Saturday, July 23, 2011

Goodbye, carpet!

When I first bought my house, one of my first home renovation projects was to replace the manky 20+ year-old carpeting in the family room. Initially, I wanted to replace it with new carpeting, but then I remembered, oh yeah, I hate carpeting. So after much contemplation and research, I finally settled on engineered hardwood flooring.

The benefits of engineered wood flooring is that they can be installed above or below grade and have a higher tolerance to moisture compared to solid hardwood flooring. My family room has a screen door that leads out to the deck (pictured below), it snows and rains a lot where I live so you can figure out the rest yourself.

After several months of shopping around, I fell in love with some lovely handscraped acacia finished in a luscious cocoa brown with a satin sheen. With a janka rating of 2400, I'm hoping it can take the punishment of a 75lbs. lab and a clumsy housemate. All nine crates arrived without any problems (with the exception of hauling each 60lbs. crate up a flight of stairs!) and are currently sitting in the tiled portion of the family room. In the interim of the shipment, I hauled out all of my furniture into the now-cluttered living room. Below is the "before" picture:

Gross carpet, huh?

My friend, C. helped me move the uber-heavy TV and stand onto the tiled portion, which may the heaviest objects in the room combined. I then spent about a week ripping out the carpet and foam padding into 2-to-4-feet sections, prying out the many nails and staples and lastly, the tack strips (my most hated part). This was followed by much vacuuming, patching nail holes, sanding, more vacuuming, leveling and finally hauling the carpet rolls down to the basement. Got a great workout in all this, at least. Below is the work-in-progress:

As of late, construction came to a halt until I can get an electrician to remove the two old electric baseboard heaters (not pictured). :/ Since this is the "summer slump" for sales, I was hoping to take advantage of this free time to finish up this project by the end of the month, but it's likely not going to happen. Fingers crossed, I'll be able to begin installation soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Need opinions, please!

I'm in the planning stages of sewing a custom evening gown for myself and I just recently got my custom dyed silk fabric in the mail. I had originally wanted to go for a deep plum color, but was politely notified in advance that it will be slightly lighter than the swatch I had sent them. I figured, "okay, sure." Results are below:

Shot under daylight

Shot during overcast day

I'm kind of on the fence on whether I like this or if I should send it back for re-dyeing. Part of me finds this shade of purple rather pretty, but then there's that nagging feeling that the color screams "PIMP PURPLE!" A couple of friends kept reassuring me that it looks fine, but I still need more opinions. I don't want to be sporting an evening gown at the opera with the possibility of people jokingly ask if I'm gonna pimp slap some hoes. :P Thoughts.