Tuesday, April 24, 2007

*giggle, giggle, clap, clap, clap*

Back about 3 years ago, before the blog existed and we were still young and idealistic, we moved out to our own little bit of Eden in rural Wisconsin. The house was in good shape, 3/4ths finished, just not as, er, pretty as we'd like it. We made a list of things that absolutely HAD to be done. Things like finish the 1/2 of the basement that was a big, open, dank, dog-shit-for-decoration cave lit by a single 25 watt bulb dangling from a light socket. It looked like a place that monsters would dwell and we didn't fancy living in a place with monsters. It's bad enough when your kids have nightmares. Don't need a real Freddy Krueger popping up the stairs in the wee hours to raid the fridge and torture you. Also, we replaced the light gray kitchen counters, put tile in the hall, kitchen and bathrooms in place of the ugly light gray vinyl, painted the soul-destroying light gray walls with a cheerier, warm (although not wildly dynamic), very light demi-peach paint.

(Note: We are essentially White Wall People, through and through. We adore color on the walls of the houses of our friends, we just can't fathom it on our own walls. We tried to make Sara's room a sunny yellow and the painters obviously thought it was horrible--because it was--and painted over it with the warm bland. Colin's room, we painted a nice blue, which looks, well, cold and blah. Shouldn't have put a sign on his door that said "Don't Paint Me" and let the painters cover up that mistake, too. We need to just stick with white-ish. Know your weaknesses. Choosing wall color is a failing with us.)

By the time we'd done all that, we'd exhausted our budget. Then we had to recover from the move (it's always more expensive that you think). Then we had the enormous vet bills from poor Emma's illness. Then there was the getting of the new puppy and kitten, and various other expenses that put our Next Big Thing For The House on hold.

But...finally! The stars and expenses lined up and, golly!, there was this amazing sale as we were poking around in the floor store on a whim and, well....


Pictures for you Pictures for you


Pictures for you Pictures for you


Pictures for you Pictures for you

Ain't it purdy?

Why the builder ever put down carpet in the first place is beyond me. Although, as Charles and I decided last night as we stood in our new pose: smiling in the center of the room and slowly revolving to look at all the pretty, pretty wood, had they done so, they'd probably have put in weathered light gray driftwood to match the walls and counters and bathroom decor, and we'd have hated it but felt bad as it would have been hard to rip up new wood floors to put down new wood floors, right?

(The previous owners were very nice and, having designed and built the house themselves, apparently planned to live there forever, but then had a very, VERY nasty divorce. I think that it was all the gray that did them in. Sort of like The Shining but with 'light gray everything' rather than being snow-bound in an evil, possessed hotel.)

So, Charles and I are thrilled, as the floors are pretty and are not full of dog piss.

Mad-Kitty is happy, as things she bats around go skittering all over the surface.

Molly-Dog is not-as-happy, as she skids over the slick surface.

But Colin is really, really happy, as he gets to sock-slide from one end of the hall and across the room in one 'go'. He's teaching his sister the finer points, too.

Works for me. The sock-sliding dusts the floor.

Next up? Replace the light gray tile surrounding the fireplace. I mean, really. Gray, again. We're thinking a nice, warm granite or something. Shouldn't be too expensive. There's not much to do.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks Great!!! Is it real wood or Pergo? How is it finished? I hope you did not use Swedish Finish like we did. We now need to redo it. Not to mention the plumbing issues that need resolving. And earthquake-proofing the china cabinets.

The Ole RF-er

7:50 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Beautiful! I am frustrated because there are so many things I would love to do to our house, but we may be selling next year - or at least I have to hope so because that means things are awesome. SOB.

I love before and after snaps! Keep 'em coming!

7:58 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Beautiful new floor! Fabulous. Our couch is very similar to yours. I agree that grey is not the most cheerful color nor would it add to marital harmony.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Looks great. I have to admit our main bathroom is grey with black and white accents but still grey walls. I too am always afraid to pick wall color. And I think I would also cover wood floors with carpet-easier to keep clean-ish. Maybe I am just warped from my childhood growing up in a house with all wood floors. UGH>

8:25 AM  
Blogger Stepping Over the Junk said...

gorgeous! I love my hard wood floor. We did have a split chin incident with my 4 year old around Christmas time due to socks and the slippery floor. So maybe get some treads if you're running!

9:16 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dad- It's real wood, cherry. Don't know what the finish is but it's supposed to be as hard as you get with a real wood, which isn't as hard as a laminate, but as you can't refinish a laminate like you can wood, we decided to go with the real stuff. You've been with your floors for about 20 years, right? That's not bad for your first refinishing.

Cagey- I was shocked at how relatively inexpensive it was. We got a good deal. It would add to your resale value. (I don't know which to hope for. Awsome and a move or not so awesome but staying where you are happy.)

Stacy- I love that couch. It is beyond comfortable. Begs to be napped on.

Lauren- I rather like gray and your bathroom sounds very pretty, but a solid gray house, well, I guess I'm surprised there was not mass murder/suicide done in it. At least not that we know of. We'd thought of a carpet but I think it will make the already small room feel even more tight.

SOtJ- We've already had a slip on the tile in the bathroom that resulted in a split chin. I've got super glue on hand...

10:01 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

Pretty.. pretty pretty!!! Am thrilled for ya'll :)

10:33 AM  
Blogger Voyager said...

Beautiful floors Diana. But because I am in the midst of renos myself, I had to laugh when you wrote about the fireplace: "Shouldn't be too expensive. There's not much to do." Ha. Ha. Ha.

11:44 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Loving the wood. Beautiful. I love hard wood. I am laughing at how Mad-Kitty must be enjoying this.

This is the second mention of the Shining today. I am a bit scared. And hello, grey everything? Of course they got divorced. Blech.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Sanjay- Why thankee! Feels so much better.

Voyager- You know, you'd think I'd learn by now. I think I'll just go bang my head a few times into the wall. I've so jinxed myself.

Dana- Oh, yes. Mad is loving it also because she does better at a spring on it than the dog. Poor Mol. (2 Shinings. Wonder what someone is trying to tell you?)

4:19 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Oh, Diana, they're beautiful! Much happy sliding around on them.

I can't wait to redo (and finish uncovering) our hardwood floors. They need lots of rehab - the house was built during the administration of John Quincy Adams and I don't think the floors have been redone since the Hoover years. But, they'll be so pretty when they're done.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

Ooooo! Quelle fab! Can't wait to see it -- are we still getting together this weekend?

Things at our house are in flux: the cabinets are done being painted, but now we're going to get a new counter, sink and faucet. We're looking for someone to do that job, install a new front door AND move some electrical wiring.

But... how does one find someone who does all that and doesn't charge an arm and a leg!

6:19 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I so admire those beautiful floors! We have yet to have ours re-finished and it's oak throughout the house with maple in the kitchen. It's really time to do them but it's almost impossible to be home while they're being done. We're planning a reno out to the back and the kitchen too so maybe then. Our 1st estimate was $100,00! Yikes, I think we'll be just downsizing the plans a tad!

10:14 PM  
Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Oooh! Pretty!

I would sock-slide on that thing til my hips gave out or I burned out every layer of sole skin. Wee!


10:36 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

The floors are gorgeous. I'm a fan of all wood floors, but cherry--the best and the most expensive (at least here cherry is the most expensive). You really scored if you managed to get a good deal on them. So worth it.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Flippy said...

That's a great looking floor! Our dream is to Pergo (I'm afraid we'd ruin real wood) the whole house. Having lots of pets is rough on carpeting. The bird room has linoleum, but it's really cheap icky stuff that the birds stain w/ brightly-colored fruit & too many splashy baths in one spot. And Dante told us exactly what he thought of the linoleum (that we didn't really want forever anyway) at the base of the stairs, almost as soon as we'd moved into our very brand spankin' new house. http://tinyurl.com/2no69c

In the house I grew up in, we had wood floors in the hallway downstairs. Many good times were spent sliding down the hall, either in our socks our in our footy pjs.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Listie- I had no idea your new place was so lovely old! I adore old houses for my friends to live in and for me to visit. As I have the house care skills of a small fruit bat (and the desire to obtain such skills is definitely lacking), I live in newer houses. Can't wait to see the results of your labors.

Ariella- Sent you an email. I suck. We've a shower to go to Saturday night that I blocked. I hate showers with a firey passion. At least it's a couples shower. That usually puts a kibosh on the worst of the stupid games. Usually. Gah! No idea for all that. Maybe someone knows someone who knows someone?

Ruth- I'd so do them with the reno work. You're doing your kitchen??? We have plans to expand our smallish kitchen into the dining room, which sits between the kitchen and the windows. We rarely use the dining room and this will make it one big cooking/eating space with windows! Won't be cheap. Won't be contemplated for several years, either. I'm in the dream stage. Yikes, indeed!

Mona- You could slap a sturdy layer of moleskin on your tootsies--tough and slidable! Maybe I'll get some for the kids.

Rozanne- They actually cost about 40% less than what we were quoted last year when we looked into it. We were thrilled, to say the least. The guys had them in in a day and a half. We wanted something very warm with lots and lots of variation to the wood as our furniture is very mis-matched with respect to the color of the woods and don't match the trim.

Flippy- (smooches!) I'd go with a laminate if I had your menagerie. I love that your birds have 'decorated' their spot. Wonder what they'd do if you put a bunch of crayons at their disposal. That pic of Dante is priceless. It really is hard work to rip up all that floor. Guess he really had issues with it.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

See, I'm sick of white walls, me. I don't know how you do it. The ENTIRE APARTMENT here is naught but white. And not even *proper* white. But crap what was on sale Sears off-white. It's slowly driving me mental. At our old house I used to go to Sears's mistake rack, pick a color and paint my room a new color every 3 years or so. Just for the change.

EFL says 'Oh, you can paint it if you like!!' Ha!! As if I'd fall for that?!?! You KNOW she'd be inspecting the brush strokes and find something fucking wrong with it.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

And your floor?? Gorgeous!!

When I was Down South being helpful last year we* took up the carpets to put in new carpets only to discover brilliant wooden floors that just needed refinishing. It was like Christmas in Mid-May!! Well, not for me, because, you know, I had no vested interest in the damned place anyway.

*Please remember that 'we' usually means 'me'; though she did help with one or two when I wasn't going fast enough. Ahem.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Of course, were some one to tell me that I COULDN'T paint my walls, well, I'd be jonesing for a brush and a can of tangerine. Actually, I rather like the color we have as it's rather chameleon-like. Depending on the light, it's white, pale yelloy, pale peach, pale apricot, or cream. Not bad for one color. Christmas in May, indeed! What a find. (Herself did refinish them, yes? She didn't re-cover them in dusty rose or whatever, did she?)

9:54 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Hardwood floors are so completely soul restoring. Excellent choice! And I'm glad all the remodeling hasn't let you to the type of nasty divorce that plagued the couple before you.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Oh my! that is gorgeous! I mean, your house was gorgeous before, but that positively glows!

10:09 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Stunning room! I love hard wood floors and I'm insanely jealous now. When I buy a house, can you help me? Your new floor and awesome furniture makes me want to buy a new house NOW.

4:31 AM  

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