Posts Tagged ‘oak forest’

Transforming a Stark Hallway

October 7, 2017

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This young couple in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston has a beautifully updated and furnished 1940 ranch style home. But they wanted to up the volume, so to speak, and thought that this hallway, which slices through the center of the home, would make a fine focal point.

I’ve hung this classic damask pattern twice before, and was carrying around a sample of it when I visited them for an initial consultation. They liked it immediately, and, after considering several other patterns, decided on the damask.

To make the area really special, they added a chair rail and crown molding.

It’s hard to get a good shot of a long, narrow hallway. But you can see how the color and pattern adds warmth and dimension to the space, and the lightly pearlized shimmer of the paper definitely adds a touch of understated glamor.

Since the chair rail was a main feature of the room, I positioned the pattern so that the bottom of the damask motif landed just above the chair rail. Likewise, the top of the motif sits just below the crown molding. This looks a lot better than having part of the design chopped off in mid-motif.

This wallpaper is by Designer Wallpapers, and was delightful to work with. It 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.

In fact, the couple is going to meet with Dorota tomorrow, to choose a complimentary paint color for the bottom portion of the walls.

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“Sigourney” Wallpaper in China Seas Collection by Quadrille

June 16, 2017

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This “Sigourney” design by Quadrille is a well-loved wallpaper pattern. It comes in a large and a smaller scale. Today I hung the larger pattern.

This went in the large and sunny breakfast area of a new home in Oak Forest (Houston).

The wallpaper had a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand, before the paper could go up. The heavy inks smell like mothballs, and fight against the paper backing, causing the paper to “waffle” (pucker) and the edges of the paper to curl.

My table-trimmed seams curled and didn’t want to lie down against the wall, so I ended up double-cutting (splicing) all the seams. Double-cutting involves a lot more steps and materials than simply butting factory-trimmed seams.

So this job took a lot more time and sweat than expected, but turned out looking fabulous.

Heads In The Sand On A TV Wall

August 28, 2016
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The homeowner saw this paper and fell in love with it. She wanted it on an accent wall in the living room; a big-screen TV will be mounted on the wall.

The home has a mid-century modern vibe to it, and is in the far west section of Oak Forest (Houston). The wallpaper manufacturer is Bespoke, a British company.

This pattern is darned cute – I have hung it before, in fact. I knew it would look good on the wall, but it wasn’t until I had finished and stepped back that I got the whole picture, and grasped just how perfect this paper is for this room.

The big birds add a clever bit of whimsy to the room, and, because the design is printed with only one color, there is not a lot of busyness to distract the eye.

Personally, I think I would rather look at the wallpaper, than watch the TV. 😉

Warming Up an All-White Bathroom

July 9, 2016
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This is a nicely done bathroom in an attic conversion of an older home in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston. The homeowners loved the look, but, with white subway wall tile, white floor tile, white vanity, pale cararra marble counter top, and white wall paint, they thought the room felt cold. They were right. They were also right when they thought that a subtly-colored wallpaper would warm up the room.

This trellis pattern in grey-on-white is perfect for this room. It adds just the right definition between the wall space and the white tile and wood, while sticking with the monochrome color scheme of the room.

The homeowner originally was thinking of papering only two walls in the room, and leaving several detached walls painted white. I suggested that papering all the wall space would give a more cohesive look. She took me up on it, and once the room was finished, it was very clear that papering all the walls was the right choice.

Because the room was built into the eaves and sloping roof of the home’s attic, there were lots of vaults and angles and tricky turns to work around. These took a lot of time, and ate up more paper than a room with a flat ceiling would. The last photo shows the pile of remnants that were left after matching the pattern and cutting around the angles, doors, and vanity. It also takes extra paper to match the pattern properly in the corners. Again, I’m glad the homeowner listened to me and ordered the amount of paper I recommended.

This classic trellis pattern is by Brewster, and was bought on-line directly from the company. It is a non-woven material, and a paste-the-wall product.

Berlin Wall Graffiti Wallpaper Today!

October 30, 2015

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Wow – isn’t this a cool wallpaper! This is a photograph of a section of the Berlin Wall, complete with graffiti. I hung this in a home office in a brand new, contemporary style home in Oak Forest, in Houston, and, boy – in a house with all white walls, it sure energizes the space!

It is produced as a photo mural by Photo Wall, and is custom made to fit this wall. It came in seven panels, with six of them being 17 3/4″ wide, and the last being a mere 2 3/4″ wide. I wish the homeowner had told me she was using a photo mural, because I would have liked to have helped her measure and order. It turned out that the mural was the proper height (including sufficient extra for trimming at top and bottom), but was a 5″ short for the width of the wall. (Note to self: Always have a professional measure the space, before ordering wallpaper.)

With a custom-made product, you can’t just go and order an extra piece that is 5″ wide. The pattern won’t match, the color will be off, and there will be a delay and possible extra expense in getting that last strip up. Ordering a whole new mural would be expensive, for replicating materials and labor.

So we opted to hang the mural in the center of the wall, splitting the difference and leaving 2 1/2″ of uncovered wall on either side of the mural. I suggested the homeowner have her carpenter apply molding around the edges, to look like a picture frame or window casing, and she liked that idea.

This mural was digitally printed, and came on a non-woven substrate, and was a paste-the-wall product. It was very difficult to get this stiff, plasticy material to wrap around the rounded, bull-nosed edges of the window, and I had to do some tricks with this mercifully forgiving pattern, to get the four corners to look good. I won’t go into all the details, but, bottom line, the window, and the room, look fantastic!

Last photo – I thought this was cute – Photo Wall even included a set of wallpaper installing tools, and even included a packet of powdered paste. They make a DIY-friendly* product, and are affordable, too boot. *Note: With these 12′ high walls, and that complicated window, this particular project would not be considered “DIY-friendly.”

Oval Geometric Strip in a Powder Room

September 23, 2015
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This oval and knotted geometric design in indigo on white is clean and crisp, and it has both a modern and a nautical feel.

I hung this in a large powder room with 12′ high ceilings in a new home in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston. Those 12′ high walls tended to get off-plumb / bowed in the center (where the sheets of drywall were joined), and, with a rigid, specific design like this, there were some real challenges in getting the pattern to match in the corners. Two of those corners took me a half an hour each – but I got ‘er done, and you can’t detect any pattern mis-match.

The wallpaper is printed on a non-woven substrate, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate.

This geometric stripe is by A Street Prints, by Brewster (the manufacturer), and was bought from Wallpapers to Go, which is now named Luxury Wall Décor, and is in Stafford, a southwestern suburb of Houston. http://www.brewsterwallcovering.com/2625-21835-indigo-geometric-stripe.aspx.

Soft and Serene Entry in Oak Forest

September 21, 2015
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Here is an entry in a typical ’60’s – ’70’s ranch style home in a tidy neighborhood to the west of Oak Forest, in Houston. Originally, the top 2/3 of the walls was papered in a flocked (three-dimensional velvet-like) stripe in black and gold. When the previous homeowners hung new wallpaper, they skim-floated over the flocked paper (because it can be the Devil to get off), and then coated it with a clear sealer. Which is fine, and pretty much what I would have done, except that the joint compound (smoothing material) shrinks, and so it’s best to do two coats. Since they did only one coat, some of the ridges between the stripes remained, and these showed under the new wallpaper they put up.

The current homeowners stripped off that top layer of wallpaper, and intended to hang their new pattern, but realized it was beyond them, so they called me. Wise decision!

In the first photo, you see the wall as it looked once they stripped off the top layer of wallpaper. In the second photo, I have skim-floated and sanded the wall so it is smooth, and then applied a coat of sealer (I used Gardz, by Zinsser, a penetrating primer which is exceptional on porous surfaces like this) mixed with a little 1-2-3, also by Zinsser, to add some white pigment.)

In the third and fourth photos, you see the new paper. This pattern is a medium scale damask with a little “raised ink” texture, in white on pale gold. The lady of the house has an extremely good eye for decorating, and her style is pretty much pale neutrals and sparse, clean settings. This entry, which is open to the living room and dining room, enhances that look.

This wallpaper pattern is by WallQuest, in their EcoChic line, is made of a thin non-woven material with raised ink. It was very nice to work with, and it is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate. It 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.

Finished Dining Room

August 24, 2015
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Pictures shot on a rainy day = dark photos. Sorry. But I was tickled to have been able to see this room … You see, I hung this paper last year, in the dining area of a newly-married couple in a home in Oak Forest. When I leave, the walls are beautiful, but the room is not finished, so, when I went back today to hang paper in another room (they’re having their first baby, and I got to paper the nursery!), I got a look at how the dining room turned out.

The photo does not do it justice. This gal has a wonderful knack for design, and she has a bit of sass and glamor, too. There is a little sparkle in the wallpaper, and some sparkle in her throw pillows and on a few other accents around the room. I love the way she uses the bright turquoise vases to toss in a little unexpected accent color.

Period-Authentic Pattern in a Powder Room

June 16, 2015
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When I first visited with this homeowner, she showed me some wallpaper patterns she was considering. I looked at the style of her home, the antique furniture she had, her affinity for things old, and her “sweet” sentimentality toward decorating, and suggested she look at the designs offered by Trustworth Studios. http://trustworth.com/wallpaper.shtml

She and I were both thrilled when she took my advice. This beautiful wallpaper pattern is by Trustworth Studios, who specializes in recreating authentic designs by turn-of-the-century artists, including C.F.A. Voysey. This one is called “The Brambley.” (I have their “Bat and Poppy” pattern in my own powder room … do a Search here to find photos.)

Usually, I plan to have a certain element of the pattern hit the top of the wall at the ceiling line. What ends up at the bottom of the wall is not too important, because, really – who’s looking at the wallpaper at the floor?! But this room had a chair rail mid-way down the wall, so the bottom of the strip would be very visible. In the top photo, you see how I have placed a certain motif at the top of the wall. And, in the second photo, you see how I plotted it so that a whole element of the pattern lands at the bottom of the wall (which is the top of the chair rail, and fairly near eye-level). In this way, whole elements of the pattern appear at the top of the wall, and at eye-level, for a pleasing effect, and nothing gets chopped in half.

Note: Not all wall heights and pattern repeats work out this nicely, but when they do, it makes for a nicer effect.

In the third photo, you see the true color of the paper. (I have no idea why the first pictures show the paper as grey – it is not – it is blue, as C.F.A. Voysey originally created it.) You also see the selvedge edge, like you have in fabric when sewing clothing. This has to be trimmed off by hand, carefully and with special equipment, and a lot of time and patience.

Their papers take a little more work, but I absolutely love working with them. The trim marks are true, the paper trims nicely, the paper manipulates into place much better than most, the paper does not shrink (no gapping at the seams), the seams are invisible, it works with standard wallpaper pastes, and, if need be (I did not need to) paste can be washed off the surface with no problems.

The last photo is my ending point. In this powder room, in a new Oak Forest home, there was no “hidden” corner, so a mis-matched pattern in any corner would have been very visible. But the space over the door was only about a foot high, it was 10′ up, and decorative molding stuck out from the wall, pretty much hiding that area. So I kept the pattern true in all four corners, and put the ending point – which always ends in a mis-match – over the door, using a little creative scissors work to disguise the mis-match. It looks darned good, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Murky Background With Random Gold Metallic Stars on Oak Forest Dining Room Ceiling

June 12, 2015
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This homeowner had a good grasp of what she wanted for wallpaper in her new home. When she showed me photos of the antique furniture and Old-World artwork in her existing home, I suggested she look at the wallpapers made by a few specialty companies. I was thrilled when she took my suggestions – and she was, too. Because she found some truly fantastic and unique patterns to put in her home. (See yesterday’s post.)

This beautiful deep teal wallpaper with a random pattern of metallic stars is made by the Bradbury & Bradbury company in California, who specializes in reproducing or recreating authentic patterns from the Vicrorian, Arts & Crafts, and Moderninistic eras.

The paper is harder than most, because it comes with a selvedge edge that has to be trimmed off (painstakingly and time-consumeadly) by hand, and it calls for special paste. And putting wallpaper on a ceiling is trickier than it sounds.

Still, this job went well, and the client was very pleased.