Posts Tagged ‘Rice Village’

Faded, Stained Grasscloth

May 13, 2017

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I hung the woven grasscloth on the large wall in 1992, in a sunroom in the Medical Center / Rice Village area of Houston. Over time, it has faded.

The short piece to the right was replaced a few years ago, because it had been damaged. It had been rolled up and stored away from light, so it is the original color. Notice the difference!

Then more recently, there was a water leak from the bathroom above, which ran down and stained the grasscloth.

By this time, the homeowners were ready to redo the entire room, so both the stained piece and the faded panels were removed, and the whole room was repapered with new grasscloth of a slightly different texture and color.

Grasscloth Wallpaper in a TV Room / Sunroom

April 22, 2017

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I hung a woven grasscloth in this TV room / sunroom in an older home in the Rice Village area of Houston when the homeowners first bought the house – back in 1992 ! The wallpaper was still in great condition – except for where shower pan in the upstairs bathroom had leaked, causing damage to the wallpaper below. The paper had suffered fading from the abundant sunlight in the room, too. Time for a change.

The homeowners considered other types of paper and patterns, but came back to the natural, earthy, textured look of grasscloth. Their new choice is more relaxed than the previous woven one, and has more color – although it’s all in the neutral / brown / tan scope.

I was pleased that there was minimal shading / paneling (color variations between strips) (see 3rd photo). The material has a lovely texture (last photo), and was reasonably easy to trim and position.

There was no brand name on the product label, but 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.

Subtle Damask in a Rice Village Powder Room

September 3, 2016

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A damask is a timeless design, and will never go out of style – even when it’s been jazzed up with a pearly shimmer.

I hung this in the powder room of a newish home that straddles the Houston neighborhoods of the Rice Village, Montrose, and the Museum District. The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs. The wallpaper is by Designer Wallpapers, and was nice to work with.

The room itself presented some challenges, particularly the obtuse angles to the right of the sink, not to mention the un-plumb corners, wavy corners, and bowed walls.

I’m glad I had the designer order a little extra wallpaper, because I used three full strips and a whole lot of waste, to go around those two angled corners you see in the third photo. I needed the extra paper to make the pattern match in the corners as true as possible. We were lucky that this paper had a somewhat “scratchy” look, so a little mismatch would hardly be noticeable.

The pearlized finish also made it very difficult to see the design, or to be sure I had lined up the pattern match correctly.

Of course, that’s just what I fret about. Which other people never see. The homeowner loves the new powder room, and will spend the holiday weekend getting the mirror and artwork back up on the walls.

Home Office Make Over For A Man

June 30, 2016

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The cheery bird-and-butterfly pattern is a pricey designer wallpaper, and looked super in this sun room off the living room of a 1940’s home near the Rice Village (Houston). But the thing is, the new homeowners are using this room as a home office for the husband. Needless to say, he was not thrilled with the frilly wallpaper!

The couple was considering grasscloth, but I explained about the highly visible seams, the color differences between strips, potential for staining by young children with sticky hands and being ripped up by their dog. They took my suggestion and went with this faux grasscloth, with a woven texture and subtle two-toned color. The charcoal color looks sharp against the white woodwork and desk, and the feel is crisp and tailored – just perfect for a man’s space.

I love this particular product! Because it is a thick vinyl on a woven fabric (scrim) backing, it will wear like steel, and will be resistant to water and stains, too. The color is very uniform, and you cannot see a seam. It’s nice to work with, too – although the thickness makes it a little difficult to cut through when trimming at ceiling and floor and door moldings.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, from their Texture Resource Volume 4 book, and has become so popular that it is available in about 30 colors! This one is called Bankun Raffia, #839 T-14146. It 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.

Old House / Crooked Walls / Straight Paper / ??

March 23, 2016
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Who can expect the walls in a bungalow built on gumbo soil in the Houston Heights back in the 1920’s to be straight and plumb? These walls sure weren’t.

In the first photo, you see the tree motif running pretty evenly along the door frame and the shower tile from ceiling to wainscoting. But on the opposite wall (sorry, no photo), the door frame and tile were both off-plumb, so the wall was less like a rectangle and more like a trapezoid. That meant that the white tree trunk started out at the ceiling about 1/2″ away from the tile, with about 1/2″ of navy blue along it’s left edge. But by the time it dropped a mere 5′ to the wainscoting, the white tree trunk was running crooked and disappearing into the white tile, with no navy blue showing at all.

The eye really notices variances like this.

I needed to get some navy blue showing again, along the left side of that tree trunk.

This non-woven wallpaper was too stiff to manipulate or maneuver into a plumb position, and a cut-and-overlap would have been very visible on this thick material. So I tried something else.

In the second photo, you see where I have cut out a part of the pattern motif, which includes the white tree trunk and some of the navy blue area to the left of it. I then trimmed this piece so that it had 1/2″ of navy blue showing to the left of the tree trunk. Next, I appliquéd this piece over the tree, in the spot where it would have been if the wall had been plumb.

Some leaves of the tree got cut off or obscured by this appliqué. But that is much less noticeable than a disappearing navy blue line. The trick I used maintains that navy blue line to the left of the white tree trunk. My trick ensures that the eye sees a uniform width of navy blue from ceiling to wainscoting. This is much less jarring to the eye. And it makes the wall look plumb – even though we all know that it has not been plumb since about, oh, since about the 1940’s.

The wallpaper is by Brewster, in their A Street line, and was bought from the Sherwin Williams store in the Rice Village on University.

Perky Trees in a Shared Bathroom

March 23, 2016
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“The decision to go with wallpaper was a hard-sell,” said the husband. His previous knowledge of wallpaper was the flowery sort of stuff that your grandmother had. But the wife wanted some pattern and color for this bathroom that is share by a pre-school girl and an adjoining guest bedroom, in their remodeled 1920’s bungalow in the Houston Heights. She found this fun tree design at Sherwin-Williams.

Once the paper started going up, Hubby was sold!

Originally, the walls were all white, plus white wainscoting on the lower 3′ and white tile on the mirror wall. Clearly, the wallpaper brought personality and fun, and a bit of color to the space.

The couple was originally debating leaving two short walls that flanked the mirror wall painted white. During our initial consultation, I pointed out that that would leave too many disparate elements in the room – paint, tile, paneling, mirror, wallpaper. I suggested they put the wallpaper on all the walls, including bringing it onto those two walls that surrounded the mirror wall. It turned out to be the right choice. (Sorry – no photo.)

I also plotted the pattern placement so that both of those walls mirrored one another, and both had a half inch of blue space between the trees and the tile, and the trees on both walls were at the same height. It’s something you would not consciously notice when looking in the mirror, but your mind’s eye would sense that the area is equal and balanced.

This wallpaper is by Brewster, in their A Street Prints line. It is a non-woven material and a paste-the-wall product. The homeowners bought it from the Sherwin Williams store on University in the Rice Village – the store I deal with the most. It was nice to work with, but, like many non-woven wallpapers, it was stiff and somewhat argumentative when turning corners or doing detailed work like cutting around intricate moldings.

So Realistic, You Want to Reach Out and Touch!

August 23, 2015
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Wow! Talk about fooling the eye! I was at the wallpaper store this morning, picking up paper for a client. I was in a hurry to get off to my job. But the sales gal said I had – HAD – to look at this new wallpaper sample book she had received. Boy, am I glad I did!

This book is called 3D, I forget the manufacturer, but Dorota, the seller person, can get it for you.

Anyway, these are some of the most realistic and intriguing wallpaper patterns I have seen! They truly look like they are three-dimensional. They have paper that mimics brick, stone, wood, logs, honey combs, quilted walls, floating circles, George Jetson-era “amboeas,” and fun-house I-can’t-tell-which-way-is-up designs.

I’ve seen other similar attempts before, but this book is truly fabulous. You don’t notice that the texture is not real, until you get really, really close. They are a fabulous fake / faux! These papers would be fantastic in a contemporary home, for someone who likes mid-century modern, or for someone who wants a rustic look.

If you are interested in adding the illusion of three-dimensional design to your home, contact Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint near the Rice Village (Houston), (713) 520-6262.

Another 3-D Wallpaper Book – You’ll Think the Paper is Three Inches Thick!

July 24, 2015
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I went to open the cover of this wallpaper selection book, and I swear, my hand was groping for something it thought was 3″ thick … The illusion is that deceiving!!

The book is called Venue, the designer is Kenneth James, and it’s made by Eijffinger. The book has many variations of patterns, and lots of photos of room sets – but my camera didn’t do them justice. If you want something to really bring a cutting edge to your contemporary style home, and dazzle your friends, (and totally befuddle that guest who’s unsteady from a little too much imbibing), you NEED to check out this book!

Contact my favorite wallpaper source, Dorota Hartwig, at Southwestern Paint near the Rice Village (Houston), (713) 520-6262.

Beautiful Chinoiserie Compliments Tile and Marble Sink

May 24, 2015
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When I first consulted with this homeowner to measure the powder room, she had samples of two wallpapers she was considering, including this one but in a different color. She mentioned that she was concerned about the wallpaper colors coordinating with the marble vessel sink, the tile, and the vanity. Well, I didn’t think that either of her original choices looked good in her room.

So we thumbed through the book and found this Chinoiserie (Oriental themed pattern) which was one of her first choices, but in a different color. This version with soft aqua, tan, gold, and orange has just the right tones to accent the marble sink, as well as the reddish vanity and the tan tile. To make it better, in the adjoining room, she has a rusty orange sofa sitting in front of a pale aqua wall, so this wallpaper in the powder room helps pull both rooms together.

This wallpaper is by Thibaut Designs, one of my favorite manufacturers, Pattern #T-8604, “Ting Yuan,” and was bought at the Sherwin-Williams store on University in the Rice Village.  I hung it in the powder room of a newish home in the Museum District of Houston.

Faux Cork / Tree Bark, in an Art Niche

January 5, 2015

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Digital ImageI positively LOVE this paper! And, I have to admit, when I first saw and handled it, I thought it was authentic cork or birch bark. But, it’s a faux product, made from vinyl.

When I first consulted with this young couple in the Rice Village / South Hampton area, they wanted something for the back wall of their art niche, to serve as a backdrop to their art collection, without overwhelming. I showed them some silver & gold cork that I have put in a number of art niches. They liked the idea, and then went shopping…

What they ended up with was this less-glitzy, more-natural cork look-alike, made from vinyl. It handled beautifully, will hold up well, and, even though there is no pattern match, the seams are barely noticeable. I think this is a much better background for their art than something shiny and showy.

They were not home while I was working, and I could not resist “staging” the scene by placing a few of their decorative items in the niche, to surprise them when they come home. They both loved it!

This faux cork wallpaper is by York Wallcoverings 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.