Posts Tagged ‘surestrip’

A Very Pretty Heights House Renovation

February 10, 2021

Recent updates reflect respect for the original feel of this 1920 bungalow in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. There will be a claw-foot tub, as well as a very cool authentic vintage pedestal sink that the homeowner found on the side of the road, discarded from another older bungalow just a few blocks away. !!

Vintage-look beaded board paneling was added, along with hexagonal floor tile, both in a warm, muddy green that compliments the greens in the wallpaper.

The homeowner has a stunningly beautiful garden, and sought a wallpaper pattern that would bring the feel of nature indoors.

The top photo shows the walls as the contractor left them, in what we call a “Level 4” condition. This is optimal for wallpaper installation. No texture for me to get rid of, and no paint or PVA-based primers under the wallpaper. All I had to do was roll on my wallpaper-specific primer, Romans Pro 977, Ultra Prime.

The wallpaper is called Garden Party and is by York, in the Waverly collection (yes, reviving classic designs from the 1990’s!), and in their SureStrip line – one of my favorite products. It is pre-pasted, goes up nicely, hugs tight and thin to the wall, and performs wonderfully over the years, even under (mildly) humid conditions – such as a bathroom in an old house with poor ventilation.

The interior designer for this job is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. She works mostly on new builds and whole-house remodels, and mostly in the Heights / Garden Oaks neighborhoods.

Defects With York Wallpaper Today

February 10, 2021

Look closely at the top photo, and you will notice a very thin, light brown line down the left edge of the wallpaper. Lucky I noticed this before cutting or pasting any strips, because, if this had been hung on the wall, you would see a faint brown vertical stripe every 20.5″ around the room.

In the second photo, you will also notice a slight pattern mis-match.

Obviously, this paper was not trimmed correctly at the factory.

This is in the SureStrip line by York. It’s a shame, because this is one of my favorite brands and lines – but I’ve run into a number of printing defects with York papers recently.

Ivory Coast by Copper Corners

February 5, 2021

Slightly African in feel, “Ivory Coast” makes a bold statement in this under-the-stairs powder room in a home in the Heights (Houston). Yet, due to the subdued colorway, the look is not overwhelming.

The wallpaper is by Copper Corners, and is a pre-pasted product that comes in strips of various set sizes, rather than rolls. It was nice enough to work with, although I did have a few printing defect issues.

I suspect this wallpaper is (secretly) made by York (yorkwall.com) as it sure looks and acts like their SureStrip line. One of my favorite brands.

The interior designer is Katie Hilburn Interiors.

Sweet Watercolor Floral for “Big Girl’s Room”

February 3, 2021

Toddler Claire is moving from a crib to a bed, and her “Big Girl’s Room” needs a new look.

Enter “Watercolor Roses” in the Joanna Gaines Magnolia Home line by York (yorkwall.com), in their SureStrip line – one of my favorites.

The material is pre-pasted, and designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

The home is in the Oak Forest neighborhood of north Houston.

Sweet Classic Toile in Katy Powder Room

January 30, 2021

A toile is a sort of pen-and-ink drawing in one color. It’s a very classic look, and usually includes depictions of life in a by-gone era -although you can find toiles with nautical, fairy tale, animal, and many other themes.

This toile is from the Waverly line. I hung lots and lots of Waverly back in the ’90’s. Today, virtually none of it is available. This particular design has been discontinued.

The homeowners had this exact same wallpaper pattern in three of their former homes. They wanted it in their current home, too. Through thorough sleuthing, the homeowner was able to track down a stash of this pattern. He was able to access it through Sarah at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby.

The toile is by York, in their SureStrip line, one of my favorites. It is pre-pasted, and is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

The powder room was more than a little wonky, with a wavy ceiling line and un-plumb corners. A pattern like this is forgiving, because its so busy and “scratchy” that you don’t notice if some of the motifs are going a little off-track as they move around the room.

The home is in the Cinco Ranch subdivision of Katy in far west Houston.

November 17, 2020

Printing Defect – Shading Issue

Look at the seam, which runs down the center of the page. It is clear that the right side of these strips of wallpaper is darker than the left side.

Unfortunately, this homeowner’s paper is not going up today. And she will have to wait for the company to use up its current stock, and then make a new production run. (Do a Search here on “run” to learn more.)

And then we have to hope that the new run does not have the same defect. Once the paper arrives, I will run by the store and check it, before the client picks it up.

This has to be a fluke, because York, and their SureStrip line, is one of my favorite brands.

Manufacturer’s Trimming Error

October 14, 2020


Top photo shows the left edges of two strips of wallpaper, with a piece of white paper in between, so you can see the distinction between them.

As you can see, the one on the left has very tiny bits of the pattern motif along its left edge.

The one on the right has wider bits of the pattern.

The right edges of these strips had the matching halves of the pattern motifs, also in disparate sized chunks.

What this means is, when the left edge of one of these strips is hung on the wall and butted up against the right edge of the next strip, the joined motifs will not match up perfectly. They will be either too wide or too narrow – which, with a rhythmic pattern like this, would be very noticeable.

In fact, the manufacturer’s trimming machine must have been a tad out of whack, because the motifs on the edges of these bolts were 1/32″ – 1/64″ too wide – and, as you can see in the second photo, when placed next to each other, the resulting motifs were wider than the others. Some “small” thing like this will catch the eye.

In addition, on one bolt (the one on the far left in the top photo), the pattern started out very narrow at the top, but, as the 27′ long bolt unfurled, the pattern got wider. In other words, the trimming machine must have been cattywhompus, and thus the material got cut on a bias.

I really like the York brand, and I am a big fan of their SureStrip line. But today I was disappointed.

Sweet, Classic, Floral Bedroom in West U

October 10, 2020


Look at how this fluid floral pattern in a warm colorway snugs up this spare bedroom. The wallpaper was applied to just the top portion of the wall, with a chair rail and wainscoting below it.

At my suggestion, below the chair rail, the homeowner will add either beaded-board paneling OR embossed (textured) faux beaded board wallpaper. I’m voting for the wallpaper! To be honest, it’s the better option. It’s cheaper, installation will be less expensive, and, most important, it’s thinner, so that it will not cover up the narrow profile of the baseboard.

The paneling will then be painted. I suggested pulling a color out of the wallpaper, such as a soft “buff” found in some of the flowers. That will add more visual weight to the bottom portion of the room, as well as warm up the whole look.

If the homeowners want to kick it up a notch, they could add a glaze, using a color found in some of the flowers. There are blues and greens, but I much prefer the red/orange tones.

The walls were originally textured, so I spent a day and a half skim-floating them and then sanding smooth, and followed that with a primer formulated for wallpaper.

The wallpaper is by York, in their SureStrip line, which is one of my favorite manufacturers and products. SureStrip is pre-pasted and easy to hang, does not shrink significantly, and is designed to be easy to strip off the wall when it’s time to redecorate.

The home is in the West University / Southside Place area of Houston.

Small Under Stair Segment

September 1, 2020


Just a tad of the underside of the home’s curved staircase jutted into the under-the-stairs powder room. The homeowner and I considered leaving the underside white, like the ceiling. But we decided it would look better to have all surfaces covered with the wallpaper.

Getting wallpaper onto both surfaces of this element presented some challenges. First, the curves and irregularity of the drywall work meant that paper would likely twist and warp and go off-kilter. Next, the underside was not perfectly flat, so there was the likelihood of void areas where the paper would not stick to the surface. Also, the curves and angles mean that the design will be torqued off-plumb, leaving the animal figures crooked and also not straight along the ceiling line. Finally, you can only match the pattern in one place, so that means that we would be left with mis-matches in three of the four corners / junctions.

Luckily, this pattern was extremely amenable to looking good even if it went off-plumb, tracked away from the ceiling line, or didn’t match perfectly. In addition, the SureStrip line (by York) is very flexible and malleable, and it adheres well with minimal shrinking, even on a surface with undulations.

I decide to match the pattern at the bottom of the sloped wall, where it meets the vertical back wall. Since this wall was a little higher on the left side than the right, it angled the new strip above it a bit to the right. Not a big deal … It’s only 27″ high, and no one is going to notice that the animal motifs are leaning a tad. And definitely no one is going to notice that the vines are not perfectly vertical.

Note that before applying paper to the underside of the slope, I wrapped 1/4″ of the paper from the horizontal area onto the underside (photo 2). This does create a slight ridge when the paper is applied to the underside and overlaps onto this 1/4″ flap. But I like this method, because it creates a nice, tight bond, and it eliminates the possibility of gaps showing if the two surfaces of wallpaper were trimmed flush to the corner of that rounded edge (which is not absolutely perfectly straight).

So, speaking of that slightly rounded edge, as well as the one to the left of the slope, in both these areas, the wallpaper pattern could not be matched. Not a big deal. It doesn’t assault your eye at all. I’m very pleased with the way this turned out.

On to other things. In the upper left, you might notice that there are two monkeys next to each other. This is just a result of the way the pattern worked its way across the wall, after being fitted to walls moving back into a 90* angle, and to walls moving forward in a curve. I did do a little cutting along the vines, so the slight mis-match would be less noticeable than if it were a straight vertical break in the pattern.

You’d have to spend a lot of time looking up behind you at that exact point to even notice that the two monkeys are closer to each other than they “should” be.

Later, I did go back and use scrap paper to cut an appliqu̩ of a rabbit Рalso trimmed along the wavy lines of the foliage Рand pasted this on top of the monkey. Sorry, no photo. But seeing a rabbit instead of an ape successfully broke up the repetitiveness of the dual monkeys. Now, all you see are happy animals in a forest.

Dwunken Cwitters

August 30, 2020


Sometimes you have to look twice to see what’s really going on. At first, I thought these were merely whimsical 19th Century creatures frolicking in the forest. But on closer inspection, it is clear that all of these critters are tippling. In fact, the fawn has drained a bottle and is totally sacked out!

For a powder room that guests will use, what a fun conversation-starter!

This wallpaper is by York, one of my favorite companies, and is in their SureStrip line, also one of my favorites. It is thin and hugs the wall tightly, pre-pasted and a delight to work with. It will hold up perfectly for years.

The homeowner originally found this on Anthropologie, but had problems with their ordering process. York has begun selling directly to the public through their website, and the homeowner found it there – and at a lower price!

The home is in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston.