Posts Tagged ‘remodeled’

No, Virginia, These Walls Are NOT Ready For Wallpaper!

June 20, 2020


This powder room in a townhouse in the Galleria / Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston has been remodeled. When the old vanity countertop was removed, the drywall was torn.

When the old vanity, which had spanned from wall-to-wall, was removed, it revealed the original wall behind it, complete with heavily-textured paint.

The contractor made a half-hearted attempt to smooth the torn drywall. But he didn’t even attempt to cover the textured bottom portion.

Seriously? Does anyone think that wallpaper can be applied over walls in this condition?!

Shocking! Good Thing I Carry Electrical Tape In My Toolbox

April 18, 2020
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This house is being remodeled, and the electrician has not finished. He left these switches sticking out of the electrical box. See those screws on the side of the switches? Those are what carry the electrical current, one in and one out. If you touch one, nothing happens (theoretically). But if you touch both at the same time, a connection is made between them and you get a shock. Ouch!

Now think about trimming wet wallpaper with metal tools around switches sticking out of a box like this, with live current (what we call “hot wires) attached to them. No thanks! In fact, while I was trying to stuff the switches back into the box, there were sparks. No thanks!

So I got some electrician’s tape and wound it around the switches, covering the screws – and protecting me from the live wires!

Grasscloth in Heights Master Bedroom

January 17, 2020


This is the 1st floor master bedroom of a nicely-remodeled-but-still-retains-many-original-details-and-all-its-original-charm 1920 bungalow in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

The textured walls started out dark green. I skim-floated and sanded them smooth. The new wallpaper is a brown grasscloth with a faint greenish tinge, and it has a nubby texture with a lot of knots (more pics tomorrow!)

The homeowner ordered her paper before I measured the room, and I told her to get two additional double roll bolts. In the 4th photo, I am checking labels to be sure we have all the same run / dye batch; we lucked out and the new bolts were the same run as the original lot.

In the 5th photo, I have cut strips for a wall, and have them lined up and ready to paste and trim. In the background, you can see how I place bolts against each wall, as a way of keeping track of how many strips I need and which bolts I will take them from.

Because there are shading / paneling issues with grasscloth (do a Search here on those terms), it’s important to not mix strips from different bolts. That way, if there are slight color differences between bolts (as there usually are) these differences will be minimized. Still, as you see in the third photo, the three strips on the right came from one bolt, and the strips on the left came from another bolt – and there is a noticeable difference in shade. This is not a defect – it’s simply the nature of grasscloth – a product made from natural materials.

This one long wall used seven strips from three bolts, so a color difference could be expected. On the other, narrower, walls, all the strips came from the same bolt, so the color differences were minimized. When I had to use different bolts on the same wall, I was able to place the “break” over a door or window, with only 1′ of color difference. That’s a lot less noticeable than the 8′ you see on the long wall in the photo.

This wallpaper was bought through Sherwin Williams. There is no brand name on the label.

More photos tomorrow!

Geometric Trellis in a Garden Oaks Attic Conversion Master Suite

May 1, 2018


I attended the Garden Oaks Home Tour yesterday, and walked up the stairs to the master suite, all the while thinking, “Something about this feels familiar.” When I got into the master bathroom, I got it – I had hung the wallpaper about two years ago!

What’s cool is, the wife had had the bathroom remodeled as a surprise gift for her hubby while he was overseas. Well, yesterday he was there, so I got to meet him. He said he positively loved the new bathroom.

Faux Grasscloth With Hospitable Pineapples in a Powder Room – Compliments Yesterday’s Paper

December 16, 2016

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Pineapples are the universal sign of hospitality, and what gracious Southerner wouldn’t want that in her home? For this small powder room in the rear of a beautifully remodeled Meyerland (Houston) home, this homeowner was originally looking at a pattern that had pineapples plopped rhythmically across a strongly contrasting background color. I gave my honest opinion and told her I thought it looked too polka-dotty.

She listened, and took my suggestion to search a little further. What she found was this easier-on-the-eyes design, which has a much more interesting motif, that still incorporates the pineapple theme, and is also imposed on a warm background that mimics textural grasscloth.

What’s even cooler is that this couple had chosen a faux grasscloth for the entry of their home, which was just a few yards away from the powder room (see previous post). Even though both wallpapers were made by different companies, they look very similar, and that helps to unify the look and feel of the whole downstairs.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpaper, in the Kenneth James line, pattern # PS 40700, and was bought at a 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.

Two Years of Barren Finally Beautified! (Coordinating Patterns)

October 29, 2016
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In yesterday’s post, I wrote about a family that has been living with a partially-remodeled powder room for more than two years. Today I got them one large step closer to being finished.

The once-drab, dark, and windowless room is now bright and crisp. An ikat trellis (“Bungalow”) was used on the walls, with a coordinating leopard print (“Tanzania”) on the ceiling. The trellis has a lot of movement due to the curved lines, so it really energizes the feel of the room.

The room had unplumb walls, unlevel crown molding, and bowed drywall, so it presented a bit of a challenge, and took me ’til after dark to finish. But the completed job looks great, and the homeowners are very happy.

Both wallpaper patterns are by Thibaut Designs. Two designs and colorways that are intended to work together are called coordinating or companion papers. This home is in the Memorial / Energy Corridor area of Houston.

Silvery Trees in a Powder Room

October 2, 2016
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This soft and silvery paper coordinates beautifully with the Carrera marble counter top and the tile floor in this guest bathroom in a nicely remodeled older home in the Houston Heights. (The builder is Ridgewater Homes, and I was very impressed with the quality of their work.)

As usual with the brand Schumacher, I had some printing defects, and also some smudging on the back of one roll (4th & 5th photos). Also, with their moth bally-smelling ink, as with other brands that use this ink, the seams curled at the points were the ink hit the seam (3rd photo). This is because the ink absorbs moisture from the paste differently from how the paper absorbs moisture, so they expand at different rates, causing curling at the seams.

Once the paper was good and dry, these areas mostly laid down, but there were still quite a few seams that were not perfectly flat.

The wallpaper pattern is named “Twiggy.” The interior designer for this job is Rachel Goetz, who works in the Heights area a lot, and has a soft, clean, uncluttered, fresh look to the rooms she decorates.

Classic Geometric in a Breakfast Area

August 27, 2016
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Geometric patterns are all the rage these days, but this one is less trendy and much more classic. Indeed, it is by Farrow & Ball, a British company, and who can be more traditional and classic than the Brits? 🙂

The kitchen in this 1960’s home in the Briarpark neighborhood of Houston has been very nicely remodeled. But the wife knew that plain paint in the breakfast nook wasn’t the vision she had for her home … Mixing modern and traditional, she chose this sculpted trellis by Farrow & Ball, in a grey-on-grey color scheme that coordinates really nicely with the paint on the kitchen cabinets, and with the décor in the rest of the house.

F&B also makes paint, and the company is known for using paint, instead of the more expected ink, on it’s wallpaper. The paint has a beautiful matt finish, and the printed areas display a lovely “raised ink” texture. I have also seen these painted wallpapers change color over time. And, the F&B papers are known for their seams that show “gaps and overlaps.” I didn’t get a picture, but today was no exception.

Textured Trellis in a Powder Room

August 12, 2016
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Here we are in a very nicely remodeled and updated ’60’s era ranch home in the Meyerland area of Houston. When I first met with this couple, they were wanting a grasscloth for their powder room. I took one look at their toddler and the one-on-the-way and told them that grasscloth, with its propensity to staining and bleeding, is a poor choice in rooms with grimy hands, splashing water, and little boys with bad aim. I also really dislike the shading and paneling (color variations between and within strips) that is so common with grasscloth.

I was glad that they took my advice and found something with the textured look and feel they were seeking, but that would hold up much better to their growing, active family. In addition to having a slight grass-like texture, the paper has a Moroccan trellis design. The color of the paper is almost the same as the paint that was in the room originally, but the trellis pattern takes the room from feeling blocky and cell-like to feeling more spacious and inviting.

The paper was nice to work with. I was particularly happy that the design did not cross the seams, meaning that there was no pattern to match at the seams. This enabled me to keep the motif at exactly the spot on the wall where I wanted it – in this case, 2 1/4″ down from the ceiling. Since walls are never plumb and floors and ceilings are never level, sometimes it will look like a pattern is sliding up or down the wall. Since I was able to maintain that 2 1/4″ spacing all the way around the room, you would never know that the ceiling is sloped a little.

This wallpaper pattern is by Carl Robinson, by Seabrook, and was bought at a discounted 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.

Charcoal Phillip Jeffries Grasscloth in a Master Bedroom

June 18, 2015
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These days, I am papering so many accent walls, it was a refreshing change this week to put paper on all four walls of a master bedroom in a newly remodeled 1913 cottage in the Houston Heights. All the furniture and rugs in the room are white, and the bedside tables are smoky silver. The wallpaper is smoky charcoal in color, with a slight sheen to it – which the homeowner was not expecting. But when the paper went up, she really loved the satiny silky look, and it really set off the rest of the room. There is an immense crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and it is positively riveting when set against the dark shimmery wallpaper.

This grasscloth is by designer Phillip Jeffries, which is a fairly high-end brand. Yet, like most grasscloths, this natural material is subject to color variations, such as shading and paneling (see Photos 2 & 3). Because the uneven color is often more concentrated on the outer edges of the wallpaper, sometimes it’s helpful to trim off those edges (Photo 4). But, as you can see, there will virtually always still be color variations from one strip to the next.

Because the seams on grasscloth are so readily visible, I also like to trim the material to fit the wall (balancing). In other words, instead of hanging two strips that are 36″ wide and one that is 10″ wide, I will trim the strips to all be 27 3/8″ wide. That gives a more balanced look. This plotting and measuring and trimming takes a lot more time, but I think the uniform look of the finished wall is worth it.

On dark papers like this, and because grasscloth does not always meet together at the seams perfectly, I like to stripe paint of a matching color under the seams (Photo 5), to hide any gaps that might appear between the strips.

The interior designer on this job is Rachel Goetz.  I like her decorating style, as well as the ease of working with her, very much.  http://www.rachelgoetzinteriors.com/