Posts Tagged ‘woodland’

Improper Prep Leads to Failed Wallpaper Job

February 7, 2018


The new homeowners bought an adorable 1920’s home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston, and inherited a dining room with a beautiful wallpaper pattern – that unfortunately had not been hung properly. The wallpaper was curling at the seams, peeling away, and literally falling off the wall. It is taking chunks of a white substance along with it.

It’s hard to determine exactly what is causing the failure, but the first issue is that the underlying wallpaper was not removed. Since wallpaper has an acrylic coating, it does not provide a secure foundation for the new paper to adhere to. In some cases, it’s not possible to remove the old paper, and then the seams should be floated over, and the old paper should be primed so it will have a surface that the new paper can grab ahold of.

Here, it looks like the walls were either not primed at all, or were primed with a flat wall paint. Some of that paint is letting go of the old wallpaper and pulling away from the wall, which allows the new paper to fall off.

Ideally, that striped ’90’s paper should be stripped off, along with any other layers of paper underneath. But it looks like some of the underlying paper was floated over, and that makes it particularly difficult to remove.

I suspect there are other issues going on, so it will take some time and exploration to decide what will be the proper approach for removing the beige paper and then prepping the walls, before the new homeowners’ new paper can go up.

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Muted Pattern Adds Dimension and Warmth to an All-White Home Office

December 8, 2017


This softly-colored, small-patterned wallpaper did a lot to warm up an all-white work space, without overpowering. In fact, it is more of a backdrop for other elements in the room, than a statement-maker in itself.

The top photo shows the first strip going up. I had to do a little tweaking to get the geometric print to look straight against the un-level crown molding and the un-plumb walls of this renovated older home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

The second and third photos show how the wallpaper adds just enough color and texture to the space.  See how the door and woodwork stand out, with just a little bit of color to set them off?

The wallpaper is by Thibaut Designs, one of my favorite brands. The pattern number is T-72614.   Interestingly, this design is very similar to one by Quadrille.  Quadrille is a brand that comes with a high price tag, as well as a lot of special needs as far as installation goes.  My vote is for the Thibaut!

The interior designer for the project is Stacie Cokinos. https://www.cokinosdesign.com/ She specializes in selecting and coordinating fixtures, fabrics, and finishes in new homes and in older home renovations.

For the Love of Dogs

April 23, 2017

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The two large dogs who live in this home in the Woodland Heights (Houston) have their own room (which is also the home’s mudroom). They may have fancy digs, but the décor was bland. See top photo.

A little wallpaper changed all that. This “Trot” pattern by Stroheim is fresh and cute, but not in a cloying way – while it’s fun, it’s actually pretty sophisticated for a rear entry. The Stone color goes amazingly well with the paint on the wainscoting and other trim in the room.

The interior designer is also the homeowner – Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design, here in Houston. She works a lot in the Heights neighborhoods, and works on a lot of whole-house remodels, and new builds.

Soft Toned Map Mural for a New Baby’s Room

December 13, 2016
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These new parents-to-be chose not to know the gender of the baby ahead of time. Mom loves this cute wall mural map, and so she picked this neutral color for the baby’s nursery accent wall.

The mural was custom made to fit the wall. It came in four panels, each being 40″ wide. That’s a little wider than is comfortable for me to handle easily, but I came up with some tricks that made it manageable. It’s a somewhat heavy vinyl on a canvas type backing, and will be durable in a child’s room.

I was not 100% happy with the seams, as some were not cut straight and so there were a few “gaps and overlaps,” and there were areas where the seams did not lie as flat as I would have liked. But those are things that I notice, but most other people don’t. Once you stand a few feet back, all you see is the cute animals and the countries they come from.

I hung this in a newish home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Interestingly enough, a few days later, I visited a home where the new parents-to-be had chosen the exact same mural, but in a different color.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In both these cases, the homeowners measured the wall on their own and ordered the mural before calling a paperhanger. The result is that both custom made murals were too small. The homeowners didn’t realize that you need to add about 2″ on EACH SIDE of the mural, to allow for trimming at the ceiling and floor, and to accommodate for unplumb walls and unlevel floors and ceilings.

In the case of the mural pictured above, the husband had allowed a few inches on either side, and there was a wee bit of wiggle room on the height, so we ended up with about 3/4″ of gap at the bottom, between the mural and the baseboard. It’s so small that they will probably leave it alone.

In the other home, where the mural was made to the exact dimensions of the wall, there will probably be a wider gap at the bottom, and possibly on other sides, as well. They may need to get some decorative wood molding to fill in the gap.

Morale: Always call the paperhanger BEFORE your order your paper.

Something’s Pretty Fishy

November 13, 2016
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What a fun wallpaper pattern! I hung this in a large powder room in a new home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. It is the same house that got the other ocean-themed paper in my previous post.

“Nautilus” is made by a British company, Cole & Son. It is printed on a non-woven substrate, and is hung by pasting the wall, rather than the paper – what we call a dry hang process.

I had some very short strips over the tops of three doors, and this enabled me to creatively fudge the pattern match a little, so I could maneuver the paper so that the fish were nicely centered between door moldings on each of three large wall areas. This looks nice to the eye, and it also meant that no fishes got their heads cut off!

Walnut SeaScape

November 12, 2016
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This is a new build in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. I papered an accent wall in a guest bathroom in the home. Kind of unusual to do just one wall in a bathroom, because bathrooms tend to be chopped up, and it looks better to have a homogeneous treatment to all the walls. But this guest bath was large, and had a long, uninterrupted wall behind the sink / mirror. And this turned out to be perfect as a feature wall with wallpaper.

This is a dramatic wall full of color and whimsy. The manufacturer is Walnut. The paper had to be hand-trimmed, to remove the selvedge edge, which is an exacting and tedious process. See photo.

Aside from the crazy pattern match (see other post), this wallpaper was a joy to work with, and it will hold up nicely in the bathroom environment.

Wild Teal Leaf Pattern

September 23, 2016
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Teal is a popular color right now. This homeowner went back and forth on a few options for this accent wall in her living room in an older bungalow in the Woodland Heights (Houston). I love her final decision – and she did, too!

In the first photo, I have rolled the wallpaper out on the floor, to find the pattern match and to see how the overall pattern plays out across a large space.

This pattern is by Hygge & West, an on-line company. It adds a bold block of color to the living room, but, since there is not a lot of contrast, the pattern does not come across as busy. There is a flat screen TV that will be mounted on the wall, and the dark color of the wallpaper will help the TV “disappear.”

Treasure Trove of Vintage Wallpaper

September 20, 2016

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I did a bid at a new construction home in the Woodland Heights today, and right next door was a 1930 bungalow that was being renovated. I love old houses, so I walked in to see what they were doing, and discovered piles of old wallpaper that had been ripped off the ship-lapped wooden walls. Ah HA! More for my collection of vintage papers!

There were several patterns of wallpaper, and two or three selections of ceiling paper – the more plain paper, usually white with silver speckles. All of it was applied the old-fashioned way, on top of “cheesecloth” that had been tacked to the shiplap.

I find this interesting, because the colorful blue and yellow patterns are clearly from the ’60’s, and drywall came into common use in the ’40’s. There was drywall in the house, but I guess it was installed way later in the structure’s life. 🙂

I love the texture and feel of the old papers, and it always amazes me that the colors hold up perfectly without fading, over all these years.

How Many Birds In The Forest?

August 21, 2016
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It takes guts to put a dark paper in a small room. In this small hall bathroom, this pattern looks super! What helps this black wallpaper work is the white tile floor and shower surround, and a black vanity with a soft grey marble top. There are enough light colored surfaces to balance all the dark.

What’s extra cool is that this home is set on about an acre, and all the land is planted with foliage and large trees and looks quite wooded. The homeowner also owns an aviary with several types birds. So this woodland scene is perfect!

This paper is by Witch & Watchman, and is a non-woven material and uses a paste-the-wall process of installation. I ran black chalk along the edges, to hide the white backing, and that made the seams disappear.

I hung this in a home in Hedwig Village (Houston). The remodel work is being done by a company I work for from time to time, Greymark Construction, who does mighty fine work.

Luscious Lips

July 29, 2016
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This homeowner is not afraid of color, as you can see in the top photo, where the bedroom was originally painted deep purple. (In this photo, I have started the process to smooth out the textured wall, and have started applying the plaster-like smoothing compound.)

She found this wild, shiny, lip-swathed pattern, and knew that it was “her!”

The walls had to be smooth, because any bumps or imperfections would be telegraphed through the shiny Mylar surface of the paper. The small bumps, and also the few bubbles you see under the paper will disappear as the paste dries.

But some irregularities in the wall cannot be compensated for, such as the slight curl where the wall meets the crown molding (probably due to painter’s caulk rounding out the joint), and that’s why you see a different sheen just below the crown molding. These show up much more in the photos than they do on the actual wall in the room setting.

The wallpaper was tricky to work with, because any paste, or even water, on the surface would go into the slightly textured surface of the paper, and leave a mark that could not be wiped off (wiping made it worse). And the shiny surface would not withstand creases or folds.

So careful pasting and booking, clean dry hands, and a gentle touch were mandated.

This paper is by York Wallcoverings, and I hung it on an accent wall in a master bedroom in a newish home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.