Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

Yes, I’m A Little Obsessed

January 19, 2023
Re previous post … This accent wall is in the butler’s pantry , and ends at the corner that turns into the main kitchen area. Since this corner was visible from the great room / family room , I plotted the lay-out so the full motif would fall at that corner . In other words, I butted the right edge of the wallpaper up against the corner of that wall . This left a vertical gold line running the height of the wall. A good stopping point for the eye. Just perfect!
But … the paper came with a teeny bit of black next to that gold line. So there was about 1/16″ of black showing to the right of that vertical gold line. (Sorry, no pic) I thought it was so minor that it wouldn’t be a big deal. But, once that strip got up on the wall, I thought that black edge caught your eye . It bugged the heck out of me!
So I took straightedge and razor blade and trimmed off that miniscule bit of black.
No we have a crisp gold line against the corner.
As the wallpaper hung from right to left, at the final corner, naturally, the pattern didn’t fall exactly along one of the vertical gold lines. For one thing, walls are always wonky . Also, that last section of black trapezoids were less than their full width. But only by about a half an inch. I had measured ahead of time and knew this, and I felt 1/2″ shorter box wouldn’t bother anybody.
But I did think I could make that left edge look crisper , and also wanted it to match the edge on the right side of the wall.
So I took a bit of scrap wallpaper (like what you see lying on the floor on the left), and again my straightedge and razor blade, and trimmed off one of those gold lines. This is about 1/8″ wide .
Next, I pasted it over that left edge, as seen in the photo.
Here is the left edge finished. Nice and sharp , and more ” finished ” than just a black box ending at the wall. Speaking of black blocks … those on the far left are a bit narrower than the ones on the rest of the strips. But, seriously – who cares, and who notices?? What you do notice is the gold strip neatly trimming off the wall corner .
This geometric pattern is in the Jaclyn Smith line by Trend Fabrics . It’s a nice non-woven , paste the wall material , and is durable and stain-resistant . Also, it will strip off the wall easily and with little / no damage to the wall when it’s time to redecorate .
The install was in a home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .

Gold Geometric on Black Accent Wall in Kitchen Area

January 18, 2023
” Floating ” accent wall between kitchen and dining room . The homeowners originally considered a mural for this area . But with help from the wallpaper sales guy, they landed on this.
Both husband and wife love this. The black color plays beautifully off the black cabinets in the kitchen , butler’s pantry , and mud room . The gold geometric lines keep everything lively .
The specs say this is is a 25″ pattern repeat. But from looking at it, you’d think it was much shorter … the narrow lines match up with the narrow lines, and the fat sections line up with fat sections. Maybe 4″ repeat. But – not. I’ve hung this before, so I was already aware that those lines and sections are not all the same distance apart. It’s essential that you lay your strips next to each other and make sure you’ve got the pattern match correct. Because if not, you could end up with tiny 1/8″ mis-matches across the seams between some of those gold lines .
This is a Jaclyn Smith design by Trend . It’s a paste-the-wall / non-woven material , and is strong and durable , and resistant to stains and tears . Flexible and easy to install . Will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate .
It has a raised ink / lightly textured surface .
The wallpaper was purchased from Calico / Calico Corners on W. Alabama in Houston , with the expert knowledge and interior design assistance of Ron Dillon , whom I’ve known for about 25 years .
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Wallpaper Severely Discolored by Smoke

January 2, 2023

Digital Image

Digital Image

See the whitish area along the very top of the walls in the first photo? That was caused by the painters putting blue tape on the wallpaper and then yanking it off – and it’s not the topic we’re discussing today (but you can do a Search here on those terms to learn more).

What we’re looking at is the dark discoloration on the upper areas of the walls above the kitchen cabinets, all around the room.

This is a rental property, and the homeowners aren’t sure what happened, but they were told that at some point “the house was filled with smoke.”

Well, that smoke was enough to penetrate the wallpaper and permanently discolor it.

In the second picture, I have stripped the striped paper off the wall on the right side of the photo.

Above the door, the guy who hung the striped paper overlapped about 4″ of paper on top of the striped paper over the door. When I removed the overlapped section, it revealed some paper that had not been exposed to the smoke.

What a difference in color!

What’s especially intriguing is that, in the kitchen, the wallpaper was a paper, with no coating and which the smoke could penetrate easily. But in the second photo – the shot over a door in another room – this is a solid vinyl paper, which you think would be impenetrable to just about everything.

Yet the smoke got through – but it did not go far enough to damage the vinyl wallpaper underneath.

A very interesting study in science!

Lots of Wallpaper in Nov/Dec Issue of American Farmhouse Style Magazine

November 1, 2022
Including right here on the cover! And a real coup! … A magazine that’s pretty much dedicated to the all-white or all-grey trend in decorating, as well as minimalism … it’s so exciting to see some pattern and color in the ” farmhouse ” themed homes. Let’s take a look …
Textured grasscloth behind bookshelves in a living room .
Two-tone classic toile on one wall as a background to a stairwell . It warms up the space, without hitting you in the face.
Soft , cloud – like feel behind this credenza . Look carefully right above the baskets , and you’ll see an overlapped seam. Some commercial murals are hung like this, as well as the very popular patterns by Spoonflower , which is a budget-friendly and DIY – able , good quality material and brand . (But ONLY their ” prepasted smooth ” option. Do NOT get the ” traditional pebble ” nor their ” peel and stick . “
More of the toile pattern , in the entry , with batten board wainscoting and a chair rail , in a mud room . Also called rear back door entry . : )
Floral pattern in the laundry room . I’m getting lots of queries for wallpaper in laundries … must be trending right now!
Soft two-tone floral in small bathroom .
Textured grasscloth behind desk in home office .
Apologies for the sideways image … WordPress used to be easy to use, and I could correct this. But they “upgraded” their program and made many, many features much more difficult to work with. I tried tutorials on how to fix this, but after reading and watching tons of info and videos, I gave up. It used to be just one click !
Anyway, note the cheery breakfast room. Colorful without being overwhelming .
Closer picture.
Very innovative use of floral pattern with subdued color around the archway / entry to another breakfast nook . Note that the back of the nook also wears a textured wallpaper .
Sorry for the out-of-order picture … another frustration from the “upgraded” WordPress Editor . This gives an idea of what the afore-mentioned breakfast area looked like pre-wallpaper.
The magazine didn’t mention a brand, but this sure looks like one of Serena & Lily ‘s designs . Of course, when one company makes a popular pattern , many other companies make their own versions .
These days, usually you see pattern on the accent wall behind the headboard . So it’s a little unusual to see wallpaper on all four walls of this master bedroom . But it works, because the pattern is simple and the colors are kept to only two , so the overall feel is calming , rather than busy .
Fooled me! I thought this headboard accent wall was done in tile – but it’s wallpaper !
The same paper on a kitchen cabinet .

Retro Look in Kitchen

July 8, 2022
Breakfast area before
Breakfast area after … with my work table set-up still in the middle of the room.
Kitchen sink / window area before.
Finished
This fruit-and-floral motif is a very retro look, which was popular in the 1950’s – early 1970’s . The background looks like linoleum tiles – very period-appropriate.
Close-up.
Exclusive Wallcoverings saw the current interest in retro / vintage looks, and designed this very appropriate pattern.
This was a thin and very flexible non-woven material , and was a delight to work with.
As are all non-wovens, this is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.
To install , you can paste the paper or paste the wall .
This home is in the Lexington Woods area of Spring , ( north Houston ).

Geometric Grasscloth in Home Gathering Area

June 29, 2022
No, this large room with sink and counters isn’t a kitchen. The family loves to entertain both family and friends, so included this “bonus” room in their new home’s plans. It’s used for both entertaining and crafting.
The wall facing you was originally painted a semi-gloss navy blue. In the photo, I’ve applied my wallpaper primer.
It will adhere to the glossy paint, and provide a matt finish for the wallpaper paste to grab ahold of.
Taking measurements and plotting the layout.
This paper has a selvedge edge , which has to be trimmed off by hand with a straightedge and razor blade. The manufacturer has not provided trim guide marks , so I am using a ruler and my eye.
The new look is so dramatically different I couldn’t resist taking a photo mid-hang. As you can see, I’ve used dark paint to stripe under where the seams will fall, to prevent any of my primer from showing through at the seams.
You can see the ceiling line starting to track upward on the right portion. More on that below.
Finished. Perfectly centered.
This is the mounting hardware for the big screen TV . I asked them to remove the TV, but we left the mounts in place. In order to support the heavy TV, they are placed quite securely into the wall , and I feel it’s best not to jimmy around with that.
Rather than have the first strip straddle the TV mount, I plotted to have my first seam fall down the middle of the wall, placing a seam in the mid point of the mount. This meant I had to hang four strips instead of three, but it made it a whole lot easier to work around the TV mount, as well as to keep the left and right edges of the grasscloth straight and plumb.
Close up showing the texture of this grasscloth material. It’s atypical to have grass cloth printed with a pattern , and I rather like the way the ink looks somewhat scratchy against the rough background.
Because it’s Schumacher, you can expect printing defects . The slight pattern match doesn’t bother me, as there were many more places along each strip that matched up perfectly. Nor do I mind the different intensity of ink on the two strips. That’s all part of the look of grasscloth.
But I wasn’t pleased with the white ink out in the middle of nowhere, as seen about 1//3 down the center of the picture. This isn’t considered a defect , and from a distance it’s not really noticeable. But it bugged me.
So I used some water-based paint and a very small brush from the craft store and lightly touched up the spots.
I also softened the mis-matched edges a bit. There’s a fine line between covering the white spots and staining the material, so use a light hand. And never permanent ink or oil-based markers or pastels.
Likewise, the ceiling line was not level, so as I moved from the mid-point out to the right, the ceiling rose above the geometric motif’s top edge, and a white line began to be visible, but only to the right of the centerpoint.
So I used the black paint to cover up that extra bit of white. This increases the width of that horizontal navy blue line from 1/4″ to about 1/2″. But from down on the floor you can’t tell, and it looks a whole lot better than having white on the right side and none on the left.
The brand is Schumacher and the home is in the Garden Oaks / Oak Forest area of Houston.
The interior designer who came up with this bold and lively look is Clayton Brooks .

Lively Starburst Kitchen Update

April 16, 2022
Sink / window area, primed and ready for wallpaper.
Pattern nicely centered on this wall and at ceiling line.
Breakfast area window wall before.
I tweaked the pattern just a tad so I could get the dark vertical line along the cabinets on the right, and then also down the left side where this wall meets the painted wall. It makes a nice stopping point for the eye, and it looks so much better than box motifs that might have been chopped in half.
The “star” design adds so much energy and life to this room!
The pattern is in the Sure Strip line of pre-pasted wallpapers by York Wallcoverings. I really like Sure Strip.
Graham & Brown makes a very similar design called Indigo, which is very popular. I like this one better, for lotsa reasons.
The home is in Pearland, a southern suburb of Houston.
Some previous posts show other rooms I did at that same time. The homeowners did a wonderful job of coordinating the colors and themes throughout the home, working with golds and greys.
The wallpaper and design help came from Ballard Designs new physical store on W. Gray in Montrose / River Oaks.
After I arrived to start work, the homeowner decided she wanted the paper behind the refrigerator and also over a bank of cabinets to the right over the ovens. I hadn’t measured for these areas, so we didn’t have enough paper. Ballard could order more, but it would take several weeks to arrive.
So I had the homeowner contact my favorite resource, Dorota Hartwig at Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village. (713) 529-6515. She’s been slingin’ paper for decades, and knew right where to go that could supply the same paper in just a few days.
The additional two bolts arrived yesterday, so I was able to hang them and finish the job today, right on schedule. 🙂
This home suffered extensive water damage to the entire first floor due to burst pipes after the major freeze here in Houston in February 2021. It’s taken these folks more than a year to get their home back together. I was proud to help them get their home and lives back to normal – and a good bit prettier!

The Big Easy On The Walls

March 5, 2022
West wall smoothed, primed, and ready for wallpaper.
The homeowner used to live in New Orleans, and she tells me that signs like this are very common in local convenience stores and neighborhood dives. Transplanted to Houston, these signs are very dear to her heart as a reminder of her roots – and the funky lifestyle in the Big Easy.
She wanted the signs recreated somehow to cover the walls in their newly-renovated powder room in the Houston Heights. I suggested she contact rebelwalls.com , who custom made the paper and sized it specifically to fit each wall in the room individually. I measured and made drawings, and a designer named Simon at RebelWalls laid it all out.
North wall before. This is the wall with the toilet and sink.
There were a couple of glitches, the first being that the strips were printed about 10″ longer than I requested. No biggie – I’d rather have too much paper than come up short.
But the main glitch being that I had asked for this “sign” to be centered over the toilet, which meant that the center of the sign (I used the middle fleur-de-lis) would land at 17.5″ from the wall to the left. But somehow it got printed to where the left edge of the pattern was 17.5″ from the wall … That left a whole lot of white space between the wall and the design, and also pushed the words too close to the mirror, which will hang over the sink to the right.
After careful measuring, calculating, and testing, I determined that if I used my straightedge and razor blade to take off a 12″ wide slice from the left side, the “sign” would move to the left such that its center would fall over the mid-point of the toilet.
Voilà! As you see in the photo, now the words are nicely balanced on this section of wall, and will not crowd the mirror which will be hung to the right.
The rest of the wallpaper moving to the right is unprinted, so as to leave a blank slate for the mirror to hang on. Here you see that wall, and also the wall to its right. This east wall has the same sign, but in a smaller scale, sized to fit the narrower wall. It’s also placed at a different height
Graphic designer Simon used my drawings and measurements to get the words nicely centered on this wall. The area above the door to the right (not visible) is left blank.
Here is the west wall (on the right) abutting the south / window wall.
The bull-nosed / rounded edges / corners such as you see around the window are really a pain with wallpaper, especially when they go both around the sides and the top, and can lead to some impossibilities. Too complicated to get into here. But I was pleased with the way this worked out. And the placement of the pleated shades toward the front of the opening helped a lot, too.
One interesting thing to note is that the thickness of this non-woven wallcovering (along with the joint compound I used to smooth the textured wall) is enough that it narrows the space inside the window just a tad,,, and that makes it a bit tight for the shades to fit back in,,, and that opens the potential for abrading the wallpaper as the shade is raised and lowered over time.
Another point … even though the widths of the wall spaces to be covered were different, we requested that the size of the font on the “sign” lettering be the same on the west wall and the north / mirror wall, and ditto for the window wall and the door wall.
I also made sure that the “signs” started at the same distance from the ceiling. This then ensured that each “sign” would land at the same distance from the tile below it.
Synchronizing the size of the fonts as well as the spacing between ceiling and tile helps immensely to lend a feeling of unity and order to this room.
I spent a full 2 1/2 hours plotting, measuring, testing mock-ups, and going back to the drawing board, before I ever cut any paper.
Prior to that, there were two visits to the home to get measurements and kick around options with the homeowner. In addition, she spent countless communications with the manufacturer and with our specific designer.
All this futzing is important, because, with murals, there is no second chance. There’s only one of each panel, and if one gets screwed up, there are no more to pull off the bolt, like you’d have with regular rolled goods.
RebelWalls is the manufacturer. I’ve had lots of great installs with this company.
What was inside our box, including Simon’s dimensions and lay-out.
Basic installation instructions. Ours was a bit – a whole lot – more complicated, because it covered not one but four walls. In our case, it worked best to have each wall be a separate mural, so to speak.
RebelWalls includes free wallpaper paste. I prefer to use my own pre-mixed vinyl adhesive, which is SureStik Dynomite 780. Recently bought by Roman, so the name has changed to just 780.
Certain pastes have been known to ” stain ” non-woven wallpapers (areas look wet but never dry out). I think that a high moisture content in the paste has a lot to do with this. So I’m hesitant to use a powdered paste that needs to be mixed with water.
I’ll squirrel away that RebelWalls powdered paste for another, better suited job. For this home’s install, I’m sticking with my tried and true 780.
A coupla more notes.
One, this project was a study in vision, desire, anticipation, and patience. The homeowner first contacted me in July 2021. It took nearly eight months to come to fruition. Granted, they had a whole kitchen remodel in the middle, which also included an update to this powder room. But just speaking for the wallpaper, there were several site visits, many emails, and then innumerable communications with the design team at RW.
In fact, since I’ve hung lots of RebelWalls and am familiar with their process, I thought I could lay out the design. But this project of separate “sign” motifs for each wall section was taxing my skill set. Finally I laid down my pencil and paper and said, “Stop doing what you yell at your clients for doing, which is trying to do something you don’t have expertise in! RebelWalls has designers who are trained to figure all this out. So let THEM do the math and placement and calculating and layout.” So we turned it over to them, and within a short time they had it all worked out perfectly (except for those few glitches I mentioned). Their customer service was amazing.
All this was crucial to ensuring that mural pieces fit the wall perfectly and that the final product looks stunning.
I also want to mention that the RebelWalls quality is excellent. It’s a non-woven material which has many advantages (too numerous to go into here, but you can Search). The seams melt together like butter and are invisible – even on areas with all that bare white space with no pattern. On a simple accent wall, you can paste-the-wall to hang it. In this (and most) cases, I pasted-the-material, which gives more flexibility and also ensures that paste gets into hard-to-reach areas – like behind a toilet.
In addition, the non-woven material is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate.
The company offers scores of patterns, from cute to sophisticated, and, as we did this time around, can make custom creations.
Super customer service, too.

lottery , money order , checks cashed , household supplies

Kitchen With Burst Pipe Water Damage Fixed and Finished

December 24, 2021
This kitchen in the Spring area of north Houston suffered severe water damage from burst pipes during the hard freeze in February 2021. Nearly a year later, they are almost finished with repairs, including new drywall on bottom of walls, new cabinets, new plumbing, cabinets, electrical, and more. Here you see the contractor’s repair work on top of some of the original wallpaper, which dates to the early 1980’s! It was a good brand, and the installer did a great job. For various reasons, I opted to leave this wallpaper in place, and so skimmed over uneven areas and then primed on top of it with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime.
The homeowner’s new choice is very similar to the previous paper, but with a more springy feel and a lot of upward movement. The area below the chair rail will receive another coat of paint to better define the correct yellow color. Or, the homeowner may switch to a green pulled from the leaves in the pattern.
This wall with the fir-down / soffit was a real bugger, for various reasons, and took me about four hours.
Looks so sharp against the white paint and tile!
The wallpaper was printed on a white substrate, so I ran black chalk along the edges of each strip, to try to prevent white from showing at the seams. Still, some of the strips shrank just a half a tad, and that did allow some white to show. This wallpaper is a non-woven material, which has a high polyester content, and is not supposed to stretch or shrink, so this is disappointing. Pasting the wall and dry-hanging the material would have probably helped. But the material was extremely thick and stiff, and plus the room had way too many turns and bends and angles, so pasting the paper made the most sense. These gaps are very minor, and only visible when viewed from straight on; from an angle you can’t even see them. On some papers, I can pull some tricks out of my bag and camouflage them. But with this non-woven material, don’t even try anything with paint, marker, chalk or anything else – it will surely stain the material.
The walls are smooth. The slight texture you see is the non-woven material. When an edge is torn, you can actually see the polyester fibers – a lot like fiberglass. This material is very strong, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.
Manufacturer is Mind The Gap out of Transylvania (!), and the design is called Aquafleur, in the Anthracite color. The material comes as a 3-panel set, which they call one “roll.” The overall width of the A, B, and C panels side-by-side is about 5′, and the height is just under 10′. The height of the wall was less than 5,’ and the strips were nearly 10′ long, so at least 5′ was lost of each strip. Because the pattern was a mural type, rather than a typical repeating wallpaper design, even more paper was lost in working around the configurations of the room – for instance, a full 10′ strip would be needed to paper just one 9″ high strip above the door. So there was an incredible amount of waste – and this is a higher-priced boutique brand. But the lady of the house really loves it, and so she went with her heart.

Buffalo Check in North Houston Laundry Room

December 22, 2021

I hung this bold and fun pattern a few years ago in a Spring (north Houston) laundry room. I’m back this week to wallpaper their kitchen, so took a minute to snap this shot.

It has a hand painted , water color -y look. I don’t remember the brand, but I’m thinking it’s from the Joanna Gaines Magnolia Home Collection in the SureStrip line by York.