26 May 2010

I'm Begging You Here

Does anybody remember this Serendipitous Post?  That was back in the good ol days when we thought we were just "remodeling" our cottage.  You know, like, new windows, pushing the kitchen out a bit, a fresh coat of paint.  Oh, but then the project started to grow.  And grow and grow.  How the heck did that happen, you ask?  What's that?  You didn't ask?  Pshsst.  I'm gonna tell you anyway, because if you're taking this ride with me, I need you beginning to end~  

Before I even figured out how to post a picture, (yes, I am my own trail blazer), I began a blog.   I wrote a post just to chronicle for my family and friends what was happening over at the cottage.  So here's how it was, way back nine months ago, when we thought we were going to move out for two or three (ha, haa, ha, haaaaaaa, ha, ha) months to make a few improvements to our abode.  Have a quick look at this here post if you're brave enough.  Here We Gooooo.

Way back then,  I thought I was going to have to install new flooring over the ugly linoleum which, some Bozo misguided, previous homeowner had installed over the beautiful wood floors of the cottage.  No offense whomever you are. Then, when we started ripping out the linoleum we had the good luck to find our cottage had originally been built using gorgeous hardwood!  I couldn't believe this serendipitous surprise!  We could just refinish these floors, and keep the integrity of the original cottage intact.  Plus, it would save us a bundle of dough!  

So, where are we today, and why am I begging for your help?  Construction is brutal.  It is not a game for sissies.  It takes its toll on everyone everything involved.  Walls were razed, beams were removed, windows were shattered and general chaos ensued.  Nothing was left unscathed!  My serendipitous find, my gorgeous, original to the cottage, wood floors were r u I n e d.  I don't say this lightly.  I cried.  They were not the "happy tears" I originally cried when I discovered the floors.  This is a sad, sad, story.  I would totally understand if you had to sign off, bail ship, run away fast, NOW.  However, for those of you brave enough, those made of solid sturdy stock, adventurous (and charitable), I need you now.  You've given me advise and wisdom on practically every decision I've had to make over here at the cottage.  You guys have become my sub-conscience, my artistic muse, my rock.  Now I'm asking you to become...  My wood guys. 

Here's the Dealio.

The original oak hardwood floors were ruined.  Not because the construction guys weren't careful mind you.  "Anyone who knows construction guys knows how meticulously careful and gentle they are," she said,  biting down hard on inside of her cheek.  

We changed and reconfigured the floor plan so many times that, our little remodel morphed into the complete destruction and reconstruction of a fish cottage which has been completely gutted.  We didn't add a lot of square footage.  We just flip-flopped a few things rooms, so in short, the wood floors are gonzo.  Now, (like in the next 24 hours) you,  I, you and I, have to decide what type and what stain our new wood floors should be.  K?

These are just a few of our choices.  Believe me there are more.  I just love you too much to burden you with them.  So if you could just help me with any insight, knowledge, personal experience or opinions that you have I would be eternally grateful.  As in forever.

Cherry?  Often used in cottages on the East Coast.  Typically stained with a dark finish so the grain just shows through.

Help me?

 Hickory?  One of the hardest woods around.  Nice grain but when it is all layed down it has a really busy pattern.  When I saw a picture of hickory flooring installed a little of the ADD in me came out.

Any thoughts yet?

Knotty Pine.  A soft wood but, it has awesome, random knots, patinas to a warm burnished glow and nobody cares if it gets dented or dinged because, after all, it's knotty pine!

I'm begging you!

Of course there is also reliable, solid Oak.  For those of you still with me, (helloooooooooo out there),  we must also decide if we go for the original 2" to 3" planks,  the more common of today 6",  or the wide plank 7" stock.  Just for the heck of it I'll throw in that I think we have nixed cherry or any very dark or red colored stain because we don't want to suck out too much light have to continuously clean a dark floor which would show every footprint or speck of dust, sand, dog hair.  Of course, it aint over till it's over.  I could possibly be persuaded in that direction.  Not that I'm easily led.  Oh who are we trying to kid here.  Lead me.  Please just lead me!

The light sandy stain, or the richer more golden hue?  

Decisions, decisions. Holy... holy... all that is holy.  Help me.  I'm on my knees here. 

This particular wood is EcoTimber.  It is solid unfinished reclaimed flooring which we could stain once it is installed.  This timber is old-growth wood.  It is denser, more stable than new wood, without the environmental cost.  This is reclaimed from an old building or structure somewhere out there. "Huh?  What's that I just heard you mumble?"  Kinda like the original wood floors that you destroyed weren't able to save during your construction project?  Yep,  just like those.  

And (yes, I've just begun a sentence with the word and).  And, if all these wood types and wood stain decisions are not enough for you, how about this?

Stain on the shingles anyone?  Anyone?  I know,  I'd run away screaming too.  If I could but, my husband won't let me outta here.  

Oh Mommy.  I think I want to move to a farm and raise goats.

Love you more than all the reclaimed wood in the USA.  




Anonymous said...

Hi Tia,
just started following your blog a few weekes ago. I personally love the Eco Timber, think that would look great in your cottage. For the shingles, the 2nd from the left just pops out at me. Think the gray tone looks so nice for a beach cottage. Hang in there. Love your blog, and looking foward to seeing what you pick, which I'm sure will be lovely whatever you decide.

Karen said...

We just put down wide plank pine, random sizes.. LOVE IT. It is soft and so there is the possibility of more dents, etc. than oak... but I like the soft look. We are also going with a medium stain, similar to the warm one you have pictured above... and satin finish, not high gloss. Really it's a matter of your own personal taste though, you know...

For the stain color on the outside.. the second from the left looks beautiful next to the stone below... great combo.

fairmaiden said...

Okie dokie Tia, here it goes. First you are sooooo very lucky you get to put in real wood floors...that EcoTimber looks amazing...I like just the name! Now, I would choose light...pine or one you didn't mention maple...is there any maple? I am waiting for the day when we can install wood floors, but we can't afford real wood...we have to go with Pergo laminate wood. First we had picked out a rustic hickory with nicks and grain and thought that was it! But the more I thought about it the more I realized I would be happier 'ever after' with light...so now we have a maple picked out 'Atlantic maple' to be exact. And I have complete peace about it...yes I can sleep without it bothering me. And why do I choose a light wood for your Cottage By The Sea too? because I think light woods are much more coastal or beachy than dark. And I prefer the light sandy stain over the golden. Did you see the May issue of Beautiful Home magazine? It is all about woods...the new bleached look that is in. I LOVE it!!!! And about the plank size...thats a hard one. I prefer the wider planks, but not too wide. Can you lay some down and see what you like best? For the shingles...I like all the choices. But I think I prefer the greys... a driftwood sort of grey and it looks good with your new rock...which btw ROCKS!!!! nice choice. Can you believe you are going to have a completely new home when you are all done! Wow!!!! What a dream. You are soooo blessed. Then can I come visit you? tee hee ox~kerrie aka fairmaiden

NanaDiana said...

OMGosh, Tia! I have walked MANY miles in your shoes! Decisions, descisions, decisions! I have had pine floors in a 100 yr old house and I was not overly crazy about them...but that's just me. I found that they were just a bit too rustic for my own taste...but they were in a house in town and not beach-side either. In this house I went with red birch (which is not really RED at all). It is a HARD wood and has a nice grain to it. Similar to Hickory but doesn't have nearly the movement to it that hickory has. We had the floors finished with a Swedish finish (looks natural but it soaks in and becomes a hardened finish so that dogs and small children that throw things (and Nanas that DROP things) cannot damage the finish...well, at least not easily. As a forewarning...if you mention a Swedish finish to a floor guy he will play dumb and run like the wind. They don't like to put it on because they can't do hardly any overlapping from one area to the next or the "line of product" will show. But it has a soft glow and patina to it that everyone comments on. So..now that I have been NO help AT ALL-I DO apologize! AND-I am not a big fan of cherry floors either-they are just a bit too dark for me. I find that the natural tones are very easy to keep up and don't show tracks and trails of Cheerios and spilled milk much at all!

As far as the outside goes- I got voted down on what I wanted because MyHero had a distributorship for Crane Products. We went with white Dutch lap siding (boring) but because we (read that HE) always has an eye out for resale that was THE pick. And, like any true midwesterner that lives on the water in a WHITE house, we have a GREEN roof! lol

Okay-as far as your samples~ I think the 2nd from the left looks very "beachy", as does the one on the far right. However, I do adore the greens...and would certainly have a hard time picking. You almost have to see them in the surroundings at different times of the day, don't you?

Well, you are MOST WELCOME for ALL the wonderful HELP I have given you! Thank you and have a nice day! Your crazy Midwestern friend and follower!

Anita said...

Ok, it's late and I feel lost, but I prefer knotty pine, it's lovely.
Wishing you the best..You can do this!!!

bichonpawz said...

Let's see....lots to ponder!! We put light colored Pergo in our cottage....in every room. We started with the kitchen and by the time we finished all three bedrooms, two bathrooms and the living room...some of the ones I had picked out were discontinued. But I really prefer the light color! It's just kinda Coastal ... you know?? And wide or thin is a personal choice I think. And I agree with Karen on the outside!! Good luck!!! Have fun!!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

My thoughts are: STAY AWAY FROM PINE AT ALL COSTS!!!!!!!!!" Our house is full of wood. We have oak floors. Oak is good because it is hard and lasts well for 100 years and more. In the 27 years we have lived here, we have stripped and restained our floors once. We went from a dark stain to a light one. We all loved the change.

Right now, we are working with a designer to reno our kitchen. We have knotty pine cupboards. Pine is soooo soft. Any knicks and bangs make marks, marks that will last forever. In the last 27 years, my hubby has had to fix, refinish and replane the cupboards several times. They look lovely when they are new, but they do not last.

If you go with pine floors, they will become "antique looking" in no time, especially if you have kids and pets. If you are into anique flooring..... go for it. :) Rosemary

Amanda said...

Hi! I just found your blog over at Jenny Matlock's place. I would definitely stain the shingles! Do you mind if I follow along? We are considering embarking on our very own beach house remodel just a couple of state north of you!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

WOW. I will tell you Tia that you are correct on the dark floor. I loved it when I saw it (mahogany) but it is so high maintenance and no one told me how soft it is. Now add a dog to this and I HATE this dark floor.

This is so personal so I can't choose for you. I have very strong feeling on pine and the honey color. And you don't want my opinion here.

But your shutters are easy. The 1st one on the left is my fav - pops on the shaker siding and when it fades as it does here in the east it will look good with the shade of gray it turns. And if it doesn't turn then it still looks good. Make sense?

God Love ya woman....maybe building my dream house is as bad as my hubby keeps telling. Who knew? (okay him but you know.....)

mimiomimi said...

Just to show what a true follower I am I am leaving my opinion from Hawaii! Amy has acacia floors in her gigantic (they can fit 100+ people in it) great room and they are beautiful, but if you don't want to be wigged out by any more choices I too like the EcoWood stuff and of course I am always and forever a Hickory person (not the nuts, just the floor) Did you go to the place in Rainbow to find the Ecowood? I know the Hickory seems a bit busy, but all of your cabinets are white and so is the new couch (or "chouch" as Collin says) so a little pattern shouldn't overwhelm in that large of a space. I had pine floors and wasn't happy at all. Not only do you get LOTS more dings, but then everything gets stuck in those dings - not fun at all. Hope all your decisions are happy ones. We are off to the Polynesian Cultural Center today, lots of vegging out on the beach yesterday, It was GREAT!!

Carole B. said...

I'd go with the oak floors. An homage to the original hardwood floors.

deborah said...

Came to your blog from 'This Old House 2', so I'm very new. I have beautiful oak wood floors that badly need to be refinished (beautiful in that they've never been redone in their 50 years and they can be refinished soon). If you pick oak, I love the very narrow boards, gives a more retro look. Anyway, I like the EcoTimber in a light stain, just because you live at the beach, and I always think of amazing light near the ocean. I have dogs and cats, and hair shows less on light floors:) I like the first stain on the left and the last one on the right. They just 'go' with the gorgeous stone! Think I'll follow you if you don't mind. Went through a brutal partial remodel of this house (it was built by my grandfather when I was born, and I was lucky enough to be able to buy it a few years ago), and I do commiserate with you. My pennys worth too...for what its worth:) Best!

Ocean Girl said...

Hickory looks beachy to me. Suitable for a cottage by the sea.

I know building is not easy but please do enjoy the journey.

NanaDiana said...

Welll...let us know! To add one more opinion (on top of my already given one) my son just put hickory in his waterside home/cottage. It is wonderful...and although the hickory does have some movement to it...by the time your furniture is in (they have plain leather, not patterned, furniture) and a rug or two (you MUST have a rug or two) the floor just showcases everything. Okay...not another word from me....(okay I might be lying about that a bit). BUT- DO let us know what you decided!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just started following your blog a couple of months ago and love what you're doing! I'm on the East Coast (CT coastline) and like the first 3 shingle stains BUT I also love shingles that are clearcoated and weather naturally which is big out here.

The floors? Love lighter for the beach and the reclaimed wood sounds great! Have you considered bamboo flooring? Just a thought.

Ciao from Mystic/Noank/Ledyard!

mbkatc230 said...

Really like the eco timber, in the light sandy stain. But my first choice would be the hickory, I love it. But alot depends on your furnishings. If they are busy, the hickory might be overwhelming. As far as the shingle stain, the second from the left would be my choice too. It looks gorgeous with the stone, which by the way is awesome! Kathy

Heaven's Walk said...

Tia - What a hoot you are, girl! LOL!

First of all, thanks for leaving such a great message on my blog. I so enjoyed hearing from you (and anyone else out there for that matter!). You have such a witty way with words. You and your hubby are certainly welcome to stop by our humble abode whenever you're in the neighborhood (and on this side of 'town')! We'll have the wine on ice for ya! :)

Ok, down to your issues. We have original oak flooring in our renovated farmhouse which we just love. Oak does hold up much better than pine. I do like the idea of reclaimed flooring or the EcoTimber, for sure. There's nothin' better than recycling and/or helping out the environment. And the color? I would think it depends on what colors you plan on having inside. White cabinets? White walls? You could go with a little darker floor for contrast. Wood cabinets? Darker walls? Go with a lighter floor. (I would go for white cabinets if I were you...but then again, that's MY dream.....lol!)

Now my suggestions for the stain on your shingles...I would go with either the first one one on the left or the one next to it. Both would look great with the color of the rocks and with white shutters. Very beachy!

Luved reading your blog. You made me smile all the way through! And I sooo look forward to watching your progress on this journey!

Hey, and don't forget....we're all out here for ya! Good luck!

{Hugs} ~


Heaven's Walk said...

Oh, Tia - I forgot to answer your question on my windchimes! No, I didn't make them. I stole them.....hehehe! I was helping my girlfriend unload her van after she went treasure shopping, and lo and behold, there all crumpled up in a shabby looking box were the windchimes. I grabbed them, held them up and almost shouted, "I've just GOT to have this!" She laughed and said, "Just take'em." Sweet!!!!

But I have visited sites where there are instructions on how to make windchimes out of beachside treasures - which I still would like to do at some point.

Have a great holiday!


From Tracie said...

I would pick from the third picture up from the bottom....the one on the left! It looks rich and "woody" without being too dark.

Lots of luck!!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I always love oak, but then, I'm English ;) The knotty pine is cute, too. I would certainly go with a light colour.

fairmaiden said...

PS...I really like the hickory in these pics you have here. The hickory that we were considering was as dark as espresso. If it is one of the hardest woods then that would be a good choice for durability.

Lula Lola said...

We did heart pine and I love it! It does ding a little easier. But, that just adds character. We left if close to natural, because from what our "wood guy" tells us, it becomes more gold with time. We did a wide plank and I really do like it a lot!
I'll be curious to see what you decide.
Have you thought about reclaimed pine? I'm kind of kicking myself for not going that route. It's often older and has more "heart" and takes the abuse a little better. Not to mention all the built in character.