Posts Tagged ‘cottage grove’

City Scape Zig Zag Lines

April 26, 2019


I love this headboard. The homeowner and his father-in-law made this from scratch, and they made the bed frame, too. I think it’s supposed to look like rough ship-lapped wood … but to me, it looks like the skyline of a major city.

Realizing that the dark navy paint on the accent wall behind the headboard was flat and boring, the couple went to Dorota (read below) and found this fun and lively wallpaper pattern. It echoes the shape of the headboard, while adding a modern, urban edge to the room. And I think it looks like a city skyline!

Note that this pattern very much resembles one by York, in the Candice Olson line, which I have hung a number of times. I guess there is nothing wrong with a company riding the tide of trends, and making a knock-off of a proven design winner.

This is in a master bedroom in a newish townhome in the Cottage Grove neighborhood of Houston. My photo of the label didn’t turn out (Note to self: Always check your phone’s photo log before leaving work for the day.), but I can tell you that the manufacturer is Designer Wallpapers.

The material is a crisp, stiff, medium-weight non-woven material. This stuff has a fiberglass content, so it does not expand when it becomes wet with paste, and it also is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

This material would have been more flexible if I had pasted the paper. But since this was one solitary accent wall, with no corners or toilets or sinks or windows to cut around, and since I didn’t feel like lugging my 7′ long and 30lbs table up the three flights of stairs to the master bedroom, I chose to paste the wall.

Because it was a dark paper adhered to a white backing, I used artist’s chalk to color the edges of the strips, so that the white backing would not peek out from the seams.

After cutting the non-woven strips, I roll them up backwards, with the colored surface rolled up inside, and the top coming off the roll first, and then secure it by wrapping an elastic hairband around it. This way, after paste is spread on the wall, when I climb up the ladder with the paper and unroll it, the printed surface will not come in contact with the paste on the wall.

Pasting the wall is a clean way to work, because no paste gets on the woodwork or ceiling, so there is nothing to wipe off. And the excess paper that is trimmed off at the ceiling and baseboard has no paste on it, so it’s clean and won’t stain anything it might fall onto.

The paper went up nicely, and the seams were positively invisible. Oddly enough, because the paper was supposed to not stretch or expand, I did have a little trouble with the pattern match dropping – the pattern matched at the top of the wall, but as you followed it down the 9′ high wall, the pattern began to rise. In order to accommodate this, I had to lower the pattern and allow a slight mis-match at the top of the wall, which permitted me to have a perfect pattern match at eye-level.

Also odd, since the paper was supposed to not expand, even though I hung my first strip against a plumb line (laser level beam), as it moved down the height of the wall, the pattern started to track to the right. As subsequent strips were hung, the paper became more and more off-plumb, until I reached the far left corner, and it was out of whack by more than half an inch from ceiling to floor.

If this had been some wild floral pattern, it would not have mattered. But with a rigid geometric pattern, and especially a vertical one like this, and on a dark background, even with a mere 1/8″ discrepancy, you’re going to notice when things get crooked.

Since the paper is not malleable, I was not able to stretch it into plumb. But I was able to pull a few tricks out of my hat to make it look like the paper was perfectly parallel to that left wall. I didn’t take photos, so no sense in my trying to explain it here. ūüė¶

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallcoverings, 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.

Beautiful, Funky 1960’s Mural

August 30, 2018


This mural is on the wall of a dining room in a 1960’s home in the Timber Grove neighborhood of Houston. It is actually larger than it appears in the photos. It’s original to the home, in perfect condition, and the ink colors are as vibrant today as they were the day it was hung.

Compensating for Crooked Walls

July 17, 2018

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Today I was to hang this cute bear wallpaper on one accent wall of a baby’s nursery.¬† The walls were 0ff-plumb, and the ceiling was not level, and the pattern was very plotted and symmetrical.¬† So let’s just say that the room presented challenges.

One thing that helped was the way the blocks of bears are printed on the wallpaper.¬† See Photo 1.¬† Unlike most wallpaper designs, the motifs did not cross the seams, so there were no elements to be matched from strip to strip.¬† This left me free to place the bears’ heads at the top of the wall with every strip.

Normally, when the ceiling is not level, the wallpaper pattern (the heads of the bears) would start to move up or down the ceiling, and that means that the heads would start to get chopped off horizontally.

But since this pattern did not cross the seams of the wallpaper and I didn’t have to match any parts of bears across the seams, I was able to pull each strip up to the top of the wall, and eating a uniform line (or head-count ūüôā ) at the top of the wall.¬† It meant that the lines of bears were not perfectly level from strip to strip – but that was not very noticeable, and was a whole lot better than seeing heads get chopped off.

The walls on either side were also not plumb.  As a test, I hung the first strip of paper butted into the corner, so it is parallel with the wall.  The second photo shows my laser level red line against the side of the paper.  If you could see above the top of the photo, that red line is butted against the edge of the paper at the top of the wall.  Yet as you move down the wall, the strip of wallpaper moves away to the left of the red level line.

I could pull the strip of paper into plumb so that it aligned with the red laser line Рbut that would cause a slew of bears to get their heads sliced off vertically where they hit the adjacent wall.  As well as when they got to the opposite wall.

Also, since the ceiling was not level, the bears’ heads would start marching either up or down the ceiling line, and, again, some bears would get their heads chopped off.

What to do?

I checked for plumb on both outer walls, and found that both walls were off-plumb by a fairly significant amount.  Luckily, both walls were out of plum parallel with one another.  This meant that I could hang the paper off-plumb and butted into the right corner, and it would come out on the left side of the wall nicely parallel to the opposite side (right corner).

So the pattern aligned nicely with both the right and left walls.¬† But since to do this I had to hang the paper off-plumb, it would also go off-level at the ceiling.¬† And since the ceiling was already no where near level, it was very likely that the pattern was going to track up or down that ceiling line, with a bunch o’ bears getting their heads cut off.

Here is where the placement of the pattern on the 20.5″ wide wallpaper made a difference… Because I didn’t have to match a bear’s head to a bear’s head horizontally across the seams. I could position each strip so that the tips of the bears’ ears were at the top of the wall.¬† (Read previous paragraphs.)

But because the ceiling was off-level by such a great degree, some of the pattern did get crooked, and so you see a couple of black feet starting to appear above the brown bear at the top of the wall (See photo 3).

But I’d rather have a few¬†paws showing at the top of the ceiling, than have a bunch ‘o bears get chopped off vertically at the corners.¬† But still, I didn’t like looking at those paws hanging down from the ceiling.

The fix was easy.  I took some scrap wallpaper and from it I cut some thin strips of white paper that I then pasted over the offending paws.  Voilà!  No visible dangling paws.

AND the pattern looks amazingly equal in each corner,

This is a new townhouse in the Cottage Grove neighborhood of Houston.

UnBEARably Cute

August 31, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Here’s something cleverly fun for a little boy who’s coming in a couple of months.¬† Bear paws and bear faces.¬† What could be cuter?!¬† The color coordinates beautifully with the blue paint chosen for the walls and ceiling.

This wallpaper is by Dwell Studios and is in the Sure Strip line, one of my favorite wallpaper brands.¬† It is pre-pasted and easy to work with, thin and hugs the wall tightly, seams are invisible.¬† And, when¬†it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to the wall.

I hung this in a baby boy’s nursery in the Cottage Grove neighborhood of Houston.

Small Diamond Pattern on a Master Bedroom Accent Wall

July 12, 2014

Digital ImageThis soothing pattern went on the headboard wall of a large master bedroom in the Cottage Grove neighborhood in Houston. The other walls were painted a lightish shade of the same neutral grey in the wallpaper.

This wallpaper was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Jazzing Up a Stairway

July 10, 2014

Digital ImageSome people see the ceiling as a “fifth wall.” Well, this family in the Cottage Grove neighborhood of Houston sees the stairway as another wall! Heading up and to the left are 14 more risers that I papered.

It took several hours, longer than I expected, and I learned on the second step that risers were not all the same width. ūüė¶ I engineered it so there would be a vertical white line smack in the middle of each riser, with the “arrows” in the center pointing up.

This wallpaper is by Spoonflower, an on-line company with lots of cute patterns. Some of these new boutique manufacturers put out some pretty wonky papers, but Spoonflower is lovely to work with. You overlap the seams, which is a little unusual, and which leaves a ridge, but that is barely noticeable, and the overlapping eliminates the worry about drying and shrinking and gapping at the seams.

If You Choose a Plain Paper, Expect to See the Seams

March 13, 2014

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital ImageThese days, textured papers are all the rage. This is a heavily textured vinyl on a woven fabric backing (something like cheesecloth, but firmer). Just be aware that on patterns like this, the seams almost always will show.

Note that I am breaking one of my own rules, and hanging the paper over a lightly textured wall. The paper is heavy enough that the wall’s texture won’t show, but the texture does interfere with the seams’ ability to pull tightly to the wall. Be certain that I discussed this with the clients before proceeding, and they OK’d it. Also note that I have striped a matching paint behind where the seams will fall, so that if there are slight gaps at the seams (there were), the white primer won’t show.

Back to the visible seams…In these photos, two things are going on. In the first shot, you notice the seam a little, because the textured pattern has no way to match from one strip to the next. So you are always going to see a little of a break where the bumps or colors do not match the panel next to it.

The second thing is, from a distance, you see a little bit of paneling, or shading. This happens when the color along the right edge of a strip does not match what’s along the left edge of the strip to it’s right.

To minimize this, I did what we call “reverse hanging” – I hang one strip right side up, and the next strip is hung upside down. That way, the right side of a strip is hung next to itself, so there is not a dramatic color break. You do, however, end up with a somewhat striped effect. But that’s usually only visible in at a distance, and only in some lighting conditions.

Yes, a little confusing. But it’s a good way to deal with solid patterns like this, and it minimizes the color differences.

This accent wall went in a bedroom in a new home in Cottage Grove, Houston. I’ll be back soon to hang paper in their living room.