Posts Tagged ‘fornasetti’

Playful Bottle & Glass Pattern Behind Bar Shelves

March 7, 2021

What a fun idea – using “barware” wallpaper on the backs of shelves above an in-home bar!

Only clear stemware will go on the shelves in front of this colorful, wacky wallpaper.

This “Cocktails” pattern is in the Fornasetti collection by Cole & Son. It’s a non-woven material, and can be hung by the paste-the-wall method, or by pasting the paper.

The contemporary / industrial modern style home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

“Shrinking” the Pattern, to Avoid a Seam

February 2, 2021

If I had hung this paper the way the pattern sequentially worked its way around the powder room, the width of the strip over the door would have forced me to place two strips to the left of the door frame – with a seam down the middle. See where the arrow is pointing.

Sometimes it’s best to avoid seams when you can, for a variety of reasons. Especially at eye-level on a dark paper that is likely to shrink as it dries and thus expose the white edges of the substrate and the white wall beneath it all. Seams in an area that can be splashed by water have the potential to wick in moisture and cause curling. And in this case it would have also meant cutting all of the fish motifs into fragments.

After taking careful measurements, I used my straightedge to cut off the fish on the left (third photo), creating a new vertical edge.

Then I took the next strip of wallpaper and butted it up against the newly-narrow strip over the door. Even though the horizontal pattern repeat meant that we were missing a fish (that green one that got cut off), and that the very faint horizontal waves of shading in the design would not match across the seam – neither of those instances was detectable at all, when looking at the finished wall. See last photo.

The fish motifs also are dispersed in a pleasing way as they move down the wall.

This non-woven, easy-to-remove wallpaper is by the British company Cole & Son, in their Fornasetti line, and is titled Acquario.

Cole & Son Acquario – Super Cool in a Powder Room

January 31, 2021

This is a powder room off a TV / game / great room in the home of a family with school-aged kids. They had just done updates to the room (built in shelving and TV niche, carpet, pool table, huge snuggly sofa), to make it a family hang-out spot. The small adjoining powder room got an update with tile on the sink wall.

What a dramatic and shockingly fun wallpaper design! – This is called Acquario, and is in the Fornasetti collection by Cole & Son. I just call it “the Puffer Fish.”

Wallpaper shrinks as its paste dries, and so you can expect to see teeny gaps at the seams. This is normal. But since this wallpaper is dark, the white edges of the substrate, as well as even a minute bit of the wall under the seams, might be more prominent as the dark paper dries and shrinks.

In the top “before” photo, you see where I have used diluted craft paint to run a dark stripe along the wall where the wallpaper seam will fall. This, along with having colored the edges of the wallpaper strips with near-black chalk, pretty much eliminated any visible gaps at the seams.

This small powder room took me nearly 12 hours – to smooth the textured walls, prime, and hang the 6 single rolls (3 double roll bolts) of wallpaper.

The home is in the Pasadena area of south Houston.

Cole & Son Fornasetti Chiavi Segrete in a Houston Powder Room

July 17, 2020


I’ve worked for these clients many times over three homes and nearly 30 years. This is their final but “not-quite-retired” home.

The homeowner fell in love with this pattern by Cole & Son, in their Fornasetti line, called Chiavi Segrete. But she got pulled in other directions by various design trends, and then got side-tracked by more pressing things.

Finally, at least a year after moving into the new home, she realized she really wanted her first choice, so went back to the green leafy pattern with the gold keys.

I have to admit – it is a best ever fit for this room. It matches the paint color perfectly. The scale is right for the size of the room and walls. And it will look even more super once the mirror is put up.

Like most of the British papers these days, this material is a non-woven, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method, or, as I chose to do today, pasting the paper. The surface is vinyl, and can be cleaned (somewhat) easily.

This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, 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. This homeowner has worked with Dorota for most of her projects, over these many years. (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.

Powerful Storm Clouds – Cole & Son Nuvolette

March 14, 2020


“Nuvolette” by the British manufacturer Cole & Son is a very popular pattern – but not every room can handle such a strong design. This bedroom in a new townhome on the far west side of Houston is large enough to contain the storm clouds – which will cover all four walls. Talk about drama!

The dark floor and dark woodwork help ground the pattern. The homeowner has a background in interior design, and I can’t wait to see what furniture, bedding, window coverings, and accessories she outfits the room with.

The pattern match is very tricky, and you have to plot everything carefully and confidently before you cut anything. The product comes packaged as an A-B 2-bolt set. On the label it’s noted that one pattern match is straight across, while the next strip is a drop match.

So, essentially, this has a multiple-drop pattern match , played out across four strips of paper – but with even more complicating factors tossed in. It’s a real brain-banger to plot out! I’ve hung it twice, and both times was lucky enough to have a large open area where I could spread out the A and B bolts, and then plenty of time and a distraction-free environment to get my head around the pattern match.

In the picture, you just see a nicely fit-together set of panels. But getting them to that point did take a good bit of engineering! (Especially since “someone” opened the shipping box and removed several of the bolts from their original packaging, so there was no way to tell the A bolts from the B bolts.)

Like most of Cole & Son’s wallpaper, this was a non-woven material. This stuff has a high-fiberglass content, and thus does not expand when it gets wet with paste. This allows you to get accurate measurements that won’t change when the paper is pasted. It also allows you to paste a strip and hang it immediately (no booking time), and takes the pressure off of having a booked strip over-expanding while you fiddle with hanging a difficult strip.

It went up pretty nicely. Tomorrow I will hang the remaining two walls.

The pattern is in the Fornasetti line by Cole & Son, 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.

Roiling Clouds Wallpaper in a Montrose Bathroom

July 4, 2019


Historic British manufacturer’s Fornasetti Line “Nuvolette” wallpaper pattern… I have long wanted to hang this paper, and finally got my chance today!

The walls in this first-floor bathroom of a newish contemporary styled home in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston were textured and covered with a semi-gloss paint. (top picture) It took me a day and a half to skim-coat the walls with smoothing compound, let dry, sand smooth, vacuum up the dust, wipe dust off the walls, prime, and let the primer dry. (second photo shows the smoothed and primed walls)

You would see this pattern better in a larger, less broken-up room, but here you can tell that it is a powerful depiction of roiling thunder clouds storming powerfully toward the west.

The product is unusual, in that it comes in a 2-pack set of “A” and “B” rolls. Each bolt is the same width and length as many Cole & Son papers. But the pattern is placed on those bolts very atypically, and the pattern match is equally unexpected.

Usually, wallpaper patterns match straight across from strip to strip. (straight across match) This means you see the same design element at the top of the wall on every strip. Or they drop down bit on every other strip, then pop back up to the top of the wall on the third strip. (drop match)

A much less common and much more complicated patter match is when the pattern motif repeats itself at the top of the wall only on every fourth (or more) strip. It can take a lot of mind-bending to figure out how to get the pattern placed correctly, and without wasting more paper than necessary.

Look at the upper left of the label, and it says that when placing the A strip to the right of the B strip, it’s a straight match. But when you position the B strip to the right of the A strip, it’s a drop match. This makes everything even wackier and more complicated!

What helped me here is that this home had plenty of room to roll out the bolts of paper, and plot out how the pattern would fall. (see photo) No one was home, so I had peace and quiet to concentrate and get my head around the intricacies of the pattern.

It turned out that the “straight match” indicated on the label was an error – no strips featured a straight match. Good thing I had all that floor space to roll the bolts out, so I could determine that.

Because the pattern match was so unpredictable, it was not possible to cut all of the “odd” and “even” strips ahead of time. And the very unlevel / unplumb qualities of the room also stepped in to make this impossible.

One thing that helped was that this was a non-woven material, which meant that the wallpaper did not need to be booked (left to sit and absorb paste and expand) before hanging. So as soon as I was able to figure out the pattern match for the upcoming strip, I was able to paste and hang the strip-in-hand.

If I had had to figure, measure, plot, paste, book, and then finally hang each strip individually, it would have taken a lot more than the eight hours it did take me to hang this 8-roll bathroom.

A big help on this pattern is that I belong to the Wallcovering Installers Association, and I check our Facebook page every day. (Sorry – it’s private … you can’t peek!) It was there that I learned about others’ experiences with this Nuvolette design, and how they tackled the pattern repeat and the install.

Acquario Fish Swimming Through a West Houston Powder Room

October 5, 2018

I hung this paper for this client in her previous home in Spring Branch (Houston). Two years later, the family is moving to a new construction home in the Briar Park neighborhood, and she wants the same pattern in her new, larger, powder room.

In a house where practically everything else is all white, it’s an unexpected jolt of fun when you open the door to the powder room and are hit with – not just bold color, but these cheeky fish swimming in both directions across the walls.

This pattern is called “Acquario,” and is by the British company Cole & Son, in their Fornasetti line. I’ve hung it several times, in a couple of different colors. It is printed on a non-woven backing, and is intended to be hung using the paste-the-wall method. I find the paste-the-paper method to be superior.

For one thing, the paper expands when it gets wet with the paste. (Non-wovens are not supposed to do this.) It’s best to let the paper absorb moisture and expand while on your work table (instead of on the wall), as this will help prevent “pouched” seams on the wall.

Also, pasting the paper makes it more soft and pliable, which makes it easier to manipulate into position of the walls.

Wallpaper Gets Exposure in Magazines

October 1, 2018


Thank you again, Better Homes & Gardens, for featuring wallpaper in your magazine.

The first photo is a powder room done in “Nuvolette,” a rolling cloud pattern in the Fornasetti line by the British company Cole & Son.

Next is a hand-painted scenic mural, and think the brand was Gracie, although there are a few other companies that make similar. These are very high-end products, and this homeowner saved mega bucks by having just a few panels made, and then framing them and hanging as artwork (as opposed to papering the entire room with the mural).

Third photo is a popular foresty pattern by Hygge & West. They have delightful designs, but I am not crazy about their papers, because the seams tend to “pouch” just a little. Do a Search here to read more (upper right corner).

In the last photo, you see just a little wallpaper in the background.

Fudging the Match / Fooling the Eye

June 19, 2015

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Wallpaper patterns are designed to match, when one strip is hung next to another. Usually, there is no wiggle room, and each strip has to be hung in sequential order. But this particular pattern (called Chaiva Segrete, by Cole & Son, in their Fornasetti line), is free-form enough that it can be tweaked, when need be. I used this to my advantage in three corners of this guest bathroom.

You never wrap wallpaper around an inside corner. Instead, you wrap a fraction of an inch around the corner, then cut the paper vertically, and then overlap the “new” strip on top of the existing strip, in the corner. But if that “new” strip chances to be very narrow, there is a large possibility that it will hang crooked, causing problems like gapping and overlapping with each subsequent strip that has to hang next to it on that wall. But if you don’t butt the next strip up to this narrow, crooked strip, the pattern match will be off.

In another scenario, I wanted to avoid cutting against the shower’s tile grout, which can cause an irregular, un-straight cut (in addition to devouring my razor blades), so I wanted to hang a fresh strip butted against the tile and then work back to the previously-hung corner.

What to do?!

My solution was to create a new piece that looked like it matched, even if it didn’t. I found a place in the pattern that had only leaves, making sure that no motifs (the keys) would be cut up. I carefully cut around the leaf motifs, creating an irregular edge to the strip of wallpaper. (Photo 2) Then I hung the strip of wallpaper, allowing the irregular edge to wrap around the corner, overlapping the previous strip of wallpaper. Once it was smoothed into place, you would not see that this was not the intended pattern match. (Photo 3)

In another area (no photo), I used the same technique to bring a narrow 6″ strip along the side of a closet door up to meet (but not perfectly match) the wallpaper over the door.

With the right pattern, this trick works well. It saves paper, saves time, and eliminates gaps and overlaps.

In fact, in the last photo, in an entirely different corner, floor to ceiling, I have employed the same technique – and I’ll bet you cannot spot the area that is not the factory match!

Leaves & Keys in a Memorial-Area Guest Bathroom

June 14, 2015

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This guest bathroom looked good with it’s mint green paint and standard-issue fixtures. (In the top photo, it is covered with a coat of my thin white wallpaper primer.)  But when the homeowners updated the bath to include tumbled marble tile on the floor and in the shower, and a white-and-grey marble on the vanity, it was clear that the blah green paint had to go.

The tone-on-tone tan colors in this wallpaper blend with the new tile perfectly, and the simple scattered leaf pattern compliments the foggy look of the tile, while adding a calming, Zen-like feel to the bathroom.

This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, a British company, a part of their Fornasetti line, pattern #97/4013, and is called Chaivi Segrete (sounds Italian to me – Google the translation!). I hung this in a guest bathroom of a busy family in the near-Memorial area of Houston.

Their job was set for way off in September (my next available date). But I had a schedule change, and, knowing that they had an unfinished, torn-up bathroom, I asked if they wanted to get done much sooner. Of course, they said Yes!