Thursday, May 30, 2013

Moving Twice, Going Nowhere....but a Chance to Restyle


This week will mark two years since we did it....moved twice...and went nowhere.  But out of that dismal process came my chance to restyle a space I was never happy with in our home.

We had our wood floors refinished on the first floor of our home two years ago this week.  I hope I never need to do it again. But I do have some tips to share with you if you choose this mission.  I could have lived out my days with my floors the way they were, but my husband was embarrassed when company (family, mostly) would come over.
BEFORE:  foyer, just inside front door.





BEFORE:  center of open floor plan, under breakfast table.
First, get at least two estimates - we got three. It pays not only from a monetary standpoint, but also to listen to the methods each prospective contractor would use. Then, go with your gut....on every aspect.  My contractor said there would be little to no dust, but my gut said otherwise.

For me, going with my gut paid off ten-fold.  It involved over $100 in plastic and frog tape, and more than 40 hours of my labor, taping every orifice and light fixture on the first floor, plus, every doorway and recessed light on the second floor, to seal off any residual dust.

Taping process: center of open floor, breakfast area, before the move.

Taping process:  Family area, before the move. Note the wall-to-wall cabinet units/TV, stereo speakers, as well as the  wrap-around sectional, and rug & chairs (foreground) - all either ditched or reconfigured after the move.
And did I mention that I moved - twice - and went nowhere?  I spent hours, first photographing inside cabinets (so restocking would be easier than relying on memory), then boxing everything from those same cabinets in the dining room and family room, and placed them in the basement.
Cabinet contents, packed, labeled and stored in basement.
We scheduled movers the day before and one week after the floors were completed.  The movers moved furniture into the sunroom, the basement, and (the heaviest pieces) into the garage.  Then everything (except the garage contents) was covered in a lightweight, cheaper plastic - for good measure.
Existing basement contents, covered for good measure.
Furniture in basement, covered.


Sunroom, filled, not yet covered.
Garage, heavy furniture pieces


The sanding process began around 8am, and by noon we were approving the stain.  The stain had to be mixed to match the stairs, as they did not need sanding, just resealed.  The trickiest part of the process for me was sealing off the kitchen from the rest of the open floor plan - I had to create a makeshift curtain of the plastic, taping heavily on door frames where there was not a wall dividing the spaces.
IN PROGRESS:  Breakfast area, after sanding completed.  Upper portion shows the makeshift curtain created to seal off kitchen

IN PROGRESS:  Dining Room, after sanding completed.

IN PROGRESS:  Coat closet, matching stain to previous color, as the steps were NOT refinished, only resealed.

AFTER:  Dining Room, stained and sealed.

AFTER:  Breakfast area, stained & sealed.

AFTER:  Family room, stained & sealed.

AFTER:  Corner of breakfast/family room, looking toward DR (L) and kitchen (R).
The move back in (the following week) gave me the opportunity to switch things up a bit, without ruffling too many feathers.  We ditched the existing arrangement in the rectangular family room area, including two chairs and rug in front of the fireplace, the boxy TV within the three, side-by-side wall cabinets (broke those up too!), two 1970's era stereo system floor speakers, and the five-piece sectional couch that wrapped around two walls.

All my husband wanted was a chair suitable for his tall frame, to watch his new, big-screen TV.  Check!  What I ended up doing was taking the buffet/credenza from the dining room (same Henredon line as in the family room) and making it the center console in the family room, book-ended by two of the three wall-to-wall bookcases.  This made the perfect staging for the new, big-screen TV.  I took the third bookcase and flanked the opposite side of the fireplace.  I then made a flexible seating plan of the rectangular floor space.  I broke up the sectional couch, omitting the corner piece, and made a loveseat on one end of the room, and I placed my husband's new, wing-back leather recliner chair in conversation with the loveseat.   On the opposite end, near the fireplace, I placed two slipper chair sections of the couch in diagonal with each other, and then purchased a new, swivel bucket chair that can rotate in either direction - toward the two chairs, or toward the loveseat and the recliner.


AFTER:  The family area.  Top photo shows the TV viewing area; bottom photo shows seating area around fireplace.
My dining room actually looks better without the buffet/credenza, and it gave me a chance to get closer to where I'd like that room to be - more of a library.  I moved another leather wing-back chair we had stored in the basement into the corner of that room, and purchased a light for a small leather-top table I bought at auction to set beside the chair, in front of the window (photo is dark, hard to get optimal lighting for a good photo).

AFTER:  The dining room.
There's still a  lot of things I'd like to do in styling my home (like recover those chairs in the DR for starters), but one thing's for sure - I don't want to refinish floors ever again - at least not while I'm living in the house!

Linking with Debra of Common Ground: Be Inspired #142