Posts Tagged ‘breakfast room’

Un-Plumb, Un-Level

January 24, 2023
Shot of the finished breakfast room , for pattern reference.
Close-up view. The vertical lines are not wrinkles , but shadows cast by the macrame light fixture in this breakfast room .
The problem is, when walls aren’t plumb , and ceiling and floor and chair rail are not level , the pattern motifs won’t march across the wall at the same height on every strip . I’ve learned that, in most cases, it’s more important to match the pattern in the corner , and then allow the pattern to go off-track at ceiling or floor if necessary.
In this photo, note that the humming bird is sitting completely above the chair rail.
Here he’s dropped down to where his tail is swallowed up by the chair rail .
By the time we get to the left corner , half of the bird has dropped down and disappeared .
Here’s another bird motif doing the same disappearing act .
Feet and belly gone.
This house in the Eastwood neighborhood of Houston is nearly 85 years, so you can expect some settling and shifting on its foundation . But even brand new homes can have walls that are out of whack .
This beautiful pattern is by Cole & Son and is called Hummingbirds – it’s very popular and has been around more than 100 years … that’s older than the house!

Wallpaper In Southern Living Magazine

March 7, 2018

I always love to see wallpaper featured in national magazines, so I’m thrilled that Southern Living has a spread honoring this beautiful wall treatment.

In the first photo, the fluffy dandelion seed heads seem a little busy to me, but they sure impart a fun and uplifting feeling to the walls of this breakfast room.

The second photo shows a muted tone-on-tone pattern that forms a soothing backdrop to a bedroom.

The last picture is back to fun – it’s faux chicken wire. Just what Joanna Gaines might order to top off her popular “modern farmhouse” look.

Cute Wallpaper – But It’s Time To GO!

March 24, 2017

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This striped wallpaper design with coordinating topiary border was very cute, yet sophisticated – back in the ’90’s.

The homeowner is a realtor, and is up-to-date on decorating trends. She is ready for something more modern in her kitchen and breakfast room.

I stripped off this wallpaper today, and, most likely, the homeowners will prime and then paint the walls, rather than rewallpaper.

The home is in Tanglewood (Houston).

Wrapping Window Returns with Stiff Grasscloth

February 5, 2015

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Here is a continuation of yesterday’s job. This wall has five windows, each with two edges (returns) that need to have the wallpaper wrapped inside them. The wallpaper is grasscloth, which is thick and stiff, and not inclined to turn corners without a fight. I used my new “Uni-tool” (invented by a fellow WIA / NGPP member) to persuade the material to wrap around the edge.

The metal tool was used to kind of break the fibers at the edge, so they would make the turn, and then also to smooth out air bubbles, and then press the paper against the wall.

Also, you’re usually supposed to use separate strips of wallpaper in corners, including the 180* corners in between each window, so the paper can fuse itself to the minute changes in angles and plumb-ness of each surface. With thin wallpaper, this works great. But with thick grasscloth, you would be left with a visible difference in thickness the full length of each corner.

So I opted to use full strips instead. This lends its own set of concerns, mainly that if the angle is not 100% perfectly plumb and straight, the wallpaper will want to pull away from the wall, leaving an air bubble behind. To help prevent this, I used extra paste on the points of tension on the wall, in addition to the paste on the paper, and also worked hard with my smoother (but not so hard as to damage the grasscloth!) to get the material to stick nice and tight in all spots.

This wall has five windows, each with two “returns,” meaning 10 surfaces to be wrapped with grasscloth, plus 10 surfaces between each window – not counting the strips of paper above and below the windows. All this took me seven hours. Tomorrow I will finish the area under the tops of the windows, plus one 2-strip wall (not shown).

This is a patterned grasscloth by Thibaut, and I hung it in the dining room / breakfast room of a newish home in Sienna Plantation between Pearland and Sugarland, south of Houston.

Good-Bye ’70’s!

January 24, 2015

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This wallpaper (and the built-in whole house intercom) screams ’70’s. Actually, the wallpaper pattern is not that bad, and I, and the homeowner as well, kind of like it, and it’s such a novel theme that it doesn’t really look dated. Nonetheless, the homeowner has chosen a pretty blue-and-white pattern that will update this breakfast room in an early ’60’s home in South Houston.

The pastel floral wallpaper was hung over the original green-and-gold paper. I’m always amazed when I see how well the job held up over the years, because the installer did not seal the old paper, and that means it’s likely to absorb moisture from the paste on the new paper, and that leads to bubbling. However, his job looked great, no bubbles, and it has stuck to the wall for about 40 years.

Anyway, in the third photo, where I have removed one strip, you can see the original paper beneath. Some of it must have been loose, and the previous installer removed those areas and sanded them smooth. Neither these jagged areas nor the seams of the original paper showed under the pastel paper.

The pastel paper stripped off the wall quite easily. The green-and-gold wallpaper could not be persuaded to come off, though, so I floated over some of the thicker jagged areas, sanded, and then primed the walls with Gardz. Gardz is perfect for this situation, because it soaks in to porous surfaces such as the original un-coated wallpaper and the joint compound patches, bonds everything to the wall, and seals it so that wet paste from the new wallpaper will not cause bubbling. Gardz also makes it easier to remove the new wallpaper in the future, without damage to the walls.

Gardz dries clear. I would prefer it to be white, but pigment interferes with the soaking-in qualities of the product, so, if you really need a white primed wall, you can Gardz first, and then follow up with your choice of pigmented wallpaper (not paint) primer.