Posts Tagged ‘neal lebouef’

Grasscloth in Cypress Powder Room

February 18, 2020


The walls and ceiling in this large powder room in a newish home in the Bridgeland Creek neighborhood of Cypress (northwest Houston) were originally a dark gold. I like dark rooms, but this one felt oppressive. It needed to be a little lighter, and to have a bit more interest on the walls.

The walls had a heavy texture, typical of new homes in the suburbs of Houston. I skim-floated the walls, then let dry overnight. The next day, I sanded the walls smooth, wiped off the dust, primed – and then was ready to hang wallpaper.

The pictures don’t adequately show the color of the new grasscloth, but we have natural brown grass color overlaid onto a really deep blue paper backing. The designer had the ceiling painted a dark, sort of murky blue, which coordinates really nicely with the blue in the grasscloth.

Lighting is funny … While I was working in the room, I had two 100 watt light bulbs; one suspended from the ceiling and one attached to where the light fixture belongs. The grasscloth just looked “normal.”

But once the room’s decorative light fixture went back up, it cast light on the textured surface in such a way that the “nubs” and knots really showed up! (see photo) The homeowner loved it!

As a note … With grasscloth, there is no pattern match, and you can also plan on seeing color differences between strips. So it’s important to plot where your seams will fall.

The electrical box, the light fixture, and the faucet were all in different vertical positions on the wall. Because the mirror would take up most of the wall behind the faucet and block the seam, I chose to center the seam on the light fixture, because it would be visible above the mirror. Well – sort of visible … as you can see, light rays from the fixture are so strong that no one can see where the seam is, anyway. ­čśŽ

The room had a “floating” sink. One of the photos shows the area under the sink. This area is open to view, and, because there are so many obstacles, it is difficult and time-consuming to wrap the paper underneath and trim around all those pipes and brackets.

The grasscloth wallpaper is by York. I was pretty pleased with the consistency of the material. Although some of the strips did present “paneling” and “shading” – color variances between strips – even strips that came off the same bolt and that were reverse-hung. One strip even had a rather abrupt color change mid-way from top to bottom. (no photo)

But that’s par for the course with grasscloth, and it’s considered to be “the natural beauty of this natural material.”

The interior designer for this project is Neal LeBouef, of L Design Group.

Pewter Metallic Cork in TV Niche

May 23, 2018


Here’s a nice for a large TV in a cute, nicely updated older bungalow in the Heights (Houston). Originally it was painted grey. In the top photo, I have smoothed the textured walls and primed.

The wallpaper material is a pewter colored metallic cork, with flecks of gold tossed in. The pictured don’t do it justice – it is sophisticated and gorgeous. In fact, these metallic corks are pretty popular for people who want texture with a bit of glamour and even edginess. It comes in different colors. I have this same pewter color coming up in another home, and have hung it many times in the silver color. Do a search here to see pics.

The manufacturer is York Wall, and the line is – no surprises here – Candice Olsen. All of her designs have a good dose of that glam look.

The interior designer is Neal LeBouef of L Design Group. L Design is going to be featured in a spread in the July issue of Houston House & Home, showcasing another home he did in the Heights – he got to work with it from the ground up, before they even started construction.

Leaving “Cute” and Heading for “Sophisticated”

August 24, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

The tiny red and blue floral wallpaper pattern looked great in this Tanglewood powder room for a decade or more.  But when the homeowners wanted to freshen up the look of the house, the interior designers moved toward a more sophisticated look, and they chose this muted stripe pattern.

It’s more subdued, and it really goes nicely with the blue paint below the chair rail.

The interior designers for this job are Neal LeBouef and Anthony Stransky of L Design Group, a Houston-based company.

The wallpaper is a pre-pasted product by Sure Strip, and is in the Waverly line.┬á It goes up easily, and is designed to strip off easily later, when it’s time to redecorate.┬á I love this particular product.

 

Teen Daughter Gets a Personalized and Hip Bedroom

March 23, 2017


What teen girl wouldn’t LOVE this room?!

This geometric design is softer than most, because of the rounded lines. Nonetheless, the strong black-on-white color scheme ensure that the look is pumped up and vibrant.

The interior designer of this house in West University Place in Houston is Neal LeBouef of L Design Group. His rooms tend to be crisp, open, and warmly modern. The wallpaper went on one wall in the bedroom, and is a paste-the-wall product.

Geometric Wallpaper Makes for a Stunning Entry

March 4, 2017
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


Geometric prints like this are very popular right now. They look great in the room – but they can be a real challenge to the installer. Walls and door / window moldings are never perfectly plumb, nor are baseboards and ceilings perfectly level.

With a wild pattern or a forgiving floral, you would never notice patterns going amiss. But with a rhythmic geometric design, your eye will catch any little element that is off.

Here, in some areas, I chose to hang the pattern off-plumb, so that it would align with the un-plumb vertical lines of the woodwork. Doing it this way made sure that the design motifs were uniform in size as they dropped from ceiling to floor along the door moldings – even though that made the top black triangle drop down a little as it moved across the ceiling line.

I was lucky in this room, because the height of the strips over the doorways was short, and I could fudge things a little and bring the pattern up to where I wanted it to be, with the black triangle hitting the bottom of the crown molding, which put the design motif back exactly where I wanted it to hit the ceiling line. See 3rd photo.

In the corners, I followed the rule, “It’s better to match the pattern in the corners, than to have it run perfectly along the ceiling.” I won’t go into details, but that corner in the 2nd photo took quite a bit of plotting and work. The pattern does not hang plumb, and it does not run straight down the door molding to the right. But, in the end, you don’t notice anything amiss, and the overall look is fantastic.

With all this engineering and plotting and manipulating, the two walls in the second photo took me about three hours to hang. The rest of the room was equally challenging.

In addition, the paper was thick and stiff and difficult to work into tight spaces. It was a “paste the wall” product, but when I tried that, I got puckered seams (due to the “dimensionally stable” paper expanding when it got wet with paste), as well as curled seams (due to the substrate absorbing moisture from the paste at a different rate from that of the inked top layer of the paper.

So I threw caution to the wind and ignored the manufacturer’s admonitions to “Paste the wall. Do NOT paste the paper.” Instead, I pasted the paper, and let it book (sit wet) for a short time, before I hung it. This let the paper absorb moisture from the paste and expand as much as it wanted to BEFORE I got it to the wall. It also made it more pliable and easy to work with.

It also, unfortunately, made the surface less stable, which meant that I had more instances of ink flaking off the paper. In fact, I had to discard one whole 9′ strip, because of one crease-with-chipped-off-ink. It was small, but it happened near a light switch plate, so it was in a very obvious spot, so had to be replaced. Note: Always buy more than you need, so you will have extra in case of the need for repairs down the road..

Fudging the pattern, hanging things off-plumb, and not accepting flaky paper paid off, though. Despite all the little indescrepencies that I fret over, none of them are really noticeable at all, and the the finished room looks fantastic.

This wallpaper is by GP & J Baker, a British company. It’s in their Groundworks line, and is by Ashley Hicks, for her famous father, David Hicks, who is well known for his black, gold, and cream geometric patterns, the most well-known being the hexagon. Google it, or do a Search on my blog.

The interior designers for this job are Neal LeBouef and Anthony Stransky, of L Design Group. Wonderful guys, and I love their crisp, clean, sophisticated style. The home is in West University Place (Houston).

Fun Geometric Wallpaper in a High School Teen’s Bedroom

March 3, 2017
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

What 15 year old girl would not love this wallpaper pattern?! And when she leaves for college and her room gets turned over to guests, the paper will still be perfect!

One photo shows the use of my laser level, to be sure the first strip hangs perfectly plumb. I measured and centered the pattern on the wall horizontally, so it would fall perfectly behind the arched headboard, and the laser level was also useful to mark the spot for that fist strip to land.

This wallpaper pattern went on one accent wall, and the black ceiling really sets the room off! It is called “Riviera” and is by Cole & Son, a British company. It is on a thickish non-woven stock, and was a paste-the-wall install process.┬á Don’t tell anyone, but I think it looks a little like grasshopper heads.┬á ­čÖé

The interior designers for this job are Neal LeBouef and Anthony Stransky, of L Design Group. Wonderful guys, and I love their crisp, clean, sophisticated style. The home is in West University Place (Houston).

“Smoke” On A Floating Wall

January 13, 2017
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


This wall in the dining room of a very contemporary new home in the Spring Branch area of Houston “floats” in the middle of the room. This breath of smoke floating across the wall adds a distinctly ethereal feel.

The interior designer on this job is Neal LeBouef, of L Design Group, who was expertly assisted by Anthony Stransky. I love working for these guys. And homeowners love their creations, which are crisp, sleek, modern, a bit edgy, yet still warm and comfortable.

The smoke mural was custom made to fit the wall, and came from Murals Your Way https://www.muralsyourway.com/ , a member of the Wallcovering Installers Association (WIA). Their murals can be printed on various materials, and I chose the vinyl on an Osnaburg backing.

Each of the three panels was about 42″ wide, and they were meant to be overlapped and then double-cut (spliced) at the seams. Great care was taken to not get paste on either the surface of the mural or on the ceiling, and to not score the wall while splicing.

I have a specially made 2 1/2″ wide plastic tape that keeps paste off surfaces, and another special 2″ wide polystyrene plastic strip that protects the wall from cuts from the razor blade, and a specially made non-slip straightedge used as a guide while trimming. All of these were invented and made by fellow members of the WIA (Steve Boggess and Eunice Bokstrom). Probably boring for the average blog-reader, but exciting stuff for us paperhangers. These things really helped make this job turn out perfect.

Major Transformation – From Dark & Dated to Sleek, Serene & Modern

May 14, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


This under-the-stairs powder room in a townhome in Montrose (Houston) was originally papered in a dark murky blue striped wallpaper – very trendy back in the early ’90’s when this home was built (just like the shiny gold faucet and towel ring ­čÖé ).

Neal LeBouef of L Design Group is helping the new homeowners bring their home into the New Millennium, with a sleeker, cleaner, and more contemporary look.

I don’t like grasscloth in bathrooms because it stains and runs when it gets splashed with water, and I really dislike the shading and paneling (color variations between strips) inherent to grasscloth. But I really do like Neal’s choice of this faux grass product! Thibaut Designs’s Bankun Raffia is a faux grasscloth in a woven pattern that has real texture and a subtle shadowing effect. It looks a whole lot like the real thing, but is free of the color defects of real grass, and is much more durable in wet areas.

I have hung this pattern many times, and it always looks crisp and clean and serene and, depending on the color, tailored and handsome. It’s thick, which makes it a little difficult to work around corners, but after many hangs, I’ve got the corners mastered.

In this room, I was unable to get the original wallpaper off the walls. It was coming off in 1″ pieces, and the 1′ square section I did get off took more than an hour, and left the wall a mess. So I opted to smooth over any uneven areas, and then sealed the paper with Gardz, by Zinsser, which soaks into porous materials like this (won’t work on vinyl or anything with a gloss), and then seals it, drying hard. It dries fast, and is suitable for hanging new wallpaper on top of it.

In the second photo, you see one wall in the original dark paper, and the wall to the right covered with the new fake grasscloth. With all the walls covered, the new look is fantastic. The shiny gold faucets will be changed, and a new light fixture and mirror will be added.