Posts Tagged ‘master’

A Pretty Paper in a Humble Bathroom

May 5, 2019


Ahhh … fooled ya a little … People from the Houston area know that “Humble” doesn’t mean “modest,” but, rather, is pronounced “Umble” and is the name of a suburb to the north east of town.

Anyway, I hung this in a nicely renovated and updated master bathroom in a home in an early ’80’s subdivision. The color is perfect with the new tile and countertop. The homeowner had originally chosen something similar, but the actual colors in that selection were just a tad off. This one worked better.

The brand is A Street Prints, by Brewster, and is a non-woven material that can be hung by the paste-the-wall method. I chose to paste the paper today instead, because it makes the material more pliable and less likely to crease when manipulating it into tight spaces. And because it ensures that paste will be on the paper, even in those tight spaces where you couldn’t reach to paste the wall (like behind the toilet or in between narrow spaces.

Also, when it’s time to redecorate, non-wovens are designed to strip off the wall easily and with minimal damage to the wall.

This wallpaper 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.

The homeowners are so tickled with their new bathroom that they had me measure another bathroom for them, which I will do in a few months.

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Helping Crooked Walls Look Straight. Geometric Pattern

March 27, 2019

Geometric patterns are very popular right now. But one of the things I hate about them is that your eye expects to see the pattern motif march straight across the ceiling and walls … But ceilings are never perfectly level and walls are never perfectly plumb. And wallpaper itself will expand when it gets wet with paste, and can stretch out of shape, causing it to go off-kilter.

In the top photo, the wallpaper was hung butted straight up against the most visible corner, the left edge (not shown). But since that corner was not absolutely perpendicular to the corner to the right of it, this tight geometric pattern started to track off-kilter. As you see in the photo, the black line at the far right is wider at the bottom of the wall, and tapers off to nothing by the time it gets to the top of the wall.

With a geometric design, your eye wants to see that black line reproduced rhythmically all the way along the wall.

With a thin paper, I might have been able to cut vertically along the design and pull the paper into alignment with the wall on the right, overlapping the excess paper as it moved to the top of the wall. But such an overlap would have been very noticeable on this thick non-woven wallpaper material.

So I did something else. I took some scrap paper and cut appliqués of the black line design that were the same dimensions of the lines at the bottom of the wall. I then pasted them onto the corresponding spot on the right edge of the wall.

As I mentioned, this as a thick non-woven material, and an appliqué would be pretty noticeable. So I fiddled with the paper a bit, and pulled the thick backing away from the inked layer of the front. In the second photo, you see the white backing discarded on the left side of the photo.

Once the appliqués were measured, cut, pasted, and applied to the proper spot on the wall, you don’t notice that anything is not plumb. All you see is a consistent row of black lines marching vertically along the right edge of the wall.

Note that by doing this, I have moved the black line closer than it’s supposed to be to it’s parallel partner to the left of it. But the eye notices this much less than it would a fading away line on the right edge of the wall.

I’m glad that I spent the extra 45 minutes to do this to both vanity walls in this master bathroom in a nicely renovated Mid-Century Modern home in the Piney Point (the Villages) neighborhood of Houston.

Same Geometric Pattern, Different Colorway

March 9, 2019


In the same home where I worked yesterday (see previous post), they are using the same small geometric wallpaper pattern in all four bathrooms – the tan in the two guest baths, and the silver in the powder room and master bathroom. These pics are of the silver colorway.

The pattern is by Anderson Prints, was not easy to work with (there will be a post about that) and was bought from Dorota (see previous post).

Beautiful Bradbury Birds

June 29, 2018


Bradbury & Bradbury is a well-established company based in California that produces wallpaper patterns in the style of by-gone eras – Victorian, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Oriental and more. I have their Raspberry Bramble, from the Victorian collection, in my own master bathroom. Do a Search here to see pics.

Bradbury has unveiled some new genres recently, including the ’50’s Atomic Age and the ’20’s Vintage. These new products are digitally-printed, which is a little different from their other papers, most of which are screen-printed.

Today I hung half of a master bedroom with their 2D-103. Those numbers are not very interesting, but the pattern is – see it in the photos above. It’s a lovely, cheery, and easy-to-live-with birds, branches, and flowers, on a soft yellow background.

Bradbury wallpapers come with a selvedge edge that has to be trimmed off by hand, using a razor blade and straight edge (not shown). This takes precision and a lot of sharp new razor blades – I spent two hours trimming paper for these two walls (with more to come tomorrow for the remaining two walls).

Once all that tedious trimming was over, the paper was a delight to work with. The seams melted together and were next to invisible. The paper hugged the wall nicely with no curling at the edges. Other companies with cantankerous papers could take a lesson from Bradbury.

This home is in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston, and was partially destroyed in the flooding after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The homeowners love the vintage vibe of their older home, and when the house was rebuilt after the flood, they took great care to recreate the look of the original home … woodwork, flooring, kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances… all are true to the home’s original look.

Geometric Trellis in a Garden Oaks Attic Conversion Master Suite

May 1, 2018


I attended the Garden Oaks Home Tour yesterday, and walked up the stairs to the master suite, all the while thinking, “Something about this feels familiar.” When I got into the master bathroom, I got it – I had hung the wallpaper about two years ago!

What’s cool is, the wife had had the bathroom remodeled as a surprise gift for her hubby while he was overseas. Well, yesterday he was there, so I got to meet him. He said he positively loved the new bathroom.

Silver Cork Wallpaper in a Galleria-Area Water Closet

August 15, 2017

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This water closet in the master bathroom of a newish home in the Galleria area of Houston was originally papered with an olive green grasscloth, which was then painted over with flat, boring, tan paint, as you see in the top photo. It was bad enough as it was, but when the homeowners renovated the bathroom and changed to a sleek, modern look, that painted grasscloth just hurt to look at it.

The wife loves this silver cork wallpaper by Thibaut Designs. In fact, last year I hung the same thing in their downstairs powder room.

The cork, with it’s bright metallic surface, brought a whole lot of light and life to the enclosed, window-less room. It looked better than I anticipated, and we all were amazed at how large and vibrant the room became.

Because the room had some curved walls, I railroaded the paper (hung it horizontally instead of vertically), and that proved to be a good choice. It also used a little less paper.

The wife loves this paper so much, she is thinking of putting it in a third space in their home – an accent wall in the master bedroom.

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

Wild & Whimsical Wallpaper

March 19, 2017

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Today was fun! Just look at that wallpaper! I had another client considering this pattern a few months ago, but she chickened out. It is a bold and dramatic design, so it takes the right person to bring it into her living space.

In this case, that was a master bedroom, in a decades-old brick 4-plex that was recently remodeled into a single-family home. The style is light Industrial Modern, with plenty of Mid Century Modern touches tossed in. The home is in the First Ward, just down the street from the Summer Street art studios, so the artsy-feel all fits together.

This is a playful and busy pattern, but the colors are muted, so it feels subdued and restful in this bedroom. Still, it is the kind of design you would want on just an accent wall, as here, because it could be overwhelming if it were on all four walls of the room.

This wallpaper pattern is called Daintree, and is by Thibaut Designs. It was lovely to work with. The homeowner is also the interior designer – Laura Michaelides of Four Square Design Studio. Their office just happens to be directly across the street from the home. 🙂

This home won a Good Brick award from Preservation Houston, and was on their home tour April 29 & 30, 2017.

Step Back Into The ’70’s!

February 18, 2017
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This 1959 home is in the Meyerland / Westbury area of Houston, and is decidedly Mid Century Modern. The master bathroom had been nicely updated with granite countertops and sleek, honey-colored cabinets. But the dark grey walls studded with pimply home-handyman texture made the room dreary and uninviting. “I hate my bathrooms,” said the homeowner.

Well, we can change that. 🙂

What a fun pattern! This “mod” design screams Mid Century (can you say Nancy Sinatra and “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'”?, and the color perfectly compliments the color of the cabinets. Once the paper went up, the whole room sprang to life – and it felt larger, too.

The homeowner totally loved the transformation!

This paper is by Graham & Brown, and has a durable vinyl surface on a thin non-woven substrate. The material is thin and pliable, clings closely to the wall, and was lovely to work with.

The walls themselves, though, were another matter. The extremely heavy texture had to be smoothed, which took two days. And hanging this rhythmic geometric pattern was greatly complicated by the un-plumb walls, un-level ceiling, un-straight outside corner … you get the picture.

Difficult to explain, but after a lot of fretting and experimenting and twisting paper and rehanging a couple of strips, I realized that I could not fight the irregularities of the room’s construction. So I opted for the theory of “keep the pattern motifs intact, even if they go off-kilter at the ceiling or outside corners.”

Fast forward to the finished room … It looks great. Most of the “imperfect” areas I was fretting over are not even noticeable. The homeowner loves it.

Hey – she loves it so much that she said she wants to spend the rest of the night in her new bathroom!

Van Gogh Slept Here

December 29, 2016
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O.K. – maybe Van Gogh didn’t sleep here, in this brand new home on the eastern edge of the Houston Heights, but it does look like he spent some time painting on the walls. Oh, wait – that’s wallpaper!

This beautiful wallpaper is in the Van Gogh 2015 collection of a company called BN Wallcoverings, in the Netherlands. It was a thinnish, pliable, textured, paste-the-wall material, and was nice to work with.

The homeowner is absolutely in love with this pattern! The builder left the home quite boringly neutral – creams and beiges – and the homeowner wanted to interject some life and color into the master bedroom. Wow – this did the trick! The texture of the material even mimics brush strokes an artist might make working with oil paint on canvas.

This went on just one wall of the master bedroom, behind the headboard. On all four walls, this bold color and fluid pattern might be too much, but on one wall, it is super. For the windows and door leading to the balcony (not shown), drapes are being made that match the brown color of the tree limbs. Neutral-hued Roman shades will “disappear” on the small windows of this accent wall.  A few turquoise accents throughout the room (pillows, vases, artwork) will pull the whole look together.

Companion Wallpapers in a Two-Room Bath

January 15, 2016
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This is a master bathroom in Bellaire that had just been completely renovated. The homeowner wanted a serene spa look. When I first consulted with her, she was pretty set on a very plain, cream colored paper that almost matched the countertops and floor. I told her I thought it was too inert. I suggested something with a soft pattern, to fill the space on her 10.5′ high walls. And I told her that a little stronger color would add definition by standing out just a little, against the tile and woodwork.

I also mentioned that it’s more interesting to use different – but complimentary – patterns in the main room and the potty room.

She considered my points, went to my suggested source for wallpaper, and came home with this. BINGO! What a wonderful choice!

The palm leaves are soft and earthy, lending to the spa feel, and are the perfect scale to fill the high walls. The color goes nicely with the stone in the room, and it stands out just enough to give the room definition. The companion bamboo pattern went in the toilet room. In the last photo, you can just barely see how the two patterns work together.

Both these papers are by Anderson Prints, by EcoChic, and were a positive delight to work with. And they are paper, not vinyl, so the homeowners do not need to worry about humidity causing the seams to curl.

This wallpaper 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.