friday musings / 04

Hello, hello! Happppppppy Friday!!!!!

By the way... how is it August already?! Yikes.

How does everyone like this taste of fall we've had lately? We're definitely creeping back into summer weather, but is it wrong to admit that I'm already dreaming of wearing my leather boots? Yes, it's wrong? Okay... I know I'll regret saying that later.

Tim and I are knee-deep in 7 million different projects at home, so I apologize for being MIA this entire week (!). When I say 7 million, I really mean 2 big projects that require a boatload of patience. If you know me, you know patience isn't exactly my strong suit.

Lately, our weekends have been spent purely enjoying the summer... from high ropes courses and brewery tours in New York (amazing experience, by the way! Tim sure knows how to plan a surprise weekend), to watching good friends get married, we've spent a healthy portion of July away from our house, and away from our projects. It's how summer is supposed to be! All work and no play during the summer just sounds miserable.

That said, it's so hard for a Type A personality like mine to know that there are upended projects just waiting to greet me at home... ;) testing your patience is a good thing, right? Riiiight.

The biggest project we've thrown ourselves into is pulling up the carpeting to reveal our beat up, yet beautiful, 100+ year old wood floors. We've lived in our house for almost 2 years and while the carpeting was in fine shape, it always grossed me out to think that the random stains on the carpeting were from someone else, and that there were probably a million cat hairs woven into the fibers. Ugh. Not to mention, we KNEW there had to be wood floors underneath (or at least we hoped and prayed it was true). When we walked through our house before putting in an offer, our realtor said the previous owners had carpeted the first floor to cover up tiles. That broke my heart, but the house was so amazing that we took the plunge anyway. Living in a house without hardwood floors is not the end of the world, I reminded myself. (please excuse the grainy iPhone photos!)

After a while, we became curious and would occasionally pull up a tiny bit of carpeting in the corner of our living room. There was hardwood in that teeny tiny corner of the room! That gave us hope, but we didn't know if it was sub-flooring, or if that corner just wasn't covered in tile like the rest of the room (or so we thought). Tim and I would joke all the time about just going for it and pulling up the carpeting, but it seemed ridiculous to take the plunge without any idea what was underneath. Welllll, a few weeks ago, we went for it! No plan; all impulse, but we were SO happy to find our gorgeous, 100+ year old floors underneath.

The staining is wildly inconsistent; there are some areas that are a rich, dark brown, while other areas look like they've never been stained. It looked like the previous owners just stained around area rugs, which is absurd; we knew, but it had to be why the floors look the way they do. A friend said their floor was the same way and that back in the day, people would literally put area rugs down and stain around them. Who knew! Tim and I love that these floors have such rich history. They've lived through WWI, WWII, the Great Depression... I'm no history buff but I would love to know the history of our house, and who has walked on these floors.

Yes, they are in really sad shape and there are a dozen areas that were just cut out, where plywood lies in place, but that's nothing a little TLC and the right contractor can't fix. We've spent the past week yanking zillions of staples out of the floor, sweeping up dust and who knows what kind of allergens, and prying up tack strips with a mallet and screwdriver... but WE HAVE WOOD FLOORS. They are going to be imperfect and beautiful, and they are ours. Cue the parade... this is a big deal!

SO! Does anyone have advice on refinishing antique wood floors? Any and all advice is welcome. If you've refinished floors in an old home, did you use polyurethane to seal the stain, or did you use oil? Did you do it all yourself, or did you hire out for the sanding and staining?

Well, after that glamorous post... go off and enjoy this beautiful Friday! TGIF!!!!