Cool Wallpaper in Martha Stewart Living Magazine

October 3, 2021
This murky and mysterious pattern is by Trove, a high-end brand. As always, there are similar designs available by more affordable companies.
I love the way the black plays against the rest of the very white bathroom. Look closely and you’ll see bats!
This wallcovering reflects census documents from the 1820’s – the year the home was built. Cool idea!

From the October 2021 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. I do sense a little Halloween flavor in these designs.

Here’s one I did in December 2019 that is similar to the Trove (top photo). https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/wacky-abstract-lindsay-cowels-wallpaper/

Clever Over-the-Door Kill Point

October 2, 2021
When you hang wallpaper on all four walls of a room, you get to the point where your last strip meets up with the first strip you hung. We call that the kill point. That last strip gets split vertically in order to bridge the width of the distance to meet up with the first strip. The cut-off part gets thrown away. This virtually always results in a pattern mismatch in the corner where the first and last strips come together. So, when possible, you hide this mismatch in a corner behind a door, or somewhere else that is not noticeable. But in this powder room, ALL the corners were out in the open and very visible. But I think the corners look better when the pattern matches exactly, as shown in this photo.
But there is still going to be SOME point in the room where the last strip meets the first strip – and where the pattern will not match. I chose the least conspicuous place in this room – over the door. After all, not many people spend much time looking 10′ up over a door that’s behind them. Still, a pattern mismatch here would be very noticeable; maybe more broken up and obvious than in a corner. But I had a plan …
Moving from right to left, I plotted where my next strip would fall. The sequence of “high” and “low” maps at the ceiling line was in sync with the strips on either side. But I’m going to end up with a 5 1/2″ gap on the left side. Since the figures / maps were about 8″ wide, cutting one down to 5 1/2″ wide would distort it too much. So instead I decided to “grow” the white areas in between the map figures.
I could do this because there were “stripes” of white areas in between the maps that were uninterrupted from top to bottom; if there had been a motif that crossed horizontally, this would have been much more difficult. I took that strip of wallpaper slated for over the door and slit it vertically along the “empty” white area into three parts.
Then I took some scrap paper from the waste pile (always buy a little extra paper!) and used my straightedge to trim off slices that had no printing on them. Each of these ended up being only about 1″ wide. I was looking for about 6,” so I made six slices, plus one more for good measure. Because these slices were all white, and because the backing was also white, I put a pencil mark on the back side, so I could tell which side to put the paste on. Because the paper was thin and somewhat transparent, I had to remember to make my marks lighter than usual. Going back to the third photo, you will notice a tiny bit of ink on the far left edge of the piece mocked up above the door; I used my straightedge to trim off this 1/4″ wide area, too.
Here is how the all-white strips would be placed in between the printed sections. In actuality, each gap took two 1″ strips, not the single one shown in the photo.
Here is the first printed section going in next to the strip to its right. I couldn’t use a 1″ strip in between these two because there was a tad of pattern that had to be matched between the two strips, due to various logistics. But I could add two of the 1″ strips to the left of the new printed section, as shown here. Moving to the left, I did that two more times, with two more sections and two more sets of 1″ wide strips. At the last juncture, I did do a vertical overlap of the excess 1/2″ resulting from the gap of 5 1/2″ and the six 1″ wide fill-in strips. I could have done a double-cut (splice), but the strips were awfully narrow to work with, I wanted to avoid scoring damage to the wall, and the overlap would be obscured by the vertical elements in the pattern motifs. Plus, it was 10′ up, after all.
Here is the finished look. The seams will be less visible once the paper is dry. The three spaces between these three map motifs are 2″ wider than the spaces between the maps around the rest of the room. But the difference is virtually undetectable. And, like I said, who’s looking way up there, anyway? And … it’s a whole lot more attractive than the other option – of having a pattern mismatch running the entire 10′ height of a corner in the room.
The pattern is “City Maps” and is by Rifle Paper, which is made by York, one of my favorite brands.

Rifle Paper “City Maps” – Fun Stuff

October 1, 2021
Wall smoothed and primed; ready for wallpaper. I used craft paint to color the putty-colored edge along the top of the backsplash.
Finished
Pattern centered nicely on the faucet and on the light fixture above (not shown).
The original heavy texture and lifeless khaki paint in this powder room. At the far top right, you see my smoothing compound over the door. Once this is spread over the entire wall surface, it will be allowed to dry, then sanded smooth, residual dust removed with a damp sponge, and a wallpaper-specific primer applied.
Done! So much brighter and more fun! Note the blue ceiling – a lovely touch!
View from outside the powder room.
Close up.
Rifle Paper is made by York, one of my favorite brands. Previously I’ve worked with their non-woven (synthetic fibers) wallpaper material, so I was surprised to see they also print on traditional stock like this one.

This powder room is in a newish home in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Once Again – Let the Paperhanger Measure Before You Order Wallpaper … It’s Not About Square Feet

September 30, 2021

That unpapered space to the right of the door frame is about 6″ wide. Minus the door frame, it works out to about 2 square feet of wallspace.

Yet, in order to cover this with wallpaper, I need to use a strip that is 28″ wide x 8′ long – that’s about 16 square feet of paper – almost a full single roll.

On-line calculators don’t take this factors into account, nor are store or website employees schooled on these points.

Again, folks – it’s always best to have the paperhanger / installer measure the space and calculate how many rolls are needed, before you order.

It’s not merely about square feet.

Laser Level Plumb Line

September 29, 2021

That dark object on the right is my laser level – a cool gadget that shoots a red vertical line onto the wall. That line serves as a guide for placing a strip of wallpaper, and for ensuring that it hangs nice and plumb.

There are other uses, too. And some fancy (i.e. expensive) ones will shoot horizontal lines, multiple lines, lines onto the ceiling ….

Finished Little Girl’s Room – Pink Stripe

September 28, 2021

I hung this Schumacher pink stripe on an accent wall in a little girl’s room a few weeks ago and was back yesterday to measure another room, so was able to get some “finished” shots.

I love the way the wallpaper softens the room and adds femininity. And it’s not age-specific, so it will “work” as the child grows.

Reaching Far Places

September 26, 2021
I got built too close to the ground. Can’t reach that far corner, to apply the next strip of wallpaper.
So I’m pulling my handy Rubber Maid step stool into service.
Done!

Lots of Defects in Today’s Paper

September 24, 2021
There is a lot of “fuzzy stuff” along the edges of the seams.
But most concerning is that the seagulls do not match from one strip to the other.
This photo shows you why. Look at the gull next to my finger, and compare it with the gull by my pencil. The gull at the top of the roll is fatter – it has more white wing area. Obviously this run of wallpaper got trimmed “on the bias,” meaning that the rolls were not cut straight, but at a slight diagonal … sort of like a very long trapezoid. This results in the motifs being cut at an angle, with some wider than others. That means that the motifs are not going to match up perfectly at the seams.
In addition, one double roll bolt had abraded areas, as if something at the factory swept across the material and scraped off some of the ink. I cut off and discarded the worst of this. Luckily we had a little extra paper.
More fuzzy stuff. This shows on the surface. And it prevents the seams from meeting properly. I was able to remove some of it with a sanding block. But some of it remained, and affected the look of the finished job. Luckily, not extremely noticeable.
Anderson Prints

I’ve hung this paper before and not had these problems. I hope the issue is unique to this run, and subsequent runs will be back to being perfect.

I usually have the client order enough wallpaper that we can work around issues like this. Also, because of the layout of the room, and the fact that there is only one motif that has to be matched across a seam, and it’s relatively small, I’m going to be able to finish the room with it all looking O.K.

More of the Seagull Kitchen

September 24, 2021
The dark wallpaper really looks nice contrasted against the white cabinets, tile, and appliances.

Soaring Seagulls – Montrose “Burst Pipes” Home

September 23, 2021

I hung this same paper in this same kitchen not even a year ago. A few months later, the homeowners suffered “burst pipes” from the big freeze storm that hit Houston in February 2021. Consequently, their whole kitchen had to be torn out and replaced – drywall, flooring, cabinets, electrical, plumbing, and, yes – wallpaper.

They chose to go back with the exact same pattern they had used last year.

The manufacturer is Anderson Prints, it’s a traditional paste-the-paper product, and it was purchased from Stacey at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet.

More pictures tomorrow!