Posts Tagged ‘fireplace’

A Beautiful Faux Grasscloth Sets Off a Fireplace Wall

February 9, 2018


This homeowner wanted something to set off the beautiful stone in her fireplace mantel, and to accent colors she has used elsewhere in the home. She was originally thinking of grasscloth, but I told her of the many problems with visible seams, staining, bleeding, and color variations (see the Grasscloth Info Pack link on the right side of this page), and she opted to go with this faux vinyl grass product instead. What a wonderful choice!

This embossed vinyl product has the look and texture of a woven grasscloth product, but it has a uniform color, and the seams are invisible. It is water and stain resistant, and durable to the point of being nearly indestructible.

It looks mighty nice on her fireplace wall, too.

This wallpaper pattern is called Bankun Raffia, and is made by Thibaut Designs, 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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Blue & White Medallion Brightens a Newly Remodeled Kitchen

August 26, 2016
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The walls in this newly updated kitchen in a condo in the Houston Heights were new and white. I spent a couple hours priming and putting the paper up, and was focused on what I was doing. When I finished and started to pack up my gear, I looked at the wall and said – Wow!

I couldn’t believe how much brighter the wallpaper made the room look! It’s funny how that works.

Another cool thing is that I centered the pattern on the dining room wall, so it would line up with the chandelier. But as I worked my way to the left, the pattern fell smack centered on the sink and faucet. (Well, O.K., if you look hard, it’s off a smidgen – but that’s pretty good for an unplanned happenstance.)

A couple years ago, I hung this same paper in the adjoining living room, on a fireplace accent wall. The homeowner made a wise choice to use the same paper in the dining room and the kitchen (one long wall), because it ties the areas together, but does not overwhelm with too much pattern.

This wallpaper is by Thibaut, had to be hand-pasted, and went up very nicely.

Shimmery, Sparkly Glass Bead Wallpaper

November 12, 2015
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These days, for lots of people, it’s all about glitz and bling. Well, how about a little bling for your walls?! Wallpaper decorated with glass beads, which catch and reflect the light, are all the rage right now.

Yes, real glass beads, a little larger than grains of sand, are embedded onto the wallpaper substrate in this example, in a medallion motif. Many companies make shiny, glittery wallpapers, using various techniques. But this product, by Ronald Redding, of York Wallcoverings, is the real deal.

I have to admit, this wallpaper is more difficult to work with than I had expected, and it is taking an extra day to finish this relatively small, but cut-up and complicated eating area in a new home in Oak Forest, Houston.

The material is thick and stiff and unmalleable, and it’s hard to get it to fit snugly into corners, such as at the ceiling and moldings, and particularly the rounded curves around the fireplace mantel.  And cutting through those pretty glass beads with a trimming blade is the Devil!

Those beads just love to come lose and fall all over the floor, mess with the surface of my work table, contaminate my paste, and, yes, stray onto the back of the wallpaper, creating a very visible bump under the shiny paper.  Removing them is very tenuous, first because they are miniscule and difficult to track down, but also because peeling the paper away from the wall is prone to cause creases or mar the surface.

Also, because it’s a thick and stiff non-woven material, the seams are always going to show more than with a regular wallpaper (last photo).

The going may be low, but room is “waking up” more and more as each wall takes on a cloak of the shimmery wallpaper. With windows on three walls, there will always be light coming at just the right angle to illuminate those pretty glass beads!

Purple Grasscloth in a Family Room

October 10, 2015
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Well, it’s more of a plum than a purple, but it’s a beautiful color, and it shook the room – and the whole house – out of its monochromatic nap and into a cheery and energized state – perfect for a busy family with two pre-school children.

The wall started out painted a deep chocolate brown. It was “nice,” but “not enough.” This richly colored grasscloth in a plum hue injected a whole ‘nother stage of color and emotion. It is by Schumacher, and I hung it on a feature wall (fireplace wall) in a newish home in the Houston Heights. The last picture shows a close-up of the beautiful and warm texture of the product.

Note that grasscloth has no pattern and cannot be matched at the seams, so the seams will always be visible to some degree. You can also expect color differences between strips – even those that come off the same roll of wallpaper.

These slight variations in color and texture are considered to be part of the “inherent beauty of this natural product,” and are expected and appreciated with grasscloth jobs.

The interior designer for this job is Pamela O’Brien, of Pamela Hope Designs, in Houston.

Dark Chocolate Grasscloth on a Fireplace / TV Wall

September 17, 2015
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This couple with two young children in a new home in the Houston Heights wanted to add some color and texture to their nearly-all-white house, tie in to the dark brown wood floor, as well as minimize the impact of the large TV over the fireplace in the great room. This darker-than-chocolate brown grasscloth checked off all those points!

In the first shot, I have plotted where my pieces will lie and where the seams will fall, so the widths of strips will be uniform. I have striped the wall with dark brown paint, to prevent any white primer from peaking out in case the seams on this dark textured material do not butt up perfectly.

Also, because the paper is so dark, and because the primer is white, dark chalk was called for, to color the edges, to keep the white paper backing from peaking out.

I was very pleased with this product, as there was none of the color variation (shading / paneling) that is common with many grasscloth jobs. As the grasscloth progresses across the wall, you can see the seams because the strands of grass do not match, but you don’t see any color differences. This is how grasscloth SHOULD be.

This is a new home, and has the rounded / bull-nosed corners that have been popular for several years now. It is very hard to get a stiff grass product to bend and wrap around these corners. In one photo, you see how I have taken the grasscloth before it was pasted, and worked it in the area where it will hit the corner, to bend / break the grass fibers, hoping to get it to wrap around that rounded turn tightly and neatly. Once it gets wet with paste, it will become more pliable. You also see a pic of a metal plate tool (invented by a paperhanger colleague in Canada), that I used to “encourage” the material to wrap around the corner. I can put a lot of force behind this tool, without worry of burnishing or damaging the wallpaper.

In the end, the grasscloth wrapped nicely around the rounded corners and no white wall showed. And the TV, which previously stood out like a sore thumb against the builder’s white painted wall, is much less conspicuous against the dark wall. The whole room benefited from the warm color and texture of this grasscloth.

This grasscloth is made by Seabrook, 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.