Posts Tagged ‘un-plumb’

Cole & Son Woods in a Powder Room

November 13, 2018


This powder room in a newish townhome in the Rice Military area of Houston was originally papered in a darkish jungle/ethnic/animal-themed wallpaper. It was a good look, but the new homeowners wanted something brighter and fresher. Plus, the original paper had been hung over the textured walls, and the bumps were showing through.

It would have taken me two long days to strip the original paper, smooth the walls, and hang the paper. So the homeowner tackled the removal of the original paper (following instructions on my blog (see page on the right side) plus info she found on the internet), which saved her the price of a day’s labor. It also made my job a bit easier.

But this job still required a lot of prep, which took a lot of time. The homeowners were out of town (they let me into the house via remote access), and it was nice because I could work in peace and quiet, and I could stay as late as I needed.

I skimmed on smoothing compound, waited while it dried, sanded smooth, wiped off the dust, primed, and then finally hung the paper.

The pedestal sink was tricky to get around, as they always are. And the bull-nosed / rounded edges of two outside corners in the room were a challenge. Additional hurdles were crooked walls, un-plumb walls, and a ridged non-woven wallpaper material that would not bend or yield to crooked, un-plumb walls. 🙂 The pattern itself was a bit forgiving of these imperfections, and I used a few tricks to make things look straight and true.

This wallpaper design is quite popular, and I have hung it a bunch of times. It is called “Woods,” and is by Cole & Son, a British company. It is printed on a non-woven substrate, and is designed to be a paste-the-wall installation – but I find that paste-the-paper is a superior method.

Best of all, the homeowner loved what the pattern and light color did for the room. The powder room is instantly brightened, and the images of tree trunks give the room a whole lot of dimension and draw you in, as if you were actually walking in a forest.

The strong diagonal repetitiveness of the tree branches usually bothers me a bit. But in this room, with each wall holding only two or three strips, the pattern is dispersed nicely and the diagonal effect is minimized. So, what you see is the forest, and not so much the trees. 🙂

It was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – 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.

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Narrow Strip Coming Out of a Corner – Keeping It Straight & Plumb

March 31, 2018


OK, this is a little difficult to explain, but hopefully you can follow along. I have hung paper above this door from the right and am heading toward the left, and ended in the corner. The next strip will be 9′ high, and will be narrow, having only 3″ on the wall to the left of the corner, plus 4″ wrapping around to the right of the corner and ending up against the door molding.

The problem is, a narrow strip of paper like this, coming out of an inside corner, and especially in homes with un-plumb and un-straight walls (like this one), the left edge of that narrow strip of paper is likely to not fall straight. This will be a problem when trying to get the next strip of paper to butt up against it. I didn’t want any gaps or overlaps or white wall peeking through the seam.

So I pasted up both the narrow first strip, and also the full width second strip that was to go to the left. I positioned the narrow strip, but didn’t press it firmly against the wall. (This is called keeping it open.) Then I positioned the second strip next to it, matching up the pattern, but also not affixing it to the wall.

I used my laser level to shoot a vertical line along the left edge of that second strip of paper (the red line slightly visible in the photo). This ensured me that both strips were hanging plumb. I had to reposition the second strip a bit, to be sure it aligned with the laser’s plumb line. Then I took my smoothing brush and pressed it against the wall.

Then I went back to that still-open narrow strip to the right, and maneuvered it around until the pattern matched and the two edges butted together nicely. I smoothed the 3 inches into place on the wall to the left of the corner, and then did the same with the 4 inches that fell to the right of the corner and met up with the door molding.

Beautiful!

It was actually a little more intricate than that, because of having to keep the pattern matched to the piece already in place above the door, and due to stretching of the paper as it was pulled away from the wall several times, and the shiny surface being prone to blemishes if it got creased or overworked.

It was worth the trouble, though, because keeping the edges straight meant that the seam butted together perfectly, with no gaps and no overlaps. And keeping the paper plumb meant that the whale motif at the top of the wall stayed where I wanted it. (If paper goes off-plumb, a design motif will start moving up or down the ceiling line.)

This fun swimmy pattern is called Melville and is a non-woven, paste-the-wall product, made by Cole & Son.

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.

Step Back Into The ’70’s!

February 18, 2017
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This 1959 home is in the Meyerland / Westbury area of Houston, and is decidedly Mid Century Modern. The master bathroom had been nicely updated with granite countertops and sleek, honey-colored cabinets. But the dark grey walls studded with pimply home-handyman texture made the room dreary and uninviting. “I hate my bathrooms,” said the homeowner.

Well, we can change that. 🙂

What a fun pattern! This “mod” design screams Mid Century (can you say Nancy Sinatra and “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'”?, and the color perfectly compliments the color of the cabinets. Once the paper went up, the whole room sprang to life – and it felt larger, too.

The homeowner totally loved the transformation!

This paper is by Graham & Brown, and has a durable vinyl surface on a thin non-woven substrate. The material is thin and pliable, clings closely to the wall, and was lovely to work with.

The walls themselves, though, were another matter. The extremely heavy texture had to be smoothed, which took two days. And hanging this rhythmic geometric pattern was greatly complicated by the un-plumb walls, un-level ceiling, un-straight outside corner … you get the picture.

Difficult to explain, but after a lot of fretting and experimenting and twisting paper and rehanging a couple of strips, I realized that I could not fight the irregularities of the room’s construction. So I opted for the theory of “keep the pattern motifs intact, even if they go off-kilter at the ceiling or outside corners.”

Fast forward to the finished room … It looks great. Most of the “imperfect” areas I was fretting over are not even noticeable. The homeowner loves it.

Hey – she loves it so much that she said she wants to spend the rest of the night in her new bathroom!

Ogee Petals Wallpaper Pattern in a Powder Room

February 7, 2017
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“Ogee” means double continuous “S” pattern. This wallpaper pattern sure has them! It is also reminiscent of flower petals, and so has been called “Petals” in some of its incarnations. I hung the glass bead version a few months ago. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/swoopy-trellis-of-glass-beads-brightens-a-powder-room/ This no-bead paper was not as difficult, but it still was a tedious install.

My before shot disappeared, and so did my prep shot, so please just enjoy the pics of the finished project. Note the careful centering of the pattern on both the sink faucet. This was very time consuming, because I had to start with the strip to the left of the one over the sink, and carefully plot the width of the pattern and the rate of expansion of the wet paper; I won’t go into explaining it here, but I think it was well worth the 45 minutes it took to accomplish. The pattern is also centered nicely over the toilet.

The strip to the right of the mirror also took about 45 minutes, thanks to un-plumb walls, bowed walls, stiff unyielding paper, and more, in order to get the pattern to match at points both above and below the mirror, all the while keeping the right edge plumb, and straight enough for the next trip to be able to butt up against.

In the close-up shot, you see a slight pattern mis-match at the seams. The manufacturer had a mis-print issue, which was more noticeable in some rolls than others. I followed paperhanger protocol, and matched the pattern where it would be seen at eye-level, and I let points above and below fall out of match as they happened. Once the job was finished, I took some brown craft paint and a VERY tiny paint brush, and colored some of the mis-matched areas, to make them less noticeable to the human eye. It looked great.

I also ran a bead of clear caulk around the top of the backsplash, to prevent splashed water from being wicked up under the paper (which could cause curling).

This wallpaper pattern is by A-Street Prints, which is made by Brewster. I hung it in the powder room of a new home in the Meyerland neighborhood of Houston. It is a non-woven material, and it is meant that you paste the wall, rather than pasting the wallpaper.

Wavy Giraffes Jolly-Up A Baby’s Nursery

April 19, 2016
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This pattern, with its varied-height lines of giraffes marching along to the left is just plain fun.

And, as a hand-printed gold metallic option from a boutique manufacturer, was quite expensive.

The mom-to-be maximized the punch factor of this paper by putting it on just one wall – the wall behind the crib. Even though the pattern had a very long repeat (36″), I was able to cover the wall with just one 27′ long double roll bolt of paper. That’s getting a lot of bang for as reasonable price as possible.

As you can see in the last photo, this wallpaper came un-trimmed, and had to have the unprinted selvedge edge trimmed off by hand (meaning, a 6′ straightedge and a hand-held razor blade).

Matching the pattern was a real bugger, because, even though all those giraffes LOOK the same, they are NOT the same, nor is their sequence of appearance in any given line. There was a lot of waste with the 36″ repeat, and some accommodating the un-plumb walls and un-level floor and ceiling of a 1930’s home in West University Place, but the finished wall looked super.

This wallpaper is by Sissy & Marley for Jill Malek, and is available on-line.

Kill Point – It May Not Match, But It Sure LOOKS Like It Does!

May 1, 2015

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The kill point is the last corner in a room, where the last strip of wallpaper meet up with the first strip. And here the pattern virtually never matches – it’s just the laws of geometry. I usually hide this in an inconspicuous place, like behind a door. But in this room, there was no out-of-the-way corner, so the pattern mis-match would have to be in a fairly prominent location, 10′ long, in the corner to the left of the toilet.

But, unless you study this carefully, you really don’t realize that this pattern does not match as it should. I wish I could take credit for how perfectly this last corner worked out, but, again, it is just the laws of geometry and physics that brought the half-ovals on the right to meet perfectly with the half-ovals on the left.

What I can take credit for, though, is for having kept the diamonds and other elements at the same level all the way around the room. With un-plumb walls and crooked ceilings, and etc., wallpaper patterns can start moving up or down the wall. Maintaining this horizontal line can be tricky, but it helps immensely to keep the room feeling balanced.