Posts Tagged ‘pattern repeat’

Jungle Dreams in a West Houston Powder Room

December 22, 2018


This home in the Briarpark neighborhood of West Houston was damaged in the flood from Hurricane Harvey. During the rebuild, the young homeowners did a major update, and now you would never guess the house dates to the ’70’s.

The powder room wasn’t very groovy, though. It had high ceilings and bare drywall walls. The woodwork was painted a chocolate brown, and the vanity was a muddy charcoal grey. The room was just screaming for some personality.

This “Jungle Dream” pattern by Aimée Wilder fills those tall walls perfectly. It’s a really cute pattern with a lot of animals and plants – the more you look, the more you discover.

The super-long 44″ pattern repeat eats up (and wastes) a lot of paper, but it ensures that you don’t keep seeing the same design element over and over.

The dark brown ink on a light tan background coordinates beautifully with the paint on the room’s trim.

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A Long Pattern Repeat = A Lot of Waste

January 31, 2018


This wallpaper pattern has a long repeat (the number of inches that go by between one design element and the next time it appears further down the wall) that did not sync up well with the wall height. In addition, it was a straight across pattern match (the same design motif is at the top of the wall on every strip). Both these situations eat up a lot of paper.

That means that you have to unroll and cut off a lot of paper before you get to the particular element of the design that you want at the top of the wall. In today’s case, with a 24″ pattern repeat, I was throwing away about 22″ of paper for each strip that went up on the wall.

By the end of the day, there was quite a pile of it. You can’t tell by the photo, but that roll of 22″ scraps is about equal to a full single roll, possibly more, of wallpaper.

This is a good reason to always buy a little extra paper.

Flaw of the Day – Spots

May 21, 2017

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See the two dark spots on this wallpaper? I suspect that someone at the factory put his fingers on the paper at the wrong time.

There were two of these sets of dark spots within one pattern repeat near the top of a bolt of wallpaper, ruining the first 30″ or so of paper. Then later I was hanging a strip and discovered another pair of spots at the top of the strip. This ruined a full 8′ strip.

Another reason to always buy a little extra paper.

A Word to the Wise – Measuring, Ordering, Prepping Walls

May 15, 2016

People! Please do NOT let your painter or handyman or Uncle Billy “prep the walls for paper.” They may be good at painting or at general home repairs, but they do not know the intricacies of wallpaper, or what constitutes a properly smooth and sound and sealed surface, nor are they familiar with or know where to purchase wallpaper-specific primers. Trust me – I am much better at wall prep than they are.

As I tell my clients, “You can pay your painter to prep the walls, but you will have to pay me to do it over again.”

And, People! Please do NOT pull out your ruler and calculator and try to measure the room yourself, and do NOT go by any “guides” posted on-line, nor by the calculations of someone who works in a paint store and has a few wallpaper books on display.

Figuring up how much wallpaper to buy is multi-faceted, and can be tricky. Many concepts need to be factored in – type of paper, manufacturer, pattern repeat, width of paper, length of roll, height of wall, on and on.

And, People! Do NOT order your paper until the walls have been properly measured by a professional. A professional PAPERHANGER, that is, not a professional painter or Sheetrocker.

Bold Wall of Poppies in a Home Office

March 5, 2016
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Wow, this was a fun install today… Just look at the fabulous pattern and colors!

The young homeowners of this nicely updated bungalow in the Heights have an “industrial modern” décor, and this bold poppy pattern in army mud brown with bright fuchsia accents was the perfect choice to wake up one wall in the wife’s home office.

The homeowners ordered their paper before I measured, and at first I thought they didn’t have enough, because their 10′ high ceilings eat up a lot of paper. But the pattern repeat and drop match worked perfectly with the wall height, so I was able to get an extra strip out of each bolt of paper, leaving plenty of paper to complete the wall.

This pattern is called “Arizona” #W5801 by Osborn & Little, a British company, and was printed on the traditional pulp stock (rather than the non-woven material they are using more and more these days). It was nice to work with, but has no protective coating, so will not hold up to touching, washing – or painter’s tape.

The color of the paper works beautifully with the color of the door, but it was immediately evident that the blue-grey on the other three walls was “off,” so they’ll need to repaint with a complimentary color. I had to give them my lecture about not letting the painters put tape on the wallpaper – because when the tape is removed, it will take the inked layer right off the backing. Solution? Hire CAREFUL painters. 🙂

You Can’t Put Every Square Foot of Paper on the Wall

November 10, 2014

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See this big pile of grasscloth? All of the paper lying flat on the floor, as well as the three short rolls standing on end are bound for the trash can.
The rolls on the left under my table are the tail ends of rolls and, even though they are 7′ long, because the walls are 8’2″, none of that paper can be used.

That’s a lot of wallpaper there, a lot of square footage, that is going to waste.

The reason I’m pointing this out is because it’s not uncommon for people to measure their room themselves, get out their calculator, and figure to the exact square inch how many rolls of wallpaper they think – THINK – it will take to paper their room. Inevitably, they are wrong.

Most of the time, people forget about the waste factor for trimming at the ceiling and floor, cutting around doors and windows and cabinets, matching the pattern, etc. All those bits can add up to a whole lot of paper that gets cut off and thrown away, because the pieces are too small to use anywhere in the room.

It’s hard to see how pretty this paper is, but it’s a finely woven grasscloth, natural color, with silver metallic background showing through. It’s by Thibaut Designs, and the interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs. http://www.pamelahopedesigns.com/

No Pattern Repeat. Oh, Really??! A Primer on Pattern Repeat and Pattern Match

June 14, 2014

Digital ImageThe instructions on this wallpaper by Brewster say that there is a “0cm” pattern repeat. That’s not possible. Except for a true stripe, EVERY pattern has a repeat.

A “pattern repeat” is runs vertically, and it means when, for example, the same grey circle repeats itself somewhere further down the roll of wallpaper. Because wallpaper is printed on huge rollers, once the roller makes a full turn, the pattern HAS to repeat.

What this wallpaper pattern does NOT have is a “match.” A pattern match runs horizontally, and refers to how one pattern element lines up with the same element on the next strip.

Please Buy the Amount of Wallpaper I Tell You to Buy!

January 24, 2014

Digital ImageI am only half-way finished hanging this large kitchen, and look at all the wallpaper that has to be discarded, due to matching the pattern or cutting around doors and windows.

This is important to keep in mind, when measuring for and ordering your wallpaper. You cannot use every square inch, and sometimes there is significant waste of unusable pieces.

It’s not uncommon for prospective clients to get out their tape measures and calculators, and then insist that they need less paper than I tell them to buy. It’s important to have a professional (me!) measure accurately, and to factor in the pattern repeat, elements in the room, and other contributors to waste.

Laugh of the Day

October 10, 2013

Digital ImageThe label says the pattern repeat is 6 3/4″.
Really, it’s more like 3/4″.

York Wallcoverings must have just been using some old labels, I guess.

Weird and Unnecessary Long Pattern Repeat

March 21, 2013

Digital ImageDigital Image“Pattern repeat” refers to how many inches go by before a design element (in this case, a particular leaf) is repeated on the paper. Depending on the exact height of your walls, a very long repeat can mean you need to buy a lot of extra paper, just to match the pattern. 25 inches is fairly long. A “Straight Match” means that the same leaf is at the top of the wall on every strip. A “Drop Match” means that the leaf drops down the wall 1/2 the distance of the pattern repeat on every other strip.

The label on this bolt of Thibaut wallpaper said it had a 25 1/4″ pattern repeat, and a drop match. I took the first photo because, as you can see, the repeat is only 5 inches, and it repeats horizontally straight across, not half-dropped.

But I got fooled today. And it was embarassing. And could potentially have cost enough paper that it would have been impossible to finish the room. Here’s what happened:

I laid the paper out to see what the pattern match was, as in the first photo. I cut the four strips needed for my first two walls. The first strip went up fine, and the second strip matched perfectly. But the third strip, cut from the same bolt of paper, did not match. It matched in some areas, along some stems and leaves in the pattern, but not in others. See the second photo.  (Click to enlarge.)  The pattern matches at the bottom, but is off a little at the top of the photo.

At first, I thought the manufacturer had miscut the paper. I studied, recut, rematched, rehung, rethought, redid and reflected. Finally I realized that every leaf that LOOKED the same was NOT ACTUALLY the same.

Take a look at the second photo. Right by the pencil, see the stem that is curved downward like an upside-down “U” ? Now look below it, and you will see the same upside-down “U” shaped stem. But look closer – it’s not EXACTLY the same!

On the upper stem, there are five leaves, and the bottom one points to the left. But on the lower stem, identical in shape, there are only four leaves, and the bottom one points to the right. Also, on the left side of the seam, on the top stem, right at the seam, there is an extra little short bit of stem. On the lower stem, there is none.

Man! You have to have good eyes, and a lot of patience, to see that. And it’s important, because even a little mis-match, even on a busy pattern like this, will be noticeable.

What I don’t get is, why would the designer make a pattern that is ALMOST the same, but not exactly? To relieve monotony? Naaah. In a busy pattern like this, your eye is not going to notice the tiny difference in one leaf pointing to the right and one pointing to the left.

The only reason I can think of is – to eat up more paper. And thereby to SELL more paper. You see, as mentioned above, long repeats can eat up a lot more paper. In this case, I think the long repeat is unnecessary, and a silly thing for the designer / manufacturer to do.