Posts Tagged ‘’60’s’

Gently Updating a Sharpstown Dining Room

August 10, 2018


A few years ago, I papered the entry of this mid ’60’s ranch style home in the Sharpstown neighborhood of Houston. Now the homeowners were ready for an update to their dining room. As is typical of the homes from this era, just the top of one wall in this room was papered. The top photo shows the original wallpaper – still in perfect condition.

There were complications to getting the paper off the wall, so I elected to skim-float over it, sand smooth, and then prime with the penetrating sealer called Gardz.

The third shot shows the finished wall. The design has a metallic sheen to it, and an interesting pattern of color that changes subtly as you move around the room.

The homeowner is kicking around the idea of painting the bottom of the wall a darker aqua color, which will balance the wall nicely.  If they get brave enough, they might paint the whole room a soft aqua.  🙂

This wallpaper pattern is by York, 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.

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Raising Homes to Lower Risk of Flooding

July 15, 2018


The Meyerland neighborhood in Houston has flooded severely three times in five years, with 2017’s Harvey being the worst. Here is what people who want to stay in their neighborhood and their home are doing, to be safe from future floods. These are ’50’s & ’60’s era ranch-style homes.

They will add skirting around the bottom. All new construction, which tend to be larger 2-story homes, must be built up high. It’s major expensive to lift a house, so many of the ’60’s era homes have been patched up, but left on the ground. I’d say that at least 50% of the homes are still unoccupied, a year after the flood. Some have been raised, and some have been razed.

Textured Trellis in a Powder Room

August 12, 2016
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Here we are in a very nicely remodeled and updated ’60’s era ranch home in the Meyerland area of Houston. When I first met with this couple, they were wanting a grasscloth for their powder room. I took one look at their toddler and the one-on-the-way and told them that grasscloth, with its propensity to staining and bleeding, is a poor choice in rooms with grimy hands, splashing water, and little boys with bad aim. I also really dislike the shading and paneling (color variations between and within strips) that is so common with grasscloth.

I was glad that they took my advice and found something with the textured look and feel they were seeking, but that would hold up much better to their growing, active family. In addition to having a slight grass-like texture, the paper has a Moroccan trellis design. The color of the paper is almost the same as the paint that was in the room originally, but the trellis pattern takes the room from feeling blocky and cell-like to feeling more spacious and inviting.

The paper was nice to work with. I was particularly happy that the design did not cross the seams, meaning that there was no pattern to match at the seams. This enabled me to keep the motif at exactly the spot on the wall where I wanted it – in this case, 2 1/4″ down from the ceiling. Since walls are never plumb and floors and ceilings are never level, sometimes it will look like a pattern is sliding up or down the wall. Since I was able to maintain that 2 1/4″ spacing all the way around the room, you would never know that the ceiling is sloped a little.

This wallpaper pattern is by Carl Robinson, by Seabrook, and was bought at a discounted 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.

Herringbone in a Dining Room

January 17, 2016
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Oh my goodness! What a dull, boring room this dining room is, with it’s lifeless, white walls. The homeowner loves the patterns by Serena & Lily, and has used their wallpaper and fabric in other rooms in her home. In the second photo, you can see how their “Herringbone” pattern in navy blue transformed the dining room.  I centered the pattern on the wall, so both the right and left sides ended in the same “arrow” pattern.

Doing just one accent or feature wall is an economical way to get major decorating impact, without investing a lot of money or mess.

Serena & Lily papers are sold on-line, and arrive very quickly, sometimes in less than a week. Homeowners love their patterns, and I really like their papers, as they hang very nicely and hold up well.

This dining room is in the ’60’s ranch style home of a young family in the small “sleeper” neighborhood of Houston called Sherwood Forest, in far west Spring Branch.

Soft and Serene Entry in Oak Forest

September 21, 2015
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Here is an entry in a typical ’60’s – ’70’s ranch style home in a tidy neighborhood to the west of Oak Forest, in Houston. Originally, the top 2/3 of the walls was papered in a flocked (three-dimensional velvet-like) stripe in black and gold. When the previous homeowners hung new wallpaper, they skim-floated over the flocked paper (because it can be the Devil to get off), and then coated it with a clear sealer. Which is fine, and pretty much what I would have done, except that the joint compound (smoothing material) shrinks, and so it’s best to do two coats. Since they did only one coat, some of the ridges between the stripes remained, and these showed under the new wallpaper they put up.

The current homeowners stripped off that top layer of wallpaper, and intended to hang their new pattern, but realized it was beyond them, so they called me. Wise decision!

In the first photo, you see the wall as it looked once they stripped off the top layer of wallpaper. In the second photo, I have skim-floated and sanded the wall so it is smooth, and then applied a coat of sealer (I used Gardz, by Zinsser, a penetrating primer which is exceptional on porous surfaces like this) mixed with a little 1-2-3, also by Zinsser, to add some white pigment.)

In the third and fourth photos, you see the new paper. This pattern is a medium scale damask with a little “raised ink” texture, in white on pale gold. The lady of the house has an extremely good eye for decorating, and her style is pretty much pale neutrals and sparse, clean settings. This entry, which is open to the living room and dining room, enhances that look.

This wallpaper pattern is by WallQuest, in their EcoChic line, is made of a thin non-woven material with raised ink. It was very nice to work with, and it is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate. It was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Good-Bye ’70’s!

January 24, 2015

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This wallpaper (and the built-in whole house intercom) screams ’70’s. Actually, the wallpaper pattern is not that bad, and I, and the homeowner as well, kind of like it, and it’s such a novel theme that it doesn’t really look dated. Nonetheless, the homeowner has chosen a pretty blue-and-white pattern that will update this breakfast room in an early ’60’s home in South Houston.

The pastel floral wallpaper was hung over the original green-and-gold paper. I’m always amazed when I see how well the job held up over the years, because the installer did not seal the old paper, and that means it’s likely to absorb moisture from the paste on the new paper, and that leads to bubbling. However, his job looked great, no bubbles, and it has stuck to the wall for about 40 years.

Anyway, in the third photo, where I have removed one strip, you can see the original paper beneath. Some of it must have been loose, and the previous installer removed those areas and sanded them smooth. Neither these jagged areas nor the seams of the original paper showed under the pastel paper.

The pastel paper stripped off the wall quite easily. The green-and-gold wallpaper could not be persuaded to come off, though, so I floated over some of the thicker jagged areas, sanded, and then primed the walls with Gardz. Gardz is perfect for this situation, because it soaks in to porous surfaces such as the original un-coated wallpaper and the joint compound patches, bonds everything to the wall, and seals it so that wet paste from the new wallpaper will not cause bubbling. Gardz also makes it easier to remove the new wallpaper in the future, without damage to the walls.

Gardz dries clear. I would prefer it to be white, but pigment interferes with the soaking-in qualities of the product, so, if you really need a white primed wall, you can Gardz first, and then follow up with your choice of pigmented wallpaper (not paint) primer.

Beautiful Classic Toile in a Breakfast Room

December 11, 2014

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Here are “before” and “in-progress” shots of a breakfast room in a ’60’s ranch house in Pasadena (Houston). Originally, there was dark brown paneling with thick grooves between panels. The homeowner “always wanted a wonderful kitchen,” and, after living there nearly three decades, had the kitchen redone – and it’s really nice, with good choices and great workmanship.

Then I came in and hung this beautiful classic and cheery blue-on-yellow toile pattern in the adjoining breakfast area. Someone told me that a true toile will always have some people playing, and some people working. In the last photo, I’d say that counts as “play.” 🙂

I was originally going to prep the paneling for wallpaper, but the homeowner had the contractor tear out the paneling and install new Sheetrock (first two photos), which was more expensive, but a much better option. An interesting side note is that the money she saved because I did not have to prep the paneling, was re-directed to repapering the master bathroom – which still had the original wallpaper from the 1960’s.

This wallpaper is by Thibaut Designs, and was a pre-pasted pattern. It was bought through Sherwin-Williams, and shipped directly to their home. The homeowners chose to paint the bottom 1/3 of the wall below the chair rail with a solid yellow, in a tone slightly darker than the wallpaper. I like this, because, since it’s on the bottom of the wall, the darker color adds visual weight, and helps balance the wall / room.