Posts Tagged ‘non-woven’

Aesop’s Fables – Fairy Tales on a Bedroom Wall

October 12, 2019


You can almost see the gnomes and fairies peeping their eyes out from behind the trees and hillocks in this very fanciful wallpaper pattern.

And, no, it’s not a kid’s room – it’s an accent wall in the master bedroom of a new contemporary styled home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

The homeowners wanted the room to be dark, to encourage a good night’s sleep. The two flanking walls were painted a medium-deep green, while the TV wall (opposite the bed) is white.

There is a small vestibule leading from the hallway to this bedroom, and the homeowner is considering painting this a lime or olive green, pulled from one of the colors in the wallpaper.

I suggested taking a section of the left-over wallpaper and framing it. The black and very dark greens would sure pop out against the lime green walls… especially if it were wrapped in a raspberry colored metal frame! There are a few touches of this accent color in the berries on one of the trees in the design. What a perfect way to pull the two areas together!

The photos make the wallpaper look a little more blue than it really is … in reality, there are more greens in multiple hues than blues.

This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, one of our well-established British brands.
It is on a non-woven substrate, designed for easy installation and removal. I hung it using the paste-the-wall method.

This 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.

Something’s Buggin’ Me

September 29, 2019


The doors of this laundry room open to the upstairs hallway of a busy young family in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. The mom wanted to see something more cheery than a drab painted wall.

The butterflies and beetles on this wallpaper have an iridescence that brings an almost life-like quality to the look.

This was a thin but stiff non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method. The stiffness made it a bit hard to work with, and it was prone to creasing, and also was difficult to fit in closely to the curves of the molding on top of the cabinets.

If it had just been a flat wall with nothing to trim around (cabinets, molding, ironing board door), the paper would have worked better. OR, the manufacturer could have just used a more flexible substrate.

This wallpaper is by Clarke & Clarke, a British company.

Gold-on-Black Versace Swirl Damask in a Powder Room

September 26, 2019


So you thought Versace was all about clothing and shoes … Well, that name is all over wallpaper, too!

The owner of this brand-new home in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston loves to entertain, and he wanted something in his powder room that would really rock the socks off his guests. As I like to say, you can get away with a lot of drama in a powder room – and he pulled it off!

This is a textured gold-and-black vinyl bonded to a non-woven backing. The material appears to have stitching (see close-up) – but that is just a design embossed into the thick vinyl.

What there IS that the homeowner was not expecting (bought from images viewed on-line, without seeing an actual sample) is a good bit of glitter.

There is just enough glimmer to reflect light and catch your eye, but not so much as to be overdone or gauche.

Cute Flowers for Guest Bedroom Accent Wall

September 25, 2019


This bedroom went from typical traditional suburban style to much more contemporary and fun, thanks to this line-drawing pattern with a playful take on potted flowers.

Just the headboard wall was papered, creating a focal accent for the room.

By Exclusive Wallcoverings, this is a non-woven product, and can be hung either by pasting the paper or by pasting the wall. Since there were no intricate cuts to make or obstacles to trim around, it worked nicely to paste the wall.

Non-woven papers tend to want to retain their curled-up state, which makes them difficult to work with. To get rid of that “memory,” and to prevent the decorative side from bopping into the paste on the wall, I roll the paper backwards and secure with a hairband, as you see in the photo. Once I’m up on the ladder, I undo the paper and let it unroll toward the floor, working it into position against the preceding strip as it goes.

This home is in the Kingwood neighborhood of Houston.

Peel & Stick = Piece of Sh!t

September 24, 2019


We’re seeing more and more of this peel-and-stick, supposedly “removable” and “repositionable” plastic wallcovering. Unfortunately, many homeowners read the lofty claims by the manufacturers and think it will be a perfect alternative to traditional wallpaper. It is not.

The stuff is awful – I won’t hang it, and most of my friends won’t either.

First of all, you don’t NEED an alternative to traditional wallpaper – you just need quality paper and someone who will properly prep the walls and then properly install the paper.

Getting back to P&S, the stuff is virtually impossible to hang. Imagine a 9’x2′ strip of Contact Paper, trying to position that on a wall without it wrinkling or sticking to itself, and then trying to butt another strip up next to it. Not gonna happen. It also does not “remove easily” … well, it does, but it will tear your wall apart in the process.

These homeowners had some guys doing other work in the nursery, and they said they could hang the wallpaper, too. They weren’t experienced paperhangers, and they weren’t up to the battle against this P&S. Virtually no one is.

First, they should have smoothed out the textured wall. Second, most P&S products spec that the wall should be sealed with a semi-gloss paint, which needs to dry and cure for two weeks. As you can see, this adds time and labor charges to the job.

I’m not sure why there are gaps at the seams (top two photos), but better prep would surely have helped prevent this. The large wrinkles are due to the inflexiblity of the material and its unwillingness to twist or stretch into position. With the baby on the way, the homeowner dad got desperate and used nails to try to tack down the curling paper.

The baby girl arrived, the parents lived with this wall for a while, and, when life settled down, they contacted me. I counseled them to forget the P&S and to choose a traditional wallpaper.

They zoomed in on this butterfly pattern by SuperFresco. This material is one of the newish non-woven materials, which contain a component of fiberglass and thus don’t expand or shrink, and won’t tug at the wall, so fewer worries of seems popping loose. These qualities also make it possible to dry-hang the paper, by pasting the wall instead of pasting the paper. I usually paste the paper, but on a single accent wall such as this (no toilets or sinks or fancy moldings to work around), pasting the wall works beautifully. It also saved me lugging my heavy, bulky work table up to this townhome’s third floor. 🙂

Removing the P&S paper was easy – it is strong and held together while I tugged it off the wall … I could do it all from the floor, without even climbing the ladder. Unfortunately, it took much of the paint along with it. So much for the “removable” claim.

It was still as sticky as the day it was born – so I rolled it all up and stuck it to itself and tossed the whole mess into the trash. Done and gone!

I skim-floated the wall to smooth it, sanded smooth, vacuumed, wiped residual dust off the wall with a damp sponge, and then rolled on Gardz, a penetrating primer-sealer, that also is a great undercoat for wallpaper.

All that (especially waiting for the smoothing compound to dry) took several hours. I think it was about 6:00 before I started hanging wallpaper!

Thin non-wovens generally go up with pleasingly invisible seams, and this one did, too. I was surprised to discover more than a few large wrinkles and bubbles. This could have been because the paper got twisted during installation, because the wall was smooth but not flat, because of some uneven reaction between the substrate and the paste which caused off-gassing (burps!), or some other reason. But it meant that I had to go over the wall several times, checking to be sure all areas were firmly secured to the wall.

The finished accent wall looks great! It’s a gentler pattern and a quieter color, and doesn’t hit you in the face as the original floral pattern did. There’s a little bit of fun shimmer in the scattered pearlized butterflies, and the blue-grey wings coordinate nicely with the three grey walls in the rest of the room.

Finally, Baby Girl is ready to move into her own room!

“Etched” Foresty Look in a Baby’s Nursery

September 22, 2019


This “Bellwood” mural by Rebel Walls is very similar to the “Etched Arcadia” mural by Anthropologie (do a Search here to see my previous installations). Either way, this is a wonderful idea for a nursery, and a cool alternative to the usual pink flowers or dinosaurs that many parents choose.

This mom-to-be was originally uncertain about papering the 3-walled alcove (which will house the changing table) (see third and fourth photos), because someone planted the idea that it would get soiled quickly. I’m glad I convinced her to take the plunge – the room really does look better with both the accent (crib) wall papered, and the changing table nook.

This product is a mural, and came in panels that had to be hung sequentially (as opposed to regular wallpaper with a repeating pattern). No photos of the plotting involved, but you have to roll the panels out on the floor to ensure the correct sequence. I made sure to center the low part of the pattern around the changing table, so the high part of the trees cradled it on either side of the niche. I really like the way this turned out.

Additional plotting was required to plan the area over the door and then the 1 1/2″ wide space to the left of it (not shown). All this measuring and plotting has to be done before the homeowner orders a custom-sized mural like this. Another reason to have the paperhanger see the room BEFORE you order your paper.

This paper is a non-woven material, and has a high fiberglass content. That makes it easy to remove when it’s time to redecorate, but it also makes it easy to clean in the case of accidents.

So this mom should go on to change diapers with confidence, all the while enjoying the unique look of her baby’s nursery.

This home is in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston.

The textured walls were smoothed by the painting company, CertaPro. Usually I insist on doing my own prep, but it worked for the homeowner to have the paint crew get the messy smoothing part out of the way. AND … I know the CertaPro guys, and I knew I could trust them to do a good job. And they did. All I had to do was apply a wallpaper primer, and then hang the paper.

Soaring Shore Birds

September 5, 2019

Originally, the walls in this second-floor powder room in a large home in the Memorial Villages neighborhood of Houston were completely covered in baseballs! Even the knobs on the vanity were shaped like baseballs. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the “before” room. … But maybe that is a good thing … …

Yesterday I stripped the baseballs off, and today I replaced them with flocks of birds soaring to the northeast. I like the new look much better!

This wallpaper pattern is by A Street Prints, and is on a non-woven substrate, and can be hung using the paste-the-wall method or the paste-the-paper method. As usual, I preferred to paste the paper.

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.

More William Morris – Woodland Heights Master Bath and Closet

September 2, 2019


Here is a wonderfully renovated and updated 1925 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. It pretty much has the all-white decorating scheme going on. The homeowner wanted to inject a little warmth into the master suite, and chose this beautiful historic pattern in muted colors, by William Morris.

I put it on two opposing walls in the master closet, and on one wall in the master bathroom, directly across from the sink and mirrors. It is a fantastic compliment to the grey-veined marble counter top, and the darker grey paint on the vanity. (Sorry, no photo) And it adds the warmth and character the homeowner was seeking.

William Morris was a popular designer during the Arts & Crafts movement around the turn of the last century. His patterns are very stylized and rhythmic.

This is a British-made paper, and is printed on the pulp stock (rather than the new non-woven material that most British companies are moving to). You have to know a few tricks to working with it, but it goes up beautifully and will hold up for a good long time. It does not have any coating, however, so will be susceptible to splashes and stains.

The interior design firm for this project is Four Square Design (Laura and Sarah worked on this home). They work primarily with older or historic structures, and have saved many a beautiful home from being torn down.

Some Non-Woven Wallpapers Crease Easily

August 22, 2019

Non-woven wallpapers are getting more and more common, and they have many advantages. Some of them, though, are what I describe as thick and spongy, and they can present some challenges when installing.

For instance, this paper is so thick that it does not like to be pushed tightly against a corner, ceiling, or molding. Well, you have to push it tight against the edge before you trim, so you get a cut that is all the way up to the molding, with no gaps.

Unfortunately, this particular material will crease very easily when manipulated into these areas. Look at the top of the photo, right under the wooden ledge. Trying to work around more complicated elements (pedestal sink, intricate crown molding, narrow area, etc.) can cause more creasing.

Not all non-wovens do this, but I have found that those by Cole & Son are likely to be problematic.

(Don’t pay attention to the slight pattern mis-match … These strips were placed under a counter where they are mostly hidden. I intentionally raised the pattern on one strip in order to keep a particular design motif at the right height where it hit the baseboard.)

Cole & Son Colors the Edges

August 22, 2019

Dark papers are always a little scary, because if they are printed on white stock, when the paper dries and shrinks a tad, there is always the chance that a teeny bit of white will show at the seams. Some companies minimize this by printing on a dark stock – but that is rare.

Another thing you can do is take chalk or water-based marker and color the edges of the paper. It works pretty well, but is time consuming.

This company – Cole & Son – went one better, and made sure that ink from the surface got onto the edges of the paper as well. So there are no white edges to peek out at the seams.

In addition, because they printed on a non-woven material, which is made of synthetic fibers and is dimensionally-stable, it won’t shrink when it dries, further reducing the chance of getting gaps at the seams.