Posts Tagged ‘colorful’

Revisiting A Mural I Hung Six Years Ago

July 16, 2021

Accent wall in home office in a newish home in Garden Oaks, Houston.

I hung this about six years ago, and was back to measure another room … which will be equally colorful and unique!

The mural was not quite wide enough to fit the wall, hence the slight gap at the left and right edges. Hint: Always consult with the paperhanger before ordering any material.

Playful Bottle & Glass Pattern Behind Bar Shelves

March 7, 2021

What a fun idea – using “barware” wallpaper on the backs of shelves above an in-home bar!

Only clear stemware will go on the shelves in front of this colorful, wacky wallpaper.

This “Cocktails” pattern is in the Fornasetti collection by Cole & Son. It’s a non-woven material, and can be hung by the paste-the-wall method, or by pasting the paper.

The contemporary / industrial modern style home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Fresh, Cheerful, Feminine Master Bedroom

February 28, 2021

Here is a bright, colorful master bedroom to wake up in!

This is a textured / embossed vinyl wallpaper on a non-woven backing, by BN Wallcoverings. I hung this accent wall with the paste-the-wall method.

The home is in the Eastwood area of south Houston.

Colorful Butterflies Flit Across a School Aged Girl’s Bedroom Accent Wall

August 29, 2020


Seventeen feet is a pretty wide wall – and makes for a very large bedroom for a pre-teen girl. I love the vertical movement created by the foliage in this design, broken up by the colorful butterflies dancing across the wall.

The leaves are a faint bronze metallic, and the butterflies are multi-hued. Yet the overall look is fairly subdued.

This wallpaper is by York, one of my favorite companies, and is in their SureStrip line, also one of my favorites. It is a thin non-woven material that hugs the wall tightly, and then is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. The material comes pre-pasted.

Today I used the tried-and-true method of running the paper through a water tray (see photo) to activate the paste. Just to be prudent, I also rolled a light coat of paste onto the wall, especially under seams and along the baseboards and ceiling line.

The home is in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston.

Brightening – REALLY Brightening – A Home Office Space

June 29, 2020



Originally, the accent wall was painted a darker color than the other three walls in this home office – but the overall effect was still drab. The goal was to charge the space with energy and cheer – and this wildly colorful, bold geometric pattern really pumped it up!

This wallpaper is a non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method. One pic shows my strips, back-rolled, held by elastic hairbands, and ready to take to the wall.

The manufacturer is A-Street Prints, by Brewster.

The interior designer is Kandi Palella, of Kandi Contemporary Design. She has perfectly coordinated the other elements in the room – artwork, upholstery, accessories.

The home is in Porter, which is way north east Houston.

Fun, Adventurous, Wild Color in a Rear Bathroom

January 4, 2020


Here is a larger-than-usual rear / pool bathroom that went from typical suburban hum-drum to wildly fun and colorful, all due to the addition of a little wallpaper.

Located in the Humble / northeast area of Houston, this house is home to a family with young children. The homeowner’s taste in the formal “public” areas of the home leans toward the classic, rather than trendy. Click here to see a room I did a year ago. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/brunschwig-fils-bird-and-thistle-in-a-north-east-houston-powder-room/

But for this bathroom, which is located off the family’s greatroom, and is adjacent to both the swimming pool and the wife’s work-out room, the homeowner wanted something fun and bright and spirited.

This wallpaper pattern is called Janta Bazaar, by Thibaut Designs. The inks on this paper are delicate, and can be stained easily. So it’s fortuitous that the homeowner had beaded board paneling installed, that reaches up to nearly 6′ – way past any splashes from the sink or toilet.

It 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.

Wildly Fun Exotic Themed Wallpaper in Montrose Water Closet

November 23, 2019


Please excuse the bad exposure, and look at the cool color of this wildly fun wallpaper. See the true color in the 3rd photo.

The homeowner worried that the marble floor with black diamond inlays looked dated (the townhome was built in the ’90’s). And this room, along with the adjoining master bath, was awash in blah tan paint … on everything – walls, ceiling, moldings.

Her original choice was a dark green paper with tulip type flowers spaced out on it. I didn’t want to tell her, but it sure looked dated to me. And I mean ’70’s. Luckily, her husband didn’t like it, either.

He DID approve of this much more fun and colorful pattern. In the larger master bathroom, it would have been overwhelming. But in just the potty room, it really packs a wallop!

This wallpaper pattern is by Justina Blackeney. Her line is pretty wild, so Google it and have fun!

Although the label doesn’t state so, I believe that the paper is actually made by York, in their Sure Strip line. It is pre-pasted and easy enough to work with, although quite slippery due to the shiny surface.

Wildly Colorful Wallpaper

October 11, 2019


Looking for something innovative, unique, and hit-you-in-the-face colorful? The top photo is of a page from a magazine at my client’s home today. I don’t remember the name of the magazine, but it was geared toward women, vegetarian, artsy, bohemian, avant-garde, free-thinkers, world travelers, trend setters, tree huggers, etc. Every page in the Homes section was awash in pattern and color.

The top photo shows custom-sized murals from backtothewall.co.nz

The second photo is of a de Gournay silk mural hand-painted in China. Plan on spending $500-$2000 per panel for a mural of this caliber, plus additional charges for installation. But rest assured, there are plenty of more affordable options being offered by other companies.

Leopard Spots Across a Heights Dining Room

April 27, 2019


The original incarnation of this dining room in a nicely renovated bungalow in the Heights neighborhood of Houston, with its medium-grey walls (the first photo shows the room after I applied my white wallpaper primer), was classic and bordered on elegant. But that look did not suit this young couple.

They wanted something more youthful and fun, and also a background that would set off their collection of “somewhat wild and colorful” artwork.

Thibaut’s ‘Tanzania’ wallpaper pattern in chocolate brown on a very light tan background fills the bill perfectly. Note how the dark ceiling plays off the walls.

Stroheim Playful Geometric – A Tough Hang Today

March 24, 2019


This colorful and playful geometric pattern went in an elevated “nook” in an open play area in a new home in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston. It wakes up an otherwise all-white house, and coordinates perfectly with bright artwork in the room.

The paper is by Stroheim, and was somewhat difficult to work with, especially in a room that presented the challenges it did – wide window, and four cubbyholes around three fixed built-in shelves.

First, the paper had a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand, a straight edge, and a razor blade. This is tedious and took about an hour to trim eight single rolls.

Second, any time you have wallpaper whose ink smells like mothballs, you know you are in for a tough day. The ink absorbs moisture from the paste at a slower rate than the substrate, so the paper backing puckers (called waffling or quilting). This doesn’t go away, even after booking and sitting in a closed plastic bag for several minutes – so you end up with wrinkles and blisters on the wall.

One thing that helps with this is lightly wetting the surface of the paper with a damp sponge. This allows the ink to absorb moisture, and relax at the same time the paper backing is expanding and relaxing.

You will also notice in the photo that the edges of the paper are curling toward the front. This is, again, the result of uneven absorption of moisture from the paste. Unfortunately, this continues once the paper is on the wall. I had to keep going over the seams to make sure they were down and that edges were not coming away from the wall. No matter how much paste I put under the seams, or how tacky I let the paste get, it didn’t seem to want to grab those edges.

Once the paper is good and dry, though, usually the seams lie down nice and flat, and any blisters or wrinkles will disappear.

Clay-based paste has less moisture content, and could possibly help reduce the waffling. I hate clay paste, though, because it’s hard to wipe off woodwork and off the surface of the wallpaper, and because it works its way through the paper and casts a tan tinge on the paper.

One thing that will help with issues like these is a liner paper. A liner is a plain paper of a special material that is applied to the wall before the decorative wallpaper goes up. It’s job is to absorb moisture from the paste, which causes the paper to dry more quickly, and to “lock down” the seams quickly. So a liner has its place, but it does add an extra day of labor, plus the cost of the liner material.

Interestingly, the Stroheim instructions did not spec a liner; only a good quality wallpaper primer (which I did use). They also did not spec clay-based paste, but recommended three different types of clear pastes (vinyl, wheat, or cellulose), each of which is distinctly different and contains different moisture contents. I would think wheat or cellulose to be too thin and weak to adequately adhere this particular material.

I’ve hung plenty of their products and had no problems with waffling or curling seams; it’s clear that the company has a blanket set of instructions that they stuff into every roll, with no regard to the substrate it’s printed on or the type of ink that was used.

The other thing is, most of the time, you don’t know what you’re going to be working with until you show up at the job site. Even if you research the brand and pattern number ahead of time, there will likely be no mention of the type of substrate or the “mothball” smelling ink. If I had known, I would probably have suggested that this homeowner use a liner. Beyond that, it’s good to have your truck stocked with a variety of primers and adhesives.

Back to the difficult room … I always say that a window like that is easy for you to look at, but very difficult for me to get paper around, at least while keeping the pattern straight and properly lined up. That’s because papers stretch and twist when they get wet with paste, and can contort out of whack. And the wider the obstacle you are working around, the more the paper can go off-kilter. So you can start perfectly lined up on the left of the window, but by the time you get to the right side, the strip coming down from the top of the wall may not line up with the pattern coming across horizontally below, and the two edges may not butt up perfectly, either.

It didn’t help that the pattern had an irregular hand-drawn look, so I couldn’t use a ruler to make sure every horizontal line was equidistant from the window molding. So that window wall took about two hours in itself.

Then there was the wall on the right, with the four cubbyholes in between the three shelves. I had to get two strips of paper on the backs of each of those cubbies, keep the seams from curling, and keep the pattern straight, continuing to four more strips on the wall to the right (the inside side of the wall you see on the right of the photo next to the door molding), so that all four of those strips would line up with one long piece coming down from the ceiling. Oh, and did I mention the extremely unlevel ceiling? This wall in itself took about three hours.

Actually, the irregular hand-drawn look of the pattern helped immensely, because the pattern didn’t have to line up exactly perfectly. Also, the way it was printed on the paper, the design motifs didn’t cross a seam, so that allowed me to raise or lower a strip slightly, to keep the pattern where I wanted it, without disrupting the look of the design. In fact, it was possible to not follow the correct pattern match, and the eye really couldn’t detect it. I could also cut strips vertically to narrower widths, to suit the area I was working in.

There were a few other tricks I pulled out of my hat, in lining up the design after coming around the window and shelf walls, to plumb up the pattern after turning a corner, and to disguise the very unlevel ceiling. The kill point (last strip meets up with first strip) turned out amazingly undetectable, with very little tweaking from me.

In the end, the nook turned out fantastic, and is ready to host children’s performances, reading marathons, or just gazing out the window.

The interior designer for this job is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. She works mostly on new builds and on whole-house remodels, and is a great resource for finding and coordinating all the details – tile, plumbing and light fixtures, rugs, furniture, lamps, accessories, paint colors, and, of course – wallpaper. 🙂