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Morning Wood

Despite my long standing love for hardwood floors, I extolled the virtues of carpet in Monday’s post. This mystifying self revelation came about when I started to calculate potential renovation expenses, because carpet be cheap. True, carpet can be crazy ass expensive (Camilla from Designalogue wrote in to say she installed wall to wall ALPACA freaking carpet in a client’s home), but if you’re a careful shopper, it can also be quite reasonable. Although I’ve never had carpet installed, Collyn of ModFruGal has, and she quotes her price for hardwood flooring plus installation as being around $10 (our cost was similar when we redid the kitchen floors), vs carpet at around $4. So, if you’re covering a lot of sq footage like The Hunny and I may be in our new/old dream home, that is a HUGE difference. Still, I’d like to explore all possible cheap flooring options, and lovely reader Michael pointed us in the direction of plywood floors.

Say what???? First I wax poetic about carpet, and now plywood?

No really. It’s kind of awesome.

plywood floors

I mean, would you be mad if your floors looked like this? (Thanks to Michael for the image!)

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at this woody turn of events, since this isn’t the first post I’ve written about how chic plywood can be. But it is interesting to see it used as flooring in homes where hardwoods or concrete would traditionally have been the materials of choice.

plywood floors

Marine plywood in a super modern Italian designed house. via Dezeen

plywood floors

And of course you could always paint your floors, like this plywood floor in an art studio. Since it’s plywood, you don’t have to feel bad about covering your beautiful hardwoods.

plywood floors

These plywood floors were painted to look all rusticky and stuff. Via Coastal Living

painted wood floors

Perhaps imperfect floors would give you the perfect excuse to experiment with designs. Although the next set of images are traditional hardwoods, these ideas could work equally well on inexpensive plywood. via Design Sponge

painted wood floors

I always like a good checkerboard. In muted tones, the pattern remains very neutral.

painted wood floors

This room isn’t really my style, but I like the idea of painted stripes.

painted wood floors

These are marble, but there’s no reason you couldn’t inject some hot geo drama into your floors, as in this Miles Redd designed home.

painted wood floors

But of course, white painted floors are always a popular choice. Check out Door Sixteen for excellent info on how to paint your floors white here. Image via Living Etc.

Although an opaque paint would most easily disguise flooring imperfections, a nicer plywood floor would look awesome with a translucent stain that allows the grain to show through.

painted wood floors

Stenciled and stained chevron hallway via Alicia B Designs.

painted wood floors

This room is a little too country, but the floor rocks. via Country Living

painted wood floors

This diagonally stained room by Mark Cutler is AWESOME. He explains how to do it here.

sabrina bignami

The simple, ebony stained floors in this home designed by Sabrina Bignami could still be gorgeous in plywood.

plywood floors

So I’m thinking plywood sounds like an interesting flooring option, but I’m a little concerned about installation. Do you glue the boards to the floor? Nail them to each other somehow, so that they float? What happens when the boards expand and contract? Does anyone have plywood floors, or have experience installing them?

Inquiring minds need to know.

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Another Black and White Post

Interior decor is as much a part of the fashion world as clothes are — trends are born and then trends die. It’s the cycle of style. Because I’m short on time and have to work whenever I find a spare minute or two, I tend to bookmark my posts well in advance (and for my responsible nature I deserve a gold star, right?), but the downside is that I often find I’m tired of the pictures before I even get to post them. So, yeah, I’ve had this awesome black and white roundup lassoed and hogtied for weeks, but I was all sick of it because I’ve already seen a zillion (good) black and white roundups splashed all over the blogosphere. Anyhoodle, this is my long and rambling way of saying that you’re getting a (mostly) black and white post whether you like it or not, because there are some good things about black and white, and besides — it’s a classic, dammit.

sabrina bignami

Sabrina Bignami

nicolas matheus

Nicolas Matheus

richard powers

Richard Powers

office word image

OWI

francois halard

Francois Halard

studio ilse

Studio Ilse

style files

Style Files

studio ilse

Studio Ilse

jeff andrews

Jeff Andrews

emmas designblogg

Emmas Designblogg

elle decor

Elle Decor

skona hem

Skona Hem

jeff andrews

Jeff Andrews

sabrina bignami

Sabrina Bignami

Did you see how many pictures I had bookmarked??? I’m nothing if not thorough, and I couldn’t exactly let all that gorgeousness go to waste.

So what do you dudes think? Is black and white itself too chilly? Does it need a pop of color or the warmth of wood to make it work? Tell me your favorite picture, and I’ll tell you mine… Inquiring minds need to know.

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Derelicte

I know I shouldn’t keep shoving the old buildings down your collective throat, but Karly’s out of town and I’m in charge (insert maniacal laugh here), so I shall therefore continue to post unabated on my unabashed love affair with history (but I promise to do something different for tomorrow, ok?). It probably all started with my childhood home, built in the early 1900s, which was undoubtedly uninhabitable when we moved in. I mean, peeling walls, wood burning stove, no a/c (IN TEXAS) — the craptacular works. My mom spent most of my tender years with me on one hip and a bucket of wallpaper paint on the other. I learned to climb a 14 foot ladder at 5. It was freaking awesome. Except that we lived across from the welfare clinic, because all the old houses in Texarkana are in the worst parts of town. Anyway, the only picture I have isn’t the greatest, but at least you’ll have an image to fix on:

1115 main

1115 Main Street: where nothing is square and wild cats eat bologna out of your hands. The outside almost always existed in this ramshackle state, as if at any minute the entire house could revert to a heap of sticks and concrete, but the inside was like a passport to crazytown. My Mom covered EVERYTHING (even the entryway tiles) in florals and damasks. Although not my taste, it was pretty freaking genius.

So when I became interested in photography, I was probably predetermined to gravitate towards pictures of dilapidated interiors. Robert Polidori, photographer of the aftermath of Katrina and Chernobyl, as well as documenter of the restoration of Versailles, in glorious, large format film, is a particular hero:

robert polidori

robert polidori

robert polidori

robert polidori

robert polidori

(Photos courtesy of the artist and found at Bomb Magazine, Art Info, Polis, and Metvier Gallery)

The camera loves texture. It loves the peeling bits of old paper, the elegant curve of a water stain, the shadows cast by a million pebbles, and so it loves age and ruin and decay. And I love these pictures I recently found by a photographer in Spain on a blog called Abandonalia:

abandonalia

abandonalia

As well as these lovely images from a photographer who runs The Kohrman Report:

kohrman report

kohrman report

What I am getting at here, in a very roundabout kind of way, is that I have a fantasy about living in a place like this. A place where I would just sweep the dust off the rickety floors and put a coat of varnish over the peeling walls (and the map is staying, fo shizz). It is a ridiculously romantic notion to think you can preserve layers of history like a fly in amber, and I know that the rats and water leaks and hobos squatting in the hallway are all scary, dirty things (not to mention whatever is hiding out in that dank fireplace), but I really can’t help myself. I shall call my new style Derelicte, but I’ll be needing some new furniture. And I bet you’ve already seen these pictures because they’re everywhere, but this is what it’s all about in crazy Erin’s wildest dreams:

sabrina bignami

sabrina bignami

sabrina bignami

sabrina bignami

sabrina bignami

I love everything about it: the patina of age and dinginess, yes — the shocking contrast of the furniture, the lack of fuss in accessorizing, even the purple bedroom, although purple is my least favorite color. Sabrina Bignami, architect and owner of Casa Orlandi, you are today’s recipient of my super stalker girl crush, so don’t be surprised if I show up at your door (as soon as I can figure out where it is). I promise to do my own laundry and sweep the crumbs off the table.

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