Posts Tagged ‘granite’

Historic “Lafayette” Bird Pattern in Galleria Area Powder Room

July 12, 2019


With a black granite floor, a black toilet, a dark wood vanity, and a dark granite countertop, adding black wallpaper to this under-the-stairs powder room seemed like a bold venture. But the gutsiness paid off – the finished room looks fantastic. And there is nothing dark or brooding about it.

In fact, the light color of the birds, along with the uplifiting feel of the vertical foliage in the design work together to give the room light and movement. Ditto the new paint color on the ceiling.

Sorry there is no photo, but this room, which is tucked under the stairway, has a deeply sloped ceiling. Originally, the homeowners considered papering the slope and the flat ceiling areas, too. But I told them that would make the room far too dark and closed-in. I suggested they pull a color from the wallpaper and dilute it to what I call a “whisper color” – almost white, but with just a whisper of color.

They could have gone with a light shade of tan (birds’ wings), green (plants), purple (birds), or salmon (birds, flowers). After consulting with the gal who sells the wallpaper (read below), they decided on a pale orangey-pink shade. I love the choice!

The ceiling does not look “pink.” Yet the hint of peachy pink adds warmth, while all the while pulls your eye up and adds a feeling of openness and even joy.

Fourth photo – the tan paint from the original faux finish wall treatment wrapped around onto the top of the backsplash. Once the dark paper went up, I didn’t want to have a gold stripe running around the top of the backsplash. So I used artist’s craft paint and a small brush to paint it black, to blend in with the granite backsplash. Once the wallpaper was up, to protect both the paint and the bottom edge of the wallpaer, I ran a bead of clear caulk along the top of the backsplash. This will prevent splashes of water that land on top of the backsplash from being wicked up under the paper – which could cause curling.

This historic “Lafayette” wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and dates back to the 1800’s. In fact, it is 2″ narrower than most wallpapers, and I’m told that that is because it is printed with the same engraved rollers as were used back then. It’s a raised-ink printing process, and the material is pre-pasted. I experimented with a couple of pasting techniques, and found that the old-fashioned method of pulling the strips through a water tray resulted in even saturation and activation of the paste, and the flattest seams.

This paper 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 (inner loop Houston). (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.

Advertisements

Diamonds Brighten a Bellaire Bathroom

May 11, 2019


Originally, this home in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston was rife with the “Tuscan” look, and this under-the-stairs powder room shows just that … The gold overlaid with a red glaze was a good look, but the new homeowners wanted a brighter, more modern look.

Just look at how the diamond pattern on a white background changed the room! The heavy darkness is gone, and the feeling is totally modern. The black and white scheme goes beautifully with the new black countertop and white sink.

One not-so-great thing is that somehow we got two different run numbers. Different run numbers were printed at different times, and can be slightly different in shade, so cannot be used on the same wall. Luckily, we had enough paper that I was able to plot out which bolts to use on which walls, and the room turned out looking great.

This paper is by A-Street Prints, which is made by Brewster, a good company. It is a non-woven product with a high fiberglass content that is designed to strip off the walls easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate. The material is dimensionally-stable and will not shrink as it dries.

It can be hung by the paste-the-wall method, but I preferred to paste the paper. In a bathroom with choppy areas, this ensures that paste will get to every surface, and it also makes the paper more pliable and malleable, which is essential in a room like this with crooked corners and a curved wall (not shown).

This wallpaper 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.

Paint Splatters on Brand New Granite – Naughty Painters!

March 19, 2019


In this photo, you are looking down at a windowsill, with the black and white tile floor below that.

Workmen had painted the walls and overhead soffit. As you can see, they didn’t bother to protect the brand new granite window sill with a dropcloth. Nor did they shield the floor or bathtub, both of which were equally covered in paint speckles and splatters.

Come on, guys! All it takes is a dropcloth and a few minutes of your time.

Fireworks or Dandelion Heads ??

August 17, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


No matter if you see fireworks or flowers, this light colored pattern full of bursts of movement really transformed this powder room. Originally, the room was papered a dark brick red color. It was so dark that I could not even get a photo, plus the paper had no pattern, so you have to wonder why they didn’t paint instead.

The homeowner searched hard to find a wallpaper that would coordinate with both her new grey granite countertop and the existing Saltillo tile floor, while brightening up a room that had been cave-like for decades.

I would say that she was successful, because this paper fills the bill in every way.

This home is in the Fondren Southwest neighborhood of Houston. The wallpaper is by York, in their Candice Olson line. The label said it was unpasted, but it turned out to be pre-pasted. I pasted the paper anyway, and was very happy with the quality of the paper, and how nice it was to work with, and how tight the seams were, as well as the overall finished job.

Blue Goes With Grey – But Not Always

July 2, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


In 2002, I hung this small blue floral print in the kitchen / breakfast area of a 1950 home in Riverside (Houston). The homeowner inherited the house from her grandmother, and she loves the vintage style and has kept her decorating pretty much true to the theme – including the floral wallpaper.

But a water leak changed all that. Damage was extensive enough that it made sense to remodel the entire kitchen. So new tile and granite came in. As much as the homeowner loved the blue flowery wallpaper, it didn’t go with the new grey-hued surfaces. So new wallpaper was called for.

As you can see in the third photo, the new pattern coordinates much better.

The homeowner has bought paint and wallpaper from Dorota at Southwestern Paint (see below) for many years, and she knew she could trust her to find the right paper. Sure enough – She told Dorota about the kitchen remodel and sent pics of the granite and tile, then made an appointment to visit in person. When she got to the store, Dorota walked over to her library of wallpaper books, chose one, opened it up, and pointed to this pattern. “This is what you need,” she said. And she was absolutely spot-on. The selection is perfect with the granite, the tile, the updated room, and even works beautifully with the older home.

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their Ecochic collection, a series that I like a lot, and 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.

Reaching High Spots

September 9, 2016

Digital Image

Digital Image


These walls are over 12′ high. Even with my 6′ ladder, I couldn’t reach the walls over the bathroom vanity. So I had to get creative.

This isn’t as dangerous as it looks. First, before I actually put any weight on that ladder, I put non-slip padded foam shelf liner under the feet, to prevent slipping and to protect the granite. And, since granite is considered a somewhat fragile stone, and will not support a lot of weight, that is not a concern here, because, a.) I only weigh 100 pounds, and b.) the legs of the ladder distribute my weight to the outside of the vanity top, which is supported by the vanity frame and case (not just the granite).

Nonetheless, it takes care to work like this. I don’t have as much freedom of movement of my arms or my body as I can when I can set the ladder anywhere I want. And, you can’t see it, but, where I removed the light fixture, there is an electrical box with live wires (capped and safe, but, still, kinda scary) very close to where my left arm is moving and jostling.

So, I am mindful of many things: my weight distribution, my movements, my shifting weight, my arms relative to that electrical box, the task I am working on, and lots of other related things, like not dropping any tools from 12′ up, and I forgot to lock the bathroom door so I sure hope that no one decides to come in right now because the door will knock into my ladder and I sure don’t want to take a tumble from this high up! (Another reason why I love to work when I’m alone in the house.)

BTW – tomorrow, I am bringing my 8′ ladder. I just may be able to reach the wall without having to stand on the vanity top.

Contemporary / Rustic Powder Room

January 8, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


I call this pattern contemporary because of the geometric feel and the mechanical gear images. But I also get a rustic feel, because of the textured surface, which you can see in the close-up shot. It’s well-suited to the style of the house, and to the family, which also has ranch property, and three sons.

This is in a powder room in a brand new Perry Home in Cypress (Houston). The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs. I think she did a fantastic job of marrying the wallpaper to the granite counter top.

The painters had brought the wall paint down onto the caulk around the backsplash. I painted over it with a color that better melded the color of the granite and the wallpaper. I then ran bead of caulk around the edge, to keep splashed water from wicking under the wallpaper, which could cause it to curl up.

This wallpaper is by J & V, and is has a woven fabric embedded in a thick vinyl (which gives it the texture) on a paper substrate.

Murky Green Wallpaper in a Hall Bathroom

December 20, 2014

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image
Originally, this bathroom was papered in dark brown diamonds, and it had murky brown woodwork and cabinets, and brown granite countertops. It was a nice look, but didn’t suit this family with young children. The new pattern, a murky green with orange and brown accents, works stupendously with the brown woodwork, but is much lighter and lively, and a much better choice for a young family.

My photos don’t do the room or the paper justice, as the colors are not true. Believe me, the paper and the pattern and the woodwork are just perfect together. In fact, I realized that one reason I love this paper so much is because it is VERY similar to what I have in my own bathroom, by York Wallpaper, but a bit more blue, and a little darker, but also with orange flowers and brown birds.

This wallpaper is by Thibaut Designs, and the interior decorator is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs. http://www.pamelahopedesigns.com/

Why Is This Natural Stone Countertop Spotted?

December 10, 2014

Digital Image

Digital Image
This powder room in Bellaire was just redone completely, including a new vanity and natural stone countertop. Every time a drop of water got on the countertop, it soaked in and darkened the stone. Once it dried, the stain disappeared. Still, what an icky appearance, for something the homeowner paid so much money for, in hopes of having a stunningly beautiful guess bath.

The reason? The stone installer did not apply a sealer. But don’t worry – he’s coming back, and will take care of this. It’s important, too, because, while water won’t stain the countertop, at least not right away, other spilled substances just might. And something like a broken bottle of perfume could penetrate the stone and the scent could linger for months.

I see this a lot, to be honest. I see granite or other stone that never got sealed, and the same for tile grout. All of them show spots when water splashes on them. Often it’s because the tile guys are too lazy to come back after the grout is dry, to spent 45 minutes sealing the floor. And most homeowners don’t know the difference, so they don’t realize they have not gotten their full value for the money they spent.