Practicing What We Preach

I cannot believe how fast this year is marching along. Here we go into the holidays and before we know it, it will be 2015! Being that my life is all about a good renovation…I decided to sign myself up for a whirlwind reno that we are fitting in just before Thanksgiving. Call me crazy, but I suppose that it is always good practice to know, live and understand just what you are putting your clients through.

So, here is the problem. Our wood floors are original to the house, which was built in 1989. They are 2¾-inch builder grade, red oak. I have gotten by with them throughout ALL the other renovations over the years because I have had them pickled, or bleached, when we've had them refinished which has been a time or two.

This process diminishes the red/pinky tone out of the wood and leaves a lovely, green tone, which modernizes them. They are quite possibly the last remaining element of the original build. Here's what the wood floors look like now.

October 30-2014 027

And here is an example of the transition between the living spaces...

Floor Combo

The wood is in the kitchen, dining and hallway, and entry areas of the house. I wanted to continue the wood into the family and living room. I considered adding more of the same 2¾-inch red oak, pickling and refinishing it, but decided that what I really wanted moving forward was a wide plank, medium tone, wood floor to replace the original narrow boards. Something with a French, vintage, barn floor vibe. I wanted to do it right, and not have to be unhappy or have to re-do it down the road. For God sakes, it is what I do for a living. I should really take and stand by my own advice.

I found a beautiful and, for what it is, reasonably priced solution in D & M Floorings Royal Oak Collection. It is a European white oak, wire brushed/hand distressed/hand scraped, 7½-inch engineered plank with a cured oil finish. It is gorgeous and perfect for the house!

Wide Wood

The wood arrived several days later and was left to acclimate prior to installation, which began on November 10th. It should take only a week, to a week and a half, which means, if all goes well, we should be able to seat our guests for Thanksgiving dinner. Fingers crossed…

On the curating front, I've been musing on my current favorite, "go-to" paint colors. I wanted to put together a palette of colors that could work together beautifully throughout a house. I should have it put together and ready to present in my next blog.

Interestingly enough, I met with new clients this week that had their own floor challenge. They are looking to refresh, update, and finish a freshly purchased home in the hills of Santa Rosa. Seemed fairly straightforward until I got into the details of what their goals are. The home had tired carpet that needed replacement. On further inspection the rest of the flooring is really in need as well. The dining room is carpeted which we want to change, as that NEVER is a good design feature if you want to eat in the room. I cannot wrap my head around why this is ever done, never mind for a span of years. Ridiculous! Additionally, the wood flooring in the kitchen and the eat-in dining room is also pretty well scratched up and ready to be refinished.

The challenge lies in whether or not we can match up the existing wood floors, as that is the client’s preferred choice. The flooring contractor made a visit today and determined that the flooring is an engineered wood with a good wear layer so it can be refinished.

** A good way to check and see how much of a wear layer you have is to look in a heating vent so you can see a cross section of laid wood.

He will determine what type of wood, we are thinking it may be Hickory, and he will do a little research to see if it can be purchased unfinished. Then the existing engineered flooring and the new could be finished together for matching purposes. I am waiting, impatiently, at this point. I’ll let you know what happens…Oh, and I do have a “plan B” should that not work.

Update: The first opinion came back and the cost to do what we wanted will exceed putting in all new wood flooring. We are in the process of getting a second opinion so that a reasonable choice can be made.