Posts Tagged ‘fake’

Pulling Areas Together in a Large Room

May 5, 2017

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The first photo shows a long (35′!) wall in the living / dining / kitchen area of a new townhome in the north end of the Houston Heights. The wall had four windows like this. At the opposite end of the room was another, much shorter wall, recessed into an alcove at the base of the stairs, also with a window.

The homeowners, a young family, were considering grasscloth for the long wall. I saw the recessed wall and suggested they put the same wallpaper there, to pull the two areas of the large room together, and help make the cavernous space feel snugger.

They liked that idea! The first photo shows the long wall with a faux grasscloth on it. The second photo shows the inset wall, which has yet to receive its wallpaper.

The wallpaper is a wonderful fake grasscloth product by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line. It’s a grass-look pattern with strings (stringcloth) running vertically over the top, giving it the texture that people love. But, because it is man-made, so it has virtually none of the color variations inherent to the natural grasscloth products. Even better, there is a pattern match, so the seams are virtually invisible.

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their Grass Effects book, 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.

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Contrast, Texture, Tailored

November 4, 2016
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Here is a new-construction home in the Timber Grove neighborhood, just west of the Heights, in Houston. The home has a decidedly Craftsman feel (a design theme popular in the early 1900’s).

The TV room has dark stained wainscoting and paneling battons, which is period-correct. But all this dark is not suited to modern 21st Century living. The homeowner chose to cover the space inside the battons with a lighter-colored, textured wallcovering.

Instead of grasscloth, which can stain, be shredded by pets, or display eye-jarring color variations, the homeowner chose this faux grasscloth product – and I am all in favor!

Bunkan Raffia by Thibaut Designs is a wonderful alternative to natural grasscloth. It has the texture and motley color that people love these days, and when properly installed (reverse-hung), there are no color variations between strips. It is a strong, durable vinyl product that will hold up to splashes and dings. And it does not have the gritty manila paper backing, so no worries about curling seams under humid conditions.

The finished room, with its dark woodwork contrasting against the lighter, textured wallcovering, is crisp, tailored, and manly, yet warm and inviting. You can almost see Sherlock and Watson reclining on the tufted leather sofa, stoking their pipes and sipping sherry.

The homeowner commented on how the wallpaper brightened up the once too-dark room, while still allowing the Craftsman feel and colors to show through.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and was bought at a discounted 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

Swoopy Trellis of Glass Beads Brightens a Powder Room

October 30, 2016
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This powder room in a new home by Ridgewater Builders in the Houston Heights neighborhood is large, but still it felt a little claustrophobic, not to mention completely personality-less.

This fluid lattice design adds pattern and movement, and the glass beads embedded into the surface are a glittery touch of glamor.

But, if you are seeking glitter and shimmer, these tiny round beads made from real glass are not all they’re cracked up to be. Look at the third photo. Only the glass beads that are hit by light at a certain angle and a certain intensity will shine. The others simply lie dormant and dark.

In addition, the beads detached from the wallpaper in droves, raining down and covering the floor (see photo) to the point where things were sliding along the floor as if on an air hockey table. The beads also impaled themselves onto the back of the wallpaper, creating ugly “pimples” that showed from the front.

The non-woven material that was used as a substrate was very thick and stiff and difficult to work with; it would not fit snugly against moldings or ceilings, it left gaps an overlaps in the corners, it was very difficult to cut through, it ate up my razor blades and destroyed my scissors, and the material resisted being twisted (such as when trying to work a wrinkle out of a strip of wallpaper.)

Glass bead wallpaper is trendy, and it’s also spendy. And – does it really live up to its expectations?

There are plenty of “fake” glass bead wallpapers available in stores and on-line. I would encourage you to look at some of these faux products. Many of them use glitter, which is seductively shimmery from any angle, in any light. There are no beads to fall on the floor or work their way through the storm drains and then down into Galveston Bay. And the papers are thinner and conform to the corners and angles and moldings of the room much better.

The interior designer for this project is Rachel Goetz. The wallpaper is in the A-Street Prints line, by Brewster.

Another Serene and Pleasing Faux Grass

September 11, 2016
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Originally, the walls were textured and painted a bold gold (top photo). This homeowner was considering grasscloth for their master bathroom. I told her that grasscloth has problems with color variations – called paneling and shading – and that, because the pattern cannot be matched, all the seams would show, and that it stains when splashed with water or toiletries. I was pleased when she took my suggestion to contact my favorite wallpaper source (see below) and chose a faux grass product.

This manufacturer offers several imitation grasscloth options. I’ve hung many of their Bankun Raffia woven version, but this is the first time I’ve hung this more grass-like offering. This design has a pattern match (reeeallly hard to see, but I got it figured out and got ‘er done!), and that used up a little more paper, but it meant that there was no disruption of the pattern at the seams, which made the seams pretty invisible.

The material is embossed with a textured finish, so it looks and feels like real grasscloth. But because the wallcovering is vinyl, it is very water- and stain-resistant, and because it has a scrim (woven fabric) backing, it is very durable, and it will also be (relatively) easy to remove when they are ready to redecorate.

The homeowner loved the finished room. Originally, she had wanted something that was very plain, and I suggested that a very finely woven product would look like, well, like nothing, once it was up on the wall, and she would be just as well off painting the room. So, again, she took my suggestion and selected this, which has a little more texture. Well, in the time between selecting and finally getting the paper up on the wall, she got to worrying that the pattern might be too strong or overwhelming.

Happily, once the wallpaper started going up, it was very clear that the pattern was quite tranquil and serene, with just enough pattern to engage the senses, but still sit calmly in the background.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and was bought at a discounted 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.

Major Transformation – From Dark & Dated to Sleek, Serene & Modern

May 14, 2016
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This under-the-stairs powder room in a townhome in Montrose (Houston) was originally papered in a dark murky blue striped wallpaper – very trendy back in the early ’90’s when this home was built (just like the shiny gold faucet and towel ring 🙂 ).

Neal LeBouef of L Design Group is helping the new homeowners bring their home into the New Millennium, with a sleeker, cleaner, and more contemporary look.

I don’t like grasscloth in bathrooms because it stains and runs when it gets splashed with water, and I really dislike the shading and paneling (color variations between strips) inherent to grasscloth. But I really do like Neal’s choice of this faux grass product! Thibaut Designs’s Bankun Raffia is a faux grasscloth in a woven pattern that has real texture and a subtle shadowing effect. It looks a whole lot like the real thing, but is free of the color defects of real grass, and is much more durable in wet areas.

I have hung this pattern many times, and it always looks crisp and clean and serene and, depending on the color, tailored and handsome. It’s thick, which makes it a little difficult to work around corners, but after many hangs, I’ve got the corners mastered.

In this room, I was unable to get the original wallpaper off the walls. It was coming off in 1″ pieces, and the 1′ square section I did get off took more than an hour, and left the wall a mess. So I opted to smooth over any uneven areas, and then sealed the paper with Gardz, by Zinsser, which soaks into porous materials like this (won’t work on vinyl or anything with a gloss), and then seals it, drying hard. It dries fast, and is suitable for hanging new wallpaper on top of it.

In the second photo, you see one wall in the original dark paper, and the wall to the right covered with the new fake grasscloth. With all the walls covered, the new look is fantastic. The shiny gold faucets will be changed, and a new light fixture and mirror will be added.

A Really Nice Faux / Fake Grasscloth

March 19, 2016
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Grasscloth is all the rage right now, but I cringe when clients talk about using it. There are so many problems with shading and paneling and color variations (Do a Search in the upper right on these terms.), as wall as staining, bleeding, and shredding by pets.

There are faux products that are pretty realistic, and some are better quality than others. (Again, do a Search here.) This homeowner wanted the look and texture of grasscloth in her bathroom, but knew that the real deal would not hold up to a busy family with little children.

She found this paper-backed vinyl product on an internet sales site, and got a really good deal on some expensive paper. The rolls she got were not all the same run, so had to be kept on separate walls, but there was plenty of paper, so I was able to get the room done.

I was very pleased that there were no color variations (except between runs, and I kept different runs segregated on separate walls), and she is happy that the vinyl paper will withstand water and little hands. The vinly surface is embossed with a realistic texture, too. I was able to do this powder room while the toilet and sink were out of the room, making the install much easier, and also ensuring that there would be no cut edges along the top of the sink (which could wick up splashed water and cause curling).

The brand is Elitis, a French company, and the product is a paper-backed solid vinyl. I hung this in the powder room of a darling 1930’s home in the Rice University area of Houston.

Very Realistic Faux Wood Paneling Wallpaper

March 14, 2016
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Wow, I really liked this fake wood wallpaper! I’ve gotten a few requests lately for patterns that look like wood paneling, so I am happy to find this one, which looks pretty real, and even has a little texture to it. It is from the same book, and is made to coordinate with, the pattern I hung in the adjoining tub room of this bathroom. (See post above.)

I hung this paper so the “planks” run vertically. But in the homeowner’s other home, a few years ago, I hung a similar paper horizontally. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/faux-wooden-plank-wallpaper-a-fun-installation/

This wallpaper pattern is by Brewster, in their Easy Walls / Chesapeake line, and 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.

Coloring the Edges on a Dark Faux Grasscloth

October 11, 2015
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I am not happy with the shading and paneling that is typical of most natural grasscloth products, nor with the unmatchable pattern. So I suggest that homeowners consider the fake stuff, made of vinyl. I love this faux grass, by Thibaut. It has a texture to it, if reverse-hung (every other strip is hung upside down) there are no color variations or paneling, it is strong vinyl on a sturdy scrim (fabric) backing, is water proof, scrubable, and virtually indestructible.

So I was pleased when this Tanglewood area couple took my advice and went with this product for the husband’s home office. I have hung it many times, in many colors – twice this summer in the navy blue. There is plenty of light and open space in this room, so the dark color will feel snug, but not cave-like.

Because the product is backed with white vinyl and reinforced with white woven fabric, it’s probable that some of that white will show at the seams. To prevent that, I took a navy blue oil pastel (from an art store) and ran it down the edges of every strip of wallpaper, taking care to do this from the back, to avoid getting color on the surface. Once the strips went up, the seams were virtually invisible.

So Realistic, You Want to Reach Out and Touch!

August 23, 2015
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Wow! Talk about fooling the eye! I was at the wallpaper store this morning, picking up paper for a client. I was in a hurry to get off to my job. But the sales gal said I had – HAD – to look at this new wallpaper sample book she had received. Boy, am I glad I did!

This book is called 3D, I forget the manufacturer, but Dorota, the seller person, can get it for you.

Anyway, these are some of the most realistic and intriguing wallpaper patterns I have seen! They truly look like they are three-dimensional. They have paper that mimics brick, stone, wood, logs, honey combs, quilted walls, floating circles, George Jetson-era “amboeas,” and fun-house I-can’t-tell-which-way-is-up designs.

I’ve seen other similar attempts before, but this book is truly fabulous. You don’t notice that the texture is not real, until you get really, really close. They are a fabulous fake / faux! These papers would be fantastic in a contemporary home, for someone who likes mid-century modern, or for someone who wants a rustic look.

If you are interested in adding the illusion of three-dimensional design to your home, contact Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint near the Rice Village (Houston), (713) 520-6262.