November 15, 2013

The Final Chapter of the Flooring Saga.

A few weeks ago I had a really big, really boring writing deadline that I needed to meet. To procrastinate from really digging in on this deadline, I decided ("decided" may not be the correct word, as what I actually did was to just "do" and not "think") to finish ripping up the rest of the upstairs carpet. Note to self, for future notice: The worst possible way to procrastinate from doing something awful and stressful is to create more awful, stressful things to do--especially things that make your home look like it's been tossed around by a tornado.

I had removed the carpet from our stairs, the hallway, and the nursery, and painted those floors. The master bedroom was the final chapter in this, the single biggest project I've taken on at our little bungalow. And it was hard work doing all the rooms I'd already done--not only the pulling out the carpet and padding and tack strips and disposing of it part but, much more tediously, being on my hands and knees for hours coaxing up nails and staples and then the sanding and the vacuuming and the scrubbing and the sanding and the vacuuming and the vacuuming. And the sanding. All this before I had the pleasure of covering up these heinous floors with creamy white paint (the painting part was just one big ahhhhh for my soul; all the rest of it was just what I had to do to get to the ahhhhh part).

Because I'd already done the rest of our upstairs floors, I knew what I was up against. Until I found linoleum on much of the floor I uncovered in the bedroom. That's when I remembered that the guy who renovated our house seven years ago had mentioned to us that our bedroom was once a kitchen, and our house once a duplex. That linoleum was a vestige of this home's past, which is baffling to us.

It turns out that linoleum is a real asshole to get off a floor. I spent an evening reading solutions online and found mention of using a hot iron and wet towel to get it off. That definitely ended up working and was how I was able to get all the linoleum up. But it took a long time, and it wasn't fun. And it didn't smell good. Think old, hot, melty, linoleum smell.

Here's a little video I made, when I first realized this iron/wet towel trick would work; repeat times a bazillion and I was finally done getting up the linoleum.

And I have kids, you guys. A baby who wants to get into everything and put everything into her mouth--staples! hot iron! screwdriver! carpet padding! possibly lead-based old paint! stinky, wet, hot linoleum! And another little girl who is really curious and wants to help and finds it really hard to resist the very strong urge to touch wet paint to see if, in fact, it is still wet.

This wasn't a project that could wait though. This is where we sleep every night. It's our little sanctuary after our big, busy, noisy days. So after I got the linoleum up, I paused for about a week to get that writing deadline knocked out, then got back to this project last week and worked over several days to finish up.

And, then, just because I am sort of crazy and because I thought the time was as good as any, I painted our bedroom walls, too. The color is "Sea Salt" by Sherwin Williams. It was two years ago that I painted our bedroom stark white, and it hadn't been sitting well with me. It was such a harsh white. When I saw "Sea Salt" on an acquaintance's walls recently, I realized it was the exact color I wanted in my bedroom. I'd seen the color bouncing around on Pinterest for a while, but seeing it in person--this dreamy, washed-out gray/green/blue--all multi-dimensional and soothing but not boring--clinched it for me.

Other than the paint, the only thing I bought new was this big jute rug (got it for $80, as was having a 65% off sale) and these new Lenda curtains from Ikea. We don't have an Ikea in Nashville, but I was able to order them online--$10 a panel, and the quality is awesome!

I finished everything up yesterday. Finally. Worked in a fever until every last thing was back in its place and every last piece of art hung up. Lit a Glade Apple Cinnamon candle and felt complete. As I was passing the bedroom on my way downstairs, I caught a glimpse of the finished space and felt all ahhhhh insideThis was hard work. No one could pay me to do this kind of thing again, but I'm so glad I did it. I'm so glad that yucky carpet is a thing of the past and these old floors get to live a new life under my family's feet. This place is looking more "me" every year. Does it look like "Nekos"? I wouldn't know. He says he doesn't care and has no input, except to say, "Good job, babe."

Nekos says I need to take the winter off from working on the house. He's right. I've been a little cray and could stand to be less busy, to invite less stress into my life with big, open, wildly flailing arms. I hope to use my beautiful new bedroom to do more relaxing this winter.