And since Saturday, Ben and I have been working on our latest house project: the bedroom! We had painted the walls of our bedroom green when we first moved in and of course we set up our furniture and then hung a mirror...but other than that, it was basic and functional and worst of all...boring. And the worst worst part? The wall to wall carpet. Generally speaking I really despise wall to wall carpet, at least for my own living quarters. My dad thought I was crazy to rip it up. Afterall, it was new when we bought the house, it was great at hiding dirt, and it was soft on your feet. Well...it wasn't really that soft on your feet. It was kind of rough and the pattern and type of carpet it was reminded me of something that might be a hotel hallway or office building. Not very homey. And it was a little too good at hiding dirt...I didn't know where to clean or if it was clean and I was afraid to drop my clothes on the floor. Sigh...carpet...
Isn't it, ahem, beautiful? Ok...well it's not that terrible...but still. We have this carpet in all the other rooms upstairs, including the hallways. The rest will go in due time.
To be honest I had no idea what I would find when I pulled the carpet up. But I figured it wasn't good...afterall...people usually use carpet in old homes to cover up something unpleasant or ugly or nonfunctional. Of course when we first moved in I lifted a corner of carpet to peek underneath...and saw what looked like plywood. Uh oh. I figured I'd just have to see what was under the plywood and be prepared to install new wood floors if need be (soft pine instead of hardwood, since we have original pine floors in other rooms and shiney new perfect hardwood wouldn't go with the super worn and scratched patina of the staircase and floors below.
So, Ben and I pulled up the carpet and the yucky composite foam stuff and then started chipping away at the plywood with a screwdriver and hammer. But once I lifted the wood, I realized that it wasn't thick plywood as I had thought, it was super thin and super splintery luan. And I also realized that there were pretty descent softwood planks underneath it! Just what I was hoping for!! Ben and I lifted all of the luan and pulled out all of the nails and staples and were happy to finally see our new floor! It wasn't anywhere near perfect of course...there was one board in the middle of the room that had a chunk of wood missing that was about 3/4 of an inch wide running down the board. And under the smaller window, there was wood that had some top layer rot. Things other people would call deal-breakers...but not us!
I forgot to take enough before pictures...but before much, much sanding, the floors were all gray and a bit rough. After sanding, they were wood colored (kinda) and smooth.
Ben hemmed and hawed, but I convinced him that we needed to go white. I've always wanted white floors somewhere and this was the perfect place to do it! The boards weren't really good enough for staining (although if it's what we wanted to do, I wouldn't have let anything stop us). And paint would hide the imperfections, allow me to patch that big chunk that was missing in the middle with wood filler and smooth out the uneven boards that we sanded the rot off of and make the discolored floor uniform and clean and airy and bright.
And it's all of those things! It really transformed the room and turned it from dreary and office-like to cloud nine.
And what else did we find under the layers of carpet, foam, and luan? A secret door! A yucky secret door...but who's complaining?
And look what we found in the secret door! Someone's old graduation pictures! They are old celluloid negatives of who knows who and who knows when? Pretty neat!
The little door probably just covered a hole where an old stove pipe ran through at one time, but I'm going to line it with wood and create a plank door that matches floor so we can hide things in there for fun. Yay!
All I have to do before Ben and I can move the furniture back in is apply a protective varnish and then add some shoe molding to cover the space left underneath the base boards. Can't wait to move back in and finally decorate! :)