Posts Tagged ‘design’

Getting an Overview

March 11, 2018


Re the install described in my previous post, here I am rolling the wallpaper out on the floor, so I can determine the overall pattern distribution. This helps me see how the pattern will play out across the wall.

This way, I can plot what design motif I want to sit at the top of the wall, and which motif will fall just above the wainscoting – which is important because it is at eye-level. I can also plan to balance the design in the center of the wall.

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Etched Forest Mural in a Baby Girl’s Room

January 4, 2018

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No pink dollies for this baby girl (still a few months away!). This foresty mural is far more interesting. The “etched” appearance of the design brings to mind an old-world lithograph, and adds depth to the image. The green and gold colors are muted, and coordinate with the mom’s planned color scheme of grey, taupe, and dusty rose.

The first photo shows laying the mural out on the floor, to be sure the panels match, and to be sure they are in the right sequence. This also allows me to check dimensions of the mural against those of the wall, and to plot placement of the design.

This mural is from Europe. It came in 8 panels, and was custom-sized to fit the wall. It was a non-woven material, and was installed via the paste-the-wall method. This particular material was stiff and felt even brittle. I wasn’t thrilled working with it, but once it was up on the wall, it will be fine.

I hung this in a baby girl’s nursery in a home in West University (Houston). The manufacturer is Rebel Walls.

Medicine Cabinet? WHAT Medicine Cabinet?

October 6, 2017

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The homeowner of this new contemporary townhome in the Midtown neighborhood of Houston didn’t want the plywood medicine cabinet standing out like a big white blob against her beautiful new wallpaper. She thought that covering it with wallpaper would help it fade into the design, and be less obvious.

She was right – the cabinet is much less noticeable now.

The cabinet is simple, but it still took about an hour to cover it with wallpaper. The wood had already been primed with KILZ, a stain blocker that will prevent any wood sap from bleeding through the wallpaper. Then I applied a wallpaper primer.

There is a seam down the middle of the door, so there is a total of four pieces of wallpaper (two on the frame and two on the door itself).

The cabinet is seen more from the left side than from the front, so I lined the pattern up so it is continuous when seen from the left side. Wrapping the design around the 3/4″ thickness of the edge of the cabinet frame caused it to not line up with the pattern on the surrounding wall.

No biggie in this case … The pattern is squiggly and irregular enough that a small mis-match of the design is not noticeable.

When I got to covering the actual door of the cabinet, I aligned the pieces so that the pattern would line up with the design on the frame, so that when you look at it straight-on (as from the toilet or shower), the pattern is visually intact. Again, even though the design does not line up perfectly with the design on the wall behind it, the slight mis-match is very minor.

The pattern match is perfect from where it’s viewed from the left side, and it is perfect where it’s viewed from straight ahead. Win-Win!

This wallpaper pattern is by York, in the Sure Strip line, and was bought at below retail price from 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.

Wallpaper on the Azalea Trail Home Tour, 2017, pt II

March 15, 2017

I attended the Azalea Trail Home Tour yesterday, which took me to four homes in the rather exclusive neighborhood of River Oaks (Houston). As always, I was scrutinizing the wallpaper.

One traditional style home had a very classic design of wallpaper (sort of a damask) in the dining room. Ever since I attended a Wallcovering Installers Association convention seminar years ago on “balancing” wallpaper patterns, I have been obsessed with the concept. This means that you position a dominant feature of the pattern so that it is centered on the wall. (Do a Search here to see some of my previous posts.) Normally, you can do this once in a room. Thereafter, the pattern has to fall on subsequent walls as it comes off the roll.

But in this dining room, there were about three walls that had the pattern centered. It looked wonderful, because the design was centered on a main focal wall between two windows, and again on an adjacent wall behind the buffet, an then on another wall that was highly visible.

Now, how can this happen?

I really studied the room. And I realized that all the draperies in the room reached way above the windows to the ceiling. And the drapery fabric and hardware pretty much filled up the entire space over the windows. Meaning that, the drapes would hide anything that was above the windows.

Meaning that, if the paperhanger chose, he could place the pattern as he wanted on the walls, and then mis-match the wallpaper pattern over the windows, knowing that it would be hidden from view. Then he could move on to the next section of wall and place the pattern as he wanted.

This trick worked nicely in this room, because the wallpaper design and color, as well as the draperies and hardware were all amenable.

It also took collaboration from the very planning stages, between the interior designer and the wallpaper installer, and also including input from the drapery lady and the hardware installer.

Clever Kill Point

January 1, 2017
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The “kill point” in a room is the last corner, where your last strip of wallpaper comes to meet up with the first strip. It almost always results in a pattern mis-match, so you try to hide it in an inconspicuous place.

All of the corners in this bedroom went floor-to-ceiling, and the eye would really notice a 10′ mis-match. So I put the kill point at the top of this corner, about 2′ of mismatch. Then I wrapped the rest of the paper around the corner as I normally do, ending up at the right edge of the door molding. This way, I was able to keep the pattern matching perfectly for the lower 8′ of the corner. Where the lower paper meets the strip above the bar of the rolling door, the thick bar hides the 3″ overlap and mis-matched design .

The pattern motif below the bar does not line up vertically with the motif over the bar, but who the heck is going to notice that? And even the 2′ of mis-matched design at the top of the corner is hardly noticeable, due to the busy pattern.

Which Way Is Up?

December 28, 2016
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Here I am, laying two strips of wallpaper out side-by-side, to find the pattern match, and to see how the overall pattern plays out across the wall. I am also trying to determine which way is up!

The two strips in the first photo are going in opposite directions. Still, I could not tell which way was up. But once I got to examining the design closely (second photo), I discovered something I have never seen before – The leaf motifs are printed facing both up and down! There IS not “right side up.”

If you look closely at the second photo, notice the light blue leaf that is on the left, second from the top. Then look at the bottom, second light colored leaf from the right…. These two leaves are the same leaf, identical – but facing different directions.

This is really a cleverly plotted wallpaper design. And, best for me, there is no truly correct “right side up,” so I could stop fretting and stewing and get down to hanging!

This colorful and fun pattern is by Hygge & West, an on-line company.

Crooked Walls = Wrinkly Paper

December 3, 2016
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Walls in homes are usually never perfectly plumb, just as ceilings and floors are never perfectly level. Not a problem if you’re painting. But if you are hanging wallpaper, that wallpaper wants to hang straight, and so it wants a straight wall to hang on to.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that if a wall is crooked, bowed, or off-plumb, wallpaper will have difficulty hanging butted up against it.

In this case, I had turned a strip of wallpaper around an outside corner – very tricky for several reasons, and more so because virtually no outside corner is perfectly plumb, which compounds the trickiness. If you wrap wallpaper around a wall / corner that is not plumb / straight, the far edge of the wallpaper will likewise become bowed or un-straight. So when you go to butt the next strip of wallpaper against this one, one straight edge will not be able to find another straight edge to “marry with,” and the strips will want to gap or overlap. Not good.

So what I did was, once I got around the outside corner, I made sure that the far edge of the strip of wallpaper was plumb and straight. I used a 6′ magnesium straightedge and a 4′ level as guides.

But making the far edge of the wallpaper strip comply to plumb caused the body, or central area, of the wallpaper strip to become wrinkled due to excess material. Thankfully, this was a forgiving pattern.

What I did was, I cut along some lines of the wallpaper design motif. This created some relief, so I could ease out the wrinkles and smooth the paper against the wall. VoilĂ ! The wrinkles and stress on the paper are gone; cuts, splices, and overlaps are invisible, and the the far edge of the paper is straight and ready to butt against the next strip of wallpaper.

Circles, Spots, and Dots

November 30, 2016
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These owners of a newish townhouse in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston wanted an accent wall covered with something to bring personality to their third floor TV room, without adding too much distracting color or pattern, and without overwhelming the large flat screen TV. After looking at maybe a zillion choices, they came back to one of their first loves, this fun ball design.

The builder had not textured the wall, so all the only prep that was needed was a primer. I centered the balls in the middle of the wall so they would look even around the TV set. I used plastic strips to keep paste off the ceiling and the walls that were not being papered.

This wallpaper I by Wallquest, and is in their Ecochic line. It is a thin paper (not a vinyl) and will hold up nicely.

Disguising a Kill Point

September 4, 2016

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When you wallpaper a room, there is almost always a mis-match in the last corner, the point where the last strip of wallpaper meets up with the first strip that was hung. So I try to hide this in an inconspicuous place, like a corner behind a door, for instance.

In this powder room in the Rice Village neighborhood of Houston, there were no corners tucked behind doors, so all the corners would be very visible, and a pattern mis-match in these corners might be eye-jarring. Sometimes, that’s your only option.

But today, I got lucky with both a design and with wall dimensions, that allowed me to hide the mis-match in plain sight, so to speak.

The area over the door was only 9″ high, and was not as visible as the corners of the room. So I opted to put the mis-match there. The idea was to splice two strips of wallpaper, each with different design motifs, together, to try to fool the eye so it would not see a mismatch, but instead would see an unbroken pattern design.

The top photo shows the wallpaper pattern (a damask) as the artist designed it. In the second photo, I am moving from the right to the left, preparing to meet the wallpaper to the left (not yet in place, so you see white wall). To prepare for the splice that will take place on the wall (which we call a double cut), I have padded the wall, to protect it, with a piece of scrap wallpaper. (It is important to not let your razor blade cut deeply enough to score into the wall, because an un-intact surface can yield to stress applied by drying (shrinking) wallpaper, and actually pull away from the wall.

The next photo shows the two strips of wallpaper in place and overlapping, with the wall behind them protected, and ready for the splice (double cut).

Instead of making an easy, straight vertical cut through the two layers of wallpaper, which would be fast and mindless, and result in noticeable a pattern mismatch, I opted for what we call an “S-cut.” Meaning, instead of making a straight, ridged cut from top to bottom, if I cut in an “S” pattern, it will be much less visible. Even better, if I cut along an element of the p0attern, such as these swoopy floral things, it all will be much less noticeable. It’s also important to use a fresh, new razor blade for this.

So, in the next photo, I’ve made my cuts – along the curved element in the pattern’s design. Now the strip of waste wallpaper that was used to protect the wall has been removed, and so has the excess paper from the strip beneath our splice. All that remains is to smooth the remaining layers back together … Once this I done, in the final photo, even though the pattern does not technically match, no one is noticing the slight discrepancy, and it looks great

Subtle Damask in a Rice Village Powder Room

September 3, 2016

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A damask is a timeless design, and will never go out of style – even when it’s been jazzed up with a pearly shimmer.

I hung this in the powder room of a newish home that straddles the Houston neighborhoods of the Rice Village, Montrose, and the Museum District. The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs. The wallpaper is by Designer Wallpapers, and was nice to work with.

The room itself presented some challenges, particularly the obtuse angles to the right of the sink, not to mention the un-plumb corners, wavy corners, and bowed walls.

I’m glad I had the designer order a little extra wallpaper, because I used three full strips and a whole lot of waste, to go around those two angled corners you see in the third photo. I needed the extra paper to make the pattern match in the corners as true as possible. We were lucky that this paper had a somewhat “scratchy” look, so a little mismatch would hardly be noticeable.

The pearlized finish also made it very difficult to see the design, or to be sure I had lined up the pattern match correctly.

Of course, that’s just what I fret about. Which other people never see. The homeowner loves the new powder room, and will spend the holiday weekend getting the mirror and artwork back up on the walls.