I feel that all your employees are true artists and professionals, and their commitment, creativity and craftsmanship are evident in the finished product.
- Diane Hohmann, North Barrington
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Using Wallpaper to Create a Feature Wall

Wallpaper Feature Wall

Wallpaper Feature Wall

Our painting and decorating company recently completed a large wallpaper installation in the Gold Coast area of Chicago. Wallpaper can sometime be used in creative ways that bring excitement to a room. That project presented such an opportunity.

Part of the project included the creation of a feature wall above the tub area in the master bath. The interior designer on the project had the idea of using a classical wallpaper design with arches, monkeys and adding a custom mirror frame to create a fun and classy accent wall. The clients loved the idea.

The challenge for the installation consisted of coming up with the measurements for the wallpaper panels that created the most balanced effect, while maintaining equal measurements for the mirror frame all the way around the wall. After doing some brain twisting calculations, the magic formula was achieved! Then it was a matter of flawless wallpaper trimming and installation. Compared to the calculations, the installation was the easy part!

Using our skills as craftsmen, coupled with our commitment to produce a delightful result for all involved parties, guide everything we do as painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area.

Tired of Frayed Wallpaper Edges on Outside Corners?

We are putting the finishing touches to an upscale residential wallpapering project on Chicago’s Gold Coast. Every wall of this two-bedroom condo was clad in eight different wallpapers, including three grasscloth and one sisal wallcovering.

J-Channel After Installing Second Wallpaper

J-Channel After Installing Second Wallpaper

This project had an unusually high number of outside corners due to the fact the eight windows in the apartment were recessed into the wall by about a foot. Every window had about twenty five feet of outside corners each. In all, there were three hundred linear feet of outside edges in the condo: That is a lot of edges that can fray over time?

This is our clients’ retirement location – they are not looking to ever move again. They had the unit gutted and designed to their needs. We are just now completing all the decorating for them. Having understood their situation, we recommended the use of a J-Channel on all the outside edges. The wider edge (1/4″) of the channel allows for tucking the wallpaper under the lip of the channel. The thin edge of the channel creates a clean line for another wallcovering or a painted finish to but against it, as shown in the attached picture.

As painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area, we first seek to understand where a client is coming form. We do not recommend a J- Channel on every installation. In fact it is rare we do. In this particular case, the J-Channel was the perfect solution to give the clients the look and durability they were looking for.

Doing Justice to a Maya Romanoff Wallcovering

Installed Maya Romanoff Wallpaper

Installed Maya Romanoff Wallpaper

As painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area, we are regularly asked to install wallpapers. In recent years, the demand for high-end wallcoverings has been soaring. We have had the opportunity to install many illustrious wallpapers. A recent project involved the installation of 4 panels of a deep red Maya Romanoff hand-made wallcovering to create a feature wall in a master bedroom. The pattern, called (Moon Lake) , had subtle horizontal, thin and artful stripes.

Before getting into the special challenges of this installation, I would like to take a moment and give a little background on Maya Romanoff. The company bears the name of its founder and is the largest manufacturer of hand-made wallcoverings in the United States. Since its founding over forty years ago, the company has creatively used diverse materials such as glass beads, seashells, wood, gold leaf to beatify walls all over the world. I recently had the privilege of touring their manufacturing facility. What stood out the most for me was the joy I felt from their artisans doing their artful work. Their efficiency and team coordination was amazing! Attached is a picture of a portion of their plant.

Maya Romanoff Manufacturing Facility

Maya Romanoff Manufacturing Facility

The installation of the Moon Lake wallpaper presented special layout challenges. It took almost as long to plan the layout and trimming as it did to do the installation. Firstly, the bed was not centered on the wall. The challenge was: how do we layout the paper in a way that minimizes the problem? The second challenge had to do with the nature of the wallcovering itself: the stripes started in one edge of the paper but ended substantially short of the other edge, in an irregular fashion. We had to decide if we were going to flit the next sheet so the stripes would but against the striped edge of the previous sheet and leave an open area between the other two edges. We decided to proceed in this way. The last challenge was to plan the trimming of the edges as to minimize the lack of centeredness of the bed. That whole process took in excess of three hours. Our client was made part of the whole layout process to ensure he was on board with the final look.

A happy client is worth everything to us. The final layout and installation did justice to the beautiful work of Maya Romanoff.

The First Step in Creating a Wow Look with New Paint Colors for this Plain Chicago Row House – Part 1

Facade of Historic Chicago Row House - Before

Facade of Historic Chicago Row House – Before

One of our Chicago clients, who is the proud owner of a Chicago historical row house, is poised to transform the appearance of the façade of his building through the use of new paint colors. As house painting contractors, who specialize in historical restoration. we are especially found of working on projects such as this, where we can help beautify a building and fulfill a client’s vision.

Our client has done a wonderful job in decorating the interior of his house in a “Period” appropriate way, while expressing his personality. Our working relationship began last year when he hired our painting company to (install and decorate a Lincrusta wallcovering) below the chair rail in his Foyer/Stairway area.. We will soon be adding stencils to the surfaces above the chair rail to complete the look.

Six-Color Palette for Historic Chicago Row House

Six-Color Palette for Historic Chicago Row House

Last year, we had a brief discussion about his building’s facade, but he was not ready to pull the trigger yet. This year he is! As shown in the attached picture, the façade is very plain currently, which bothers him. He is looking to have it be outstanding on his block! Knowing his need, we scheduled a Color and Concept consultation, to help develop a color palette that meets his requirement and likes. A six-color scheme emerged from a two-hour meeting with the client, as shown in the attached picture.

You may now wonder how these colors will be combined on the available surfaces to create a well-balanced and attractive overall design. This is where the studio portion of the consultation comes into play, in which we experiment with different color placement until we arrive at the desired result. This is the stage where we are at right now. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article showing the completed painted work on the façade of this historic building.

When you Submit a Project for an Award, you Win… Always!

Having entered many projects over the years in national and local competitions, I long realized that there are many benefits to be derived from entering a contest, irrespective of winning an award or not. I will list some of the major benefits.

Restored Chicago Vintage Metal Bay Window

Restored Chicago Vintage Metal Bay Window

1- Probably the least understood benefit has do with building one’s self-confidence. Daring to enter a competitions helps you recognize and defeat disempowering thoughts like: I am not good enough; I will embarrass myself etc. (you get the picture)
2- it focuses your company on quality. Since making an entry requires you to document a project from start to finish, all the steps become important.
3- That message about quality gets across to employees as well: their work and rigor of execution makes a difference. The net result is: Enhanced pride in their work.
4- It helps build your brand as a craftsmanship-oriented company. Making an entry generates pictures and stories that you can then use to populate blog posts, create a video on YouTube or Facebook or a project album on Houzz.
5- An entry becomes a marketing tool.
6- If you want to really impress a client, give them a copy of your entry or a version of it. That will become part of the stories they tell others about their project with your company.

Winning is frosting on the cake. If you do win an award: Tell the world through blog posts, newsletters, mailings, videos etc. You might also be able to get written up in magazines: get reprints of the article. In our case, we have collected four reprints over the years, which we still use today in our presentation folders.

Restored Chicago  Vintage Metal Decoration

Restored Chicago Vintage Metal Decoration

It is also OK to submit your project in more than one competition. You might as well leverage your efforts. On occasion, a dollar amount is sometime attached the top winning entry. Wow, that is a bonus! We have won a couple of those as well. Submitting a project for an award is fun and exciting!

Attached are pictures of our last winning project, which won the PIPP Award for Residential Exterior Restoration. Earlier last Fall, it also won one of the Chicago Painted Lady awards.