Posts Tagged ‘Wallpapers to Go’

Oval Geometric Stripe in a Powder Room

September 23, 2015
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

This oval and knotted geometric design in indigo on white is clean and crisp, and it has both a modern and a nautical feel.

I hung this in a large powder room with 12′ high ceilings in a new home in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston. Those 12′ high walls tended to get off-plumb / bowed in the center (where the sheets of drywall were joined), and, with a rigid, specific design like this, there were some real challenges in getting the pattern to match in the corners. Two of those corners took me a half an hour each – but I got ‘er done, and you can’t detect any pattern mis-match.

The wallpaper is printed on a non-woven substrate, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate.

This geometric stripe is by A Street Prints, by Brewster (the manufacturer), and was bought from Wallpapers to Go, which is now named Luxury Wall Décor, and is in Stafford, a southwestern suburb of Houston.

I Almost Screwed Up Yesterday

August 16, 2012

I was hanging a photo mural by Photo Walls, a Swedish company.  It was a glossy surfaced photo printed on a “non-woven backing,” which is somewhat thicker and spongier than most murals.  We’re seeing more and more of these non-wovens, due, IMO, to manufacturers trying to go “green.”

The instructions called for a “low moisture” or “20% solids” paste….meaning, clay-based paste.  Clay is a paste I don’t like, but it does have its uses.  So on the way to work, I stopped at Sherwin-Williams and picked up a bucket of paste ($50 for something I will probably never use again), and then hit Home Depot for primer and other supplies.

While I was skim floating the textured wall to smooth it, I was mentally going through what other steps I would have to install this mural.  My mind went to priming.  Then it hit me – I can’t use my old standby primer with this installation – clay paste won’t stick to my oil based primer!  It will delaminate and simply fall right off the wall.

Aren’t I the one who blogged about it for a week when I ran into just this situation, back last November?  Good thing I remembered this before I started the hang.

While the mud was drying, I ran off to find a Sherwin-Williams in the neighborhood.  Their store brand wallpaper primer ($35 – I hope readers are getting a feel for the investment that a workman has in each job…and we ain’t even mentioning gas, advertising, tools, etc.) was water-based, and just what the paste manufacturer suggested.  It was very similar to something I used to buy occasionally from Wallpapers to Go.  It went on smoothly, no odor, no drips, and  dried quickly.

When it came time to hang, the primer worked great with the mural’s stock, allowing me to slide the panels around as needed, and holding the paper tight.  I did have a slight issue with lifting (the primer pulling away from the wall when I needed to repostion a sheet of paper), but it was one small area and didn’t cause any problems.

The finished job was super, and the clients loved it.

Wallpapers To Go – CLOSED!

February 2, 2011

This is shocking to me… I heard some weeks ago that the Katy, Texas Wallpapers To Go store was closing. But yesterday I got the news that the very popular Rice Village store had closed, too. I couldn’t believe it, so I phoned their number, and got a phone company recording offering to redirect me to “other similar businesses in the area.”

This is sad, and it’s shocking. Wallpaper To Go filled a good niche, as they are about the only place left in the Houston area (aside from The Wallpaper Store up on FM 1960) that had wallpaper in stock, for people, particularly DIY’ers, who want to run in, make a selection, and install it the same day.

It’s also a sad indicator of the times. With the economy sluggish and with the slump in wallpaper sales in recent years, it could mean the Wallpapers To Go company simply could not withstand the downturn in sales.

It’s too bad they couldn’t stick it out a few more months, because wallpaper is back in style big time. My business is booming. But sometimes, it’s a corporate decision made by big wigs out of state, irregardless of what sales are like here in Houston.

I’m sorry to see the stores close, and wish their employees the best in their future endeavors.

Fixing the Underbidder’s Job

March 21, 2010

Wallpaper Installer in Houston

A comment to my previous post about loosing a job to a someone who underbid me, said that I may end up fixing the cheapo job. Well, that DID happen, at least once. I LOVE the story, too. Read on…

The client (once again, in a lovely near-million dollar home) had some gorgeous, hand-screened, $100+ per roll, Bradbury & Bradbury reproduction turn-of-the-century wallpaper (Google it), that had to be hand pasted and hand trimmed. Not a job for a novice.

I gave her my price, and she whined. I NEVER lower my prices (will blog on that at some point), and she whined some more, and finally went with another installation company who underbid me by FIFTY DOLLARS.

Well, it was gratifying to me, in a way, when, a week or so later, she called me and asked me to fix the other guy’s mess.

Whereas I work alone (for quality control and to reduce the impact of people tromping through the home) and planned to devote the entire day to this job, Wallpapers To go sent a crew of guys to all squeeze into the little powder room, knock out the job, and then GO ON TO A SECOND HOME to do another job that same day.

EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of wallpaper, and they’re going to “knock it out” in one morning?! What about prep? (Didn’t do any.) What about carefully matching the pattern? (Had many mismatches.) What about the care and precision required to “double cut” (splice) the hand-trimmed paper? What about wiping excess paste off the surface? What about just paying attention, taking your time, and doing a careful, detailed job?

I can’t say their work was HORRIBLE, but it was by no means good. There was no way to make the room look great other than removing the old paper, buying more, and completely redoing the entire room, and that was out of the question. I was able to fix a few little things, and make the overall appearance much better. The client was satisfied, and realized that her $50 bargain meant she would have to live many years with the result of a “lowest bidder” job.

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 , 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 on Bissonnet and Sherwin Williams 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.