Friday, May 20, 2016

Choose your own (floor) adventure

I've come to the point where I need to choose what to do with my bedroom floor. My design sense is failing me, and so I've decided to throw out the question to everyone I know. My bedroom is a large garret bedroom* with now-white walls and low ceilings. The floors will soon be well-sanded plywood subfloor - that's the stuff that's usually there to support your carpet or tile, and it's not usually exposed. The correct flooring choice would probably be to install carpet, because the sound of footfalls carries easily downstairs.** Instead, I plan to keep the plywood exposed and lay down a rug. If necessary for resale, I'll install carpet when I'm moving out.
I'll probably end up choosing an oriental rug, because the only other options for used rugs are super modern, and that just doesn't fit into a 70-year-old-house. So, could you all squint at the pictures below, picture a medium-sized oriental rug, and tell me what color the floor should be?
  1. Painted squares 
  2. Stained dark brown (this will never look like real wood flooring. The most I can hope for is that people don't particularly pay attention to the floor.)
  3. Unstained, but covered with a clear coat. Think industrial/Chipotle aesthetic. Something like this, but without the stencils.
  4. Painted a dark brown

I'll add a caveat about how I know this is not the "right" way to do things. Plywood is soft so it's going to dent easily. I've heard of people having plywood floors for 3-5 years, but nobody keeps them for 20. So this is a "good enough for now" choice for me.

*According to a dictionary, a garret is "a top-floor or attic room, especially a small dismal one (traditionally inhabited by an artist)." I'm trying to avoid the "dismal" part.
**I had planned on new carpeting, until one morning when I was cleaning up dog vomit from my spectacularly ugly existing blue-and-red carpet. I realized that I could not bear to spend hundreds of dollars on new carpet that my animals would most certainly throw up on.

Monday, May 16, 2016


After my mother (aka the unpaid laborer) left, I discovered that I had wrongly discounted my father's advice. During my mother's long days of scraping my bedroom floor, he suggested buying a belt sander and using that to remove the rubber and glue on the floor. (My father's most treasured DIY motto, "Never do it by hand when you could use a machine," closely followed by, "That took longer that I thought it would.") The sander works better than a scraper, which means my mother did more work than she needed to.
However, the sanding is still pretty intense. I can manage about 30 minutes a day, after which the sander gets too hot and my arms are too tired to continue. Using a belt sander is much more difficult than an oscillating sander; since the belt is moving in only one direction, you are continually fighting against a machine that wants to fly away. It's like trying to continually hold back a toddler who wants to dash out into the street. 
It also generates enormous amounts of dust. Here I am, covered in black rubber dust and brandishing my sander. The picture quality is poor, but that's because there's so much junk in the air that it's hard to see.
At this point, I've moved into the spare bedroom downstairs, and it looks like I'll be there for the next month until this project is complete.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Working Holiday

Here at Styling with Renee Michelle All Inclusive Vacations, we strive to provide our guests with action-packed holidays. Every day is filled strenuous physical activity, destined to make you feel grateful when you finally get to go home and rest.
This is the current state of my bedroom. My mother has spent the last two days pulling up the carpet in my bedroom. It was glued to the plywood subfloor. After much scraping, we can see one-third of the floor. After my mother leaves, the guest room will be open. Which of readers is ready to take her place?