Posts Tagged ‘homeowner’

Classic Chinoiserie in Heights Powder Room

February 10, 2022
Before. The previous installer did a beautiful job with this earthy grasscloth. But it didn’t suit the homeowner’s taste, nor did it fit with the feel of this 1939 cottage in the historic Norhill section of the Houston heights.
Done! The dark towel and mirror really set off the pattern and colors.
Wall behind the toilet. This Asian-influenced design, with its pagodas and minstrels, is referred to as a Chinoiserie . These designs have been popular for centuries.
Close-up. The green and blue tones coordinate beautifully with adjoining rooms in the house.
I rolled the wallpaper out on the floor, so I could see the full-size design. This one has a 46″ pattern repeat, which is awfully long, and means there can be a lot of waste. This design had a straight pattern match, and came packaged in a 24″ x 33′ bolt, like traditional wallpaper. It did not come as an A-B set, as many M&K products do.
I couldn’t find a full-size room-set photo on-line, so I availed myself of the Milton & King ‘s ” chat ” feature … I was connected with a live and knowledgeable representative in mere seconds, and he very quickly sent me a link to a picture of this pattern in a room.
In the photo, I’m using my yardstick to determine a centerline of the design motifs.
As are most of Milton & King ‘s wallpapers, this one was on a non-woven substrate. Rather than paste the wall, I chose to paste the paper, which works best in a bathroom with things to cut around and tuck paper behind. mi
The pattern is called Mulberry . Milton & King’s bolts come packed individually in protective boxes – no worries about banged edges with this outfit!

Messy Countertops Make Wallpaper Installation Difficult

December 3, 2017

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A week before I start a job, I send the homeowners information about the installation process and what things I will be needing. One thing I ask is that they clear toiletries, jewelry, paperwork, etc., out of the work area. Well, here are a few households that didn’t get the message. 😦

All this mess is hard for me to work around. And since I often need to sand, even if I cover these items with plastic, they are likely to get a little dusty. And they’ll need to be protected from splatters from the wallpaper primer.

Sometimes I’ll move things out of the way, and then you never know where they will end up – under the vanity, on the bedroom floor, on the dining room table, in the bathtub – anywhere I can find a surface to set them on. That gets them out of my way and keeps them clean, but it puts the homeowners on a search mission later, and they’ll have to try to put everything back the way they had it in the beginning.

Best for the homeowner to take these things out of the room herself, and stash them where she can find them when the wallpaper job is finished.

It Pays to Have Your Name on Your Truck

May 31, 2017

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Years ago, one of my clients, a business owner and a smart man, told me that I should have my name on my truck. I ignored his advice. A year later I was working for the same guy, and he admonished me for not having my business advertised on my vehicle.

So this time I followed his suggestion – and it has proven to be sage advice.

I could give lots of examples, but here’s the latest… I was working at a client’s home, the next door neighbor looked out the window and saw my van with my “Wallpaper Lady” name on it, she had a wallpaper project of her own she wanted done, she knew that her neighbors researched craftsmen and hired only the best ( 🙂 ), and so she walked over and put this note on my windshield.

Voilà! I have a new client, and the homeowner will soon have a beautiful newly redecorated powder room!

Surprise Treat From My Client Today

January 29, 2017

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The wallpaper I hung today was a real bugger-bear, and took me a full 10 hours to get on the walls.

Around about Hour 8, it all got a little better when the homeowner popped in with this. 🙂

Powder Room Papered in Purple Peonies

November 5, 2015

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The painted walls in this powder room were dull and uninspiring. This homeowner is an artist, and loves drama and color. Well, you can’t beat huge purple flowers to meet the cravings!

Regarding pattern placement, this room defied the rules of chance. I spent quite a bit of time plotting and measuring and calculating, to get the flower to land intact (not get any important elements chopped off) at the top of the wall, and still have the weighty part of it land at the top of the sink, and also fall dead-center behind the faucet. But after that first strip is hung, every subsequent strip falls as it will, and you cannot control pattern placement for the rest of the room.

However, on the wall to the right of the sink, the wallpaper pattern balanced itself out perfectly, with the dominant flower lining up smack down the center of the wall, and perfectly halved-flowers falling down the right and left corners of the wall (no photo). Then, to heighten the improbable, the dominant flower centered itself again on the rear wall, behind the toilet, with the two corners ending up with perfect halves of peonies on either side (not shown).

Finally, the last join ended with less than a 2″ gap, which I was able to disguise very nicely with virtually no disruption of the pattern (no photo 😦 ).

This all just defies the laws of physics and geometry and chance, and I was tickled and thrilled when it all worked out so perfectly. Best of all, the room looks fantastic – and the clients think I’m a genius! 😉

This wallpaper pattern is by Sanitas, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby.  (713) 520-6262 or  Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Wiring Guys Ruin Wallpaper

January 12, 2013

I looked at a repair job in a home today, where the painters messed up some of the wallpaper. This the homeowner knew, and she called me to see if it could be repaired.

But in the meantime, she removed hand towel from its ring next to the sink across the room – and discovered that the wiring contractor who had been working at the same time as the painters had DRILLED FIVE HOLES IN THE WALL, trying to find his connection.

The thing is, the painters ‘fessed up and told the lady about the paint on the wallpaper. The wiring guy just put the hand towel back and hoped she would not notice. WHO DOESN’T NOTICE FIVE HOLES IN THE WALL??!

Surprise Treat from Clients Today

December 16, 2012

Digital ImageHere’s what’s left of the very tasty surprise lunch feast the homeowners treated us to today.

Today, I started a 3-room job in a old home in the historic Heights neighborhood (coincidentally right next door to a house I papered over the summer). The home and yard are being veeery nicely redone.

The homeowners are super nice, and today surprised us with a fajita lunch for all the workers – and we’re talking plumbers, A/C guys, painters, detail (clean-up) crew, me, and who ever else was running around there today.  We had pointsettias and a tiny Christmas tree on the table, I cranked up my satellite radio with holiday tunes, and we all sat down and broke bread together.

It sure makes you feel good to know the people you are working for care so much about their workers. And it makes you want to work extra hard for them.

Wallpaper and Hair Permanents

February 14, 2012

I got my hair permed today. Since the van was in the shop (Astro vans are Hell on front end suspension – or should I say CRAPPY HOUSTON STREETS are Hell on suspension systems??!), I road my bicycle, even though it was raining. Simply donned a poncho and road through the rain.

It was still raining when the perm was done and I was ready to go. I slipped into my poncho and headed for the door.

All of a sudden, I saw a look of horror cross my hair stylist’s face. “You canNOT let your hair get wet for three days!” she cried.

I have to admit, I got quite a chuckle out of this. You see, Erica had about the exact same look I get on my face when I finish a wallpaper job I’ve put a lot of time and effort and pride into, and the first thing the homeowner does is walk up and RUN HER HAND OVER THE PAPER…or any other action that could potentially soil, stain, abrade, or otherwise hurt the paper.

I guess Erica and I are both Nervous Nellies about wanting our creations to look and perform their absolute best.

Incidentally, my hair stylist is Erica, the owner of Vertigo Hair Concepts, at 3208 S Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX 77098, (713) 574-8642. She’s been treating my hair for over a decade, and I wouldn’t trust anyone else. I highly recommend her.





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Repairs I Made This Past Week

April 29, 2011

In my last post, I mentioned that people should save leftover paper in the event that they may need to have wallpaper repaired down the road.

This past week, I did just that – and did a darned good job of it, too, if I do say so myself!

The homeowners had had foundation work done, and this caused the usual diagonal cracks above doorways, and twisting / shifting of the paper in corners.

This was a heavy, woven fabric-backed, solid vinyl paper that had been up for quite a few years. For some reason, only very small scraps were left over from the original installation. Nonetheless, “some” is better than “none,” and, with careful plotting and patience, I was able to make the repairs.

Two diagonal rips above the doors were easy to fix, by peeling back and repasting the paper, or by removing damaged pieces and patching in small replacements.

The corners were another story, though. The damaged areas needed to be removed, then retaped and floated with Sheetrock tape and mud, sanded, primed, and repapered.

The kicker was that the length of the repair was 8 feet – the height of the wall. But the scraps of wallpaper that were left from the original installation were less than a foot tall. Once the pattern was matched and the excess discarded, the scraps were even smaller.

So, to repair the 8 foot tall area and match the pattern correctly, I needed to use 13 short pieces of replacement paper. THIRTEEN!

It turned out looking great.

So great, in fact, that the homeowners began looking around the room to find other corners I could fix.

Whoah, I said. We only talked about fixing these two places above the doors, and this one really bad corner. Besides, I have used all the scraps, and there is no paper left over for more repairs.

But they were so delighted with the repair, and so desireous of having one other (less noticeable) corner in the room fixed, that they began digging through all the closets to find if surely there weren’t just a tad more paper somewhere.

And there was! The wife finally uncovered more miniscual scraps… this time, instead of being short scraps the full width of the roll of paper, they were long scraps only about 2″ – 4″ wide. Not much to work with!

But, intrigued by this new challenge, I set about plotting, measuring, matching, splicing, and scheming, and – Voilà! – There just happened to be two pieces with just the right pattern match, that could be spliced together in the corner to make an almost indetectable repair.

The homeowners loved it! And I have to say, even though the bathroom and entry I papered in the home turned out lovely, I am almost more proud of those repairs.

More on Winter Wallpaper

January 22, 2011

Here’s something else about working with your hands in water during the winter… When it’s cold, your fingers don’t want to work!

Yesterday the house where I was working was chilly enough that i had to ask the homeowner to turn up the heat. My fingers were so cold (as was the rest of me) that I couldn’t work well. Fingers need to be warm to be able to do detailed work!