Category Archives: decorating

Beauty and Function – Rugs

On a day when some people are shopping early and late, we went to the countryside to celebrate our oldest grandson’s nineteenth birthday. Didn’t enter a store all day! But I do have a shopping story all ready to tell you:

The home-decorating saga of unhandy people continues.

Mr. Glad and I have more time lately, for home-improvement projects of all kinds, but we aren’t the sort to relish this sort of activity. I’d rather rummage through my sewing room clutter, or read blogs. My husband likes to practice on his drums. And when more responsible homeowners might be painting or sawing to improve their surroundings, we might be taking a walk to Starbucks to sip our caffeine and read poems for an hour.

But on the way home my mind might race ahead and arrive before us, to contemplate the physical realities of our house, and the danger that our procrastinations pose to our guests.

This monchromatic photograph may remind some of you of a time two years ago when I asked you dear readers for help with our entryway floor safety problem. I am embarrassed to say that we have taken this long to solve it, though not for trying somewhat faintheartedly again and again.

We researched Amanda’s rug idea. We contacted several people about Mark’s wood inlay idea. I borrowed a dozen books from the library thinking I might stencil the floor myself. I lay in bed thinking how some lights such as Celeste suggested could be installed under the lip – thinking how at Christmastime it would be fun to switch them for colored lights!

All this time guests went on stumbling and occasionally going all the way down, as we envisioned broken legs or noggins and how ashamed we would be of our negligence if that happened. Recently, when we were waiting for one of the contractors to tell us exactly when he was coming to do the job that it turned out was too small for him to even use his good manners on, I applied zig-zags of thin red masking tape. We were expecting first-time guests and feared for their safety. The tape aged and cured while we came to realize that Something Else must be done.

Now we have a rug. I photographed it without vacuuming it first because my husband was watching a movie and I didn’t want to disturb him with the noise.

It’s not the most stylish rug, but it is the narrowest one we could find in a workable color. Perhaps someday someone will like to do something more artistic and permanent to this step, but for now we are just relieved to not have to think on it any longer.

[Update: I didn’t stop thinking about it after all, but kept noticing how that chocolate brown runner was too dark a mass of color drawing unnecessary and conscious attention to itself, so I bought a red version and am happier now. This picture including the red-toned rug next to the wood stove shows how things have become more coordinated.]

For some reason I put the most ho-humly functional rug at the beginning. The other solved-by-rugs situations include more beauty.

An expanse of wall that has been needing something for three years now has a rug to make the toy area of the living room more cozy. This is my view from the kitchen, of a wallscape that has warmed up considerably.

While I was rug shopping I decided to update and brighten up our entry with a new rug for the front door. I had to open the door to get enough light on my subject; that is a little piece of its blue exterior lower right.

Rugs are my new favorite artistic indulgence, and I’m enjoying all the time that has been freed up now that I’m not perusing decorating websites anymore. It’s a beautiful life.

 

How to stencil a wood floor?

What it looks like just before you trip

Since we replaced our vinyl floor with wood last year, we’ve become afraid that one of our guests is going to break an ankle, or worse.

The entry area is raised 6 inches above the rooms on either side, but formerly a metal strip provided a visual cue for most people. Now even friends who have been in our house many times before have missed the step and abruptly stumbled off.

View from the down side

We have wondered why our flooring man didn’t anticipate this problem and use a darker wood for the edge of the entry. Oh, well, he didn’t. And vaguely Mr. Glad and I have said many times, as when a friend actually fell all the way down, “We should paint that edge with a stencil.”

In center: edge that wants marker

But we are not decorators, and have no idea where to start. Wouldn’t stenciling a wood floor require some different techniques or materials than the more typical wall stencils? Not that we know anything about that job or have ever had an iota of interest in it, either! This oak floor has two one coat of oil-based sealer and two coats of water-based sealer on it, if that makes a difference.

I know that most women, and many men, have way more experience than I do with decorating, so here I am blegging for any tips and knowledge that any generous soul would like to send my way. It would be nice to get some kind of “safety strip” on there before our houseful of Christmas guests arrives.