Archive for January, 2021

’70’s Look Marimekko Flowers in Powder Room

January 17, 2021

The homeowner has loved this pattern for years, and finally made the jump to paper the powder room. Good move!

The subway tile and flowers actually have a little more blue than comes through in the photos. Either way, it’s a really cool look for this small powder room with its teeny trough sink. The large flowers visually expand the area and make the room look larger.

The paper is by Marimekko, and is a non-woven material. I hung it using the paste-the-wall method.

This a contemporary townhome in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston.

Over Prepared??

January 16, 2021

I need to smooth the textured walls in this home’s powder room. I told the homeowner that sanding the smoothing compound would involve some dust.

The powder room is down the hall and, of course, I would keep the door closed, vacuum up all the dust, and wipe the walls and floors free of dust.

The night before my arrival, the homeowner – who has had bad experiences with dust during remodels in previous houses – did this.

In two short hours, she plastic ‘ed over nearly every surface on the first and second floors.

She said she had to use up her pent-up nervous energy due to watching the unfolding of the Capitol siege on January 6th.

And, no – my wall smoothing did not begin to get any dust out into the public areas of the home.

But – it never hurts to be prepared. 🙂

Red Is Right For This Room

January 15, 2021

Who wants to spend laundry day in a bland, boxy room? Here’s how some gutsy color will make wash day a whole lot more fun!

My favorite photo is the 2nd to last, where you see how the very small amounts of tan (instead of glaring white) in the pattern soften the look and coordinate with the off-white woodwork. And especially how the wallpaper plays off the new tiled floor!

Find this by Googling words like: York, Sure Strip, Ashford, toile, Mandarin, red, Chinoiserie

Crazy Unlevel Ceiling Line

January 14, 2021

OK, folks – you can’t keep the wallpaper looking straight as it runs along under the ceiling (meaning, keep the same motif at exactly the same distance from the ceiling), if the ceiling itself isn’t level or even straight.

When a surface is level, and you place a level against it, the bubble will be smack in the middle of the window. As you can see, in today’s room, the bubble wasn’t even trying to be in the center of the window.

Even crazier, these two photos were taken on the same wall, and just a foot apart.

That means that the ceiling line was more like a roller coaster than a nice, flat, level platform. Understandable in a 1935 house built on ever-shifting Houston “gumbo” soil.

How this applies to wallpaper is that, if you are trying to position a particular motif – let’s say it’s a sailboat – just under the ceiling, as subsequent strips of paper get hung, that sailboat motif is going to move up and down under the ceiling line. Sometimes that even means that the top part of the sailboat may get chopped off as the ceiling line moves downward.

Disappointing Shading in York Sure Strip Wallpaper

January 13, 2021

You expect shading and paneling (slight difference in color between strips) with natural materials like grasscloth. But when a paper is made from start to finish in a factory, with inks mixed up by computer and applied by machine, you expect the color to be uniform.

Yet, in this product by York, you can see there is difference in color intensity between the right and left sides of the paper. This is not real bad, and this room does not have a lot of long seams, so the color differences aren’t too noticeable.

But if this were, for instance, a 9′ high bedroom accent wall, or a whole dining room, the color variation might be displeasing.

York, and this Sure Strip line of theirs, is one of my favorite brands. But lately, I have had good number of defects – most of them related to printing problems.

Cute, Sweet Pink & Blue Hallway

January 12, 2021

This is one of those houses that has a lot of crystal and glitter. The little girl’s bedroom has a LOT of crystal, glitter – and PINK.

So this hallway, which leads to both the girl’s room and to a glitzy guest bedroom, is fittingly outfitted with a navy-floral-on-pink wallpaper pattern. The colors show up much better in real life than on my phone camera shots.

The wallpaper is by designer Caitlin Wilson, made by York, in their Sure Strip line, and is one of my favorite wallpapers. It is a pre-pasted material. It is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

(Mostly) Nice Faux Grasscloth

January 10, 2021

Even though it’s quite popular right now, I am not fond of real grasscloth, for many reasons. See my page to the right. Or click here https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/grasscloth-a-general-info-pack/

So I’m always happy when clients take my advice to consider other options. These homeowners chose a faux grasscloth with an embossed texture (that mimics the tactile appeal of the real stuff), a pattern that can be matched (eliminating jarringly visible seams), on a non-woven substrate (easier install / easier removal when it’s time to redecorate), with a surface that is resistant to stains (as opposed to real grass, which can be stained easily by toiletries, cleaning agents, or even plain water), and, because it’s man-made, greater assurance of homogeneous color – effectively eliminating the woes of paneling and shading and other color variations between and even within strips.

I was pleased with most aspects of this product. For some reason, my camera made the texture look zig-zaggy, but in real life, it really did mimic real grasscloth. The close-up photo gives you a good idea.

One thing that surprised me – and disappointed me – is that, even though this is a man-made material controlled by factory standards, there ended up being a slight color difference between the right and left side of each strip. Look at the fifth photo, particularly the top, and you will see what I’m talking about.

Since this is made in a factory using inks that are mixed at the same time, poured into the printer at the same time, and applied to the wallpaper at the same time, I really don’t understand how the material can have this color variation. Especially since virtually all of the products I have hung by Brewster have been very consistent in color.

In this case, the color variation was fairly minor, was less noticeable when I removed my 100 watt work light, and pretty much reflects what real grasscloth looks like, anyway. The homeowners were fine with it.

The wallpaper is by Exclusive Wallcoverings, which is made by Brewster. It is on a non-woven substrate, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall or paste-the-paper methods. The home is in the Memorial / Beltway 8 / Briarpark area of west Houston. I hung this in a guest bathroom.

I would call the home’s style as contemporary / industrial. This faux grasscloth really softened the room. The horizontal lines in the wallpaper complimented the lines in the shower’s tile. The overall look went from cold and commercial to soft, inviting, and almost spa-like.

The 2-Hour Wall

January 9, 2021

Re my previous post, the wall in the photo above took me a full TWO HOURS to get three strips of wallpaper onto.

Part was access – narrow space, difficult to maneuver the ladder, squeezing around the toilet, wall height a little taller than I could reach comfortably,,, for starters.

But the main issue was wrapping wallpaper around this jutting wall with its two outside corners.

You’re not supposed to wrap wallpaper around outside corners, especially with a double corner as pictured here. The reason being that framing, drywall, corner beads, and all sorts of other construction components are never perfectly straight or plumb or level. Thus, attempting to wrap wallpaper around them will usually result in various things – the paper going off-plumb, the paper warping or developing wrinkles, the far edge of the paper twisting and not being straight so the next strip cannot butt against it without gaps and overlaps, stretching the paper to force it to cooperate, which will result in it shrinking when it dries and exposing gaps – among other unfortunate situations.

I did run into some of that in the instance pictured above. This new (and expensive) home had walls that were more “off” than most, with one corner being off by a full 3/4″ over a drop of only 9′. On this particular wall, the paper developed a pretty sizeable wrinkle toward the bottom 1/3 of the wall. I had to find a way to relieve wrinkle by eliminating the excess paper, while still keeping the left edge of the strip intact and straight, so the subsequent strip could butt up against it.

My solution was to cut through the paper vertically along the right edge (along the edge of the wall’s outside corner), about 1/4″ in from the edge, and from the floor to about 3′ up. Then I pulled the strip away from the wall, which enabled me to work out the wrinkle, making sure to maintain the straight edge along the right.

I smoothed the strip back against the wall, again, easing out the wrinkle. The excess from the wrinkle moved to the right, and left a bit of wallpaper hanging over the corner to the right. I used a straightedge and very sharp razor blade to cut off this sliver of excess.

This method did mean that there was a bit of an overlap, and thus a bump / ridge, along the right edge. I was worried that this would show, especially with the somewhat shiny paper, as well as light shining unforgivingly from the fixture to the left (not pictured). But once it was all done, the small overlap was barely noticeable. And definitely better than a large wrinkle.

Because I was able to keep the left edge of the strip straight, the next strip butted against it very nicely, with no gaps or overlaps.

I will mention that it also did help that this particular paper was a bit more flexible and fluid than many non-woven materials. Also, because I pasted the paper instead of the wall, the paper had a chance to relax and become malleable. The primer I used gave it a solid surface to cling to, so there was no shrinking or gapping as it dried.

These three strips on this one wall took me two full hours.

“Waves” In Contemporary Powder Room

January 8, 2021

I love how the color and pattern play off the tiled accent wall behind the sink and mirror.

The wallpaper is by Fine Decor Wallcoverings, in their Terence Conran line. Like most modern papers from Great Britain, it is a non-woven substrate, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method. In complicated rooms like bathrooms, I find it better to paste the paper.

This new and very contemporary home is in the Memorial / Beltway 8 area of west Houston.

Textured Trellis in a Powder Room

January 7, 2021
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This post was originally drafted in August, 2016