Posts Tagged ‘baby’s room’

Bringing the Jungle to Houston

July 2, 2020

Another new “contemporary” styled home where everything is white. I’m here to change that! 🙂

One of the homeowners has ties to India. He wanted this breakfast room to be fun and cheerful, while reflecting his heritage.

What a dramatic change – all for the better! I especially like how the dark paper plays up the black frames of the windows.

I hung this same pattern a few months ago in a lighter color. That was OK for a baby’s room. But in this modern home’s main living area, I like this dark version much better.

This wallpaper is by Milton and King, and comes in a 2-roll set. Each roll contains 2-3 strips, depending on the height of your walls. In order to match the patter correctly, you alternate strips between the “A” roll and the “B” roll.

This is a non-woven material, and I installed it via the paste-the-wall method.

This wallpaper 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 She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

The home is in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston.

Girl’s Nursery – Last Job Before CoronaVirus Shut Down

March 25, 2020

Most work in the Houston area shutters at midnight. I was delighted that I was able to squeeze in this one accent wall, for a baby girl who is to arrive soon.

Top pic shows the room in its original all gray state. The walls were textured, so I troweled on a layer of skim-coat to smooth them. In the second picture you see my three fans (plus the ceiling fan and the home’s A/C system cranking away), working to dry the smoothing compound.

I killed a whole Texas Highways magazine while it was drying. Once dry, I sanded the wall smooth, vacuumed up dust, wiped dust off the wall with a damp sponge, and primed.

This wallpaper was a non-woven material, and could be hung via the paste-the-wall method. I usually prefer to past the paper, for many reasons, but in the case of a simple accent wall like this (and because it was easier than lugging my 7′ long work table and trestles up the curved staircase), pasting the wall was a better option.

Once the strips are cut, I roll them up backwards and secure with an elastic hairband. See photo. This helps get rid of the “memory” of the paper, so it does not want to stay tightly curled up. It also keeps the front of the paper away from the paste on the wall, which helps keep everything clean during installation.

The walls in this room (in the whole house, the husband tells me) are pretty darned off-plumb. I used a few tricks and kept the pattern straight along the ceiling line. But, since I started by hanging my strips true to plumb, by the time the paper reached the corners and the adjoining un-plumb walls, there was no way to avoid the pattern being uneven from ceiling to floor. Kinda hard to see in the photo, but there is about 3/4″ difference in width from top to bottom.

Luckily, once you stand back, that crookedness is not all that noticeable.

Although the paper is mildly pink, the muted color and more sophisticated geometric design don’t scream “baby’s room.” This is a look that will grow with the little girl into her teen years.

This wallpaper pattern is by Engblad & Co., a Scandinavian company, 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 She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

The home is in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston.

Cole & Son Woods / Stars for a Baby Boy’s Nursery

December 15, 2017

See that top photo? This newborn baby was doomed to a boring, blaagh, unstimulating nursery. But Mom wanted more for her first-born son. Pastels and teddy bears wouldn’t do it. Mom found this innovative design in an un-baby-like color – and, boy, does it look great!

In the top photo, I am in the process of applying smoothing compound to a textured wall. Once dry, it will be sanded smooth and then primed, making it ready for wallpaper.

I hung this in a new home in the Bridgelands area of Cypress / Katy (Houston). The manufacturer is Cole & Son, a British company. It is a thick, fairly stiff non-woven material. It is intended to be installed with the paste-the-wall method, and it works nicely for single accent-wall projects like this.

But that thickness and stiffness means that it would be less suitable if it had to turn corners or meld into cuts around intricate moldings. That means it would be difficult to get to look great in rooms that have a lot of angles, edges to wrap, or detailed cuts. (bathrooms, kitchens, rooms with decorative moldings, etc.)

I don’t have a finished-room shot of this baby’s room, but, as you can see, the crib accent wall looks fantastic.

I like this matt-finish charcoal blue color much better than the more common black-on-white designs I have seen. And the gold stars really amp up the appeal.

Going Up or Going Down?

December 4, 2015
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An accent wall in another soon-to-be-here baby’s room today, in the Houston Heights. The original wall color was a light grey. It didn’t seem dark, but, man, when the new wallpaper went up, the room really brightened and came to life.

This wallpaper pattern is called “Feathers,” and is by Serena & Lily, an on-line company that also sells linens and other things. The paper was a delight to work with.

Question:  Do you see the arrows point up, or pointing down?   Note:  There is no right or wrong answer.  🙂

Muted But Whimsical Baby’s Room

June 2, 2015
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This storybook-feeling wallpaper went on an accent wall behind a crib for a soon-to-be-born baby girl. The pattern is an especially good choice because it is not too “babyish” and will grow with the child. Also, the neutral taupe color can be accented with just about any other color – navy blue, pink, green, bright orange, or even brown or black, making it quite versatile and long-lived.

I hung this in a baby’s room in Oak Forest, in Houston. It is by Brewster, from the Chesapeake line, one of their Easy Walls papers. It was pre-pasted and a dream to work with, seams practically invisible. (The dark splotches in the photo will disappear a the paper dries.)

Sweet Baby’s Room in Polka Dots

February 15, 2015

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The parents-to-be have chosen not to know the gender of their coming baby. This cream-on-taupe polka dot is calming and sweet, and it will work for either boy or girl.

In the second photo, note that the seams are dark. This is a prepasted wallpaper, meaning that there is powdered paste on the back, and all you have to do is wet it to activate the paste. The water can also find its way inbetween the top, colored layer of wallpaper and the paper backing, which causes the discoloration at the seams. Don’t worry – it dries and looks just fine. In the third photo, you see a dark, wet seam on the right, and most of the seam on the left has dried and is invisible.

The last photo show a small dot that was some tiny thing imbedded in the wallpaper. If it were up high, I probably would have let it go. But it was just about eye-level, and I thought it would be too noticeable, so I ripped that strip off the wall, cut a new one, and hung it. I’m glad I did; the baby deserves a perfect room.

I liked working with this paper. Another nice thing about it is that the dots did not cross the seams. This eliminated the need to match a pattern from strip to strip (although I still had to keep the dots in their right sequence). But more important, I was able to pull the dots right up to the top of the wall on every strip. You see, walls and ceilings and floors and, yes, even wallpaper, are never 100% absolutely true to plumb. That means that the dots could start looking like they are walking up or down hill, or could get cut off diagonally at the corners. Just look at my previous post about the crooked walls and the striped wallpaper. But since I didn’t have to match a pattern at the seams, I was free to position each strip where I wanted, and thus was able to place all the dots exactly at the top of the wall. I wish more manufacturers were mindful of this.

This nursery was in a newish townhome in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. The wallpaper pattern is by York, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her

World Map Mural in a Baby’s Room

July 4, 2014

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Digital ImageMan, I’m doing a lot of baby’s rooms lately, accent walls mostly. Today’s soon-to-be-born kiddie got a map of the world. I think maps are a new trend for babies’ rooms.

Unlike most murals, which come in eight rectangular panels, this one came in nine floor-to-ceiling strips. Since the mural was not wide enough to cover the entire wall, I had to measure carefully before priming, so the white primer would be under the map, not on top of the nice brown wall paint. 🙂

I was a little caught off guard, though, because I ASSUMED (1. Never assume! 2. Measure twice, cut once!) that because the mural came in strips rather than panels, that the strips were to be butted like regular wallpaper. I have done several like this before. WRONG. It turned out that the seams were to be overlapped, like the 8-panel murals. This means that I was losing 1/4″ on every seam. That could mean the overall width would be two inches shorter than planned – and the mural might not cover that white primer. Ark! Luckily, I had allowed for a 1″ “easement” on both the right and left sides, and that, along with the natural expansion of the paper when it got wet, was enough to bring the mural well beyond the white primer. Whew!

Another dicey thing happened on this job. I had carefully measured the height of the mural, with and without the white border and black band. I calculated that without the white band, the image itself came to 2″ taller than the height of the wall, giving me an inch of play at top and bottom, which is just about perfect because you always have to trim some off the top and bottom. So I cut off the unnecessary white border.

MISTAKE. For some reason, when I got the first pasted strip to the wall, the strip was too short! Yes, I could splice in the pieces I had cut off. But since I had gone and written the numerical sequence on each piece in Magic Marker (What’s up with THAT?… Paperhangers ALWAYS use PENCIL, never INK!), those numbers would stand out at the top of each strip.

I stood there on the ladder, wet paper partially stuck to the wall, trying to figure the best way to deal with this. What I ended up doing was to drop each strip about 1″ down from the crown molding, then take the part of the border I had cut off and place it, with the black band at the top, along the ceiling line. It was wide enough to cover the black numerals written on the paper, plus the black band nicely outlined the top of the map.

At the bottom of the wall, the black band had dropped low enough that it got cut off. This was fine with me, because, since wallpaper and floors and ceilings and moldings are never perfectly level, it would likely have gone a little cattywhompus at the baseboard and looked uneven. So I trimmed it off, then went back and trimmed those scraps right up to the black band, and then pasted them on top of the bottom edge of the map, right along the baseboard, so the black band outlined the bottom of the map. Looked super.

However, if you remember, I had also cut off the right and left white borders of the map, because I had originally plotted to have just the image showing, not the white border. But now the border was back on the top and bottom, and so was the black band, so for it all to look even and correct, the white border and black band had to go back on the right and left sides.

I never throw anything away until the job is all finished, so the border strips were still there. All I had to do was trim carefully along the outer edge of the black band, and then place the border next to the edges of the map. And since the primer had not reached out as far as this, I had to use extra paste, to ensure there would be enough to stick the paper to the thirsty, flat finish brown paint.

All this added at least an hour, probably more, to what should have been a simple job. But it just would not have looked right without those white borders and black bands in place. And this particular material lends itself to overlapping, and when it’s all nice and dry, you hardly notice it. Especially when there’s a cute cuddly baby taking center stage in the room!

The homeowner loved it, and gave me a great big hug when I left! 🙂

Another Baby’s Room – Third in a Row!

June 5, 2014

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Digital ImageI have done three accent walls in a row for couples having their first child. I’m honored to help them get things ready for the new little one. I think it’s fun to see what patterns parents are choosing these days – not all of them are “babyish” at all.

The one I did yesterday is a fairly formal damask in gold tones (sorry, no pics), and this one is a sophisticated horizontal neutral tones wide stripe. Last Saturday, I did a cute aqua-on-white dot.

This mother-to-be saw this idea on Houzz or Pintrest. Instead of the usual one accent wall, she wanted two walls opposite one another wallpapered. The stripe was made to be hung vertically, so, to get the horizontal effect, I “railroaded” it – hung it the long way.

In the second photo, you see the first strip is up, and the second is in progress. I am using a push-pin to hold the pasted paper in place while I move the ladder so I can position the next section. I did this along the wall until all the paper was supporting itself, then went back and butted the seams and smoothed the paper into place.

After the first two strips were up, it was easier, because I didn’t have to stand on the ladder, with limited reach. Once the wallpaper dries, the blotchiness will disappear, and the color will become a little lighter.

This is a pre-pasted paper (not vinyl) by Sanitas.