Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm NOT a Barbie Girl...

And my bedroom is no longer a Barbie world - huzzah!  You may remember this postthis post and the following picture that the master bedroom in my house came with a charming pink carpet.

And lots of it.  A couple weekends ago, the husband and I ripped up the carpet in half the bedroom, in hopes that the hardwood we spied beneath it was in good shape.  This is how we spent St. Patrick's Day.  No green beer, here!

We started out by moving all the furniture from the half of the bedroom that we knew had hardwood beneath it.  The other half of the bedroom was an addition to the house.  Peeking under the carpet in that half, we think that it's a particle board subfloor.  I have plans for that, but for now, we stuck with what we could accomplish in an afternoon.  The first step was moving all the furniture off of the pink carpet. Naturally, we had lots of help with this step.

Once the furniture was moved, this is what we were left with.

Lots of pink, right? It doesn't look all that offensive in the photos, but in person, it's much brighter.  

We began gingerly prying up the carpet, starting in the doorway where we could grab an edge.  There was, naturally, a pad under the carpet.  The pad was actually pretty thick, but it was beginning to get all dusty and grungy, suggesting to me that it had been there for a while.

The more carpet and pad we pulled up, the more excited we became.  The hardwood underneath was in fantastic condition!

See?  Dusty, but pretty under there!  

We found that this is about when we needed to start kicking cats out of the room, because the more we rolled up the carpet, the more we found we had this issue:

Yes, this is Princess Willow, hiding herself in a carpet tunnel.  Sigh.  

We were now bereft of helpers, left with just our brains and opposable thumbs.  Still, we persevered.  Once the carpet was up, we began to cut the carpet and pad into more manageable pieces to get it out of the room.  

While my husband began hauling the carpet out, I began working on the other issues.  As we pulled the carpet up, we found these medieval torture devices around all the edges of the room.

Actually, I think they're called tack strips.  But those little nails sticking up are quite sharp, and I can't tell you how many times my husband and I stabbed ourselves with them.  They were also a pain in the tuckus to get out, in addition to being a literal pain in the fingers.   Fortunately, we found the perfect tool to wiggle under there and pry the darned things up.

Thank you, Home Depot.

As a warning, these came up in various splintered pieces, but as we worked our way around the room, we got better at prying them up without breaking them.  We were sure to slip a piece of carpet pad under the pry bar to protect the hardwood from damage.  As those came up, we were faced with another issue: the carpet pad was stapled to the hardwood floor.  Most of the staples came up with a quick tug of needlenose pliers, but there were some that were so deeply embedded in the wood that it was impossible to get even the needlenose pliers underneath them, let alone do so without scratching the daylights out of our lovely hardwood.
 These staples were practically flush with the floor.  Ugh!

Fortunately, I'm a nurse, which means I have some tools that aren't in most handymen's toolbox.  I grabbed my hemostats and went to work on those last stubborn staples.  The nice thing about hemostats (otherwise known as Kelly clamps - these are curved Kellys) is that they lock shut once you close the tips around something.  The tip was fine enough to wiggle under even the staples that were embedded most of the way into the wood.

Surgical instruments: they're not just for surgery!

So, after bruising and blistering my hands with pulling up the tack strips and staples, we were left with a dusty floor and a transition from carpet to hardwood.  We certainly didn't want to leave a raw edge, so we bought these at Lowe's to help.

They're in the carpeting section, and they're called carpet edging - go figure!  They were a few different choices, from bright brass, to aged brass, to silver, to real wood, but we chose a lightweight aluminum that was finished to look like wood.  Much to my surprise, it looks great.  Since this is a temporary solution, we nailed every other nail hole, hopefully making our lives easier when we begin work on the other half of the bedroom.  We did have to trim the carpet pad out from under its edge, to ensure that it would reach from carpet to hardwood, but that wasn't terribly difficult.

Finally, we were left with a dusty hardwood floor.

There were a few spots that looked as if they'd dried out over time, so after I swept, I went over those with a minuscule amount amount of olive oil, working the oil into each spot and bugging it with a soft cotton cloth until it was absorbed.  This seemed to recondition the floor adequately.  I can't say whether or not olive oil will go rancid over time, though I think the amount we used is so tiny that it's not an issue.  I really wanted to avoid using anything more volatile or toxic, since one of our cats is known for licking things.  Yes, he will just randomly lick the floor.  Sigh. Again.

Yes, this is the floor-licker.  
Otherwise known as Sir Licks-A-Lot.  
(Really, his name is Strider.)

Once the floor was cleaned, oiled and buffed, this is what we were left with.

Neither the cat nor flooring were chosen to coordinate.  
That's just lucky happenstance - karma, if you will. 
Actually, that's the cat's name: Karma. 

All that was left was to put the room back together and enjoy!

 The view of the bed, on the hardwood side of the room.  

The shelf above the bed is home to our LCD projector; it's how we watch TV in the bedroom.  We've installed a projection screen on the beam in the ceiling that coincides with the transition to the part of the bedroom that was the addition to the house.  You'll also note a few stuffed animals - the cat on the bed (the stuffed one, not the real one) is the twin of our recently-departed Pippin, round tummy and all. Next to Willow is Ray, the stuffed cow ray from the New England Aquarium that was a souvenir from a trip last summer with my brother and his wife.  I sort of fell in love with the touch tank where you could pet the rays.  Once a nerd...

The other side of the room. 

The carpet is still there, but we've minimized its impact with dark furniture and a Celtic throw given 
to me by my other brother quite a few Christmases ago.

The dresser, which has become a favorite spot for the cats to look out the window.  The framed photo is one of our wedding photos, and the frame is one of my favorites; the pewter portion is Celtic knotwork.

My reading nook.  The chair is a wicker chair we inherited from my husband's dad and stepmother.  I plan to paint it, but right now it's a washed out white that doesn't go with much in our house.  My magazines are on the ottoman, in a serving tray that I bought at Pier 1 eons ago.  The folded blanket nearby is a favorite kitty napping spot, and you'll see how we make things work for our life: there's our lovely dumbek, the Middle Eastern drum that reflects my days as a belly dancer, and right behind it, a kitty scratching post.

Our night stands, far prettier than they were before. Styled, even. The fabric atop them is a pair of napkins bought at a Crate and Barrel outlet.  The first one is my husband's, with a photo of us from when we first met.  The second nightstand is mine, with a photo of myself and my brothers from years ago, along with a candle (smells like coconut), a tiny, jeweled decorative box from Pier 1, a wicker basket holding little things like a sleep mask and hand lotion, and the most precious thing of all, a carved wooden statuette that my father gave me for Valentine's Day when I was a teenager.  He's no longer with us, so I treasure it even more.

So, once things were reorganized and made pretty, there was nothing more to do, other than sit back, relax and enjoy our new space!

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  1. Wow, that floor was in such good shape underneath all that carpeting! Lucky you!

    1. We were so fortunate! Most of the rest of the house has hardwood in great condition, so we were hopeful when we set out. I thought for sure we were going to get halfway done and find a hot mess under there! :)

  2. I will never understand why people who have floors that nice would cover them with carpet, but I guess they did that when carpet was new and everyone had to have it. The floor you uncovered looks great! I know it was hard, but you and your husband should be very proud of your DIY job! Oh, and I loved seeing your kitties. I have small dogs and they are great supervisors too. Gotta love the crazy things they do like licking the floors. Thank you for linking up to my party this week.

    1. I don't understand it, either! There's no way I would have covered that floor up, in the first place, but I guess it protected the floor for long enough for me to see how pretty they are. :) I sort of think they may have done it to get out of matching the hardwood in the new addition. It was definitely a challenge, but it was kind of fun, too - gratifying to be putting those last touches like rubbing oil into the dry spots and seeing it just GLOW in the afternoon sunlight! :)

      Thanks for commenting, and for having a party to link up to! Glad to hear I'm not the only one with a fur tribe that supervises. ;)