Posts Tagged ‘updated’

Flooded and Updated

April 26, 2018


At first glance, there is nothing wrong with the original striped wallpaper in this dining room of a home in the Champions area of Houston. In fact, it has been performing well for nearly 30 years. The only problem is that it’s outdated.

This home was damaged by the flooding that came with Hurricane Harvey last year. So while the homeowners were replacing floors and drywall and appliances, they decided to replace and update the dining room wallpaper, too.

This damask / trellis pattern has some unusual shading effects. From certain angles, it looks like there is a shadowy stripe running vertically through the design. But from another angle, you see an alternating depth of color (light, dark) running horizontally.

In addition, the printed design of the wallpaper has a metallic sheen to it. This adds life and energy to the room, and also ensures that the dining room feels young and up to date.

The homeowner thoughtfully chose the blue-green color paint at the bottom of the wall, to coordinate with the wallpaper. The darker color at the bottom of the walls helps ground and balance the room.

This wallpaper pattern is by York, and has a “raised ink” texture. 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.

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A Whale of a Fun Paper

March 8, 2018


This whimsical wallpaper went in the powder room of an updated townhouse in the Midtown / Montrose area of Houston. The paper is a non-woven material and is intended to be hung by the paste-the-wall method. I had great results by pasting the paper instead.

The paper has a pearlized, somewhat metallic sheen, and was a bit delicate – the surface could be damaged by abrading, overworking, or creasing.

The manufacturer is Cole & Son, a British company. The name of the pattern is “Melville.”

Bahamas Hotel Look in Houston

October 20, 2016
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The homeowner had vacationed in the Bahamas, and saw a wall treatment that looked something like this. She was thrilled when she found this wallpaper that mimicked the look. Trust me, the wall looks MUCH better in person than it does through the lens of my cheap, un-smart camera.

It’s modern, without being in-your-face, and is helping to transform this traditional Bellaire home into something a little more sleek and crisp and updated.

This wallpaper is by Casamance, and is a vinyl product on a non-woven backing, and is a paste-the-wall installation. It was thin and pliable, and a welcomed change of pace after hanging so many thick, stiff, uncooperative non-woven papers.

Textured Trellis in a Powder Room

August 12, 2016
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Here we are in a very nicely remodeled and updated ’60’s era ranch home in the Meyerland area of Houston. When I first met with this couple, they were wanting a grasscloth for their powder room. I took one look at their toddler and the one-on-the-way and told them that grasscloth, with its propensity to staining and bleeding, is a poor choice in rooms with grimy hands, splashing water, and little boys with bad aim. I also really dislike the shading and paneling (color variations between and within strips) that is so common with grasscloth.

I was glad that they took my advice and found something with the textured look and feel they were seeking, but that would hold up much better to their growing, active family. In addition to having a slight grass-like texture, the paper has a Moroccan trellis design. The color of the paper is almost the same as the paint that was in the room originally, but the trellis pattern takes the room from feeling blocky and cell-like to feeling more spacious and inviting.

The paper was nice to work with. I was particularly happy that the design did not cross the seams, meaning that there was no pattern to match at the seams. This enabled me to keep the motif at exactly the spot on the wall where I wanted it – in this case, 2 1/4″ down from the ceiling. Since walls are never plumb and floors and ceilings are never level, sometimes it will look like a pattern is sliding up or down the wall. Since I was able to maintain that 2 1/4″ spacing all the way around the room, you would never know that the ceiling is sloped a little.

This wallpaper pattern is by Carl Robinson, by Seabrook, and was bought at a discounted 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.

Know Your Clients! Protocol

March 10, 2010

I had a potentially dicey situation yesterday.

I am currently working for a design firm, to paper a powder room in a nice home being updated for new occupants. I know the homeowners only as “the Joneses.”

The designer had asked me to also measure two other rooms, a second powder room and a laundry room on the second floor.

While I was getting set up to start, a woman came in and identified herself only as “Sue.” She asked me to be sure to measure the two additional rooms, and talked about her wallpaper selections, how quickly they could be shipped, and if they would arrive in time to be installed that same week.

I assumed she was a member of the design team. When she asked if I could recommend any places where she could find wallpaper, and especially stores with paper in-stock, I gave her my printed sheet that lists Wallpapers to Go http://www.wallpaperstogo.com/index.htm , which is about the only nearby place that still carries wallpaper in-stock, and also two other stores with which I deal frequently, Southwestern Paint http://southwesternpaint.com/ on Bissonnet and Sherwin Williams http://www.sherwin-williams.com/ in the Rice Village.

The woman also wanted to know how many rolls of paper she would need to buy. So I gave her my yellow sheet, which lists how many rolls are needed for each room, how many days to do the job, and my price for labor and materials.

BIG mistake!

Turns out the lady was NOT a designer, but the HOMEOWNER herself!

Now, when a contractor (such as me) is working for a designer, it is very important to learn their “ground rules” up front; how they like me to interact with the client. Some designers want the homeowner to pay me directly, and don’t mind if I talk freely with her. Other designers prefer that I keep communications with the homeowner to a minimum, not interfere with their decisions, not give my opinion on selections, and not discuss prices or payment. In these cases, when a designer is working with a client, she doesn’t want “meddling” to interfere with choices they have made. Also, since many designers add a mark-up to my installation fee, they prefer the client not be aware of this. Now, it’s perfectly all right for a designer to tack on a little, because, after all, this is how she earns her living, and a little commission on a sale is simply a way of doing that. They also like to deal with their own vendors, where they quite likely get a discount on the wallpaper, and then, frequently, do a markup on the price of the paper, earning a little more income the same way. This is all quite common in the design industry, perfectly acceptable, and should never be viewed as “cheating” or “gouging” the customer… It’s simply a way of making a living in a field that does not pay like a 9:00-5:00 job.

If you’ve read this far, you understand the goof I made. This particular designer had asked me NOT to discuss money with the client, and here I had gone and done just that Then I went a step further and even suggested other places where the client could purchase wallpaper. Some designers aren’t that touchy about this subject, but others can get quite upset, even angry. I certainly don’t want to upset the designer, nor do I wish to compromise either the relationship between the designer and her client, and especially not the relationship between the designer and ME… I very much want to continue to work with this design firm, and hope this one error hasn’t jeapordized that.