Posts Tagged ‘ceiling line’

Ceiling is NOwhere NEAR Level

November 29, 2022
We wallpaper hangers / installers like to have a nice straight ceiling line . Meaning, that the same pattern motif will show up at the same height on the wall on every strip . For instance, the top of the sailboat will touch the bottom of the crown molding all the way around the room.
But in old houses, poorly-built houses, or just plain old wonky houses (which are most homes in Houston! ), you can’t count on ceilings and floors being level , nor on walls being perfectly plumb .
When I used my level to check the ceiling in this 1926 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood , I admit – I laughed out loud!
When a surface is level, the air bubble will be in the middle of the two black lines . It’s common for the bubble to be a little “off.” But this one isn’t even trying to be in the middle. Meaning – the ceiling is nowhere near level. The ceiling line is moving up and / or down as it moves across the room. The discrepancy can be as much as an inch or even more from one end of the room to the other.
Meaning, there is no way that that sailboat is going to be just below the ceiling on every strip.
Luckily, this particular wallpaper pattern was such that you aren’t going to notice much.
The other thing is, most people who live in older homes, or homes with shifting foundations , or even new homes , understand that walls and floors rearrange themselves over time . So they’re understanding if sailboats drift down the ceiling line , or if patterns don’t match absolutely perfectly in the corners.

Two Color Rhythmic Print for Heights Breakfast Nook

September 7, 2022
Before. Grey and boring .
The built-in banquette seating has been removed.
Finished.
Closer look.
Showing the pattern centered on the wall, and with the shutters. The dimensions of the paper not corresponding well with the width of the window, along with logistics of pattern placement at the ceiling line but starting my first strip under the window all created some plotting and engineering challenges. Fun, but time consuming. But it turned out great!
The original idea was to just paper the nook area, ending at the vertical door molding. But it would have looked odd to stop the wallpaper above this doorway. So the homeowner and I decided to run the paper along the top of the doorway, and then down the left side (not shown), which dead-ends into some cabinets and the granite countertop. It looked good and was the right call.
It tickles me that this is quite obviously a riff on the very popular Strawberry Thief wallpaper pattern by William Morris , which is quite popular right now (do a Search here to see my installations of it). When a company comes up with a hit, you can be assured that a competitor will soon be making its own version of it.
The original has a lot more color, but this version is limited to just two colors. Even though there is a lot of contrast between the black and the white , the pattern doesn’t feel busy, because the design is so close and tight .
There is a lot of symmetry , repetitiveness , and balance in Wm Morris and similar styles .
I love the raised ink texture to this material .
Whoops! A slight pattern mis-match . The overall design is busy enough that small imperfections like this (as well as some color variations / shading ) are not really noticeable .
It’s odd to me that the printing defects are different in different strips / rolls of the wallpaper . You’d think that if the print roller was out of whack, it would create the same image every time it strikes the wallpaper surface. Or maybe it’s the trimmers that are off. If they had cut 1/16″ more off that left edge, we might have a perfect pattern match .
The manufacturer is York , one of my favorites , in their Sure Strip line, also one of my favorites.
It’s in the Magnolia Home collection , by, yes, Joanna Gaines , of HGTV fame with the show Fixer Upper .
SureStrip is a pre-pasted , thin , flexible , non-woven material that is easy to hang . It’s also easy to remove when you’re ready to redecorate , because it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to your walls .
installer houston birds

Bold But Muted Floral Brightens Guest Bedroom Accent Wall

August 16, 2022
Before. Primed and ready for wallpaper .
Done. This is an interesting colorway, because it’s a bold pattern but relatively muted colors.
Looks almost like a cartoon or anime .
Close up, the paper had a noticeable texture embossed into the vinyl surface .
The texture transferred to the back, so I used extra paste to be sure to reach the recessed areas .
Starting in the middle to position the pink flowers (most dominant visual feature ) down the vertical center of the wall .
This also evens out any off-tracking due to un-level ceiling line .
Mfgr is Missoni Home , which is made by York , one of my favorite brands .
This is a textured vinyl material and was VERY heavy. It is on a non-woven backing , so required no booking time , and could be hung by the paste-the-wall method. I preferred to paste the paper .
This is a new contemporary home in the Braes Heights area of Houston .

Palm Leaf Accent Wall

July 16, 2022
Finished living room accent wall. This was a looong wall – 24′ wide. It took 14 strips of wallpaper!
Before. I’m getting ready to skim-float the textured wall to smooth it, then apply a wallpaper primer .
Ready to hang, with my “A” and “B” strips lined up in the order they will be hung.
This is a paste-the-wall product, and I like to roll them backwards so the surface doesn’t bop into the paste as I position the strips on the wall. I secure with elastic head bands from the dollar store.
First strip starts in the center of the wall, both to balance the pattern. But also because the ceiling line is way not level and the pattern will go off-track at the ceiling, this will minimize the tracking by spreading it outward 12′ each way from the center. If I start at one corner, the tracking would be a lot more noticeable by the time it crossed the whole 24′ of wall.
Close up.
This is simply called Palm Leaves and is by Cole & Son , a good brand. It’s a non-woven material and is designed to strip off the wall easily and with minimal damage when you redecorate. It’s also a little more durable and stain-resistant than paper wallpapers. It was very nice to work with.
The home is in the Westbury area of Houston.
The couple has mid-century modern furnishings, and this wall looks fantastic as a backdrop !

Geometric Grasscloth in Home Gathering Area

June 29, 2022
No, this large room with sink and counters isn’t a kitchen. The family loves to entertain both family and friends, so included this “bonus” room in their new home’s plans. It’s used for both entertaining and crafting.
The wall facing you was originally painted a semi-gloss navy blue. In the photo, I’ve applied my wallpaper primer.
It will adhere to the glossy paint, and provide a matt finish for the wallpaper paste to grab ahold of.
Taking measurements and plotting the layout.
This paper has a selvedge edge , which has to be trimmed off by hand with a straightedge and razor blade. The manufacturer has not provided trim guide marks , so I am using a ruler and my eye.
The new look is so dramatically different I couldn’t resist taking a photo mid-hang. As you can see, I’ve used dark paint to stripe under where the seams will fall, to prevent any of my primer from showing through at the seams.
You can see the ceiling line starting to track upward on the right portion. More on that below.
Finished. Perfectly centered.
This is the mounting hardware for the big screen TV . I asked them to remove the TV, but we left the mounts in place. In order to support the heavy TV, they are placed quite securely into the wall , and I feel it’s best not to jimmy around with that.
Rather than have the first strip straddle the TV mount, I plotted to have my first seam fall down the middle of the wall, placing a seam in the mid point of the mount. This meant I had to hang four strips instead of three, but it made it a whole lot easier to work around the TV mount, as well as to keep the left and right edges of the grasscloth straight and plumb.
Close up showing the texture of this grasscloth material. It’s atypical to have grass cloth printed with a pattern , and I rather like the way the ink looks somewhat scratchy against the rough background.
Because it’s Schumacher, you can expect printing defects . The slight pattern match doesn’t bother me, as there were many more places along each strip that matched up perfectly. Nor do I mind the different intensity of ink on the two strips. That’s all part of the look of grasscloth.
But I wasn’t pleased with the white ink out in the middle of nowhere, as seen about 1//3 down the center of the picture. This isn’t considered a defect , and from a distance it’s not really noticeable. But it bugged me.
So I used some water-based paint and a very small brush from the craft store and lightly touched up the spots.
I also softened the mis-matched edges a bit. There’s a fine line between covering the white spots and staining the material, so use a light hand. And never permanent ink or oil-based markers or pastels.
Likewise, the ceiling line was not level, so as I moved from the mid-point out to the right, the ceiling rose above the geometric motif’s top edge, and a white line began to be visible, but only to the right of the centerpoint.
So I used the black paint to cover up that extra bit of white. This increases the width of that horizontal navy blue line from 1/4″ to about 1/2″. But from down on the floor you can’t tell, and it looks a whole lot better than having white on the right side and none on the left.
The brand is Schumacher and the home is in the Garden Oaks / Oak Forest area of Houston.
The interior designer who came up with this bold and lively look is Clayton Brooks .

Even Stripes for a Smooth Kill Point

April 22, 2022
When you hang wallpaper on all four walls of a room, when your last strip meets up with the first strip you hung, you almost always end up with a mis-matched pattern. I didn’t want a 9′ long pattern mis-match in a visible corner in this powder room. So I opted to put it over the door, where the space is only 7″ high, and where people are not likely to be looking anyway.
I had to bridge about 30″ of wall space.
As my strips came closer together, I was left with this gap.
If I put the next piece in place, I would be left with some ‘boxes’ that would be cut off, leaving a noticeable mis-match.
I knew I could make it look better.
First I used my straightedge to trim the top of the strips so they would fit flush at the ceiling line.
That’s not usually how you work along a ceiling line, but in this case it was a good option.
Then I sliced the strips apart vertically, following one edge of the dark blue stripes.
Then I started putting the strips in place, overlapping each of them just a little, to make each set of boxes narrower.
This made each set of boxes narrower, but it also made them equal width.
Here they are, all lined up in place.
You really don’t notice that the boxes above the door are narrower than those on either side of the door.
And it looks a whole lot better than having boxes chopped in half.
This wallpaper pattern is called Feather and is by Serena & Lily.

Lively Starburst Kitchen Update

April 16, 2022
Sink / window area, primed and ready for wallpaper.
Pattern nicely centered on this wall and at ceiling line.
Breakfast area window wall before.
I tweaked the pattern just a tad so I could get the dark vertical line along the cabinets on the right, and then also down the left side where this wall meets the painted wall. It makes a nice stopping point for the eye, and it looks so much better than box motifs that might have been chopped in half.
The “star” design adds so much energy and life to this room!
The pattern is in the Sure Strip line of pre-pasted wallpapers by York Wallcoverings. I really like Sure Strip.
Graham & Brown makes a very similar design called Indigo, which is very popular. I like this one better, for lotsa reasons.
The home is in Pearland, a southern suburb of Houston.
Some previous posts show other rooms I did at that same time. The homeowners did a wonderful job of coordinating the colors and themes throughout the home, working with golds and greys.
The wallpaper and design help came from Ballard Designs new physical store on W. Gray in Montrose / River Oaks.
After I arrived to start work, the homeowner decided she wanted the paper behind the refrigerator and also over a bank of cabinets to the right over the ovens. I hadn’t measured for these areas, so we didn’t have enough paper. Ballard could order more, but it would take several weeks to arrive.
So I had the homeowner contact my favorite resource, Dorota Hartwig at Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village. (713) 529-6515. She’s been slingin’ paper for decades, and knew right where to go that could supply the same paper in just a few days.
The additional two bolts arrived yesterday, so I was able to hang them and finish the job today, right on schedule. 🙂
This home suffered extensive water damage to the entire first floor due to burst pipes after the major freeze here in Houston in February 2021. It’s taken these folks more than a year to get their home back together. I was proud to help them get their home and lives back to normal – and a good bit prettier!

Foliage Update for Guest Bedroom

November 10, 2021
This small floral print was fashionable when it went up, 30+ years ago. But now it’s dated, and also some stains and dirt are showing. Time for an update!
Old paper has been stripped off, the walls have been primed with my favorite Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime, and ready for wallpaper.
Done! An accent of grasscloth was used on one wall. I love the way the greens match, and everything coordinates with the paneling / wainscoting.
Usually I place the pattern so a prominent design motif sits at the ceiling line. But in a room with wainscoting or chair rail, that horizontal mid point in the wall is more visible. So I plotted to have the bottom of the dark green, most visible flower land just above the top of the chair rail. It looks like it’s growing from the wood! The pattern also just happened to land nicely at the ceiling line, with no major design elements getting cut in half.
The material has woven fabric look to it – but that’s just the printing. It’s actually a very flat paper. It was very thin, and reminded me of papers from decades ago. It hugs the wall very tightly. I liked it a lot.
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The grasscloth accent wall. All four strips were reverse-hung, and hung in the sequence they came off the bolt. Yet you see a color difference (called paneling or shading ) between some strips. This is quite typical of natural products like grasscloth and sisal.
Close up. Bad photo … the color is actually an attractive green. The material is more of a thin balsa wood about 1/2″ wide, rather than traditional grass or reeds. I feared it would be difficult to cut through, but it turned out to work very nicely. But it would not have been good in a room with corners or intricate details to trim around.

The home is in League City, a southern suburb of Houston.

Compensating Around A Window

June 29, 2021

Going around windows, especially wide windows, can be tricky. Wallpaper expands, it twists, the design can travel up or down from the ceiling line – and all this can go on independently of each other, with the sections over the windows moving out of whack at a different rate than the strips below the window.

The challenge then becomes, when the next full-length strip is hung, joining the strips over the window with those under the window … getting the pattern to line up and the strip to lie flat on the wall without torquing out of shape.

In this case, the pattern lined up pretty well. But strips under the window ended up being wider than those over the top. So there was a 1/2″ overlap, which would mess up the pattern match. This 1/2″ also caused the full-length strip to warp and develop a wrinkle.

This was an easy pattern and placement for dealing with such issues. All I had to do was cut along one of the palm tree stems, slide the strip up so the palm leaf pattern lined up, straighten out the full-length strip and work out the warp, and overlap that 1/2″.

All that sounds simple. But the truth is, I probably spent the better part of an hour getting it all to work out.

Realistic, Textured Faux Brick Wallpaper Accent Wall

April 8, 2021
Textured wall skim-floated smooth, primed, and ready for wallpaper.
Starting in center to balance off-level ceiling line.
Pretty realistic!
The material has a slight texture, although it’s not visible in this photo.

Originally, the homeowner, a single guy in the Houston Heights, had a sort of Asian theme in his master bedroom. But he was ready for something more guttural and free form. Mission accomplished!

The new look is a little bit Industrial Modern, and a little Back Alley. 🙂

He has a lot of sports memorabilia, and I think that would look great hung on this faux brick wall.

The ceiling line was not level at all, which means that you can expect the bricks to not line up perfectly straight across the wall at the ceiling. Bricks would be taller on one end and cut shorter at the other end.

And so I started hanging in the middle of the wall, butting my strip up against a plumb line from my laser level. Moving across the wall, as the ceiling line starts to track up or down, by starting in the middle, you even out any wobbling of the pattern at the ceiling by spreading half of it on the right side of the wall and half at the left side.

As it turned out, the bricks stayed perfectly straight across the ceiling line.

This is a lightly textured, embossed vinyl product by Akea, a British company. I was really expecting a non-woven paste-the-wall substrate. But this was on a paper backing, which you don’t see often these days, especially with the European manufacturers.

It was thin and flexible, the seams laid down nicely, and no bubbling (bubbles are pretty typical with paper-backed vinyl goods).