Posts Tagged ‘window’

Whimsical Arabian Nights Dance in Powder Room

January 13, 2023
You’ve got to look at this close-up, to notice the antelope and flames / foliage .
You gotta make a decision … The light sconces (they are currently removed, but you can see the electrical boxes where they will be placed) were centered on the vanity top, but the faucet was off-center by about an inch. So I chose to center / balance the pattern on the sconces and countertop. The mirror will be hung between the two light fixtures, so we’ll end up with a pleasing, balanced look. The faucet isn’t exactly in the middle of the design motif, but no biggie – there’s going to be a mirror there, anyway.

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Corner going around shower. Note the window looking into the shower.
Although the website specs said this is a pre-trimmed non-woven material , that was incorrect. Turns out it had an unprinted selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand . Here I’m using my straightedge and razor blade to remove this selvedge. This takes precision and a LOT of time .
The manufacturer usually provides trim guides to help you know where to cut. But it’s usually better to trim to the pattern – determine an element in the design motif that will meet up with the corresponding motif on the opposite side of the strip when the strips are hung on the wall, and use that as your guide . Be sure to trim off the trim guide marks, or they will show on the wall.
The pattern is called Arabian Nights and is by Relativity Textiles . I’ve never worked with this brand before. I was not pleased . In addition to the incorrect information about the pre-trimmed paper , the mfgr’s specs said this was printed on a non-woven substrate . It was not. It wasn’t even printed on standard wallpaper stock . Instead, it was a pulp material – This is a sort of old-fashioned wallpaper , and is very brittle and prone to tearing and dragging (your trimming knife or razor blade will get snagged and you’ll end up with a ” chewed ” jagged cut, instead of a crisp cut . It also tears easily. It also has no coating, so it’s not stain-resistant … Not good in a busy household with a 3-year old toddler , or anyone splashing water or soap or air freshener .
It was also difficult to hang . Applying wet paste to the backing causes the substrate to absorb moisture and expand at a different rate from the ink on the surface. So you end up with wrinkles , waffling , and quilting .
Sponging a light bit of water on the front before pasting helps even out the moisture differential and ease installation . I’ve never before encountered a pulp that had this type of ink on the surface. One clue for this bad stuff is when you open the package and it smells like moth balls . Once I figured out how to work with it, , it went OK – although tedious . The seams did look very nice.
BUT … all this effort would have been unnecessary and the finished room would be more durable if the mfgr had printed on a non-woven substrate (as their on-line specs stated) and had used standard inks instead of this weird , smelly , high-end stuff. In fact, the material would have cost the homeowners a whole lot less $ if it had been normal ink on a non-woven backing .
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .
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Bright and Cheery Accent Wall for Toddler Girl

January 12, 2023
Just about every wall and surface in this home is white . This super fun , super colorful pattern really energizes the little girl’s room / nursery .
Before, with my tinted- blue wallpaper primer Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime applied.
I love contrasting the colorful wallpaper to the plain “before” look.
Red flowers centered under the window , so it will look nice falling around the crib .
Close-up .
The manufacturer is the popular Rifle Paper , made by York . I love this brand – but beware of printing defects , which have been popping up more and more these last few years. Also, Rifle Paper is usually a DIY-friendly non-woven or paste the wall material . So I was surprised today to find this is a traditional paste the paper product . Actually, I’ve had a good handful of RPs lately that were paste the paper .
These two materials call for completely different installation methods. The PTP takes more time and equipment , too.
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .

But ,,, But ,,, I See A Butt !

November 21, 2022
Although it’s free and loose, this is essentially a symmetrical pattern . After studying the pattern on-line , I determined that this dark berry motif with the red bird was the dominant element in the design .
I measured and plotted carefully , to plant that motif right in the center above the window molding .
This would ensure that the dark berry motif would fall evenly on both sides of the window as it moves down the wall .
What I didn’t anticipate is how the individual design elements would also play out , being divided equally on both sides of the window . Take a look …
On the left side of the window molding is the rear end of a bird . See his tail ?
And on the right side of the window , at the same height , is the front end of the bird !
The flowers and other motifs were affected the same way .
The pattern is called Apothecary’s Garden and is by C.F.A. Voysey , a designer from the turn of the last century, in the Arts & Crafts period .
This is by Lord Twig Wallpaper , out of Canada . I’ve heard all positive results in dealing with this company.
Please see previous post for more information re the wallpaper itself.

Artsy Display for Old “Junk”

November 16, 2022
My clients live in a 1930’s home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. They’ve done an exceptionally nice renovation / restoration of the home , taking care to retain much of the old-style character, along with many of the original features.
Instead of chucking vintage door and window hardware into the trash, they’ve placed these hinges and latches – even old nails – into attractive glass apothecary and mason jars.
Now these old-house treasures have become works of art!

Shimmery Trees

October 20, 2022
Before … Heavy stipple / sand texture on drab sage green semi-gloss paint.
I skim-floated the walls , sanded smooth , primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer and …
Here’s the finished sink area of this hall bathroom .
Before shot of tub and window wall .
So much brighter and livelier!
Close up . It’s hard to see from these photos, but the colors are pewter, silver, and metallic silver.
The paper also has a lightly textured surface .
The pattern is called Hedgerow and the brand name is Super Fresco.
Every other SF I’ve hung has been on a non-woven / paste-the-wall substrate , so I was surprised to discover that this one was a paste-the-paper material , and that the backing is a paper / pulp material , with textured vinyl laminated to the surface.
My issue with this is that, historically, these paper-backed solid vinyl wallpapers don’t hold up well in humid areas , such as bathrooms.
Humidity in the air can actually be wicked up through the seams and then settle on the paper backing , which is absorbent and thirsty. Once that paper absorbs moisture, it’s going to expand . Since there is nowhere for it to go, it will push back against the wall , and that can cause the seam to curl up and pull away from the wall.
Oftentimes, the paper backing actually delaminates (comes apart) from the vinyl surface. This is not a “loose seam” and cannot be repaired.
You pretty much have to replace the whole strip. Or, more likely, to replace the entire wall, from one corner to the next.
Proper wall prep , including a primer made for use under wallpaper , goes a long way toward avoiding these sorts of occurrences.
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Narrower-ing A Strip For Better Seam Placement

October 11, 2022
Here I am moving from right to left across this wall, fixin’ to put wallpaper over, around, and then under this window .
The distance from the existing strip to the corner is 20.” The width of the wallpaper is 18.” This means that my next wallpaper strip is going to fall 2″ short of reaching that wall to the left. So another strip will be needed to cover that last 2.” That’s two full length, 9′ long strips to cover that small bit of wall space. And there will be a seam down the middle.
I’d like to use less paper and have less waste. And I sure would like to avoid having a seam down the middle. Both because installing it is a PITA and also because it would look better and be more stable without the seam.
If I could just make that next strip over the window narrower, it would pull the full-length strip a bit to the right, eliminating the second strip and the seam.
Each 18″ wide strip has two stripes of flowers running down it. There’s a little gap between these stripes, so it’s possible to split the strip in half vertically between the rows of flowers. Then I’ll have a 9″ wide strip filling the gap over the window, instead of an 18″ wide strip.
So here I’m using a straightedge and razor blade to split the strip. (Normally I do this on my table with my 76″ straightedge , but today I’m working on the floor and with different tools .)
Here is the piece viewed from the front. The pink bit of flower on the right side is going to match up with the corresponding flower on the existing strip over the window . I made sure that the left edge of this 9″ wide strip has no flowers or motifs crossing over the left edge. That way there is no pattern to match across the seam, so I can choose any piece I want for the final strip that will go in between the window and the corner.
Here it is in place. Now I have only 11″ of width to cover with wallpaper , and no seam down the middle .
Same procedure for under the window. Except I’m not trimming this piece to 9.” I’m leaving it about 2″ wider. One reason is because that full-height strip coming down between the window and the corner is likely to twist or stretch a bit, and thus won’t line up absolutely perfectly with the strip under the window. Having this strip under the window be wider will allow the strip coming down the side of the window, when it gets down to under the window, it will overlap the strip under the window by about 2.” So I’m going to double cut / splice these two pieces together.
I’m also not adhering this piece to the wall yet, because I don’t want the paste to start drying, as I will need wet paste and paper that is easy to pull off the wall, in order to do the double cut.
OK, so here we are over the window, getting ready to put in our long 11″ wide strip down alongside the window. Actually, I’m cutting this piece 12″ wide, to allow for trimming along that left edge in the corner. This will also accommodate if the paper twists or shifts over that 9′ drop from ceiling to floor.
I chose a flower to put at the top of the wall that is different from what’s on the existing strip, so there won’t be repetitive motifs. But the right edge of this strip of paper has a design part that is meant to match up with the corresponding flower on the left edge of the previous strip.
But we don’t have that corresponding flower, because I cut that strip down from 18″ wide to 9″ and thus lost the left edge of the paper, along with the corresponding flower.
I don’t want this half-motif to be hanging in the middle of nowhere. Even 9′ up above the window, it might catch your eye.
No problem. I took my straightedge and razor blade and trimmed off 1/2″, which got rid of that design element.
Note that I did this before I trimmed this long strip to 12.” If I had trimmed it off before, then this strip would have ended up 11.5″ wide instead of 12″ and might not have fit the space since wallpaper can twist and shift during that 9′ drop.
Sorry, no photo of that strip butting up to the piece over the window and then dropping down the space between the window and the corner.
So that strip is in place now, and here we are under the window, with that 9″ wide gap to fill.
So I take the strip I had set aside for under the window and position it next to the strip on the right. Remember that I cut this middle strip about 2″ wider, so it overlaps the strip on the left. I need this overlap to do the double cut / splice.
When splicing on the wall, it’s important not to let your blade score into the wall. If the wall surface becomes compromised, the torque created when the paste dries and the wallpaper shrinks a bit can tug at the wall and cause layers of paint or etc. to pull away from the wall, resulting in an open seam.
So I’m padding behind where my cut will be made with this strip of flexible Lexion plastic. It’s thin enough to not make much of a bump under the paper, but thick enough that you can’t cut through it with a razor blade.
If you’re interested in this cool stuff, email me and I’ll hook you up with the guy who sells it. wallpaperlady@att.net
There it is on the wall.
Now I put the two layers of paper over it . Note that this is a paste-the-wall wallcovering, so there is no paste on the strip on the right, so nothing to stain the paper below it. If this were a regular paste-the-paper material, you can use thin plastic strips (like painter’s plastic) to cover up that paste.
Trim guide in place, and I’m getting ready to make the cut with a new single edge razor blade. You have to press hard enough to get through both layers of paper in the first try, but not so hard as to cut into the wall.
I’ve plotted where my splice will go, to not cut through any flower motifs, and to be sure to cut off that little bit of flower you can see shadowing through from the wallpaper piece underneath – just to the left of the large flower.
Once the cut is done, I remove the excess paper on the left.
Then reach underneath and remove the excess paper from the bottom strip.
Another shot of pulling out that excess bottom paper. Next I removed the Lexion strip. I set those in a bucket of water to keep the paste wet until I can wash in the sink.
Bringing the two strips to meet up and then smoothing into place. No paste got on the surface, so no need to wipe the seam.
A double cut / splice makes the absolutely most perfect and invisible seam, because both pieces have been cut together and butt perfectly.
Here it is finished. Technically, due to slicing the strips in half vertically, the floral strip on the far left is about 1/2″ further away from the strip on the right than it “should” be. But – eh – who the heck is going to notice that?!
What’s important is that no flower motifs got cut in half, no identical flowers ended up next to each other, here’s no seam down the middle of that space, and only one 9′ high strip of wallpaper was required (instead of two).
Done. Oh my gosh – now I’ve got to do the same thing on the opposite side of the wall!!
The pattern is called Sweet Pea and is by Serena & Lily .
This went in a nursery in a home in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston .

“Sweet Pea” Wallpaper for Sweet Baby Girl

October 9, 2022
Nursery window / crib accent wall before, primed and ready for wallpaper .
Done. Pattern is nicely centered on the wall .
The pattern is called Sweet Pea .
Has the look of hand-painted watercolor .
Made by Serena & Lily .
I usually love their papers, and I usually love non-woven / paste the wall materials . But not this stuff. For starters, it’s practically transparent . This means you can’t make marks on the wall – like my measurements or strip placement . Also any color irregularities on the wall will show through. A pigmented wallpaper primer is a must .
Here you can see the flower from underneath showing through the paper on top.
In addition, the paper was VERY stiff and difficult to work with. Creased easily fitting it into the areas around the window molding and where the paper met up with the corner. I had these same issues the last time I hung a S&L non-woven (most of their wallcoverings are paper). There are so many good quality N-W substrates out there, makes you wonder why they don’t switch to something better.
The label said this was a drop match . But the pattern match turned out to be a multiple drop .
On a straight match , you’ll find the same tulip, for example, at the top of the wall on every strip. On a drop match , that tulip will be at the top of the first strip, then on the second strip it will drop down half the length of the pattern repeat . On the third strip, it will be back at the top of the wall . On the fourth strip, it will drop down again. And so on.
But on a multiple drop pattern match , also called a quarter drop , that tulip drops down bit by bit over a span of four strips , before it appears again at the top of the wall. Actually, with some multiple drops, the motif can traverse more strips before it’s back at the top.
These patterns are extremely tricky to figure out , and to calculate rollage for. I’m really glad that I rolled the paper out on the floor of this empty nursery , before cutting anything. If you assume that what you have in your hands is a typical pattern match and go and cut all your strips ahead of time, you will have a whole bunch of strips that won’t match up, and will have ruined all that paper.
The home is in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston . installer

Two Color Rhythmic Print for Heights Breakfast Nook

September 7, 2022
Before. Grey and boring .
The built-in banquette seating has been removed.
Finished.
Closer look.
Showing the pattern centered on the wall, and with the shutters. The dimensions of the paper not corresponding well with the width of the window, along with logistics of pattern placement at the ceiling line but starting my first strip under the window all created some plotting and engineering challenges. Fun, but time consuming. But it turned out great!
The original idea was to just paper the nook area, ending at the vertical door molding. But it would have looked odd to stop the wallpaper above this doorway. So the homeowner and I decided to run the paper along the top of the doorway, and then down the left side (not shown), which dead-ends into some cabinets and the granite countertop. It looked good and was the right call.
It tickles me that this is quite obviously a riff on the very popular Strawberry Thief wallpaper pattern by William Morris , which is quite popular right now (do a Search here to see my installations of it). When a company comes up with a hit, you can be assured that a competitor will soon be making its own version of it.
The original has a lot more color, but this version is limited to just two colors. Even though there is a lot of contrast between the black and the white , the pattern doesn’t feel busy, because the design is so close and tight .
There is a lot of symmetry , repetitiveness , and balance in Wm Morris and similar styles .
I love the raised ink texture to this material .
Whoops! A slight pattern mis-match . The overall design is busy enough that small imperfections like this (as well as some color variations / shading ) are not really noticeable .
It’s odd to me that the printing defects are different in different strips / rolls of the wallpaper . You’d think that if the print roller was out of whack, it would create the same image every time it strikes the wallpaper surface. Or maybe it’s the trimmers that are off. If they had cut 1/16″ more off that left edge, we might have a perfect pattern match .
The manufacturer is York , one of my favorites , in their Sure Strip line, also one of my favorites.
It’s in the Magnolia Home collection , by, yes, Joanna Gaines , of HGTV fame with the show Fixer Upper .
SureStrip is a pre-pasted , thin , flexible , non-woven material that is easy to hang . It’s also easy to remove when you’re ready to redecorate , because it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to your walls .
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More Pictures of This Week’s ” Menagerie ” Wallpaper Install in Nursery

August 11, 2022
Closet corner before.
Closet corner after.
Window corner. Continuing the chair rail inside the window return would have made it difficult for the blinds to fit properly. So the carpenter ( Arcadio Morgado , who is unparalleled in craftsmanship and professionalism – email me if you want his contact info ) stopped the molding at the window edge, but painted that little 1/4″ lip.
I love the way the narrow strip of wallpaper looks falling down along the green wainscoting .
View from door of crib wall .
Close up. My clients love these peacocks !
Called Menagerie by Rifle Paper , which is made by York , one of my favorite brands .
Please see previous post for more information about this product and installation .

Sandberg Raphael in Heights Powder Room

June 22, 2022
Vanity area primed and ready for wallpaper.
Finished. The soft murky blues meld so nicely with the carrera marble countertop.
Opposite wall before.
The pattern has a strong upward movement, as well as lush fullness from the leafy areas.
Rear window wall. This room had a number of intricate moldings to trim around.
Close up.
Detail.
Raphael is a very popular pattern. Do a Search here (upper right corner) to see my previous installations of this wallpaper.
The material is called non-woven , and can be hung by pasting-the-wall or pasting the paper. I prefer to paste the paper, as it makes the material more pliable, and also gets paste to difficult-to-access areas, such as behind the toilet.
One big advantage of non-wovens is they don’t expand when wet with paste, and so you can get accurate measurements. And also there is no booking time, so you can paste and head straight to the wall to hang each strip.
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