Posts Tagged ‘bath’

Similar Color, But More Uplifting Pattern

June 29, 2019

The original wallpaper in this rear powder room / pool bathroom of a home in the Memorial Villages neighborhood of Houston was very dark blue with tiny black dots on it – from a distance, it looked like a solid color. It was an interesting pattern, but didn’t have personality of its own, so needed artwork to set it off.

This new pattern is very similar in background color, but the upward-moving foliage, accented by the beautifully painted hummingbirds, add a whole lot of movement and character to the room.

The leaves are a shimmery metallic champagne sort of color, and the hummingbirds have a mesmerizing iridescence; they almost look like photographs.

The stained glass window, which had been a bit of an odd duck – mostly because of the baseball in the center – became an asset when the wallpaper went up, because the colors of the birds miraculously matched the colors in the window.

Because the dark paper was printed on a white substrate, I used chalk to color the edges, so that white would not peek out at the seams.

This paper is by Harlequin, a British company. It is on a non-woven backing, and could be hung by the paste-the-wall method, or, as I did, by pasting the paper. It was nice to work with, but it could be creased easily, which would have made it difficult in a room that required more turns and intricate cuts and objects to trim around.

The 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 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.

A Nice Faux Silk

June 19, 2019


Recently, I’ve had a number of young client families interested in silk wallpaper. For their bath or powder rooms.

Silk is beautiful, and certainly creates a calming mood. But it is also highly stainable. Which makes it a bad choice for rooms where it may be splashed with water, sprayed with toiletries, or touched by peanut butter and jelly-stained hands.

There are faux product that make good alternatives, though. The lower-end paper-backed vinyls are not a good option, due to issues with seams (do a Search here).

Today I at Dorota’s store and she showed me this new product, from Thibaut, in their Texture Resource Volume 6 collection. It’s vinyl, so it’s extremely resistant to water and stains, and the backing is a synthetic non-woven material, which will not absorb moisture and curl at the seams like the lower-end vinyls do.

Dorota works in a Benjamin Moore store near the Rice Village. By appointment: (713) 520-6262.

Light-Hued Geometric Updates a Hollywood Bath in West U

June 8, 2019



The kids are grown and gone, so it’s time for an update to this bathroom. The original black & white floral wasn’t bad, but perhaps a bit outdated. And most of the seams had succumbed the curling and pouching that happens when you use the lower-end pre-pasted paper-backed solid vinyl wallpapers in humid rooms – like two teenaged girls showering. 🙂 Besides all that, Mom wanted a fresh new look for her empty nest.

I stripped the paper and prepped the walls – both of which took a lot more work than expected, and way more detail than you want to read here. The install also took a long time … Let’s just say it was way after dark when I finished and went home.

The room had its share of complicated elements. But also working with a geometric print requires a lot of extra steps, to keep the design elements plumb and aligned with the ceiling and woodwork (which are not necessarily plumb), and to keep the pattern matched up as it turns corners – most of which are wonky.

Also, it took a certain amount of plotting and measuring to have the pattern look uninterrupted as it played out above and then below the chair rail.

This paper is in the SureStrip line by York, and is one of my favorites to work with. It is a thin non-woven material, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and with minimal damage to the walls when it’s time to redecorate. It’s pre-pasted, which means that there is a thin layer of dry adhesive on the back, that is activated by water – you can use several methods to do this. SureStrip is always a nice, cooperative paper to hang, and on the wall, it performs well over time.

Stay Away From Paper-Backed, Solid Vinyl Wallpapers

December 6, 2017

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Solid vinyl wallpapers are often marketed as “kitchen and bath” papers, because they are somewhat more washable than other types of wallpaper, and because splashed water will run right off the vinyl (plastic) surface.

However, I find just the opposite with these solid vinyl papers, particularly the pre-pasted, lower-priced ones.

The seams generally never look great to begin with. Then the porous paper backing tends to absorb moisture, such as humidity in a steamy bathroom. When the paper absorbs moisture, it expands, and when it expands, it has nowhere to go but to push away from the wall – causing a curled seam. Often the top vinyl layer even starts to delaminate from the paper backing.

This is not a “loose seam,” and it cannot be “reglued.”

Humidity is a factor, but so is improper wall prep. Usually, when there are curling seams like this, the previous installer neglected to prime the walls, and just hung wallpaper on top of the bare drywall.

In the two photos with paper curling away from the top of the baseboards and from the top of the granite countertops, it is not sticking because the surface beneath it is slick – overspray of gloss paint from the woodwork, caulk used around the top of the backsplash. Again, a primer would have prevented this.

I also like to run a bead of caulk around the top of the backsplash, to prevent splashed water from being wicked up under the cut edge of the wallpaper, which would cause curling.

I have blogged a number of times about curling seams due to crummy paper-backed, pre-pasted solid vinyl wallpapers. Choose some key words and do a Search here to read more.

Faux Wood Plank Paneling in a Boys’ Bath

April 15, 2016
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Shared by two teenaged boys in a country home in tiny Carmine, Texas, this bathroom started out with boring builder’s flat paint. The faux wood plank wallpaper pattern is rough and rustic, and the perfect choice for a boys’ bathroom with a window that overlooks a farm pond and a green cow pasture. O.K. – that sounds mundane. But if you could stand in the bath and look out through that window, as I did all day while hanging the paper, you would see how perfect this choice is.

It is also absolutely perfect with the tile, which carries the same hues of grey, brown, and blue.

I railroaded the paper (hung it horizontally), to create this interesting “cabin wall-like” effect. Gravity works differently with wallpaper that is stretching across the wall, rather than hanging down it, but the learning curve was easily mastered, and it turned out great.

This wallpaper pattern is by Rasch, a German company, and features a slightly textured vinyl surface bonded to a non-woven backing. It is a paste-the-wall product that was thin and pliable and nice to work with (as opposed to other thick, stiff, non-woven material). The homeowner consulted with Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby, who helped her zero in on just the right pattern and color. Dorota sells wallpaper at a discounted price. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Why Live With White When You Can Have COLOR?!

July 5, 2015
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Recently, I have hung wallpaper in several homes in which all the rooms – ALL the rooms – are painted white. That’s a good look – for people who like that look. But I would much rather see some color, even if it’s a pale tan or off-white. Even a little color helps define your spaces, and it really shows off decorative moldings.

These homeowners are not afraid of color. The addition to their home includes a TV room, powder room, and master bedroom and bath. They painted the woodwork a rich, chocolate brown. And just look at their choice of wallpaper for the powder room… The color in the first photo is true – it positively GLOWS! The next two photos are dark, but they show the pretty and playful design.

This wallpaper pattern is called “Sheffield” and is by Thibaut Designs, and was wonderful to work with. I hung it in a mid-century modern ranch-style home in Timber Grove Manor in Houston.

Anaglypta Textured Paintable Wallpaper in a Hall Bath

May 20, 2015
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This week, I am working in a new home in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston. The homeowners have a lot of antique furniture, and much of the house is designed to reflect their taste.

In the upstairs bath, I hung this textured wallpaper, which is reminiscent of the pressed-tin tiles that were used on walls an ceilings a century ago. It is designed to be painted, and then that is followed with a thin glaze, which is wiped on and then wiped off, leaving a little in the recessed areas, which accentuates the texture in the pattern. It’s a really cool look, and much more affordable than the real pressed tin.

The homeowner chose the Anaglypta brand, which is pretty much the grandfather of textured, reproduction wallpapers. Other companies make similar products.