Posts Tagged ‘redecorate’

Lively Watercolor-y Koi Pond For A Flooded Powder Room

January 12, 2018


What a fun paper! I have a koi pond, so that makes me doubly crazy about this pattern!

I hung this lively pattern in a large powder room in a home in the Memorial area of Houston that had been flooded by Hurricane Harvey. It’s four months after the storm, and this is the first person whom I have seen who has had repairs finished and who has been able to move back into her home. (See the darker drywall at the bottom of the wall, in the top photo? That’s the new Greenrock that replaced the drywall that got damaged by water.)

The rest of the house is very traditional, with a lot of antiques. So going with bright color and a fanciful fish pattern was a bit of a leap. But you can get away with a lot of drama in a powder room, because you don’t spend a lot of time in there. And the homeowner was ready for something uplifting.

This pattern is by York, in their SureStrip line. I love both the manufacturer and this line of papers. It is a thin and pliable non-woven material, turns corners nicely, and will hug the wall tightly. It is nice to work with, and does not shrink when it dries, so no gaps at the seams. It is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

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Watercolor Peony for a Little Girl’s Room

January 4, 2017
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Today, a lucky little girl got her room livened up with an accent wall covered with this cheery and colorful watercolor-look peony wallpaper. Her bed is white, and will look super placed smack in front of this pretty wallpaper. Besides the flowers and leaves, the pattern features little critters – the little girl particularly loves the blue butterflies.

This is a new home in the Westridge Creek section in the far west end of Cinco Ranch, out in Katy, a suburb of Houston. The wallpaper was bought through Anthropologie, a site that many of my clients love.

The paper is made by York, in the Shelley Hesse New Orleans collection, and is in the SureStrip line. I particularly like SureStrip, because it’s a thin paper that hugs the wall nicely, plus it is on a non-woven substrate that is made to strip off the wall easily and cleanly when it’s time to redecorate.

Water-Colorful and Fun Flowers on a Bedroom Accent Wall

November 17, 2016
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It was hard getting a full-wall shot of this wallpaper install, because the wall was so darned tall – nearly 12 feet high! But you get the idea.

Originally, the wall was painted navy blue, like the other three walls in this master bedroom. The wall also had a flat-screen TV plastered in the middle of it. The husband, of course, loved the huge TV. But the wife persevered, and got him to agree to have this colorful and playful wallpaper cover the wall. Now, as to whether or not that TV will go back up on the wall remains to be seen ….

I smoothed the textured wall, which you can see on the right side of the first photo. The next day I hung the paper. The paper is by York, in the SureStrip line. It is a pre-pasted product, on a thin non-woven backing, and is designed to strip off the wall (relatively) easily when you want to redecorate. It is a lovely product to work with, clings tightly to the wall, seams are nearly invisible, and should hold up nicely for many years.

This is a 1955 home with mid-century modern flare, in the Spring Branch neighborhood of Houston, and the clients were a busy family with school-age children.

“Etched Arcadia” Mural in a Powder Room

July 22, 2016
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This young family lives near Rice University (Houston), on South Boulevard, a street revered for its huge Live Oak trees that meet and canopy over the street. The homeowner wanted her traditional style home to carry on the look of this historic neighborhood. She had a vision of bringing the beloved trees into her home, while maintaining the old-world feel.

She could not have found a better choice than this mural. It combines the feel of aged trees with the look of centuries-old etchings. Because it’s a mural, the pattern plays out as one large picture, with no repeating elements.

I have done murals like this on single walls, but this is the first time I’ve put one on all four walls of a room. I have to say, the homeowner had a great eye, and the finished room is stunning.

The first photo shows how many murals come; in panels. This one was packaged as one large bolt, and I had to cut the 8 panels apart, then lay them out and line them up to be sure the pattern matched and that the sequence was correct.

The mural was 9′ high by 12′ wide (pretty standard dimensions), and the room was wider than 12′, so two murals were needed. Originally, I thought that the right side of one mural would match up with the left side of the other mural, so that the two murals could be joined seamlessly – but that was not the case.

In addition, the homeowner favored the trees more than the sky, so, since the walls were 7 1/2′ high, I opted to move the pattern up, to cut off more sky but reveal more trees. A vanity that rose 32″ off the floor further complicated the pattern placement.

Without going into mathematical or geometrical details, I spent a lot – a LOT – of time plotting the room’s layout, so that we would see more trees and less sky, and to avoid a mis-matched seam where the two murals met, and to disguise the one mis-matched corner that could not be avoided.

The pattern was forgiving, the paper was lovely to work with, and the finished room looks fantastic. This was one of my favorite projects this year.

In addition, the homeowner didn’t like the A/C vent and the exhaust fan leaving big white blobs in the middle of the wall. So I covered these with scraps of wallpaper, too. This is more tricky than it sounds, because wallpaper doesn’t like to stick to plastic or metal (too slick), and especially not metal with air blowing past it, possibly carrying along condensation / humidity. So special adhesives are called for, and you have to have a back-up plan, in case the paper detaches over time.

Also, because murals don’t have repeating pattern motifs, there were no scraps of paper that I could use to cover these objects with a matching pattern. So I found scraps that had reasonably similar designs.

In the end, I could not get the paper to conform to all of the many curves on the exhaust fan cover, so I opted to leave the outer area as-is, and just covered the inner, flat area with paper. This doesn’t totally disguise the white cover, but it sure does minimize it.

This mural is by Sure-Strip, a York brand that I love working with, and is on a thin, non-woven material, which should – “should” – strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

Oval Geometric Strip in a Powder Room

September 23, 2015
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This oval and knotted geometric design in indigo on white is clean and crisp, and it has both a modern and a nautical feel.

I hung this in a large powder room with 12′ high ceilings in a new home in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston. Those 12′ high walls tended to get off-plumb / bowed in the center (where the sheets of drywall were joined), and, with a rigid, specific design like this, there were some real challenges in getting the pattern to match in the corners. Two of those corners took me a half an hour each – but I got ‘er done, and you can’t detect any pattern mis-match.

The wallpaper is printed on a non-woven substrate, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate.

This geometric stripe is by A Street Prints, by Brewster (the manufacturer), and was bought from Wallpapers to Go, which is now named Luxury Wall D├ęcor, and is in Stafford, a southwestern suburb of Houston. http://www.brewsterwallcovering.com/2625-21835-indigo-geometric-stripe.aspx.

Thick, Stiff Non-Woven = Noticeable Seams

October 10, 2014

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: These new-fangled non-woven materials are often so thick and stiff that the seams almost always show much more than on thinner paper products. From some angles, you don’t see the seams at all, but from other view points, they are quite obvious.

That’s just the nature of the beast.

The big selling point of this non-woven material, if you are wondering, is that, when it’s time to redecorate, it will usually peel off the wall easily, in one piece, and with little or no damage to the wall.

Me, I’d rather put a little effort into stripping a wallpaper that looks good, than living in a room with vertical lines every 27.”

Words on the Label – Unpasted, Washable, Peelable

September 7, 2014

Digital ImageYou might read something on a wallpaper label and THINK you know what it means. But in many cases, you would be mistaken.

“Unpasted,” means just what it says, that you will have to apply the proper adhesive to the back of the paper before hanging. Some papers are pre-pasted, and only need to be wet to activate the paste before hanging.

But the next two words can be deceiving. Actually, “Washable,” is about the middle of the pack when it comes to cleaning wallpaper. “Wipeable” is for the MOST delicate papers, which are the LEAST cleanable. If you wipe it with a damp rag, you had better do it just once, because more than that might well damage the paper, by abrading, staining, etc. Not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, or kids’ areas.

“Washable,” means that you can gently wipe the paper with a damp cloth (no cleaning agents). The stain may or may not come off.

“Scrubbable” is the term used for heavy-duty papers, generally thick vinyls, that can actually be scrubbed with a cloth or even a brush, depending on the type of material. But you still had better be gentle, and definitely never brush or wipe across a seam – always in the direction of the seam, not across it.

“Peelable” sounds like the paper will simply peel right off the wall when you want to redecorate. Actually, only the top vinyl layer will peel off, leaving a paper backing on the wall. Then you’ll have to spend more time and mess with water and a bucket and a sponge, to soak the backing until the paste softens and you can peel or scrape off the backing.

“Strippable” means that, when ready to redecorate, the whole strip of paper SHOULD peel easily away from the wall all in one piece. That doesn’t always happen, though, so you may still end up soaking some bits of backing to get them off the wall.

And papers will only “peel” or “strip” as suggested IF the wall was properly prepared before the paper went up, with an appropriate primer, and if the right amount of the right paste was used.