Posts Tagged ‘pattern placement’

Three-Dimensional Square “Dots” on Pale Neutral Grasscloth

April 2, 2019


Thibaut’s “Union Square” wallpaper pattern is a response to the popular Phillip Jeffries’s “Rivets.” Thibaut’s looser design and pattern placement make it much easier to align with the walls and woodwork – including rooms that are out of square and out of plumb. Which is just about every house in every neighborhood in every state.

The 3-D squares are made of some kind of plastic stuff, and are virtually impossible to cut through with a razor blade or a scissors (such as when trimming at the ceiling door or window moldings). I was able to engineer the room so that I did not have to cut through any of those rivets! Because the PJ pattern is much tighter, this would have been virtually impossible.

Also, I found that my soft short-bristled smoothing brush worked well enough to press the material against the wall while skimming over the 3/8″ high square bumps (sorry, for some reason, the photo did not turn out). But my beloved plastic trapezoidal squeegee smoother was just about useless, because it would not accommodate the 3-D “rivets.” So I had to adjust my install tactics a bit, and figure how to get along without the plastic smoother.

This wallcovering is made of grasscloth, which provides the subtle texture that homeowners are loving these days. But because grasscloth is made of natural fibers, there can be a lot of variations between bolts, and even between strips off the same bolt.

For that reason, Thibaut not only notes the run number of a bolt of wallpaper, but also the sequence in which the material was produced (see photo). The idea is that if you hang strips sequentially, you will see less shading or paneling (difference in color between two strips of wallcovering). Thibaut’s insert also includes a LOT of jargon about the color differences inherent to natural products, and the admonishment to use the bolts and strips sequentially.

I used three double rolls / bolts of grasscloth for this entry. Two of the bolts (the first two in the sequence) were pretty homogenous in color. The room was small and had low ceilings, and so I was able to keep the three strips needed for the longest wall all from the same bolt (#1).

I cut my other full-length strips from the second bolt (#2). That left the third bolt (#3) for the many short pieces needed to go over the four doorways in the room. As you can see from the last two photos, even though it was the same run number and printed at the same time, this third bolt was noticeably different in color from the previous two. The background color is the same, but there is a lot – a LOT – more dark brown fibrous material that got worked into the woven grass material.

Keeping these darker strips over the doors was a good way to minimize this color difference. The strips were only 9″ high. If these strips had been placed side-by-side on an 8′ high wall, the color difference would have been abruptly noticeable.

Color variations are to be expected with grasscloth, or any natural product. But helpful labeling by the manufacturer, and careful plotting by the installer, can minimize these differences.

This ’60’s-era ranch-style home in the Briargrove neighborhood of Houston is very much a “sea of tranquility,” as the whole house is entwined in off-whites, creams, and tans, with various textures like rough wood, sisal, and this grasscloth, used to pull in depth and warmth.

The interior designer on this project is Layne Ogden, of Layne Torsch Interiors.

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Powder Room Papered in Purple Peonies

November 5, 2015
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The painted walls in this powder room were dull and uninspiring. This homeowner is an artist, and loves drama and color. Well, you can’t beat huge purple flowers to meet the cravings!

Regarding pattern placement, this room defied the rules of chance. I spent quite a bit of time plotting and measuring and calculating, to get the flower to land intact (not get any important elements chopped off) at the top of the wall, and still have the weighty part of it land at the top of the sink, and also fall dead-center behind the faucet. But after that first strip is hung, every subsequent strip falls as it will, and you cannot control pattern placement for the rest of the room.

However, on the wall to the right of the sink, the wallpaper pattern balanced itself out perfectly, with the dominant flower lining up smack down the center of the wall, and perfectly halved-flowers falling down the right and left corners of the wall (no photo). Then, to heighten the improbable, the dominant flower centered itself again on the rear wall, behind the toilet, with the two corners ending up with perfect halves of peonies on either side (not shown).

Finally, the last join ended with less than a 2″ gap, which I was able to disguise very nicely with virtually no disruption of the pattern (no photo 😦 ).

This all just defies the laws of physics and geometry and chance, and I was tickled and thrilled when it all worked out so perfectly. Best of all, the room looks fantastic – and the clients think I’m a genius! 😉

This wallpaper pattern is by Sanitas, and 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.