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Bedroom carpet

28 Jul

My parents grew up in the great depression, but I grew up in the 1970’s by way of the great depression. We had one, black and white tv. We got color tv when I turned 14 and cable television came to town. We rode the bus. When neighbors got VCRs, second cars, dishwashers, avocado green appliances, wall-to-wall shag carpeting, and participated fully in the (probably credit-card fueled) consumer expansion of the last quarter of the twentieth century, my family was driving an old Hornet, walking on asphalt tiled floors, washing dishes by hand, and taking books out of the library.

When I moved into this here house, I got the first dishwasher and garbage disposal I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve always loved old historic buildings, and have always lived in older apartments that didn’t have many mod-cons (fine with me, since I’d never had them as a kid). I love them both and they make me feel modern and sophisticated, and maybe a teensy bit privileged.

Another thing I’ve never had in my home is bedroom carpeting. I always thought of it as so bourgeois and indulgent (two states to which I aspire). I love the look of the old pine floors in my house and had most of them refinished. People often comment on how nice they look. They were never designed to be seen, though. The Victorians of this era (1872) preferred wall-to-wall carpeting as a statement of status (just like in 1972), and hence used cheap and soft yellow pine for their floors, assuming they’d never been seen.

It was the Aesthetic movement and the Hygiene movement that brought the advent of bare floors, and houses built ten or fifteen years after mine have lovely hardwood floors with marquetry, parquet, inlays, etc. Those floors were meant to be seen.

So the gods seemed to conspire for me to carpet my bedroom. My natural good taste led me first to wool carpeting. My ever so unjust financial circumstances brought me back to nylon. Wool carpet would have cost about $10,000. But it would have felt very nice underfoot. Anyway…. I shopped around, and finally went with the Home Depot. While I like to support local small business, the Home Depot was WAY less expensive, and the people I dealt with there were extremely helpful and friendly.

I carpeted my big bedroom, walk-in closet (okay, okay, it was a bedroom in a previous incarnation of the house), and small-ish linen closet in a lovely grey plush carpet with a super-thick eco pad. Three annual steam cleanings included, and a 25 year warranty. It’s darker than it looks in these photos, and is a great match for the wallpaper and drapes in my peaceful haven of a bedroom.

The Master Bedroom

2 Dec

This was my August project this year (2008). I bought the vintage VanLuit wall murals on ebay in Jan. 2008 (paid around $2,100 total, they ought to have cost about $5,000 per set — I have three sets — score!). The pattern is “Printemps” and it’s a handblocked mural. It was printed in 1969 (the year I was born). I think the paper and I both look pretty darn good for 40. 

I did all the work on my own, with the exception of the fireplace repair. I’m not thrilled with the way the rosette turned out (on the ceiling), but I hated the colors I had painted it, and frankly I was over the whole thing so I just painted it white and called it a day. 

I still need carpet (gray or sage), and am sorely tempted to charge it, so the room will be done, but I’m holding off.

I also neglected to paint the two closets (linens and walk-in clothing closet), so I should probably do that pre-carpet, in which case it wouldn’t happen until Spring/Summer 2009.

Anyway, I think it looks fabulous, and really enjoying doing stuff like this all on my own.