Posts Tagged ‘York’

Shimmering Trees in Heights Entry, Historic Home

October 22, 2020

Built in 1895, this 4-square home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston recently underwent a renovation, so the rear area contains many modern aesthetics. The front areas, though, including this entry, are original to the home.

This wallpaper was chosen as a way to unite the classic spaces with the newer areas.

But also, the homeowners thought the all-white walls felt cold and impersonal, as well as blended in too much with the white fireplace.

This “Shimmering Foliage” pattern of gold and shadows on a white background met all the criteria!

The tree design leans traditional, but the metallic gold color and abstract print are what I call “sassed up” – just enough modern feel to blend with the newer areas in the rear of the house.

I particularly like the way the gold trees accentuate the gold filigree on the fireplace. The homeowners may use a light touch with metallic gold craft paint to highlight some of the carved wood even more.

Just the wall behind the fireplace was papered. Putting this bright, shiny paper on all four walls would have felt overwhelming.

The wallpaper is by York, one of my preferred brands, in their line by designer Antonina Vella. It’s a non-woven material, and can be hung by the paste-the-wall method. But I got better adhesion as well as flexibility by pasting the paper.

The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design.

Manufacturer’s Trimming Error

October 14, 2020


Top photo shows the left edges of two strips of wallpaper, with a piece of white paper in between, so you can see the distinction between them.

As you can see, the one on the left has very tiny bits of the pattern motif along its left edge.

The one on the right has wider bits of the pattern.

The right edges of these strips had the matching halves of the pattern motifs, also in disparate sized chunks.

What this means is, when the left edge of one of these strips is hung on the wall and butted up against the right edge of the next strip, the joined motifs will not match up perfectly. They will be either too wide or too narrow – which, with a rhythmic pattern like this, would be very noticeable.

In fact, the manufacturer’s trimming machine must have been a tad out of whack, because the motifs on the edges of these bolts were 1/32″ – 1/64″ too wide – and, as you can see in the second photo, when placed next to each other, the resulting motifs were wider than the others. Some “small” thing like this will catch the eye.

In addition, on one bolt (the one on the far left in the top photo), the pattern started out very narrow at the top, but, as the 27′ long bolt unfurled, the pattern got wider. In other words, the trimming machine must have been cattywhompus, and thus the material got cut on a bias.

I really like the York brand, and I am a big fan of their SureStrip line. But today I was disappointed.

Sweet, Classic, Floral Bedroom in West U

October 10, 2020


Look at how this fluid floral pattern in a warm colorway snugs up this spare bedroom. The wallpaper was applied to just the top portion of the wall, with a chair rail and wainscoting below it.

At my suggestion, below the chair rail, the homeowner will add either beaded-board paneling OR embossed (textured) faux beaded board wallpaper. I’m voting for the wallpaper! To be honest, it’s the better option. It’s cheaper, installation will be less expensive, and, most important, it’s thinner, so that it will not cover up the narrow profile of the baseboard.

The paneling will then be painted. I suggested pulling a color out of the wallpaper, such as a soft “buff” found in some of the flowers. That will add more visual weight to the bottom portion of the room, as well as warm up the whole look.

If the homeowners want to kick it up a notch, they could add a glaze, using a color found in some of the flowers. There are blues and greens, but I much prefer the red/orange tones.

The walls were originally textured, so I spent a day and a half skim-floating them and then sanding smooth, and followed that with a primer formulated for wallpaper.

The wallpaper is by York, in their SureStrip line, which is one of my favorite manufacturers and products. SureStrip is pre-pasted and easy to hang, does not shrink significantly, and is designed to be easy to strip off the wall when it’s time to redecorate.

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

A Classic “Necessary Room” Paper

October 9, 2020

OK, so sometimes you need to spend a little time in the “necessary room.” And what better way to pass the time than by reading a newspaper?

Patterns like this hung in bathrooms have been a running joke for decades. But still fun!

What’s cool is that this beautifully renovated home in the historic Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston dates to 1910, and the “newspaper” design is pretty period-correct to the era of the home.

There are notes about Prohibition, Anheuser Busch, sewing machines, the lowest price grocery store, vehicle repairs, and all sorts of goods and services – as well as the unique language used in back in that day.

This went in an under-the-stairs powder room. The wallpaper is in the Sure Strip line, in the Magnolia Home collection (Joanna Gaines), and is made by York. It is a very flexible non-woven material, and is pre-pasted. I like working with this material a lot. It will hold up for years, and is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design. She works mainly in the Heights area, and mostly on new builds or whole-house renovations.

Small Under Stair Segment

September 1, 2020


Just a tad of the underside of the home’s curved staircase jutted into the under-the-stairs powder room. The homeowner and I considered leaving the underside white, like the ceiling. But we decided it would look better to have all surfaces covered with the wallpaper.

Getting wallpaper onto both surfaces of this element presented some challenges. First, the curves and irregularity of the drywall work meant that paper would likely twist and warp and go off-kilter. Next, the underside was not perfectly flat, so there was the likelihood of void areas where the paper would not stick to the surface. Also, the curves and angles mean that the design will be torqued off-plumb, leaving the animal figures crooked and also not straight along the ceiling line. Finally, you can only match the pattern in one place, so that means that we would be left with mis-matches in three of the four corners / junctions.

Luckily, this pattern was extremely amenable to looking good even if it went off-plumb, tracked away from the ceiling line, or didn’t match perfectly. In addition, the SureStrip line (by York) is very flexible and malleable, and it adheres well with minimal shrinking, even on a surface with undulations.

I decide to match the pattern at the bottom of the sloped wall, where it meets the vertical back wall. Since this wall was a little higher on the left side than the right, it angled the new strip above it a bit to the right. Not a big deal … It’s only 27″ high, and no one is going to notice that the animal motifs are leaning a tad. And definitely no one is going to notice that the vines are not perfectly vertical.

Note that before applying paper to the underside of the slope, I wrapped 1/4″ of the paper from the horizontal area onto the underside (photo 2). This does create a slight ridge when the paper is applied to the underside and overlaps onto this 1/4″ flap. But I like this method, because it creates a nice, tight bond, and it eliminates the possibility of gaps showing if the two surfaces of wallpaper were trimmed flush to the corner of that rounded edge (which is not absolutely perfectly straight).

So, speaking of that slightly rounded edge, as well as the one to the left of the slope, in both these areas, the wallpaper pattern could not be matched. Not a big deal. It doesn’t assault your eye at all. I’m very pleased with the way this turned out.

On to other things. In the upper left, you might notice that there are two monkeys next to each other. This is just a result of the way the pattern worked its way across the wall, after being fitted to walls moving back into a 90* angle, and to walls moving forward in a curve. I did do a little cutting along the vines, so the slight mis-match would be less noticeable than if it were a straight vertical break in the pattern.

You’d have to spend a lot of time looking up behind you at that exact point to even notice that the two monkeys are closer to each other than they “should” be.

Later, I did go back and use scrap paper to cut an appliqué of a rabbit – also trimmed along the wavy lines of the foliage – and pasted this on top of the monkey. Sorry, no photo. But seeing a rabbit instead of an ape successfully broke up the repetitiveness of the dual monkeys. Now, all you see are happy animals in a forest.

Dwunken Cwitters

August 30, 2020


Sometimes you have to look twice to see what’s really going on. At first, I thought these were merely whimsical 19th Century creatures frolicking in the forest. But on closer inspection, it is clear that all of these critters are tippling. In fact, the fawn has drained a bottle and is totally sacked out!

For a powder room that guests will use, what a fun conversation-starter!

This wallpaper is by York, one of my favorite companies, and is in their SureStrip line, also one of my favorites. It is thin and hugs the wall tightly, pre-pasted and a delight to work with. It will hold up perfectly for years.

The homeowner originally found this on Anthropologie, but had problems with their ordering process. York has begun selling directly to the public through their website, and the homeowner found it there – and at a lower price!

The home is in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston.

Colorful Butterflies Flit Across a School Aged Girl’s Bedroom Accent Wall

August 29, 2020


Seventeen feet is a pretty wide wall – and makes for a very large bedroom for a pre-teen girl. I love the vertical movement created by the foliage in this design, broken up by the colorful butterflies dancing across the wall.

The leaves are a faint bronze metallic, and the butterflies are multi-hued. Yet the overall look is fairly subdued.

This wallpaper is by York, one of my favorite companies, and is in their SureStrip line, also one of my favorites. It is a thin non-woven material that hugs the wall tightly, and then is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. The material comes pre-pasted.

Today I used the tried-and-true method of running the paper through a water tray (see photo) to activate the paste. Just to be prudent, I also rolled a light coat of paste onto the wall, especially under seams and along the baseboards and ceiling line.

The home is in the Bellaire neighborhood of Houston.

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.

Blue Stars for Big Boy’s Room

August 12, 2020



A new sister is coming, potty training is in progress, and so it’s time for this toddler to move out of the nursery and into his “big boy’s room.”

Pictured is an accent wall, against which the bed headboard will go.

Because the wallpaper is dark and the primer on the wall is white, it’s possible that seams may not grab tightly, and white gaps may appear along the seams.

To counter that, I’ve run a vertical stripe of dark paint under where the seams will fall. The paper is a non-woven material, which has a high fiberglass content and will not expand when wet with paste, nor shrink when it dries. Yet it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra assurance that white won’t peek out at the seams.

I also used a bit of artist’s chalk (not oil or ink!) to color the white edges of the wallpaper. More insurance.

This wallpaper is by York

Done With 26 Years of Dark

August 9, 2020


Originally decorated in the 1990’s, this powder room was perfectly in sync with the era. But time marched on, and it was time to update. And brighten!

The homeowner is originally from India. Her home contains a lot of artwork and other items brought back from that country. She didn’t set out to choose an ethnic-themed pattern, but I really do think that this design is in tune with what one would see in India. In fact, the last time I hung it, it was for a young couple with Indian roots.

Despite the pink cast in the second photo, this wallpaper is a beautiful soft seafoam green color, with raised-ink in gold forming the textured design.

The wallpaper is by York, one of my favorite brands, and is a non-woven substrate. This material doesn’t expand when wet with paste, so you can get accurate measurements, paste and hang immediately with no booking wait period, and you have the option to paste the wall instead of the paper. Since this powder room had tricky areas (behind the pedestal sink and toilet), I opted to paste the paper.

This wallpaper was purchased at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. Over 500 selection books, discounted prices, and great service picking out your perfect pattern.

The home is in the Memorial Villages area of west Houston. I worked for this gal’s daughter in Bellaire a few years ago.