Posts Tagged ‘study’

Major Transformation – From Cave-Like to Bright, Warm and Tranquil

July 15, 2017

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Wow, what a change! This home office / TV room in Southside Place / West University neighborhood of Houston, was papered in a dark-navy-on-navy stripe. In my opinion, it looked great in the room, especially above the white paneled wainscoting. But it was time for a change … in fact, the husband said, “We should have gotten rid of this when we bought the house 25 years ago.”

The navy wallpaper was hung properly, but it would not come off the wall without a LOT of time and mess (and $ ). So I prepped and sealed the walls and hung over it (see other posts). I love the 2nd photo, because it shows the new, light wallpaper juxtaposed against the original dark paper.

This material is a light tan stringcloth superimposed with a barely-there white Moroccan lantern motif. I love this as an alternative to grasscloth. It is uniform in color, has a wonderful tactile texture, and has none of the shading, paneling, color variations, visible seams, or propensity to staining and bleeding that make grasscloth so disappointing.

In addition, it is a non-woven, paste-the-wall product, and was nice to work with. The design was even perfectly centered on the 27″ wide material, and could be reverse-hung (hung upside down and still match up perfectly with the previous strip).

The new, light colored wallpaper looked super against the wainscoting, and had just enough color to stand out against the white woodwork. The sofa was a tan linen fabric, and synced with the new wallpaper in color and texture. The armoire that holds the TV is a medium wood tone, and contrasts against the light walls “just enough.” The whole overall look is relaxing.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpaper, in their EcoChic line, in a book or line called Wallpaper Effects, and 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.

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Prepping Heavily Textured Walls for Wallpaper

February 15, 2017
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Wow. Some DIY remodeler / house flipper loved this textured wall finish, and sprayed it on EVERY WALL AND CEILING in this otherwise-beautifully-updated home near Gessner & Kempwood. The young couple who bought the home want wallpaper in their two daughters’ rooms and in a front room study, plus they want chalkboard paint on one wall in the kitchen.

Wallpaper looks best and sticks best to smooth walls, and the chalkboard wall needs to be perfectly smooth, so I am spending two days smoothing these surfaces. The wallpaper will go up later.

Today I skim-floated the walls with joint compound. (It’s kind of like plaster, and is applied with a trowel.) I went through nearly FIVE boxes of the stuff (see photo). Each box is 44 lbs. Need I say that my arms and shoulders are tired and sore? 🙂

Applying it thickly enough to cover the 1/4″ – 1/2″ bumps means that it will take a looong time to dry, so I have turned on the heat in the house (to help draw moisture out of the smoothing compound) as well as the house fan (to circulate air), set several fans up blowing against the walls, and left it to dry overnight. Tomorrow, I will sand the walls.

Because the skim coat was so thick, even when it is sanded, the surface will not be perfectly smooth, and will also have many holes caused by air bubbles. So I will trowel on a second, much lighter coat, to cover these irregularities. With the heat cranking, and the fans blowing, this second skim coat should dry fairly quickly.

Then I will sand one final time, vacuum up the dust, wipe the walls free of dust with a damp sponge, and finally roll on a sealing primer called Gardz.

The painters can then apply the chalkboard paint to the kitchen wall. And when I come back to hang wallpaper in a month or so, the messy part of the job will be over and done with, so no more dust or mess or smells in the clients’ home – just new, pretty wallpaper for the little girls’s rooms and for Mom’s study.

The Same Foggy Grasscloth in a Study

August 6, 2015
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A few weeks after I did the job below, I was back to paper some more rooms. One was this study. There were swatches of dark paint on the wall, and at first I thought they were going to use a dark wallpaper. But instead, the homeowners decided to go with the same Phillip Jefferies grasscloth they used in the dining room across the hall.

This turned out to be a wonderful decision – a dark paper would have been too much, with the dark brown oak floors, brown desk, and brown leather chairs. This “fog” colored option offers just enough contrast between the walls and the other elements in the room, plus keeps the whole area bright.

In the second photo, you see a bit of paneling (difference in color between strips of paper), but it is minimal, and the overall effect is warm, cheery, and elegant, all rolled into one. In the last photo, I am not trying to show you a chair – it’s just that the lighting washed out the view of the grasscloth in the background. But you get the idea of how a little texture on the walls sets off furnishings in the room.

Phillip Jeffries Silver Grasscloth

December 27, 2014

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In these boxes are 14 single rolls of Phillip Jeffries brand silver grasscloth for a study and some bookshelves in a house in the Heights. It’s an old bungalow that has been completely gutted, then enlarged and updated. The workmanship is masterful – I will have to remember to get the name of the contractor. The interior designer is Rachael Goetz (Google her). She helped pull the whole remodel together, and it looks fantastic.

As you can see, grasscloth has no pattern, so cannot be “matched,” and thus all the seams show. This is part of the natural beauty of the hand-made product. Also, there is usually a little difference in color between strips, even those that came off the same bolt of material. This is called “paneling” or “shading,” and is not a defect, but is considered another part of the inherent natural beauty of the product. (Note: the white blob in the middle of one strip is a reflection of light off the metallic paper, not a defect.)

Because the seams are so noticeable, it’s important to “balance” the room – plot the layout and trim the strips so that their widths are somewhat equal. For instance, you don’t want to have three 36″ wide strips, and then one that is 19″. It would look better to have four strips that are 31 3/4″ wide. All this measuring and trimming takes more time (a LOT more time), but it really makes the room look better.

More Cool Old Paper

September 10, 2010

In the same house I am installing kitchen wallpaper, the homeowner is so pleased that now she wants to do another room, a hall bathroom.

I stepped into the room to measure, and just gasped – There covering the walls was absolutely perfect condition, never been touched, stained, or painted, the original wallpaper dating back to 1968. !!

Although this paper was brown, too, just like in the kitchen, I liked it much better. It was a small diamond pattern, with decorative designs inside the diamonds. Typical background paper of that period. Probably would have looked better in a dining room or study, but – oh well – it went well with the bathroom tile.

And someone kept it in VERY good condition all these years.