Posts Tagged ‘Victorian’

Historic Wallpaper in 1883 Byers-Evans House in Denver

September 25, 2018


Before the 2018 Wallcovering Installers Association annual convention started in Denver last week, I took a few extra days to see the mountains and city. I toured this 100+ year old home and, of course, grooved on the wallpaper. The papers in the first two rooms are reproductions, made from scraps of the original paper that were uncovered during renovations, and then meticulously recreated. The ceiling paper is similar to designs made by Bradbury & Bradbury today (popular with owners of Victorian or Edwardian properties, such as in Galveston).

The brown paper is the real deal – authentic paper from a 1912 renovation to the property.

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Happy Humming Birds Take the Hum-Drum Out of a Heights Powder Room

August 2, 2018


The light murky-green color of the original wallpaper pattern in this under-the-stairs powder room in the north Heights neighborhood of Houston coordinated nicely with the paint in the main rooms of the house. But the tiny fleur-de-lis pattern was way too small to do any justice to the room. The new homeowner never liked it and, after four years in the home, decided it was time for a change.

This new hummingbird pattern by Thibaut is called “Augustine.” It is one of my favorite designs, as well as one of my favorite products to work with.

As you can see, it fills the wall space much better, it is light and bright and airy, and it adds a pleasing upward movement – the whole overall effect is uplifting.

Also, the colorway is perfect with the room’s beautiful stained glass window.

When I first consulted with the homeowners, I showed them samples of more contemporary designs. They were not sold. Then I looked at their historically styled home, with it’s Victorian accents and classic furnishings. So I pulled out my more traditional file – and they zeroed in on this pattern right away.

Perfect choice! Indeed, this pattern dates back more than a hundred years. In fact, the goods come 18.5″ wide, as opposed to the typical 20.5″ wide, and I’m told that that is because it is printed on the same exact printing presses they used back in the 1800’s.

It is printed using the raised-ink process, it comes pre-pasted, it is a joy to work with, it doesn’t shrink when it dries, it hugs the wall tightly and is easy to work around corners, and should stay nice and flat under most home conditions for decades.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and 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.

Beautiful Bradbury Birds

June 29, 2018


Bradbury & Bradbury is a well-established company based in California that produces wallpaper patterns in the style of by-gone eras – Victorian, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Oriental and more. I have their Raspberry Bramble, from the Victorian collection, in my own master bathroom. Do a Search here to see pics.

Bradbury has unveiled some new genres recently, including the ’50’s Atomic Age and the ’20’s Vintage. These new products are digitally-printed, which is a little different from their other papers, most of which are screen-printed.

Today I hung half of a master bedroom with their 2D-103. Those numbers are not very interesting, but the pattern is – see it in the photos above. It’s a lovely, cheery, and easy-to-live-with birds, branches, and flowers, on a soft yellow background.

Bradbury wallpapers come with a selvedge edge that has to be trimmed off by hand, using a razor blade and straight edge (not shown). This takes precision and a lot of sharp new razor blades – I spent two hours trimming paper for these two walls (with more to come tomorrow for the remaining two walls).

Once all that tedious trimming was over, the paper was a delight to work with. The seams melted together and were next to invisible. The paper hugged the wall nicely with no curling at the edges. Other companies with cantankerous papers could take a lesson from Bradbury.

This home is in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston, and was partially destroyed in the flooding after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The homeowners love the vintage vibe of their older home, and when the house was rebuilt after the flood, they took great care to recreate the look of the original home … woodwork, flooring, kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances… all are true to the home’s original look.

Dark Paper Bringing Brightness to a Harvey Hurricane Flooded Home

June 28, 2018


This home in the Bellaire subdivision of Houston was flooded during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017. Everything below the 4′ high water mark had to be cut out and thrown out. The homeowners loved the Mid-Century Modern vibe of their 1952 home, so, as the structure was put back together, they re-created everything as accurately as they could – baseboards, doors, cabinets, flooring – they even found a funky green refrigerator designed in the style of what I can only describe as an old Studebaker sedan.

When it came to wallpaper, they wanted something to reflect the vintage vibe. After much research, they agreed on two papers from the Bradbury & Bradbury Vintage ’20’s collection. This colorful bird-flowers-and-foliage-on-black pattern went in their sun room, which can also be called the piano room.

The ’20’s Vintage wallpaper collection is pretty new from Bradbury and Bradbury, which is out in California. This company produces historic-styled patterns from eras such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Victorian, Asian, and more, right on through into the new offerings based on designs from the “Modern Age.”

Like many higher-end or specialty and / or “boutique” wallpaper brands, this paper came with a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand (by me!). The manufacturer’s trim guidelines were spot-on, and so the edges were nice and straight, and the pattern design matched from strip to strip perfectly.

This pattern is digitally-printed on a paper substrate with a somewhat shiny surface. I found that it accepted the paste (clay paste is recommended, to mesh with the paper which is printed on a clay-coated substrate) with no protests, and, after appropriate booking time, the paper handled nicely and the seams laid down nice and flat. That slightly shiny surface also allowed me to wipe any stray spots of paste off the surface.

Because the paper was black, I did take the extra step of using a piece of black chalk to color the edges of the strips, to keep the white substrate from peeking out at the seams.

This room holds a grand piano, and is in the back of the house, where it looks out onto the patio and backyard. It gets a lot of sunlight in the daytime, and the colors in the wallpaper will really stand out, and will bring a lot of light into this very deserving home.

Heavily Textured Wall – Venetian Plaster

April 13, 2018


A few years ago, this wall finish was quite popular. There are different levels of thickness, but the general name for the style is Venetian Plaster. To me, this looks rustic and “Tuscan,” yet people were putting it in modern homes, and even Victorian styled homes. Today it’s out of style, and people are going back to wallpaper.

The walls will have to be smoothed again, before wallpaper can be applied. Because this particular example is especially thick, it will take a lot of smoothing compound and a lot of drying time.

The second photo shows the wall after I applied the smoothing compound. It had to dry overnight, with three fans set at ‘high’ blowing on it. In the third photo you see all the dust on the baseboard and floor, from sanding the wall smooth. This is way more than usual, because of the thickness of the original texture that I was covering up.

The last photo shows the wall after I sanded it and primed it. It’s now ready for wallpaper!

Getting Very Femininidity In Here

March 9, 2017

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The homeowner calls this her “Lady’s Library.” It’s easy to see why – the room about the most frilly and feminine that I’ve ever done!

The bookshelves are backed with a light colored, finely-textured grasscloth in a lovely lavender shade. The walls are covered in a “swoopy” pattern, also in lavender, reminiscent of velvet curtains in theaters during the Victorian era.

The grasscloth is by Schumacher (#5004724), and the wallpaper is in the Ronald Redding line by Wallquest (#CB1209). The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs, based right here in Houston.

New Wallpaper in the Wallpaper Lady’s Bathroom

May 3, 2016
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Last week, I stripped off a decade-old botanical and bird wallpaper pattern from my master bathroom, and replaced it with this “Raspberry Bramble,” by Bradbury & Bradbury (http://bradbury.com/), a California-based company that specializes in patterns true to the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts and Victorian periods, along with some Mid-Century Modern and other designs.

This B&B wallpaper was a little tricky to work with. For starters, it has to be hand-trimmed (see photo) to remove the selvedge edge. My go-to pre-mixed adhesive is not a good choice for this material, so I chose a potato-starch paste available from Bradbury, that comes powdered and is mixed with water on-site.

This particular pattern has a lot of ink (smells like moth balls!) on the surface, and, when paste is applied to the back, the backing absorbs paste and swells at a different rate than the inked surface, resulting in wrinkles and bubbles and twists, plus the curled edges you see in the photo, which can prevent the seams from lying down properly. The moisture differential can cause the paper to continue to swell on the wall, causing wired (overlapped or puckered) seams.

I’ve hung a good amount of Bradbury & Bradbury papers, but had never encountered the degree of bubbling and curling as with this paper.

The solution to all this is to mist or damp-sponge the surface of the paper, which puts moisture on the front, and allows the front and back (wet by the paste) to absorb moisture more evenly. Then the paper is folded loosely (booked), and also rolled up like a newspaper. This helps push the curled edges back down. Then the strip of wallpaper is placed in a plastic trash bag to sit for 10-15 minutes, much longer than the booking time for most papers.

All of this took more time, but it resulted in smooth paper with flat seams.

My plan for this room is to achieve a 1700’s French chateau look, so I am also darkening and stenciling my vanity, which has a new “Noche” travertine countertop, will be hanging some frilly antique wall clocks, period artwork, a beautiful chandelier, and adding other features.

Murky Background With Random Gold Metallic Stars on Oak Forest Dining Room Ceiling

June 12, 2015
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This homeowner had a good grasp of what she wanted for wallpaper in her new home. When she showed me photos of the antique furniture and Old-World artwork in her existing home, I suggested she look at the wallpapers made by a few specialty companies. I was thrilled when she took my suggestions – and she was, too. Because she found some truly fantastic and unique patterns to put in her home. (See yesterday’s post.)

This beautiful deep teal wallpaper with a random pattern of metallic stars is made by the Bradbury & Bradbury company in California, who specializes in reproducing or recreating authentic patterns from the Vicrorian, Arts & Crafts, and Moderninistic eras.

The paper is harder than most, because it comes with a selvedge edge that has to be trimmed off (painstakingly and time-consumeadly) by hand, and it calls for special paste. And putting wallpaper on a ceiling is trickier than it sounds.

Still, this job went well, and the client was very pleased.

Bradbury & Bradbury – Coincidence of the Day

September 5, 2012

I got a call today to look at that Bradbury & Bradbury job I did last Thanksgiving time – the Job From Hell … well, not quite, but I blogged a LOT about that one!

Anyway, shortly after we finally got the paper up and looking great, the house shifted (good old South East Texas Gumbo!) and the wallpaper twisted in the corners. There are other areas that need to be redone, too. So I will be working with this brand again, with its wonderful reproductions of Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Victorian patterns.

So, what do I get in my e-mail box today? An update from B&B, telling about their newest collection!

http://www.bradbury.com/victorian/talbert.html

Bradbury & Bradbury Job – Gratification from the Bottom Up

January 23, 2012

Most people who choose Bradbury & Bradbury paper are going for the Victorian or Arts & Crafts period look. And no wonder – take a look at these gorgeous room sets: http://www.bradbury.com/index.html

As you look at the photographs, you will see that the beauty of the rooms lies in the combination of several papers, layering borders over fills over dados, with numerous patterns in the same room.

That’s the look the people were going for, in the job I did recently. They have a 1906 house, with dark woodwork and moldings dividing the walls into sections: a top, a middle, and a bottom. Just perfect for the B&B look!

They chose Bird & Anemone for the bottom http://www.bradbury.com/victorian/baw_420_ag.html, Claire’s Willow for the middle http://www.bradbury.com/victorian/cww_420_ag.html, and Claire’s Willow layered with the Prairie Frieze at the top http://www.bradbury.com/prf_945_olive.html.

I started at the bottom, which had strips about 5′ long. Didn’t even need to get on my ladder! : ) As the walls filled with paper, you could begin to see the pattern play around the room.

The next day, I hung the middle section. There was less pattern, but still enough to add character and texture to the room. The theme was building.

The third day, I installed the lower part of the top section first, which was the same pattern as in the middle wall section just below it. The room was getting prettier and prettier as the day went on.

But NOTHING makes a Bradbury & Bradbury room like the final touch – the Bradbury & Bradbury frieze (border).

The dining room I did was pretty all along. But as the border went up, the room came positively ALIVE. It added color, it added personality, it added depth and character. It made the room SING “Arts & Crafts.”

Wish I had a picture. Well, just go to the B&B website (link above), and click and scroll through the many patterns and roomsets. You’ll be WOW’ed, too!

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