Posts Tagged ‘pattern’

Swallowtail in Heights Dining Room

September 29, 2022
This is a beautifully renovated and updated 2-story 1920’s bungalow in the Heights neighborhood of central Houston.
Unlike the trend for homes that are all white or grey , this family went for color and fun . In other rooms, the woodwork and walls are painted cheery yet soft shades of blue , orange , yellow , salmon , and green . You may be able to find some photos by doing a Search here.
The fun doesn’t stop with paint colors … Here is a colorful and visually active wallpaper pattern in the family’s dining room .
The pattern might be overwhelming floor-to-ceiling , so the board and baton wainscoting gives the eyes a resting place.
The pattern is called Swallowtail . Not sure if that refers to birds or butterflies , but either way, it’s a fitting description .
You can almost feel the swooping and swirling wings .
The homeowner chose sconces that coordinate beautifully with the theme of the wallpaper .
The manufacturer is Flat Vernacular . The material was pre-trimmed , and was printed on a non-woven substrate . It could be hung by pasting the paper or by pasting the wall (I pasted the paper, as I usually do). It was nice to work with.
Unlike most wallpapers that come in rolls of standard dimensions , this material was priced and sold by the yard , and came in bolts of continuous lengths .

Jungle Wild Cats for Toddler’s Room

September 22, 2022
Two walls in this bedroom to be wallpapered. Primed and ready!
The colors in the wallpaper work so well with the color of the other two walls and the woodwork.
This little girl sleeps with a lot of stuffed animals, so more jungle critters on the walls just makes sense!
Cheetahs, tigers, jaguars, wildcats ,,, you name it!
Majvillan brand from Sweden, Black Panther pattern name.
This non-woven material was stiff and somewhat difficult to work with. Pasting the paper rather than pasting the wall helped tame the beast, as did rolling the paper backward and securing with an elastic hairband for an hour to get rid of the curl .

Slightly Mis-Matching Pattern to Maintain Ceiling Line

September 22, 2022
When people talk about wallpaper, they often mention matching the pattern. Well, that’s the obvious element. But there is a whole lot more going on, and a lot of factors need to be juggled in order to make the finished room look good.
Here, I’ve opted to mis-match the pattern a little across the seam. You can see that the stripes on the trunk of the palm tree are aligned one notch off. This then throws off the match of the cat’s tail. Not much, though.
Why did I do this?
Blame it on old houses, shifting foundations, un-level ceilings and un-plumb walls.
In order to get the pattern to match perfectly in the corner (not shown), it threw the subsequent strips of wallpaper off-plumb. This in turn caused the motifs (the white leopard’s head) to start moving higher up on the wall toward the ceiling. Eventually, the leopard’s head would be cut off at the ceiling.
By dropping the pattern down just very slightly, as seen in the top photo, I was able to keep the cat’s head below the ceiling line, for uniform look as you look at the wall from a distance (second photo).
The minor pattern mis-match at the palm tree, cat’s tail, and a few other design elements were not readily noticeable. And it looked a whole lot more pleasing than a cat without a head!

Printing Error – Some Thick, Some Thin

September 20, 2022
See the difference between the motifs on these two different strips of wallpaper ?
The ones on the top are crisper and more distinct , with more space between the black lines. The motifs on the bottom have heavier black lines and appear a bit smudged .
Not a huge difference , but on the wall , especially from a distance , your eye would catch this.
Interestingly enough, all these rolls were from the same batch / run number (all printed at the same time with the same ink and printing press ). In fact, one roll started out “normal” and progressively got darker .
It probably would have looked OK to use this darker paper, especially since this was a powder room and you couldn’t step back far enough to see a number of strips next to each other.
But we had enough wallpaper that I could put these aside and use fresh strips with crisp ink to finish the room.
A good reason to always buy a little extra wallpaper !
The pattern is Les Touches and is by Brunschwig & Fils .

Two Color Rhythmic Print for Heights Breakfast Nook

September 7, 2022
Before. Grey and boring .
The built-in banquette seating has been removed.
Finished.
Closer look.
Showing the pattern centered on the wall, and with the shutters. The dimensions of the paper not corresponding well with the width of the window, along with logistics of pattern placement at the ceiling line but starting my first strip under the window all created some plotting and engineering challenges. Fun, but time consuming. But it turned out great!
The original idea was to just paper the nook area, ending at the vertical door molding. But it would have looked odd to stop the wallpaper above this doorway. So the homeowner and I decided to run the paper along the top of the doorway, and then down the left side (not shown), which dead-ends into some cabinets and the granite countertop. It looked good and was the right call.
It tickles me that this is quite obviously a riff on the very popular Strawberry Thief wallpaper pattern by William Morris , which is quite popular right now (do a Search here to see my installations of it). When a company comes up with a hit, you can be assured that a competitor will soon be making its own version of it.
The original has a lot more color, but this version is limited to just two colors. Even though there is a lot of contrast between the black and the white , the pattern doesn’t feel busy, because the design is so close and tight .
There is a lot of symmetry , repetitiveness , and balance in Wm Morris and similar styles .
I love the raised ink texture to this material .
Whoops! A slight pattern mis-match . The overall design is busy enough that small imperfections like this (as well as some color variations / shading ) are not really noticeable .
It’s odd to me that the printing defects are different in different strips / rolls of the wallpaper . You’d think that if the print roller was out of whack, it would create the same image every time it strikes the wallpaper surface. Or maybe it’s the trimmers that are off. If they had cut 1/16″ more off that left edge, we might have a perfect pattern match .
The manufacturer is York , one of my favorites , in their Sure Strip line, also one of my favorites.
It’s in the Magnolia Home collection , by, yes, Joanna Gaines , of HGTV fame with the show Fixer Upper .
SureStrip is a pre-pasted , thin , flexible , non-woven material that is easy to hang . It’s also easy to remove when you’re ready to redecorate , because it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to your walls .
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Busting a Myth – Dark Wallpaper Makes Rooms Look LARGER – Not Smaller

September 3, 2022
Everyone advised this homeowner not to put black in the dining room, that it would make the room too dark. But she had a vision and went with her gut. She was right – the room looks fabulous and elegant. And the texture and sheen on the walls visually expanded the space.
There is enough white molding in the room to play against the black. And the satiny drapes, along with the slight sheen of the grasscloth wallcovering bounce light around the room.
Accent wall in dining room. White swirls (look closely – they’re snakes!) add movement that make this wall lively, not closed-in.
In this master bedroom , everything’s dark – dark green walls , black ceiling , and black floral wallpaper .
If this accent wall had been left painted green , the room would have felt dark and lifeless . But the black against the green, along with the limited color pallet and the visual movement of the wallpaper pattern visually push the wall back and add depth .
This powder room started out all black. And it was a bit oppressive .
But add wallpaper with a little color and pattern , and now the room feels larger and alive with personality .
A powder room with black moldings and black wallpaper. Nothing claustrophobic here!
Another powder room that started out with black painted walls . Yes, it has an enclosed feeling.
Wallpaper with a black background and dark flora / fauna open up the space.
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Just A Whisper Of Color And Texture

August 30, 2022
Dining room in the Oak Forest area of Houston, before. All white and crisp – but bland .
Here with just a touch of color and texture . The homeowner took my suggestion to use an embossed vinyl faux grasscloth product, which is very consistent in color .
The problem with real grasscloth is that so very often there are disappointing color variations between strips , even if they come off the same roll . We call this shading and paneling . Do a search here to see previous posts about this.
Note that with both materials you will see the seams. With this faux material, once you got 3′ away, you can’t see the seams at all.
The paper along the top of the wainscoting chair rail is to prevent my wallpaper primer from splattering onto the molding . I do the same for baseboards and bathroom backsplash es .
Opposite corner done.
Close-up showing the realistic texture of the vinyl product .
This is by Designer Wallpapers and was purchased from the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village , by Dorota , who has been selling wallpaper for 25+ years and is THE expert on helping you select your perfect pattern .

Tall Trees in Powder Room

August 28, 2022
Before, primed and ready for wallpaper .
Just about everything in this house is white – walls , furniture , accessories . Serene, but kinda blah.
The homeowner wanted to add a pop of color and chose the powder room to be the fun room .
I love the way the pattern seems to push the walls away and makes the room look larger . In addition, the strong vertical element of the tree trunks adds a lot of energy to the space.
I love the burnished gold fixtures with the green paper .
This very popular wallpaper pattern is called Raphael and is by Sandberg . It comes in a lot of colors – I’ve done a bunch of them! This is made in Sweden and is a non-woven material , also called paste the wall . It is more durable and breathable than traditional papers, and will hold up nicely in a bathroom .
The home is in the Oak Forest area of Houston .
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Welcoming Room for Mother-in-Law

August 24, 2022
This young couple hosts the mother / mother-in-law a few times a year, and are lucky enough to have a private spare bedroom for her. To make it special, they wanted to jazz up the area a little. Enter this fun and whimsical wallpaper pattern .
The room before was a pretty shade of murky teal – but needed personality and warmth.
The wall started out with a light orange peel texture . I skim-floated the wall, and then sanded it smooth .
Along the baseboard at the floor , here’s the dust from sanding , along with the sanding sponge I use – this is a modern take on the idea of wrapping sandpaper around a block of wood .
I tack painter’s plastic across the wall from ceiling to floor to prevent dust from getting into the room or onto the furniture .
Here’s the wall smooth and primed , ready for wallpaper .
Since this is a dark wallpaper and I want to be sure that the white wall does not peek out from behind the seams, I stripe dark paint along the wall under where the seams will fall. Because non-woven papers don’t expand when wet with paste , it’s simple to measure the width of your strips and plot out where each seam will fall. Use the laser level as your guide . Do a Search here (upper right hand corner) to read more about this technique.
I use craft paint from Texas Art Supply (or any hobby store ), diluted with water from a Gatorade bottle cap , and applied with a scrap of sponge .
Further insurance is taking a chalk pastel (never oil pastel – oil bleeds and will stain wallpaper) and running it along the edge of the wallpaper strip – from the backside to avoid staining the surface – to cover the white substrate the wallpaper is printed on. This is to prevent white from peeking out at the seams , which can happen with dark papers.
Centering the first strip in the middle of the wall, and using my laser level to ensure the strip is nice and straight and plumb .
Note: The strip is not centered on the wall. The dominant pattern element is. Notice that the center of the dominant pattern motif – the white circular flower – is 3.5″ to the right of the left edge. This means that I had to position the left edge of the wallpaper 3.5″ to the left of the center of the wall, in order to get the round white flower to fall down the center of the wall.
When you look again at the finished photo, you’ll notice that the white flower falls down the middle of the walls, and that it also appears at equal distance from both the right and left walls.
Most people wouldn’t be able to put their finger on this symmetry , but it is something they subconsciously notice , and it lends a feeling of orderliness to the room.
As orderly as you can be, that is, with pigs dancing around the meadow dandelions !
Finished accent wall . The three other walls painted in blue were a bit of a surprise, because one would think the more dominant color of green would be used. But with so much green in the wallpaper, green on the walls, too, would have been too much, perhaps. I like the cool feeling that the blue creates .
There is plenty of the exact same blue in the wallpaper pattern to tie the walls and wallpaper together.
Close up shows the stamped printing technique .
You’ve gotta love a frolicking pig in a hand-knitted sweater!
This pattern is called Hoppet Folk and is in the Wonderland line by Borastapeter , a Scandinavian company .
It’s a nice, sturdy but flexible non-woven material that can be hung via the paste the wall installation method .
In addition, this product will strip off the wall easily and in one piece , with no damage to your walls, when it’s time to redecorate.
This is a very popular pattern, and I’ve hung it more times than I can count, just in the last two or three years. It does come in other colors – but most people gravitate toward this black version.
The townhome is in the Rice Military area of central Houston .

Overscaled Tropical Mural Works Like Wallpaper

August 19, 2022
What an ultra-cool pattern ! And jungle foliage is a popular concept right now. This one really fills the space! What’s cool is that this accent wall is covered in a mural , rather than a traditional wallpaper pattern with repeating motifs .
But it’s being used like a wallpaper, by placing it on all four walls of this room .
This is in a new book by York , which is one of my favorite brands. It comes in a set of six panels.
I didn’t get to check if it’s a set size or if it can be custom-sized to fit different height walls. But it does continue from one mural to the next, meaning that you can place murals next to each other and have the pattern continue around the room.
Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village has this product. (713) 529-6515
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