Posts Tagged ‘bold’

Buffalo Check in North Houston Laundry Room

December 22, 2021

I hung this bold and fun pattern a few years ago in a Spring (north Houston) laundry room. I’m back this week to wallpaper their kitchen, so took a minute to snap this shot.

It has a hand painted , water color -y look. I don’t remember the brand, but I’m thinking it’s from the Joanna Gaines Magnolia Home Collection in the SureStrip line by York.

Bold David Hicks Geometric in Garden Oaks Powder Room

December 18, 2021
This young family wanted some WOW! Factor for their new home’s plain-Jane powder room. It’s a 2-room set up, with the sink in one area and the toity around the corner in a more private area.
Looking through one room into the next – yes, really a WOW! Factor!
Looks fantastic with the burnished gold faucets, light sconces, and hand towel ring.
Opposite wall. I centered the pattern on the wall opposite the mirror, so that the design would work around the room evenly and the pattern would fall equally on these two walls. In other words, the pattern hits the tile wall on the left at exactly the same point as it does on the tile wall to the right. The sconces also land on the same element in the wallpaper. This gives a very symmetrical look as you face the mirror. One of those things no one can put his finger on, but it makes the whole room feel balanced and in sync.
Back wall connecting to right wall with door that leads to the entry hall.
The commode room is under the stairway, so has a strongly sloped ceiling – and tight working quarters. You can also see that the wall is bowed in the corner, resulting in a good pattern match at top and bottom, but some mis-alignment in the center. Pretty typical. No walls are perfectly plumb, no ceiling is perfectly level, and corners are just about always a bit wonky. Geometric designs like this are particularly difficult to make look perfect.
On close-up, you can see a slight raised ink texture. This surface printed wallpaper was not a crisp look – nothing wrong with that … it’s part of the hand-crafted look. The non-woven material is thick and stiff, and the seams were a bit more noticeable than on many other non-wovens. I also noted that where the gold ink hit the edges of the paper, there were ever-so-slight curls and overlaps. My guess is the gold ink reacted to the wet paste and expanded differently from the black and the background color. Never mind. From two feet away, you can’t notice it at all.
The David Hicks Collection by GP & J Baker contains several variations of this type of bold geometric pattern. Some of the vendors are calling this a “new” release … but I first hung one of these designs maybe 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, they haven’t gotten any better with the quality. Surprising, because GP&J Baker’s papers are usually very nice – I did one just a few months ago and loved it. Conversely, this one is quite stiff, and trying to work it into tight spots such as corners or behind a toilet or around a vanity or light fixture can result in creases. And the ink flakes off very easily. Here, just pressing the wallpaper against the baseboard so it could be trimmed caused the ink to chip off, and you can see little bits of it collected on top of the baseboard on the left. Luckily, this was at the floor and not very noticeable. I used some black chalk to cover the white areas. But at eye-level, this would have necessitated removing the whole strip and replacing with a new one.

Wallpaper installer Houston

Bold Pattern Toned Down a Bit, Mural in Nursery

June 30, 2021
Before. Smoothed, primed, and ready for wallpaper.
After. It’s more of a “dusty salmon” than a true “pink.” The parents are leaning toward a light sage green for the remaining three walls.
Close up.
Mock-up. While this is a typical repeating pattern, the manufacturer chose to package it as a mural, rather than standard rolled goods. This format works well with digital printing, and allows murals to be custom-sized to fit any wall. (Note: This mural is only offered in a standard size, 12′ wide x 9′ high.)
Rolling panels out on the floor to check measurements, plot placement
Manufacturer is Koko Art, a family-owned business in Florida.

With its black outlines and over-scaled flowers, this pattern is a bit bolder than you see in most nurseries. But the muted tans and salmons keep the look soft and sweet.

The remaining walls will be painted, but Mom wanted to see the mural up on the wall and in the room’s lighting before she chooses a paint color.

This product was packaged as a 6-panel mural. While many murals these days are custom-sized to the customer’s wall, this one came in a set size – 12′ W x 9′ H. It’s important that the mural be 4″ wider and also 4″ higher than your wall, to accommodate trimming at floor, ceiling, and corners, and to accommodate wonky walls and unlevel ceilings.

Koko Art Shop offers three substrate options. Two were peel & stick, so I nixed that sorrowful stuff. Instead, the family chose this lovely pre-pasted option. It went up very nicely.

The home is in an established community in Cypress, far northwest Houston.

Oh, and – the baby girl was born early this morning. It was an honor to help get the room decorated and ready for her arrival home!

Wild Indigo Pattern in Heights Powder Room

June 13, 2021
Type in captions

Just as with a powder room I did a week ago, someone thought it would be a good idea to paint this small room very dark – in this case purple. But the whole effect was dark and oppressive.

People said it looked so much better, even with just my light colored primer!

But it looks even better with the new wallpaper!

These homeowners took a bold step with a pretty wild pattern. But they are not alone, because it’s a popular pattern, and I have hung it several times.

it really does a good job of opening up this room, and injecting the fun vibe of this young family.

The pattern is called “Indigo,” and is by Graham & Brown. G&B is a good company, and makes a ton of patterns and textures. You can buy directly from their website.

Most, if not all, of their papers are on a “non-woven” substrate, which means they can be hung using the paste-the-wall method. I usually prefer to paste the paper.

The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Helping To Hide Seams

January 23, 2021

Like most wallpapers, this Sure Strip by York can be expected to expand a bit when it becomes wet with the paste. Once it’s on the wall, it will dry and give up moisture – and that results in a tad of shrinkage. That usually means you might see just a teeny bit of a gap at the seams.

Not usually a big deal. But when you have a dark or bold color such as this on a light background and also printed on a white backing, if the paper shrinks and gaps, you can end up with a hairline’s breadth of the underlying wall surface and / or of the white wallpaper substrate showing through.

Layman’s terms: You might have a slight white line showing at the seams.

To help ward this off, I did two things. One was that I used red chalk to lightly color the edges of the wallpaper. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture, but you can Search here to see previous jobs where I employed that method.

The other thing was to stripe red paint under where the seams would fall.

This is a bit more complicated than it sounds. Because wallpaper will stretch when it gets wet with paste, making it difficult to guestimate exactly where the seam will fall, and thus where to run your red stripe.

Once you plot that out, you need a level to guide you by creating a plumb line at the appropriate point. And then mix your paint with water and use a brush or small sponge to run along that plumb line, straddling it widely enough to catch the seam wherever the gap might end up actually falling.

Also, the red paint needs to be good and dry before you put wallpaper on top of it. So this means you run the red stripe down the wall, and then get fans or a heat gun, or employ some other method to get the paint to dry quickly.

Oh, and … wallpaper works best when it’s hung on a wallpaper primer. Primers specific to wallpaper are designed to resist the tension created when wet wallpaper dries and shrinks a tad, putting stress on the seam area.

By running paint on the wall along the seam line, now you’ve covered up the wallpaper primer. There is no way to know if that perfectly pigmented craft store paint will hold up over the long run and keep the wallpaper seams tight to the wall.

That’s one reason I used a fairly light mix of the paint. A full-strength concentration of red paint might not allow the wallpaper paste to grip onto it. And definitely do not use a glossy paint. Nothing sticks to gloss.

As you can guess, this process adds a significant amount of time to your install. But it’s worth it, because, in the red room I hung pictured in previous posts, the seams were virtually invisible. I know that if I had not colored the edges of the paper as well as the wall, white would have shown just a teensy bit at the seams.

Wild Color & Pattern – Imperial Dragon

December 17, 2020

There’s nothing shy about this sunroom! The boldly-colored pattern with its swirling motifs would have been overwhelming on wide walls of full-height. But here, on just the area above the wainscoting and in between the windows, it’s the perfect punch of color and movement.

I love the way the curled dragon fits perfectly above the windows.

I engineered to place the dragon in the center between the two windows that look out onto the garden.

The homeowner had adjoining cabinetry color-matched at Sherwin-Williams to coordinate with the colors in the wallpaper.

The home is in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. The wallpaper is “Imperial Dragon” by Thibaut, one of my favorite brands.

Nobody Else Has This! – Jack Rabbit Floating Wall

November 20, 2020

This wall between the kitchen and home office is what we call a floating wall. It directly faces the TV / family room. I can guarantee you – NO ONE else has such a bold and eye-popping wall treatment!

This “Jack Rabbit” mural comes as six panels, some with rabbits and some with just foliage, that can be placed next to each other in any combination.

The homeowner was originally considering this for her guest bathroom.

But the project was going to take a good number of panels. And, at $375 per panel, the price was getting out of reason.

This floating wall in the main living area was a much better option.

For one thing, only one panel was needed.

For another, because this is the area everyone passes through when leaving or entering the house, or looks toward while sitting on the sofa, the rabbits are front and center for maximum viewing.

Each 40″ wide Jack Rabbit mural panel is on a non-woven substrate with a thin vinyl coating, and is a paste-the-wall material. The quirky design is by Edmond Petit and was purchased through Finest Wallpaper, a newish company out of Canada, with a vast product selection, great customer service, low prices, and quick turn-around.

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

Not Afraid To Be Daring and Dashing!

September 25, 2020


Originally, the wall was just a grey-tan. Now look how bold and exciting it is, with some strong color and an adventurous pattern! Baboons! – Who would ever think of putting them across a wall??!

This is one accent wall in a dining room in southwest Houston (Meyerland/Fondren Southwest). The home had flooded during Hurricane Harvey, and the couple had it raised 10′ and then refurbished. This dramatic dining room was the final touch!

The wallpaper pattern is “Savuti” in the Dark colorway, by Cole & Son. It is a sturdy non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method.

Wild and Fun Laundry Room

August 22, 2020


I love it when homeowners are adventurous and willing to go BOLD. Well, this wild pattern and strong color sure do that!

I hung this in the laundry room of a brand new contemporary townhome in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. Other than this one lucky accent wall, every other wall in the entire home is plain white. 😦 A jolt of color and fun was sure called for!

One photo shows how I have rolled the paper out on the floor, to find the pattern match and plot where to place design elements.

Another photo shows the very narrow space – about 10″ ? – between the EXTREMELY heavy and unmoveable washing machine and the wall. I had to squeeze myself into that little space and reach way back about 30″ to the abutting wall, to get the first strip adhered and trimmed in place.

Rifle has been making paper goods for a long time. They have recently branched out into producing wallpaper. Smartly, and unlike many upstart companies, they researched how to make a good product, and partnered with York Wallcoverings (one of my favorite brands) to make their wallpaper. Good move!

This is a non-woven material, and I was able to use the paste-the-wall method.

I love the dark, dark green color, the vibrancy of the oranges, whites, and blues, and the luscious matt finish.

Brightening – REALLY Brightening – A Home Office Space

June 29, 2020



Originally, the accent wall was painted a darker color than the other three walls in this home office – but the overall effect was still drab. The goal was to charge the space with energy and cheer – and this wildly colorful, bold geometric pattern really pumped it up!

This wallpaper is a non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method. One pic shows my strips, back-rolled, held by elastic hairbands, and ready to take to the wall.

The manufacturer is A-Street Prints, by Brewster.

The interior designer is Kandi Palella, of Kandi Contemporary Design. She has perfectly coordinated the other elements in the room – artwork, upholstery, accessories.

The home is in Porter, which is way north east Houston.