Posts Tagged ‘houston’

A Homeowner / Designer Embraces COLOR!

October 13, 2019


This is a recently-finished home in a brand new development out Hockley way – far northwest Houston. Like most new construction these days, everything started out white or vanilla.

But the homeowner – who is also an interior designer – likes things to feel both livelier and cozier. She has beautiful stained wooden furniture to warm things up, and she displays a number of treasured items and collectibles to add personality.

For the walls, she’s added color. Not hit-you-in-the-face brights, but comfortable colors like “Peanut Shell” paint on the great room walls, and this deep rust colored wallpaper in a paisley print in the adjoining open kitchen area.

The room looks much better in person than in these photos. And the wallpaper working its way around the white cabinets and pantry door was striking!

The wallpaper pattern is named Driskill and is by Thibaut, one of my favorite brands. Thibaut makes lots of types of paper, but this one has the feel that I call “satiny.” The paper is quite malleable, which was good because this room had wonky walls and rounded corners that can throw things out of plumb and out of square. It also resists shrinking, so even when I needed to twist or stretch it into position, it held tightly to the wall, so no worries about teeny gaps showing white at the seams.

The interior designer for this job is Leona Rossy Interiors.

Aesop’s Fables – Fairy Tales on a Bedroom Wall

October 12, 2019


You can almost see the gnomes and fairies peeping their eyes out from behind the trees and hillocks in this very fanciful wallpaper pattern.

And, no, it’s not a kid’s room – it’s an accent wall in the master bedroom of a new contemporary styled home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

The homeowners wanted the room to be dark, to encourage a good night’s sleep. The two flanking walls were painted a medium-deep green, while the TV wall (opposite the bed) is white.

There is a small vestibule leading from the hallway to this bedroom, and the homeowner is considering painting this a lime or olive green, pulled from one of the colors in the wallpaper.

I suggested taking a section of the left-over wallpaper and framing it. The black and very dark greens would sure pop out against the lime green walls… especially if it were wrapped in a raspberry colored metal frame! There are a few touches of this accent color in the berries on one of the trees in the design. What a perfect way to pull the two areas together!

The photos make the wallpaper look a little more blue than it really is … in reality, there are more greens in multiple hues than blues.

This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, one of our well-established British brands.
It is on a non-woven substrate, designed for easy installation and removal. I hung it using the paste-the-wall method.

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. (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.

Skulls, Handcuffs, Spacemen – Even a Uterus – What Do YOU See?

October 9, 2019


All of those things are what visitors to this bathroom have “seen” in the wallpaper.

But look closely – there’s nothing untoward at all … They’re cheetahs!

I hung this in the powder room of an empty-nester couple after they repaired severe flooding damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Now they have downsized to a brand new home in Somerset Green (Houston), and the wife wants her beloved cheetahs in the new home’s powder room.

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.

French Toile Wallpaper Marries Beautifully With French Antique Furniture

October 7, 2019


I hung this classic French toile pattern a few years ago in a 4th-floor bedroom in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. I will be doing a few more rooms for the homeowner, and was able to get a shot of the finished room.

The homeowner is a former antiques dealer, hence the gorgeous 19th-Century French bedroom suite.

The room itself was quite complicated, with its ultra-high ceilings (requiring an extension ladder), sloped walls, multiple dormers, odd angles, and huge size.

The wallpaper is by Cole & Son, and was bought from Dorota at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet at Kirby. By appointment (713) 520-6262

Faux Grasscloth – A Nice Alternative to Natural Fiber Grasscloth

October 4, 2019


I’m not a fan of real grasscloth (read the page to the right) because of the visible seams and the many color variations. So I’m always happy when a homeowner chooses a faux product.

Usually, these wallpapers have a pattern that can be matched, so there will be no sharply visible seams. And the color is much more consistent, eliminating paneling and shading (do a search here to read previous blog posts about that).

This pattern is a paper-backed vinyl material with an embossed (textured) surface. It is by Thibaut.

After saying all those good things, I have to admit that I was disappointed with this particular product. Some of the bolts had very obvious color differences. There were also extreme issues with a faulty pattern match. I will discuss this in a future post. The good news is that Thibaut has other similar designs that perform better.

I hung this in a newly-renovated master suite in a 2-story 1939 home near Rice University (Houston), for a family with young children.

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.

From Dark to Lightly Cloudy

September 29, 2019



I liked the original paper in this powder room of a newish home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. But the mom wanted something brighter and better suited to her young family. This is the second time I’ve hung this pattern – and the houses are just a few blocks apart!

This wallpaper pattern is by Eijffinger (an European company), and is quite likely a riff on Cole & Son’s “Nuvolette” pattern of roiling clouds. The C&S design is quite powerful, and needs a large space to play out. This Eijffinger take is much easier to live with, especially when it’s on all four walls of the room.

This is printed on a thick and spongy non-woven material that was flexible, and it was pretty nice to work with. I could have pasted the wall to install, but opted to paste the material.

Something’s Buggin’ Me

September 29, 2019


The doors of this laundry room open to the upstairs hallway of a busy young family in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. The mom wanted to see something more cheery than a drab painted wall.

The butterflies and beetles on this wallpaper have an iridescence that brings an almost life-like quality to the look.

This was a thin but stiff non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method. The stiffness made it a bit hard to work with, and it was prone to creasing, and also was difficult to fit in closely to the curves of the molding on top of the cabinets.

If it had just been a flat wall with nothing to trim around (cabinets, molding, ironing board door), the paper would have worked better. OR, the manufacturer could have just used a more flexible substrate.

This wallpaper is by Clarke & Clarke, a British company.

Please Don’t Tell Me You’re Ready If You’re NOT

September 27, 2019


This young family in the Rice University neighborhood of Houston has been undergoing a weeks-long remodel of the master bed and bathroom suite in their 1939 home. They’re eager to get moved back in. I was scheduled for three days to smooth walls and hang paper.

I’d been told by both the homeowner and the contractor that the room is ready for wallpaper. So I showed up for work today to discover that it is not.

First photo – The painters are working in adjacent rooms and need to pass through my work area frequently. You can see piles of their equipment in my space. This is very disruptive to the thought process needed to hang wallpaper.

Second photo – There is no running water. I had to run down to the family’s kitchen to fill a gallon bucket so I could rinse tools and rags – which is not the same as keeping things squeaky clean with fresh, running water. And since there is no toilet, there is nowhere to dump the dirty water.

On the left, you notice an extension cord. Which leads to the third photo – there is no electricity. No lights. So I had to connect two extension cords and hang one measly 100 watt bulb from the ceiling fan, in hopes of having enough light to work.

The fourth photo shows where I am trying to spread smoothing compound onto the wall. The compound and the wall are virtually the same color, and, in the dim light, it’s next to impossible to see what I’m doing.

The contractor dug out a heavy-duty extension cord and borrowed the painter’s work light, which helped a bit. But later the painter (who was working in a room with no windows) came and took his light back.

There is also skimpy air conditioning in this room. It’s not about the temperature, folks – it’s about humidity. You need the A/C cranking to pull humidity out of the air. I won’t hang wallpaper when the HVAC systems are not running, because the resulting humidity is detrimental to wallpaper – adhesion, shrinking, yada. And smoothing compound won’t dry, primers won’t dry …

Fifth photo – the carpet has been ripped up, leaving nail strips along the walls, and leaving exposed nails here and there all over the floor.

I did what little prep I could and then left. I am not coming back tomorrow.

Unfortunately, because of mis/discommunication, this family’s wallpaper will have to wait until I have a client whom I can switch install dates with.

Also, due to this, I lost at least one day of work (self-employed people don’t get “vacation pay” 😦 ), and other clients of mine whom I could have helped that day didn’t get their paper up, either.

Gold-on-Black Versace Swirl Damask in a Powder Room

September 26, 2019


So you thought Versace was all about clothing and shoes … Well, that name is all over wallpaper, too!

The owner of this brand-new home in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston loves to entertain, and he wanted something in his powder room that would really rock the socks off his guests. As I like to say, you can get away with a lot of drama in a powder room – and he pulled it off!

This is a textured gold-and-black vinyl bonded to a non-woven backing. The material appears to have stitching (see close-up) – but that is just a design embossed into the thick vinyl.

What there IS that the homeowner was not expecting (bought from images viewed on-line, without seeing an actual sample) is a good bit of glitter.

There is just enough glimmer to reflect light and catch your eye, but not so much as to be overdone or gauche.

Cute Flowers for Guest Bedroom Accent Wall

September 25, 2019


This bedroom went from typical traditional suburban style to much more contemporary and fun, thanks to this line-drawing pattern with a playful take on potted flowers.

Just the headboard wall was papered, creating a focal accent for the room.

By Exclusive Wallcoverings, this is a non-woven product, and can be hung either by pasting the paper or by pasting the wall. Since there were no intricate cuts to make or obstacles to trim around, it worked nicely to paste the wall.

Non-woven papers tend to want to retain their curled-up state, which makes them difficult to work with. To get rid of that “memory,” and to prevent the decorative side from bopping into the paste on the wall, I roll the paper backwards and secure with a hairband, as you see in the photo. Once I’m up on the ladder, I undo the paper and let it unroll toward the floor, working it into position against the preceding strip as it goes.

This home is in the Kingwood neighborhood of Houston.