Posts Tagged ‘amy butler’

Manufacturers Can’t Cut Their Paper Straight

March 19, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageSee the little bit of gapping in both these photos? In some areas, the wallpaper strips butted together nicely; in others, there were gaps.  (The pattern mis-match is another issue, and is addressed in another post.)

Thisgapping/overlapping is pretty common, because most manufacturers can’t cut their papers absolutely straight. In fact, I once called a manufacturer and asked why they didn’t cut their striped papers along the stripes, because then you would never see a seam. The reply was that they can’t guarantee that they can cut the paper straight!

In this case, the gaps were a bit more noticeable than usual, because the paper was made from a non-woven substrate, which is one of the new “green” innovations dreamed up by manufacturers of late. These papers are also attractive to DIY’ers because they strip off the wall in one piece. But they are thick and unpliable, which makes it difficult to push seams together or manipulate the paper to minimize this gapping.

So, you are left with small gaps here and there between strips. In this case, in a kid’s bathroom, with a busy family that’s not too picky, it’s not a big deal. But with a darker paper or a more fastidious client, these gaps could be cause for concern.

This is an Amy Butler design #50-152 for Graham and Brown wallpapers.

Compensating for Crooked Walls, Pt. I

February 22, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageSee how the flowers line up nicely along the chair rail?  That’s what your eye wants to see.

But it’s not always possible, especially in old houses, or, well, any house really, because shifting, settling, and inattentive construction techniques can cause walls, ceilings, and trim like door moldings, chair rails, etc. to be off-plumb or not level.

In Photo #2, it’s plainly evident that that bubble is not even trying to be in the center of the window – meaning that the chair rail it is sitting on is way out of plumb.  That means that if I hang the wallpaper true to plumb, it will look crooked at the point where it meets the chair rail.  (And, in this house, also at the ceiling, which was out of plumb, too.)

In this room, the walls were plumb, so I had to hang the paper to line up with the walls, or else the pattern would be crooked at the corners and door frames and windows.  But this meant that the pattern would not be even along the ceiling and chair rail.  Meaning, there would be a half flower at the right of the wall, and as each sesecutive strip was hung, there would be less and less of the flower, as it disappeared like the sun slipping behind the horizon.

So I did a little trick to fool the eye.  In Photo #1, you see that there’s about a half-circle of the dark flowers inside the turquoise half-moon.  But in Photo #3, the pattern has moved down the wall to where only a little of the dark flowers still show.

What I did was cut some dark flowers out of scrap paper, to approximately the height they were in the first strips.  See  Photo #4.  Then it was simply a matter of pasting this applique over the too-short flowers.

In Photo #5, you see that it turned out pretty great.  Not perfect, but definitly good enough to fool the eye.

My next post will discuss another technique I used in this very un-square and off-plumb room.

This pattern is by Amy Buttler for Graham and Brown Wallcoverings.