Posts Tagged ‘graham & brown’

Double Rolls, Single Rolls, Too Many Rolls

June 4, 2019


This homeowner was supposed to buy 10 single rolls of wallpaper. So that’s what she ordered – 10 rolls of paper.

But what she got was 10 double rolls of wallpaper. That’s 20 single rolls – twice as much as she needed.

Each of those bolts you see in the box in the photo is a double roll. Double rolls are a good thing. It is typical (and desirable) for two single rolls of paper to be uncut and rolled together as one double roll bolt. You usually get an extra strip of paper out of a double roll bolt.

This is the traditional American way of packaging and referring to wallpaper.

But … some companies use different terminology. These would be most all of the British manufacturers, as well as some American companies who are new to the wallpaper game, and who do not manufacturer their own papers, but get them from outside sources. Some of these are Serena & Lily, Hygge & West, Anthropologie, and middle-man retailers like Amazon, eBay, Wayfair, etc.

For these companies, what most of us call a double roll, they refer to it as single roll. It’s the same amount of paper, the same sized package – it’s just referred to differently.

If you’re not savvy and knowledgeable about the terminology of single and double roll bolts, and about the various companies that use conflicting terminology, you could end up with twice as much paper as you need – or, worse yet, with only half as much as you need.

This company, Graham & Brown, is based in the U.K. Hence their single roll is what I call a double roll. The company is very large, though, and has offices here in the U.S. – so they almost seem American. My client ordered her paper on-line, instead from my favorite source (see page to the right), and so there was no human eye overseeing the single/double roll conundrum.

Bottom line – she got caught in the conundrum, and ended up with twice as much paper as needed.

This is one reason I ask my clients to run their brand and pattern selections by me before they make their purchases. That way (hopefully), I can catch snafus like this, as well as figure in factors like pattern repeat, multiple drop matches, extra-wide material, and etc.

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Way Fun Splotchy, Inky Lines in a Heights Powder Room

January 10, 2019


Here we are, in another new tract home in inside-the-Loop Houston, with a generic look and beige-everything. The homeowners have twin daughters who are just learning to walk, and they wanted their home to reflect the fresh energy of the young family.

Here comes a fun “angled, tufted pillow” sort of design to the rescue!

This cool design looks like it was hand-drawn in watercolor paint, and has a distinct Rorschach Ink Blot Test feel to it.

The manufacturer is Graham & Brown. It is a nice-quality non-woven material, and was nice to work with. It should hold up very nicely as this young family grows.

Non-wovens are also designed to strip off the wall easily and with little-to-no damage to the walls when it’s time to redecorate.

Trippy Mid Century Modern in Purple

May 8, 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.

What fun! This wild pattern fills all those bills!

What’s extra cool is that the homeowners painted the walls and woodwork in the room a mauvy-purple color more than a year ago. I showed them a sample of this paper in the orange color (which I had hung in another client’s home in a nearby neighborhood, also Mid Century Modern), and they loved it. When they went to the wallpaper store (read below), the selection book showed this snazzy purple colorway. The shade of purple is the exact compliment to the paint colors they had chosen so long ago. BINGO!

This wallpaper pattern is by Graham & Brown, in their Super Fresco line, which is reasonably priced and easy to work with, as well as easy to remove when it’s time to redecorate. I hung it with the paste-the-wall method. It 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.

Nicely Packaged Wallpaper

April 3, 2017

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One of my big complaints about wallpaper is when it arrives with banged up edges – damage caused by poor packaging and mishandling during shipping. Depending on the extent of the damage and the type of paper, these banged edges can render wallpaper unusable.

This manufacturer (Graham & Brown) has got it figured out – the paper was nicely wrapped in plastic and came in a good enough cardboard shipping box. But the extra step was these cardboard end-caps that completely protect the edges of the rolls of wallpaper, and protect them from dings and wrinkles.

Overscaled Flocked Damask Wallpaper Pattern in a Living Room

April 1, 2017

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Originally, this living room accent wall in a home in the Museum District of Houston was painted a deep gold/brown, and was covered with a large number of framed art pieces. The first photo shows the wall after I have skim-floated it to smooth away the texture.

The wife wanted something updated and fun. She chose this taupe-on-silver extra large damask pattern with a flocked (raised velvet-like) surface. To top it all off, there are flecks of silver in the flocked material.

The new wallpaper really jazzed up the room. The family is very into the arts, and the wife was eager to put her paintings and photographs back up on the wall. But once the paper went up and sent waves of impact throughout the room, she hesitated.

I, personally, would rather see something large, like a huge mirror, framed in an almost-ridiculously carved and filigreed gold frame.

The paper is by Graham & Brown, and was a durable non-woven material, and entailed a paste-the-wall process; it was nice enough to work with. Seen from head-on, the wallpaper was dazzling. However, if you stood at an angle to the wall, you could see color differences between every strip.

I don’t think these are actually color differences, but rather differences in the nap of the flocked material. The look didn’t seem to bother the homeowners at all. They love the pattern, the texture, and the sassiness of the whole look.

Me, I am busy cleaning up little specks of silver dust from all my tools, drop cloths, work table – everything is permeated with them.

Wild & Crazy Mod Wallpaper in Green

January 7, 2017
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The homeowner loved this paper in the powder room of her previous home. They didn’t have enough to do an entire room in the new house, so they had me put it on just one wall in their master bedroom closet. I hate this overused expression, but it sure “makes it pop!”

This wallpaper is by Graham & Brown, who makes a wide variety of nice papers. This one is on a pulp substrate and is called “Boheme.” I hung it in a brand new, very contemporary home in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston.

Bold Geometric Wallpaper Replaces “Stucco” On a Dining Area Accent Wall

March 25, 2016
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Today I worked in homeowner-run vacation rental apartment in the Riverside neighborhood of Houston. The owners wanted a look that was updated, but still fairly neutral, because all sorts of people will be staying in the unit (honeymooners, medical patients, sports fans, vacationers) The wall was originally a thick faux stucco finish (1st photo) and had to be smoothed before the new wallpaper could go up.

Smoothing the wall took several hours. Next I sealed / primed with Gardz, and once that was dry, I hung the paper. The house dates to 1940, so you can bet that the walls and floors and ceiling are not plumb or level. That made working with a geometric pattern rather tricky. I used a few tricks, and got it to look pretty straight at the crucial points.

This wallpaper is by Graham & Brown, and is paste-the-wall product (rather than pasting the back of the paper). Unlike the thick and stiff P-T-W papers I have worked with recently, this paper was thin and pliable and nicer to work with. Tt was lightly embossed, giving it a light texture, and the design included some shading, which gave a 3-D effect.

Another Faux Bead Board Paintable Wallpaper

September 18, 2015
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I love this Thibaut hummingbird pattern so much, it hurt to strip it off. But the home owner wanted something more subdued for this powder room in a townhome in the West University / Medical Center area of Houston. The beaded board pattern she chose is made of expanded vinyl and is intended to be painted (although it’s OK to leave it as-is, too). It is on a non-woven backing, and is supposed to strip off the wall later easily and cleanly and in one piece.

It is by Allen & Roth, made by Graham & Brown, who manufacturers a lot of these puffy papers.

Speaking of puffy papers – the surface is very delicate, and can be damaged by even a fingernail. In the last photo, you see horizontal lines in the material. I never creased the paper, yet these lines developed during “booking” (folding the paper pasted-side-to-pasted-side and letting it rest before hanging).

I threw one full-length strip away due to lines like this, but these two strips would be behind the mirror, and we had a limited amount of paper, so I let them stay on the wall. Subsequent strips were booked, but folded only once, to minimize the chance of these creases developing, and then handled very carefully during installation. Still, the homeowner will have to be careful over the life of the paper, to not press any hard objects against the walls, as this could create impressions that will last forever. I hope that painting the paper will increase its durability.

The paper has a vinyl surface, which does not “breathe,” and will take a while to dry completely. Because of this moisture, it’s important to have a good primer underneath, to prevent damage from moisture getting to the Sheetrock. I suggested waiting a week before painting, to be sure it’s good and dry.

The homeowner mentioned painting the walls a sage green. This will be pretty, and will coordinate with other rooms in the house. This type of textured wallpaper also looks good with a glaze coat of a different color, to add shading. Then again, the room looks so darned good with the white wallpaper, it’s possible she may leave it as it is!

Tumbling Tulips Torque Up the Townhouse!

May 22, 2015
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The homeowner knew she needed to bring life to this bland eating nook. The new house near I-10 and Shepherd has a contemporary feel, with a lot of vertical straight lines (stairway balusters), and she wanted something organic and fluid to offset all that rigidity. This floral design with curving stems is perfect!

The strong black lines in the design compliment the black iron in the stair railings, and the vivid black & white pattern on a charcoal background will accept any color as an accent. …She is currently debating between green and orange … but may end up using both!

This wallpaper is by Graham & Brown (Pattern #20-450). It is a paste-the-wall product, and is printed on a very thin, pliable non-woven substrate. I liked working with it much better than the stiffer, thicker non-woven materials, and loved how the seams were invisible (with thicker products, the seams tend to show).

This wallpaper 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.

Faux Beaded Board Looks Like the Real Thing

February 27, 2014

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Digital ImageThe homeowners’ interior designer told them that beaded board would look great in their laundry room. The husband, who has done some astonishingly detailed wood working in other rooms of the house, contemplated paneling this room, but decided the angles and nooks and crannies would be too complicated. So they found a wallpaper that mimics beaded board, and asked me to put it up.

The paper was pre-pasted and was nice to work with. But the room was a bugger, with a lot of odd spaces, difficult-to-reach areas, and very limited space, including a refrigerator that had to be rolled in and out of its alcove, about 20 times.

This paper was labeled a “problem wall solver” and indicated that, because it was textured, it would hide flaws in the wall. But I knew it would NOT hide much of anything, especially with the smooth surface of the fake paneling. The walls were textured, and those bumps would definitely show under the new paper.

So I skim-floated the walls to smooth them, primed, and hung the paper. The 10-roll room took me 13 hours! It turned out great, and the clients loved it.

The only thing I didn’t like about the paper is that it was damaged easily. A fingernail or something in your pocket if you leaned against it would create a dent. And because it’s so thick and puffy, it can be gouged or torn easily, with people walking in and out the back door of the home.

The paper is made to be painted, and this might increase it’s strength and resistance to “dings.” On the other hand, painting it will make it more difficult to remove in the future.

Graham & Brown makes a nice product, and it’s quite affordable. They have many other patterns of textured, paintable papers. Here is the link to their site, with this particular pattern. The pattern is #15274
http://www.grahambrown.com/us/product/15274/beadboard