Posts Tagged ‘sure strip’

Squiggly, Jocular Geometric in a Front Entry

August 5, 2017

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Life at home will never be too serious when walking through the front door is this fun!

The homeowner is the mother of a toddler and a newborn, and she chose this light-hearted pattern for the entry of their beautifully renovated and updated 1958 ranch style home in the Spring Branch area of Houston. Originally, the entry felt small and unwelcoming, and the walls had a heavy texture that was, well, it was icky.

I smoothed the walls, which took a long time, mostly waiting for the smoothing compound to dry, before I could sand it smooth and roll on a primer.

This playful pattern looks like someone took a grey Sharpie and drew star flowers and squares on the wall. It really expanded the space visually. The entry is now something fun and inviting to step into.

Since the entry can be seen easily from the living room and the great room and kitchen, it interjects a playful mood into the rest of the house.

This wallpaper pattern is from the Sure Strip line by York, one of my favorite brands, for many reasons. I like the “raised ink” texture to the paper. The thin paper will dry flat and hold tightly to the wall. Yet the material was developed so that, when it comes time to redecorate, it should strip off the wall easily and in one piece, with no damage to the underlying surface. On top of all that, it comes pre-pasted, and is very nice to work with.

Even though I was battling a regimented pattern in a room full of unlevel ceiling, un-plumb walls, and crooked corners, the finished project turned out fantastic.

This wallpaepr 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.

Untextured Faux Grasscloth in a Kitchen

July 22, 2017

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The kitchen and breakfast area of this ’70’s era kitchen are quite typical of the ranch style homes that were popular at that time. I have papered about a million of them. 🙂

The first photo shows the breakfast area stripped of three previous layers of wallpaper, primed, and ready for its new look. The second photo shows the same corner with the new wallpaper up on the walls.

It’s a subtle, quiet, restful look, with a bit of rustic tossed in.

The “rustic” comes from the grasscloth-look to this wallpaper. But it’s paper, not real grass, and it’s not the new three-dimensional stringcloth that I have been loving lately. That stringcloth faux grass product was too pricy for this homeowner’s remodel budget.

So she chose this instead. This is a wonderful alternative to real grass products. It is uniform in color so you don’t have the horrible shading and paneling and color variations that are inherent with real grasscloth. Even better, it has pattern that can be matched, so you can’t see the seams.

It does have a bit of texture from its “raised ink” printed surface, which is pleasing, but very minimal.

This wallpaper pattern is by York, in their Sure Strip line (I love the stuff!), and is a non-woven material that is meant to easily strip off the wall years later when it’s time to redecorate. It’s thin and hugs the wall nicely, and dries nice and flat and tight against the wall.

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.

Jungle Mural on a Bedroom Niche Wall

July 1, 2017

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This alcove / sitting area is in the entry vestibule of the master bedroom in a renovated-and-expanded 1914 home in the Houston Heights. Every wall and surface in the home is white, or some faint derivative of white. Meaning, colorless and lifeless.

This fun jungle mural with birds and foliage and a good (but not crazy) dose of color changes all that. Behind the headboard, as most accent walls are, might have been too much with this particular mural. But the homeowner envisioned it on this on one wall in the vestibule – the wall that the family will see when they are in the room with the kids, or on the bed.

In the second photo, I am laying out the mural, to see how I want to position it on the wall. The mural is about two feet too wide for the wall, and about 10″ too tall, so some of it had to be trimmed off. The homeowner wanted the bird on the left to be visible, so I plotted my placement around that.

One of the photos shows a mock-up of the mural which was included in the instruction sheet. It shows that the mural comes in eight panels, and it shows which design elements are included in each panel. This is very helpful in deciding which areas will be cut off, and which will be placed prominently on the wall.

Complicating that is the width of the individual panels relative to the width of the wall, and the fact that the paper will expand just a tad once it is wet with paste, which throws off initial measurements based on dry paper.

I’ll skip all the math and engineering, but to cut to the chase, I trimmed a little off here and added a little there, and the mural fit the wall beautifully, with the bird taking prominence on the left, an another large bird being featured just about in the dead center.

This mural is by SureStrip, one of my favorite brands. It is a thin, pliable, pre-pasted non-woven material that is designed to strip off the wall when it’s time to redecorate. In the meantime, it was positively lovely to work with, and it will stay on the wall and perform beautifully for years / decades to come.

Playful Pencil Line Flowers on an Accent Wall

June 19, 2017

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This light-hearted pattern looks like line drawings of flowers. It went on an entry wall that faces you immediately when you enter the home. The homeowner bought her paper more than a year ago, and has had the three double rolls in their box, leaning up against the wall, ever since. Family coming for a summer visit was the incentive to finally get the paper up!

This cute pattern is from Waverly, an older, somewhat flowery brand that has been reincarnated (and updated) by York. It is in the SureStrip line, which is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. This brand performs beautifully, during installation and during the time it’s up on the wall, and I like it a lot.

This product is pre-pasted, which means that the manufacturer has put a dry paste on the back that is activated by running the strips through a water tray. See third photo. I augment that by spreading a thin layer of wallpaper paste on the wall and along the ceiling and baseboard lines.

The 50’s era home is in the Willow Meadows neighborhood of Houston. The homeowner is an artsy sort of person who is not afraid of color or avant garde decorating, so the flowery wall fit perfectly with her décor. She originally intended to cover the wall with family photos and other artwork – but once she saw the paper up and realized how much she loved it, she quickly became reticent to cover it up. 🙂

The wallpaper 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.

Geometric Wallpaper Patterns – Accommodating UnPlumb Walls and Windows, and UnLevel Ceilings and Floors

February 24, 2017
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When entering this 2-room bathroom suite, the first thing you see is the window on the far wall. Because the window is the focal point, I chose to center the wallpaper’s pattern on it. As you can see in the first two photos, the geometric pattern is perfectly balanced on either side of the window.

But since walls and windows and ceilings and floors and etc., are never perfectly plumb or level, you can plot the pattern to be nice and straight in one place, but then you can plan on it going crooked in other areas of the room.

So it becomes a game of priorities… Do I keep the pattern plumb/level, or do I keep the pattern match intact?

Look at the photo of the wallpaper against the ceiling line, and you will see the pattern dropping down as it moves to the left. That doesn’t look great – but it’s not really all that noticeable or offensive.

Now look at the photo of the corner. The pattern matches perfectly. To get the pattern to match, I had to hang the paper to the left of the corner off-plumb, and that’s what threw the pattern at the ceiling line off-level and caused it to drop down as it moved to the left (mentioned above).

Mis-matched wallpaper patterns are eye-jarring, even in corners. I think it’s better to have the design match in the corners, then to worry about how it is moving along the ceiling line, or how it’s meeting up against other walls in other corners.

This wallpaper is by Waverly, which is made by York, and is in the Sure Strip line, a product that I particularly like. It 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.

Don’t Buy Paper-Backed Vinyl Wallpapers – Bad Seams

February 4, 2017

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Today’s wallpaper was a pre-pasted solid-vinyl material with a somewhat gritty manila paper type backing. These papers are usually in the lower price spectrum. These papers are also my least favorite type of wallcovering.

In the upper right of the photo is a seam that is what I call pooched. Puckered just a little. Other parts of the seam gapped a little. There were many areas that curled and would not lie down flat against the wall. I tried three pasting methods with the paper, but none of them left really good looking seams.

Did I mention that I hate paper-backed, solid vinyl wallpapers? The problem is that the paper backing absorbs moisture from the wet paste and expands. That expansion pushes the vinyl surface backwards and creates the little bit of curl at the seams. Often, this will lie back down once the paper is good and dry (which can take a while, because it’s plastic and there is nowhere for the moisture to go because it can’t pass through the plastic). But not always.

Now, if the seams curl when they are wet with wallpaper paste, how do you think they will perform when your teenager takes 40-minute showers and steams up the room, or on those days when you turn off the A/C and open the windows to enjoy the fresh air – a.k.a. Houston Humidity?

Did I mention that I hate paper-backed, solid vinyl wallpapers?

This paper is by Exclusive Wallcoverings and was made in England.

Better options would be a vinyl coated paper (similar terminology, but a big difference in material content), or one of the newer non-woven substrates, preferably the thinner ones (like the Sure Strip line), rather than the thick, spongy, or stiff ones.

Watercolor Peony for a Little Girl’s Room

January 4, 2017
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Today, a lucky little girl got her room livened up with an accent wall covered with this cheery and colorful watercolor-look peony wallpaper. Her bed is white, and will look super placed smack in front of this pretty wallpaper. Besides the flowers and leaves, the pattern features little critters – the little girl particularly loves the blue butterflies.

This is a new home in the Westridge Creek section in the far west end of Cinco Ranch, out in Katy, a suburb of Houston. The wallpaper was bought through Anthropologie, a site that many of my clients love.

The paper is made by York, in the Shelley Hesse New Orleans collection, and is in the SureStrip line. I particularly like SureStrip, because it’s a thin paper that hugs the wall nicely, plus it is on a non-woven substrate that is made to strip off the wall easily and cleanly when it’s time to redecorate.

Water-Colorful and Fun Flowers on a Bedroom Accent Wall

November 17, 2016
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It was hard getting a full-wall shot of this wallpaper install, because the wall was so darned tall – nearly 12 feet high! But you get the idea.

Originally, the wall was painted navy blue, like the other three walls in this master bedroom. The wall also had a flat-screen TV plastered in the middle of it. The husband, of course, loved the huge TV. But the wife persevered, and got him to agree to have this colorful and playful wallpaper cover the wall. Now, as to whether or not that TV will go back up on the wall remains to be seen ….

I smoothed the textured wall, which you can see on the right side of the first photo. The next day I hung the paper. The paper is by York, in the SureStrip line. It is a pre-pasted product, on a thin non-woven backing, and is designed to strip off the wall (relatively) easily when you want to redecorate. It is a lovely product to work with, clings tightly to the wall, seams are nearly invisible, and should hold up nicely for many years.

This is a 1955 home with mid-century modern flare, in the Spring Branch neighborhood of Houston, and the clients were a busy family with school-age children.

Making A Statement Coming Up The Stairs

October 7, 2016
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The lady of the house (a “tall skinny house” in the Houston Heights neighborhood), has a super eye for decorating, and the first floor looks like it was decorated by a highly-trained professional interior designer – but it is all the work of the homeowner.

But she thought that coming up the stairs to the second floor, the upstairs just looked boring. This short hallway is what you see as you walk up the stairs. With the beautiful woodwork and paint, it’s attractive, but it is boring. The homeowner found this fun palm-frond pattern via Anthropologie, and knew it would be perfect for this space.

She mentioned putting it on the ceiling, too, and I tried to talk her out of it, because I think that wallpaper on the ceiling crunches the ceiling down and makes the space claustrophobic. I also had not included the ceiling when I measured the room, so I didn’t think we would have enough paper to cover that additional surface.

But I could tell that she really wanted the paper on the ceiling, so I did some plotting and measuring and engineering, and managed to cover the ceiling and the walls with the paper that we had.

Once it was up, and when I stood on the stairs and looked forward, I have to admit – the gal’s decorating sense was spot-on – papering the ceiling was the perfect treatment!

One reason the pattern works so well here is because of the white crown molding breaking up the pattern on the walls from the pattern on the ceiling. If there were no crown molding, and the palm fronds on the walls connected to the fronds on the ceiling, I think it would have been too busy. (We also would not have had enough paper, due to having to match the pattern on the wall so it lines up with the pattern on the ceiling, which would have eaten up a lot more paper.)

This wallpaper is pre-pasted, and is in the Sure-Strip line (which I really like) by York Wallcoverings, and was purchased through Anthropologie.

Lively, Fun, Animal Paper for Little Girl’s Room

September 30, 2016
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What a fun, fanciful, and colorful paper for a little girl’s room! The builder had started to paint the wall, but then stopped. The homeowners always intended to get the wallpaper up, but time slipped by, and the poor little girl lived with half painted walls for two years. Finally, today the paper went up, and I’m sure that everyone can say it was worth the wait.

This wallpaper pattern is by Sure Strip, by York. It is pre-pasted and a dream to work with. It is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, with no damage to the wall, when it’s time to redecorate. I hung it on an accent wall in a girl’s bedroom in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.