Posts Tagged ‘art niche’

Wallpapering an Art Niche

May 18, 2017

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I went to this home to measure a powder room. But as I walked out of the powder room, I saw this art niche. Art niches are just made for wallpaper. So I suggested the idea to the homeowner – and she loved it.

She chose the same paper for the art niche as was used in the powder room, which helps give the home a cohesive look.

This is a textured, glass bead wallpaper in a muted color scheme. It serves as a backdrop, not a focal point, so the statue really stands out. Note that there is a tall base for the statue, that will raise it up so it fills the art niche more effectively.

The wallpaper is by Antonia Vella for York Wallcoverings. The home is a townhome in the Rice Military area of Houston. The interior designer for the job is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope designs.

Shiny, Orange, Woven Grasscloth in an Entryway

February 9, 2017
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Here is a large art niche in an entry in a newish home in the Rice University / Museum District area of Houston. The homeowner was originally considering wallpaper for her powder room and office, but when I suggested papering this niche, she quickly agreed, seeing how it would bring color and life to the home’s entryway.

This woven grasscloth is a different take on the traditional grass product with horizontal reeds. It is also more uniform in color, with none of the shading and paneling and color variations between strips. And, because the backing appears to be a plastic material, instead of the typical paper, it has an appealing sheen.

The woven pattern hides the seams a little, but, as with all natural products like this, the pattern could not be matched at the seams, so all the seams show. After I did a little trimming and tweaking, the first seam looked pretty good. The second seam, however, looked good at the top of the wall, but started to show unpleasantly as it moved down toward the floor. This is because the grass fibers at the edge of the strip moved away from the edge, so there was a wider-than-the-eye-wants-to-see strip of orange at the edge. It showed up more in person, but you can kind of see it in one of the photos.

This is typical of grasscloth, and not considered a defect. However, since there were only two seams on this wall, the one seam that had wide spaces of orange was very obvious.

I needed three strips of paper for this 10′ high wall, and the two double rolls had already given me three. I had one 10′ strip left, which would be good to keep on hand in case of damage or repairs in the future. But I thought that a better looking seam would be more important than the possibility of replacing a strip years down the road. So I ripped off that third strip, and then I took the remaining paper and cut a new strip.

The reason the seam was visible was because too much orange was showing at the seam. It needed more of the vertical grass fiber. So I took my straightedge and trimmed the new strip of grasscloth to eliminate any orange, and to leave a vertical strip of the tan grass fiber along the entire edge. I worried that this strip of tan grass would be too wide when it butted up against the previous strip already on the wall, with its tan grass at its edge, by creating a double-width of tan grass fiber. But it ended up that the double width of tan grass was far less noticeable than the double width of orange, and the seam turned out nearly invisible. The last two photos show a distant and a close up shot.

All this fussing and futzing was called for because the wall had only three strips of grasscloth and only two seams, and because the first seam looked good, so the second seam had to look equally good. And because we had extra paper to get that extra strip out of.

But had this been a larger room with many seams, and without lots of extra paper to tear off the wall and replace with new, the homeowner would have had to live with very visible seams that showed extra widths of orange, or seams that showed double widths of tan grass fibers. If the whole room looked like this, the look would be uniform, and would not be offensive. It is what’s called, “The inherent beauty of the natural product.”

One other point about this particular product – There was a little bubbling as the paper dried. Since the material has the plasticized backing that gave the appealing sheen, that same plastic backing allows no where for air to dissipate to when the paper dries, so it “off gasses,” leaving bubbles under the paper. I was able to poke tiny holes to let the gas escape. But I prefer grasscloth that is sewn onto a traditional paper backing, because it “breathes” and allows moisture to pass through it, letting the material lie good and tight against the wall.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and was bought at below retail 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.

Why I Keep Wax Paper in My Tool Box

January 6, 2015

Digital ImageHere I am, hanging a textured faux cork wallpaper on one wall in an art niche.

To avoid getting paste on the wall to the right, which will not have wallpaper on it, I have applied a narrow strip of waxed paper to the right edge of the pasted wallpaper. I can trim off the excess paper, peel away the waxed paper, then smooth the wallpaper back into place.

The wall remains perfectly clean, with no worry about stains from wallpaper paste.

Faux Cork / Tree Bark, in an Art Niche

January 5, 2015

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Digital ImageI positively LOVE this paper! And, I have to admit, when I first saw and handled it, I thought it was authentic cork or birch bark. But, it’s a faux product, made from vinyl.

When I first consulted with this young couple in the Rice Village / South Hampton area, they wanted something for the back wall of their art niche, to serve as a backdrop to their art collection, without overwhelming. I showed them some silver & gold cork that I have put in a number of art niches. They liked the idea, and then went shopping…

What they ended up with was this less-glitzy, more-natural cork look-alike, made from vinyl. It handled beautifully, will hold up well, and, even though there is no pattern match, the seams are barely noticeable. I think this is a much better background for their art than something shiny and showy.

They were not home while I was working, and I could not resist “staging” the scene by placing a few of their decorative items in the niche, to surprise them when they come home. They both loved it!

This faux cork wallpaper is by York Wallcoverings and 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.

Textured Wallpaper in an Art Niche

August 28, 2014

Digital ImageHere is a textured wallpaper pattern that was used on the back of an art niche with glass shelves.

The paper is by Ronald Redding.

Subtly Dramatic Backdrop for a Display of Crosses

May 21, 2013

Cross Niche“Cross walls” have been popular for quite a few years. Homeowners will take a number of crosses of varying sizes, shapes, materials, etc., and display them en masse on a prominent wall. It’s a wonderful way to show off beautiful items, as well as express one’s religious faith.

Here’s a twist on the theme: This homeowner had an art niche near the entrance of her home, and had her cross collection hung inside. Working with an interior designer, she chose a silver metallic cork wallpaper that had gold metallic accents, to serve as a backdrop for the crosses.

My job was to smooth out the builder’s textured wall in the back of the niche, and then hang the cork material, fitting it to the back of the niche and trimming around the arched top.

Then the homeowner and designer set about arranging the crosses to display them to their best advantage. Set against the silvery background, the crosses stand out brilliantly. Plus, the “precious metal” look of the silver material is a fitting accompaniant to the treasured religious symbols.

The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs. http://www.pamelahopedesigns.com/