Posts Tagged ‘wallquest’

Wonderful, Realistic Faux Grasscloth – NO Visible Seams!

December 14, 2016

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I love it when clients listen to my advice. This family has a home in Meyerland that was flooded in last year’s severe spring storms. While repairing the damage, they also updated the entire first floor, and they did a fabulous job with the layout and design and execution.

They were originally considering grasscloth for this front entry. I told them how much I dislike grasscloth, because of the unmatched pattern, visible seams, color variations, shading, paneling, staining, bleeding, and shredding by pets. These people took my suggestion, and looked at alternatives. I love what they ended up choosing. Meaning, I positively LOVE their choice, and I hope other homeowners will use this instead of grasscloth.

This product is a photograph of grasscloth in a paper substrate, so it looks like the real thing. It has string fibers (stringcloth) applied to the surface, which provides the texture that people love so much these days. Both the paper and the string have a coating, so the material is much more durable, and resistant to stains than real grasscloth would be.

Best of all, the pattern has a match, so there are no visible seams. I mean, just TRY to find a seam in the photos above – you can’t! With real grasscloth, you would have a mis-matched pattern and a visible seam every 36″ across the wall.

But wait- There’s more! Because this is a factory-made product, the color is consistent throughout, so that every strip, from floor to ceiling, is uniform. With real grasscloth, you can have noticeable differences in color from strip to strip (paneling), and even within the same strip (shading).  Note:  There are some darker areas in the photos above, but those are shadows, not color variations.

This product is much more satisfying, and highly recommended. This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line, and I think the book it’s in is called Grass Effects. The pattern number is JC21020. It was bought at a 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 wallpaper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

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Circles, Spots, and Dots

November 30, 2016
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These owners of a newish townhouse in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston wanted an accent wall covered with something to bring personality to their third floor TV room, without adding too much distracting color or pattern, and without overwhelming the large flat screen TV. After looking at maybe a zillion choices, they came back to one of their first loves, this fun ball design.

The builder had not textured the wall, so all the only prep that was needed was a primer. I centered the balls in the middle of the wall so they would look even around the TV set. I used plastic strips to keep paste off the ceiling and the walls that were not being papered.

This wallpaper I by Wallquest, and is in their Ecochic line. It is a thin paper (not a vinyl) and will hold up nicely.

Modernizing, But Staying True to Colonial Roots

November 10, 2016
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This 1958 ranch-style home overlooking the jogging trail along Braes Bayou in central Houston has a strong Colonial flavor, and that is reiterated by the collection of antique furniture and accessories. In the powder room, the previous sweet tan-on-cream toile wallpaper pattern fit in perfectly.

But, over years of raising kids and careless splashing of water onto the wallpaper, some of the seams were curling (see first photo and my previous post). And, come late 2016, the homeowner was ready to update the home and bring in a more modern feel. But she didn’t want to fight the bones of the house.

She shopped at my favorite store (see below) and found the perfect pattern! A trellis is a classic design, dating back hundreds of years. But this version edges toward a contemporary feel. And the color is perfect with the unique shade of the woodwork.

I engineered the room so that the trellis pattern would be centered on the sink / faucet, and so it would look nicely balanced around the mirror and light sconces (4th photo).

The homeowner was ecstatic. She kept saying that it looked even better than she hoped it would.

This is my third time to paper this powder room, over 15-20 years. I have seen their kids grow up! 🙂

This wallpaper is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line. I like this brand a lot. This paper 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.

Another Wonderful Faux Grasscloth

July 20, 2016
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I am always happy when I can talk clients OUT of grasscloth, and into something that is equally textured and natural-looking, but without all the color variations and shading and paneling and visible seams of true grasscloth.

This wallpaper is out of a book called “Grass Effects,” but is actually more of a stringcloth. No matter the terminology, it’s a wonderful product. It has the texture that homeowners love these days, and the seams are invisible. It is more water- and stain-resistant than natural grasscloth, too.

This wallpaper pattern is by WallQuest, in their ecochic line, and was very nice to work with. It 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.

Fantastic Faux Grasscloth

June 29, 2016
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If you’ve spent any time on my blog, you know that I am not a fan of grasscloth. I don’t like that you can see all the seams, there are too may issues with color differences between strips (paneling) and even within the same strip (shading), plus it stains easily, and dogs and cats love to tear it up. There are faux grass products out there, and you can read about some of my favorites by doing a Search on this blog.

However, today I hung a new product, and it was fantastic! I think the surface is vinyl (at least it smelled like vinyl), and has a realistic print that mimics grasscloth. Then the manufacturer attached string to the material, as would be used to attach grass reeds onto real grasscloth wallpaper. This creates the texture that has such appeal to people, and bolsters the realistic look.

Even better, this product has a pattern repeat, so, unlike real grasscloth, the strands of “grass” can be matched from strip to strip, so you will never see a seam.

After this paper was purchased to cover one accent wall in a TV room, the homeowner decided to add a couple of walls (three, to be exact), so I had to pull out my “paper stretcher” and make one wall’s worth of paper cover four. I spent about an hour measuring and plotting and remeasuring, but managed to squeak by – with only one piece left, that was only 28″ long. !!

If I had matched the pattern, it would have used up a lot more paper, and we would have run short. So I hung the paper as if it were real grasscloth, where the seams do not match. Because the product is so uniform in color and pattern, the unmatched seams look far better than real grasscloth.

On the final wall, which needed only two strips, I was able to match the pattern, and this is what you see in the last photo. Meaning, you absolutely cannot see the seam.

The paper was very nice to work with, too. It trimmed easily and didn’t gobble up my razor blades or damage my scissors like coarse grasscloth will do. There were no strings hanging in mid-air, and the material was nice and malleable and allowed me to position it as I wanted.

Because it appears to be vinyl, and because I think the strings are treated with a sealer, I believe this product is somewhat stain resistant and washable – which real grasscloth definitely is not.

I am really happy to have discovered the paper, and I hope to recommend it to clients who are interested in grasscloth. It is in a book called “Grass Effects,” and comes in many colors and different textures, and even has some options that feature a Moroccan trellis on top of the textured paper.

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line, 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.

Chirpy Birds and Cheery Color for a Little Girl’s Room

June 16, 2016
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Today I hung this bright, happy paper on an accent wall in a little girl’s bedroom, in the Highland Village area of Houston. It sure changed the all-white room into something cheery and fun!

The paper is in the EcoChic line of WallQuest. It was a little thicker and stiffer than most of the EcoChic papers I have worked with before, and I would have preferred the thinner paper. I also was not happy with the edges that got banged up in shipping – but they pretty well flatten out as the paper dries. The paper doesn’t have a coating, and it will stain easily, so the family will have to be careful to avoid touching it or splashing it. But since it’s behind the headboard, it will be well protected.

The paper was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

A ’90’s Faux Brightens Into a 2016 Faux

June 3, 2016
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When this Bellaire (Houston) home was built in 1990, faux-finishes were all the rage, and this navy blue wallpaper suited the powder room nicely. Fast-forward 25 years, and the homeowners were ready for a brighter room. But they still like the faux-finish look, and, luckily, the style is still current. My favorite source (below) helped them track down this pattern.

The new pattern is very subtle, and difficult to see in the photos, but the soft greys and off-whites have dramatically transformed the small bathroom. In addition, the homeowners have added a new, modern style, brushed-nickel light fixture, and will install new towel rings and toilet paper holder.

This was pretty much a dream job; it had all the elements that make me happy. The homeowners were very communicative throughout the purchasing and installation process. I could park right at the door closest to the room where I was working. I had plenty of space and light and got good reception on my satellite radio. The homeowners had the pedestal sink and toilet removed, which made my job MUCH easier and saved me at least an hour, plus allowed the wallpaper to go behind the sink, instead of being cut along the top of it (which could lead to curling / peeling).

My clients must have heard about my preference to work in peace and quiet, because they planned a full day of activities, so I could have the house all to myself while I was working. And to top it all off, they are perfectly lovely people. Oh, and the paper was nice to work with, too. A very good day at work. 🙂

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line – one of my favorites – and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Hits & Misses – Gaps & Overlaps

October 12, 2015
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You have to click the image to see it enlarged, to see the seam I am talking about.  Also, the bumps are from paste, and will disappear as it dries.

This is a nice brand of wallpaper (Ecochic by Wallquest). But there are issues with factory trimming the manufacturer should rectify … Obviously, the edges of the paper have not been cut absolutely straight, because you can see areas where the seam butts together perfectly, and then you see small gaps, and then you see sections that minutely overlap. We call these “gaps and overlaps,” or “hit and miss” seams. Even though this particular paper was quite pliable, no matter how I manipulated or worked the seams, I could not achieve absolutely perfect seams.

The good news is that, from a couple of feet away from the wall, you don’t notice any of this, and the overall look is perfectly fine.

Soft and Serene Entry in Oak Forest

September 21, 2015
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Here is an entry in a typical ’60’s – ’70’s ranch style home in a tidy neighborhood to the west of Oak Forest, in Houston. Originally, the top 2/3 of the walls was papered in a flocked (three-dimensional velvet-like) stripe in black and gold. When the previous homeowners hung new wallpaper, they skim-floated over the flocked paper (because it can be the Devil to get off), and then coated it with a clear sealer. Which is fine, and pretty much what I would have done, except that the joint compound (smoothing material) shrinks, and so it’s best to do two coats. Since they did only one coat, some of the ridges between the stripes remained, and these showed under the new wallpaper they put up.

The current homeowners stripped off that top layer of wallpaper, and intended to hang their new pattern, but realized it was beyond them, so they called me. Wise decision!

In the first photo, you see the wall as it looked once they stripped off the top layer of wallpaper. In the second photo, I have skim-floated and sanded the wall so it is smooth, and then applied a coat of sealer (I used Gardz, by Zinsser, a penetrating primer which is exceptional on porous surfaces like this) mixed with a little 1-2-3, also by Zinsser, to add some white pigment.)

In the third and fourth photos, you see the new paper. This pattern is a medium scale damask with a little “raised ink” texture, in white on pale gold. The lady of the house has an extremely good eye for decorating, and her style is pretty much pale neutrals and sparse, clean settings. This entry, which is open to the living room and dining room, enhances that look.

This wallpaper pattern is by WallQuest, in their EcoChic line, is made of a thin non-woven material with raised ink. It was very nice to work with, and it is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate. It was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Corresponding String Cloth in Adjacent Room, on Bookshelves

March 19, 2015

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Wow, I have not hung string cloth in at least a decade! It is a paper-backed product with actual string fibers on the surface. That’s why there is a somewhat fuzzy aspect to the look.

Here you see the bookshelves primed and waiting for paper, and then the finished job. I took care to place the darkest stripe in the center.

There is an interesting story with this job, and a good lesson to me. I had just finished hanging the coordinating wallpaper in the adjoining exercise room. That paper was a paste-the-wall product on a non-woven backing. I started to work with the striped paper, and assumed it was the same material. I had the first bookshelf done, three strips, and noticed bubbles in the wallpaper and puckering at the seams. I could “chase” these out – but they kept coming back.

Puckering and bubbling are usually caused by the paper absorbing moisture from the paste, and does not happen with non-woven materials (not usually, anyway – I have had it happen). So I dug around and found the instructions. Turns out, this pattern, even though it was a companion to the one I had just finished hanging, and was the same color and printed on seemingly the same substrate, this one was specified to have the paper pasted (not paste the wall). And, they recommended a 10-minute booking (relaxing) time, to allow the paper to absorb the paste, expand, and relax.

Hmmm. Lesson to self: Even if you’ve hung 10,000 rolls of paper, including this same brand, ALWAYS read the instructions. 🙂

Because I had a good primer (Gardz) under the paper, I was able to pull off the strips without damage to the wall. And because it was printed on the non-woven substrate, and had not gotten completely dry, the paper came off in one piece, totally intact.

I didn’t have time to haul in and set up my table, so I laid down some drop clothes on the floor, spread the paper out on them, rolled on paste, booked, (no need for relaxing time, since the paper had already had time to absorb moisture and expand), and then hung the paper.

Whew! It as a bit of a mad dash, but it was the right answer. The newly pasted and hung strips went up perfectly, no bubbles, and the seams were nice and flat. The paper did stretch a little bit, though, horizontally, but not vertically, so I had to trim a little off one side, and it did throw off my placement of the center stripe in one of the bookcases, but, in the end, it looked great.

All this took a little time and more work, but I am glad that I noticed the bubbles and went through the steps to get rid of them. Sometimes, they disappear when the paper dries and shrinks. But you can’t plan on that. So I am glad I took the extra effort to make the job look perfect. The homeowners loved it. (They did not know any of the drama involved in getting a smooth, flat, bubble-free surface.)

This wallpaper design is by Carl Robinson, made by Wallquest which is made for Seabrook, and was hung in a family room in a house in Bunker Hill Village.