Posts Tagged ‘light’

Light Bright Trellis Geometric Updates Red Dining Room

January 27, 2023
For more than a decade, the dining room was bold red from head to toe. In this photo, I’m applying drywall joint compound to smooth the textured wall .
Here’s the wall sanded smooth , primed , and ready for wallpaper .
Done. The next question is – what color to paint the bottom 1/3 of the wall ? What do you think?
Using the red beam from my laser level to center the design on the wall, and directly under the decorative corbel which the wood-worker homeowner husband installed as a feature to the crown molding .
Close-up. I also balanced the pattern between the ceiling and chair rail / wainscoting .
The wallpaper design is by Candice Olson , of HGTV fame, and is made by York , a company that I like a lot. It was purchased at a discount through Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village . Call before heading over (713) 529-6515 . The homeowner had originally chosen something else, but it was unavailable. Dorota dug through her large library of selection books and found this, which is very similar, but more open and airy . We all three agree that this is the better option.
It is a non-woven material , and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method , or the paste-the-material method – which is what I usually prefer to do. This NW stuff is durable , stain-resistant , humidity -resistant , and easy to strip off the wall when you decorate down the road.
Cute in his bandana . But not very helpful at all! 🙂
The home is in the Candlelight Plaza / Shephard Park Plaza / Oak Forest / Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston .

From Dark and Dated to Light and Livable

December 17, 2022

Oh, my! – I hung lots of these chintz florals, ” satin ” look (the design of the dark green at the bottom of the wall), and dark colors back in the ’90’s . Sure enough – this home was built and wallpapered in 1994.
IIt’s still a good look, IMO, and the homeowner still likes it. But she’s just gotten tired of it. So – time for an update !
She also decided to eliminate the chair rail , so the new wallpaper will go ceiling to floor . Here you see some damage to the drywall where the chair rail molding was removed .
What a change! Now the room’s look is quiet and fresh .
The buffet , topped with a decorative mirror , will go on this wall . That’s why I centered the pattern in between the windows , so it will fall evenly on either side of the furnishings .
I also plotted so that a full “Moroccan lantern” (that’s what this style of trellis pattern is called), would balance out between the crown molding and the window molding. There were several of these 12.5″ high areas all around the room, so this placement of whole “lantern” motifs gave the room a pleasing look.
It also worked out that the lanterns were evenly placed and kept whole between the crown molding and the baseboard. See the second following photo to see what I’m talking about
As a note – just this one window wall took me about five hours to measure , calculate , and hang . Getting the pattern to go over, around, and under the two windows , and still line up and match correctly , took some time and futzing. The material was thick and stiff , and a bit tricky to fit into corners and trim around the decorative window molding .
In the foreground you see my work table area . The homeowner has let me put protective padding on her dining room table and then set my work table on that. This saves space and allows plenty of room for my ladder and other tools as I work around all four walls.
So that I could center the pattern on this wall , I had to start hanging my first strip in the middle of the wall. I was lucky this time, that the pattern was centered exactly on the edge of the wallpaper roll . Sometimes (as in the one I did yesterday – see previous post ) the center of the design motif is a to the right or left of the edge of the wallpaper . This, naturally, means you’ve got to do more measuring and plotting and double-checking , to be sure the center of the design falls down the center of the wall .
Back to the photo above … that dark block on the right side of my work table is my laser level. It’s shooting a perfectly plumb red line onto the wall. Here I’m lining up my first strip of paper butted against this red line .
Switch topics … Back in 1994, the original installer did a very nice job of hanging the wallpaper. But … he didn’t prime the new drywall first. That lack of primer / protective layer means that the wallpaper will actually bond to the drywall. I tried, but was unable to get the existing wallpaper off . Eventually, you need to factor in time , damage to the wall , paste residue left on the wall, and take a different tac if called for.
So I skim-floated over the seams , so they wouldn’t show under the new paper , and also floated over the damaged drywall where the chair rail had been removed . Sanded smooth , and then primed the patched areas as well as the original wallpaper, with Roman Ultra Prime Pro 977 . This stuff will adhere to the light acrylic (slick) surface of the original wallpaper, as well as protect it from moisture from my paste on the new wallpaper. ( Moisture could cause the underlying original wallpaper to expand , creating bubbles that will look bad, or loose areas that will pull away from the wall, creating a bubble or pocket.)
My primer is also lightly pigmented, so it helps block out the dark color and busy pattern of the original wallpaper . This particular new wallpaper is quite opaque , but not all of them are, so a pigmented primer is important , IMO .

Left corner of the buffet wall. Here you can see how the lantern motifs are placed between ceiling and floor.
The background has a lightly mottled effect, that mimics grasscloth a bit, and also adds more depth and warmth than just a plain solid color .
Been havin’ more than a fair share of defects lately, especially this week. This paper had on both front and back sides, incidences of these black flecks . They seemed to be maybe charcoal , so I wasn’t too worried about their black bleeding through to the surface , like ink or any oil-based substance will do.
Most of them were embedded in the material itself, so could not be wiped off , nor dug out with a razor blade . Some I had to cut around and discard the affected paper. Others were so small as to not be noticeable once the paper was up on the wall and all the furniture and artwork was back in the room.
There was also one 3′ section of wallpaper that had an odd streak or arc running across it. It wasn’t ink . It was more like some kind of compromise to the substrate . I noticed it was I was pasting the back of the paper . I turned it over and, sure enough, you could see it a little on the surface. (see photo in previous post) It’s the kind of thing that was subtle, but would catch your eye when looking at the wall from a distance . It was minor , but I discarded that strip . Good thing I have the homeowners purchase a little extra wallpaper .
The manufacturer is Designer Wallcoverings , which is a good quality brand (aside from the printing defects I described earlier ). It was a non-woven / paste the wall material , which is pretty user-friendly . It will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate . Stain-resistant , and ” breathable ” in humid conditions .
The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston . Dining room installer

Muted Texture for Galleria Area Powder Room

September 9, 2022
Primed and ready for wallpaper . The original color was a somewhat dark murky blue . The room just felt listless and small (it’s not a small powder room )
Finished. Brighter and comfortable . This isn’t a statement-making wallpaper . But it’s all about lightening up the area, and making it feel welcoming at the same time.
The light metallic accents in the pattern accentuate the color of the light sconces .
The gold also works nicely with the oil-rubbed bronze faucet and handles .
And the aqua melds nicely with the grey marble countertop .
Close-up showing the printed texture . The paper also has a light raised ink texture to it.
The design is called Tresco and is by Thibaut , one of my favorite brands . It’s in their Anna French line.
This wallpaper is a non-woven material , and can be hung by the paste the wall method . I usually prefer to paste the paper .
Non-wovens are strong and more stain resistant than other wallpapers. They are designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate .
Tanglewood houston installer

Handy Toolbox Gadget – Flashlight

June 8, 2022
This tiny flashlight was a gimmee at a home show years ago. It’s lightweight and tucks easily into my toolbox.
I don’t use it often, but when I need it, it’s so handy.
Today I sought light to see behind a very low-slung toilet in order to trim wallpaper off at the baseboard.

Two Runs – Not Good

May 17, 2022

The homeowner accidentally ordered half as much wallpaper as was needed, so more was ordered. Unfortunately, we were not able to get the same run number (also called batch number or dye lot ).

Wallpaper bolts printed at the same time will all have the same run number. Then the next time the manufacture prints this material, he’ll mix up a new batch of ink. This new ink will almost assuredly be a teeny slight difference in shade .

You can’t put wallpaper strips from different runs next to each other on the same wall; you will see this slight color difference and the wall will have a subtle yet unpleasing striped effect.

You can, however, use different runs on different walls, “breaking” the run in a corner. You won’t notice the color difference because light hits different walls differently and causes a natural color difference.

This trick works, but it does require extra wallpaper.

Moral of the story:

~Always confirm how much paper is needed with the installer before ordering.

~Always buy a more than you think you’ll need; one extra double roll / bolt at minimum.

Fun Hoppet Folk Wonderland Wallpaper in Powder Room of Young Family

May 14, 2022
This is a 2-room powder room in the Memorial Villages area of west Houston. The home is new and openly spacious, but has many classic elements like very elegant moldings and trim work.
I absolutely LOVE this 1890’s Victorian era marble sink with metal legs – a lucky eBay score.
The homeowner has young kids and an active family and wanted to do something ” wild ” in the powder room.
I’d say this Wonderland pattern fills the bill!
The look is especially effective due to the homeowner’s bold choice to paint the woodwork this rich mustard ochre color.
Looking from the sink room through the arched doorway into the potty room.
Cute, cute pattern! And lovely material to work with.
The glass flower light sconces are vintage, too, dating to the ’50’s or ’70’s. A similar-themed glass, floral, and brass chandelier will hang in the adjacent potty room.
This is the mirror that will go up, almost touching each light sconce on either side. The grey tones in the mirror look super good with the grey marble vanity / commode sink.
Manufacturer is Borastapeter distributed by Brewster , both fine companies. It’s a non-woven material and can be hung by the paste the wall method or by pasting the paper.
The original wallpaper came from Finest Wallpaper in Canada, a good company. But the homeowner ordered half of what was needed, and was not able to get more in time for our install date. I suggested she call Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village (713) 529-6515) and, sure enough, she found a source that had the paper in stock and could get it here lickety-split.
This is the second time I’ve hung this paper in one week, and I’ve hung it several times previously and have it coming up again – always in this dramatic and colorful black version. People sure love the whimsy of frolicking frocked pigs!

Pearland Powder Room Update and Wake Up

April 15, 2022
Originally, these walls were sorta heavily textured, and painted a drab brown-tan. Here I’ve finished skim-floating the walls to smooth them, and applied my wallpaper primer. Ready for paper!
Flowering tree branches are a popular trend right now, and many companies are making their own versions of it.
Pattern is nicely centered on the sink wall.
The white background really perks the room up, and the light touches of metallic gold in the leaves helps bounce light around this small room.
Close-up. This material has a slight raised ink texture to it. I love the look and feel.
That scribble at the top reads Florence Broadhurst . She was an Australian artist / painter. This line of wallpaper patterns are based on her art and designs.
The pattern is called Branches and the manufacturer is York Wallcoverings, one of my favorite brands.
Pearland is a southern subdivision of Houston.

Five Room Update – Kitchen Re-Do

November 18, 2021
Can you say ’80’s?! Dated and soiled, it really was time for this 30+ year old original paper to go.
Poor colors in this photo – the new paper is actually aqua and green a a bit of grey. One pattern was used for the walls, and another for the fir down / soffits.
A little better view of the true colors.
There is a pearlized or iridescent quality to this wallpaper.
Candice Olson’s line by York. Anything she touches, you can bet it will have a bit of shimmer and glimmer and glam.
Curlicues, caterpillars, or corn curls – this is a fun and active design, used just on the fir downs over the cabinets.
The Easy-Walls line in the Chesapeake collection by Brewster is a very nice pre-pasted paper, easy to install and easy to remove. It’s a very thin non-woven material, similar to another of my favorites, the Sure-Strip by York.
This shot, taken through the adjoining dining room, shows how beautifully the colors and patterns coordinate. Oh, and did I mention the beautiful new blue and green glass tile backsplash?!

The two-sister duo who selected patterns and colors for this League City (Houston) home did a superb job coordinating the two bedrooms, one bathroom, and the dining room and kitchen. The whole house has a very pulled together look, with a theme of gardens, light, fresh, and uplifting.

Springy and Gay Accent Wall in Guest Bedroom

April 26, 2020


What a cheery look, for an accent wall in a light-filled guest bedroom of a beautifully renovated bungalow in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston!

I hung this same pattern a month ago just a few blocks away, but that room had wainscoting so there was only about 4′ of the pattern visible. In this room, the wallpaper goes from ceiling to floor, so you see how the full design plays out.

The design name is “Clementine” and it is by Sanderson, a British company. It is on a tough non-woven substrate, and I hung this using the paste-the-wall method.

The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design.

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.