Posts Tagged ‘sugarland’

After 30 Years, It’s Time for an Update

December 19, 2018


These homeowners were updating their 30-year old home in Sugarland. To the dining room and hallway, they added crown molding at the top and wainscoting with block-and-panel molding at the bottom. Fine moldings add a real touch of elegance.

But the wife has a bit of a renegade spirit, and really likes the new “industrial modern” decorating style. So it was time for the ’90’s era faux-finish wallpaper to go – along with the border which you can just see a tidbit of it peeking out from under the new crown molding.

The new wallcovering choice is a small “flame” textured vinyl in a steely grey/taupe/gold color. It perfectly pulls together the industrial modern light fixture and the classic paneling.

The cut edges of the textured vinyl, along with the sheen of the material, really reflect light and bounce it around the room.

Like most solid-colored wallcoverings with no pattern, with or without a texture, this selection was subject to some color differences between strips. The dining area with 5′ high walls went up with a very homogenous look. Ditto one wall of the 8′ high hallway to the right. But another wall in that same hallway showed some differences between strips.

To minimize these differences, I tried various things.

First, I made sure to hang each strip sequentially, as they came off the bolt. That would reduce color variations, if the ink had gotten lighter or darker as the printing process went on at the factory.

I colored the edges of the vinyl with chalk of a matching hue, so that if a “high” area of the textured vinyl butted up against a “low” area of the next strip, the white edges would be covered with a matching color.

Next I tried reversing every other strip. This means you hang one strip right-side-up, and the next one upside-down. This ensures that one edge of the paper is being hung against itself, so, if there is a color difference, it is gradual instead of abrupt. Difficult to explain, but it makes sense if your mind’s eye can follow it through.

Interestingly enough, reversing every other strip worked quite nicely on the dining room walls, as you see in the photo. But in the full-height walls to the right, reversing the strips resulted in paneling. So there I hung all the strips right-side-up – and it looked great.

But on the far wall, no matter if I hung right-side-up or reversed, you could see differences between the strips (last photo). I replaced one strip once, and another I replaced twice – but never really loved the way it turned out. On some of the other seams, even though I had colored the edges with chalk, the white vinyl still showed. At some point, you just have to say, “This is how the product is.”

This is also why you discuss this with the homeowner before starting the project – and hopefully before she makes her decision to purchase this product. In this case, the homeowner was originally looking at grasscloth – and that product would most likely have had much more noticeable color differences.

Lighting has a lot to do with it, too. Strong light, filtered light, incandescent or LED, light straight-on or light from an angle, all put their thumbprint on how the wallpaper looks.

This wallpaper pattern is by York (one of the homeowners is originally from York, Pensylvania!), and 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 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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Wonderful Zen-Like Faux Grasscloth

January 14, 2017
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This powder room had been wallpapered with a floral pattern, probably back in the early ’90’s. Then someone painted over the wallpaper with a faux finish pattern on the top 2/3 of the wall, left the bottom 1/3 a coordinating solid color, and rounded it out with a border around the middle. It all looked pretty good, but it was outdated, and the new homeowner wanted something fresher.

Originally, she was considering grasscloth. I quickly discouraged her from using that material, because of the very visible seams and the horrible color variations that can appear between strips, and even within strips. I was happy when she chose this instead.

The new paper is from one of my favorite books, Grass Effects, in the EcoChic line by WallQuest. Because it’s a stringcloth, it has the texture that people are loving right now. But because it is a man-made product, rather than a natural material, it does not have the shading and paneling and color variations and visible seams that make real grasscloth so disappointing.

To the far left of the second photo, there is a seam, but you cannot detect it. The third photo shows the same seam from a different angle, and it is more visible, but that’s the camera talking – in real life, this seam was barely visible. The close-up shots show the texture of the material. This company makes other versions that have a more horizontal pattern, and that look even more like real grasscloth.

I really like this paper, and I hope more people will choose it, instead of real grasscloth. It is more water and stain resistant, too.

The location of this job was Sugarland, in far southwest Houston. This wallpaper was bought at a 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.

Tweaking the Pattern to Get a Better Layout

June 19, 2016

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In this dining room, I hung the paper around the upper portion of wall first. Then I had two options for papering the column below.

One was to line the balls up with the pattern above, so they fell in a perfectly plumb line. This would have moved the centers of the balls a little to the right of the center of the post.

The other option was to make those dynamic circles really the focal point of the column, by giving them center stage. I placed them so their centers were smack in the middle of that central angle. This allowed the full ball to show, with none being cut off at either edge of the column.

It’s a little out of alignment with the pattern above. But this was a much better way to dramatize an already-bold pattern, and really draw the eye to it. Hey, if you’re going to use a wild pattern like this, punch it up every way you can!

This wallpaper is by Fabricut, an comes with matching fabric. I hung it in a dining room in Greatwood (Sugarland) (Houston).

A Classic Trellis, Updated and a Little Sassy

April 3, 2015

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Trellis patterns like this have been with us forever, but they are super popular right now. This updated version has a black motif printed on a shimmery background. It dramatically changed the look of this powder room, which originally was painted new-home-tan. The pattern visually expanded the walls of the room, making it appear larger, and added pizzazz – with just a little (but not too much) dazzle from the slight sheen.

Some of the walls in this room had bows in them – extreme bows, like I encountered last week (read previous posts), interestingly enough. These bows and un-plumb walls can really wreck havoc on precise patterns like this, especially when turning corners, but I was happy with the way the corners turned out.

This wallpaper was printed on a non-woven substrate (you can see the material in the close-up shot), and has a slightly raised texture. I don’t particularly like most of the new non-woven materials, but this one handled beautifully, and the seams were not very visible (as they can be on some N-W goods). I think it will wear well, and will resist stains. It is by Designer Wallpaper 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.

You will notice two photos of the sink. I plotted the layout so that the pattern would be centered on the sink. However, the plumber managed to leave the faucet slightly askew (see photo), so it looks a tad off. (That’s probably par for the course, since the electrician got the light fixture off-center, too.) Finally, I couldn’t stand it, and wrestled with the faucet until I managed to tweak it until it was facing straight forward (last photo). 🙂

I hung this wallpaper in the powder room of the new home of a soon-to-be-first-time-parents in the Riverstone subdivision of Sugarland, just outside Houston.

Another “Same Room, Same Color, But a Whole New Personality”

April 2, 2015

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Similar to the job I did last Wednesday, this bedroom’s new wallpaper is about the same color as the paint. But you can see what life and personality the wallpaper brought with it. This is a damask pattern, a cream-on-tan, with some pearlized features and a few sparkles thrown in here and there, too. I hung it on an accent wall behind the headboard in the master bedroom. The bed will be pushed back into place tonight; I engineered the layout so the pattern would fall in the center of the headboard.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, 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.

The home’s location is Riverstone, in Sugarland, a young couple expecting their first baby. I am pretty booked up with work, and the homeowners didn’t want to wait (they’re having a baby shower), and were on the brink of looking for another installer. But then I got an unexpected change in my schedule, and was able to fit them in. Now that the decorating is done, the young couple can focus on that soon-to-arrive baby. 🙂

Wrapping Window Returns with Stiff Grasscloth

February 5, 2015

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Here is a continuation of yesterday’s job. This wall has five windows, each with two edges (returns) that need to have the wallpaper wrapped inside them. The wallpaper is grasscloth, which is thick and stiff, and not inclined to turn corners without a fight. I used my new “Uni-tool” (invented by a fellow WIA / NGPP member) to persuade the material to wrap around the edge.

The metal tool was used to kind of break the fibers at the edge, so they would make the turn, and then also to smooth out air bubbles, and then press the paper against the wall.

Also, you’re usually supposed to use separate strips of wallpaper in corners, including the 180* corners in between each window, so the paper can fuse itself to the minute changes in angles and plumb-ness of each surface. With thin wallpaper, this works great. But with thick grasscloth, you would be left with a visible difference in thickness the full length of each corner.

So I opted to use full strips instead. This lends its own set of concerns, mainly that if the angle is not 100% perfectly plumb and straight, the wallpaper will want to pull away from the wall, leaving an air bubble behind. To help prevent this, I used extra paste on the points of tension on the wall, in addition to the paste on the paper, and also worked hard with my smoother (but not so hard as to damage the grasscloth!) to get the material to stick nice and tight in all spots.

This wall has five windows, each with two “returns,” meaning 10 surfaces to be wrapped with grasscloth, plus 10 surfaces between each window – not counting the strips of paper above and below the windows. All this took me seven hours. Tomorrow I will finish the area under the tops of the windows, plus one 2-strip wall (not shown).

This is a patterned grasscloth by Thibaut, and I hung it in the dining room / breakfast room of a newish home in Sienna Plantation between Pearland and Sugarland, south of Houston.

Patterned, Textured Grasscloth in a Dining Area

February 4, 2015

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A couple of shots of the two walls I hung today, a grasscloth with a damask-like pattern applied to it. This is somewhat unique, as most grasscloths are simply color and texture, but no pattern.

I love how this wallpaper is adding warmth and character to this room. The damask makes it elegant, yet the woven texture of the grasscloth adds a warmth and even a rustic feel – which go nicely with the rough-hewn dining table. Note how the chair upholstery coordinates with the grasscloth, too.

This wallpaper is by Thibaut Designs, and was hung in the eating area of a home in Sienna Plantation, near Sugarland and Pearland, near Houston.

Tricky Grasscloth Job

February 1, 2015

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OK, to you, it’s a beautiful entry cloaked in the warm color and texture of grasscloth. But there is a LOT of work that went into this – 2 1/2 days, in fact, not counting the day and a half to prep the space. Just the wall with the windows took FIVE HOURS.

There are several complicating factors. The bull nosed edges are always tough to trim around, and to get stiff grasscloth to bend and conform to. Bullnosed corners are tricky, too, because paper does not cut squarely like it does with squared corners and turns. The windows that need to have the paper wrapped into the recessed area can be time consuming. (there is a distant photo and a close up photo, but they are not next to one another, sorry). The curved wall presents challenges in keeping the paper straight and free of wrinkles. There was another very tricky strip that is not pictured, details too complicated to explain. Toss in some decorative molding to cut around. And the math and extra cutting required to balance the strips on each wall – centering the strips and trimming them to all be the same width. I included a few pictures of plain walls, so you can see the beautiful color and texture.

This particular grasscloth is uncharacteristically thin and malleable, and, to be honest, I don’t think this job would have turned out nearly as well as it did, if the homeowner had chosed a typical stiff grasscloth. The homeowners love it. And, I admit, I am proud of how it turned out.

This grasscloth was purchased through a decorator, and was hung in the entry way of a new home in Sienna Plantation, between Sugarland and Pearland, near Houston.

If You Choose a Thick, Stiff Wallpaper, Expect to See the Seams

August 8, 2014

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Digital ImageThis wallpaper is printed on the newish “non-woven” backing, which many manufacturers are rushing to introduce. Most of these non-woven materials are thicker and stiffer than ordinary wallpaper, and the seams tend to show more.

Note that, when viewed from another angle (2nd photo), the seams are not nearly as visible.

This pattern is by Questex, #IR20007, and I hung it in a powder room in Sugarland.

Classic Design in Blue

June 6, 2014

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Digital ImageWallpaper designs don’t get more classic nor elegant than this. I put it in a two-room bathroom in a home in Missouri City (near Sugarland). I have hung this before in white, a couple of times, but this was my first time to hang the blue.

Previously, the room had been painted a soft green. Pretty, but lacking personality. This wallpaper really enlivened the room. The pattern is by Thibaut Designs.