Posts Tagged ‘symmetrical’

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.