Posts Tagged ‘unplumb’

Squiggly, Jocular Geometric in a Front Entry

August 5, 2017

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Life at home will never be too serious when walking through the front door is this fun!

The homeowner is the mother of a toddler and a newborn, and she chose this light-hearted pattern for the entry of their beautifully renovated and updated 1958 ranch style home in the Spring Branch area of Houston. Originally, the entry felt small and unwelcoming, and the walls had a heavy texture that was, well, it was icky.

I smoothed the walls, which took a long time, mostly waiting for the smoothing compound to dry, before I could sand it smooth and roll on a primer.

This playful pattern looks like someone took a grey Sharpie and drew star flowers and squares on the wall. It really expanded the space visually. The entry is now something fun and inviting to step into.

Since the entry can be seen easily from the living room and the great room and kitchen, it interjects a playful mood into the rest of the house.

This wallpaper pattern is from the Sure Strip line by York, one of my favorite brands, for many reasons. I like the “raised ink” texture to the paper. The thin paper will dry flat and hold tightly to the wall. Yet the material was developed so that, when it comes time to redecorate, it should strip off the wall easily and in one piece, with no damage to the underlying surface. On top of all that, it comes pre-pasted, and is very nice to work with.

Even though I was battling a regimented pattern in a room full of unlevel ceiling, un-plumb walls, and crooked corners, the finished project turned out fantastic.

This wallpaepr 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.

More Geometrics in a West U Bath

June 6, 2017

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This is the same house in West U. where I hung a black & white geometric yesterday in a Hollywood bathroom. Today the black & white theme is moving across the hall to the guest bathroom. This is sort of diamond pattern, with strong lines in black on white, and interspersed with tiny silver dots inside the diamond shapes. To me, these dots resemble the pixels used in comic book artwork, and while I worked, I could not stop thinking about super heroes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Another cool thing is that the upward-moving “V” shaped legs of the “X” motifs look to me like the searchlights used by 20th Century Fox to promote their movies.

This wallpaper was lovely to work with. It is a thin paper product, it clings tightly to the wall, and is pliable and easy to manipulate. Although the label is pictured, it’s not clear who the manufacturer is. But it was bought 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.

This home is contemporary in style, and has some small (1/2″) returns that fold into the doorways, that needed to be wrapped with wallpaper. See the 4thย and 5th photos. Features like these are quick and easy to look at, but time consuming to put wallpaper on – especially on the edges that held the door hinges – four per door. Between the three rooms I papered in this home, there were 21 of these narrow returns that had to be covered with wallpaper.

Other challenges in this room were unplumb walls and an unlevel ceiling line, coupled with a strictly regimented wallpaper pattern. I used a few tricks to make the pattern look straight, even thought it went off-kilter in some places.

The finished room looks fantastic. Personally, I’m more of a traditionalist. But I have to say that I really like this bathroom – super heroes and all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Geometric Charm in a Hollywood Bathroom

June 1, 2017

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Here is a Jack & Jill bathroom in a newish home in the West University neighborhood of Houston. The two outer sink rooms received wallpaper, and the middle tub-and-toilet room remained with its coat dark chocolate-grey paint.

The house is contemporary in style, and the homeowners have outfitted it with clean-lined furnishings in brown tones that are crisp yet still give off a sense of warmth and personality. This popular hexagonal wallpaper design in black-on-white further warms up the room, without feeling cluttery.

You are looking at two different sinks in two different rooms. Plotting the layout so that the design falls exactly centered on both the faucets and the light fixtures takes a lot of time, math, engineering, fiddling, and redoing, but the result is sooo worth the effort, because of the balanced look.

Not all the aspects of this installation went as smoothly, though, mostly due to unplumb walls, unlevel ceiling, and other construction shortfalls, coupled with a rigid and unforgiving wallpaper pattern. I don’t have photos, but with lots of patience, and by pulling a lot of tricks out of my hat, your eye would never notice any of the crooked walls or potential pattern mis-matches.

Another beautiful room!

This wallpaper pattern is by A-Street Prints, a British company. It is printed on a non-woven substrate, and uses the paste-the-wall installation technique. 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.

Soft Toned Map Mural for a New Baby’s Room

December 13, 2016
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These new parents-to-be chose not to know the gender of the baby ahead of time. Mom loves this cute wall mural map, and so she picked this neutral color for the baby’s nursery accent wall.

The mural was custom made to fit the wall. It came in four panels, each being 40″ wide. That’s a little wider than is comfortable for me to handle easily, but I came up with some tricks that made it manageable. It’s a somewhat heavy vinyl on a canvas type backing, and will be durable in a child’s room.

I was not 100% happy with the seams, as some were not cut straight and so there were a few “gaps and overlaps,” and there were areas where the seams did not lie as flat as I would have liked. But those are things that I notice, but most other people don’t. Once you stand a few feet back, all you see is the cute animals and the countries they come from.

I hung this in a newish home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Interestingly enough, a few days later, I visited a home where the new parents-to-be had chosen the exact same mural, but in a different color.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In both these cases, the homeowners measured the wall on their own and ordered the mural before calling a paperhanger. The result is that both custom made murals were too small. The homeowners didn’t realize that you need to add about 2″ on EACH SIDE of the mural, to allow for trimming at the ceiling and floor, and to accommodate for unplumb walls and unlevel floors and ceilings.

In the case of the mural pictured above, the husband had allowed a few inches on either side, and there was a wee bit of wiggle room on the height, so we ended up with about 3/4″ of gap at the bottom, between the mural and the baseboard. It’s so small that they will probably leave it alone.

In the other home, where the mural was made to the exact dimensions of the wall, there will probably be a wider gap at the bottom, and possibly on other sides, as well. They may need to get some decorative wood molding to fill in the gap.

Morale: Always call the paperhanger BEFORE your order your paper.

British Love for a Montrose Powder Room

November 11, 2016
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This couple lived in England for a while, and adopted British taste in decorating. I have papered four rooms for them so far (another is coming up!), and (almost) all have been done in imported British wallpaper, with traditional designs.

This pattern is by Colfax & Fowler (called “Dalancey”), and is on what we call a pulp substrate. It is a beautiful, matt finish, lies very flat to the wall, and will resist curling under humid conditions. It has no protective coating, so can be stained by splashing of water or toiletries or even hands, and painter’s tape will lift the inked layer right off the backing. In other words – beautiful to look at, but handle with care. ๐Ÿ™‚

This home is brand new, but presented challenges due to unplumb walls, bowed walls, and crooked corners. I had to do a lot of twisting and finagling, and a little patchin’ in, and some fudging with the pattern match, but the end result looked fantastic. The homeowner said, “I can’t believe how much it changes the room!”

And she said, “Every time you come, you leave our home looking a little more beautiful!”

Two Years of Barren Finally Beautified! (Coordinating Patterns)

October 29, 2016
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In yesterday’s post, I wrote about a family that has been living with a partially-remodeled powder room for more than two years. Today I got them one large step closer to being finished.

The once-drab, dark, and windowless room is now bright and crisp. An ikat trellis (“Bungalow”) was used on the walls, with a coordinating leopard print (“Tanzania”) on the ceiling. The trellis has a lot of movement due to the curved lines, so it really energizes the feel of the room.

The room had unplumb walls, unlevel crown molding, and bowed drywall, so it presented a bit of a challenge, and took me ’til after dark to finish. But the completed job looks great, and the homeowners are very happy.

Both wallpaper patterns are by Thibaut Designs. Two designs and colorways that are intended to work together are called coordinating or companion papers. This home is in the Memorial / Energy Corridor area of Houston.

Twisty, Wrinkly Wallpaper

April 30, 2015

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Wow! What is causing these awful wrinkles in the wallpaper (Photo 1) ?!

The walls in this powder room were not perfectly plumb. This is pretty typical, and with many wallpaper patterns, not really a big deal. With this geometric pattern, however, getting a precise pattern match in the corners was important. But since the corner was crooked, manipulating the right edge of the wallpaper to butt into the corner would match the pattern perfectly, but resulted in the left edge of the wallpaper strip being warped (not straight), and this resulted in wrinkles. It also left an un-straight edge for the next strip of wallpaper to try to butt up against.

This wallpaper was very pliable, and also on a non-woven substrate, which is practicably indestructible, and so I was able to pull, push, twist, brush, squeegee, etc., until finally (15 minutes) the paper laid flat against the wall.

The paper may have been flat against the wall, but the left edge was not straight. And I had to butt another strip of wallpaper against it. If I had been hanging a number of subsequent full-length strips, it probably would not have worked. But my next strip was a sole one (ending in the corner to the left) and was only 10″ or so wide. This 10″ width was narrow enough to make it malleable, and to allow me to manipulate it to butt up with the previous piece to its right. Because it ended in the corner on the left (not pictured), its un-straight left edge didn’t matter.

Interestingly, the next day, I hung paper in another room in the same house, and ran into issues of twisting paper / unplumb corners on at least two walls.