Posts Tagged ‘david hicks’

Bold David Hicks Geometric in Garden Oaks Powder Room

December 18, 2021
This young family wanted some WOW! Factor for their new home’s plain-Jane powder room. It’s a 2-room set up, with the sink in one area and the toity around the corner in a more private area.
Looking through one room into the next – yes, really a WOW! Factor!
Looks fantastic with the burnished gold faucets, light sconces, and hand towel ring.
Opposite wall. I centered the pattern on the wall opposite the mirror, so that the design would work around the room evenly and the pattern would fall equally on these two walls. In other words, the pattern hits the tile wall on the left at exactly the same point as it does on the tile wall to the right. The sconces also land on the same element in the wallpaper. This gives a very symmetrical look as you face the mirror. One of those things no one can put his finger on, but it makes the whole room feel balanced and in sync.
Back wall connecting to right wall with door that leads to the entry hall.
The commode room is under the stairway, so has a strongly sloped ceiling – and tight working quarters. You can also see that the wall is bowed in the corner, resulting in a good pattern match at top and bottom, but some mis-alignment in the center. Pretty typical. No walls are perfectly plumb, no ceiling is perfectly level, and corners are just about always a bit wonky. Geometric designs like this are particularly difficult to make look perfect.
On close-up, you can see a slight raised ink texture. This surface printed wallpaper was not a crisp look – nothing wrong with that … it’s part of the hand-crafted look. The non-woven material is thick and stiff, and the seams were a bit more noticeable than on many other non-wovens. I also noted that where the gold ink hit the edges of the paper, there were ever-so-slight curls and overlaps. My guess is the gold ink reacted to the wet paste and expanded differently from the black and the background color. Never mind. From two feet away, you can’t notice it at all.
The David Hicks Collection by GP & J Baker contains several variations of this type of bold geometric pattern. Some of the vendors are calling this a “new” release … but I first hung one of these designs maybe 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, they haven’t gotten any better with the quality. Surprising, because GP&J Baker’s papers are usually very nice – I did one just a few months ago and loved it. Conversely, this one is quite stiff, and trying to work it into tight spots such as corners or behind a toilet or around a vanity or light fixture can result in creases. And the ink flakes off very easily. Here, just pressing the wallpaper against the baseboard so it could be trimmed caused the ink to chip off, and you can see little bits of it collected on top of the baseboard on the left. Luckily, this was at the floor and not very noticeable. I used some black chalk to cover the white areas. But at eye-level, this would have necessitated removing the whole strip and replacing with a new one.

Wallpaper installer Houston

David Hicks’s “Hexagon” in a Master Bathroom – Note the Freestanding Bathtub

March 15, 2019

David Hicks’s “Hexagon” pattern by Cole & Son is a well-loved design. I’ve hung it a number of times. Here it is in a large master bathroom in a very Mid-Century Modern home in the Piney Point (Villages) neighborhood of Houston.

Just this bathtub alcove, along with two small mirror walls over the his-and-hers vanities, received wallpaper.

Just the tub alcove by itself took me over six hours to hang (six single rolls). The complicating issues were unplumb walls, unlevel ceiling and soffit, a geometric pattern that the eye wants to see marching evenly across the walls, thick stiff paper that is hard to manipulate, ink that wants to crack and flake off the paper, complicated room lay-out, and … squeezing behind that tub to put wallpaper on the walls around it!

There are some spots where the pattern match is off a bit, and some areas where the crookedness of the walls is very evident (meaning that the pattern goes off-kilter). But overall, the room turned out great.

The design is called “Hexagon,” and is by David Hicks, designer for Cole & Son, a British company who has been manufacturing wallpaper for way more than a hundred years.

It’s a non-woven material that can be hung by the paste-the-wall method, but I chose to paste the paper, which made it more pliable, and which made it easier to get paste where it needed to be when going around the window areas and behind the tub.

Piecing In a 1/4″ Strip of Wallpaper

March 5, 2017

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Sometimes, you do what you have to do. This last strip of wallpaper fell near a corner, but it was just 1/4′ shy of that corner. And, beings as how it was a rigid geometric pattern on a thick unyielding substrate, any attempts to “fudge” the pattern, “grow” it, “shrink” it, overlap and appliqué it, or pull any other paperhanger’s trick to move the pattern over 1/4″ – would not work.

In the end, I had to cut and fit in a 1/4″ strip (with a little more added on, to permit a tad to wrap around the corner, which is standard paperhanger’s protocol).

This geometric pattern is called la Florentina, and is by GP & J Baker, a British company. Designers credits include David Hicks and his daughter Ashley Hicks.

Geometric Wallpaper Makes for a Stunning Entry

March 4, 2017

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Geometric prints like this are very popular right now. They look great in the room – but they can be a real challenge to the installer. Walls and door / window moldings are never perfectly plumb, nor are baseboards and ceilings perfectly level.

With a wild pattern or a forgiving floral, you would never notice patterns going amiss. But with a rhythmic geometric design, your eye will catch any little element that is off.

Here, in some areas, I chose to hang the pattern off-plumb, so that it would align with the un-plumb vertical lines of the woodwork. Doing it this way made sure that the design motifs were uniform in size as they dropped from ceiling to floor along the door moldings – even though that made the top black triangle drop down a little as it moved across the ceiling line.

I was lucky in this room, because the height of the strips over the doorways was short, and I could fudge things a little and bring the pattern up to where I wanted it to be, with the black triangle hitting the bottom of the crown molding, which put the design motif back exactly where I wanted it to hit the ceiling line. See 3rd photo.

In the corners, I followed the rule, “It’s better to match the pattern in the corners, than to have it run perfectly along the ceiling.” I won’t go into details, but that corner in the 2nd photo took quite a bit of plotting and work. The pattern does not hang plumb, and it does not run straight down the door molding to the right. But, in the end, you don’t notice anything amiss, and the overall look is fantastic.

With all this engineering and plotting and manipulating, the two walls in the second photo took me about three hours to hang. The rest of the room was equally challenging.

In addition, the paper was thick and stiff and difficult to work into tight spaces. It was a “paste the wall” product, but when I tried that, I got puckered seams (due to the “dimensionally stable” paper expanding when it got wet with paste), as well as curled seams (due to the substrate absorbing moisture from the paste at a different rate from that of the inked top layer of the paper.

So I threw caution to the wind and ignored the manufacturer’s admonitions to “Paste the wall. Do NOT paste the paper.” Instead, I pasted the paper, and let it book (sit wet) for a short time, before I hung it. This let the paper absorb moisture from the paste and expand as much as it wanted to BEFORE I got it to the wall. It also made it more pliable and easy to work with.

It also, unfortunately, made the surface less stable, which meant that I had more instances of ink flaking off the paper. In fact, I had to discard one whole 9′ strip, because of one crease-with-chipped-off-ink. It was small, but it happened near a light switch plate, so it was in a very obvious spot, so had to be replaced. Note: Always buy more than you need, so you will have extra in case of the need for repairs down the road..

Fudging the pattern, hanging things off-plumb, and not accepting flaky paper paid off, though. Despite all the little indescrepencies that I fret over, none of them are really noticeable at all, and the the finished room looks fantastic.

This wallpaper is by GP & J Baker, a British company. It’s in their Groundworks line, and is by Ashley Hicks, for her famous father, David Hicks, who is well known for his black, gold, and cream geometric patterns, the most well-known being the hexagon. Google it, or do a Search on my blog.

The interior designers for this job are Neal LeBouef and Anthony Stransky, of L Design Group. Wonderful guys, and I love their crisp, clean, sophisticated style. The home is in West University Place (Houston).

David Hicks’s Popular Hexagon Pattern in a Powder Room

May 9, 2015

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People love this wallpaper pattern, company after company is knocking it off, and I have hung it a bunch of times. This under-the-stairs powder room was originally painted a baby blue. It was clean and airy, but ho-hum. Clothing the walls with this pattern added personality and dimension, and really brought the room to life.

This particular version is by Cole & Son, a British wallpaper company. It is printed on a non-woven substrate, and can be pasted, or you can use the paste-the-wall method.

It is thick and stiff, hard to cut, and somewhat difficult to work with, particularly in detailed areas, like around the light fixtures (which could not be removed, unfortunately), and around and under the pedestal sink. Here (and on the strips that went behind the toilet), pasting the paper was the best option, but the moisture from the paste, and the need to manipulate the paper around so many elements, put stress on the inks. The black ink likes to flake off, and some of the gold does, too. A Sharpie can come in handy! Pasting the wall worked well on strips that had no obstacles to cut around.

Add to that the bowed walls, the unplumb walls, the unlevel sink, the unlevel floor, and the rigid geometric pattern … and it was a challenge to work with. In the end, the overall look was fantastic, and the homeowners are eagerly planning their weekend, so they can finish decking out the room.

Wallpaper Repair Today

September 14, 2014

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Digital ImageI hung this popular David Hicks hexagon pattern not quite a year ago. The other day, the homeowner e-mailed and told me their dog had chewed up a corner of the wallpaper. Boy, did he! … and he clawed a gouge in the Sheetrock, and ripped off another strip of paper in another room.

Once I got the wall damage repaired, the wallpaper was a fairly easy fix. I stripped off the lower 2′ of paper, making sure to cut around the zig-zaggy black geometric figures. I then cut a new piece of wallpaper to the right length, and trimmed the top around the design, so that the new piece would overlap the existing piece just along the “WWWW” in the design. This way, the overlap was only a 1/4″ wide horizontal zig-zag, instead of a vertical overlap along the entire length of the new piece.

Before applying the new piece, I used a black marker to color the thin top edge of the paper, along the black motifs, so the eye would not be caught by the white edge of the paper.

As you can see, it turned out pretty darned well!

This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, a British company, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

David Hicks’ Hexagon

November 4, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageMy client loves this pattern, and originally wanted to use it in her entry way. But they realized it would be too overwhelming on all four walls.

Instead, she had me put it on one wall at the far end of a hallway. Here, it adds a lot of pizzazz, without overpowering the space. Wallpapering just one wall is a lot cheaper, too.

They’ll probably hang a piece of art on the wall eventually, but for now, the wife just wants to enjly the wall of bold pattern.

This design is by David Hicks, for Cole & Son, and is quite popular right now. Pattern # 66/8056

Centering the Pattern

August 17, 2013

Digital ImageIf a wallpaper has dominant feature to its pattern, I’ll usually try to center it on an important wall – over a sink, behind a buffet, etc.

In this powder room, it made the most sense to center the pattern behind the toilet. This is a little tricky because you can bet that the toilet is never centered on its wall. This one wasn’t, either.

So then what? Do you balance the pattern on the wall, which would make it off-center compared to the toilet? Or do you center it behind the toilet, which means that it will be uneven on either side as it hits the adjoining walls?

I opted to center the pattern behind the toilet. There was a little more of a vase showing on the left side than on the right, but I thought that was relatively unimportant compared to having it line up with the toilet.

This is a design by David Hicks.

Flaw of the Day – Red Smudges

August 16, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageThis is an expensive ($180 / single roll) designer wallpaper. It was disappointing to discover these red marks on the paper. And especially so because the paper has to be hand trimmed, and I used the double-cut-on-the-wall method, which means that if you remove one strip, you have to remove all of the strips on the wall, because they are all fit into one another individually.

Luckily, the red marks were small, and up high enough that the average person looking around the room would not notice them.

This paper is a David Hicks design, called “The Vase.”,or.r_qf.&fp=8e08830c20b37e9a&q=david+hicks+the+vase+wallpaper

Hexogonal Geometric in a Powder Room

August 11, 2013

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This wall paper is by British manufacturer Cole & Son, design by David Hicks.