Posts Tagged ‘scalamandre’

Moody and Dramatic Backdrop to a Home Bar

May 27, 2022
I hung this deeply textured, striped wallpaper in murky blues and golds about three years ago, and am back to do two more rooms, so took the opportunity to snap a coupla photos.
The homeowner loves to entertain, and he says that guests always comment on this bold and unusual look.
The brand is Scalamandre, and the material had a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand. It’s a thick vinyl material, and was hard to cut through.
The finished look is show-stopping!
The home is in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston.

Classic Chinoiserie Toile in Powder Room

October 30, 2020

The homeowner chose the rough marble tile backsplash wall in hopes that it would enliven the room. But with the other walls painted a bland taupe, the effect fell flat. She chose this classic 2-tone “Pillement Toile” by Scalamandre to add softness to the room and to bring out the tile wall. Mission accomplished!

This was not the easiest wallpaper to hang. For starters, like many higher-end papers, it comes with a selvage edge that had to be trimmed off by hand. (5th photo)

Also, as with many hand-screened prints that are made with “stinky inks” – the ink smells like mothballs – the ink, substrate, and moisture from the paste all fight each other, resulting in what we call curl. (4th photo) There was also some warping and stretching. It took quite a bit of time and effort to finesse that strip in the fourth photo to lie flat and tight to the wall.

Once the paper started to dry, the seams laid down tighter to the wall.

If you’re curious, that blue plastic tape in the fourth photo is placed on the edge of the wallpaper to prevent paste from getting onto the marble tile wall. Once the wallpaper is trimmed along that edge, the tape is removed. Voilà! No need to wipe paste off the stone!

The home is off Braeswood in Houston.

Rich, Multi-Hued Grasscloth in North Houston Powder Room

May 21, 2020

Iridescent interwoven hues of gold, red, rust, neon blue, green, navy, and more play tricks on the eye, because the colors change depending on the direction from which you are looking.

No matter the view point, this grasscloth by Scalamandre is gorgeous. And there was very little paneling (color difference between strips).

(Note the fourth photo shows a shadow, not a color difference or paneling.)

The third photo shows me rolling the material out on my work table.

The last photo is the best to show the true color and texture.

I hung this wallpaper in the powder room of a townhome in a new development in north Houston.

Tall Trees in a Tall Dining Room

February 13, 2020

The ceilings in this dining room in the West University neighborhood of Houston are more than 11′ high – and this vertical tree pattern visually swoops them even higher!

I love the hand-painted look of this paper. Actually, it’s machine-printed on a non-woven material, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method – but I find the paste-the-paper process to be more effective.

The wallpaper is called ” Raphael ” and is by Sandberg, which is affiliated with Scalamandre.

Scalamandre Textured Stripe

September 23, 2019

This is one of those jobs that you have to see in person to fully appreciated, because the photos show only a fraction of the coolness of this material.

The homeowner of this brand-new home in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston loves to entertain, and he has a large personality. He turned his living room into a bar / lounge / reception sort of area. It’s the first thing you see as you enter the house.

This room has a lot more luxe and drama and cool furnishings that I am not showing, out of respect for my client’s privacy. But suffice it to say, the overall effect will really WOW everyone who walks into the home.

Scalamandré makes this product, which is called “Pacific Stripe.” It has a high plastic content, which allows for the heavily textured surface, as well as a lot of Mylar, which accounts for the metallic-like sheen.

One photo shows this material rolled out on the floor, to see how the pattern plays out across the width. Turns out the dark striped ridges come nine to a set. The edges on either side of the goods have more than nine ridges … This means that when strips are placed next to one another, you will end up with many more than nine ridges at each seam. So some has to be trimmed off of either side of the wallpaper, to ensure that each band of stripes has only nine ridges.

Lots of higher-end papers need to have their selvedge edge trimmed off. But this is the first time I’ve encountered a thick, textured paper that had to be hand-trimmed. Note the photo showing this process.

My goal was to leave four ridges on the right side of the paper, and then five ridges plus a flat line on the opposite side of the paper, to maintain the correct rhythm of ridge-to-flat spacing. The paper was dark, and the lighting was poor, so it was difficult to see where to trim.

Also, the thickness of the ridges held my 6′ metal straightedge off the material, so it was very important to hold my razor blade absolutely straight, to avoid a beveled or wavering cut.

It helped that the contractor had painted the wall black (per my specs), so, after I deglosssed and then applied my clear primer Gardz, there were no worries about background color peeking out at the seams. As extra assurance, I colored the edges of the paper (which was bonded to a white substrate) with dark chalk.

Scalamandré provided no instructions or information of any sort, so I followed my gut as for paste, booking time, and other installation techniques.

The product was very thick and stiff. It was difficult to trim through and took many swipes of my razor knife. A simple accent wall like this is one thing … but this material would have been a real pain to hang in a room that had intricate decorative moldings, or in a complicated room like a bathroom – I would probably have had the homeowner remove the sink and toilet and then replace them after the wallpaper was up. ($$ to pay the plumber!)

As it was, this single accent wall behind a well-loved entertaining area was the perfect spot for it.

The homeowner is overjoyed with the finished bar. In fact, he can’t wait to host his first party!

Two Pretty Blues Today

April 25, 2019

Another “all white” house gets a little personality and definition from a light dose of color and pattern. What a pleasant change!

The first three photos are Scalamandre’s “Balinese Peacock.” It came with a selvedge edge that had to be hand-trimmed off with a razor blade and a 6′ straight edge.

The last two photos are a fun elongated triangle floral stripe by Schumacher. My “after” sink photo didn’t come through, unfortunately, but the other pictures will give you an idea of the pattern.

Even though these papers are by two different manufacturers, the blue color is identical. It’s a lot brighter and prettier than my crummy camera depicts. The blue picks up hints of blue that the homeowner has in her living room (throw pillows) and in the dining room (navy blue paint above the wainscoting).

The peacock went in a small bar area off the living room, and the foliage stripe went in the under-the-stairs powder room that is right off the bar. The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston.

What’s Eating This Paper?

February 20, 2017

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I hung this 10-15 years ago, and was back for another reason. This is a powder room. Spots like this are along the edges of much of the woodwork.

I think the brand is Scalamandre, a higher-end wallpaper, and it was a hand-trimmed paper with ink that smells like mothballs.

It really doesn’t look like something the maid could have done, even if she got chemicals on the paper. I told the homeowner I think it’s bugs eating the ink or paper, but she says she’s never seen bugs in her house. Well, she did admit that she has seen silverfish.

Just for fun, Google “silverfish wallpaper paste.” Ah-HA!

My suggestion was to get some bottles of 99c craft paint and a small brush and color in the areas.

Zebras Charging Through the Bath

November 16, 2014

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This zebra-and-arrow pattern is very old, and very loved. Scalamandre has been making it for a long time, in many colorways. Most of those colors are VERY difficult to work with. You see, the inks, combined with the paper substrate they are printed on, cause the seams to curl backwards (because the paper absorbs moisture and expands more than the ink does). My paperhanger buddies across the country who have hung the red and the gold and the green colorways have had real struggles to get the seams to lie down and to look good.

To be honest, after listening to the horror stories from them, I would not have touched it, if it were a printed paper. Except my client had chosen a silver grasscloth overprinted with the zebras. Grasscloth presents its own challenges, but at least you don’t have to worry about curling seams. So I took it on!

Still, it took a LONG time, probably 11 hours to hang (prep was already done) 8 rolls in a hall bath. Like many high-end goods, this paper came with a selvedge edge, which had to be precisely measured and trimmed off by hand. And it takes a LOT more effort to cut through grasscloth than paper.

Flat walls went OK. But the material was stiff and difficult to work with when it came to trimming around decorative moldings. AND… the beautifully remodeled bathroom included a console sink with chrome legs with non-removable support brackets, plus the plumber caulked the escutcheons to the wall so they had to be trimmed around neatly. (Usually you rough-cut around pipes, and the escutcheons cover it up.) It’s a good thing I’m short, because I must have spent an hour cross-legged under that sink, trimming around the brackets and pipes. 🙂

In the distant shot, you see two strips side-by-side. Note that the color difference between them is normal, and considered part of the “inherent natural beauty” of the product. All of the bolts were from the same run (printed at the same time), and still a color difference is to be expected. In fact, this paper was pretty much made to order, and the client had to wait a good couple of months for it to be printed and shipped.

The homeowner said to me, “I know you don’t like grasscloth’s visible seams, and the color difference between panels. But I don’t mind at all. I love LOVE it!”

The manufacturer is Scalamandre, and I hung this in a bathroom in a darling, nicely-remodeled-but-sensitive-to-its-roots bungalow in the Museum District. The work was done by Greymark Construction, whose work I really like, and whom I have worked with for more than a decade. In fact, I did a job last week in River Oaks where they had totally overhauled the entire housee. Leslie King is the owner. Yes, a woman! 😉

Flaw of the Day – Tape Tears Paper

December 4, 2013

Digital ImageThe manufacturer secured the rolls of paper with green “frog tape.” Removing the tape also removed some of the backing of the wallpaper. And yes, that can show when the paper is on the wall.

Blue painter’s tape would remove easily and cleanly. And some brands, like Thibaut, use bands of paper secured with removeable adhesive, like on Post A Notes, so no adhesive ever touches the wallpaper.

This paper is by Scalamandre.

Hand-Trimming a High-End Paper

June 7, 2013

Digital ImageSome wallpapers, particularly the higher-end brands, come with the selvedge still on the edge, and this had to be hand-trimmed off.

You can do this two ways. One is to hang the strips of paper on the wall, and then double-cut (splice) them together. This gives an absolutely perfect seam, but you run the risk of cutting too deep and scoring the wall. (I put a strip of special plastic behind the seam while cutting, to prevent this.) Also, it’s pretty common for some of the manufacturer’s trim lines to end up showing.

The other method is to dry-trim the paper on the work table, using a straight edge and razor knife. That’s what I’m doing in this photo. The manufacturer puts “Trim” marks on the paper to act as guides. Or, what I did today way, find the match on the pattern, and then cut along an element of the design, making sure that the cut edges will match the pattern on the next strip.

This wallpaper is by Scalamandre.