Posts Tagged ‘clouds’

Not So Turbulent Storm Clouds in a Newborn’s Nursery

May 31, 2020


I’ve hung this pattern before, but in the more typical black-on-white colorway (do a Search here to see pics). This version, with blue ebbing to red, is softer and nicely suited to a baby’s nursery accent wall. The little guy was born just two days before this mural went up!

The design has a sort of scratchy pen & ink look that you only notice when you get close.

This product is not wallpaper with the typical repeating pattern, but a mural. Each bolt contains four strips, which combine to 9′ wide x almost 10′ high.

In the last photo, you see how the manufacturer has provided a mock-up of how the strips look and how they should be placed, as well as a picture of the overall design.

This wall required one 9′ wide 4-panel set, as well as two additional strips from a second 4-panel set.

The wall height was less than 8′, so more than 2′ of the height had to be cut off and discarded. The mother wanted to see both blue and red colors. So the grandmother (Mom was still in the hospital) and I rolled everything out on the floor to accurately compare the height of the wall with the length of the panels, and then determine how much to cut off from the top and from the bottom.

I tweaked the placement a little more, because I wanted to include as much of the clouds on the top far right side as possible, while still keeping a good amount of red at the bottom.

The pattern is called NUVOLE AL TRAMONTO in DUSK/PINK, and is by Cole & Son, a British company. It is printed on a non-woven substrate, which has a high fiberglass content, and is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

N-W’s also don’t expand when they get wet with paste, which allows for accurate measurements. Also, it requires no booking time, so it enables you to use the paste-the-wall method – which is what I did today. No need to drag in my big loppy pasting table. 🙂

This wallpaper 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 West University neighborhood of Houston.

Cloud Mural in Baby Girl’s Nursery

May 8, 2020


Want a room that will suit a child of either gender, and also grow with him/her into the teen years? This “Nuage” cloud mural by Anewall (A New Wall) checks off all the boxes!

This mural was not custom-sized, but came in pre-set dimensions. The product came in six strips, and the overall size was a bit taller and wider than the wall. In the third photo, I am laying out all the strips on the floor. This is very important, because you want to be sure you are grabbing strips in the correct order before you paste them to the wall.

Also, laying out the mural on the floor enabled me to see the whole design, so I could decide how much of the excess to cut off at the top and bottom. And I could also determine where the center was (break in the clouds), so I could position it where the parents would be placing the baby’s crib against the wall.

The material was pre-pasted, so I didn’t need to lug in my big table and pasting equipment. The paste is already on the back of the paper, and is activated by water. Some people spray the back with a squirt bottle. But I find this messy and sporadic. I prefer the old-fashioned water tray method. It’s quick, easy, and gives the most uniform water coverage.

In the fourth photo, you see my plastic dropcloth protecting the floor, two towels on top of that to absorb water splashes, and then my green water tray. Each rolled-up strip will be placed in the tray, and then unrolled and pulled out on top of the towels. This exposes the paste to water, which activates it. Then each strip is folded pasted-side-to-pasted-side (booked), and set aside to absorb the water/activate the paste/expand/relax.

In the next shot, I have aimed the red line of my laser level along the center of the wall. I am hanging my first strip, butted up against the red line. On we go, until the wall is covered with clouds!

In the close-up, you see that the design has a sort of tufted “quilty” look to it.

HOWEVER, I did experience some excessive vertical expansion / stretching between some of the strips. This means that some strips became wet with water and expanded more than others. And that means that the pattern on some strips did not match up perfectly with the previous strip. The protocol is that you match the pattern at eye-level, and then as the paper moves up and down the wall, the pattern will fall out of match.

The good thing is that this pattern is so scratchy and “quilty” that the eye will never notice a 1/8″ or even 1/4″ mis-match, especially not from a distance. With a more precise and visible pattern, this would be an issue.

This home is relatively new, and is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Powerful Storm Clouds – Cole & Son Nuvolette

March 14, 2020


“Nuvolette” by the British manufacturer Cole & Son is a very popular pattern – but not every room can handle such a strong design. This bedroom in a new townhome on the far west side of Houston is large enough to contain the storm clouds – which will cover all four walls. Talk about drama!

The dark floor and dark woodwork help ground the pattern. The homeowner has a background in interior design, and I can’t wait to see what furniture, bedding, window coverings, and accessories she outfits the room with.

The pattern match is very tricky, and you have to plot everything carefully and confidently before you cut anything. The product comes packaged as an A-B 2-bolt set. On the label it’s noted that one pattern match is straight across, while the next strip is a drop match.

So, essentially, this has a multiple-drop pattern match , played out across four strips of paper – but with even more complicating factors tossed in. It’s a real brain-banger to plot out! I’ve hung it twice, and both times was lucky enough to have a large open area where I could spread out the A and B bolts, and then plenty of time and a distraction-free environment to get my head around the pattern match.

In the picture, you just see a nicely fit-together set of panels. But getting them to that point did take a good bit of engineering! (Especially since “someone” opened the shipping box and removed several of the bolts from their original packaging, so there was no way to tell the A bolts from the B bolts.)

Like most of Cole & Son’s wallpaper, this was a non-woven material. This stuff has a high-fiberglass content, and thus does not expand when it gets wet with paste. This allows you to get accurate measurements that won’t change when the paper is pasted. It also allows you to paste a strip and hang it immediately (no booking time), and takes the pressure off of having a booked strip over-expanding while you fiddle with hanging a difficult strip.

It went up pretty nicely. Tomorrow I will hang the remaining two walls.

The pattern is in the Fornasetti line by Cole & Son, 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.

From Dining Room to Home Office

December 4, 2019


The previous owners used this as a dining room, but the new homeowners are a young family that need the space for a home office / toddler’s playroom. They wanted a bolder pattern than the original soft clouds, but were happy to stick with the black and white color palette.

Once I got the original paper thoroughly soaked with a sponge and clean water, the paste reactivated and it stripped off the wall easily and with no damage.

It did reveal a previous wall treatment – a stenciled diagonal foliage pattern.

It also revealed a lightly textured wall. I don’t like these bumps showing under the new wallpaper, so I used a trowel and “mud” (drywall joint compound) to smooth the wall.

After sanding smooth, vacuuming up the dust, wiping dust off the wall with a damp sponge, and then priming, the new wallpaper could go up. I used a laser level to center the design on the wall.

This wallpaper pattern is in the Magnolia Home collection- yes, good old Joanna Gaines. It is by York, and is in their SureStrip line.

It is pre-pasted and goes up easily and cleanly, and is a delight to work with – one of my favorites. SureStrip is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

The home is in the Energy Corridor area of west Houston.

From Dark to Lightly Cloudy

September 29, 2019



I liked the original paper in this powder room of a newish home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. But the mom wanted something brighter and better suited to her young family. This is the second time I’ve hung this pattern – and the houses are just a few blocks apart!

This wallpaper pattern is by Eijffinger (an European company), and is quite likely a riff on Cole & Son’s “Nuvolette” pattern of roiling clouds. The C&S design is quite powerful, and needs a large space to play out. This Eijffinger take is much easier to live with, especially when it’s on all four walls of the room.

This is printed on a thick and spongy non-woven material that was flexible, and it was pretty nice to work with. I could have pasted the wall to install, but opted to paste the material.

Roiling Clouds Wallpaper in a Montrose Bathroom

July 4, 2019


Historic British manufacturer’s Fornasetti Line “Nuvolette” wallpaper pattern… I have long wanted to hang this paper, and finally got my chance today!

The walls in this first-floor bathroom of a newish contemporary styled home in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston were textured and covered with a semi-gloss paint. (top picture) It took me a day and a half to skim-coat the walls with smoothing compound, let dry, sand smooth, vacuum up the dust, wipe dust off the walls, prime, and let the primer dry. (second photo shows the smoothed and primed walls)

You would see this pattern better in a larger, less broken-up room, but here you can tell that it is a powerful depiction of roiling thunder clouds storming powerfully toward the west.

The product is unusual, in that it comes in a 2-pack set of “A” and “B” rolls. Each bolt is the same width and length as many Cole & Son papers. But the pattern is placed on those bolts very atypically, and the pattern match is equally unexpected.

Usually, wallpaper patterns match straight across from strip to strip. (straight across match) This means you see the same design element at the top of the wall on every strip. Or they drop down bit on every other strip, then pop back up to the top of the wall on the third strip. (drop match)

A much less common and much more complicated patter match is when the pattern motif repeats itself at the top of the wall only on every fourth (or more) strip. It can take a lot of mind-bending to figure out how to get the pattern placed correctly, and without wasting more paper than necessary.

Look at the upper left of the label, and it says that when placing the A strip to the right of the B strip, it’s a straight match. But when you position the B strip to the right of the A strip, it’s a drop match. This makes everything even wackier and more complicated!

What helped me here is that this home had plenty of room to roll out the bolts of paper, and plot out how the pattern would fall. (see photo) No one was home, so I had peace and quiet to concentrate and get my head around the intricacies of the pattern.

It turned out that the “straight match” indicated on the label was an error – no strips featured a straight match. Good thing I had all that floor space to roll the bolts out, so I could determine that.

Because the pattern match was so unpredictable, it was not possible to cut all of the “odd” and “even” strips ahead of time. And the very unlevel / unplumb qualities of the room also stepped in to make this impossible.

One thing that helped was that this was a non-woven material, which meant that the wallpaper did not need to be booked (left to sit and absorb paste and expand) before hanging. So as soon as I was able to figure out the pattern match for the upcoming strip, I was able to paste and hang the strip-in-hand.

If I had had to figure, measure, plot, paste, book, and then finally hang each strip individually, it would have taken a lot more than the eight hours it did take me to hang this 8-roll bathroom.

A big help on this pattern is that I belong to the Wallcovering Installers Association, and I check our Facebook page every day. (Sorry – it’s private … you can’t peek!) It was there that I learned about others’ experiences with this Nuvolette design, and how they tackled the pattern repeat and the install.

Rolling Roiling Waves on a Heights Dining Room Wall

January 18, 2019


This pen & ink-like drawing of rolling waves is obviously a knock-off of the very popular (and very expensive) “Nuvolette” in the Fornasetti collection by Cole & Son.

I have to say – I think I like this one better. The pattern is more homogeneous and less overpowering. Yet you still get the same feel of movement from the rolling waves. And it has the same scratchy pen-and-ink feel as the other, plus a few seagulls tossed in, too.

This design is by Eijffinger. I hung it in a newly-remodeled and expanded home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. It is a non-woven material, and is designed to be hung via the paste-the-wall method. I did use this method this time, as it was one accent wall in a dining room, with no intricate cuts nor difficult spaces to access. It went up beautifully, with near-invisible seams.

Clouds on Blue Sky in a Baby’s Nursery – Accent Wall

February 24, 2015

Digital Image

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Here is my second accent wall in a to-be-born baby’s nursery in two days. (And I have a third one later this week!) This wallpaper is by Spoonflower. I generally like working with their product, but it does take a bit of a learning curve.

For one thing, you have to be careful how you order the paper. Usually, “six rolls” will come packaged in three double roll bolts of paper. But here the Spoonflower company has packaged each roll separately. This means there is a lot more waste, as I can often get three strips out of a double roll, but can only get one strip out of a single roll, with about five feet left over that is too short to use anywhere.

Also, this is a pre-pasted paper, and it’s very thin. So activating the paste will cause the paper to become very wet, resulting in the blotchiness you see here. Don’t worry – once it dries, it will look fine.

The paper is also designed to be overlapped at the seams, instead of butted, which is the typical way of joining strips of wallpaper. In fact, if you butt the seams on this brand of paper, it will dry and shrink just a little, revealing a hair’s breadth of wall in between the two strips. So you overlap the seams. But that mean you have a visible and tangible thickness the entire length of every seam. On a busy pattern, this is not all that noticeable (Do a Search on my blog for “Sherlock Holmes Wallpaper.”) But on this very plain sky pattern, the overlapped ridge will be somewhat noticeable, especially when the sun is shining through the windows at certain times of the day. Still, once you get the crib in place and hang a few things on the wall, the seams will fade to the background.

Another thing about this particular job, the walls were not plumb, and the crown molding was way off from level, going uphill as you moved from left to right. If I had hung the paper true-to-plumb and matched the strips as they were designed to be matched, we would have had the crown molding moving away from the clouds diagonally, looking pretty bad. The wallpaper engineer designed the paper so one half of a cloud on the right side of a strip would be overlapped by the other half of the cloud on the left side of the next strip. If I had done this, the clouds would have been marching downhill, because the walls and ceiling were not plumb or level.

To avoid having to match the clouds at the seams of every strip, I hand-trimmed the clouds on one edge to be only 1/4 of a cloud, to allow for the overlap the manufacturer wants. On the opposite edge, I trimmed off of one cloud completely. This gave me an edge with no motif that had to be matched to the other strip. I took this “free-form” edge and overlapped it over the edge with the 1/4 cloud, covering it up completely and not lining it up with the 1/4 cloud, but instead raising the clouds at the top of the wall to the same height as those on the previous strip. This way, all the clouds appeared to be at the top of the wall, instead of sloping diagonally away from the un-level crown molding. The fact that the clouds on the new strip were a little higher than the clouds on the previous strip was not very noticeable, and it looked much better to have the clouds at the top of the wall all uniformly positioned.

The clouds lined up perfectly with the starting point, the wall on the left. But by the time I got to the wall on the right, the ending point, because the walls were not plumb, the clouds were going crooked, and were wider at the bottom of the wall than at the top. This was very noticeable. To minimize that, I cut some partial clouds that were the same width as the clouds at the bottom of the wall out of scrap wallpaper, and pasted them over the too-narrow clouds at the upper portions of the wall. This way, the eye saw uniform widths of clouds from the top to the bottom of the wall. And the eye didn’t see that the spacing between the appliqued clouds and the rest of the pattern was a little less than it should have been.

Sometimes, it’s all about fooling the eye.

I know that my explanation is difficult to follow, and probably doesn’t make sense to anyone other than a fellow paperhanger. But suffice it to say that these little tricks helped mightily to make the overall look uniform and pleasing.

This cute pattern was hung in a nursery in a home in Bellaire (Houston).