Posts Tagged ‘houston’

Grasscloth in Heights Master Bedroom

January 17, 2020


This is the 1st floor master bedroom of a nicely-remodeled-but-still-retains-many-original-details-and-all-its-original-charm 1920 bungalow in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

The textured walls started out dark green. I skim-floated and sanded them smooth. The new wallpaper is a brown grasscloth with a faint greenish tinge, and it has a nubby texture with a lot of knots (more pics tomorrow!)

The homeowner ordered her paper before I measured the room, and I told her to get two additional double roll bolts. In the 4th photo, I am checking labels to be sure we have all the same run / dye batch; we lucked out and the new bolts were the same run as the original lot.

In the 5th photo, I have cut strips for a wall, and have them lined up and ready to paste and trim. In the background, you can see how I place bolts against each wall, as a way of keeping track of how many strips I need and which bolts I will take them from.

Because there are shading / paneling issues with grasscloth (do a Search here on those terms), it’s important to not mix strips from different bolts. That way, if there are slight color differences between bolts (as there usually are) these differences will be minimized. Still, as you see in the third photo, the three strips on the right came from one bolt, and the strips on the left came from another bolt – and there is a noticeable difference in shade. This is not a defect – it’s simply the nature of grasscloth – a product made from natural materials.

This one long wall used seven strips from three bolts, so a color difference could be expected. On the other, narrower, walls, all the strips came from the same bolt, so the color differences were minimized. When I had to use different bolts on the same wall, I was able to place the “break” over a door or window, with only 1′ of color difference. That’s a lot less noticeable than the 8′ you see on the long wall in the photo.

This wallpaper was bought through Sherwin Williams. There is no brand name on the label.

More photos tomorrow!

Sweet, Creamy Classic Toile in a NW Houston Kitchen

January 10, 2020


I hung this “American Landmarks” wallpaper (top photo) 12 years ago – and it was still in perfect condition. 🙂 But now the homeowner was ready for an update.

Her original choice was a large murky blue plaid, and it was a low-end, pre-pasted, paper-backed vinyl from a big box store. These types of vinyl papers generally have bad, visible seams, and very often curl at the seams or even delaminate (vinyl separates from paper backing), especially when there is humidity (read: Houston).

All the paper I hung in this home (several rooms) 12 years ago was paper (not vinyl), and has held up perfectly all this time. Luckily, the homeowner listened to me this time around, and nixed the vinyl and went shopping at my favorite source (below), and selected a paper wallpaper.

Both patterns are toiles (line drawings using just two colors). But the new design has a softer look, and the light yellow background adds a whole lot more warmth to the room.

Oh – and the new paper has dogs on it – a perfect choice because the homeowner is a big fan of her three pooches!

The new paper is pre-pasted (I added a little extra paste) and is a thin paper that hugs the walls tightly, and the seams are next to invisible.

The home is in near-northwest Houston.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, 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.

Notice Anything? – Wonky Wallpaper

January 9, 2020


When I first looked at this picture in Better Homes & Gardens magazine’s December 2019 issue, I wondered why the installer had not positioned the circle motifs so they landed at the top of the wall.

Then I looked closer, and realized that he probably had – at a starting point in another part of the room. If you look at the crown molding line, you notice that the pattern is moving up the wall from left to right.

Often this is because of unplumb walls and/or unlevel ceiliing lines. But I looked closer and saw that the pattern is also crooked as it runs down the side of the window. Again, this could be because the whole house – walls, ceiling, doors, and windows – has shifted out of plumb (foundation issues – if you live in Houston, you know all about that!).

If the installer hung his paper true to plumb, it will always look crooked in house that is not plumb.

Sometimes, there are tricks you can do to make a pattern look straight, even if the house is wonky. Almost always, they involve pattern mis-matches in corners or at seams.

So it’s a toss-up as to which is the lesser of the two evils – pattern getting chopped off as it travels along the ceiling and moldings, or pattern mis-matches at the seams.

What I probably would have done in this case would be to position a half-circle at the top of the wall. This way, if the pattern starts tracking up or down, you don’t readily notice if the half-circle is a little taller or shorter, as compared to the top of a circle getting sliced off.

Fun, Adventurous, Wild Color in a Rear Bathroom

January 4, 2020


Here is a larger-than-usual rear / pool bathroom that went from typical suburban hum-drum to wildly fun and colorful, all due to the addition of a little wallpaper.

Located in the Humble / northeast area of Houston, this house is home to a family with young children. The homeowner’s taste in the formal “public” areas of the home leans toward the classic, rather than trendy. Click here to see a room I did a year ago. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/brunschwig-fils-bird-and-thistle-in-a-north-east-houston-powder-room/

But for this bathroom, which is located off the family’s greatroom, and is adjacent to both the swimming pool and the wife’s work-out room, the homeowner wanted something fun and bright and spirited.

This wallpaper pattern is called Janta Bazaar, by Thibaut Designs. The inks on this paper are delicate, and can be stained easily. So it’s fortuitous that the homeowner had beaded board paneling installed, that reaches up to nearly 6′ – way past any splashes from the sink or toilet.

It 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.

Questionable Electrical Connection

December 30, 2019


Usually, according to code, a metal electrical junction box should be in or on the wall before a light fixture can go up. All wire connections should be enclosed inside this box.

In the photo, some light sconces were added to an existing wall. Maybe because of stud placement inside the wall, or maybe laziness, or maybe ingenuity, the electrician fished a wire through the wall and out a hole, and then hooked up the sconces. All without benefit of a junction box.

I do believe this is perfectly safe. The wire connections are all tight and secured with wire nuts, and enclosed inside the housing of the light sconce.

However, while I don’t know electrical codes, I doubt that this is up to code. From what I understand, most such connections should be made inside a metal junction box.

I do have to say, I have seen this sort of thing many times – including in cities like Bellaire, Texas (Houston), where the building code inspectors are really tough.

The Atomic Age Comes to a Small Master Bathroom

December 24, 2019


This small master bath in a newly-renovated 1935 home across from Rice University (Houston) has a black & white checkered floor and a shiny black tiled shower (no pic). The homeowner wanted to move up a couple of decades in decorating theme, and so chose this fun space-age pattern. Now the room is ready for the George Jetson family to move right in! (All the Baby Boomers know whom I’m talking about.)

The wallpaper is by Spoonflower, comes pre-pasted (water-activated), and was pretty easy to work with. The hard part was keeping all those horizontal dashes lined up, in a house with mega wonky walls due to foundation issues and to just plain old Father Time.

Vintage Home, Antique Furniture, Classic Wallpaper

December 22, 2019


This week I have the pleasure of working in a charming 1930’s house that is right across the street from Rice University (Houston). The owners are super lovely people. I have hung paper for them in two other homes, over nearly 25 years.

The house has been kept pretty much in its original condition. The homeowners love the look and are accentuating that with their collection of antique furniture. The history of this burlwood bedroom suit dates back to 1900.

The trellis damask pattern is a classic that is true to the period, and will never go out of style. The color is a super perfect compliment to the bedroom furniture.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpapers, and was a joy to work with. Nice and flat, held tightly to the wall, no shrinking at the seams as it dried, malleable when I needed it to be.

It 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.

Smoothing Knock-Down Textured Wall

December 20, 2019


This newish home in Kingwood (northeast Houston) had a typical suburban tract home knock-down texture. This would look horrible under the new wallpaper, as well as interfere with complete adhesion.

So I skim-floated the wall by troweling on joint compound (like plaster), and then sanded smooth. After wiping sanding dust off the wall with a damp sponge, I primed with Gardz, a penetrating sealer / primer by Zinsser. Sorry, no “during” photos. 😦

The last photo shows the smoothed surface, primed and ready for wallpaper. (The dark spots are where the original texture was thick and therefore peeking out from under the smoothing compound.)

Poppy Dotty Pantry

December 14, 2019


You can get away with a lot of avant garde-ness in small areas. This home in the Kingwood community of northeast Houston is mostly traditional in floor plan and décor. Yet the homeowner has found a few places to inject a little playful personality.

One is the backs of these cabinets in a butler’s pantry (but they are using it as a bar).

The lightly textured, indistinct smeary dots spread in a diamond pattern are nothing short of fun!

What’s especially clever is that the homeowner found a colorway that coordinates with not just the wall paint and furnishings in the home, but also with the weathered chandelier in the adjoining dining room, the nubby rug, and other furniture.

These are the little details that “pull a look together” – and this homeowner did it all on her own, acting as her own interior designer!

This wallpaper pattern is by A Street Prints, which is by Brewster. It is a non-woven material that has a high fiberglass content which prevents expansion and shrinking, and makes removal at a later date easier. I hung it using the paste-the-wall method.

From Grey to Golden – Delightful Dining Room

December 14, 2019


This dining room accent wall started out the typical suburban taupe/grey color, with even the ceiling painted the same color. The homeowner thought the room looked cold before.

Accentuating this focal wall with a special silk-look wallpaper really brought appeal to the room, and the warmth the homeower was seeking.

The wall will be finished with an oval mirror, and distressed sconces, which will tie in nicely with the weathered-look chandelier.

The remaining walls, as well as the area below the chair rail, will be painted. I suggested picking a color that compliments, rather than matches, the wallpaper color. This will enable the papered wall to stand out, with it’s mottled colors and warm feel.

The wall will then fade into the background, allowing the mirror, sconces, and buffet to take center stage.

This wallpaper is by Designer Wallpaper. It is a traditional paste-the-paper product, and was nice to work with. It went better when I pasted, booked, and then dipped the edges into water before bagging, which helped prevent the edges from drying.

The home is in Kingwood, a northeast suburb of Houston.