Posts Tagged ‘living room’

Authentic 1920’s Wallpaper!

November 26, 2021

Across the street from where I was working today (in the Houston Heights), this 1925 home was being renovated. I walked myself over to drop off a business card.

I gasped when I saw some vintage wallpaper in a trash pile on the soon-to-be living room floor. I love these old papers, and have a growing collection.

The guys working inside were friendly, and were happy to let me take some scraps. This chunk is from the original kitchen (which, after the home is expanded, will become the living room). It’s probably the most cheerful and animated pattern in my collection.

Back in those days, a loosely-woven fabric (often mistakenly referred to as cheesecloth or muslin) was tacked to the ship-lap walls, and the wallpaper was pasted and hung on top of that. The seams were overlapped.

The ink colors hold up amazingly well over the years. But that cloth backing, and the wallpaper itself, don’t fare as well.

This kitchen wallpaper easily separated from the cloth backing, and the old paper was delicate and brittle. Even with attentive handling, my piece split in two just walking a few yards to my van.

I got it home in one piece (well, really in two pieces). I hope to find a was to affix this to a secure backing, so it can be preserved.

I’m afraid that it won’t hold up to the moisture and stress of pasting, even using with old-fashioned wheat paste. And that spray adhesives might not hold, or may stain the old paper fibers.

I’ll figure something out. In the meantime, I feel very lucky to have this!

From Tired Tuscan Mural to Subtly Elegant Textured Damask

June 10, 2021


This “Tuscan View” hand-painted mural was well done, but the new homeowners didn’t love it. They wanted the family room of their 1970’s era ranch-style home to coordinate with the living room (which I papered and blogged about a few months ago – Search on words like “cork” and “damask” to see pics).

The new wallpaper is a silver cork product with a large white damask pattern printed on top. It is a cross between contemporary (silver) and traditional (damask), and adds glamor (silver) and elegance (damask) all at the same time.

I hung this for a family with young children in the Pasadena neighborhood of Houston. This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and was bought at below retail price from 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.

Better Homes & Gardens Features Wallpaper

March 22, 2021

The newest issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine features a home that is not afraid to use color and pattern!

Laundry room, dining room, entry, and living room all have been cloaked in the warmth and personality of wallpaper.

My favorite is the green paisley. It looks very turn-of-the-last-century Art Nouveau to me.

How about you?

Modernizing One More Space

March 16, 2021

Dating to 1946, this small bungalow is not as “vintage” as most homes in its Riverside neighborhood of Houston. The homeowner opened up the public areas and completely renovated the kitchen, bringing the home to a fresh, contemporary feel. Adding stylish wallpaper to the small, boxy entry was the finishing touch.

This modern pattern is by Carl Robinson, a British designer. It is a traditional paper, instead of the non-woven material that many European brands are printing on. It was nice to work with, i thin and hugs the wall tightly, and will adhere well for years to come.

The entry is visible from the living room, so this small room makes an impact on the rest of the house. The homeowner positively squealed with delight when she came home and saw the finished room!

Van Gogh Collection on Living Room Accent / Feature Wall

March 4, 2021

Man, the homeowner nailed it when she chose this Van Gogh-inspired trees-and-blossoms pattern in bold tones for a super-long accent wall in their nicely updated older home in the Eastwood subdivision of Houston.

There is a slight raised texture, so it looks like a real oil painting!

I love the way it works with the sliding barn door.

This wallpaper is super nice to work with, as it is soft and bendable, and it clings nice and flat to the wall. The seams are virtually invisible. (I did use chalk to color the edges of the paper, to prevent the white substrate from peeping out between the seams. In addition, there is a slight raised texture, so it looks like a real oil painting!

On a non-woven backing, the paper could be hung via the paste-the-wall method. This material will not expand, so there is no booking or waiting period before hanging.

In addition, non-wovens are designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate.

Tailored and White-Washed Cork Wallpaper – Home Office

February 13, 2021

During the pandemic, the man and wife are both working from home … in the same improvised home office … and getting on each other’s nerves. The lady of the house decreed it’s time for the guy to move out!

So they commandeered the home’s original living room and are turning it into an office for him.

They wanted something to warm the look of the four all-white walls, while maintaining an air of professionalism and business, and at the same time being a choice that could transition to another use, once the pandemic ends and the room no longer needs to serve as an office.

This white-washed cork wallpaper with flecks of gold is the perfect choice for an accent wall behind the man’s desk.

As with all natural material wallpapers, you can expect shading and color variations between and even within strips. This one turned out pretty homogeneous.

I don’t have information on the brand or manufacturer. The material is natural cork, which is applied to the paper backing in bocks approximately 6″ square. It comes 3′ wide x 24′ long, and is a paste-the-material product.

The rather contemporary home is located in Bellaire (Houston).

Updating from Decorative Paint to Beautiful Wallpaper

November 18, 2020

The walls in this small entry in a pretty original condition 1935 home in the Montrose / Upper Kirby neighborhood of Houston had been painted by an artist with a wide stripe pattern in deep orange and gold, with a darker wash over the surface. It was probably done in the ’90’s, and was a good look then.

But the new homeowner never loved it. As for me, I think the look is too modern to suit the era and style of the home, and also the colors have a sort of dirty cast to them. After living there several years and focusing on career and raising kids, the homeowners were finally ready to bring a new concept to the entry.

The first photo shows the existing wall finish. The white stuff is my smoothing compound, which I have started to apply over the lightly-but-irregularly textured walls.

The next photo shows the walls sanded smooth, vacuumed and then wiped free of dust, primed with a wallpaper primer, and ready for wallpaper.

In the “after” photos, note that the dark or blotchy areas are simply wet with paste or water, and will disappear as the paper dries.

This is a particularly pretty pattern that suits the room well. There is a slight Chinoiserie / Asian feel to the design. And the grey is a good colorway for this home’s décor. I love the arched moldings that frame the passageways to both the living room and the dining room. Typical adorable 1930’s architecture!

The wallpaper is by Anderson Prints. It was pretty nice to work with, but did tend to dry out even before the booking time was up, so presented a bit of a challenge in that respect.

In the distant shot, you can make out a sort of hourglass figure in the branches and vines. I plotted the placement so a full “swoop” would display over the doors.

And also so the “hourglass” would play out down the center of the main wall, as shown in the photo. This will look nice as the vines and flowers gently surround the chest of drawers and oval mirror when they are placed back into the room.

Entwined Circles Geometric Fills a Massive Living Room Accent Wall

June 24, 2020


This couple wanted to warm up their living room, inject some color and personality, and visually define the space as separate from other areas of their open-concept main floor.

The wall is 11′ high and nearly 22′ wide. With that massive a space, you need a design that will stand up and fill the wall.

They considered a couple of options, before falling in love with this pattern of interlocking silver circles on a dark blue background with agate / stone swirls.

This is a non-woven product, and I hung it using the paste-the-wall method. The material doesn’t expand when wet with paste, and is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. This one was a little stiffer and thicker than I would have liked, but it went up nicely enough.

This wallpaper pattern is by Graham & Brown. I generally like their papers. This 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.

This is a newish townhome in the Rice Village neighborhood of Houston.

Angled Geometric Accent Wall

June 23, 2020


This small first-floor room will serve two purposes … One: The homeowner is a massage therapist, and treats clients in this room. Two: The room will serve as a reception / living room area for guests when the couple entertains.

There will be a kidney bean-shaped, bright orange sofa placed in front of this accent wall, and a dynamic round coffee table with a black & white geometric pattern will sit in front of that.

An invigorating room for sure!

There were a few minor printing defects, as noted in the close-up shots. I had the same thing when I hung this wallpaper pattern before. The homeowners were not bothered by these slight issues – but I have a plan to disguise them (using appliqués) if they wish to do so later.

The townhome is brand new, in a new gated development in the Timbergrove neighborhood of Houston. The walls are textured, and I spent yesterday skim-floating, sanding, and then priming the walls (two different rooms). This morning, the walls were smooth, dry, and ready for wallpaper.

This wallpaper pattern is by York, in their SureStrip line – one of my favorite brands. It is pre-pasted and goes up on the wall easily. It is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate.

The 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.

Yet Another Benefit from the COVID Lockdown …

April 12, 2020

I was working in the remodeled living room of a home out in the Memorial Villages (west Houston). I had the space to myself, even with a private water supply (wet bar). The family was in the rear of the house.

I had spent two days smoothing and priming the walls, and on Day 3 had set up my table, unrolled two bolts, and was plotting the layout of the wallpaper pattern.

The homeowner, who has been working from home, just happened to wander past at that time. (keeping 8′ distance) She noticed that the paper I had spread out on my table was not the same shade as the sample she and the designer had chosen.

Sure enough – the paper was the wrong pattern number – two digits off.

Whew! I had not cut anything yet. So there should be no problems in sending the material back and exchanging for the correct colorway.

So lucky the homeowner was there – or I would have had two walls up by the end of the day.

The issue now is, with the virus crisis, shipping is bollixed up, and so is manufacturing and warehousing. So it’s not certain when that replacement paper will be here.