Posts Tagged ‘renovations’

Warming Heights Living Room With Faux Grasscloth

August 7, 2020


Top photo – you’re looking at a living room in a beautifully renovated 1910 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. The bottom 3/4 of the walls are clad in beautiful white board-and-batten paneling. I skim-floated (smoothed) the upper 2′ of wall space a few months ago – and, due to construction delays, the poor family has been living with these uninspiring grey walls ever since.

Today I was able to finally get their paper up on the wall. This is an embossed vinyl faux grasscloth product by York. It is good quality, and the close-up shot shows that it does a good job of mimicking real grasscloth in texture and design. Unlike real grasscloth, because this material is vinyl, it will be resistant to stains. And because it’s man-made, there won’t be the sharp color variations from strip to strip.

However, like real grasscloth, this particular product does not have a pattern match (some by other manufactures, like Thibaut, do have a pattern match). No pattern match means that you will see a visible pattern break at every seam, every 27″ apart.

The homeowner knew immediately that she would not be happy with that. So she suggested running the material horizontally instead of vertically (called “railroading”). The width of the wallpaper accommodated the height of the wall space wonderfully, and we had just enough yardage to cover each of the four wall areas without having to splice any paper.

Another benefit is that, with the “grass” in the design directed vertically, it correlated nicely with the vertical paneling below.

And … the room has special tiny LED lights running along the top of the wainscoting. When turned on, they light up the wallpaper in a beautiful way. If the texture had been running horizontally, those lights would cast some really disconcerting shadows. (Remember when you were a kid and held a flashlight under your chin?!)

The true colors don’t show up well in the photos. This material mixes strands of murky blue, navy, mossy green, and gold. These colors coordinate sooo nicely with the deep blue ceiling, the navy paint in the adjoining dining room, and the tiles in the era-accurate fireplace.

The wallpaper manufacturer is York. The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design. She works mainly in the Heights area, and mostly on new builds or whole-house renovations.

Historic Wallpaper in 1883 Byers-Evans House in Denver

September 25, 2018


Before the 2018 Wallcovering Installers Association annual convention started in Denver last week, I took a few extra days to see the mountains and city. I toured this 100+ year old home and, of course, grooved on the wallpaper. The papers in the first two rooms are reproductions, made from scraps of the original paper that were uncovered during renovations, and then meticulously recreated. The ceiling paper is similar to designs made by Bradbury & Bradbury today (popular with owners of Victorian or Edwardian properties, such as in Galveston).

The brown paper is the real deal – authentic paper from a 1912 renovation to the property.

Peeling Paint – What Is Going On?

May 8, 2016

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I was “undressing” a bathroom today, to get all the fixtures off the wall so I could put up the new wallpaper. When I removed the hand towel ring, paint from the wall stuck to it, and pulled away from the wall. Latex paint peeling away from the wall like the skin of a balloon.

Why did this happen? Probably because whoever applied the paint used a cheap brand and put it over some other cheap paint. The paints were not able to bond together for a tight hold.

Another possibility is that the room had undergone renovations, which left dust on the walls, and when paint was applied over the dust, a tenuous bond resulted, which gave way the first time it was tested (by me pulling off the towel ring).

Moral: Properly prepare the wall, by removing all dust (with a damp sponge, rinsed frequently), using the right primer, and then following up with a good quality paint, properly applied. Waiting for the paint to dry and cure before attaching towel bars will also help keep these fixtures from getting stuck in the paint.

Beachy Bathroom in Galveston

November 19, 2015
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This home in Galveston was built in the 1800’s, and survived the 1900 Great Storm (hurricane). The homeowners have an island theme going on in their decorating, and the bathroom was the final touch. They had done some renovations to the bathroom, including new shower & tub, toilet, vanity with quartz countertop, and the cool distressed, salvaged beaded board they put on the lower half of the wall as wainscoting. (last two photos) The doorknobs are for holding towels. So cute!

But they said they could not find anyone on the island to hang wallpaper; I was very happy to drive down and help them out.

The walls weren’t in bad condition, but they showed decades of “home repairs” – layers and layers of paint, drips, sheetrock patches, uneven areas, grit, etc. I skim floated all the walls to make them smooth, and then primed with a good coat of Gardz. This yield a much smoother surface for the shiny wallpaper, and a more stable foundation in a bathroom where humidity will be a factor.

This sea shell-themed pattern blends nicely with the beachy feel in the rest of the house. I particularly love how it coordinates with the rustic beaded board below the chair rail. The wallpaper is by York, and is printed on a pre-pasted non-woven stock, which is supposed to strip off the wall easily and cleanly when it’s time to redecorate.