Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Arts & Crafts Style Frieze in Heights Bungalow

January 21, 2023
Dining room before. This bungalow in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston is very true to the Arts & Crafts / Craftsman period. This style featured straight , clean lines , nature , and muted colors that mimicked those found in nature . The homeowner is a retired woodworker / carpenter and did much of the millwork you see here.
Done. The teal green is actually a little more muted than the photo shows.
From another angle.
Close-up. This wallpaper pattern is called Fir Tree .
A frieze is a wide wallpaper border , usually run around the middle or top of a room . The manufacturer is Bradbury & Bradbury . They specialize in period-inspired patterns from past eras, such as Victorian , Arts & Crafts , Oriental , Modern Age / Mid Century Modern , and more.
Bradbury prints on stock that’s about 28″ wide, and this border is about 13″ wide. So Bradbury prints two borders side-by-side , and then you need to use a straightedge and razor blade to cut them apart .
Although the border came about 13″ wide, the space between the beams was only about 11.5″ . So we were going to lose about 2″ . I consulted with the homeowner. He really wanted to see the copper metallic pine cones. We also felt the trunks of the trees were important design elements . We decided that the pattern could afford to lose more from the top , which would permit more of the tree trunks to show, all the while preserving those pine cones.
Here I am trimming 2″ off the top, so the overall height of the frieze is now 12″ . That will fill the space between the beams, and also allow a little bit to tuck down below the bottom beam (there is a gap between the wall and that beam).
The room was really dark , the wallpaper was dark , and my straightedge was casting a shadow where I needed to trim. So I grabbed my Big Larry flashlight from my toolbox and was able to see where to trim.
Bradbury uses inks that are quite delicate , and can be scratched or marred simply by brushing with my smoother brush , or my plastic trapezoid squeege smoother tool . Metal – like a trim guide or scissors – will also leave marks on it . Here I’ve wrapped tools in microfiber towels and baby socks , to soften contact with the wallpaper .
Bradbury inks and substrates can be finicky, and it’s important to use the paste recommended by the company for the particular colorway that you’re hanging . In this case, I had to use clay – based paste .
The inks and substrate aren’t always compatible , so when you add wet paste to the back , it can cause the substrate to absorb moisture and swell , while the inks on the surface are holding tight. This will result in wrinkles , warps , and bubbles on the surface . We call this quilting or waffling .
One trick is to lightly sponge clean water onto the inked surface. This will allow the surface to absorb moisture and expand hopefully at the same rate as the backing , hopefully eliminating wrinkles and bubbles .
On this install , I still had problems with uneven expansion . And with the paper drying out before I could get an entire strip up on the wall. So, while I was pasting the back, I also sprinkled a little water on the back and mixed it in with the paste . This did seem to even out moisture , and also help the material remain moist and workable during the installation .
In addition, I also had trouble with the edges of the paper drying out before I could get a full strip up on the wall. Part of this was because it’s winter time and the furnace was blowing hot air into the room and drying out the paper. My counter-attack was, again, to sprinkle a little water onto the back, to hydrate the material more. Also, once I had pasted a strip and rolled it up (see below), I dipped the edges into about 1/8″ of clean water. And then wrapped the pasted material in a plastic trash bag and allowed to book for a few minutes before hanging . This is standard procedure with wallpaper. Actually, what worked better was to paste, book, bag, and then just before hanging to dip the ends into water. This seemed to keep everything wet and workable better and longer.
Despite all this, some small bubbles did remain in the paper. As the paper dried, though, they flattened out.
When you book a strip of wallpaper, customarily you fold the top 1/3 down and the bottom 2/3 up. This keeps paste from smearing all over everything, and makes each strip shorter and easier to handle. And allows you to get the top section of the pattern lined up with that on the previous strip , before unfolding the bottom section and working that against the wall.
But it’s a little different handling a narrower border that’s maybe 12′-15′ long. What I do to make this manageable is to book the material in accordion pleats . See photo. Then I can unfold just a small section, work it into place, and then move along the strip, smoothing just a small section at a time against the wall.
Actually, with this install, I positioned my sections against the wall temporarily, to get the whole 15′ strip up there. And then went back and smoothed each section against the wall, working out bubbles and warps , and ensuring that the frieze was pressed tightly against the wall at both top and bottom .
There were four strips around the top of this dining room. On each strip I used a different install method. By the time I was done, I had learned how the material wanted to be treated.
The homeowners are in love with this period-authentic look for their vintage bungalow. The husband said it was like Christmas, because they had waited for so long to have this room completed, and now it’s finally finished and beautiful!

Shimmery Trees on Back of Bookshelves

December 8, 2022

Before – living room in Spring Branch ( Houston ). I’m in the process of priming the backs of these bookshelves , so the wallpaper will adhere to the semi-gloss enamel paint .
Done. Simple , subtle , but makes a statement .
The shelves will be replaced, and decorative items will be set on them.
Close-up . A light black background with beautiful glimmering gold trees and branches. The pattern is dispersed evenly across the paper, making for a homogeneous look.

Called Luminous Branches , this wallpaper is made by York . It’s a thin , flexible non-woven material . I hung it easily by pasting the wall , rather than by pasting the paper . When it’s time to redecorate , it will strip off the wall easily and with no damage to the wall surface . Nice stuff!

Animal Menagerie in Baby’s Nursery

August 10, 2022
What a cute pattern! Suited for a boy or girl, and will “grow” with the child for several years.
Before. The parents had this block paneling wainscoting added before the wallpaper went up. It keeps the wallpaper pattern from being overwhelming, and the green color really sets off the colors in the wallpaper.
Trees , flowers , forest animals , deer , leopards , peacocks , birds .
Made by Rifle Paper by York , one of my favorite brands.
Rifle Paper is a non-woven material , DIY – friendly , and designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate .

Bellewood Forest Mural Around Window

April 8, 2022
Re my previous post, on the opposite wall was this window, and the homeowner wanted the mural extended to this area. If I had kept the mural on this wall at the same height as the mural on the door / mirror wall, there would have been blank space above the window.
With the trees and bayou outside the window, I thought it would continue the theme to have the wallpaper trees surround the window. The homeowner agreed.
Because the cabinets below came up 3′, that space didn’t need to be covered with wallpaper, so I was able to cut off 3′ from the top of the mural. That pulled the trees up higher on the wall, so their tops became visible over the window. I plotted so the area would be half sky at the top and half trees at the bottom.
The mural worked out so that there were taller trees on the right side. I thought it looked a little uneven, so I took some scraps and cut a bit of leaves and pasted them on in the upper left, to balance the look a bit.
The pattern is called Bellewood and is by Rebel Walls rebellwalls.com

Innovative Use of Wallpaper Mural in Master Bedroom Closet

April 5, 2022
The mural was to go in one wall, but that wall had several corners and turns.
Don’t be distracted by the mirror on the left, which is reflecting clothing and dropcloths. The focus is the beautiful etched-looking mural!
Before.
I love the way the trees creep along the wall and in between the mirror and door moldings.
Close-up.
Here is a picture of the mural as shown on the company’s website. Both the homeowner and I expected that the trees would reach up higher, and would be visible over the mirror and door. I was disappointed that the company printed it too short for those treetops to be visible over the door, but the homeowner was OK with it.
In the end, it worked out nicely, because the homeowner wanted another area covered that I had not measured for, and the lack of trees above the doors meant that I was able to pull that off. More on that in another post.
The manufacturer is Rebel Walls ( rebelwalls.com ), and I like their material and quality a lot. Their murals are custom-sizeable, too, which is a bonus.
This popular pattern is called Bellewood .
It’s a non-woven material and you can paste the paper or paste the wall to install.
The home is in the Memorial Villages area of Houston.

Shimmering Foliage in Heights Powder Room

January 13, 2022
Primed and ready for wallpaper.
Vanity wall done. I placed the trees so they would frame the mirror and light fixture evenly.
The slope is the underside of the stairs. At first the homeowners said not to paper this sloped area, as it is considered part of the ceiling.
After the first wall was papered, we decided that the slope would blend in better if it were covered with paper.
I’ve hung this Shimmering Foliage pattern before, but this is the first time in this gorgeous colorway. It really sets off the pretty moldings and white vanity in the room.
In this close up, you see the embossed (raised) texture in the vinyl surface. The gold is not metallic, but it sure shines!
Made by York, in the Candice Olson line. Just about everything she touches is glittery and elegant.
This is a non-woven material, and can be hung using the paste-the-wall method, although I pasted the paper instead, which makes it more pliable and also ensures that paste will get to all areas, including around intricate moldings and behind the toilet.
Non-woven papers will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.
Houston wallpaper installer.

Another “Big Girl’s Room”

August 7, 2021
Before. Getting ready to apply wallpaper primer.
Finished accent wall.
This is a non-woven material, so can be hung via the paste-the-wall method. And no corners to turn. So no need to lug in my big table! Here I’m measuring the strips on the floor, and then rolled them inside-out and secured with elastic hairbands. This keeps the surface from bumping into the pasted wall during installation. The white 5 gallon bucket with the red lid is my paste, and on the ladder shelf is the paste roller and an angled brush for getting the paste into the corners and edges.
The pattern is called “Sakura”
Close-up shows the “raised ink” slight texture. This is unusual for non-woven papers, and I liked the effect.
A Street Prints, by Brewster, is a good, dependable brand, with a lot of pattern themes and choices.

This young family recently moved back to their house in the Houston Heights after several years overseas in Malaysia. The daughter is ready for a room of her own. An accent wall covered with “Sakura” by A Street Prints is reminiscent of cherry blossoms on trees in the Orient.

Pretty Leaves and Birds in Northwest Houston Powder Room

June 17, 2021
Walls were originally mud-brown. Here my wallpaper primer has been applied.
So lively and fresh!
Close-up.
Detail. It looks like a water color artist has taken his brush to the walls.
Wallquest – one of my preferred brands.

A once-drab, cookie-cutter powder room in a new build in Cypress (far northwest Houston) is now airy and fresh, thanks to this water color-y pattern of trees, leaves, and birds.

The manufacturer is Wallquest, and the wallpaper was purchased at Ballard Designs. This well-loved mail order company has a brand new actual store on W. Gray in River Oaks / Montrose (Houston). They sell a number of wallpaper brands (good quality and medium price range), and have designers with extensive wallpaper experience available to help you (call before heading over).

Trees Brighten and Lighten a West U Powder Room

April 16, 2021
Plain paint in a khaki color is just drab.
A white background and “movement” from the tree forms brightens and energizes the space.
Almost looks hand-painted.

Most wallpapers by Exclusive Wallcoverings are traditional un-pasted paper, so I was surprised to find that this one was a paper-backed vinyl, and pre-pasted, too.

I am usually not a fan of the lower-priced pre-pasted, paper-backed solid vinyl (read my page to the right). But this brand has figured out how to make a quality product, and I was pleased with it.

Best of all is how the white background lightens up the space, and the intertwined branches bring a lively feel to the room.

The home is in the West University Place neighborhood of Houston.

Van Gogh Collection on Living Room Accent / Feature Wall

March 4, 2021

Man, the homeowner nailed it when she chose this Van Gogh-inspired trees-and-blossoms pattern in bold tones for a super-long accent wall in their nicely updated older home in the Eastwood subdivision of Houston.

There is a slight raised texture, so it looks like a real oil painting!

I love the way it works with the sliding barn door.

This wallpaper is super nice to work with, as it is soft and bendable, and it clings nice and flat to the wall. The seams are virtually invisible. (I did use chalk to color the edges of the paper, to prevent the white substrate from peeping out between the seams. In addition, there is a slight raised texture, so it looks like a real oil painting!

On a non-woven backing, the paper could be hung via the paste-the-wall method. This material will not expand, so there is no booking or waiting period before hanging.

In addition, non-wovens are designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate.