Posts Tagged ‘wallcovering’

A Cat Sat on the Grass

July 12, 2018


This cat hated and hissed at me for the first two days I worked in his home. But by the end of the third day, he was my buddy – my curious buddy. Here he is, laying claim to my work table – and making himself quite comfy on his owners’ new grasscloth wallcovering.

Let’s hope that his interest stays on flat surfaces, and that he (and his claws) do not discover the nice, textured, brand new, grasscloth walls in the adjoining living room.

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Sunroom With a Wonderful Faux Grasscloth –

May 18, 2018



This den in a 1948 ranch style home in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston has two full walls of glass that look out onto a beautiful, green yard. The room was originally papered in really dark green vinyl faux grasscloth – I think the idea was to coordinate the room color with the verdant foliage outside. It wasn’t working. “We’ve lived with this for 20 years,” said the husband, “and have been trying all that time to figure out what would make it look better.” Indeed, I first looked at this room in 2015. Well, three years later, the homeowners finally found something way better.

The new wallpaper is also a faux grasscloth in a textured vinyl material. I like this product much better than real grasscloth, because it is free of the visible seams, shading, paneling, and color variations that are such a disappointment with the real stuff (do a Search here for more posts / info). It is one of the few wallcoverings that are actually water-resistant and stain-resistant, and it will stand up to being banged into now and then – it’s the same commercial-grade material used in hotels and hospitals.

In addition, the scrim (woven fabric) backing, along with the vinyl surface, will provide some “give” – which is good, because this room had stress cracks in the drywall over doors and windows, and showed signs of the house shifting on its foundation, thanks to our contrary Houston gumbo soil.

The mottled color of the paper, along with the woven texture, give the feel of real grasscloth. The tan is a natural color, and it goes nicely with the view outside the window, but doesn’t compete with the scenery like the dark green paper did. The dark furniture in the room is no longer swallowed up by the dark wallpaper, and all of a sudden, the whole space is much brighter.

After 20 years, it’s a big change for the homeowners, but already, they are loving it!

This wallpaper pattern is called Bankun Raffia, and is by Thibaut Designs. 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.

A Beautiful, Natural Grasscloth

May 16, 2018


I was really pleased with the grasscloth I hung today. The fibers were thin enough that the material was pliable and turned corners well. The texture was a pleasing middle ground between rough and refined, and the color was gorgeous – natural, with bits of brown, gold, grey, and olive all mixed together homogenously.

But best of all, the material had virtually no shading or paneling or color variation issues. Do a Search here (upper right) on these terms to see what most grasscloth looks like, and why I am not a fan of it. But this stuff today – I liked it!

Because there is no pattern to be matched, you will see all the seams. But because the color and the texture were quite uniform, the seams and panels pretty well blended together. The two shots showing the seams are good examples of what grasscloth is supposed to look like.

The room immediately felt warmer and more inviting, with a bit of color and texture from the natural material on the walls.

I don’t know what the brand is, because the label simply said “Wallcovering.” But 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.

I hung this in a bathroom in a newish home inside the Loop in Houston. Yes, grasscloth will stain if it gets splashed with water, so it’s not recommended in wet areas. But the homeowner is a single gal, and she promised to use the room gently. 🙂

She also promised to keep the door closed, so the cats will not get their claws into the new textured wallpaper.

Peek-a-Boo Wallpaper in Southern Living Magazine

April 7, 2018


Here’s some unusual stuff for a none-of-your-friends-will-have-anything-like-this wall treatment. It’s natural material (usually grass-like), and is woven into the design you see in the photo. It’s sort of like mesh or macramé, with open spaces between the strands of grass. That means that the wall shows through.

Pasting the material while keeping the surface clean is tricky; it’s usually done by applying paste onto another, flat surface, then carefully laying the backside of the wallcovering into the paste, carefully lifting it off, and then taking it to the wall. Normal wallpaper smoothing tools won’t work with this stuff, and often patting with your hands is the best way to get it stuck to the wall.

The magazine credits the material to Eden: Weitznerlimited.com

Flaw of the Day – Spots / Ink Drips

October 21, 2017

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See the black dots?  These are errant spots of ink that found their way onto the surface of the wallpaper.  They started out heavy, but worked their way down to annoyingly light-but-still-visible within a short time.

The spots ran through at least one entire double roll bolt, ruining it.  On some other bolts, the dots were lighter, and during installation, I was able to hide many of them.

I was also able to plot my room layout, so that when I reached a corner and had to cut the paper (slice vertically), I could plot it so that the part that was cut off was the part with the ink spots.

This wallpaper is by Exclusive Wallcoverings, was printed on a non-woven substrate, was hung in a powder room in the Houston Heights neighborhood.

 

Dark Alligator Out – Bright Trellis In

July 30, 2017

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In the powder room of this home in the Woodlands (Houston), this dark brown faux alligator textured vinyl wallcovering probably looked good with the previous homeowner’s mirror and accessories, but it made the room cave-like, and was not at all in sync with the lifestyle of the new homeowners, a young family with pre-school age children.

They chose this classic trellis design in cream on tan and, boy – did it brighten and open up the room!

I usually love this brand, but today there was a bit of shading – color was darker on one side of the strip than it was on the other, which you can see in the second-to-last photo and in the head-on shot of the sink, and also some “gaps and overlaps” at the seams. Both of these issues were relatively minor and not very noticeable.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and 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.

Stripping Off The ’90’s To Reveal – The ’70’s

July 20, 2017

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Today I stripped paper off the walls of a typical entry in a typical ’60’s / ’70’s-era home.

The paper I removed was a pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyl in a striped design. This is a typical pattern, and a typical type of material, for that time.

Under it was the original paper from when the home was built in the ’70’s. If you remember, that was back in the days of Harvest Gold, Avacado Green, orange, and Flower Power. This vintage paper has three out of the four!

After all these years, and despite having been covered up by the vinyl wallcovering, the orange paper was in perfect shape – tight to the wall, and brilliantly colored. The vinyl paper, on the other hand, was curling at the edges and was discolored.

This is partly due to age, but mostly due to having been improperly installed… previous installer did not remove the old wallpaper, and did not prime the walls, plus these pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyls are just not good papers.

This home is in the Kirkwood / Briar Forest area of Houston.

Van Gogh Slept Here

December 29, 2016
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O.K. – maybe Van Gogh didn’t sleep here, in this brand new home on the eastern edge of the Houston Heights, but it does look like he spent some time painting on the walls. Oh, wait – that’s wallpaper!

This beautiful wallpaper is in the Van Gogh 2015 collection of a company called BN Wallcoverings, in the Netherlands. It was a thinnish, pliable, textured, paste-the-wall material, and was nice to work with.

The homeowner is absolutely in love with this pattern! The builder left the home quite boringly neutral – creams and beiges – and the homeowner wanted to interject some life and color into the master bedroom. Wow – this did the trick! The texture of the material even mimics brush strokes an artist might make working with oil paint on canvas.

This went on just one wall of the master bedroom, behind the headboard. On all four walls, this bold color and fluid pattern might be too much, but on one wall, it is super. For the windows and door leading to the balcony (not shown), drapes are being made that match the brown color of the tree limbs. Neutral-hued Roman shades will “disappear” on the small windows of this accent wall.  A few turquoise accents throughout the room (pillows, vases, artwork) will pull the whole look together.

Another Serene and Pleasing Faux Grass

September 11, 2016
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Originally, the walls were textured and painted a bold gold (top photo). This homeowner was considering grasscloth for their master bathroom. I told her that grasscloth has problems with color variations – called paneling and shading – and that, because the pattern cannot be matched, all the seams would show, and that it stains when splashed with water or toiletries. I was pleased when she took my suggestion to contact my favorite wallpaper source (see below) and chose a faux grass product.

This manufacturer offers several imitation grasscloth options. I’ve hung many of their Bankun Raffia woven version, but this is the first time I’ve hung this more grass-like offering. This design has a pattern match (reeeallly hard to see, but I got it figured out and got ‘er done!), and that used up a little more paper, but it meant that there was no disruption of the pattern at the seams, which made the seams pretty invisible.

The material is embossed with a textured finish, so it looks and feels like real grasscloth. But because the wallcovering is vinyl, it is very water- and stain-resistant, and because it has a scrim (woven fabric) backing, it is very durable, and it will also be (relatively) easy to remove when they are ready to redecorate.

The homeowner loved the finished room. Originally, she had wanted something that was very plain, and I suggested that a very finely woven product would look like, well, like nothing, once it was up on the wall, and she would be just as well off painting the room. So, again, she took my suggestion and selected this, which has a little more texture. Well, in the time between selecting and finally getting the paper up on the wall, she got to worrying that the pattern might be too strong or overwhelming.

Happily, once the wallpaper started going up, it was very clear that the pattern was quite tranquil and serene, with just enough pattern to engage the senses, but still sit calmly in the background.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, 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.

Custom-Made Wallpaper in Blocks

February 4, 2016
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Photos: Before, During, Done, and a Close-Up.

This is in a home office in a 1957 house in River Oaks (Houston). The home has traditional elegant features, and also very contemporary features and accessories, making for an interesting mix. The homeowner was looking for something different for his office (formerly everything (walls, moldings, ceiling) was painted brown). He had a few ideas that we discussed, and then I suggested this pieced paper by Stoney Brook Wallcoverings http://www.stoneybrookpaper.com/. He loved the concept immediately.

This paper is custom-made to suit the homeowner’s color choices, and also to fit the dimensions of the wall space. I had to measure meticulously, and then calculate how many blocks of which dimensions would be needed to cover the walls, while keeping a homogeneous look around all the walls with varying dimensions. A die was custom-made to dimensions that would give the best use of material, and then 300 sheets of paper, each being 14″ x 26″ were stamped out.

My job is then to trim each sheet to an appropriate height, so that all blocks tiered on the walls are equal in size. I also plotted the layout so that the blocks on each wall are centered in the middle of the wall. Then, of course, the blocks are pasted and applied to the wall, in a staggered, brick-like pattern. Unlike many of the Stoney Brook products, this one is not overlapped, but butted at the seams.

There is a lot of math involved, and careful measuring and potting before cutting. All that is taking a lot of time. Actually putting the paper on the wall is going fairly quickly.

I am very pleased with this product. Unlike many non-woven wallpaper substrates which are stiff and thick and contrary, this one is thin and malleable, making it easy to maneuver into place, and it hugs the wall nicely.

Stoney Brook is a pieced wallcovering (torn or blocks) similar to the more trendy product made by Vahallan, but much lower in price, more easily accessible, and much more customer-friendly. IMO