Posts Tagged ‘pattern’

Skooshing to Better a Kill Point

September 22, 2020


Re the dining room in yesterday’s post … a kill point is the point in a room where your last strip of wallpaper meets up with your first strip. This virtually always results in a pattern mis-match. So we try to put it in a corner behind a door, or some other spot where it won’t be too visible.

But this room (see yesterday’s blog post) did not have any hidden corners. If I had placed the kill point in one of the four corners, you would have had an eye-jarring, 5′ long pattern mis-match.

The areas over the doors and windows were only about 5″ tall, and way up high, so are not very noticeable. Especially the one over the entry way, because people’s eyes are focused on the far wall. So I decided to put the kill point there.

In the top photo, about 1/3 from the right, the pattern ended only about 1/2″ from matching perfectly. To be honest, this is not a bad look, and would have been acceptable as a finish point.

But I knew I could make it look better.

I took the piece to the left and cut it apart, following the curvy design. I made two such cuts, turning it into three separate pieces.

Then I skooshed the pieces to the left, overlapping that excess 1/2″ (divided between the three strips).

In the finished photo, you can’t tell that the original pattern doesn’t match perfectly, nor that some of the motifs are 1/4″ narrower than they were originally printed.

From the floor, this kill point is undetectable.

First Wall of Farrow & Ball “Lotus” – Five Hours

September 11, 2020


Re previous recent posts, here is the first wall of this large master bedroom, hung with Farrow & Ball’s historic and popular “Lotus” pattern.

I hate to confide this, but, honestly, between setting up my equipment, cutting the strips, and hanging the six long and five shorter strips, this one wall took FIVE HOURS.

It’s one of those things that is easy to look at, but difficult to accomplish.

Hurdles were:
~ centering the pattern over and around the door
~ starting with a short strip over the door and getting it perfectly centered, as well as keeping both outer edges perfectly plumb
~ working with walls, door frame, and crown molding that were not plumb or level

It doesn’t sound all that hard. But for me, it took a lot of time.

I’m glad that I invested the time, though, because the perfectly balanced pattern falling down both sides of the door is the first thing you see when you enter this room.

Farrow & Ball “Lotus” Wallpaper

September 11, 2020


Getting ready to hang some Farrow & Ball brand “Lotus” pattern wallpaper.

This company is a class outfit (albeit not great quality, IMO, for many reasons).

Look at how slickly they’ve wrapped each bolt of paper, as well as protected the ends from being banged up during shipping. And then placed the whole kit and kaboodle in snazzy custom-fit cardboard boxes.

They provide you with instructions, along with different scale pictures of the design.

Small Under Stair Segment

September 1, 2020


Just a tad of the underside of the home’s curved staircase jutted into the under-the-stairs powder room. The homeowner and I considered leaving the underside white, like the ceiling. But we decided it would look better to have all surfaces covered with the wallpaper.

Getting wallpaper onto both surfaces of this element presented some challenges. First, the curves and irregularity of the drywall work meant that paper would likely twist and warp and go off-kilter. Next, the underside was not perfectly flat, so there was the likelihood of void areas where the paper would not stick to the surface. Also, the curves and angles mean that the design will be torqued off-plumb, leaving the animal figures crooked and also not straight along the ceiling line. Finally, you can only match the pattern in one place, so that means that we would be left with mis-matches in three of the four corners / junctions.

Luckily, this pattern was extremely amenable to looking good even if it went off-plumb, tracked away from the ceiling line, or didn’t match perfectly. In addition, the SureStrip line (by York) is very flexible and malleable, and it adheres well with minimal shrinking, even on a surface with undulations.

I decide to match the pattern at the bottom of the sloped wall, where it meets the vertical back wall. Since this wall was a little higher on the left side than the right, it angled the new strip above it a bit to the right. Not a big deal … It’s only 27″ high, and no one is going to notice that the animal motifs are leaning a tad. And definitely no one is going to notice that the vines are not perfectly vertical.

Note that before applying paper to the underside of the slope, I wrapped 1/4″ of the paper from the horizontal area onto the underside (photo 2). This does create a slight ridge when the paper is applied to the underside and overlaps onto this 1/4″ flap. But I like this method, because it creates a nice, tight bond, and it eliminates the possibility of gaps showing if the two surfaces of wallpaper were trimmed flush to the corner of that rounded edge (which is not absolutely perfectly straight).

So, speaking of that slightly rounded edge, as well as the one to the left of the slope, in both these areas, the wallpaper pattern could not be matched. Not a big deal. It doesn’t assault your eye at all. I’m very pleased with the way this turned out.

On to other things. In the upper left, you might notice that there are two monkeys next to each other. This is just a result of the way the pattern worked its way across the wall, after being fitted to walls moving back into a 90* angle, and to walls moving forward in a curve. I did do a little cutting along the vines, so the slight mis-match would be less noticeable than if it were a straight vertical break in the pattern.

You’d have to spend a lot of time looking up behind you at that exact point to even notice that the two monkeys are closer to each other than they “should” be.

Later, I did go back and use scrap paper to cut an appliqué of a rabbit – also trimmed along the wavy lines of the foliage – and pasted this on top of the monkey. Sorry, no photo. But seeing a rabbit instead of an ape successfully broke up the repetitiveness of the dual monkeys. Now, all you see are happy animals in a forest.

Cute As Can Be Pineapples In Clear Lake Powder Room

August 21, 2020


Originally, this powder room in a brand new home in the Clear Lake area south of Houston was painted a taupe-y grey, and the walls were heavily textured. This bright and crisp Pineapple pattern in navy on white really opened up and brightened the room, and made it fitting for a family with two toddlers.

It took a day and a half to smooth the textured walls, and a full day to hang the paper. The extremely un-plumb walls and un-level ceiling and floor and sink, and other features were all obstacles. The homeowner and I decided that it would be better to have the pattern match in the corners, and then let it run crooked along the ceiling and floor lines. Too complicated to get into here. But in the end, the finished room looks great!

I usually love Serena & Lily papers, but this time I encountered several printing defects. There was a slight pattern mis-match at the seams. There was a faint smudge on one motif at the point of every pattern repeat. And one bolt had a line of dark blue ink along the right edge that ran for several feet. AND … this bolt came with no label. I assumed it was a return, and was of a different run, and thus was unusable in this powder room Luckily, I usually have the homeowners order enough paper to accommodate issues like this.

Coincidentally enough, my Wallcovering Installers Association colleagues on our private Facebook page had just been discussing Serena & Lily papers, and a rash of printing defects and other issues that many installers had been experiencing lately.

Other than the printing defects and wonky walls, the paper went up nicely.

Serena & Lily papers (and other home good merchandise) can be bought on-line, or through their paper catalog – which they just mailed out recently.

Dramatic Artemis Black Floral Completely Changes Dining Room

July 26, 2020


Like many newish suburban houses, this Clear Lake (south of Houston) home is all pretty much a homogeneous light tan – every wall, every room. This is the homeowners’ first venture into wallpaper – and, boy, did they make the right move!

This salad plate-scaled, brightly colored floral design on a black background amplifies this dining room accent wall many times! The pattern comes in other colorways, but none of those would have the impact of this black version.

The wall was textured, so I had to skim-float it and sand that smooth, then apply a primer. In the photo, you see where I have striped dark paint under where the seams will fall, to prevent the white primer from peeking through. I also used black chalk (see photo) to color the edges of the paper, to prevent the white substrate from showing.

This wallpaper pattern is a multiple / quarter-drop pattern match, which is very complicated to plot and lay out. The House of Hackney company made it easy, by providing this material in a 4-panel mural format. See photo

In one photo, you see the strips arranged in the order they will be hung on the wall. Before hanging, these will be re-rolled backwards, so the unprinted white backing side is facing outward.

This is a non-woven material, and I hung it using the paste-the-wall method. When I am on the ladder and unroll the strip and working to get it into position, having the paper rolled backward keeps the printed side from coming in contact with the paste on the wall.

Non-woven wallpapers have a high fiberglass content, and do not expand when wet with paste, nor do they shrink when drying, so less chance of gaps appearing at the seams, and also you can get accurate measurements that won’t change. The fiber content also ensures that the wallpaper “should” strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

A few short hours after I left, the homeowners sent me some “finished” photos. I wish I were more tech savvy and knew how to get photos off of text and into this post, so I could show you the gorgeous room. But for now, you’ll just have to use your mind’s eye.

Colorful Raindrops in a Youngster’s Playroom

July 11, 2020


Isn’t this a cute pattern for all four walls of a playroom for a toddler (and soon to be new sister)?!

The little boy walked around the room naming colors in the raindrops. The wallpaper also has an interesting downward movement feel – which works well in this large room with three sets of French doors.

Soon the room will be full of stuffed animals, cars, PlaySkool furniture, and crayons. Don’t worry – the little tyke has already been “lectured” that wallpaper is for looking at… not for touching. 🙂

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest (Seabrook / York), in their Eco Chic line. It’s pretty nice to work with, although I think the factory had some issues with trimming the edges perfectly straight. Minor, though.

It 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.

The home is in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston.

Wallpaper in Magnolia Journal (JoAnna Gaines)

June 30, 2020


There was a nice multi-page spread in the current issue of Magnolia Journal on wallpaper. It talked about various ways it can be used, and how pattern and color can change a room.

Unfortunately, it mentioned peel & stick products as a viable option – they are NOT. Truly horrible stuff. Read my Page to the right.

The first photo is an unconvetional use of color and pattern. Love it.

Third photo, I have hung this pattern, or similar, a good number of times. It is a mural that can be custom-sized to fit your wall.

Fourth photo, “Daydream” by Hygge & West, is very popular and I have hung it many times. Not my favorite brand, because their ink fights their substrate, and tends to curl at the seams.

Palm and banana leaves are always popular. This photo shows how a really large scale can be used effectively in a small space.

Last photo, a really cool idea, to include wallpaper just in the area between the high wainscoting and the crown molding. Note also the dark colors of the wood and the wallpaper. This must be a custom-sized mural, or a border.

Both the room and the wallpaper are an updated take on the “frieze” borders that were common back in the 1910’s and 1920’s – the Art Nouveau and especially the Arts & Crafts decorating movements. Most often placed above dark paneled moldings in dining rooms and living rooms. Today, Bradbury & Bradbury is the most prominent maker of these authentic looking patterns. Interestingly enough, just this week I got a call from a homeowner wanting to put a B&B frieze in their historic home here in Houston.

Earthy, Natural Serenity on a Master Bedroom Accent Wall

June 26, 2020


The headboard wall had been painted a darker brown than the other walls in this master bedroom … but the homeowner sought a more soothing and comforting feeling for her bedroom – which has become something of a sanctuary, during these days of COVID and stay at home.

Interior designer Kandi Palella, of Kandi Contemporary Design, found this warm, earthy, organic wallpaper pattern. Viewed up close, it has the look of a hand-woven blanket … It really makes this room feel snug and welcoming.

Kandi coordinated other elements of the room (not pictured). Like a rug in the exact same colors and with the same woven texture. And artwork that includes leaves in the same color, as well as the scratchy fabric-like texture. One thing you can see are leaves reiterated on the bedspread, that are almost identical to the pattern on the wall.

This wallpaper is a non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method. The manufacturer is Chesapeake, by Brewster.

The home is in Porter, which is way north east Houston.

Crooked Wall

June 3, 2020


A crooked / bowed wall like this makes it difficult to match the wallpaper pattern perfectly.