Posts Tagged ‘azalea trail’

Wallpaper on the Azalea Trail Home Tour, 2017, pt II

March 15, 2017

I attended the Azalea Trail Home Tour yesterday, which took me to four homes in the rather exclusive neighborhood of River Oaks (Houston). As always, I was scrutinizing the wallpaper.

One traditional style home had a very classic design of wallpaper (sort of a damask) in the dining room. Ever since I attended a Wallcovering Installers Association convention seminar years ago on “balancing” wallpaper patterns, I have been obsessed with the concept. This means that you position a dominant feature of the pattern so that it is centered on the wall. (Do a Search here to see some of my previous posts.) Normally, you can do this once in a room. Thereafter, the pattern has to fall on subsequent walls as it comes off the roll.

But in this dining room, there were about three walls that had the pattern centered. It looked wonderful, because the design was centered on a main focal wall between two windows, and again on an adjacent wall behind the buffet, an then on another wall that was highly visible.

Now, how can this happen?

I really studied the room. And I realized that all the draperies in the room reached way above the windows to the ceiling. And the drapery fabric and hardware pretty much filled up the entire space over the windows. Meaning that, the drapes would hide anything that was above the windows.

Meaning that, if the paperhanger chose, he could place the pattern as he wanted on the walls, and then mis-match the wallpaper pattern over the windows, knowing that it would be hidden from view. Then he could move on to the next section of wall and place the pattern as he wanted.

This trick worked nicely in this room, because the wallpaper design and color, as well as the draperies and hardware were all amenable.

It also took collaboration from the very planning stages, between the interior designer and the wallpaper installer, and also including input from the drapery lady and the hardware installer.

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Wallpaper on the Azalea Trail Home Tour, 2017, pt I

March 14, 2017

Yesterday, I went on the Azalea Trail Home Tour, which is in the “toney” River Oaks neighborhood of Houston. Not many of the homes had wallpaper, but I was intrigued by those that did.

One home had paper in its powder room. It was a tone-on-tone neutral colored floral in a vertical pattern and a not-too-serious feel. What’s cool is that the pattern continued up and onto the ceiling. But the ceiling was curved, which is not conducive to wallpaper. And furthermore, the floral pattern went up onto the ceiling, but it faded out as it crept up higher onto the surface.

I looked and looked and studied that room for a long time – and finally realized that the wallpaper stopped at the ceiling line. The floral pattern that continued up and onto the ceiling was not wallpaper, but very skillfully painted motifs.

The colors of both the background and the flowers were spot-on, the artist had shaped the petals and stems almost perfectly, and had even recreated the thickness of the paint and the brush strokes used to make the petals.

It was an immensely skillful and artistic job, and was a real pleasure to see.

More on the Azalea Trail Home Tour

March 22, 2014

Adding to my previous post … another home had wallpaper in the powder room. It was a woven grasscloth with a damask pattern printed on it. Because of the paneling / shading effect of grasscloth, and because we were not allowed to go into the powder room to get a close look, it was hard to tell if the pattern was all over the paper, or just in blocks here and there. Either way, it was an interesting look.

The same paper was also hung on the ceilings. I’ve posted before, I’m not a fan of wallpaper on the ceiling, especially a darkish color like this one. To me, it crunches the ceiling down and makes the space claustrophobic.

But in this case, the look worked better. With the murky, muddy grey-green on the walls and also the ceiling, it made for a very cozy room. And, the natural fibers would have a sound-absorbing quality, so, if, for instance, a party was going on and people were all over the place, and you were in the powder room doing what one does in there, it would be nice to know that sounds would be muffled. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Azalea Trail Home Tour – Beautiful Hand-Painted Silk Mural

March 10, 2014

I took the annual home tour in River Oaks (“one of the five most expensive neighborhoods in the country” according to something I read once). Most of the homes there are very classic and traditional, so wallpaper us often used.

One home had a gorgeous mural in the dining room. It was a hand-painted scene on silk, by the De Gournay company. These murals are usually custom made to fit the room, so little pattern is lost trimming at the floor and ceiling, or going around doors and windows. The paints and colors are just beautiful. You can plainly see that they are painted by hand.

Even if you know nothing about wallpaper, it’s easy to spot the quality and purity of these hand-painted murals.

The Azalea Trail and Wallpaper

March 11, 2013

I went on the Azalea Trail Home Tour today, put on every year by the River Oaks Garden Club. River Oaks is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Houston, and one of the fifth in the nation. So the point is, we got to see some VERY lux homes. http://www.riveroaksgardenclub.org/AzaleaTrail.cfm

Three of the four homes I visited were traditional in style, and two of those dated back to the ’20’s and ’40’s. In these types and caliber of homes, you expect to see wallpaper in various rooms, quite often exotic hand-painted silks or high-end designer papers. This year, though, I only saw one room that was papered, a dining room.

It was a small diamond shaped lattice pattern in a light orange/red on cream background, and it was the perfect background for the setting. It looked to be one of the British papers. What amazed me, though, was that you could see the texture from the wall showing under the paper!

Granted, it was a very light texture, and I had to look hard to be sure it was texture and not a mottely color on the background of the paper. But, still, it was visible.

If I had done this job, I would have ensured that the walls were smooth before hanging the paper. It’s possible the installer did use a lining paper, as many of them do with these British pulp papers. But liners don’t completely hide texture, so other steps should have been taken to make sure the surface was as smooth as it could possibly be.

Just my 2ยข. It’s possible the homeowner didn’t want to have the wall smoothed, and it certainly wasn’t glaringly noticeable. The finished room was lovely, tiny bumps or not.

I just wish there had been more wallpaper on this home tour!

Azalea Trail 2012

March 17, 2012

I went on the Azalea Trail Home Tour this past weekend. It’s a wonderful way to get a glimpse of what’s behind those ritzy doors in River Oaks – along with a tour of fantastic gardens.

I am always checking out the wallpaper in these homes (River Oaks homes tend to have lots of wallpaper), probably drawing the curiosity of the docents, who will be going on and on about furniture, paintings, sets of china, and there I am, staring at the WALLS! : )

Anyway, surprisingly, (with the exception of Rienzi, which is on the tour every year) there was only one home that had wallpaper this time, and it was in only one room, the powder room.

It was a lovely pattern, quite expensive, traditional in style, whch is typical of River Oaks decorating. It was a ribbon-type lattice pattern in gold, with monkeys in the spaces between the ribbon.