Posts Tagged ‘dining room’

Dreamy Cloudy Wall Revisited

August 21, 2019


Don’t look at the plant – look at the WALLPAPER! 🙂

I hung this a month ago and was back to do another room today, so had a chance to take this shot. It’s a perfect “background” pattern in a dining room, for this busy family of young children, in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Another White House Gets Warmed With Wallpaper

August 18, 2019

This completely renovated ranch-style home in the Shepherds Park Plaza / Candelight Terrace / Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston is decorated in grey and white, with strong touches of natural weathered wood tossed in.

The homeowner wanted to warm things up in the dining room. A deep brown paint on the ceiling set the ball rolling.

The homeowner was originally considering real grasscloth, but once I explained the many problems with that product (see page at right), she took my advice and selected this faux grasscloth, from Wallquest, in their Grass Effects book, in their EcoChic line.

Ths product is made of paper, and it has a printed fiber pattern that mimics real grasscloth. But unlike grasscloth, the pattern on this stuff can be matched from strip to strip, so you don’t see abrupt lines at every seam.

In addition, fine strings are overlaid vertically on top of the material, giving the texture and depth that people are wanting right now.

My only gripe is that there were some noticeable color variations between strips. If you enlarge the photos, you can better see what I am talking about.

I have hung the tan colorway of this product several times, with no color variations.

But this is the third time that I will have hung the darker, browner version, and each time there were differences in color / shade between strips. Do a Search here to see previous posts.

This is disappointing, because I build this product up as a perfect solution to grasscloth. It turns out, particularly with this brown colorway, to share many of the woes of that natural material.

This wallpaper / faux grasscloth is by WallQuest, 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.

Bold Green Gives Way to Serene

August 9, 2019


The bold green “raw silk” look paint was put up by a skilled faux-finisher about 15 years ago. It was a beautiful look in this dining room for all those years. But it was time for an update, and the homeowner wanted to go with a cleaner, quieter look.

It’s very hard to see in these photos, but this wallpaper has a subtle pattern, comprised of squares of varying widths, with some of them having smaller white squares inside them. All of these squares work together to form a wide striped pattern that plays itself out horizontally every 54″ across the wall. For the whole pattern to be visible, you need wallspace of 108″ (9′). Scroll to enlarge the photos, and hopefully you can see something of the pattern.

It’s interesting to note that you get this effect by reversing every other strip. In other words, hanging one strip right-side-up, and the next one upside-down. That way, the same edge of the paper is next to itself, so the pattern repeats as a mirror image of itself as it crosses the seam. In other words, on the first seam, the white squares are next to each other. On the next seam, the tan squares are next to each other.

I rolled the bolts out on the floor, side-by-side, so I could get an idea of how the pattern would work on the client’s walls. I decided the pattern would give the most impact if the white area was centered on each section of wall. There were six of these sections, each one a different width, separated by five windows and doorways of varying widths.

But centering the pattern on each section of wall, instead of hanging each strip sequentially as is typically done, meant that the pattern would fall out of sequence over the doors. Ah … but that’s a topic for the next blog post.

Back to this current post … So I found the center of each wall space, and used my laser level as a guide to hang the first two strips with the white squares butting the red laser line. The crown molding was not level, so the ceiling line wavered a little. But, the chair rail is more important because it’s closer to eye-level, and it was amazingly level. My squares marched perfectly across it with no tracking up or down, all the way around the room.

This wallpaper is a non-woven material. This stuff has a high fiberglass and synthetic composition, and does not need to sit (book), so it can be hung immediately after pasting. It also is dimensionally-stable, meaning that moisture from the paste will not cause the paper to expand. Thee factors made it a little easier and quicker, and kept measurements more accurate, in this room.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpapers, 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.

Flooded Home is Finally Finished, and a Moroccan Trellis is the Finishing Touch

July 20, 2019


I’ve worked for this family several times over the last 25 years. Unfortunately, their home overlooking Braes Bayou (south central Houston) was flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The original home was torn down (along with my beautiful wallpaper ! 😦 ), and a new, raised home was built. Today I hung wallpaper on an accent wall in the dining room.

Photo 1 – the wall as the contractor left it

Photo 2 – the wall after I have primed it

Photo 3 – finished

I don’t like true grasscloth due to the visible seams and very noticeable color variations between strips, and also it’s propensity to stain easily. (Read my page to the right.)

The product pictured above is a fantastic alternative to real grasscloth. It is paper, superimposed with a vertical string material, so it has the texture and dimension that people are liking these days. The grass design is printed on (not real grass fibers), and this keeps the color uniform, so no abrupt color differences between strips.

The pattern can even be matched from strip to strip, making the seams pretty much invisible. You also have the option of not matching the pattern, to give a look similar to real grasscloth. Even then, the consistence of this design and color make it pretty impossible to tell where the seams are, if you are standing even three feet away.

In addition, the material has been treated, so it is somewhat resistant to stains.

I’ve hung this faux grass a good number of times, but this is the first time to hang it with the trellis design. The homeowner likes to mix modern with traditional, hence the geometric pattern with the antique furniture and chandelier. She also hunted for something that would meld nicely with the color of the paint on the woodwork. I like the look a lot.

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line, and I believe in the Grass Effects book. 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.

Wallpaper Warming Up Rooms in August 2019 Southern Living Magazine

July 19, 2019


The first is called “Indian Flower” by Jasper, and I hung this very pattern a few months ago in a dining room.

The blue & white floral is called “Dianthus Chintz” by Soane Britain.

Third photo – the wallpaper’s on the ceiling! It’s “Santa Barbara Ikat” by Schumacher.

Blue powder room features Meg Braff Designs’ “Little Egypt.” Serena & Lily has one very similar to this. I love their paper, and it’s at a much lower price-point.

The horizontal (railroaded) stripe is a take on the current trend for exposed shiplap wood.

Last photo shows Clay McLaurin Studio’s “Santiago” in a very feminine bathroom.

Note that most of the wallpaper patterns you see in photo shoots like this are going to be higher-end products. Like I like to say, for every expensive company making an enviable design, there is someone else making a knock-off at a more affordable price.

See my page to the right for where to buy wallpaper in Houston.

Do Bubbles Mean Trouble?

May 20, 2019

The walls in this dining room in a historic house in the Houston Heights had received many coats of paint over its 100 years. The latest was a coat of what appeared to be flat latex paint. Since this is not a suitable surface for wallpaper, I applied a wallpaper-specific primer.

I was surprised to see that, a few minutes after I rolled on my water-based wallpaper primer, blisters appeared.

I thought they would disappear as the primer dried, but they did not.

Obviously, the moisture in the primer was soaking into some of the layers below it, and causing something to expand and “off-gas”, which created the bubbles.

I switched from my wallpaper primer to a penetrating sealer called Gardz (also water-based) – and the same thing happened. (The Gardz dried so glossy that I feared the wallpaper would not stick to it, so I went back to my original Ultra Prime by Roman’s.)

Once the primer was good and dry, I used a stiff putty knife to knock off the high points of the blisters. The areas were not perfectly smooth, but they were OK for use under this particular wallpaper.

I’m doing some research, and am hoping to gain insight as to why this blistering happened, so I’ll know how to prevent it in the future.

A Little Dazzle in the Dining Room

May 16, 2019


This is the same glam-heavy home as in yesterday’s post. Here we are, looking at an accent wall in the dining room, covered with a shimmery, metallic grasscloth superimposed with a silver metallic vertical stacked circle geometric design. The photos don’t do this paper justice – there is a lot of sparkle and sheen!

A mirrored buffet console will be placed in the center of this wall. Boy, will that set off the look!

I was pretty pleased with this product. It had virtually none of the paneling and shading and color variation problems that are common with most grasscloth wallpapers. It turned both vertical and horizontal outside corners well, and was easier to trim than most grasscloths.

I was NOT as pleased, however, with the support brackets and valance for the sliding barn door. Because they hold a whole lot of weight (just like big-screen TV’s) and are mounted deep into the wall studs, it’s often best to not remove or jack around with them. From the photo, you can’t see how complicated it is, but let’s just say that it took me TWO HOURS to hang just the one 3′ wide strip of paper over the door that went above, below, and around the various brackets, screws, and various pieces of metal that comprise the mounting mechanism. In the end, though, we got ‘er done, and it looks great.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, in the Anna French line, 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.

A Fun Backdrop Wallpaper for Artwork

May 2, 2019


This young family in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston ownes a lot of contemporary artwork. They wanted to brighten and enliven their ochre-colored dining room, while providing a suitable background that would not obscure their paintings.

This paintbrush-stroke gold rose petal design on a white background does that perfectly.

This pattern is from Anthropologie and is by York, in their SureStrip line, which is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. It’s a thin pre-pasted product, and goes up nicely, hugs the wall tightly, and the seams are nearly invisible.

What’s extra cool is that this design is very similar to the popular “Petal Pusher” by Hygge & West … but that company’s papers have the unfortunate problem of curling at the seams. (Do a Search here with key words to read my experiences.) I am tickled to know that there is an alternative that is much more cooperative and satisfactory.

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.

Two Pretty Blues Today

April 25, 2019


Another “all white” house gets a little personality and definition from a light dose of color and pattern. What a pleasant change!

The first three photos are Scalamandre’s “Balinese Peacock.” It came with a selvedge edge that had to be hand-trimmed off with a razor blade and a 6′ straight edge.

The last two photos are a fun elongated triangle floral stripe by Schumacher. My “after” sink photo didn’t come through, unfortunately, but the other pictures will give you an idea of the pattern.

Even though these papers are by two different manufacturers, the blue color is identical. It’s a lot brighter and prettier than my crummy camera depicts. The blue picks up hints of blue that the homeowner has in her living room (throw pillows) and in the dining room (navy blue paint above the wainscoting).

The peacock went in a small bar area off the living room, and the foliage stripe went in the under-the-stairs powder room that is right off the bar. The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston.