Posts Tagged ‘foliage’

Whimsical Arabian Nights Dance in Powder Room

January 13, 2023
You’ve got to look at this close-up, to notice the antelope and flames / foliage .
You gotta make a decision … The light sconces (they are currently removed, but you can see the electrical boxes where they will be placed) were centered on the vanity top, but the faucet was off-center by about an inch. So I chose to center / balance the pattern on the sconces and countertop. The mirror will be hung between the two light fixtures, so we’ll end up with a pleasing, balanced look. The faucet isn’t exactly in the middle of the design motif, but no biggie – there’s going to be a mirror there, anyway.

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Corner going around shower. Note the window looking into the shower.
Although the website specs said this is a pre-trimmed non-woven material , that was incorrect. Turns out it had an unprinted selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand . Here I’m using my straightedge and razor blade to remove this selvedge. This takes precision and a LOT of time .
The manufacturer usually provides trim guides to help you know where to cut. But it’s usually better to trim to the pattern – determine an element in the design motif that will meet up with the corresponding motif on the opposite side of the strip when the strips are hung on the wall, and use that as your guide . Be sure to trim off the trim guide marks, or they will show on the wall.
The pattern is called Arabian Nights and is by Relativity Textiles . I’ve never worked with this brand before. I was not pleased . In addition to the incorrect information about the pre-trimmed paper , the mfgr’s specs said this was printed on a non-woven substrate . It was not. It wasn’t even printed on standard wallpaper stock . Instead, it was a pulp material – This is a sort of old-fashioned wallpaper , and is very brittle and prone to tearing and dragging (your trimming knife or razor blade will get snagged and you’ll end up with a ” chewed ” jagged cut, instead of a crisp cut . It also tears easily. It also has no coating, so it’s not stain-resistant … Not good in a busy household with a 3-year old toddler , or anyone splashing water or soap or air freshener .
It was also difficult to hang . Applying wet paste to the backing causes the substrate to absorb moisture and expand at a different rate from the ink on the surface. So you end up with wrinkles , waffling , and quilting .
Sponging a light bit of water on the front before pasting helps even out the moisture differential and ease installation . I’ve never before encountered a pulp that had this type of ink on the surface. One clue for this bad stuff is when you open the package and it smells like moth balls . Once I figured out how to work with it, , it went OK – although tedious . The seams did look very nice.
BUT … all this effort would have been unnecessary and the finished room would be more durable if the mfgr had printed on a non-woven substrate (as their on-line specs stated) and had used standard inks instead of this weird , smelly , high-end stuff. In fact, the material would have cost the homeowners a whole lot less $ if it had been normal ink on a non-woven backing .
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .
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Shimmery Trees on Back of Bookshelves

December 8, 2022

Before – living room in Spring Branch ( Houston ). I’m in the process of priming the backs of these bookshelves , so the wallpaper will adhere to the semi-gloss enamel paint .
Done. Simple , subtle , but makes a statement .
The shelves will be replaced, and decorative items will be set on them.
Close-up . A light black background with beautiful glimmering gold trees and branches. The pattern is dispersed evenly across the paper, making for a homogeneous look.

Called Luminous Branches , this wallpaper is made by York . It’s a thin , flexible non-woven material . I hung it easily by pasting the wall , rather than by pasting the paper . When it’s time to redecorate , it will strip off the wall easily and with no damage to the wall surface . Nice stuff!

Swirly Leafy Priano Wallpaper in Spring Branch Powder Room

October 7, 2022
Walls were originally a light tan , with a poor texture job , too much caulk along the top of the backsplash , and later it was discovered that someone had painted (several layers ) on top of wallpaper .
Same area after I’ve skim-floated and sanded smooth , then primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime made specifically for use under wallpaper . I have Murphy Brothers paint store add a little blue tint so I can see where I’ve rolled it on.
Finished!
Such a happy pattern to look at – swirly , nods to foliage and ferns , crisp . Yet not too busy , due to the 2-tone color palate and the tight, overall design .
Close up. You get the feel of a watercolor artist / painting .
The design matched up perfectly in the last corner . This only happens about once in every 10 years!
In addition, what’s even more astounding is that EACH of the four walls in this powder room was EXACTLY the width of two strips of my Serena & Lily 27″ wide paper + expansion. The strips fell in EACH corner ABSOLUTELY tight and straight. I’ve had perfect kills before, but never had paper fall in the corners with no need to wrap or trim.
I know that’s a little techy for the non-professional reader to grasp. But just know that it was a room and a day full of almost paranormal-grade coincidences , math , and execution .
Pattern is Priano and is made by Serena & Lily , one of my favorite companies.
This is the home of a young family in the Spring Branch area of Houston .

Soft Textured Foliage Brightens Entry

September 8, 2022
The homeowners knew they wanted something brighter for their entryway . But their paint samples tested on the wall were falling flat.
Wallpaper was the answer! Brighter and more personality and interesting than paint of the same color .
Here’s a better shot showing the actual color .
And here it is with my 100-watt light bulb gone and the room’s chandelier providing the light .
This is a stringcloth material . Note that, just like grasscloth , another natural fiber material , you will see the seams a bit. On this one, the heavy inked areas of the white berries showed more than the background areas . From a few feet away, none of this was visible.
Close-up showing the texture of the strings and the thick ink .
I do think this will have some sound-reduction qualities ( absorb noise ).
Also a note … cats and even dogs love to scratch or chew textured fibers like this.
Rolling it out on my work table. The rolls / bolts were really heavy .
Made by Wallquest in their EcoChic line.
The home is in the Tanglewood / Galleria area of Houston .
installer

Overscaled Tropical Mural Works Like Wallpaper

August 19, 2022
What an ultra-cool pattern ! And jungle foliage is a popular concept right now. This one really fills the space! What’s cool is that this accent wall is covered in a mural , rather than a traditional wallpaper pattern with repeating motifs .
But it’s being used like a wallpaper, by placing it on all four walls of this room .
This is in a new book by York , which is one of my favorite brands. It comes in a set of six panels.
I didn’t get to check if it’s a set size or if it can be custom-sized to fit different height walls. But it does continue from one mural to the next, meaning that you can place murals next to each other and have the pattern continue around the room.
Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village has this product. (713) 529-6515
wallpaper installer houston

Cheery Verdant Choice Saves Home Office

May 18, 2022
This accent wall in a home office in Cypress ( Houston ) has a long story of mishaps, frustration, and $$.
Originally, the interior designer had suggested Feather Bloom grasscloth / sisal by Schumacher . I prepped the wall and prepared to hang the paper. But we discovered printing defects (very, very common with Schumacher), and other issues. Search here to see my previous posts.
We had to abort the install that day. This turned out to be a good thing, because, truth be told, the homeowners really didn’t like the Feather Bloom, but felt a little pressured to go with it.
So back to the vendor the ugly duckling went.
Then the homeowners took their time without the designer’s input, to look at wallpaper selections and purchase $1 samples they could see, feel, and tack up to the wall.
Their new choice (below) fits their style, color scheme, and pocket book much better (this option cost thousands less than the Schumacher).
The actual purchase was made through Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams store in the Rice Village (713) 529-6515.
Everything was done over the phone, and, to save the homeowners driving all the way into the city, I picked up the paper for them and delivered it to their home on install day.
Starting in the middle of the wall so I can place the very symmetrical pattern dead in the center of the wall.
The colors in the paper work beautifully with the green cabinets you see to the left.
And I love the way the airy feel and foliage and flowers compliment the open-air view outside the window.
This pattern is reminiscent of designs by William Morris, a designer of the Arts & Crafts period around the turn of the 20th Century. I’m seeing a lot of interest in these patterns of late.
Apelviken , Midbec , 33006 , A Street Prints , Spring, non-woven material made in Sweden , was very nice to work with and will hold up well for many, many years.
I installed using the paste-the-wall method , although you could also paste the paper.

Kill Point Over Door, Ridge, More

February 25, 2022
After you’ve hung wallpaper on all the walls in a room, the point where your last strip meets up with the first strip is called the kill point . This virtually always ends up in a pattern mis-match. That’s why you engineer to place it in an inconspicuous place, such as behind a door.
This powder room, though, had no hidden corner or handy door. That meant that I would have a pattern mis-match a full 5′ high, to the left of the toilet you see here. I prefer to have the pattern match in a corner like this. As you can see – it does. I will explain how I accomplished that.
I decided to place the kill point over the door. Even though this space is 2′ high and a mis-match might be noticeable, not many people are looking up over the door, so it’s a better choice than in a 5′ or 9′ long corner.
The dark smudges on the wall in the photo are where I’ve spread paint, to prevent white walls from peeking out, should the dark wallpaper shrink as the paste dries.
Here I’ve positioned the strip on the left. This leaves a gap of about 3″. Once I match the new strip up to the piece on the right, its pattern will not match perfectly with the strip on the left.
Now I’ve positioned both strips, and the one on the right is overlapping the one on the left.
Here’s an idea of what the pattern mis-match will look like. To be honest, it’s not all that bad, with this busy pattern and being up over the door. Still, I thought I could make it look better.
I’m going to do a double cut , which is our installers’ fancy term for a splice. I’m going to cut through the two strips, splicing them together, cutting along the vertical foliage elements, to minimize cut-off motifs and to disguise the splice.
When double cutting on the wall, it’s really important that you slice through the two layers of wallpaper only , and not cut into the primer or wall surface beneath. This is because, if the wall surface becomes scored or compromised, when the wallpaper paste dries and the paper shrinks and pulls taught, it can put tension on the wall surface. If the surface is not intact, it can give way and actually come apart ( delaminate ), resulting in wallpaper that comes away from the wall – and there’s nothing beneath it to paste it back to.
I’ve blogged about this before, so do a Search here to learn more. It’s important!
Anyway, to protect the wall beneath where I will make my splice cut, I’ve placed three layers of scrap wallpaper, to pad the wall. I figure I can cut through the two top layers, but not all five.
Note that three layers of non-woven material have some thickness, and can “throw off” the splice cut and prevent the top two strips from fitting together perfectly. In this case, the paper is flexible enough that I’m not worried about that particular scenario.
The strips are in place, and I’m ready to make my cut. I prefer to use a single-edged razor blade held in my fingers, rather than a blade-holder. What’s most important is that the blade be brand new and spankin’ sharp!
Here I’ve made my cut and am removing excess paper from the right side of the top strip. Look carefully and you can see how my razor blade followed the contours of the vertical foliage design elements.
Here I’ve removed the excess paper from the left edge of the bottom strip. You can see they are poised to fit together nicely.
Before fitting the two strips back together, though, I’m examining the wall surface. Check the photo carefully, and you’ll see that I did, after all, score into the primer. 😦 The surface below is skim-coat that was used to smooth a textured wall – and another potential layer that may come apart when exposed to tension from the drying wallpaper.
Shoulda used a Boggess Strip. https://www.steveboggesspaperhanging.com/lexanpage.htm
One way to prevent the wall from delaminating is to put something over the compromised area, to distribute the tension of the drying paper and take it away from the cut wall. Here I’ve taken a scrap of wallpaper, which is a tough non-woven material, and carefully peeled the printed surface from the white substrate (no pic of that process). Now I have a thin material that I can use to pad the wall.
I’m using the black printed side facing out, in case the spliced strips shrink a little – anything peeping out will be black and not noticeable.
Here is the bit of paper in place, spanning across the cut on the wall.
Now I’ve smoothed the two top strips back into place. Since my double cut followed along the vertical foliage elements as much as possible, and because I cut around the gold flowers to keep them full and round, the pattern looks like it matches up just about perfectly.
But wait! … What’s that lump / ridge under the wallpaper, the full height of the seam? That’s my seam padding! Doesn’t look great.
I’m really surprised at this. The non-woven wallpaper material is thick. But that’s why I pulled the top and bottom layers apart, to make my patch piece thinner. I guess not thin enough. Once dried, this ridge is going to be obvious.
But, to be honest, this is up over a door where no one’s going to be spending much time looking. In addition, once I get my 100 watt light bulb out of there and replace the homeowners’ original, small light fixture, this bump under the wallpaper will be pretty much indiscernable.
Still, that lump was buggin’ me. Another invention from my colleague Steve Bogges to the rescue! Pictured is his seam tape , which was made specifically for this type situation. This is very thin – yet strong – paper tape that is used to bridge cut areas like this, and prevent tension from drying wallpaper from tugging at unstable walls.
The tape has a pre-pasted side (the gloss you see), and feathered edges, to make it less noticeable under wallpaper.
Hard to see, but here I’ve placed the seam tape over the cut wall areas
Now the two top strips have been smoothed back into place. Amazingly, no bump from the seam tape beneath shows. And the pattern mis-match is barely visible, too.
Win-win!
All that’s left to do is to wipe paste off the surface of the wallpaper. This overlapping and splicing does mean that wallpaper paste will get on the surface of the strip underneath. Actually, there is a way to prevent that, and it also involves products from Steve Boggess
But … that’s a blog post for another day …
This pattern is called Peonies and is by Rifle Paper.

Dark Flowing Floral Mural on Bellaire Bedroom Accent Wall

February 24, 2022
Headboard wall skim-floated smooth and primed – ready for wallpaper.
Having the foliage hang from the ceiling means you see more of it as the leaves and blossoms fall and fold around the bed. Moody and brooding colors make this perfect for a master bedroom.
It looks like it was painted on canvas or burlap, or possibly like you are looking through a window screen out onto a dark forest.
There are some very expensive versions of ” upside down over-scaled dark floral ” patterns. rebelwalls.com makes it affordable for any budget, and with a DIY friendly, easy-to-install non-woven paste-the-wall material. Murals are custom-sized to your wall(s), which is more tricky than it sounds, so be sure the paperhanger calculates dimensions before you order.
Rebel Walls sells mostly murals, but they also sell traditional rolled goods, too. They can even create custom-made designs.
The home is in the Bellaire area of Houston.

Sleekly, Cooly, Scandinavian

February 19, 2022
This family has lived all over the world, including several years in Denmark. The mom has definitely picked up a love for the cool colors and sleek look of Scandinavian decorating. Here is a corner of the entry, before, and a peek into adjoining rooms.
Cream and silvery grey on white tree foliage add just a touch of texture and warmth, while keeping with the all-white color scheme in this home.
The room consisted of four corners of wall space, and four chunks of shorter areas over doorways.
Note how the cool light fixture repeats the look of peeking through branches. They are going to trade out that yellowish bulb for a whiter one.
The wallpaper has a slight raised ink texture.
This is Sandberg ‘s popular Rafael pattern. I’ve hung it a number of times, but this is the first time in the white-on-white colorway.
This is a non-woven material , and will strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. It was flexible and quite nice to work with.
The home is pretty new, very contemporary, and is in the Montrose / Museum District / Rice Village area of Houston.

Shimmering Foliage in Heights Powder Room

January 13, 2022
Primed and ready for wallpaper.
Vanity wall done. I placed the trees so they would frame the mirror and light fixture evenly.
The slope is the underside of the stairs. At first the homeowners said not to paper this sloped area, as it is considered part of the ceiling.
After the first wall was papered, we decided that the slope would blend in better if it were covered with paper.
I’ve hung this Shimmering Foliage pattern before, but this is the first time in this gorgeous colorway. It really sets off the pretty moldings and white vanity in the room.
In this close up, you see the embossed (raised) texture in the vinyl surface. The gold is not metallic, but it sure shines!
Made by York, in the Candice Olson line. Just about everything she touches is glittery and elegant.
This is a non-woven material, and can be hung using the paste-the-wall method, although I pasted the paper instead, which makes it more pliable and also ensures that paste will get to all areas, including around intricate moldings and behind the toilet.
Non-woven papers will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.
Houston wallpaper installer.