Trading Up

March 2, 2014

From Janelle:

An email came through the other day that changed my life.  “Free couch.  In great shape but needs recovering.”  My co-worker was immediately informed that I’d happily take it off his hands and then reality set in.  How was I going to break it to Lewis?  He was going to kill me.  I sent him the photo and received  this response.  “Where are you going to put it?  It is UGLY!”

Where would it go?  The garage was stuffed with a late 70’s or early 80’s Kreiss rattan set listed on Ebay for way too much money but after 27 years I couldn’t part with it for a pittance.  The rattan was offered for a trade as a joke and the proposal immediately accepted.  That same day Lewis hooked up our motorcycle trailer and vintage rattan was traded for vintage Hollywood Regency.

The story is almost as fabulous as the couch itself:

Hi Janelle,

LOVE the rattan furniture…thank you!!  Was so happy you wanted the couch as I wanted it to go to someone that would love it as much as we have and the rattan furniture was such a happy surprise.

I just called my step mom to get more information on the “green couch” as it is affectionately known in our family.  The couch belonged to the grandmother of one of my mom’s friends and it was given to her when she moved out on her own at 18 and she in turn gave it to me when I moved into my first place in the early 90’s.  My mom recovered it in the green velvet at some point over the years and guessing the couch is at least from the 40’s if not older, given the construction, Hollywood Regency, channel back styling.  The kids were sad to see it go since it is the most comfortable seat in the house but we are glad it is going to be loved.

J

From Lewis:

Okay so the last thing I wanted was more stuff stored in the garage but trading 5 items for 1 seemed like a better deal and now there’s more room in the garage.  It’s not the prettiest couch but it will do and it does have some style.  It had better be good and comfortable.

Green Couch

Kreiss#2

Kreiss#5

Kreiss#4

Kreiss#3

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How Did We Live Like That?

August 25, 2013

From Janelle:

Lewis was looking through some old photos for structural issues and lighting diagrams.  I gasped when I saw them.  How did we live like that for so long?  I knew that it was horrid but honestly, I’m surprised some of our friends didn’t have me checked into a mental hospital for hoarding or just plain Bad Taste Detox.

The photos made me cringe.  The carpet was disgusting, boxes were stacked everywhere, kitchen cabinets were dirty because the painter used matte paint instead of satin, the temperature on the stove was unreadable, holes for structural investigations peppered walls, the cat peed on furniture cushions so we tossed them and the body line from our Tagging Party was impossible to hide.  I guess that I just knew that it wouldn’t be like that forever but eeeewwww!  We’ve come a long way baby!

I guess drinking helped….

From Lewis:

Well the mental hospital is still an option but that mess was just the beginning. We are almost at the end and we are ok!

From Janelle:

Yes, I still love you!  It has been hard but things are still good.

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LORD HAVE MERCY, I HAVE CHOSEN A FLOOR!!!

June 16, 2013

From Janelle:

After a year of ordering samples, visiting showrooms, dragging wood pieces everywhere I went and accosting every friend I have with a spec of taste for advice, I have chosen a floor.  (Thanks Laura and Kevin!)

Many people don’t realize that design, as well as fashion, has trends.  A big style in flooring these days is “pickled” and I don’t care for it.  Reclaimed wood is hot as well and while it is gorgeous it just doesn’t fit my retro modern “rad with bling“ style (see March 10 “What’s Your Style?” post).  Dark and gray flooring are both hip now and every designer I’ve come in contact with over the past year tried to steer me in this direction.  I know they would both look amazing and that I would hate them.

I did find a couple lumbers that I really liked but they need to be oiled.  OILED.  Who in their right mind would buy floors that need to be OILED?  Maybe not annually but regularly every stick of furniture in the house would have to be moved so that the wood could be oiled.  No thank you!

For six months we had the 9” wide “farmhouse” oak floors laid out for daily viewing.  The workers moved them around, shoved them under the fireplace hearth stacked under trash, walked on them and an inch of dust covered them but still, I gazed at them, hoping a moment of clarity would show itself and give me inspiration.

We were in LA yesterday finalizing our cabinet hardware purchase at Liz’s Antique Hardware (thanks for your help Paul! and we even got a peek at Liz) and I stopped in a store called Croft House specializing in beautifully handcrafted custom furniture made from reclaimed lumber.  The pieces were beautiful, tactile and intriguing but they just don’t fit in with my design.  The salesperson/budding designer beamed when I told her how beautiful I found them and I lingered longer than necessary.

I finally decided that stained maple was the only solution and carried around a piece of the farmhouse board to match the color, hoping that we wouldn’t have to commission a custom stained product (custom means expensive!)  I visited several showrooms and then on a whim Lewis and I visited a store and voilà, there it was, a stained maple, 3 1/4” wide plank light brown, yes brown, (who knew?) floor.  The manufacturer is Lauzon in Canada of all places, the color Sahara in hard maple.  Let’s hope the wood is as beautiful covering the living room as it is on the 11” x 18” sample!

From Lewis:

Did we order flooring??? No way. Really? Which one are we getting? You mean it’s not from one of the samples all over the house??  It must have been in your car, right?  Well I guess we can move on then. What? I will take three weeks to get here?  From Canada!!  WOW!  So all we need to do now is level and seal and put in the radiant heat tubes.  Oh and let the wood acclimate to the climate for a week or two before it is installed. We are almost there.   The floors will be sealed so we won’t be able to walk on them for 15 hours.  It’s a good thing that Janelle is a monkey and can climb up the scaffolding…..

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Lauzon sample over the farmhouse flooring.  The color brings out the shades in the hearth.

Lauzon sample over the farmhouse flooring. The color brings out the brown in the hearth.

Concrete floors before leveling.

Concrete floors before leveling.

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