Monday, December 30, 2013

Hardwood Under Carpet!

I always thought the moment when a homeowner pulled up carpet to find hardwood underneath on DIY television shows was staged. It was also so convenient. Oh look! This perfect floor is under this nasty carpet! Last week, I had my own moment. It wasn't quite as perfect as on TV, but it was pretty cool.

When we toured the house, he saw this as his "Man Cave:"

My office was closed for Christmas and after pulling some crazy hours to get ahead of my work, I decided I was going to paint the basement for Marc's birthday. Originally, we had said we were going to buy Club seats to the Redskins/Cowboys game for our birthday/Christmas presents to each other, but Marc suggested we funnel that money into the basement. His hope was that he could watch that game on his new sofa in the room.

If you follow this blog, you know that I declared myself too busy to paint and said we were going to hire the job out to professionals. Two of the three estimates we got to paint the basement were around $2,000, which is right around the estimate we got to take the faux wood paneling down and drywall the two rooms. Painting the paneling was supposed to be the inexpensive way to tide us over until we are ready to drywall (there are three other rooms to drywall). It made no sense to spend thousands on the painting, so I decided to do the work myself.

The plan:
Friday: Clean, tape, and put a first coat of primer up
Saturday AM: Put a second coat of primer on the walls
Saturday PM: Paint
Sunday AM: Paint a second coat, if needed
Sunday PM: Paint trim

I didn't leave the office until pretty late on Friday, so I didn't get started until Saturday morning. Marc is a radio host and was on the air on Saturday morning, so I listened to his show as I cleaned and taped. I also decided to remove the folding doors in front of the bar in the room.

The track came down without a problem, but the screws for the hardware on the bottom of the door were carpeted over. I tried to get to the screws without disturbing the rug, but it was impossible. I had to pry the rug up to get to the screws. When peeled the rug back, I figured I'd see linoleum or concrete underneath. Instead, I saw wood.

At first, I thought it looked like scrap wood and I was going to push the carpet right back into place. But then I thought about how much easier it would be to paint the baseboards without the carpeting there and decided to pull a little bit more up.

At this point, I called the studio to talk to Marc. I don't love parquet, but I like it better than wall-to-wall carpeting. No one answered the studio line. I sent a Facebook message to him (he takes requests from listeners via the show's Facebook page throughout the show) and got no response. Then I took to Instagram. Everyone who commented said to get that carpet out of there. 

There were parts where it was clear that the installers didn't want the carpet going anywhere. 

And there were two patches where the previous owner's dog left a mark (he disclosed that two other rooms have marks). The entire house needs new floors, so we aren't devastated.

Just as I was done dragging the carpet and padding outside, I got a reply to my texts.

Poor Marc thought he'd come home to me painting and instead he came home to a pile of carpet, padding, and a few boxes full of tack strips. I had gotten most of the staples up, but there was a second, older set of staples in the floor from a previous carpet. Marc got to work on those.

We set a new goal to have the room done by New Year's Even (when our favorite band webcasts their concert), but I think we have revise that goal since we now need a huge area rug. My busy season is about to start up again and I don't have much time for shopping.
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Monday, December 16, 2013

River Rock Tile for Bathrooms

The other day, Marc made a totally unexpected comment about missing the river rock tile floor in the shower we use at his mother's house. He's never mentioned it before, but he loves how that tile feels on his feet.

Anyway, in the more modern bathrooms of my mother-in-law and best friend (whose tile looks almost identical to my MIL's), the river rock tile looks fantastic and spa-like. My style tends to be a little more traditional, so I hadn't thought of incorporating it before.

I went to find some inspiration pictures. I only found one or two bathrooms that felt traditional (really they seemed transitional). The rest were very modern. For our master bath, I want to do something similar to what I did in the condo (marble subway with traditional fixtures), but I could see going a little more modern in our basement bathroom, which is a full bath.

Via Houzz

With slightly lighter tile, this next design scheme could look pretty cool in our basement. I've been loving the ultra large tiles I've been seeing more often lately.

Looking at that time, I see so many grout lines, which makes me wonder how hard it is to keep a floor like that looking clean. I know I regret using basket weave tile on the floor in the condo because there were so, so many grout lines to scrub.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shop Tour: Salvagewrights Architectural Salvage in Orange, VA

Have you ever been to an architectural salvage yard? If not, you may be familiar with these businesses if you have watched Salvage Dawgs on the DIY Network. When a structure is set for demolition or renovation, these folks salvage the interesting (and sometimes historically significant) parts of the building to be reused. My first experience with a salvage shop was at United Home Wreckers in Connecticut, which is downright luxurious compared to some of the more gnarly places I've been since. I find that I like the dirty places where you have to slink your way through a maze of old barn doors and cast iron tubs as you make your way through the shop. Caravati's in Richmond is a little like this, but I recently found the coolest, most interesting salvage shop and it's right in Orange, just about 30 minutes north of Charlottesville. It's called Salvagewrights.

You know I'm going to take you on a tour...

At this point, I was not impressed. I thought it seemed small and like there wasn't much architectural salvage there to see. A couple mantles, some vintage furniture, and a few doors weren't what I expected.

How silly I was to make that assessment while still standing in the front room. The building is extremely long and as I moved through it, things got more and more interesting.

Get ready...this post is about to get really, really cool.

That's a wall of vintage door hardware. The assortment of knobs was awesome.

Ugh. I wish my iphone had been in focus for those beautiful knobs.

Moving into the middle of the building, I started to have fun...

And then there was a sign that said "more back here" which led me to the best room of all. The warehouse. The warehouse is probably 2-2 1/2 stories tall, to give you a sense of how tall some of these things were...

All of the piles of wood were twice my height. I was actually a little nervous walking around them. 

That huge white piece is a set of double doors. I'd say that thing is easily 12 feet tall. 

Outside, there was even more...

I was actually there for the huge, slate roofing tiles. We used them as place mats for a shoot I styled a few weeks ago. I crawled around pulling tiles out of their bins for quite some time until I had the perfect set. Once that shoot is published, I'll share the pictures of the table. The tiles looked so cool against the ruffled, white china we used.

441 North Madison 
Orange, VA 22960
Open to the public Saturdays, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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