Removed Carpet.. now a few questions

funkyartNovember 26, 2012

We removed the carpet from all but 2 bedrooms yesterday. I was not at all surprised but a little disappointed that I have orange oak flooring underneath. I could refinish to a darker color but there are many projects that are higher priority for me.

I know that greens help minimize the orange tones.. and I had already been planning a neutral paint color with green undertones. Ignore the paint swipes on the wall-- none of them work for me and the paint is very thin there on the paneling. BTW paneling will be primed and painted.

1. the room gets a lot of light but the connecting hallway is very dark (until I improve lighting). Can I still with a light gray-green or will a darker color better neutralize the orange tones?

2. We removed a behemoth fireplace insert and will add gas logs soonish. I had plans to paint the fireplace & mantel. Would you paint? go off white? dark gray-green? Do I leave the elevated hearth alone or paint that too?

3. The curtains. Oh my. I will change the panels but the lace curtains have a lot of meaning to my grandmother. They were custom made and a large splurge for their frugal sensibilities. She's mentioned them repeatedly and I know she'd love for me to keep them. I am not opposed to lace curtains.. but these are not the lace I'd have chosen. However, they do provide the level of privacy I'd want while still allowing light through. Can I turn down the precious factor by using a loose weave linen or even a burlap like material for panels? I thought about trying Bosporus Flax Toile here (I already have plenty of yardage) but my mother said she just can't see them working together. I don't disagree. Mom's solution is.. "grandma, we had to remove the curtains to get them dry cleaned and so I just threw up this replacement.. " and then never replace. I'd like to make her happy by keeping them-- but only if i can make them work for me. The window is curved rather than three distinct sections so a replacement will be a small challenge.

So what would you go in this space? One last thought to a long set of questions. I'd planned to add some mid century flavor to the room but now that it's mostly clear, it is reading more cottage to me--which I am fine with. It would go even more cottage if I could put bookshelves on either side of the fireplace, but the fireplace face is only 3" from the wall. The big twist? The ceilings have a swirl design.. and that must stay for now. I am not prepared to remove it from each room.

Note.. photos taken before the floor was cleaned. They are very dusty and still have nails/tacks, foam backing remnants in this photos.

This post was edited by funkyart on Mon, Nov 26, 12 at 17:16

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and the curtains.. sorry this is so dark, my phone camera didnt like the sunlight.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:53PM
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It sounds like you are looking for a temporary livable fix for now. The lace curtains and panelling would work well with the toile, but would need to see what color the lace is, if it is a bright yellowy ivory it might not work. I would paint a taupe color that is in the toile, leave the brick for now and paint the mantel white. Add blue and green accessories to bring out the colors in the toile.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:22PM
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I think it could work...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:25PM
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Thank you for the mockup, Gma3.. I should have tried my own rudimentary mockup with paint or such. It already feels so much more comfortable and "me".

The white mantel makes a HUGE difference.. and I am now thinking a cleanup of the brick may be enough.

I will definitely try the Bosporus-- it does seem to work with your mockup. These lace curtains are much creamier though. I'll just have to try them!

Thanks for taking the time to do this!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 3:19PM
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I like the idea of the book shelves on either side and found a pic showing book shelves deeper than the fireplace. I had yellow orangey cupboards up until this year and they seemed to look less offensive with Ionic green and Distant Meadows very peaceful greens. Good luck with the hunt can't wait to see what you come up with.
here is the pic address

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 5:40PM
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CLBlakely, yes-- and funny, I just saw a photo in another post where the bookshelves came to the edge of the hearth much like mine. I think this is definitely an option for the future... it gives me so much more storage space!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:15PM
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I like the mock-up!

Funky, I know you said you had other priorities, but I'm wondering if you were considering doing the floors yourself or hiring them out. In other words, did you mean - by priorities - time or money wise? I'm asking because my sister and her husband redid their own hardwood floors. There house is on the historical register and even with the old, old floors, they did an amazing job. They rented a sander and then did the refinishing. They are beautiful. They tested first in a closet before moving on with the job. The good thing is they did the floors while the house was empty - before they moved in. That's another reason I'm asking. If it's something you might consider doing - now would be the time. Anyway, that's just my two cents worth!

I think you could make the bosporus work - and you know I love that fabric. You could try the panels with the lace and if it doesnt' work out - back to plan one. LOL

BTW, I happen to love painted paneling and think that will add alot. So many people are doing the planked walls now -the painted paneling is a similar look.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:27PM
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Glad you like it. I meant to mention that green undertones could make your orange pop a bit, so I'd stick with a neutral beige like the toile.

Is there a problem with adding cabinets that would block the baseboard heating? I do think cabinets would look very nice, but like the painted paneling as well.

Make sure you post when you are done painting. I'd love to see how it turns out. It is going to be a very relaxing space. It will be great if you can keep Grandma's curtains, I think they will be perfect with the cottage feel of the room. Panels of the toile will bring them up to date.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:40PM
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They don't look to bad to me! But I agree with the advice that if there is any way you can do them when the house is empty, it is so much easier... and you could air it out for a bit before having to breathe the fumes.

I thought green would accentuate orange, being a complementary color. Maybe a grey-green would work but I think cream would look good.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:04AM
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I'd love to do the floors before I move in.. it does make the most sense. However, I've always been told that it's not a project to undertake yourself unless you have experience. You can easily create big dips and dents in the floor. I am a bit tempted by your sister's experience, Tina.. but besides not having the experience, there's so much to do to prep for a move-- both here and there. I'll decide as I move forward this week but I think I'll likely live with them for now.

I was always under the impression that a sage or green will downplay the orange wood tones and warm colors like yellow bring out the orange. I suspect a gold would work but that's not a direction I'd like to go in the main living area. I'll look it up tomorrow.

Gma3.. I'd remove the bb heating before installing cabinets/shelves. The heat would dry out the wood and anything I'd store in there (including electronics) but it's also very inefficient. I think that's a great direction to go.. the only reason I'll wait is to let the room take shape first and to save the cost of carpenter. I am not currently working so trying to limit the "nice to have" spending.

ok, off to bed. i am way past exhausted. Thanks all! :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:51AM
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Elraes Miller

OT...You have a wonderful place for a window seat. I spied that at first sight.

Can the lace curtains be used in another room? From the photos, I can't see them as a problem. But you are closer to this situation. Have they been cleaned recently? Perhaps this would lighten them up.

And country can also be traditional depending upon what you add as accessories/furniture. I also think the orange floors will go into the background when you have the projects done. And easy clean up of the brick with TSP. Be sure to cover the hearth and wood floor.

You are so kind wanting to respect your grandmother. I find this very endearing and not many would choose to do so.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:57AM
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We didn't have any experience and we installed and site finished a lot of rooms in our house with hardwood. We rented a orbital sander (Usand), they are sanders meant for DIYer's and are designed not to cause dips or dents while sanding, so easy for the the novice.

I will say that finishing the floors ourselves was a lot of work, but not as difficult as I thought it might be, more just time consuming. I will say I think using the right professional tools like Usand and Bona floor stain and finish, helped our floors to turn out better.

Oh and I totally understand your frustration with the ceiling swirls we have them too.

This post was edited by roobear on Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 7:17

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:15AM
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You could modernize the lace curtains a bit by remaking them into lace panels. You would use a seam ripper and carefully take out the pinch pleats.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:00AM
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To neutralize the color of the floor you'd need to use blues. Use the opposite color on a color wheel.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:33AM
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I'd love to do the floors before I move in.. it does make the most sense. However, I've always been told that it's not a project to undertake yourself unless you have experience. You can easily create big dips and dents in the floor.

If you use a drum sander, this is true. They are hard to handle.

However, if you use a "screener" (basically an overgrown floor polisher with square abrasive buffing pads) to remove just the finish, with a hand sander along the edges, you can then stain and finish the floors with very little danger of ocean waves. You can rent them from various places, and buy the pads.

TEST the stains on your actual floor, maybe in a closet or something! And remember that oak will redden and darken with exposure to light so don't expect it to be light brown. You can, however, shove the red tones towards brown.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:30AM
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Thanks for all the thoughts and replies! You guys are really tempting me. I seriously thought refinishing the floors was out of the question. It will be a lot of work-- and timing stinks as I am purging/packing my house, interviewing and now prepping for christmas too. Oh.. and I still have a few rooms and a basement of furniture to get rid of. Ugh.

And yet, I know darkening the floors would be such a huge improvement. Does anyone have before/after photos to share?

I am thinking the best approach is to paint the rooms and then decide on whether to refinish. My bf thinks that once I paint the paneling and the mantel that the floors will not appear so orange. I think he's right.. but I also know that I'll always prefer a browner tone on the floors.

I had a long talk with my mother this morning about the lace curtains. She doesn't like them either so it makes for an easier conversation-- though she's quicker to ditch them than I am (surprisingly!). The plus side of keeping the curtains is that they DO provide the privacy I'd want and still allow lots of light through. Anything else I'd want to put there-- matchstick blinds or a roman shade are problematic because the window opens to a busy street and an intersection with another road. I'd never want a clear view into my living space. Also, there's a custom curved track for the curtains. So what would I put there? Sheers? A nicer lace? I am going to dry clean the curtains and then make them work-- for now. I am not tied to the Bosporus Flax though it would be great if it works since I have had it just sitting here. I'd love an ikat pattern too but I dont imagine that would work any better. I'll just keep trying options.

I love the idea of removing the pinch pleats to make panels but then I'll need to get a curved rod made. I think that's an excellent plan for the future. It will also let me retire these at some point.

Technicolor, I really do want to respect my grandparents' memory-- and my grandmother's feelings (she's still alive). It can be a tricky situation but she really does light up when I talk about what I've done and what I am planning. It gives her great joy to know that I am modernizing it and making it my home. The smallest things-- like the fact that I will refinish the basement (where there is a large picture window) makes her happy.. she told me how much she always loved the light down there where she would sew and host her quilting club.

It's going to be fun. It has it's challenges and quirks but I am excited to make it my home.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:54AM
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Oh, i forgot to say that I am totally sold on the bookshelves flanking the fireplace. What do you think of this look with the shorter bookcases?

I am thinking this may work better since the ceilings are low and the room is narrow.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:06PM
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I haven't read all the replies, but I wanted to say that I would recommend waiting to paint the mantel until you've painted the wall panelling. Right now the mixture of woods is not pleasing to my eye, but with the oak floors, I think the wood mantel might look really nice against a nice wall color. While I realize you were disappointed in the color of the flooring, they look pretty nice to me, and I don't find the color offensive in the least.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Funky, a previous poster mentioned blue would tone down the flooring, but it will make it brighter, opposites on a color wheel pop.

If you are unemployed, I'd continue on the road you have chosen, use the beautiful fabric you have, paint the walls and clean the brick, and find a rug that coordinates. You can always replace the lace curtains or refinish the floor down the road. I don't think the floors are horrible, especially if they are in good shape. You'll have a whole new room for a few hundred dollars.

I'd keep an eye out on CL for bookcases or cabinets to make your built ins. If you are painting them they don't need to match anything, just have a cottage style. The picture you posted would look great.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:23PM
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FA I like the builtins you pictured on each side of your fireplace. If you want to leave the baseboard heat as it is, just use a grill on the bottom of your builtins. It can be painted like the builtins and heat can escape. The bottom shelf should not get too hot, as the heat comes out the front of the baseboard heat. I have had it and I love it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 3:29PM
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