Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Floors That Finally Came

I've heard it said that a truly beautiful home is layered over time - with thoughtful choices, memories, and lots of love.   
It's not a process to be rushed, not even in those moments when you want so badly to see the "after" come to life after countless days of "befores."
So many times, I've been tempted to settle for a piece that kind of works, a paint color that will have me sheepishly traipsing BACK to Benjamin Moore next week, or even worse. . . settling for that clearance set of furniture at a big-box-store just to say "It's DONE!"
{No judgement here - done ALL of those things and more!}

Thankfully, though, we didn't make that mistake with our floors. 
Here's the back story. . .  Michael and I got married three years ago; and although I adored his bachelor pad on the lake, I wasn't so terribly fond of the 1970's orange shag carpet that came with it.  (To its was the most comfortable carpet you've ever stepped foot on and it hid every single stain like a champ!)  But still...not the style we I was going for.  SO the day after we got back from our honeymoon, Michael left for work and I recruited my sweet dad to come over to help pull up the carpet in "just ONE room."  
Famous last words.

Before the day was over, the ENTIRE house had been stripped of the orange shag and it lay waiting in one giant pile for Michael on the front porch when he got home. 
{Not a clue what I was thinking.  Not one clue}

But, being a naive new bride, I guess I just assumed hardwoods would soon cover our floors and that would be the end of that.  Michael ever so sweetly and gently let me know that hardwoods do not come cheap and that just wasn't in the budget right now.  

Though the thought of a quick fix of new carpet did cross my mind a time or two, I knew that if we went this route, we'd have to wait even longer for our dream hardwoods.
The only logical (and inexpensive) option was to paint those sub floors with porch paint.  
I don't know about ya'll, but creativity often comes from necessity in our home.

Here's our Huck modeling next to our painted plywoods:

It wasn't bad, really. . . they worked. 
But since everything else in our home was white or grey, I felt like it needed some grounding.  Some dark, richness to balance out all of that white.

We had no idea we would live with this for almost 3 years.  
But we did!  And loved every moment of it (except the part where I got down on my hands and knees to scrub once a week.)

We knew we wanted reclaimed wood (if at all possible) but had no idea where to get enough to cover our whole house at a reasonably affordable price.  
Then one day, Michael stumbled across an old textile mill in our area that was being torn down.  

He endlessly and shamelessly stalked the owner to ask about what they were doing with the old wooden floors and beams.  
Finally . . .we got an answer (and a good deal!)

Michael and I were there the next day loading up the truck

Bless my sweet husband's heart!  He worked endlessly to load, de-nail, and plane all of this:

MANY, many loads later. . . 

It was ready for a wood makeover. . . 
Which proved to be no easy task!!  

Sometimes we wondered if we shouldn't have gone with the "rush route" and just bought our floors from Lowes with free delivery and next day installation.  Tempting to say the least.

Slowly but surely . . . board by board Michael got it done.

Gorgeous 6 inch wide boards of Southern Yellow Heart Pine ready to find a new home.

And find a new home they did:
(before being sanded and stained)

So here I was, 8 months pregnant and out of our house for 3 weeks while they sanded, stained, and finished these gorgeous things.
(not at all how I imagined it all going in my head last year)
But after lots of waiting (and a few tears shed out of sheer frustration and pregnancy hormones), they were EXACTLY what I had dreamed of.
Even better, really.

Here's our finished floors...3 years in the making!

I squealed VERY loudlly when I first saw them. . .  

and still kind of do each time I come home to this:

I can't wait to tell Baby Knotts how hard his or her daddy worked for these.

So here's to a little bit of patience, a talented husband, and letting a home come together naturally, unforced, and in it's own sweet time.  
{Even if it takes 3 years!}


  1. So beautiful Emily! I just love your's my inspiration! Can I ask the paint colour you used in your dining's so pretty! You must be getting so excited for baby Knotts! ~Deb~

    1. Hi Deb!
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I am so sorry that I'm just now getting back to you. The color is BM Palladian Blue.
      It's my favorite - not too blue but so calming :)
      Hope that helps,

  2. Wow! Gorgeous floors! Definitely worth the wait. Thanks for the inspiration, last winter I pulled up my rugs and kitchen vinyl floor and still waiting to find just the right wood. With two in college this year...It may just take me 3 years too! Smiles, Kathleen

  3. Hi Emily!
    What did you use to clean your floors prior to your new beautiful hardwood? After reading your article in Country Living we moved into a farmhouse in which I painted my floors. The grooves seem to just soak up dirt and they don't stay bright white even with mopping.
    Any suggestions? BEAUTIFUL transformation by the way!

    1. Hi Brandi!
      I would love to see your floors- I'm sure they are gorgeous! The grooves are tricky for sure.... we used hot water and vinegar most of the time- but at times when they started to get very dirty and that didn't quite do the trick, we just repainted ;) I know it's not easy - but it sure did bring them back to life. Hopping over to your blog now :)

    2. Our house has hardwood in the living room, the original planks in the foyer and upstairs hall + rooms (which is what we painted) and then tile in the kitchen (that we painted.. which are not holding up!) so we plan to put planks in the kitchen as a temporary solution to allow most of the house to flow.
      I read an article where someone suggested Clorox Clean-Up with bleach so I gave that a try over the weekend - it seemed to do the trick but isn't something I would want to use every day as it did have that bleach odour. I will give a vinegar mixture a try, thanks! :)

  4. First of all, awesome, incredible house you've got there, and it's on a lake? Oh my do you like visitors? I'm a water maniac. I'd live in that house even with the painted floors forever, no kidding. Love everything you've got in your house.
    Wow, your floors turned out so beautifully, it's fantastic what hard work accomplished. You should be proud of your very handy hugs, so much work, can only imagine.
    Did you have your baby yet? Hope so, enjoy your first Christmas with baby if you have had boy/girl? Happy holidays.

  5. Fantastic! Gorgeous floors! Definitely it was worthy for your waiting. Thanks for the inspiration. Thanks for sharing this pretty blog. Image are superb......

  6. Wow, your floors turned out so beautifully, it's fantastic what hard work accomplished. You should be proud of your very handy hugs, so much work can only imagine.