In times like these it's safe to assume
that almost everybody has something
hidden under their carpet. Crumbs,
dust, or secrets - most are inclined to
sweep all things bothersome beneath
the broadloom. While wearing a rug
atop one's pate rarely disguises what's
lacking, laying a rug upon a floor can
instantaneously transform any room.
If nothing else it lays a foundation for
all that follows. Hence if you can't
hire a decorator, the best way to hit
a home run is to start at home base.
One must establish a solid strata upon
which all follows. When I was a boy,
most considered wood floors archaic.
Hence new homes were built upon an
underlayment of plywood whereas in
old it was oak. Many love to pull up
worn carpeting to discover all that's
below. Whatever the hidden treasure
it's basically a blank slate. If lucky,
all that's needed is sanding, staining,
and varnish. However if one must
start anew, installing a new wood
floor is well worth the investment.
All things unreal are suspect at best.
Given most pseudo strata look faux
at best - it's easy to be tempted to go
for show alone. However much like
everything in life, it's best to invest
in something that will hold up for the
long haul. So if you want brick, lay
away. Or should you desire a field of
dreams, get stoned. And if you want
a woody, grab the fruits of the forest.
Whatever you do, avoid substituting
perception for reality. Better to polish
concrete than layer on a big mistake.
A word of caution. At times what may be
deemed fashionable is totally impractical.
After years of dreaming of ebony floors
one fantasy became reality in our Dallas
apartment (above.) Quickly we realized
that said nirvana was a nightmare. You
see, the luminous underlayment showed
every single crumb, scuff, spec of lint, etc.
Meaning that while I'm not totally OCD -
I spent most of our time there pushing
a Swiffer. Ultimately dark floors moved
from our bucket to black list. Leaving us
to utter two words... "NEVER AGAIN!"
Back to square one
Who doesn't adore area carpets?! First
because they are the perfect way to
define a specific area. Second the fact
that a pop of color underfoot sets the
mood. Not only does a rug ground
one's decorative scheme - it often can
broaden one's horizons. With such a
firm foundation, one can build off
multi hued turf. Using it as the basis
for all elements of the room. Finally
the right area rug should literally speak
to you. Boldly offering a modern tone,
or a keynote upon which to expound.
Invariably there is a time and place for just
about everything. Hence while all wall-to-
wall is now considered passe, I find that it
still serves it's purpose. Many things should
remain in the bedroom and broadloom may
be one of them. There's nothing quite as
luxurious as lifting off one's day upon a
padded tarmac. Many argue that embarking
on such a cushy excursion only gathers dust.
However before you assume a wood floor
ensures a dust free zone, I suggest you take
a look under your bed. Chances are theres
a fuzzy monster waiting to be discovered!
Nostalgia aside, there are certain base
levels that simply won't do. In the end
somethings are best left in the trailer
park. Meaning sheet vinyl flooring is
a definite no-no. Maybe someday they
will figure out a cheap yet chic way to
lay it on. However if what I see upon
the Home Depot rolls is any indication,
the current options are full of sheet. I'm
more than confident that within a few
years - "laminate" will fall from favor.
In truth it's Formica on the floor. So
faux God's sake, please don't go there.
My advice is stick to your basic instincts.
Whatever you permanently install should
last the test of time. Thus while a "cool"
horizontal mirrored glass micro tile may
seem terribly chic, tomorrow it will be
the decorative equivalent of a leisure suit.
Ultimately most things come back into
favor. However only the rare aficionado
can embrace the baby pink of that mid
century modern masterpiece/s powder
room. When it comes to making a long
term investment, less is definitely more.
Who wants to live with their mistakes?