Posts Tagged ‘white’

Serena & Lily Wallpaper Too Translucent

September 8, 2020


I guess that Serena & Lily is starting to print on non-woven substrates. I am not a fan (see yesterday’s post).

Besides being very stiff and uncooperative, this material is very translucent. As you see in the photo, the leaves of the second layer of wallpaper are clearly visible through the top layer.

This means that it’s likely that color imperfections on the wall will show through. New Sheetrock, for example, with its grey drywall interspersed with bands of white joint compound. Or hanging this product on a dark painted wall will result in a “dirty” cast underneath the paper, and will not yield the bright, crisp white look that S&L is known for.

As a primer, I like Roman’s Pro 977 Ultra Prime, which is a white-pigmented primer, and an ideal choice under thin, see-through material like this. But it is not a heavily-pigmented primer, so there is still the worry that the finished walls will not look as bright as they should.

I do hope that S&L will improve this product. There are tons of nice non-wovens available, so let’s hope they do some research and come up with a better substrate.

Wild and Fun Laundry Room

August 22, 2020


I love it when homeowners are adventurous and willing to go BOLD. Well, this wild pattern and strong color sure do that!

I hung this in the laundry room of a brand new contemporary townhome in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. Other than this one lucky accent wall, every other wall in the entire home is plain white. 😦 A jolt of color and fun was sure called for!

One photo shows how I have rolled the paper out on the floor, to find the pattern match and plot where to place design elements.

Another photo shows the very narrow space – about 10″ ? – between the EXTREMELY heavy and unmoveable washing machine and the wall. I had to squeeze myself into that little space and reach way back about 30″ to the abutting wall, to get the first strip adhered and trimmed in place.

Rifle has been making paper goods for a long time. They have recently branched out into producing wallpaper. Smartly, and unlike many upstart companies, they researched how to make a good product, and partnered with York Wallcoverings (one of my favorite brands) to make their wallpaper. Good move!

This is a non-woven material, and I was able to use the paste-the-wall method.

I love the dark, dark green color, the vibrancy of the oranges, whites, and blues, and the luscious matt finish.

Soft Grasscloth in West U. Powder Room

August 19, 2020


I papered this powder room about 15 years ago when the homeowners first moved into the house. Somewhere along the line, that paper was removed, and the room was painted plain white. The look was fresh – but cold.

Now the homeowner was ready for a change, seeking texture and warmth. This grasscloth by Thibaut fills both bills perfectly.

The photos skew the color – the wallpaper is actually an off-white, leaning toward soft tan. The weave has just enough texture to be visible, but is not overly coarse or rough.

I was pleased that there was no issue with shading, paneling, or color variations, as is often the case with grasscloth.

This wallpaper was bought from Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet. Talk to Sarah, who is in charge of the wallpaper department. (713) 520-6262.

Serena & Lily “Meadowsweet” Defines Breakfast Nook

July 12, 2020


Apologies for the dark photos. It’s the best my elementary phone camera can do. But look closely at the second photo, and you can see the pattern wrapping around the windows.

Here’s another home where all the walls were originally white. You can see how a little pattern and color add personality, definition, and warmth.

This swirly wallpaper pattern was chosen in a soft hue, so when you look at the breakfast nook from a distance, it feels snug and warm, but still light enough to fit into the home’s crisp white vernacular.

The space looks small and simple, yet took me at least six hours. There was a lot of intricacy involved in getting around the windows, and keeping the pattern intact.

Serena & Lily is one of my favorite brands. One of their catalogs came in the mail recently, and maybe that is why – I’ve had a rash of clients these days using this brand.

The home is in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston.

Transitioning to a Big Boy’s Room

July 10, 2020


The little boy who uses this room is 2 1/2, but you’d think he was 5. He’s energetic, articulate, inquisitive, polite, outgoing – and ready to move from the nursery into his “big boy’s room.”

The room was originally all white, but the parents knew an accent wall in this “Pick Up Sticks” pattern in white on navy would add warmth and character. In addition, this is a pattern that will grow with the boy, from his tot years to his teens.

When you look at the close-up, I like the way the white lines look like they were drawn by hand, instead of being perfectly straight and regimented.

The wallpaper is by Magnolia Home (Joanna Gaines, of HGTV fame), which is made by York. It is in their SureStrip line, which is one of my favorite brands. It’s a thin, flexible non-woven material, designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

SureStrip comes pre-pasted, so all you need to do to activate the paste is to add water. I do brush and roll a little augmentive paste onto the wall before hanging the paper.

Since papers like this are known to shrink as they dry, and because the factory often fails to trim the edges absolutely straight, I striped some dark paint on the wall where the seams would fall, so in case of gapping, you wouldn’t see jarring white lines.

The material does bubble a bit as it dries (releases moisture). You have to be patient, because bubbles will eventually disappear, and waiting is better than overworking the paper. But in this case, I got some rather large bubbles, so I did spend some time after the install going over the walls and chasing out the largest of them. By the next day, everything was nice and flat.

This wallpaper 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.

Swirls in Black on White in Master Bath Water Closet

June 28, 2020


Just about everything in this townhome is white. The master bath has white walls and woodwork, white cabinets and countertops, a white tub, and a white marble floor with wisps of soft grey.

This wallpaper continues the crisp clean look, but adds some contrast, dimension, and movement. In addition, the swirls are composed of dots about the size of a pencil eraser, and they are slightly raised, so the wallpaper actually has a bit of texture to it.

The wallpaper is on a non-woven substrate. With the characteristics of this material, you have the option of pasting the wall instead of the paper. But since bathrooms have more complicated spaces and access, it’s preferable to me to paste the paper.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpapers, 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.

The home is in the Rice Village / West University Place area of Houston.

Candice Olson Goes Earthy In The Heights

May 1, 2020

Usually, you expect Candice Olson wallpaper designs to be full of glitz and shimmer and glamour. In both theme and sheen, this one is much more earthy.

This is the main living area of a beautifully and respectfully renovated 1895 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. Like most contemporary re-dos, the walls in this home are mostly white. The original-to-the-house fireplace was getting lost in that sea of white.

To the rescue comes this chocolate-brown wallpaper pattern with 3-D raised-ink impressions of Queen Ann’s Lace flowers. To keep with Candice Olson’s “glam” vibe, the stems are printed in gold ink. The dimensional quality of the ink syncs with today’s trend toward textured materials.

The dark hue really makes the fireplace stand out, yet the white flowers keep the look from being foreboding, and tie into the white used in the rest of the room.

I love the way the nature design and earthy color add an organic element to the room.

This wallpaper is made from a very sturdy non-woven material, which has a high fiberglass content. In fact, you could readily see the fibers, especially when the material was torn. Which was quite hard to do, because one selling point of the non-woven materials is their strength and durability.

These papers are made to stay intact and strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate. They also do not expand when wet with paste, which means there is no booking time or delay between pasting and hanging. And your measurements will be accurate.

Non-wovens also offer the option to paste the wall instead of the paper. Although, in most circumstances, I prefer to paste the paper, for many reasons. Although this material is thick and stiff, it was not difficult to wrap it around the corner to the right in the photo.

The interior designer for this job is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design, and her jobs are mostly in the Heights area.

The wallpaper manufacturer is York.

Crazy Wild Pattern and COLOR!

April 17, 2020


Same 1929 bungalow in West U (Houston) as yesterday. Both the husband and wife have what I call “BIG personalities.” No way they’re gonna live with boring white walls – they like COLOR and PATTERN.

This very small hallway is the perfect place to pull off a really dramatic punch of color and pattern. What makes it even better is the lime green woodwork! (What’s even more cool is that the husband chose the green color (most husbands try to avoid decorating at all costs).

The wallpaper pattern is called Honshu, and is by Thibaut Designs.

This hallway is adjacent to the orange dining room I blogged about yesterday, and the colors and themes blend together beautifully.

Note the old telephone niche built into the wall – and painted that super fun lime green color.

The Honshu is a wild pattern on its own. But what really makes the room is the green accents in the moldings. They even painted the frame around the trap door to the attic!

Lotsa Color, and a Nice Faux Silk

April 16, 2020


I have worked for this couple in their charming 1929 bungalow in West University (Houston) several times since the 1990’s. They definitely are not people to go with the all-white or all-grey or minimalist trends that are popular today. These folks like COLOR!

The dining room walls were originally upholstered in a botanical print on blue (which the homeowner did himself, and did a mighty find job of, too). So the room never was bland white. 🙂 But now, 20 years later, they were ready for an update.

Their contractor removed the fabric and then skim-floated the walls smooth. Usually I have to go back and re-smooth the walls … but this guy did a really good job, and I was able to simply prime, and then hang the paper.

This is a vinyl product named “Wild Silk,” and is by Thibaut. It’s much more stain-resistant and durable than real fabric. Unlike real silk and other natural materials like grasscloth, this product has a pattern match. This means that you are not going to see each separate panel or visible seams, like you do with real silk. So the walls have a much more homogeneous and pleasing look.

The challenge lay with the old house and its un-plumb walls and un-level ceiling and window/door moldings. Since the ceiling was not level, if I hung the wallpaper true to plumb, then it would start “tracking” off-kilter at the ceiling line, and appear to be running either uphill or downhill. This effect was further complicated by the way the pattern ran along the window and door frames.

I decided to keep the pattern parallel to the ceiling molding line. This meant letting it go crooked along the door and window frames, if that’s how it turned out. The ceiling line was more visible and more important.

Since the pattern was tracking off-kilter, I used a razor blade and a straightedge to trim off a wedge-shaped chunk from one side of the wallpaper. This forced the pattern to move up (or down). After a few strips, I had tweaked it enough that the design was moving straight across under the crown molding.

Even though the strips were not hanging plumb, it looked wonderful along the ceiling line. This “silk” pattern was very accommodating of that. If it had been a design with a prominent motif that the eye wanted to see marching straight across the ceiling AND straight down along a door frame, it would have been much more difficult to pull off – maybe impossible.

Going around the window (no pic) was even more complicated. Because I was tweaking the three strips above the window to follow the crown molding, and also the three strips below the window – and you can’t guarantee that these will all adjust at the same rate. So getting the strip to the left of the window (no pic) to match up with the strips above AND below the window would be pretty impossible.

So I was extremely pleased when the pattern on all these strips did match up, within about 1/16″.

This is a vinyl material and was somewhat difficult to push tightly into edges and corners, and to cut through. I was glad that I didn’t have intricate decorative moldings to cut around. I used orange chalk to color the edges of the material, to keep the white substrate from showing at the seams.

I love the way the salmon color coordinates with the painted trim. Who paints door moldings orange??! THESE people do – and I highly applaud it! No boring all-white rooms in this house!

The look is bold, but surprisingly warm. The orange moldings against white walls would have been jolting. But with the salmon colored wallpaper, the whole effect is unified, inviting, and invigorating!

Navy & White Schumacher – Finishing Touch to a Harvey Flooded Home

March 27, 2020


Still not completely finished fixing major damage caused by the devastating flood of 2017, this young couple in the Pearland area of Houston has done virtually all the repairs themselves – and done a mighty fine job of it, too…. Way better than most of the work done by “professionals” that I have seen in “Harvey homes.”

With many details still unfinished, the homeowners wanted just one room that would be done. The lady of the house loves this navy and white fauna/botanical print by Schumacher. She envisioned it on just the back wall of the powder room – the room that everyone sees when walking through the first floor.

You get two strips of paper out of one double-roll bolt, and the wall was 2.5″ wider than two strips of paper. Since Schumacher is expensive, the homeowners decided not to buy another bolt of paper to cover those 2.5 inches, but instead to “float” two strips of paper in the middle of the wall, and then use their DIY skills to build a frame around it.

The frame will be painted a very dark blue. I hate to fall back on the overused term “pop,” but that is exactly what the blue frame will do … It will make the wallpaper pop against the white walls, and also stand out from other design features in the home.

Scroll back a few days and you will see my encounters with a very difficult navy and white paper, also by Schumacher. This one was totally different.

The bird design I worked with today was printed with good quality inks on a non-woven substrate. N-W’s have a degree of fiberglass in their content, and thus are “dimensionally stable.” Among other positive features, they do not expand, and thus you have no wrinkling or waffling or puckers.

This paper went up very nicely.

Although, in two of the photos, true to reputation, you can see printing defects. Just par for the course, if you buy a Schumacher product

When the homeowner saw the finished job, she almost broke down into tears – one room finally complete and pretty and all reminders of the flood gone.

It was an honor to help this couple get to this one small milestone.