Posts Tagged ‘mirror’

Finished Pictures of Moroccan Trellis Dining Room

February 1, 2023
How thoughtful, the homeowner send me photos of the room all decorated and finished! There will be a mirror or painting over the buffet in this photo. …. They’re probably reticent to put a nail hole in the new wallpaper 😀
The wallpaper is in the Candice Olson line by York .
The home is in the Candlelight Terrace / Oak Forest area of Houston .
The husband is a talented woodworker, and he MADE all the furniture in this photo.
wallpaper installer geometric

Whimsical Arabian Nights Dance in Powder Room

January 13, 2023
You’ve got to look at this close-up, to notice the antelope and flames / foliage .
You gotta make a decision … The light sconces (they are currently removed, but you can see the electrical boxes where they will be placed) were centered on the vanity top, but the faucet was off-center by about an inch. So I chose to center / balance the pattern on the sconces and countertop. The mirror will be hung between the two light fixtures, so we’ll end up with a pleasing, balanced look. The faucet isn’t exactly in the middle of the design motif, but no biggie – there’s going to be a mirror there, anyway.

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Corner going around shower. Note the window looking into the shower.
Although the website specs said this is a pre-trimmed non-woven material , that was incorrect. Turns out it had an unprinted selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand . Here I’m using my straightedge and razor blade to remove this selvedge. This takes precision and a LOT of time .
The manufacturer usually provides trim guides to help you know where to cut. But it’s usually better to trim to the pattern – determine an element in the design motif that will meet up with the corresponding motif on the opposite side of the strip when the strips are hung on the wall, and use that as your guide . Be sure to trim off the trim guide marks, or they will show on the wall.
The pattern is called Arabian Nights and is by Relativity Textiles . I’ve never worked with this brand before. I was not pleased . In addition to the incorrect information about the pre-trimmed paper , the mfgr’s specs said this was printed on a non-woven substrate . It was not. It wasn’t even printed on standard wallpaper stock . Instead, it was a pulp material – This is a sort of old-fashioned wallpaper , and is very brittle and prone to tearing and dragging (your trimming knife or razor blade will get snagged and you’ll end up with a ” chewed ” jagged cut, instead of a crisp cut . It also tears easily. It also has no coating, so it’s not stain-resistant … Not good in a busy household with a 3-year old toddler , or anyone splashing water or soap or air freshener .
It was also difficult to hang . Applying wet paste to the backing causes the substrate to absorb moisture and expand at a different rate from the ink on the surface. So you end up with wrinkles , waffling , and quilting .
Sponging a light bit of water on the front before pasting helps even out the moisture differential and ease installation . I’ve never before encountered a pulp that had this type of ink on the surface. One clue for this bad stuff is when you open the package and it smells like moth balls . Once I figured out how to work with it, , it went OK – although tedious . The seams did look very nice.
BUT … all this effort would have been unnecessary and the finished room would be more durable if the mfgr had printed on a non-woven substrate (as their on-line specs stated) and had used standard inks instead of this weird , smelly , high-end stuff. In fact, the material would have cost the homeowners a whole lot less $ if it had been normal ink on a non-woven backing .
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .
installer

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

Naked Ladies on the Walls in a Home Bar Bath

August 2, 2022
This is a powder room off a bar in a home in the Spring Branch area of Houston. The walls have wainscoting below and paneled walls above; the wallpaper is to go inside the panels.
Wallpaper primer has been applied . Because both the woodwork and the wallpaper are dark, I’ve taken care to not let my white primer get onto the woodwork, making sure to leave a 1/8″ or so gap of the dark woodwork paint. This way there won’t be any white showing at the edges.
This is a little dubious, though, because wallpaper paste won’t adhere to the glossy woodwork paint . Not too much of a worry, though, because that gap is mighty narrow and not likely to cause any adhesion problems. See recent previous post for a closer photo.
Done. Opposite wall reflected in the mirror.
From a distance, it just looks like a symmetrical design .
I centered the design on this section between the corner and the door .
I positioned the pattern so that half of it landed in the corner. Thus, looking in the mirror, between the two walls, you’ll see a whole motif.
The manufacturer colored the edges black . This greatly reduces the chances of the white edges of wallpaper showing at the seams. Do a Search to read my previous blogs on this topic.
The pattern is called Showgirls and is by Graduate Collection , out of England .

Powder Blue and Mint Small Print in West U Bungalow Bathroom

July 21, 2022
Before, primed and ready for wallpaper.
For various reasons, removing these mounting brackets for the light sconces would have created more problems than it solved, so I left them in place and worked carefully around them. The difficulty is that the sconces are exactly the same size as the mounting plates, so it’s difficult to trim around these plates that jut out from the wall and still get the paper close enough that no gaps show around the base of the light fixtures. When possible, it’s much easier to remove them and put the paper behind them.
I chose to center the design on my first strip in between those two sconces, rather than on the faucet. Good thing this is a small and busy pattern, because neither the mirror nor the sink faucet were centered between the sconces. But no one’s gonna notice.
If you look in the middle of the photo, you’ll see the vertical red line of my laser level. I’m using this as a guide to place the motifs down the center of the space.
Here’s a shot of my laser level. Less than $100 at Lowe’s maybe eight years ago.
Finished sink wall. The hooks are for the large, white framed mirror.
Window corner next to the toilet. The mint green paint on the woodwork next to the light blue wallpaper print ties this room in beautifully with the other rooms on the first floor of this house. The colors also coordinate beautifully with some artwork in the dining room just steps away.
The pattern is called Aboreta and is by Thibaut , one of my favorite brands. It’s a traditional paste-the-paper material , and was nice to work with. Thin and breathable and should hold up nicely in a humid bathroom.
This was purchased from my favorite source for wallpaper and for help in finding what you’re looking for – Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village . Her hours vary, so call before you head over.

Andy Warhol Didn’t Sleep Here – But He Would Have Wanted To!

July 1, 2022
Incredibly boring and blah powder room in a newish townhome in the Montrose area of Houston.
Wow! Now THIS makes an IMPACT!!!
This is not an Andy Warhol design, but it’s exactly like what he liked to create.
Shot of mirror over vanity. Pattern is perfectly centered over mirror and coming down both sides.
Lips! Pic is off-hue … The background is really a vibrant yellow.
Rolling out the material. Each ” roll ” contains three strips, , or panels , each of which is 20.5″ wide by 118″ (just under 10′).
The manufacturer is Mind The Gap , and the pattern is called Neon Kiss .
This is a strong, un-tearable, stain-resistant non-woven material. It is easy to hang on flat walls, and you can use the paste the wall installation method. I usually paste the material , though, especially in bathrooms with vanities to cut around and toilets to squeeze behind.
The substrate is soft and supple and easy to trim, and the surface is quite washable.

Versace Wallpaper Powder Room Revisited

May 27, 2022
I hung this dramatic gold-on-black wallpaper about three years ago, and am back to do two more rooms, so took the opportunity to snap a coupla photos.
Looks amazing with the black sink and toilet, and ornate gold faucet set. Plus the bamboo-look framed mirror.
Close up, this material looks like embroidered stitching on menswear textured background. The glitter and shimmer adds even more pizzazz!
This non-woven wallpaper is by Versace, and the home is in the Garden Oaks area of Houston.

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

Classic Chinoiserie in Heights Powder Room

February 10, 2022
Before. The previous installer did a beautiful job with this earthy grasscloth. But it didn’t suit the homeowner’s taste, nor did it fit with the feel of this 1939 cottage in the historic Norhill section of the Houston heights.
Done! The dark towel and mirror really set off the pattern and colors.
Wall behind the toilet. This Asian-influenced design, with its pagodas and minstrels, is referred to as a Chinoiserie . These designs have been popular for centuries.
Close-up. The green and blue tones coordinate beautifully with adjoining rooms in the house.
I rolled the wallpaper out on the floor, so I could see the full-size design. This one has a 46″ pattern repeat, which is awfully long, and means there can be a lot of waste. This design had a straight pattern match, and came packaged in a 24″ x 33′ bolt, like traditional wallpaper. It did not come as an A-B set, as many M&K products do.
I couldn’t find a full-size room-set photo on-line, so I availed myself of the Milton & King ‘s ” chat ” feature … I was connected with a live and knowledgeable representative in mere seconds, and he very quickly sent me a link to a picture of this pattern in a room.
In the photo, I’m using my yardstick to determine a centerline of the design motifs.
As are most of Milton & King ‘s wallpapers, this one was on a non-woven substrate. Rather than paste the wall, I chose to paste the paper, which works best in a bathroom with things to cut around and tuck paper behind. mi
The pattern is called Mulberry . Milton & King’s bolts come packed individually in protective boxes – no worries about banged edges with this outfit!

Something’s Bugging Me …

January 7, 2022
Powder room before.
Powder room after the introduction of various bugs, insects, critters and creepy crawlers.
The homeowner loves bugs. She likes this view so much that she said she might not cover it with a mirror. Who needs a mirror in a powder room, anyway?
This powder room is under the stairs, hence the sloped ceiling. The wallpaper has the look of botanical identification prints, in a dreamy shade of blue.
Mind the Gap is the manufacturer, and the pattern is called Entomology. The material comes as a 3- roll / strip set. It’s a non-woven product, so you can hang it by pasting the wall. Although I usually choose to paste the paper. Interestingly, this paper was lot thinner and crisper than the black Aquafleur by the same brand I hung a couple of weeks ago. In fact, it was quite translucent. I had to not make pencil marks on the walls nor on the back of the paper, for fear they would show through the front.
This stuff is also very curly – meaning that it wants to stay tightly rolled up. Two days before the install, I asked the homeowner to roll the material backward and secure with an elastic hairband, to relax the curl. This worked wonderfully, and I had nice flat sheets to work with.
The pattern is essentially a mural, spread across three strips that connect to the next set of three strips. The pattern does not repeat. That means that it takes one full ” roll” for each strip. Since the rolls are 10′ long and the walls in this bathroom were less than 8′, there was more than 2′ of paper cut off and thrown away, for each of 15 strips around the room.
The two 8″ high strips over the door would also have each used up a full 10′ roll. But I did a little measuring and plotting and trimming and used scraps for this area. This also enabled me to put bugs that had not been seen on any of the other strips up over the door. Because this space was only 8″ high, I had to find insects that were small – didn’t want anyone to get his legs or antenna cut off! Sorry, I forgot to get a photo of that area.
This room had some tricky spaces. Besides the sloped ceiling, which presented challenges of its own too complicated to delve into here, the 2″ gap you see next to the vanity in the top photo … the wide strip on the wall with the hand towel ring, plus the 2″ wide strip between the vanity and that wall probably took me a full 40 minutes to get in place.
The townhome is in the Galleria / Highland Village neighborhood of Houston.