Posts Tagged ‘symmetrical’

Naked Ladies on the Walls in a Home Bar Bath

August 2, 2022
This is a powder room off a bar in a home in the Spring Branch area of Houston. The walls have wainscoting below and paneled walls above; the wallpaper is to go inside the panels.
Wallpaper primer has been applied . Because both the woodwork and the wallpaper are dark, I’ve taken care to not let my white primer get onto the woodwork, making sure to leave a 1/8″ or so gap of the dark woodwork paint. This way there won’t be any white showing at the edges.
This is a little dubious, though, because wallpaper paste won’t adhere to the glossy woodwork paint . Not too much of a worry, though, because that gap is mighty narrow and not likely to cause any adhesion problems. See recent previous post for a closer photo.
Done. Opposite wall reflected in the mirror.
From a distance, it just looks like a symmetrical design .
I centered the design on this section between the corner and the door .
I positioned the pattern so that half of it landed in the corner. Thus, looking in the mirror, between the two walls, you’ll see a whole motif.
The manufacturer colored the edges black . This greatly reduces the chances of the white edges of wallpaper showing at the seams. Do a Search to read my previous blogs on this topic.
The pattern is called Showgirls and is by Graduate Collection , out of England .

More William Morris Strawberry Thief in Houston Heights Hall Bathroom

June 24, 2022
Because I feared unstable walls in this 1920’s bungalow in this neighborhood (do a Search for previous posts), before hanging the decorative wallpaper, first I hung a non-woven liner paper on all the walls. That’s the white material you see in the photo.
The liner was hung horizontally so its seams can’t line up with the decorative paper. The idea is to disperse tension from drying wallpaper and changes due to humidity and etc., so as to deflect tension away from sketchy wall surfaces, and thus prevent delamination of multiple unstable layers deep inside the wall. Again, do a Search here to learn more.
Finished vanity area, with pattern centered on the light fixture.
Corner shot.
This colorful and symmetrical pattern is quite popular; I’ve hung it a number of times just this year.
Englishman William Morris designed wallpaper and fabrics during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The styles then were Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts. This design reflects a bit of each.
Wallpaper expands when it gets wet with paste, and then can shrink just a tad as it dries. The liner helps prevent that, but you can still end up with teeny gaps at some seams.
To prevent the white backing from showing through, I run a stripe of dark paint under where each seam will fall.
I use matt finish craft paint from the hobby store, diluted with a little water (in the orange bottle cap) and smeared on the wall with a scrap of sponge. Use a ruler or level and a pencil to mark where you want to stripe the dark paint.
Remember to allow for that expansion as the paper absorbs moisture from the paste. Meaning, if the paper is 20.5″ wide, and expands 1/2″, you’ll want to run your line at about 21.” And make sure that your painted swath is about an inch wide.
I also run a bit of dark chalk along the edges of each strip, to prevent the white substrate from showing at the seams (no photo).
Morris & Co. makes this iconic Strawberry Thief.
Interestingly enough, most times when I’ve hung a Morris paper, it’s been a non-woven paste-the-wall material.
Today’s option was a surprise – a traditional British pulp . This is a pretty basic and somewhat old-fashioned type of substrate . Sort of like construction paper, or the pages of an old family Bible .
The paper is very fragile , and can tear easily. You have to keep using new razor / trimming blades, because the material dulls blades quickly, and when dull they will drag and tear the paper.
Pulp papers also require a soaking / booking time after pasting , to allow time for the material to absorb the paste , soften a bit, and expand . The edges of the strips like to dry out , so I’ve learned to dip about 1/4″ of the booked ends ( booked means the pasted side of the wallpaper strip is folded onto itself, bottom edge folded up and top edge folded down to meet in the middle), into a bucket of clean water.
Then it goes into a black plastic trash bag to soak and relax for a few minutes before hanging. I use this opportunity to paste the next strip.
Non-woven wallpapers have advantages, because they do not expand when wet, and therefor you can get accurate measurements. They also can be pasted and hung immediately, with no waiting time. Alternately, you can paste the wall .

Cheery Verdant Choice Saves Home Office

May 18, 2022
This accent wall in a home office in Cypress ( Houston ) has a long story of mishaps, frustration, and $$.
Originally, the interior designer had suggested Feather Bloom grasscloth / sisal by Schumacher . I prepped the wall and prepared to hang the paper. But we discovered printing defects (very, very common with Schumacher), and other issues. Search here to see my previous posts.
We had to abort the install that day. This turned out to be a good thing, because, truth be told, the homeowners really didn’t like the Feather Bloom, but felt a little pressured to go with it.
So back to the vendor the ugly duckling went.
Then the homeowners took their time without the designer’s input, to look at wallpaper selections and purchase $1 samples they could see, feel, and tack up to the wall.
Their new choice (below) fits their style, color scheme, and pocket book much better (this option cost thousands less than the Schumacher).
The actual purchase was made through Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams store in the Rice Village (713) 529-6515.
Everything was done over the phone, and, to save the homeowners driving all the way into the city, I picked up the paper for them and delivered it to their home on install day.
Starting in the middle of the wall so I can place the very symmetrical pattern dead in the center of the wall.
The colors in the paper work beautifully with the green cabinets you see to the left.
And I love the way the airy feel and foliage and flowers compliment the open-air view outside the window.
This pattern is reminiscent of designs by William Morris, a designer of the Arts & Crafts period around the turn of the 20th Century. I’m seeing a lot of interest in these patterns of late.
Apelviken , Midbec , 33006 , A Street Prints , Spring, non-woven material made in Sweden , was very nice to work with and will hold up well for many, many years.
I installed using the paste-the-wall method , although you could also paste the paper.

Another Calm and Quiet Bathroom

January 29, 2022
Textured walls have been skim-floated and sanded smooth, wiped free of dust, primed, and are ready for wallpaper.
For the master bathroom, the homeowner again chose a symmetrical, fanciful, woodland themed design in muted tones of cream on tan.
The overall look is balanced and calm.
I added the paper towel cushions to the cabinet handles on the left, to prevent them from slamming into and marring the new wallpaper.
Close-up shows the unique light texture of raised ink on this material.
The manufacturer is Schumacher, pattern name is Chenoceau. Usually I don’t like this brand, but this paper was actually pretty nice to work with. It does not have a protective coating, so the homeowner will need to be careful with splashes of water and toiletries to prevent staining, and to not let damp towels hang against the wallpaper.

Bold David Hicks Geometric in Garden Oaks Powder Room

December 18, 2021
This young family wanted some WOW! Factor for their new home’s plain-Jane powder room. It’s a 2-room set up, with the sink in one area and the toity around the corner in a more private area.
Looking through one room into the next – yes, really a WOW! Factor!
Looks fantastic with the burnished gold faucets, light sconces, and hand towel ring.
Opposite wall. I centered the pattern on the wall opposite the mirror, so that the design would work around the room evenly and the pattern would fall equally on these two walls. In other words, the pattern hits the tile wall on the left at exactly the same point as it does on the tile wall to the right. The sconces also land on the same element in the wallpaper. This gives a very symmetrical look as you face the mirror. One of those things no one can put his finger on, but it makes the whole room feel balanced and in sync.
Back wall connecting to right wall with door that leads to the entry hall.
The commode room is under the stairway, so has a strongly sloped ceiling – and tight working quarters. You can also see that the wall is bowed in the corner, resulting in a good pattern match at top and bottom, but some mis-alignment in the center. Pretty typical. No walls are perfectly plumb, no ceiling is perfectly level, and corners are just about always a bit wonky. Geometric designs like this are particularly difficult to make look perfect.
On close-up, you can see a slight raised ink texture. This surface printed wallpaper was not a crisp look – nothing wrong with that … it’s part of the hand-crafted look. The non-woven material is thick and stiff, and the seams were a bit more noticeable than on many other non-wovens. I also noted that where the gold ink hit the edges of the paper, there were ever-so-slight curls and overlaps. My guess is the gold ink reacted to the wet paste and expanded differently from the black and the background color. Never mind. From two feet away, you can’t notice it at all.
The David Hicks Collection by GP & J Baker contains several variations of this type of bold geometric pattern. Some of the vendors are calling this a “new” release … but I first hung one of these designs maybe 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, they haven’t gotten any better with the quality. Surprising, because GP&J Baker’s papers are usually very nice – I did one just a few months ago and loved it. Conversely, this one is quite stiff, and trying to work it into tight spots such as corners or behind a toilet or around a vanity or light fixture can result in creases. And the ink flakes off very easily. Here, just pressing the wallpaper against the baseboard so it could be trimmed caused the ink to chip off, and you can see little bits of it collected on top of the baseboard on the left. Luckily, this was at the floor and not very noticeable. I used some black chalk to cover the white areas. But at eye-level, this would have necessitated removing the whole strip and replacing with a new one.

Wallpaper installer Houston

William Morris-Like Design in Woodlands Powder Room

December 5, 2021
Before. Hurricane Ida (October 2021) took their New Orleans home and everything in it, so the homeowner relocated to a north Houston suburb to be closer to family and college friends. The home is brand new, and has grey-tan walls. While the homeowner “grows” into the house, acquires furnishings, and figures out her decorating approach, she wanted at least one room prettied up.
She fell in love with this wallpaper pattern, and decided the powder room was the best place to showcase it.
Pattern centered on the sink / faucet and light fixture. It will look symmetrical and super nice when the mirror is hung.
William Morris innovated designs like this back in the 1860’s, and started the Art Nouveau and Arts & Craft movements, which carried on into the early 1900’s. I’ve hung a lot of patterns by him, and similar, in recent years, indicating an increased interest in this gorgeous, fluid, nature -centric style.
The paper has a velvety feel, and the seams were invisible. It’s non-woven material, which is very strong and designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate. It’s fairly water-resistant and somewhat more stain-resistant than more traditional wallpaper substrates.
Apelviken by Midbec is a Scandinavian manufacturer. Yeah…. the instructions on the flip side were a lot of fun to read through!
Interestingly, the labels listed the sequence in which the bolts were printed. Note that not all the bolts were in proper sequence. With a machine-printed product, sequence isn’t all that important because the color will print out very evenly.

The homeowner loved the new look, and said that having this one room decorated with some color and personality helped a lot to make the new house feel like a home. After the trauma she went through in recent months, it was an honor to help her new home become warm and welcoming.

A Second Centered Wall In the Same Room – Tricky Feat

December 2, 2021

Re my previous post, about centering the pattern on the fireplace wall … Once a wallpaper pattern has been positioned on the first wall, as subsequent strips are placed around the room, the pattern falls in its proper sequence. Meaning, you have no control over how the design will land on all the other walls.

In this room, I felt it was important for the design to be centered on the fireplace wall (see previous post). But the headboard wall was equally visually prominent, and it would sure look best if the scalloped design could be centered on this wall, too. But the way the wallpaper strips were following each other, the pattern would fall off-center when it hit this wall.

I thought I could make it look better. It took careful engineering, precise measurements, a laser level, some secret tricky techniques, and a whole lot of time (coupla hours). But I got the swoopy design centered behind the bed and between the windows and light fixtures, so the whole area looks perfectly balanced.

To achieve this, I had to ” shrink ” the design above and below the windows. (Do a Search here to see other posts explaining this process.) And I did end up with a pattern mis-match in the corner to the left (sorry, it’s not visible in this photo). But I figured that a mis-match in a corner 17″ from the floor, plus a 4″ high section over a window were a fair trade-off for that beautiful symmetrical headboard wall.

For the record, I worked it out so that the mis-match in the corner was only about 1.5″ off from the actual match. No one’s gonna notice! So sorry I forgot to photograph this.

I will say that the features of this room, as well as the way the pattern was printed on the wallpaper, plus the pattern itself, helped immensely to achieve this balanced outcome.

The design is called Versailles and is by Schumacher.

Balancing the Design

August 2, 2020


With some wallpaper patterns, it often looks best to plot where the design element will fall on the wall, both vertically and horizontally. In the top photo, I planned to have the “lotus” motif line up with the center of the wall horizontally (so it would align with the block paneling beneath it, and also look good behind the buffet, which will be placed in the center of this wall).

I also measured and planned ahead so that the lotus motifs would be distributed along the height of the wall evenly, without being chopped off at either the top or the bottom. The bottom, or the part just above the wainscoting, was most important, because it’s at eye level.

The wall with the buffet was important. But the wall with the window was also screaming for symmetry. I wanted either side of the window to be mirror-images. This took some doing.

Because I had centered the pattern on the buffet wall (to the left in the top photo), every other strip in the room would have to fall as it came off the roll, leaving no control over placement of the lotus design. Yet I still wanted that mirror-image.

But – I had a plan. And – in great part due to the forgiving layout of the room and the very short (2″) height of the wall over the entry door – I was able to fudge things and nudge things, and get the window wall to be symmetrical, and still have an invisible kill point at the last pattern join.

Too complicated to explain here, but I was very pleased to give this family this dining room with a nicely balanced and symmetrical wallpaper pattern lay-out.

See previous posts for info re pattern and interior designer.

Finding the Center of the Pattern

March 12, 2020


This wallpaper pattern by Thibaut has a viny hourglass stripe design. These sorts of designs look best when centered over a focal point in the room. The problem becomes – WHERE is the center of the design?

In the photo, I have laid out two rolls of paper on the floor so I can see the full pattern repeat, both vertical and horizontal.

I’ve placed 3′ long yardsticks along the outer edges of the design, which are long enough to span a full pattern repeat.

With these in place, I can use a shorter ruler to find the mid-point between them. This will tell me where the center is (at the tip of my pencil), in between the two colored vines on the paper.

However, these vines are not printed in the center of the strip of wallpaper.

So, after finding the midpoint between the two vines, I have to calculate where it sits relative to the edge of the wallpaper.

Keep in mind that this point will land a different distance from the left edge of the wallpaper than it does from the right edge.

Next, I need to find the center of the focal point on the wall. And then determine where the right or left edge of the wallpaper strip should be placed, so that the center of the paper falls at the center of the wall.

You have just read the condensed version.

The full version also includes things like:

`width of strip and how it will land on the wall relative to where seams will fall

`expansion of paper and movement of pattern after wet paste hits the paper

`if the pattern is actually symmetrical as it is placed on the strip.

`if the pattern is not symmetrical (which this example is not – meaning that the vertical lines are not mirror images of each other), where is the best place to find a midpoint, so it will appear symmetrical when placed on the wall

`if elements on the wall are symmetrical. In this case, the light fixture was placed off-center on the mirror. So – do you center the wallpaper design on the light fixture (a dominant element) or on the mirror (a more significant element in relation to the wall).

`lots more

I invested an hour and a half finding the center point of the pattern at its narrow point, the center of the pattern at its widest point, the median of these two mid-points, the distance the median fell from either edge of the wallpaper, then the center point of the mirror, of the light fixture, factoring in 1/2″ expected expansion, and which was more dominant – the light fixture or the mirror.

In the end, I decided to center the pattern on the mirror. This meant that as the pattern fell vertically down either side of the mirror, it was fairly uniformly placed.

This was good.

But what I didn’t like is that this meant the vines over the top of the light fixture didn’t straddle it exactly perfectly. They landed in the center of the mirror, but not in the center of the light fixture.

I shouldn’t have stressed over any of this, though. Because, despite all my rolling out and careful measuring and plotting, it turns out that the viney pattern is neither symmetrical nor mirror-image.

So, no matter how I placed it on the wall, it was never going to straddle a center-placed plumb line evenly.

That’s not to say that my hour and a half plotting time was wasted.

The design still looks a lot better as I placed it – relatively centered on the mirror and light fixture, as compared to if it had just been thrown up without regard to either.

Bottom line – the homeowners don’t notice little nuances of a swoopy vine off-center by 3/4″ of an inch or so… at least not on a wild swirly pattern like this.

They’re looking at huge flowers, comic birds, bold color, and wild, daring designs.

When all is said and done, the bathroom looks fabulous.

William Morris – Symmetry and Balance

November 17, 2019


As you see in previous posts, William Morris designs of the Arts and Crafts Period were all about nature and symmetry and balance.

When hanging wallpaper with a strongly symmetrical pattern (like this one), it looks good to balance / center the pattern on a main focal point, such as where the mirror will hang over a sink.

After you place that one strip, the pattern on the subsequent strips will pretty much fall as it comes off the roll.

In this room, after I centered the design on the vanity wall (see previous post), when the pattern worked its way across the walls to these narrow spaces between doors, it landed so that parts of the motifs would be cut off vertically. I thought I could make it look better.

So I tweaked things a bit and moved the floral elements so that the design would fall smack in the middle of the space between the doors.

This threw the pattern match off a bit above the doors.

But I’ll bet you can’t spot it.

And the finished effect is much more pleasing, with the flowers perfectly centered as they march their way down the wall.