Posts Tagged ‘stripes’

Quiet Glitter and Glamor for the Grandparents’ Guest Bedroom

May 17, 2019

No “Before” picture, because the wall started out just a boring white.

This is the fourth accent wall I did in a very contemporary new-build in the River Oaks neighborhood of Houston, and it has the least amount of color. So it fits the all-white theme in the home, and it lends a very soothing feel to this guest bedroom, which is used by the grandparents when they visit.

This wallpaper features a textured, embossed vinyl surface, with jagged stripes alternating between white and cream. Silver glitter worms its way along the stripes, lending just a tad of dazzle.

This was a paste-the-paper material, and there was no pattern match, so there was virtually no waste.

The paper is by Zambaiti, an Italian manufacturer. It was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Navy Denim Striped Wallpaper in a Boys’ Shared Bathroom

September 26, 2017

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The original wallpaper in this bathroom, which is shared by two teen aged boys, was a drab, mid-tone grey with little maroon “swoops” on it.  Not much to get excited about there.

The homeowner switched to this denim-look stripe pattern for the boys’ bathroom.  Everyone loves the new, more sophisticated, lighter and brighter look.

Look closely at the second photo.  You will notice that there is one white stripe that is narrower than the others.  The factory had a slight discrepancy during either printing or trimming, and thus the factory edges butted up against one another did not match the pattern correctly.

I didn’t catch this until I had papered most of the room.  By that time, it was too far into the game to make changes to the walls that had already been hung.

But for the remaining walls, which were all 24″ to 72″ in height, I took some extra time and hand-trimmed off the ill-sized stripes, and then trimmed new strips so that the stripes would match up with the aforementioned stripes.  If you are not following this – no worries.  I know what I’m talking about, and I was able to make the stripes on all the subsequent strips match up perfectly.  🙂

This wallpaper is by Designer Wallpapers, and was wonderful to work with.  The interior designer for the job (a whole house!)  is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs, assisted by Joni Karnowski and Danna Smith.

Sweet Fairy Tale for a Baby Girl’s Bathroom

November 26, 2016
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This mother is crazy about her just-learning-to-walk daughter, and wanted to do something special for the little girl’s room, starting with the bathroom.

Originally, the mother was pretty sure she wanted pink and white stripes. On our initial consultation, I assured her that stripes are classic and safe. Then I encouraged her to explore more options – there is a whole world out there of wallpaper patterns suitable for children, from sweet little girls to raucous boys to patterns that will remain appropriate from toddlerhood through the teen years.

I am glad that she took my advice. And she is, too. In fact, she is positively thrilled with the soft color and sweet charm of this storybook wallpaper pattern. Look closely, and you will love it, too!

This wallpaper is in the Jane Churchill line, by Cowtan & Tout, a British company. The design features Winnie the Pooh and friends, and is called “One Hundred Acre Wood.” It comes in several colors, it is positively adorable, and, in fact, I have another client who is planning to use this same paper and colorway in a few weeks.

This wallpaper pattern is printed on what we call a British “pulp paper” stock, and will stay nice and tight to the wall, even under humid conditions. There is no vinyl coating, though, as with many American alternatives, so staining is a possablity. To prevent this, the homeowners must be careful not to touch the paper with their hands or splash water onto the paper while using the sink.

I hung this cute story book toile pattern in pink-on-white in a little girls’ bathroom in a newish home in River Oaks. This wallpaper is by Cowtan & Tout, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Keeping Stripes Straight in a Corner

April 19, 2015

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One of the challenges of hanging wallpaper is keeping the pattern straight/plumb/level/all that jazz – especially factoring in Houston’s gumbo soil and shifting foundations. With a striped pattern, even a little variance is noticeable. Often, it’s not so important that the stripes hang true to plumb, but that they hang perpendicular to the corners and moldings in the room.

In the first photo, the corner is a little off-plumb (which is common). If the pattern had ended with the brown field in the corner, all would have been fine. But since the dark line fell in the corner, some of the “balls” in the pattern fell on the right of the corner, and some fell on the left, and that was obvious to the eye.

To disguise this, I cut my next strip and included the entire dark stripe along its left edge. Then I pasted this edge over the stripe in the corner (second photo), tweeking it a little, making sure that the stripes were on the left of the corner and the “balls” were on the right, and nothing was cut off.

Having the stripes absolutely plumb in the corner was not as important as how the stripes fell against the door molding to the right. Here, it had to be straight and parallel (but not necessarily plumb). You can see how I am using a ruler to be sure the length of the stripe is equidistant from the top of the door molding to the bottom.

Whew! Mission accomplished!

But all is not done … We still have the rest of the room to hang. And, as you can see, right above this door molding, the stripe looks like it is going off-plumb. Actually, it is an optical illusion, caused by the un-level-ness of the crown molding. It may be the trim carpenter’s fault, or the framer’s fault, or the Sheetrocker’s, or just blame it on the shifting gumbo soil under Houston. But, still, your eye sees this.

So, instead of butting my next strip of wallpaper against the piece in the photo, which would have committed each strip to being equally off-plumb, I cut the left edge of the strip along the striped design, and then overlapped the stripe of the new strip over the stripe on the existing strip, but, again, tweeking it just a little to make it look perpendicular to the crown molding.

This trick is blessedly easy to do with stripes, not just on headers (the short strips over doors and windows) but also, when necessary, and with a little more finesse, on full-length drops.

To reiterate: Keeping strips parallel with moldings or other key visual elements in a room, is more important than having them hang true to plumb.

It just sometimes takes a little work to reach that goal.

Coaxing Crooked to LOOK Straight

February 14, 2015

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Who-ah, Boy! The walls in this 1960’s era ranch style home in Highland Village were really out of plumb. The corner you are looking at was off by a full inch, from the ceiling to the floor. With wild vines and flowers, you don’t notice so much. But if stripes and walls and door frames don’t run parallel, well, it really looks bad.

So, what I did was, I cut the wallpaper along the lines of some of the wider stripes. Then I manipulated those stripes so they were spaced evenly from the corner. They were not plumb, but to the eye, they looked plumb. To do this, I had to overlap some of the paper along the edges of the stripes. This meant that, for example, some of the stripes were wider at the bottom than at the top. But, since the effect was spaced out over several inches, it was much less noticeable than if I had allowed the stripes to be crooked in the corners.

In the top photo, you see where I have cut this strip along two of the black stripes, from the top to just shy of the bottom. It’s tricky, as I am working with 1″ wide strips, each 8′ long, wet with paste, floppy, and sticky, and working from the bottom up, instead of the usual top down. In the second photo, I have begun to position them on the wall, keeping an equal distance from the corner, and allowing a little unequal distance between stripes in the middle of the wall.

In the bottom photo, you see the finished wall. Some of the stripes on the left are closer together at the top of the wall than they are at the bottom. But this doesn’t really catch your eye. And it looks a whole lot better than having stripes get cut off diagonally in the corners.

Different Prep & Installation Techniques

April 15, 2010

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After I finished my two-day job yesterday (which turned out very well, BTW, two tones of blue stripes on white paper in two young boys’ shared bathroom), the client made the comment that she was glad she hired me.  Here are some things she mentioned.

1. My work was beautiful.

2. The other installers she talked to had quoted higher prices.

3. The other installers stated they were not going to remove the existing wallpaper.

4. The other installers had said that there would be places were the stripes would not line up and would not match.

My thoughts:

3. I agree that it can sometimes be difficult to remove existing wallpaper, especially the very thin tight paper in this room, and that SOMEtimes it’s possible to prep the existing paper and hang new paper over it. But a paperhanger should always at least TRY to remove the paper. That eliminates worries about loose places here and there, and about the new wet paper causing bubbles in the paper surface below.  Plus, the fewer layers and the less bulk you have on the wall, the less chance of something pulling away down the road.

4. Yes, houses are never truely “square” or true to plumb, and stripes can be tricky to install. But there are many tricks of the trade, so to speak, that can actually make stripes EASIER to install, and easier to hide such flaws as this particular room had, like the mirror that was 1/2″ out of square with the wall from it’s top to bottom edges. Planning ahead to have to live with crooked lines is like giving up before you’ve started.

Instead of making excuses for inaccuracies, I say devise a way to eliminate, or at lease minimize, the chances of them occuring.