Posts Tagged ‘seabrook’

Need a Little Reading Material in the Bathroom? ??

November 2, 2018


What fun wallpaper! This is very similar to grasscloth. But, instead of using natural grasses and reeds, this material is made of strips cut from magazine pages, rolled and folded into long narrow strips, and then sewed onto a paper backing. In some of the columns, you can actually read the words!

There is a similar product made from old newspapers – appropriately named “Yesterday’s News.”

I hung this in a powder room in a new, contemporary home in the Rice Military neighborhood of Houston. The homeowner, Cristin Wells, is an interior designer http://www.wellsdesignedhome.com/ who recently moved here from Chicago (not far from my hometown of St. Louis!), and brings her sophisticated playfulness here to the Bayou City.

This product is similar to grasscloth in that the seams are very visible. So I engineered the room to have seams fall evenly spaced on each wall, which we call balancing, and which gives a pleasing effect.

In addition, the material can be shaded, or paneled, which means there can be a noticeable color difference between strips, even if they come off the same bolt. In the third photo, you see how I have rolled the paper out on the floor, to check for shading / paneling, so the homeowner will be aware of this issue, and so I can plot how and where to use the various strips.

Indeed, before consulting with me, the homeowner initially purchased two bolts of paper; when I measured the space I told her that she needed five more. The additional bolts arrived in a different run. Run and batch and dye lot numbers are important – all bolts from the same run or batch were printed at the same time with the same batch of ink, and will generally be pretty much the same shade. Papers from a different run will be a slightly different shade, and will be very noticeable if placed next to one another on the same wall. This is true even with this recycled magazine page material – see the third photo – although instead of printing with ink, the ladies who manufacture this stuff (usually in China or somewhere in Asia) are grabbing handfuls of magazine pages. As you can see, color variations are still quite possible / probable.

In addition to the 10′ high ceilings, the room had a few features that made the install tricky. One was a deeper than usual vanity, which was difficult and somewhat dangerous to reach over to access the wall. This was also a “floating” vanity, which hung suspended on the wall with a short space underneath it that wanted to be covered with wallpaper. Contorting myself under a 30″ deep vanity into a 5″ high space to stick a couple of strips of paper to a rear wall that no one would ever see questioned my sense of reason – but I could not imagine leaving the wall unpapered, so I “got ‘er done!” Sorry, no photo.

Being a contemporary styled home, the window was recessed with a 1/2″ return,. This meant that I had to bring the paper to the edge of the window, and then wrap a mere 1/2″ around an outside corner. The paper was thick and didn’t want to make this turn, and, when it did, it didn’t want to stay stuck – it kept trying to lift up. Wetting the paper helped soften it so it was more agreeable to making these turns, and in some areas I also used a razor blade to make light horizontal slits in the material, right on the edge of the corner, to reduce tension and allow it to turn more easily. Sorry, no photo.

Speaking of making cuts … This stuff was thick and hard to cut, so it took a lot of pressure and several swipes to make many of the cuts, even with a brand new razor blade. When I trimmed the material horizontally at the ceiling and floor, the strings that held the folded magazine pages to the backing were cut also, and they came loose. That meant that there was nothing holding the folded magazine pages to the paper.

It turns out that each of those horizontal strips of folded magazine pages contained about 6 layers of paper, each folded accordion-style. Threads were sewn on to hold them to the backing. But once the threads were cut, the accordion-folded papers unfurled, spread apart, and pushed away from the backing. So when you looked at the ceiling or floor lines, you saw a puffy ridge running the width of the strip.

What I ended up doing was to go up to the ceiling and then down to the floor edges, gently pry apart the fanned layers, and use wallpaper paste to adhere them to one another. I had to get sufficient paste behind each of the six layers, for the entire 3′ width of each strip, press them back together, hold them until the adhesive tacked up – all without getting any paste on the paper or on the ceiling.

All of the above added a lot of time to this job, and I didn’t leave until 9:30 p.m. But the room looked great when I was finished. From its initial uninspired dull grey paint job to the colorful and quite unexpected recycled magazine pages covering the walls, this powder room has experienced a major transformation.

The wallpaper is by Seabrook, which has been purchased by York. Both are wonderful brands.

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Disguising the Kill Point

June 13, 2018

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Digital ImageI hung this beautiful tan peacock pattern on a pearlized background in a powder room in the Clear Lake / Seabrook area of Houston. The “kill point” is the last corner in a room, and you will virtually always have a pattern mis-match at that point, so I plan the layout so that falls in an inconspicuous place. Usually, that’s a door that is set close to a corner.

But in this powder room, all four corners were very visible. I didn’t want to end in one of those corners, because that would result in a half a peacock butting up against a cut-off tree branch, for the entire 8′ height of the wall.

So I put the kill point over the door, where the strip was only 10″ high. A 10″ mis-match is better than an 8′ mis-match, but I still didn’t want to end up with a chopped up peacock. So I fiddled around a little, played with the pattern, overlapped two pieces (with wax paper protecting them from paste), and spliced the two pieces together, using a curved cut instead of a straight cut, so I could cut around the tree branches and leaves, instead of cutting them off abruptly.

You can see that the pattern motif repeats itself, but that is not too noticeable, in the grand scheme of things, and looks way better than the alternative.

Interestingly, I did a similar trick earlier in the week with another kind of paper, and the technique was entirely different. The other paper was thin and could be overlapped and have appliqués applied to it. This paper, a thick non-woven with a textured surface, could not be overlapped, so a splice was the best route.

This wallpaper is by Ronald Redding for York Wallcoverings, and was sold by Ethan Allen’s Friendswood (Baybrook) location. Betcha didn’t know they had (free!) design services, did you?

Modern Industrial Wallpaper with Graffiti

December 16, 2017

Well, here’s something different and fun. The Montrose area (Houston) home has a very earthy, eclectic feel, and this wallpaper pattern is the perfect compliment. The colors and texture are perfect with the bathroom tile and iron sconces, and the small scrawls of writing and numbers add just a touch of edginess.

This paper is by Carl Robinson, a British company that is distributed by Seabrook here in the U.S. It is a non-woven material and is intended to paste the wall for installation, but I chose to paste the paper, for various reasons, most of which had to do with the two light sconces that could not be removed from the wall. Made the job a little tricky.

The paper 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.

One Really Fun, Cheery, Cheek-Bursting Wallpaper Design

February 5, 2017
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This homeowner has a vibrant personality – yet all of the walls in her home were bland and boring. She is coming up on a significant birthday, and is planning a huge bash. She wanted to get this powder room gussied up, to both reflect her spunky personality, and to impress her friend who would be coming to the party.

Oh, and she also likes the color purple.

This wallpaper pattern fills the bill in many ways. For starters, it is lively and fun. The scale of the pattern works quite nicely with the width and height of the walls. Next, it is way colorful. And it has the homeonwer’s favorite color – purple.

Originally, we were going to paper the walls from floor to ceiling. But the homeowner anticipated that the busy pattern might be overwhelming if spread over 8′ of wall height. Good call!

So I hung the paper from the ceiling down to 34″ from the floor. (Three feet is a pretty standard height for a chair rail.) The homeowner will have the bottom 1/3 of the walls painted, probably a rich grey. Next, a chair rail will be added around the middle of the room.

I am encouraging the homeowner to paint this molding a vibrant purple.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what color she decides to use.

I am confident that she will land on the perfect colors, and the powder room will be looking stellar in time for her Bog Birthday Bash.

This wallpaper is by York, in their Cary Lind design line, and in their Sure Strip material line (one of my favorites). It was bought from 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!

My client said, “I went in there confident that I knew what I wanted – but I just wanted to see what else was out there. I advised Dorota what I was looking for, and when I got to the store, she had books marked and waiting for me. But every time I’d fall in love with a pattern, Dorota would walk up to me, holding a new book with new patterns.

Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

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.

Glass Beads and Glitter for New Baby Girl

August 11, 2016
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A new baby girl is on her way, and Mom thought that the nursery, with its calm, soothing brown walls, needed a little brightening, and a little spark of femininity. With its gentle color and glittery glass beads, this updated classic design fills the bill perfectly.

This is just one short recessed wall, and the crib will sit in front of it. To make the design, real glass beads are embedded into the paper – and you can see how they catch and reflect the light!

The designer is Carl Robinson, and the brand is Seabrook. It is a non-woven paper and is a paste-the-wall product. This wallpaper 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.

Classic Damask With an Updated Look

July 23, 2016
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These homeowners have built what I call a “Hansel & Gretel house” in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston – lots of stone and wood on the outside, peaked rooflines, reminiscent of the fairy tale, and dark stained woodwork inside, with arched windows and vaulted / domed ceilings. For the under-the-stairs powder room, they chose wallpaper that was in keeping with the feel of the style of the home.

This damask pattern is very classic. But it has been updated with a bit of sass from silvery inks. Sorry that the metallic finish and the beauty of the paper don’t show up well on my photos.

I took care to center the damask pattern on the wall behind the mirror / sink, which you can see a little in the third photo (sink has not been installed yet, so you are looking at the plumbing).

This was a non-woven substrate, and a paste-the-wall product. Anderson Prints are through the Printers Guild, a division of Seabrook Wallcoverings.

Glass Bead Glamor in a Girl’s Bedroom Get Away

June 22, 2016
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The pattern is subtle and the color is subdued, and makes a great backdrop for this pre-teen girl’s bedroom accent wall.

But look again in the right light, and you’ll see a lot of glitter and glimmer and shimmer in this wallpaper. Parts of the design are imbedded with glass beads, and they catch and reflect light, making the whole wall look rather exotic. Perfect for a gal this age!

I hung this wallpaper in a new home in the Rice University area of Houston. The pattern is by Carl Robinson for Seabrook, and was purchased from Dorota Hartwig, (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.

Flaw of the Day – Wrinkly Paper

December 22, 2015

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This wrinkled mess ran down the center of about 6′ of a bolt of wallpaper, definitely making it unusable. My guess is that it got caught up in the printing press somehow. Luckily, I had the homeowner buy enough that I was able to discard this messed up paper, and still have enough to finish papering the powder room.

This wallpaper is by Designer Wallpaper, by Seabrook.

Coordinating Companion Papers in a Powder Room

December 13, 2015
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These homeowners had their painters strip off the old (dark red) wallpaper, and were eager to get the new wallpaper up in time for their annual Christmas Eve party. Even though I am booked up with work through most of March, I had an unexpected opening, and was able to get their paper up today.

It was a little nip-and-tuck, though, because they had ordered their paper without first consulting a paperhanger, and, as commonly happens, they ordered too little. 😦 So, they had to pay mega bucks to get the necessary double roll shipped via 2nd Day Air, smack in the middle of the holiday shipping season. Happily, it got here 12 hours before the install day, and I was able to pick it up from the wallpaper store, to save the client the trip into town. We were also lucky that it was the same run number.

The painters had done a good enough job stripping off the old paper, and originally, I thought all that I would have to do would be to prime the walls. But once I got to scrutinizing the walls, particularly the corners and edges, I knew that the walls could be in better shape. So I skim-floated and sanded just about everything, creating a very smooth, homogenous surface for the new wallpaper. All this added about three hours to my workday, plus some dust from sanding (which I vacuumed and wiped up).

The job would have looked good enough if I had hung the paper on the painters’ “prepped” walls. But I was glad that I had taken the extra time and labor to smooth the walls and ceiling, because the finished job looked fantastic, with no uneven areas or bumps showing under the paper, nor any areas raising questions regarding adhesion.

I am not usually a fan of wallpaper on the ceiling, especially when it’s a dark paper. But in small powder rooms, it can be very appealing – some designers call this sort of treatment in a small room a “jewel box.”

The two wallpaper patterns are by Designer Wallpapers, which is by Seabrook Wallpaper. They are in the same colorway, and are designed to work together, as coordinating, or companion, patterns.

The murky brown, fuzzily striped pattern went on the ceiling. A coordinating brown, hazy pattern went on the walls, and it featured a foggy medallion in a traditional motif. The finished room, with the dark vanity, dark granite countertop, and oil-rubbed bronze light fixtures, looked fantastic. To me, it looked like something out of a 14th Century castle.

Unfortunately, all of these elements don’t show up on the photos (Man, is it difficult to get photographs of tiny rooms!!) But you get the idea. And, I can tell you – this finished powder room looks fantastic.

AND … it will be ready to receive guests at the homeowners’ party on Christmas Eve.

I hung this wallpaper in a powder room in Barker’s Landing, near I-10 / Memorial and Hwy 6, in west Houston. (Interestingly enough, I had done another job, in a dining room, in this same subdivision, just a few months ago.) It is by Designer Wallpapers, which is made by Seabrook, and was unusually nice to work with. Pattern numbers are FR61205 and FR61405. It 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.