Posts Tagged ‘family room’

Cheer in a Sphere on the Backs of Bookshelves

November 20, 2018


Again, the same home as my two previous blog posts. The homeowner is filling this lifeless all-tan house with color, movement, and fun patterns!

Take this bookcase – usually people put a textured wallpaper on the backs of their bookcases. But this homeowner went for a bit of color and pattern. You have to look close at the top photo to see, but the dotty circles are way fun! The dots even have a raised, embossed texture. They add a lot of life to the space, yet are calm enough to not conflict with the objects they will display on the shelves.

I put the same pattern in a curved art niche in a hallway close to this family room bookcase.

The homeowner has skillfully used this aqua color scheme to tie together several rooms in her home.

The home is in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston. The paper is an embossed (textured) vinyl surface on a non-woven substrate, and could be hung using the paste-the-wall method or the paste-the-material method (I prefer the latter).

This wallpaper pattern is by Exclusive 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.

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Mid Century Modern Bookshelves Get Grasscloth on Back

May 6, 2018


This 1960 ranch style home in the Westbury neighborhood of Houston is like a time capsule of Mid Century Modern design. The doors, windows, moldings, cabinetry, and even most of the bathrooms are original – and in mint condition. The homeowners love the look, and wanted to honor that, while updating some of the rooms. Grasscloth was all the rage in the ’60’s, so it was the perfect choice for the backs of these bookshelves in the family room.

I have to tell ya, covering this beautiful, original, perfectly maintained 1960 wood paneling with mud and a primer just about killed me. But since the wallcovering choice was grasscloth, the new look would be in keeping with the original feel of the house.

I don’t usually like grasscloth, because of the color variations (and many more reasons – do a Search – upper right corner) – But I was pleased with today’s product. The color was very uniform, and the material was very soft and pliable, as well as thin. It turned corners nicely and hugged the wall tightly.

This particular grasscloth has a bit more of a “nubby” texture than those with straight reeds, and this one had a nice sheen, too.

I wanted to avoid getting paste on that pristine wood, because I was afraid it might not wipe off without leaving residue, and also because I didn’t want to run a damp rag along the grasscloth, for fear of staining or bleeding. So I used my craft store cutting mat and a couple of different straightedges, to pre-trim the pieces to perfect right angels, so they would fit into the bookshelf alcoves, and also butt up against one another precisely.

I also used blue plastic tape (not shown) on the edges of certain pieces, to keep paste off the wood bookcase.

This grasscloth wallpaper is by Phillip Jeffries, a higher-end brand, 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.

Bringing Dull Grey to Life

November 26, 2017


This homeowner in the Galleria / Highland Village area of Houston is from Madrid, and had this wallpaper in her home there. She loved it.

When the family moved to Houston, she brought the paper with her. Well, first there was a detour to London, England, to pick up the paper from where it is made.

The new house is beautiful, but it was dark, with lots of grey and grey-based colors everywhere. The kitchen even had a wall painted in chalkboard paint – an oppressing mass of solid black.

The new wallpaper, called Madam Butterfly (by Designers Guild), adds a happy feel of uplifted cherry buds and blossoms, and a cherry color palate of both light and bold pinks.

The colors work together beautifully. There is just enough pink to compliment the grey cabinets, without being too cartoonish or girly. The design looks like swoops of water color paint – like a Japanese painting. And I love the upward movement of the tree blossoms.

In addition, the adjoining rooms all have accents of the hot pink color, from sofa pillows to artwork to vases to a divine hot pink divan sitting center stage in the family room.

Soft Faux Grasscloth for Backdrop in Family Room and Family Photo Wall

April 2, 2016
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Happily, the owners of this new home in the Houston Heights listened to my lecture about variations of color in natural grasscloth, and instead chose this paper knock-off.

The paper does not have texture, but it looks like it does, and the whole wall dissolves into a muted, serene, almost tactual backdrop for the large flat-screen TV that will cover most of the wall. On the other wall, the paper will be a background for family photos.

The wallpaper had a pattern match, but, interestingly, the match was off a bit, matching at the top of the strip, then 6″ down it would not line up, but 6″ further down, the pattern match was spot-on. When there is a pattern match, you hang strips next to each other, so the pattern on one strip can be lined up with the pattern on the next strip.

But when I hung this material as instructed, there was color paneling. Meaning, a noticeable difference in color between one strip and the one right next to it. This is pretty common in natural materials like real grasscloth, but I didn’t expect it with this manufactured product.

Yet, there it was – and the solution was fairly simple. I reversed every other strip, hanging one right-side-up and the next strip upside-down. That way, the edge of each strip of wallpaper is placed next to itself, which pretty much eliminates color variations.

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. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Finally – A Grasscloth I Can Love

April 11, 2015

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If you’ve read much on this blog, you know that I dislike hanging grasscloth. The visible seams, color variations, and paneling and shading, and un-uniformity are hard to live with, in my opinion. People say they understand these natural color variations and will accept them – but once it’s spread out on the wall, they are unhappy. I’ve taken to having clients sign a release / waiver, before I will install grasscloth.

But … today I hung a grasscloth that I thought looked mighty good. This is not the typical horizontal reed-on-paper look, but a tightly woven product. When I first unrolled it, I was alarmed by the vertical striped effect, and called the homeowner to come and look at it. She gave her approval, so I went ahead and put it on the wall. She was right – the stripes only enhance the overall effect.

There was no color variation, and the seams were invisible. In addition, the paper has the texture and warmth that many of my clients are seeking. And – it appears to be pretty resistant to stains and discoloration. A win-win-win!

I am going to keep track of this paper, and recommend it to people who ask about grasscloth.

The pattern number is SG37053, and the homeowner said it was by Astex – although I could not find it on their website.

I hung this wallpaper in the entry and on the backs of two bookshelves that flank the fireplace in the family room, for a couple in the far west end of the Memorial area.

It’s Best to Test

April 30, 2010

I got a call from a client, asking to hold off on our planned installation date.

The reason? She took my advice!

You see, when I visited her house for the initial consultation, she stated that she really loved the wallpaper she had selected, but that she was unable to “visualize” how it would look on the wall. Many people say the same thing.

I told her to take the wallpaper book to Kinko’s and get some color photo copies made. She could pin the copies next to one another, to see how the pattern looked spread over a larger space, and how it looked on all four walls.

Well, she followed my suggestion and – guess what? She realized that the pattern was indistinct and the color too faint, and the whole thing would look too washed out in her small powder room.

Coincidentally, a second client also delayed her job, also due to following my advice. She had selected natural grasscloth for a family room – which would be touched and bumped frequently by little children. Grasscloth won’t hold up to this, because it stains and scruffs easily. So they are now looking for something made of a more durable material.

Now both these people are back to the drawing board, searching for something that will work better. This is far better than investing a lot of money for paper and labor, and then realizing they don’t love the final result.