Posts Tagged ‘houzz’

Playful World Map With Fun Animals for Baby’s Nursery

August 8, 2017

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Couples love this mural for their new baby – I’m betting it’s all over HOUZZ and Pintrest, and that’s where web surfers are finding it. This is the third time I’ve hung it, each time in a different color. The seams were much better this time, having been cut straight so there were not gaps of overlaps, and lying down better. (Search to read my previous posts.)

The mural came from Portugal, and was custom-sized to fit this accent wall in the nursery. The homeowner did the measuring, and he did a good job (as opposed to a prior install – read previous post), and the manufacturer also added a little around all the edges, to allow for trimming at the side walls, floor, and ceiling.

Now, if the homeowner had called me before he ordered that mural, I would have had him get it a little larger. The manufacturer’s guidelines allowed for a scant 1″ at the ceiling and baseboard. In a perfect world, this would be fine.

But in this room (in a beautifully renovated 1940 bungalow in the Houston Heights), the walls were not plumb, and the ceiling was not level. If I had hung the mural true-to-plumb, it would have started tracking off-kilter along the ceiling and floor lines, quickly eating up that 1″ allowance, and quite possibly ending up running out of paper at the top of the wall or at the baseboard. The same thing could happen at the corners, too. (That did happen on one of my other installs.)

Before I pasted a piece, I did a lot of measuring and plotting, to be sure I could position the mural so it would cover the entire height and width of the wall space. Much too complicated to explain. But, in a nutshell, what I did was to hang the mural off-plumb, but parallel with the un-level ceiling.

I started with the center panel, to minimize any tracking on either the left or right sides. I also made sure that the strips falling on either side of that center piece would be wide enough to reach the two wall corners, even if they hung crooked.

My strategy worked, and I ended up trimming off 1 1/4″ from the top, and 3/4″ from the bottom, on each strip. This meant that the mural was running parallel with the ceiling and floor, which was more important than being perfectly plumb. (Note: Usually you’re trimming off 2″ at both top and bottom, so today we were really cutting it close.)

Another complicating factor to this install was that, while most wallpaper widths are 20.5″, 27″, or 36,” these three mural panels were each 4′ wide. I’m 5’3″ tall, and my arm stretch is probably not a full 4,’ so handling, positioning, manipulating the pasted 9′ long strips was very difficult.

Additionally, it was important to “work clean,” because the surface is textured and it’s not easy to remove any paste that might get on the front of the wallpaper.

There’s more: My work table is 33″ wide, so pasting and booking the 48″ wide x 9′ long strips was a challenge. And the pasted strips, which I booked in accordion folds, were heavy and unwieldy.

All that mental plotting and physical gymnastics were worth it, though, because the finished mural looked fantastic, and the mom-and-dad-to-be loved it.

I have a pretty long lead time (4 months), but this couple called at the moment when another job had just postponed due to construction delays, so I had an open day and could get them done right away. That’s really good, because the baby’s coming, and the parents want to get the room furnished and decorated and ready.

I’m glad I was able to help them. πŸ™‚

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Elephants Walk Across Twin Babies’ Nursery Wall

May 2, 2017

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Here is an accent wall in a nursery for new born twins – a boy and a girl. Instant family. πŸ™‚ The expectant mom had seen pictures on HOUZZ and wanted to recreate the look in her babies’ room.

The top two photos show one wall, but there are two mirror-image 37″ wide walls flanking the recessed window. The wallpaper went on each wall, and the recessed walls around the window were painted metallic gold, to match the wallpaper. The walls had rounded outside corners, and the homeowner had them finished off with a piece of wood molding. I love this. See the last photo for a close up.

The homeowners had ordered their paper off the Internet before our initial consultation. If I had gotten to them first, I would have had them order more paper. As it was, we had one double roll bolt of paper to cover this 2-part wall.

Each wall section required two strips of wallpaper. With the height of their wall, and factoring in the atypically long pattern repeat of 30″, the bolt of paper would yield three strips. Not enough paper.

But I was able to make it work. Because the wall was 37″ wide and the wallpaper was 27″ wide, that first strip would cover 27″ of the wall, leaving 10″ to be covered. Since the paper was 27″ wide, if I split it in two vertically, I could get two 10″ strips from it, taking one from the right side and one from the left side.

If I positioned these four strips on the two walls precisely, I could get the job done with the amount of paper they had purchased.

The job was much more complicated than this, though. I won’t go into all the details or all the math, but things to factor in were the 30″ pattern repeat juxtaposed against the exact height of the walls, the 3″ additional paper needed at the top of the two center strips to accommodate the crown molding (see photo), the numbers the manufacturer stamped in ink on the back of the paper which would bleed through the paper which necessitated that a certain amount of paper had to be discarded, the secondary pattern – which is the diagonal movement and the rhythm of the pattern that you see from a distance (see photo), coupled with the fact that all those elephants looked alike – but were not. If one line of elephants got mispositioned – placed too high or too low – that secondary pattern’s rhythm would be thrown off.

Before I took the job, I did some calculating at home, to be sure they had enough paper. I figured that we could squeak by.

At the site, before I cut any paper, I plotted, measured, calculated – and repeated – to be sure everything was correct. I placed strips side-by-side on the floor (see photo, and thankfully this room had a lot of open floor space to do this), to be sure the pattern match was spot-on. As you can see, everything worked out perfectly.

This paper had to be hand-trimmed (see tomorrow’s post), which took additional time, concentration, and equipment. In addition, the walls were far from straight / plumb, so the wallpaper didn’t want to butt up against the new molding, nor did it meet up with the painter’s finish line under the windows. Luckily it was printed on a very malleable substrate, and I was able to twist it into position. That created wrinkles, but it was forgiving paper, and I was able to work out those wrinkles. I’m glad there were only 1 1/2 strips per wall, because the paper would not have cooperated so generously for multiple strips.

This wallpaper pattern is called “Elephant Walk” and is by Jill Malek, and was bought on-line. It comes in a small scale (pictured) and a larger scale. I hung a very similar giraffe pattern by the same company last year, also in a baby’s room. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/wavy-giraffes-jolly-up-a-babys-nursery/

Flames, Tails, or Swirls?

May 17, 2016
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Top Photo: Which do you prefer? … The powder room’s original blue and white mini-print, or the grey and silver swirly geometric with feeling of upward movement? The original small pattern was good in its day, but the new homeowner had updated this under-the-stairs powder room in a Galleria-area townhome with a new marble countertop, and brushed nickel light fixture, faucet, and towel ring. The blue country-ish small print no longer cut it.

After studying magazines, HGTV, and HOUZZ, the homeowner thought she wanted a geometric pattern. She was also concerned about getting the right shade of grey to coordinate with the marble counter top. And she wanted something that was youthful, yet would not soon go out of style. The wallpaper seller (read below), and I both encouraged her to explore other patterns.

This homeowner took her time, did research, got samples, sought input – and settled on this softer, more fluid take on a geometric design. The shade of grey is on the cool side, and goes perfectly with the marble. She chose a complimentary mid-tone grey paint for the vanity cabinet (not shown).

The painters had prepped right over the old wallpaper, and it was intact and tight to the wall. So, in this case, rather than strip the old paper, which would have raised many ugly heads, I left it on the wall and skim-floated over it (the white areas show this), and then sealed everything with Gardz, a penetrating sealer. That’s what you are seeing in the first photo.

I love the way the metallic areas (really vinyl / Mylar) reflect in the top of the toilet. πŸ™‚

This wallpaper pattern is by York, and I hung the exact same thing a few months ago, also in a powder room. It was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

I was happy to consult with this homeowner several times before the wallpaper went up. She took her time and defined her likes and the parameters of the room. Result? She loved the finished powder room, with its soft, upward-moving swirly pattern.

What’s cool is, she said, “I realized that I don’t even really like geometrics.” She had been swept along with what is popular right now in the media. I’m glad she settled on this softer-yet-energizing pattern, which suits her taste and the room perfectly.

Smoky, Misty “Wood” Look Textured Vinyl Wallcovering

November 18, 2015
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This new home is contemporary in style, and everything inside is all taupy grey brown charcoal cream white. This subdued pattern, reminiscent of wood planks, in the same hues and shades, is the perfect match. I’m not big on contemporary dΓ©cor, but when the first strip of wallpaper went up, I was just blown away by how good it looked against the countertop and how well it coordinated with the rest of the house.

This is a textured heavy vinyl material, with no pattern match, so it looks a little like grasscloth on the wall. The manufacturer is Elitis, a French company. The interior designer is Neal Le Bouef, of L Design Group (do a Search on Google, HOUZZ, and Facebook), a lovely and fun person to work with, and who designs rooms that are crisp and sleek but still warm and welcoming and livable. This home is in Spring Branch (Houston).

Nature, Forest, Trees – Another Bedroom Goes from Bland to Wow!

April 8, 2015

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The homeowner spotted this cool, woodsy pattern in a room pictured on HOUZZ.com. I didn’t realize you could buy from HOUZZ, but apparently you can, because that’s where she got it. I have hung this paper three times, in green & grey, blue & charcoal, and today in the white & grey.

Tree trunk patterns are very popular right now, with the Cole & Son’s “Woods” being one that many people like. (Do a Search here to see the rooms I’ve put it in.) I believe I prefer this one, though. It’s more natural looking, and doesn’t have the strong diagonal movement that I find distracting in the C & S version.

This pattern is called “Birch Trees,” and is by Designer Wallpaper, pattern # EH61008. I hung it on an accent wall in a master bedroom of a couple in the far west end of Oak Forest, in Houston. It was nice to work with, too, and will perform well for years to come.

Another Baby’s Room – Third in a Row!

June 5, 2014

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Digital ImageI have done three accent walls in a row for couples having their first child. I’m honored to help them get things ready for the new little one. I think it’s fun to see what patterns parents are choosing these days – not all of them are “babyish” at all.

The one I did yesterday is a fairly formal damask in gold tones (sorry, no pics), and this one is a sophisticated horizontal neutral tones wide stripe. Last Saturday, I did a cute aqua-on-white dot.

This mother-to-be saw this idea on Houzz or Pintrest. Instead of the usual one accent wall, she wanted two walls opposite one another wallpapered. The stripe was made to be hung vertically, so, to get the horizontal effect, I “railroaded” it – hung it the long way.

In the second photo, you see the first strip is up, and the second is in progress. I am using a push-pin to hold the pasted paper in place while I move the ladder so I can position the next section. I did this along the wall until all the paper was supporting itself, then went back and butted the seams and smoothed the paper into place.

After the first two strips were up, it was easier, because I didn’t have to stand on the ladder, with limited reach. Once the wallpaper dries, the blotchiness will disappear, and the color will become a little lighter.

This is a pre-pasted paper (not vinyl) by Sanitas.