Natural Materials Where You Have Cats

November 10, 2019


It didn’t take the family cat long to realize it was fun to dig his claws into this stringcloth wallpaper.

Cats have even more fun with grasscloth!