Posts Tagged ‘powder room’

Whimsical Arabian Nights Dance in Powder Room

January 13, 2023
You’ve got to look at this close-up, to notice the antelope and flames / foliage .
You gotta make a decision … The light sconces (they are currently removed, but you can see the electrical boxes where they will be placed) were centered on the vanity top, but the faucet was off-center by about an inch. So I chose to center / balance the pattern on the sconces and countertop. The mirror will be hung between the two light fixtures, so we’ll end up with a pleasing, balanced look. The faucet isn’t exactly in the middle of the design motif, but no biggie – there’s going to be a mirror there, anyway.

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Corner going around shower. Note the window looking into the shower.
Although the website specs said this is a pre-trimmed non-woven material , that was incorrect. Turns out it had an unprinted selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand . Here I’m using my straightedge and razor blade to remove this selvedge. This takes precision and a LOT of time .
The manufacturer usually provides trim guides to help you know where to cut. But it’s usually better to trim to the pattern – determine an element in the design motif that will meet up with the corresponding motif on the opposite side of the strip when the strips are hung on the wall, and use that as your guide . Be sure to trim off the trim guide marks, or they will show on the wall.
The pattern is called Arabian Nights and is by Relativity Textiles . I’ve never worked with this brand before. I was not pleased . In addition to the incorrect information about the pre-trimmed paper , the mfgr’s specs said this was printed on a non-woven substrate . It was not. It wasn’t even printed on standard wallpaper stock . Instead, it was a pulp material – This is a sort of old-fashioned wallpaper , and is very brittle and prone to tearing and dragging (your trimming knife or razor blade will get snagged and you’ll end up with a ” chewed ” jagged cut, instead of a crisp cut . It also tears easily. It also has no coating, so it’s not stain-resistant … Not good in a busy household with a 3-year old toddler , or anyone splashing water or soap or air freshener .
It was also difficult to hang . Applying wet paste to the backing causes the substrate to absorb moisture and expand at a different rate from the ink on the surface. So you end up with wrinkles , waffling , and quilting .
Sponging a light bit of water on the front before pasting helps even out the moisture differential and ease installation . I’ve never before encountered a pulp that had this type of ink on the surface. One clue for this bad stuff is when you open the package and it smells like moth balls . Once I figured out how to work with it, , it went OK – although tedious . The seams did look very nice.
BUT … all this effort would have been unnecessary and the finished room would be more durable if the mfgr had printed on a non-woven substrate (as their on-line specs stated) and had used standard inks instead of this weird , smelly , high-end stuff. In fact, the material would have cost the homeowners a whole lot less $ if it had been normal ink on a non-woven backing .
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .
installer

Slight Problems With Katie Kime Wallpaper

January 11, 2023
There were eight double roll bolts of this wallpaper , to cover a large powder room in Houston.
Four were rolled so the pattern came off the top of the roll, and four were rolled the opposite way, with the bottom coming off first. This Katie Kime brand is custom-printed , so you can assume that all these rolls are from the same run , or batch . But maybe not - why are some forward and some backward ? Possibly the company substituted some returned goods, or some old stock they had sitting around the warehouse, for half of this order.
I didn't want to risk putting strips of slightly different shades on the same wall. So I had to carefully plot the room so I used the "forward" rolls on some walls, and the "backward" rolls on the others. This does eat up additional paper , so good thing I always have the homeowner purchase a little extra.
Also note the crease in the roll on the right. There were a few other creases in other rolls.

I have no idea what happened to the font in the section above, nor do I know how to get it back to the original. All I know is that I HATE this “New Editor” that WordPress foisted on us a few years ago. Perfectly HORRIBLE. And their Customer Service doesn’t care. Anyway … moving on …
Note the horizontal smudge next to the top of the capitol. Since this Austin Toile pattern has a 25″ pattern repeat, discarding this piece ate up minimum of 2′ of material (x 24″ width = 4 square feet) and potentially more, to get the correct pattern match.
Usually this brand prints on a nice non-woven / paste the wall substrate. But, like other manufacturers, Katie Kime has had supply issues obtaining raw materials . During the height of the Pandemic , they resorted to printing on some positively awful stuff. Extremely heavy , thick , un- pliable , stretched to the extent that the pattern wouldn’t match properly, and more. One was completely un-hangable and had to be sent back. I can’t find all my posts re those challenges, but here is one:
https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2021/07/21/katie-kime-tough-install-today-draft-messed-up-delete/
But they’ve since gone back to printing on their usual stock, and I’ve not had problems lately. So when I first picked up this box of 8 double roll bolts, I was surprised at the weight of it. Also the paper had a shiny surface and was obviously composed of vinyl . I couldn’t tell if the substrate was non-woven or paper . I feared they had gone back to printing on that bad material , or perhaps were using up what they had in the back of the warehouse .
There were no instructions included, nor any information at all – not even a brand name! Although I could find instructions on-line, you can’t be sure these are current and applicable to the rolls in the box. KK has amazingly good customer service , and you can usually get intelligent answers via phone or on-line chat … but my call to them went to voice mail , and then we got disconnected, so I gave up.
After hanging the first few strips, I figured out that this was a flexible vinyl on a non-woven substrate, so that part was good. However, the thickness of the material interfered with getting good, tight, flat seams , as you can see somewhat in the photo. The seams aren’t horrible, but a better non-woven without the vinyl usually produces almost invisible seams.
The surface was shinier than usual. Shiny tends to show every imperfection in the wall underneath. Here the thickness was a bit of a help, as it helped cushion any slight dips or pimples on the wall.
There was also an odd orange discoloration about 1.5″ long on the edge of one strip. Very faint, but I could see it, and sometimes these things end up catching your eye. I also worry that it might be some substance that will bleed into the paper and cause a larger stain over time. Of course, this popped up after I had hung a very difficult piece in a tight spot, and then hung the subsequent strip. In other words – no way was I taking it off the wall and re-doing. I cut out a design motif and pasted it over the area.
Another thing I was unhappy with has happened a number of times with KK paper. The pattern will match perfectly at the top of the wall, but begin to slide up or down, creating a mis-match , as you move down the wall. I think that a lot of it has to do with the vinyl material, because it’s stretchy. The weight of the paste and the vinyl will cause the bottom section of the strip to sag. This simply doesn’t make sense, though, because, if the paper is going to absorb moisture from the paste and expand (which many papers do), each strip should do so at the same rate, right? But not.
I finally deduced, correctly or not, that the pattern gets distorted as it’s wound into a roll. So my theory is that if you take your 10′ strips from the same position in each roll, the pattern should match. In other words, take a 10′ strip from the top of roll #1. Take your next strip from a brand new roll #2. Third strip from roll #3. Obviously, this leaves a whole lot of unused paper. For shorter areas like over doors, where it’s harder to see, and where you can fudge the pattern a bit, I used the paper from the insides of the rolls, again, roll #1 next to roll #2, etc. But this doesn’t work on every instance, so you’re gonna be stuck with many areas where the pattern doesn’t match perfectly across the seams. The solution is to match the pattern at eye-level , and then allow it to go off as it moves toward the ceiling and floor.
There were other issues with this paper that were disappointing to me. But not overwhelmingly awful. Most homeowners would not notice. But I sure hope that this was a one-time issue, and Katie Kime will go back to its former good-quality, non-woven material.

Like Willie Nelson? Like Tacos? Bats? Skinny Dipping?

January 8, 2023
Dang … I forgot to take a before pic. This large powder room was originally papered in Serena & Lily ‘s Feather , in green . I stripped it off and applied wallpaper primer , which took a day, and hung the paper the second day.
Larger than usual toilet alcove .
If you’re from Austin , Texas , you recognize these things.
Barton Springs , BBQ trucks , the State Capitol , cowboy boots . Hippy Hollow isn’t on there, and I’m not sure it even still exists, but the nudist colony there was definitely part of Austin’s culture!
The pattern is in the City Toile collection by Katie Kime , which is wildly popular .
I wasn’t crazy about the quality of the paper , but it install ed OK and will hold up for many years.
It sure changes the room!
iThe home is in the Oak Forest / Garden Oaks area of Houston

Cool Fun Blue Flower Paper in Powder Room

January 5, 2023
Before. The homeowner wanted something much more fun than drab grey walls . Plus she need something that would coordinate with the brown tones in the vanity countertop.
Here’s the solution! The paper is actually muddier and murkier than these photos show it to be, so it melds nicely with the brown stone .
Here’s a better idea of what the true colors actually look like.
Close-up.
aManufacturer is York. This was purchased from Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village of Houston , for a price below retail . Call before heading over to see her selection . (713) 59-6515
The Sure Strip line by York is a thin and pliable , water-activated , pre-pasted wallpaper that is DIY -friendly. It goes up nicely, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece – and with no damage to the wall – when it’s time to redecorate . I like this product a lot. Although York has been prone to lots of printing defects (including today) in recent years.
The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston .

After 30 Years – Time for an Update!

December 16, 2022

The home in the West U . area of Houston was built in 1994. And – yes – the wallpaper screams ’90’s ! Oh, and … it’s PINK ! The homeowners are doing lots of other facelifts, and this powder room ‘s time has come.
The new wallpaper is also nature / floral themed, but it’s a crisper, more fun look.
It was really nice not having the toilet or sink in the room – made the installation much easier. And less damage to the paper due to not having to manipulate the somewhat delicate (crease-prone) material around a pedestal sink.
Pattern nicely centered on the sink wall. Light sconces will go where you see the holes on either side.
The pattern is called Wildwood and is by Rifle Paper (made by York ).
This is a non-woven material , also called paste the wall . It’s durable , stain-resistant , holds up under humidity , and will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate later. Perhaps another 30 years? : ) 🙂

More Disappointments in York Wallpaper

December 16, 2022

Large creases spanning the width of the bolt were found in several places – luckily just in one bolt / double roll of the wallpaper .
Most non-woven wallpapers are strong and durable . But some versions, such as this one, have a surface that creases easily. You have to be careful while handling it during installation . Here we see that even the manufacturer has problems with it, because these creases were deep inside the roll and caused by the factory.
Also, very common with York – printing defects . Here I have laid two different bolts of paper on top of each other, to compare the printing. Look at the green leaves on the left side. Note that the ones on the far left are closer to the edge of the wallpaper . But the ones to the right are a bit further back from the edge .
Curious, because both bolts are from the same Run (do a Search here to read more about Runs). Obviously, the factory’s trimmers / cutters or the printer mechanism have gone off track and skewed the trimming / printing .
so these two rolls cannot be used next to each other, because the pattern doesn’t match correctly , as you see here. (Also note the creases on the right.)
Actually, with this busy pattern, we could have gotten away with this slight pattern mis-match . (With the homeowner ‘s consent, that is.)
But we were lucky that I had suggested she purchase a little extra paper . So we had three rolls of the version on the left, and two rolls of the one on the right. I was able to plan out the powder room so that I used the three rolls on three walls, and then kept the last long wall for the two bolts of paper on the right.
Note that sending this material back was not a viable option. These issues are pretty common with York products, so we’d likely just be getting the same thing all over again. Disappointing, because, until just a few years ago, York was a very dependable , quality brand .
The pattern is called Wildwood and is by Rifle Paper , which is made by York .

No Door on Powder Room Makes for Easier Install

December 14, 2022

Hanging wallpaper in small power rooms can be trying. They’re small (about the same width as the door, about 36″). You’ve got a sink and a toilet in there. You’ve stuffed a ladder in, too. You’re carrying tools and rolls of wallpaper in and out. And to top if off – in most homes, the door opens inward. (There are actually reasons for this – Google it.)
But that door pushing into an already over-crowded tiny room makes it even more difficult to get paper up on the wall. I need to go in and out of the room frequently. And it becomes a juggling act of squeezing my body around the door, repositioning the ladder, holding on to the paper and tools,,, yada. Over and over again all day long.
What’s great about this picture? The homeowner has had the door to her powder room removed!
Here’s another home where the door actually opens outward. Sure makes it easy for me to get my equipment in and out of the room! And less chance of damage to the wallpaper, too.

Take A Walk In Central Park. Dinner Party Guests Chime In

December 2, 2022
Before. Most of this home is in the white / beige / neutral decorating scheme. The homeowner wanted something with pizzazz to snazz up the powder room. Textured walls have been smoothed, primed, and are ready for wallpaper.
Definite WOW! factor!
Toilet corner before.
Toilet corner done.
Another view
Close up.
Closer up. The textured background you see is the non-woven material this is printed on. It has a 20% polyester content, and is thus somewhat similar to fiberglass. Very hard to tear, resistant to stains , and designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece , with no damage to the wall , when you redecorate .
It can be hung by pasting the wall , or by pasting the paper . I generally prefer to paste the paper .
Rolling it out on the floor , to see the overall pattern , and to decide what element I want to place at the center of the focal wall as well as at the top of the wall . This pattern is so wild and crazy and over-all, that it ultimately doesn’t matter about pattern placement . That’s pretty rare .
The pattern is called Central Park and is made by Thibaut . The home is in the Galleria / Tanglewood area of Houston .
What’s very cool is that the homeowner had ordered large samples of three colorways , but couldn’t decide which she wanted to go with. So she taped them to the wall, threw a dinner party , and asked her guests to vote for their favorite. This bright and colorful one won, hands down!
Now she’ll have to invite them all back again, to see the finished room!
I think the color and the design go super nicely with the weathered-white , deeply carved front of the vanity .
installer installation

Door Opening OUTWARD Makes It Much Easier To Work In Small Powder Rooms

December 1, 2022
There are a lot of building mores about how to place a door on a powder room. From preventing accidental bump-into’s in the hallway, to odor control. (I’ll let you do your own sleuthing on that one!)
Bottom line – for many reasons, most of the time, doors are set to swing inwards, into the tiny room.
Remember, there will also be a ladder and an installer (me!) in that space, dodging past the inward-swinging door continually.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cussed these doors! On account of having to squeeze past one while carrying tools, or with a pasted strip of wallpaper – I’m ready to hang it … just need to figure out how to get past this door!

Apothecary’s Garden in Powder Room – Fairy Tale Floral

November 21, 2022
Deep green wainscoting at the bottom, and on the right is a 100 year old ” dry sink ” with coordinating colored tile backsplash turned into a vanity, with period-appropriate faucet .
Fresh and lively . But can you believe the design dates back about 100 years ? – same as the house!
Close up. Looks like watercolor paint . Birds , butterflies , plants , flowers , and grasshoppers !
C.F.A. Voysey is a male designer who worked around the turn of the last century, late 1800’s through about the 1920’s , and was part of the Arts & Crafts decorating movement . Most of his patterns are somewhat symmetrical , as well as whimsical and fanciful , with heavy emphasis on nature .
This is a non-woven material , can be hung via the paste the wall method , although I prefer the paste the paper installation . It has a 20% polyester content and is thus more resistant to stains and humidity than traditional papers . And it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to your walls when you redecorate .
The brand name is Lord Twig and it comes from Finest Wallpaper , which is in Canada.
This went in the rear powder room of a beautifully renovated 1926 4-plex apartment that has been artfully converted into a single family home , in the Woodland Heights area of Houston .