Posts Tagged ‘ranch style home’

Trippy Mid Century Modern in Purple

May 8, 2018


This 1960 ranch style home in the Westbury neighborhood of Houston is like a time capsule of Mid Century Modern design. The doors, windows, moldings, cabinetry, and even most of the bathrooms are original – and in mint condition. The homeowners love the look, and wanted to honor that, while updating some of the rooms.

What fun! This wild pattern fills all those bills!

What’s extra cool is that the homeowners painted the walls and woodwork in the room a mauvy-purple color more than a year ago. I showed them a sample of this paper in the orange color (which I had hung in another client’s home in a nearby neighborhood, also Mid Century Modern), and they loved it. When they went to the wallpaper store (read below), the selection book showed this snazzy purple colorway. The shade of purple is the exact compliment to the paint colors they had chosen so long ago. BINGO!

This wallpaper pattern is by Graham & Brown, in their Super Fresco line, which is reasonably priced and easy to work with, as well as easy to remove when it’s time to redecorate. I hung it with the paste-the-wall method. It was bought at below retail price from 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.

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Lines in Boxes in a Hall Bathroom

March 23, 2018


The owner of this 1950’s ranch style home in the Highland Village neighborhood of Houston is an interior designer, and headed up the remodel of their hall bathroom. She found a perfect wallpaper to both imbue the room with a fun, crisp, contemporary feel, while coordinating precisely with the color of the glass shower tile.

The interior designer is Layne Torsch, of Layne Torsch Interiors.

Swirly, Cheery, Leafy, and Fun!

March 17, 2018


With drab murky blue paint and not much more, this powder room near the backdoor of a ’70’s era ranch style home in Candlelight Plaza (Houston) was serving its purpose. But the homeowner knew it could live much larger.

I skim-floated the moderately textured walls to smooth them, and then primed with a penetrating sealer called Gardz, which is also a good primer for wallpaper (see first photo).

The wallpaper pattern is called “Priano,” and is by Serena & Lily, and can be bought on-line. The design has a fun circular movement, and an organic leafy motif.

Stripping Off Old Wallpaper

February 14, 2018


This hall bathroom in a 1955 ranch-style home in the Briargrove / Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston was damaged by a roof leak during Hurricane Harvey. The contractor’s guys did a good job replacing drywall and painting the woodwork, but they fell short when it came to wallpaper. See first photo.

But this just gave the homeowner a chance to choose something that coordinated better with the decades-old tile that she loves (and that I love, too), and to pick a paper with more color and flair, that is more suited to her taste. See tomorrow’s post for that.

My first task was to remove the existing wallpaper. It turned out that there were two layers of paper, and, in some places, THREE layers.

In the second photo, I have removed most of the top (new) paper, which is the aqua trellis by Thibaut. I took it off by simply tearing it off the wall. Below it, you see the green savoy (small, tight, squiggly) by Waverly. Interestingly enough, I have hung this a bunch of times – in the ’90’s. 🙂

This paper was attached more tightly to the wall. To remove it, I had to first separate the top inked layer from it’s paper backing. You can see this in the second photo. Once the top layer, with it’s water-resistant acrylic surface was removed, it left behind a white paper backing. I used a sponge and bucket of hot water to soak the backing. It didn’t take long before the underlying paste reactivated, and then it was ready to let go of the wallpaper. You can see clean wall revealed in the photo, where the layers of wallpaper have come away.

In one area of the room, I got a surprise. There was a third layer of paper under the others. The top vinyl layer had been stripped of eons ago, but the tan, gritty paper backing was left on the wall. You can see this in the third photo dry (light tan) and soaked with water (dark tan). Once that tan paper backing got soaked enough with several spongings with hot water, the paste reactivated and the paper was happy to come away from the wall.

I was uncommonly lucky today, because whoever hung the original wallpaper had taken the time to prep the walls correctly. First, he skim-coated the textured walls to yield a smooth surface for the paper to adhere to. Second, he applied good quality penetrating sealer. This sealer might have been Gardz, a product that I use now, or another similar sealer, perhaps even a solvent-based (as opposed to water-based) sealer. His sealer provided a hard surface for the new paper to stick to, and also gave a surface that was resistant to all the water I was using to strip off the old wallpaper.

Check out the fourth picture to see the huge pile of wallpaper I pulled off this one small hall bathroom.

Once all the paper was off, the walls were in very good condition. There were no delaminated areas, no lifted areas, nothing that needed patching – just an amazingly intact surface.

I did a few little touch-ups to a few little areas (I wanted to clean up 60 years of grime collected along the top of the tile), and then rolled on my favorite wallpaper primer, by Roman’s, their Pro 977 / Ultra Prime. It’s a white pigmented primer, and is a wonderful surface to hang wallpaper on.

Etched Arcadia Mural On A Bedroom Accent Wall

December 29, 2017


The young couple who lives in this home in the Westbury neighborhood of Houston loves the modern contemporary look – everything in the home is all about straight lines, open spaces, clean, crisp, and sharp.

The bold pattern and Old World theme of this “Etched Arcacia” mural on an accent wall in the master bedroom is a great foil to all that simplicity. Yet the simple black & white color scheme and the straight lines that make up the design (look closely at the photos) coordinate perfectly with the modern design elements in the rest of the home.

This product comes as a pre-pasted, 8-panel mural, 12′ wide by 9′ high (I cut it shorter to fit the 8′ ceiling in this 50-year old ranch style home). In the first photo, you can spot the mural all rolled up in its package, on the left side of the bed. It is made by Sure-Strip, one of my favorite brands (manufactured by York). It was bought on-line from Anthropologie.

Candice Olson Wallpaper in a Home Office

April 12, 2017

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This home in the far west end of Spring Branch (Houston) has the typical 60’s era ranch-style home floor plan. But the passage between the dining room and the kitchen had been walled over. Plus, the new homeowner wanted a home office. So she decided to turn the former dining room into her office.

The bottom wainscoting is painted deep navy blue. This “ink blot” pattern by Candicd Olson for York Wallcoverings is a bold and daring, but very well-suited, choice. The homeowner love it.

Once this went up in the home office, she looked at the adjoining living room with it’s painted walls and said, “I think I need wallpaper in here, too – this room is starting to look pretty blahhh.”

One photo shows my first strip centered on the wall. This makes a nice backdrop for the sofa, and other furnishings that will be moved into the room later.

This wallpaper pattern is by York Wallcoverings, and was bought at below retail price from 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.

Electrical Box Placement Throwing A Wrench in Wallpaper Job

January 25, 2017
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Here is a double-sink vanity in a master bathroom (Photo 1). For this post, we are focusing on the right sink and light fixture. In Photo 2, the original light fixture has been removed. It was a “bar” type fixture, meaning that it had a backplate and front cover that were rectangular (bar) shaped, and you can see the outline of that by the different paint color in the Photo 2.

In Photo 2, you also see the electrical box in the wall that supplies power to this light fixture. It is not centered over the sink. That was OK, because the original light fixture was centered over the vanity, not over the individual sink. The electrical box was not centered over the sink. This could be because there is a stud in the way, or because it was centered over a previous, pre-remodel sink that was situated differently, or because the electrician was lazy.

Either way, it didn’t matter, because an extra length of electrical wire was added, and the bar fixture was long enough that it could be moved horizontally to the desired position over the sink, and it was perfectly centered and looked wonderful.

The problem came when my clients, new owners of this ’50’s era, mid century modern ranch style home, wanted to install an updated, sleeker light fixture Photo 3). This new fixture has a canopy (front plate) that is plenty large enough to cover the electrical box. But it is NOT large enough to cover a trip horizontally across the wall to a point centered over the sink.

Which is another way of saying that if this new light fixture is positioned over the sink, as the homeowners want, it will not cover the electrical box, and the electrical box will show. And plus, the connections will not meet safety codes.

This leaves the owners in the hapless position of either living with the new light fixture slightly off-center over their sink. OR they can have the electrical box moved to exactly centered over the sink.

This is sometimes more easily said than done. There may be a wall stud in the way that prevents repositioning the electrical box. If the box can’t be moved, and the electrician elects to run a wire along or through the wall, there will be cut-up Sheetrock, and patches and possibly humps in the wall. Lots more complications that electricians and Sheetrockers know that I don’t.

And it caused the homeowner to have a delay in the installation of their dream wallpaper. I can’t hang wallpaper until the box is moved and the wall is repaired. And more cost top to pay the electrician – on top of the new wallpaper, new towel bars and light fixtures, and labor to install all of this.

Probably the worst part is having the wallpaper install scheduled, then not being able to move forward, and then having to scramble to find a qualified guy who can get the lights positioned correctly, and all with a quick turn-around, so the wallpaper install can happen within a reasonable time of the original install date.

Moral of the Story: If you are going to change light fixtures (or any fixtues), it’s a good idea to do this before the new wallpaper goes up.

Stuffing It

April 4, 2016

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The homeowners of this ranch style home in the Shepherd Park Plaza neighborhood of Houston have been doing updates, including new baseboards and crown molding. I was installing wallpaper before the moldings were painted and caulked.

That means that there was a small gap between the moldings and the wall. So, rather than trimming the paper against the moldings as I normally do, it was the perfect opportunity for me to slip a half inch or so of paper behind the molding.

This saves me the trouble of trimming with a razor knife, it eliminates potential cuts into the Sheetrock (which could cause the paper to peel), and holds paper tight, preventing it from peeling up at these areas.

Looks Like Grasscloth – But It’s Better!

November 22, 2015
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When clients start talking about grasscloth, I go into my “lecture” about my disappointment with this product, because of color variations including “shading,” “paneling,” “staining,” “bleeding,” and others, like “cats love to tear it up.” So when I first met with these young homeowners, I was delighted that they listened to me, and took my advice to buy this faux grass product instead.

When properly reverse-hung (hang every other strip upside down), there is no color variation, and the seams are invisible. The material is a heavy vinyl that supports a textured surface (see close-up). The vinyl is water and stain resistant, and if it needs to be cleaned, it can be scrubbed. The material is reinforced with a scrim (woven fabric) backing (see photo) that makes it strong and durable, so no worries about their kids banging toys or tricycles into the walls.

And it looks remarkably like real woven grasscloth. It is a handsome paper, and the overall look is smart and tailored, providing a good backdrop to this mid-century-goes-21st century style home.

I hung this in a typical entry way in a typical ’60’s era ranch-style home, in Shepherd Park Plaza (the neighborhood with all the Christmas lights!) in Houston.   The job took two days, with the first day being spent smoothing the textured walls, so the bumps would not show under the wallpaper.

The pattern is by Thibaut, and is in their Texture Resource Volume 4 collection. It was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Dorota’s eye and knowledge of color and products was a big help to this couple. They were originally leaning toward a different colorway, but Dorota said this was a more neutral color and would work better in their space. Once they saw the wallpaper on the wall, they knew that Dorota had been correct! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

And notice – the day’s trash all rolled up into one neat package. 🙂

Gold On Black Botanical For Master Bedroom

July 7, 2015
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This dramatic gold-on-black botanical design will be a backdrop to the bed in a master suite in a new addition to a ’60’s era ranch style home in Timber Grove Manor in inside-the-Loop Houston. Because wallpaper often shrinks just a tad, I have striped black paint under the seams, to prevent white wall/primer from showing, just in case the paper does shrink. That is the jagged edges you see in some of the photos.

This wallpaper pattern is called “Liang.” It is by Thibaut Designs, 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.