Posts Tagged ‘bathrooms’

Door Hidden By Wallpaper

August 4, 2021

Not many homes have hidden doors.

But this one did. It’s hiding a simple medicine cabinet.

The most notable thing is that the cabinet is not over the sink, as in most bathrooms. Instead, it is on the opposite wall, over the toilet.

There is plenty of room here for the door to open and close without the thickness of the wallpaper causing a log jam.

I hung the paper in the usual way, and then used a new and very sharp razor blade to cut around the door opening.

Intertwined Lines in Art Deco Pattern, Master Bedroom

May 15, 2021
Before
Headboard wall
Keeping the pattern match in corners is tricky
Metallic gold lines

Yhe home is a classic ’50’s / ’60’s ranch in the Spring Branch area of Houston, that has been nicely updated. It now has an open-concept living area, with contemporary finishes and fixtures (flooring, faucets, etc.). The kitchen and bathrooms have been given a sleek new look, as well.

Instead of papering just one accent wall in the master bedroom, the homeowners opted to put the wallpaper all the way around the room. The simple pattern and soft two-tone color palate make it a good choice. The contemporary design and gold metallic accents fit it in with the updates in the rest of the home.

The wallpaper is by York. It is a non-woven material, which means it can be hung via the paste-the-wall method. See next post for info on the install itself.

“Waves” In Contemporary Powder Room

January 8, 2021

I love how the color and pattern play off the tiled accent wall behind the sink and mirror.

The wallpaper is by Fine Decor Wallcoverings, in their Terence Conran line. Like most modern papers from Great Britain, it is a non-woven substrate, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method. In complicated rooms like bathrooms, I find it better to paste the paper.

This new and very contemporary home is in the Memorial / Beltway 8 area of west Houston.

Old World Look for a Long Master Bedroom Accent Wall

September 27, 2020


Originally, the homeowner wasn’t “really” thinking about adding wallpaper to her master bedroom. But, in the back of her mind, she must have been “kinda” thinking about it, because, after I finished measuring several bathrooms in the home and was poised to leave, she hauled me into the bedroom and asked what could be done to create more of a haven.

I pulled out some samples of patterns I have hung in other homes, and she immediately zeroed in on this one. My sample was the navy blue colorway, but she grasped that wallpaper comes in different color options, and was able to envision this in a softer color to coordinate with the rest of the walls. (Note that that hot pink is a protective plastic sheet – not the color of the headboard!)

To me, the pattern looks like architectural details from old Roman ruins. The distant photos distort the design a bit, so please look at the close up to get a better idea.

Usually I will place a design like this in the middle of the wall. But in the case of this 18′ wide wall, the bed was not centered on the wall, nor was the chandelier. In addition, there curtains on either side of the wall that obscured the corners.

So I opted to center the circular design motif on the chandelier. This meant the bed had to be moved to the right … a whole 3″. This way, as you walk out of the master bathroom, you see the chandelier, the headboard, and the wallpaper design all synced up vertically.

The pattern doesn’t hit the wall uniformly on the right and left sides of the wall, but the drapes cover that. And, on a wall this wide with lots of furniture in front of it, who cares, anyway?!

The wallpaper is by Designer Wallpapers, one of my favorite companies, and was bought at Southwestern Paint. See link on the right for where to purchase wallpaper in Houston. This home is in Katy.

Swirls in Black on White in Master Bath Water Closet

June 28, 2020


Just about everything in this townhome is white. The master bath has white walls and woodwork, white cabinets and countertops, a white tub, and a white marble floor with wisps of soft grey.

This wallpaper continues the crisp clean look, but adds some contrast, dimension, and movement. In addition, the swirls are composed of dots about the size of a pencil eraser, and they are slightly raised, so the wallpaper actually has a bit of texture to it.

The wallpaper is on a non-woven substrate. With the characteristics of this material, you have the option of pasting the wall instead of the paper. But since bathrooms have more complicated spaces and access, it’s preferable to me to paste the paper.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpapers, 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 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.

The home is in the Rice Village / West University Place area of Houston.

3-D “Rivet” Squares on Grasscloth in a Home Office

October 25, 2019


Phillip Jeffries’s “Rivets” pattern is popular and trendy. The wallpaper I hung today is Thibaut’s response to it.

Thibaut’s version offers the same texture and appeal of real natural fiber grasscloth, as well as three-dimensional squares that unite to form larger squares.

Thibaut’s version Union Square is better because:

1.) Less expensive

2.) Better color consistency (fewer paneling and shading issues)

3.) Squares form a more muted secondary pattern, so it’s much easier to live with (the pattern doesn’t hit you in the eye every time you look at a wall)

4.) Squares are positioned on the strips so the installer can easily manipulate the pattern to accommodate un-plumb walls and un-level ceilings.

5.) For similar reasons, the installer can “tweak” the design a bit to ensure favorable placement of the squares (to eliminate having to cut through any of the squares, or bend them around a corner). Read below.

6.) When it’s unavoidable to have to cut through the squares, the Thibaut 3-D material is much easier to get through with a blade or scissors than the PJ or the Schumacher products.

7.) The bolts are marked in the order they came off the printing press (see photo), so you can hang strips sequentially, to minimize shading and paneling (do a search here on those terms).

8.) Thibaut provides clear tips on how to work with natural materials and what to expect with the finished outcome.

9.) Thibaut offers to replace material lost to working around defects, and they will also reimburse an installer for (part) of his labor, if a product is defective.

10.) Other points which are escaping me right now. But suffice it to say, despite its grand reputation, Phillip Jeffries products are often extremely difficult to install, and disappointing in appearance, and customer service is basically, “We never had this problem before – it must be the installer’s fault.”

Thibaut, on the other hand, researches what it takes to make a good product, does test hangs, and, if there is a problem, Thibaut actually listens to feedback from us installers.

In the window photo, I did some tweaking to get the rivets to line up exactly over the middle of the window. It took some further tweaking to position the squares so they would march down either side of the window at the same distance from the edge.

How did I accomplish that? After much measuring and plotting and a few practice strips, I widened the distance between two sets of squares over the center of the window – by a full inch. 4.5″ instead of 3.5″ is a big difference, yet it is barely noticeable. What is more important is that the squares going down either side of the window are all 3/4″ from the edge.

This home is in the Briar Park neighborhood of Houston – interestingly enough, right next door to another home I papered a year or so ago, and a block away from another home I where I hung paper in the powder room and have more bathrooms to paper coming up … In fact, I have put wallpaper in a whole lot of homes in this one tiny neighborhood. Near Beltway 8 / Sam Houston Tollway and Briar Forest.

The interior designer is Layne Ogden of Layne Torsch Interiors.

Big Pink Flowers for New Baby Girl

August 7, 2019

Here is a nursery accent wall, getting ready for a baby girl in a few months.

I like Spoonflower’s paper, and it’s been a while since I’ve hung it, so today was fun.

Spoonflower is different from other papers. For starters, it comes in strips of certain lengths, so you have to figure out how many strips of each length you need. For an accent wall like this, that was easy – but it can get complicated in chopped up rooms like bathrooms. Each strip comes packaged separately, in it’s own long, skinny zip-top bag.

The paper is pre-pasted, which you don’t see much these days. I find this type much faster to hang. The paper is also designed to be overlapped at the seams (instead of butted). This means you will see a 1/2″ wide ridge from floor to ceiling down either side of each strip. (See third photo.) In the grand scheme of things, this is not very noticeable. (In the old days, all papers were hung this way, and I have some authentic 1940’s paper in my home office to prove it. 🙂 )

The material is thin paper, and it gets very wet when it is pasted, and it expands. When the paper dries, it shrinks a tad. If the seams were butted, you would end up with gaps between the strips. By overlapping the strips a tad, gaps are prevented. This method also puts less tension on the wall, so you have less chance of layers inside the wall delaminating. (Do a search here for more info.)

The composition and the thinness of the paper also make it difficult to cut, because it wants to tear. So you have to keep a supply of sharp, new blades handy.

This paper is very similar to one I blogged about on December 25, 2018. I’m betting it’s made by the same manufacturer, but sold under different brand names.

Note that Spoonflower also offers a peel & stick so-called “removable” option – do NOT go with this one – horrible stuff, that P&S.

This home is in the Heights / Timber Grove area of Houston.

No Sink Makes for an Easier and Faster Install Day

March 6, 2019


It’s hard to see in this photo, but there are two water line connections and a drain that were located under a wall-mounted sink in a small powder room.

Before I got started, the homeowner called a plumber to come remove the sink. This made it a LOT easier for me to get under there, and to cut around the plumbing fixtures. There are fewer cut edges, no mis-matched seams, and, since the area under this sink is exposed, the whole space looks neat and tidy.

It also means that the wallpaper goes completely behind the sink, with no cut edge at the top of the sink. So there are no worries about water that gets splashed onto the top of the sink wicking up under the paper and causing curling edges.

Most of the time, I trim around sinks in bathrooms like this. But when it’s possible to remove the sink, boy, it’s great for everyone! It makes my job easier and faster – it probably saved me an hour’s worth of trimming in this room. And it makes the job look better and ensures there will be no curling edges along the top of the sink.

AND it minimizes stress on the paper from manipulating it around bends and turns or overworking, so eliminates the possibility of creases in the material or flaking ink.

Win-win for everyone!

Lower-End Vinyl Wallpaper is Bad Stuff

April 24, 2018


Pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyl wallcoverings are economical, and they are often touted as “kitchen and bath papers,” because the vinyl surface is resistant to water and because it can be washed better than paper papers.

But these products often perform poorly, especially in rooms with humid conditions or where they may be splashed with water, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. It’s very common for the seams to curl, as you see in the photo. In some cases, the seams never look good, even when the paper is newly hung.

The curling seams are caused, in my opinion, because the paper backing absorbs moisture from the air, or if water is splashed onto a backsplash and can be wicked up into the paper backing of the wallpaper. The paper expands, the vinyl doesn’t, causing it to curl back. Then the vinyl actually delaminates from the paper backing. This is not a “loose seam” and cannot be simply glued back down. The two layers of the product are coming apart, and cannot be repaired.

My advice – avoid these papers. Instead go for a paper paper, or one of the new non-woven papers. More info on choosing a quality paper in the “Beginning – General Info Pack” page to the right.

Can’t Sell the House With Outdated Wallpaper

June 23, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

The homeowners have put this Bellaire (Houston) house on the market, but it has not been attracting much attention, and the realtor says it’s partially due to the outdated wallpaper. My camera ate pics of three of the rooms, so you have only this mossy green stripe combined with a coordinating faux finish accent wall – topped with a topiary themed border. Gee – NO ONE is doing borders these days. The paper has to go!

So, today I am stripping off paper that I hung in 2001. I am proud to say that every wallpaper in every room I did 16 years ago is still in absolutely perfect condition, even in the humid bathrooms.

This job went especially well, since I used a good paste and because I had primed the wall with an excellent primer, oil-based KILZ Original. I was able to remove the paper in three bathrooms in just a few hours, with virtually no damage to the walls, because the KILZ protected them.  Because KILZ Original is oil-based, it will not re-wet when wallpaper paste is put on top of it, or when water is used to remove old wallpaper.

NOTE: The formula for KILZ has changed in recent years, due to environmental regulations. Wallpaper paste won’t adhere to it, so it is no longer a good primer for wallpaper projects.

In the second photo, I am stripping off top vinyl layer of the green striped wallpaper. The tan colored paper backing is left on the wall. In the third photo, you see the tan backing. I have soaked some of it, and the wet areas are a darker tan color. Once it gets good and wet, the paste reactivates, and the paper can be gently scraped from the wall, or, if you’re really lucky, gently pulled from the wall in large pieces. In the third photo, the white area in the center is where the paper backing has been removed, revealing the KILZ primer underneath. It was fun to also find my measurements and notes written on the wall back in 2001.

See the next post for a pic of the room with the paper off.  The realtor walked in and was very happy.  Next the painter will prime with a stain-blocking primer (like oil-based KILZ Original or Zinsser’s BIN) to prevent residual wallpaper paste from causing the new paint to crackle and flake off, and then paint the walls.