Monday, May 12, 2014

A Little More on the Basement

As promised, I thought I'd share a few additional views of the basement renovation from our real estate photos. The house is now under contract...hurray/boo! Excited for this new chapter but sad to leave the beautiful home we worked so hard on. I'm still a mixed bag of emotions over this...

Our friends Molly and Adam stayed here for a few weeks before they left on their year-long overseas adventure. As one of the world's leading experts on our basement, Molly had a few questions about the new countertops and carpeting that I thought merited a follow up post:

Dumb question but can you chop food directly on wood block countertops

I used to think that there was no such thing as a dumb question, until I read this one. Just kidding! It's a very good question, and I've spent countless hours reading online threads that debate the answer to this because I have no life it is my job to. I've come to the conclusion that it's mostly a matter of preference whether or not you decide to chop food on your wood countertops. It won't necessarily discolor the wood, but you will see knife marks. If you only ever chop in one spot, it might look strange to have just one area with lots of scratches. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I'd probably hate the way that looked. I would just use a cutting board. So the short answer to your question is "yes you can," but if you came to my house and tried to chop anything directly on my wood countertops, I'd probably ask you to leave and never come back. (I'm joking...any friend who comes to our house and offers to chop vegetables is always welcome back!)

Seagrass carpeting: Is it durable?

Seagrass is shockingly durable. Since it's made of natural materials, it's also quite stain resistant. An important thing to keep in mind about seagrass is that because it's a natural fiber, it's susceptible to mold. So you want to be careful not to get any water on it. If you do, you can just blot the spot with a towel and use a hair dryer to dry it and you shouldn't have any problems.

Is it soft under your feet?

You wouldn't want to lay down on the floor with your cheek against it and take a nap, but it certainly doesn't offend the feet. It's not the absolute softest, but it makes up for that by being beautiful and inexpensive. For places you really do want to be super soft underfoot, such as a seating area or where you step out of bed in the morning, I recommend layering a soft area rug over the seagrass, like I did in the basement bedroom:

Can you vacuum it?

You can and should vacuum it as much as you would any other carpeting.

I'd love to learn what other kinds of carpeting you like the best/would recommend to clients. If given the option, would you always prefer hardwood floors?

Sometime in 1989, I went on a crazy rampage with Play-Doh. I smeared it deep into the brown/rust-colored shag carpeting in my bedroom. When professional cleaning equipment proved powerless against the hot pink Play-Doh, my parents were forced to rip out the wall to wall carpeting, revealing beautiful hardwood floors underneath. Was this the manipulative scheming of a three-year-old decorator in the making? I'm not sure. But I do know that intentional or not, it was my first victory against ugly carpeting. I was smitten with hardwood floors, and still am to this day! I'm really just not a fan of carpeting, obviously with the exceptions of seagrass, sisal, jute, etc. If budget were no option I'm sure I  could find some really lovely wool carpeting that I wouldn't hate. See here. However, I could really only ever imagine using wall to wall wool carpeting in a bedroom or a playroom. And at the end of the day, I'll still always prefer a beautiful rugs on hardware floors over wall to wall carpeting.

xo, Christine