Posts Tagged ‘British’

Farrow & Ball Branding, Sequence

March 13, 2018



Farrow & Ball (who manufacturers the “Lotus” wallpaper design in my previous posts), is a British company, and they do things properly and meticulously. I liked their labels and the trademark design on the box their paper comes in. The box is corrugated cardboard and cushioned to prevent damage to the edges of the wallpaper rolls.

Each roll is individually wrapped, too, with it’s own sticker. Going further, note that each of those bolts is numbered, indicating the sequence in which it was printed. The idea is that each strip of paper should be hung sequentially. This will minimize any color differences related to ink as it works its way through the press.

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A Possible Good Quality Pre-Pasted, Paper-Backed, Solid Vinyl Wallpaper

March 8, 2018


In previous posts, including one day ago, I have railed against the lower-price-point, pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyl wallpapers. Do a Search here to find out why.

But today, at the end of a 9-day job in Bellaire, where each of the four bathrooms was using the same brand of wallpaper, this final pattern (in a powder room) actually went up beautifully.

The seams laid down nice and flat, there was no bubbling, no curling, no fighting with it. Even I could not find the seams!

I noticed three differences. First, the vinyl on the surface was smooth, instead of the lightly textured faux “satin” look on the other two patterns. Second, the paper backing seemed smoother, as contrasted to the somewhat gritty, porous paper backing on the other patterns. Third, the pre-paste applied by the manufacturer to the back of the paper was smoother and more gel-like, instead of the dry, globby, cantankerous paste on the other papers.

It’s too early to tell how this paper will hold up under humid conditions. But I have much more hope that it will not absorb humidity from the air, and will stay nice and flat to the wall.

The manufacturer is “Exclusive Wallcoverings” and is a British company. I’m not saying I love this paper, but it appears to be better than most of the pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyl offerings out there.

Hick’s Hexagon in a Houston Heights Powder Room

January 28, 2018


This large powder room (it has a shower!) in a new home in the Houston Heights originally had all-white walls (like the rest of the house). Interior designer Stacie Cokinos suggested wallpaper to warm the room and add personality. The homeowner had never used wallpaper before and was skeptical, but she tentatively agreed.

What a wonderful choice this turned out to be! The wallpaper defines the space and transforms it from timid to bold. But, because the color palette is limited, the feeling is not chaotic. The color coordinates beautifully with the dark brass wall sconces. Previously, the white woodwork blended in with the white walls. But now the dark color of the wallpaper makes the beautiful door moldings stand out.

This is a popular pattern, and I’ve hung it, or variations of it, a number of times. The design is by David Hicks and is made by Cole & Son, a British company. It’s a non-woven material, and is meant to be applied by the paste-the-wall method, but I had better results with pasting the paper.

The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. She works primarily on new builds, and mostly in the Heights neighborhoods. Her look is spacious, clean, and crisp, with a little fun tossed into the mix.

Noah’s Ark for a Baby Girl’s Nursery

December 24, 2017


Rooms for baby girls don’t have to be all about pink. Here’s a neutral-toned, animal-rich, Noah’s Ark-themed pattern that will grow with the child. This is just one accent wall, a very effective use of pattern, and economical, too.

The mother-to-be commented that the pattern was soft enough that it could go on all four walls of the room. I agreed. But I think it would look better, perhaps, if wainscoting were added at the bottom 1/3 of the wall, or a wooden chair rail and a slightly darker shade of paint at the bottom, and then have the paper on just the top 2/3 of the wall.

This wallpaper is by Andrew Martin, a British company, and was printed on a pulp stock substrate. It has no protective coating, so mom will have to be sure the little one keeps her hands off the paper. The home is in the Rice Village area 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.

Wallpaper – From Pastoral Toile to Jailhouse Brick

April 2, 2017

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This powder room started out with a classic French toile in yellow-on-red, on all four walls. It was a popular look – for the mid-Century. The homeowner wanted something both updated and rustic, with a little texture tossed into the mix.

I love the shot of the two patterns next to each other, with the new brick slowly eating up the tired, outdated French toile.

This paper came as a sort of a mural, with three 9’10” panels per bolt. It was intended to not be repetitive, so it had a long pattern repeat and a multiple-drop pattern match. (MDPMs are way too complicated to discuss here.) The look is attractive, because it minimizes the repetitiveness of a design popping up in the same place on every strip. On the other hand, MDPMs are the Devil to figure out, and they eat up a lot of paper, too.

Some of the photos show off the realistic pattern and feelable texture. To be honest, I really liked the product. Well, at least while I was working with the first bolt. It stuck nicely to the wall, turned corners tightly, and the seams were all but invisible. The rustic b5rick pattern looks super behind the dark oil-rubbed-bronze light fixture and faucets.

Then I needed to open a new bolt of paper for my next strips. The packages were not marked as to run or batch numbers. Interestingly enough, there was a slight color difference between “Bolt A” and “Bolt B.” Surprisingly, the color difference was not easy to spot, once the paper was on the wall.

Even with careful packaging, there had been damage to some of the edges of the wallpaper. Besides the banged edges, and paper backing showing white at the edges so I had to take an oil pastel artist’s material to color the edges of each strp. In addition, there was a tad bit of curl in the vinyl at the edges of the bolts of wallpaper. What this translates to is, many of the seams in the room did not lie down as tight and flat to the wall as I would have liked. See photos. I would have been happier with tighter seam joins, but the homeowners thought it all looked lovely.

This wallpaper pattern is by Debbie McKeegan for Digetix, a British company, and was bought on-line directly from England.

Fun Geometric Wallpaper in a High School Teen’s Bedroom

March 3, 2017
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What 15 year old girl would not love this wallpaper pattern?! And when she leaves for college and her room gets turned over to guests, the paper will still be perfect!

One photo shows the use of my laser level, to be sure the first strip hangs perfectly plumb. I measured and centered the pattern on the wall horizontally, so it would fall perfectly behind the arched headboard, and the laser level was also useful to mark the spot for that fist strip to land.

This wallpaper pattern went on one accent wall, and the black ceiling really sets the room off! It is called “Riviera” and is by Cole & Son, a British company. It is on a thickish non-woven stock, and was a paste-the-wall install process.  Don’t tell anyone, but I think it looks a little like grasshopper heads.  🙂

The interior designers for this job are Neal LeBouef and Anthony Stransky, of L Design Group. Wonderful guys, and I love their crisp, clean, sophisticated style. The home is in West University Place (Houston).

Coordinating Companion Papers

February 23, 2017
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I love the look of coordinating wallpapers in adjoining rooms. This floral and companion small scale damask went in two rooms of a guest bathroom in the Barker’s Landing neighborhood (I-10 & Highway 6) of Houston. The grey and yellow color scheme ties them together, as well as the feel of the design.

They are both from the same book, and are on a non-woven stock, and are by A Street Prints, a British company. They were bought at below retail price from 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.

Adorable Pattern; Difficult Install

January 27, 2017
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Many people love this pattern, but few have the chutzpah to put it on their walls. The owner of a new home in Spring Branch (Houston) took the leap and had me put it in her powder room – and it looks fantastic.

So the finished room looks great – getting the paper up on the walls was another story.

The problem was the extremely stiff non-woven material the wallpaper is printed on. The manufacturer, Cole & Son, uses a softer, more flexible non-woven material for others of their patterns, such as “Woods,” and it’s pretty nice to work with. This stuff I hung today is the opposite.

If you are only hanging wallpaper on an accent wall, this stuff would have been OK. But in real life, you will be working around angled ceilings, light fixtures, door and window moldings, toilets, water supply lines, vanities, and the most trying of all – pedestal sinks. Trying to maneuver and manipulate the stiff and unyielding wallpaper into position without getting any creases or overlaps or gaps or cuts or abraded areas was a huge challenge.

The installation took twice as long as it should have, and there are some aspects I am not happy with. (Don’t worry – the homeowners love it.) I would be happy if I never saw it again.

Oh, did I mention that I am hanging the same paper next week? Well, at least I have been warmed up and know what I’m in for.

This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, a British company, and is called Acquario.

Sweet Fairy Tale for a Baby Girl’s Bathroom

November 26, 2016
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This mother is crazy about her just-learning-to-walk daughter, and wanted to do something special for the little girl’s room, starting with the bathroom.

Originally, the mother was pretty sure she wanted pink and white stripes. On our initial consultation, I assured her that stripes are classic and safe. Then I encouraged her to explore more options – there is a whole world out there of wallpaper patterns suitable for children, from sweet little girls to raucous boys to patterns that will remain appropriate from toddlerhood through the teen years.

I am glad that she took my advice. And she is, too. In fact, she is positively thrilled with the soft color and sweet charm of this storybook wallpaper pattern. Look closely, and you will love it, too!

This wallpaper is in the Jane Churchill line, by Cowtan & Tout, a British company. The design features Winnie the Pooh and friends, and is called “One Hundred Acre Wood.” It comes in several colors, it is positively adorable, and, in fact, I have another client who is planning to use this same paper and colorway in a few weeks.

This wallpaper pattern is printed on what we call a British “pulp paper” stock, and will stay nice and tight to the wall, even under humid conditions. There is no vinyl coating, though, as with many American alternatives, so staining is a possablity. To prevent this, the homeowners must be careful not to touch the paper with their hands or splash water onto the paper while using the sink.

I hung this cute story book toile pattern in pink-on-white in a little girls’ bathroom in a newish home in River Oaks. This wallpaper is by Cowtan & Tout, and was bought at a discounted price from 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.