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So, frequent fliers here know that I am fixing up my kitchen. And that once they pulled up the icky vinyl tile, we found hardwoods, which I happily reported on this blog, a declaration lovingly mocked by my pal Mamacita (frequent smart-ass commenter) and which was clarified for the general public by another commenter as:

The way I read Mamacita's comment was something like...decorno has a hottie contractor, has found hardwoods, is now getting a disposal, found a bag of cash buried in the wall, a diamond mine under the house, and the fumes from the remodel mysteriously made her boobs increase two sizes. You bitch. I hate you, how wonderful for you.

Well guess what? IT IS like I found a bag of cash! I mean, seriously, look at the sorry-ass floors in photos here...

...and then look at what some patching of massive holes (I was not delighted to know that I had these holes under my refrigerator, but whatevs) and a some sanding did. It's like magic.

I am trying to mourn the loss of Domino, but I am too fucking excited about my new old floors.

The first two coats of stain go on tomorrow, and then we take a look-see and if needed, the third coat will go on Friday and then that's that.

The cabinets were delivered today. They were made by Builder's Showroom. So far, we have had a great experience working with Lisa (co-owner) and Paul (designer). So, if you are in the Seattle area and considering a similar project, visit them. I was told inset cabinets would cost me 30% more, but the final quote to get exactly what we wanted AND inset was better than quotes from lesser versions at Lowe's and Home Depot. So, so far, so good.

And the happiest part today was reviewing the new itemized quote/bill which actually came down from the original estimate thanks to eliminating the cost of tile and labor to install it - - even though he's had to add in other unexpected work. Love that part. See Mamacita? It IS like I found a bag of cash in my house.

On another note, having a male contractor is like having a temporary second husband. We had very, I dunno, marital discussions about lighting today. You know... where he played the role of a know-it-all (in a sweet way) declaring things like, "Well, yeah, I am putting in black canned lights because it will soak up some light and cause less glare. Function over form, you know." To which I had to say whatever polite version of "Like hell you will..." that I could muster. And then I find out he worked in the lighting business for 25 years and felt a little defeated. But I am the chick with the design blog and 90 pounds of back issues of old magazines, so I know what I want dammit, and he's just going to have to ixnay his black ights-lay and find me a solution that is less... gross.

But I am growing to love Gary. He never really says no. He gave me homework (figuring out my lighting situation, naturally, because he tells me my picks won't give enough light). And after we went rounds on the lighting situation I looked around my house quietly.... scheming.

"Can you build a mantle?"


"Can you build a built-in bench in the kitchen.. with storage?"


"Can you give me electrical outlets in the backyard so I can string party lights in that tree?"


I sat for a moment thinking of everything else on my list.

"We're going to have a lot of work for you."

And he just laughed. Because he already knew that.


Emily said...

Your blog makes me want to figure out where my dream place to live is and then find my dream house there and then renovate the crap out of it. Until then, I'll live vicariously through you...and your bags of money hidden in the holes under your fridge.

tartanscot said...

awwww . . . "whoooooosa-good-dog?"

Erin said...

Seriously, Decorno, you are super entertaining. Your post slash comment recaps from other readers reminds me of the Friends episode where Chandler goes, "my wallet's too tight for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!"

Good show. Anyway, I can't wait to see the dark floors. I've been wanting to go dark in my place, don't know if I can with my cabinets, etc...and I'll probably move before I figure that out.

xo - Erin (the one who asked you about Portland...and I think we're going Nines - yay!)

Renate said...

Wow, I can't believe that those beautiful floors were just lying there hidden... They look so lovely and new now.

s. said...

i can't believe that Domino is going down, too! if only they'd listened to our Decorno focus-group more carefully, they'd be the ones fussing over their diamond shoes instead of packing up their staplers and picture frames into cardboard boxes. Moral of the story: ignore Decs and her trusty band of snarky posting minions at your own peril!

LexyB said...

Yaay for you. What could be better than hardwood that looks good?

Anonymous said...

I just re-read your post about ebonized floors. DO IT! YOU MUST! You will regret it forever if you don't and re-staining hardwood floors is a major pain in the ass. Will it show dog hair? Yes. Will there be scratches? Yes. This is your house, not a museum and people and dogs live in it. Let your house serve you, not the other way around. I say grab your newly found hardwood floors by the balls and show it who's boss! Stain it dark and then go back and stain it again.

Anonymous said...

Wow....jackpot for you with those fab floors rediscovered!
I am sitting here looking at my hardwoods we put in 2 years ago. When we stained them, they were DARK (which was my goal).
Now, when I look at them, all I see is the orangy-red rearing it's ugly head through the once beautiful dark brown! If I were able to redo them (which does not look likely unless $$$ starts growing on one of our trees), I would stain them REALLY dark knowing that they do tend to fade and red always tends to creep out after time!
Can't wait to see your finished kitchen, it is going to be awesome!

SH said...

I just sent you that comment under my 12 year olds name. Hopefully she has been commenting on several blogs....YIKES!

Kwana said...

You get the heck outta here with your lucky find floors and your second husband plus the cute as all get out dog! How much good fortune can one girl have?
I love your floors. This kitchen is going to be so beautiful.

Lolo said...

I squeezed in an agonizing tutorial on lighting design and planning for our kitchen redo. So.Fucking.Boring. However, well worth it because contrary to what the electricians advised, I'm close to having just the right mixture of halogen, LED and incandescent with all the desired dimmers.

We tore out the despised "california ceiling" which is just fucking moronic designer/real estate code for florescent tubes with a translucent drop ceiling. Honestly, once you leave California you find out that the rest of the country tags whatever crapsack they want to palm off as acceptable with the prefix of either california or new york.

Whoa. Not that I'm bitter. Much.

tawn said...

this post reminds me of a horrific incident i experienced in october when a family friend/renovation guru told me 'there are so many modern options of lighting out now. even curved track lighting!'


kay* said...

wow, those floors are gorge! they are going to look fantastic stained.

& your conversation with your contractor made me laugh.

kate said...

I looked back through your hardwood comments and posts, and can't believe that I am the first to say this:
I have dark, dark hardwood, wanted to slit my wrists with the little outlet prongs on my hoover until my darling husband gave me my favorite of all time birthday presents: A ROOMBA!
I cannot comment on the doggy factor as I've heard they can scare the little dickens, but I know that in my case, I'd seriously consider leaving my husband for said Roomba. (Jeeve's as he's called around here)
Sure you've got to empty the little chamber of shit into the trash after he cleans, but so what? He cleans FOR ME. (I keep him happy, he keeps me happy, no?)
8 a.m. and my little slave is downstairs, sucking up all that dust that sits on top of the hardwood, flicks it away from the baseboards and GOES UNDER FURNITURE AND BEHIND THE COUCH AND TABLES, UP AGAINST THE WALL! (can I yell any louder about this??) No longer do I sweep in the afternoon and then again before bed, only glancing over my shoulder and seeing how the dust is still there under the dining room table!
Buy the best model you can afford and enjoy!
p.s., buy it at costco, so if you don't end up orgasmic like me, you can return it and go back to your sweeping life!

Decorina said...

Yes! I've had dark, very dark, stained oak floors in my last two houses and I love them. You will love them too.

And what the poster above said: Roomba.

Little Lantern said...

I want to second the vote for impracticality. I find myself so exhausted looking for what would be most practical because it is NEVER what I really want. For example, on our kitchen counters, we finally gave in and got Crema Marfil marble (probably the most impractical choice ever), but I love it and don't regret it for a second!

As for your floors, we have an 80 pound dog and two cats and will not hesitate to get the dark floors for fear of furry floors. Such is life.

And just say NO to black cans. That is way too 1983. Just add a series of Nagel posters, cue up the Duran Duran and you'll be all set.

Lisanne said...

Forget your bloody new old floors. Look at that PUG!!!!!!!!


katiedid said...

WOW! And who doesn't want a pile of cash?!? Beautiful transformation....and dark floors are great! I got'em...I love'em.

And you are sooooo right about the black diffusers in the can lights. The glare you get from white diffusers is negligable, and they look so much better. Who wants a bunch of ceiling acne?!?!

Oh! And thanks for showing the photo of the black and white floor from the Cosmo Cafe Restaurant I designed the other day. Always nice to see one's work out and about.
Katie Denham

Ryan said...

I think Americans (don't know about foreign opinions) are obsessed with more, More, MORE light fixtures in the house. I have two light bulbs in my kitchen and rarely turn the second on one. I see just fine. I might add a lamp or two or sconce to a living room to get that "mood" lighting thing and reduce glare, but how many light bulbs do you need in a kitchen? 6 recessed lights, and a pendant over the sink, two over the island, and 2 more fixtures for good measure...I think that might be more lightbulbs than I have in the whole house!

Ivy Lane said...

Floors are looking awesome..can't wait to see them stained! Thanks for sharing!

jean said...

Stain 'em dark or light, but use the most heavy duty grade of polyurethane finish available. Even if you have to pay extra. It's oh so worth it. A bonus of the dark finish: the darkening or yellowing of the floor over time won't show.

Lolo said...

I like the option of having enough different types of lighting for whatever my needs are. Plus, in the kitchen I like to be able to see well enough to know that there's no crud stuck on any of the eating surfaces, for some reason.

Jackie Von Tobel said...

I'm seriously happy for your discovery but just wait till you are doing your twice daily sweep up of the considerable dusting of Pug hair that will collect to mar your beautiful extra dark wood floors and the let's here the love! One word - Swiffer.

drollgirl said...

you are funny. and those floors look great.

Suzanne said...

I regret not installing more lighting when we did our kitchen. Oh, no, we don't need lighting under THOSE cabinets and no, I hate can lighting, thank you. Agh. Really regret that decision now. Have shadows everywhere on my counters (even those that DO have under cabinet lighting). Install different types where you can, while you can and use what you need when you need it. Good for resale value too. Oh, and dimmers for everything! So happy for you about your hardwood floors.

dana said...

I recommend wheat haze with white trim for your can lights. The wheat haze helps give your lighting a warm golden feel but it reads more brushed silver neutral when the lights are off.

puck said...

I think it is an American thing to feel the need to install 439857839759 lights in a kitchen. As if we are doing flipping surgery in there.

Victorians managed kitchens without can lights. And can lights, to a preservationist, are tacky anyway.

Go with what you like. And bury the black cans in your backyard somewhere. Gross.

iplayhouse said...

Please make your floors dark.. it may add a few extra days to add additional coats of stain but it will be well worth it. Two more great things about the wood floors in the kitchen, in addition to just looking good and flowing better with the rest of the house, is that they are relatively soft underfoot and don't show much dirt.
Make sure you put the lights on a dimmer switch, a small thing but you'll be glad you did.

Rachel said...

They look beautiful. Congratulations! And congrats on finding someone who can check all those other items off your list.

David said...

Isn't it amazing what a good sanding can do, can't wait to see them done.

Rickey matches them now, he'll contrast nicely when they're done.

mlessirard said...

Love your blog. Your post reminds me of the novel, Confessions of a Contractor. But really congrats on the new old floors, they are priceless.

Anonymous said...

I am curious...what does the contractor suggest regarding glossy floors? I know you didn't agree with him on the lighting, but I'd still be interested to hear his opinion on the floors given that they are original/older. I just completed a major renovation on a "flip" house (that I can't fucking flip, btw) and found glorious hardwoods underneath and my contractor suggested a SATIN finish on them when I told him I wanted them DARK. I loved them so much that I had the glossy freakin floors in my own home re sanded, re stained darker, and again used the satin finish. IMO, satin is waaaaay better looking, doesn't show every imperfection and looks cleaner longer. More warm feeling, and kind of rustic but classy. I LOVE my new floors and get compliments on them often. Good luck!


Hallie and Joe said...

I too discovered awesome floors beneath and I too have a fat little man who butts into every picture.

So there crabby commenters!

Anonymous said...

Why are you staining the floors now? Floors last. Unless you are prepared to touch up and retouch up those floors after every appliance, every cabinet, every plumber, electrician, installer and God only know's who else has hauled themselves through your kitchen.

I know, I know, they're gonna tell you, "we'll cover them". Which means, they will tape down crappy paper over them.

Floors last.

Lolo said...

Hallie, that's not a nice thing to say about Joe.

design citation said...

JackieVT - watch out for the SWIFFER - the swiffer JET can be extremely dangerous and toxic to animals, some have even died from a chemical in the duster.

yes, new floors do mean more cleaning and dusting ( I used to have 2 pugs), but I'm sure DECS will figure it out. she'll probably replace her second husband with a roomba. and why not?

erin@designcrisis said...

I'm right there with you, Decorno. Except when we ripped out our shitty kitchen tiles we found a delightful mess called a "mud bed" underneath. Nice. But our new wood floors are in and sanding starts tomorrow. On Saturday. At 8 am. More reasons to hate mornings.

Oh, and I love the dark floor stain! We have to match our old medium brown oak floors or I'd be all over that.

v8_grrl said...


pve design said...

Makes me want to hire him, just to hear all the "yes mam" going on around there. Hey, let the chips fall where they may, or the Domino's, which I forgot all about til you had to go bring it up again.
tee hee

V. said...

Those. floors. are. gorgeous!

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