Woven Fibers on Vestibule Walls

September 4, 2019

More William Morris – Woodland Heights Master Bath and Closet

September 2, 2019


Here is a wonderfully renovated and updated 1925 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. It pretty much has the all-white decorating scheme going on. The homeowner wanted to inject a little warmth into the master suite, and chose this beautiful historic pattern in muted colors, by William Morris.

I put it on two opposing walls in the master closet, and on one wall in the master bathroom, directly across from the sink and mirrors. It is a fantastic compliment to the grey-veined marble counter top, and the darker grey paint on the vanity. (Sorry, no photo) And it adds the warmth and character the homeowner was seeking.

William Morris was a popular designer during the Arts & Crafts movement around the turn of the last century. His patterns are very stylized and rhythmic.

This is a British-made paper, and is printed on the pulp stock (rather than the new non-woven material that most British companies are moving to). You have to know a few tricks to working with it, but it goes up beautifully and will hold up for a good long time. It does not have any coating, however, so will be susceptible to splashes and stains.

The interior design firm for this project is Four Square Design (Laura and Sarah worked on this home). They work primarily with older or historic structures, and have saved many a beautiful home from being torn down.

Farrow & Ball Feather Grass

September 1, 2019


Farrow & Ball is a long-established British company. Here is their very unique design “Feather Grass” which I hung in a master bedroom in the country. I love the look of this pattern as you gaze out the windows to the pastureland beyond.

Farrow & Ball includes their own powdered paste, which you mix up with water. To get a smooth mix, I prefer a hand-held blender to the old-fashioned stirrer stick. Not shown is the 1-gallon bucket of cellulose pasted all ready to go.

The company sends a mock-up of what their design will look like. (The image above is from a different pattern I hung in this same home.)

Because their paper is coated with their paint, rather than ink, there can be variations in color as the printer moves through the batch of paint. So the company labels each bolt in the sequence that it came off the printer, and you are instructed to use the bolts and strips in sequence, to minimize any color variations.

This pattern is something like a mural, and comes in panels with one design per panel, rather than strips with multiple repeats of the pattern. In the photo above, I am rolling the paper out on the floor, to get an understanding of how it is laid out and how it is packaged.

Each bolt contained three panels, all rolled up together. The panels are made to fit a wall as high as 12′, so I had to cut each panel from the bolt, then trim it down to fit the 7 1/2′ high walls.

Yes, there is a lot of waste with Feather Grass. In fact, it takes a full strip to go above and below the windows and doors, even though you are throwing away the entire middle part. So, again, incredible amount of waste – I carted home a whole lot of unusable paper to toss into the recycling bin!

Before shot.

The “grass” pattern is meant to appear at about 4 1/2′ from the floor. Since you start hanging wallpaper from the ceiling, I needed to know where to place the tops of the sheaves of grass. So I drew a horizontal line around the room at the 4 1/2′ height. (enlarge photo to see the faint pencil line) This way, from up on the ladder at the ceiling, I was able to see where the tops of the grass stalks were landing on the wall. It took a few trips up and down the ladder on each strip, but I was able to get all the stalks lined up perfectly.

Finished photos. It’s a subtle colorway, so you may need to enlarge the photo to see it well.

Isn’t the overall effect lovely, with the soft misty color of the grass showing against the view of nature outside the window?!

I hung this in the country home (Chappell Hill) of a family for whom I have worked previously in their River Oaks area home in Houston.

Workin’ In The Country This Week

August 29, 2019



Work is almost like a vacation this week … Up outside of Chappell Hill, this is the country home of a family I have worked for in their place in Houston.

The building pictured is an old general store-turned family-friendly bar in Washington – “the Birthplace of Texas.” To be honest, it’s about ALL there is in Washington. 🙂

Soft Pink Envelopes a Little Girl’s Room

August 27, 2019


I hung pink wallpaper in this little girl’s room and bathroom in the family’s Houston home a year or two ago, and they asked me to bring some more pink sweetness to the girl’s room in their country home outside of Chappell Hill, Texas.

This design is called “Yukutori” and is by Farrow & Ball. While a stronger design would work well on a single accent wall, this is a good pattern for putting on all four walls, because it’s soft and receding, and will be a good backdrop without stealing attention from furniture and artwork.

The slight orange-y tinge to the color works well with the red brick fireplace and chimney.

This paper is by Farrow & Ball, a British company.

I am disappointed in the quality of their paper, especially for the price the homeowners paid. I’ll talk more about this in later posts, which will include photos.

For now, enjoy the sweet look of this little girl’s bedroom in the country.

Missed Work Today

August 25, 2019


I didn’t make it to my job in Chappell Hill today, due to this on-highway disaster (after the guy at NTB told me on Monday that the tire was fine and safe).

Luckily I was in town, and had not reached the country roads that lead to my client’s home.

Thank you AAA and Discount Tire for getting me safely back on the road within just a few hours.

No thanks to NTB. BTW, this is the THIRD tire of theirs that has blown out like this.

Farrow & Ball “Hornbeam” in a Country Home Powder Room

August 24, 2019


Farrow & Ball’s “Hornbeam” pattern is reminiscent of hedgerows in rural England.

I hung this in a powder room of a home outside Chappell Hill. I’ve worked for the homeowners previously in their Houston home.

While the pattern is lovely and suits the scale of the room and coordinates perfectly with the color of the marble contertop (and the color scheme of the rest of the house), I am not crazy about the quality of the wallpaper.

I will be posting more on this as I have time. Do a Search on the brand name to read these posts.

Some Non-Woven Wallpapers Crease Easily

August 22, 2019

Non-woven wallpapers are getting more and more common, and they have many advantages. Some of them, though, are what I describe as thick and spongy, and they can present some challenges when installing.

For instance, this paper is so thick that it does not like to be pushed tightly against a corner, ceiling, or molding. Well, you have to push it tight against the edge before you trim, so you get a cut that is all the way up to the molding, with no gaps.

Unfortunately, this particular material will crease very easily when manipulated into these areas. Look at the top of the photo, right under the wooden ledge. Trying to work around more complicated elements (pedestal sink, intricate crown molding, narrow area, etc.) can cause more creasing.

Not all non-wovens do this, but I have found that those by Cole & Son are likely to be problematic.

(Don’t pay attention to the slight pattern mis-match … These strips were placed under a counter where they are mostly hidden. I intentionally raised the pattern on one strip in order to keep a particular design motif at the right height where it hit the baseboard.)

Cole & Son Colors the Edges

August 22, 2019

Dark papers are always a little scary, because if they are printed on white stock, when the paper dries and shrinks a tad, there is always the chance that a teeny bit of white will show at the seams. Some companies minimize this by printing on a dark stock – but that is rare.

Another thing you can do is take chalk or water-based marker and color the edges of the paper. It works pretty well, but is time consuming.

This company – Cole & Son – went one better, and made sure that ink from the surface got onto the edges of the paper as well. So there are no white edges to peek out at the seams.

In addition, because they printed on a non-woven material, which is made of synthetic fibers and is dimensionally-stable, it won’t shrink when it dries, further reducing the chance of getting gaps at the seams.

Historic Hummingbirds Pattern in Home Office

August 22, 2019

“Before,” this first floor home office in a home in Bellaire (Houston) had a pretty color on the cabinets, but felt empty and blah. “After,” the dark wallpaper really sets off the cabinets, and gives the walls definition and personality.

The wallpaper also went in the area below the counter top – I wanted to take the photo before we lost daylight.

This Hummingbird pattern by Cole & Son is over 100 years old. It’s printed on a non-woven substrate, and can be hung by the paste-the-wall method or by pasting the paper (which is what I did).