Posts Tagged ‘clouds’

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.

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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

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

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).