Posts Tagged ‘imperial’

Laura Ashley for English Country Cottage Charm

December 11, 2015
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Decorating themes by Welsh designer Laura Ashley were all the rage in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s, and every now and then a modern-day homeowner seeks the charm of this very British, flowered, cottagey look. Indeed, today’s client had stored this wallpaper (left over from a previous house) for several years. It was still in good condition, and hung very nicely.

I hung this on just one wall of a powder room in a large home in Sugarland (Houston). Usually I recommend papering all the rooms in a powder room, because such a small room can look very chopped up if different walls are treated differently. But this pattern has so much going on, and is so “sweet,” that putting it on all the walls might have been overwhelming. I think the homeowner made the right decision by putting it on only the wall you see when you first walk in.

This is a solid vinyl material on paper backing, pre-pasted, and the manufacturer is Imperial. Laura Ashley used to be made by another company, and required using their own special (and difficult to get) paste, or you would get horrible bubbles. This version made by Imperial was much nicer to work with.

I don’t usually like solid vinyl material on a paper backing, especially the pre-pasted varieties. In humid rooms (steamy bathrooms), it is prone to the paper backing absorbing moisture and curling back at the seams, and also the vinyl layer can even delaminate from the backing. This type of problem is impossible to repaste or repair.

I didn’t mention anything to the homeowner, though, because, well, gee – she already had the paper. It was funny, though, because she had read my information about which papers to buy and which to avoid, and she sheepishly brought up the fact that this was “one of the papers you don’t like.”

I am sure she will be fine, though. This powder room will not be subject to humidity, and I put a good primer on the wall, plus used additional adhesive to ensure a tight bond. I predict that it will hold up quite nicely.

Pretty Peacocks in Silver & Gold

April 28, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageWell, I can fit myself into a tiny powder room, but it’s darned hard to get far enough back to take a good photograph. But you get the idea.

This is a pre-pasted paper.  When it comes to pre-pasted goods, I much prefer paper to vinyl wallcoverings … Luckily we seem to be moving away from those, at least once you get away from the very low-end papers. The brand is Imperial.

Hard to see, but it’s a soft pewter / gold color on a cream background. This powder room was under a stairway that hit a landing and made a turn, so the sloped ceiling went in two different directions, plus there was a small 2’x3′ flat ceiling over the vanity (seen in Photos 1 & 3).

The room was originally papered in a black paper with colorful flowers all over it; it was quite busy, and the dark paper on the ceiling really closed the room in. This quiet two-toned pattern worked much better.  The homeowner remarked on how much larger the room looked with the lighter paper.

Curling Seams on an Imperial Paper

April 8, 2013

photo (18)I hung this paper yesterday.  See my post below.

The beautiful finished wall is deceiving – this paper was a bugger bear to work with. It was a pre-pasted wallpaper, meaning it has paste already on the back and is meant to be run through a water tray, booked, and then hung on the wall. However, when I followed the manufacturer’s instructions, there was intense curling at the seams.

Seams curl because the paper backing absorbs water and expands, while the inked surface cannot expand as much, so the paper curls back on itself. This paper had metallic ink, too (the flower stems), and that, along with the white ink, both curled more than the aqua background color. Meaning that there were parts of each seam that butted perfectly, and parts that curled away from the wall. No matter how much extra paste I added, or how tacky it got, the paper continued to curl.

My experience is that these papers usually get nice and flat when they dry, and look just fine. But the curling was so extreme in this case, and I didn’t want to hang around for three hours after I finished to check on the seams, so I decided to take another tac.

Since excessive moisture seemed to be the cause of the curling, I decided to paste the paper as if it were an unpasted variety. This is somewhat difficult, because the paste is thick (I didn’t want to thin it by adding water, which could encourage curling), and the paste activates the paste already on the back of the paper, so it makes something of a dryish, gummy mess, and it’s something of a wrestling match to get it to the wall and smooth out all the bubbles.

But the seams did stick down quite nicely. The paper had lots of ridges and bubbles from the paste , but those should disappear when the paper dries completely.

Pattern # JW 105765 by Imperial

A Little Hollywood Glam in a Master Bedroom

April 6, 2013

photo (16)photo (19)Here I am, in action, and the finished product. This is an accent wall – really an alcove, in a single gal’s master bedroom, in a fairly contemporary styled townhome not far from downtown Houston.

The homeowner was very happy. I have to say, she could not have chosen a better or prettier pattern for this space.

In fact, when I first visited her house to measure the wall, she had another pattern she was also contemplating, a rythmic white medallian on a soft blue/aqua background.  “No, no, you MUST take the silver and white floral!”  I told her.  Happily, she agreed, and the end result was this!

Pattern # JW 105765 by Imperial