Posts Tagged ‘high-end’

Meg Braff Bad Printing Job

November 15, 2022
The homeowner very much loves this simple, tone-on-tone shore bird pattern for her dining room – just the top , above the chair rail / wainscoting. Here I’m plotting where to best situate the pattern on the wall , between the chair rail and ceiling , while keeping the most important pattern elements and motifs intact . (no cutting off birds’ heads at the ceiling , nor at the wainscoting ) I’m also checking the pattern match .
It quickly became evident that the pattern match, as laid out by the factory, was incorrect . Match it at the bottom (by my thumb ), but as you move up , the pattern goes a little out of whack . This is actually not all that bad , and is considered acceptable – the industry standard allows for up to 1/8″ – 3/8″ mis-match .
Hand-trim screen-print materials such as this are particularly notable for pattern mis-matches .
For the record, they’re also known for curling edges , puckering , waffling , and other issues that make them difficult to hang , as well as questionability as to how long they’ll perform on your wall before wanting to resort to that curling at the seams .
More pattern mis-matching .
But the situation got worse . These high-end screen prints often come with an unprinted selvedge edge that has to be trimmed off by hand , with a straightedge (the blue metal thing ), a razor blade – and a steady hand.
If the trim guide marks printed on the material by the company are ” off ,” then you’re supposed to ” trim to the pattern .” This means that you find the design element on the left edge of the paper and then find the corresponding element on the right side, and place your straightedge so that your trim cuts will result in the two edges matching up perfectly. (Or at least within that 1/8″ -3/8″)
At this point, the white lines in the design – let’s call them ‘grapes’ – are abutting my blue straightedge , and should meet up perfectly with the corresponding white lines on the grapes on the opposite side of the subsequent strip of wallpaper.
But, unfortunately, with this material, that didn’t work. If I lined my straightedge up with the pattern design elements , as in the photo above this one, by the time I moved down a few feet , as you can see in this photo , the pattern begins moving away from the straightedge . The white grape outlines do not butt up against my straightedge.
The likely reason is that this material has been printed on the bias . That means that the artisan at the factory got his screens out of whompus , for lack of a better term.
” Trim to the pattern .” OK. So here I’m placing my straightedge at 1/8″ away from the ” hook ” in this design .
Still the same distance from the “hook.” But the white lines are starting to move away from the straightedge.
Here they’ve moved farther off. With this design, from a distance , you could maybe live with the white lines not meeting up perfectly.
But what you couldn’t find acceptable is that the tan area between these white elements would be growing wider diagonally as you move both up and down the wall. Look at the photo. You can see the tan area growing larger .
But it gets worse as it spreads farther … As that tan section grows wider like a “V” or a wedge as you move up or down the wall, it additionally pushes the design motifs at the top of the ceiling or at top of the wainscoting either up or down along the horizontal lines of the ceiling and wainscoting .
So not only do you get a widening tan line between each seam , you also get the birds’ heads moving up or down from where they’re supposed to be positioned below the ceiling or above the wainscoting .
I spent an hour and a half trying different placements and trimming methods . I knew the client loved this pattern and that she was willing to accept reasonable flaws in the pattern match and positioning.
But even given that, I wanted her to have a good looking dining room – not one with uneven spacing between strips, or grossly irregular positioning along the horizontal lines in the room.
I even consulted with several (five!) “high-end” installer buddies of mine. No one had a ” tip ” for making an improperly printed design fall correctly on the wall. In fact, all five of them said it couldn’t be done.
I determined that this material was unhangable.
As mentioned, I tried to find an installer buddy who could make this work and get this client’s dining room done in time for Thanksgiving dinner. But no one wanted to take it on.
I don’t know if the manufacturer will replace the paper or refund the $ spend. Manufacturers are usually keen on saying that “it’s the installer’s fault .” I can say that I’ve had similar issues with Meg Braff papers in the past.
The homeowner really loves this pattern. It’s possible – but not assured – that purchasing the same design but in a different run will yield a better factory printing job.
Just a note that printing defects , curling seams , wrinkling / quilting , and more, are somewhat common with hand-screened wallpapers . And here’s another reason why I’m happiest when clients stick with middle-of-the-road, or slightly upper priced , wallpaper options . Email me and request my Info Pack (or see the link on the right) for more information and brand name recommendations.
Sad to bow out and leave this client with an unpapered room, and no viable solution or direction . But better that than to take on something that I can’t assure will look good. I hope she tells me what she ends up doing and how all this turns out.

Heavily-Inked Papers Need Extra Moisture

August 13, 2022
Something smells like moth balls ! Some high-end hand screened wallpapers are printed with what we call stinky inks . These inks often fight with the substrate they’re printed on. The backing of the wallpaper will absorb moisture from the paste and expand , but the ink on the surface won’t, so you end up with what we call waffling or quilting . Wrinkles in the wallpaper in between the printed inked areas. Do a Search here to see photos and read more about this.
You can reduce or eliminate this by evening out the moisture between front and back. It’s as simple as taking a very lightly damp sponge and wiping the front printed surface of the wallpaper. Then paste the back as normal , book (fold pasted side to pasted side), roll up, place in black trash bag for a few minutes.
Now the wallpaper should be relaxed , and the wrinkles should be evened out . Now you’re ready to hang wallpaper !
This pattern is called Les Touches and is by Brunschwig & Fils , a higher-end designer type brand .

Wallpaper Featured in the March 2022 Issue of Southern Living Magazine

March 30, 2022
I’ve hung this one recently. It’s a Schumacher brand.
A small, tight, cozy pattern. Peter Fasano is lovely paper, but a high-end price tag. As I like to say, there is always something similar made by a more standard company that is lower priced and easier to work with.
I’m seeing a big uptick in interest in classic murals like this. Gucci products are pricy, but very easy to install and care for.
I’m also seeing lots of homeowners interested in jungle or tropical themed patterns. LOTS of patterns out there to choose from.
Another classic Chinoiserie mural.

Affordable Alternative to Ellie Cashman Dark Floral

March 10, 2022
Back door entry accent wall before.
Done and dramatic!
This overs-scaled floral on a black background has become infinitely popular. But you don’t need to pay designer prices for the big name brands. As I like to say, for every high-end manufacturer making a cool design that’s expensive and probably difficult to work with, there is someone else making a knock-off that is affordable and better quality.
This is a very good alternative to the big name. It even has these beautiful humming birds.
Graham & Brown makes scores of designs, printed on a really nice non-woven , paste the wall substrate. One of my preferred brands.
Their version of this floral is called Allure .
The home is in the Hobby Airport area of Houston .

Porter Teleo Wallpaper in Midwest Living Magazine

February 22, 2022

Porter Teleo is a custom-made, high-end wallpaper. Extra cool that it’s made in my home state of Missouri. So nice to see it getting exposure in Midwest Living (Jan/Feb 2022 issue).

Wish they had included some larger photos of the actual material, so y’all can get an idea of what their patterns look like.

A Soft POW! Factor

February 16, 2022
This home in the Energy Corridor / Memorial area of west Houston is dressed in soft tones of white, grey, pale wood tones. The homeowner wanted something dramatic in their exercise room bath, but also wanted to stick with the muted color scheme.
Looks like she got what she was hunting for!
Although this is actually a digital print, close-up it looks like brush strokes.
The wallpaper designer and manufacturer is Lindsay Cowles. The material is a stiff, thick, heavy non-woven like what we call a bridging liner. And to be honest, I’m not enjoying working with it. Hard to manipulate into corners and intricate moldings, and creases easily, among other misbehaviors. I’d much rather they would print on a more standard weight non-woven substrate.
This is a high-end brand, and the goods are sold by the yard and come packed in one huge, very heavy bolt, rather than several standard-sized rolls.

Affordable Version of Trendy Wallpaper Pattern

January 2, 2022
Accent wall in this guest bathroom in the Houston Heights has been smoothed and primed, and is ready for wallpaper.
Schumacher makes a popular version of this design called Queen of Spain. Rebecca Atwood makes something very similar named Dashes. Both of those are expensive brands, and the papers require hand-trimming, as well as other special installation techniques. The Queen comes in an unwieldly 54″ width.
This option by A Street Prints , though, is very similar but much lower in price. I prefer this pattern, too, because it’s not as ” stripy ” as the other brands. The name is Rune Charcoal Brushstrokes.
This is a non-woven material, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method.

As I like to say – for every high-end company making a cool pattern that is costly and also difficult to install, there is someone else making a knock-off that is more affordable and of better quality.

Defects With Schumacher – As Usual

August 25, 2021

Schumacher may have a high-end name and price tag, but I am not impressed with the quality. Some of their materials are very difficult to work with. Another thing is, you can almost always count on printing defects.

In this case, there were a few tiny specs of black here and there. Most were on the back, but at least two appeared on the pink surface of the paper.

I am thinking maybe an oily chalk of some sort. And they were “active.” Meaning, if I tried to wipe them off, either dry or with a dap cloth, or attempted to lift them out of the paper with a razor blade, they smeared. That would not wipe off, so we would be left with a visible smudge on the paper.

The Reading Room – Brunschwig & Fils “Bibliotheque” in a West Houston Powder Room

March 13, 2020


Why are people drawn to books in bathrooms??

Oh, well, it’s a common theme – and a bit of a tongue-in-cheek, wink-wink joke.

Either way, this one came together gorgeously.

I don’t usually like dark woodwork or ceilings, but in this case, the deep black / eggplant color works dramatically with the wallpaper.

The color is rich and saturated, and the ink has a beautiful matte finish – one glance and you know that this is a high-end and classy material.

The home is in the far-west side of Houston.

Hand-Trimming Rebecca Atwood “Dashes” Wallpaper

June 1, 2018


The wallpaper from my previous post is sold by the yard, and was digitally printed to order. Instead of coming in standard-length rolls / bolts, it comes in one continuous roll.

Like many high-end materials, it has an unprinted selvedge edge that has to trimmed off by hand. Here you see my straightedge and razor blade, carefully removing the excess paper.