Friday, October 2, 2009

Looking Down...

If you are looking for impact look no further than down – your floors. Prewar spaces are often blessed with great bones including beautiful floors – wide and random planks, herringbone, parquet, chevron patterns, inlays and borders. In some building this is the norm, not so in mine. They are old, which is good, but plain and straight.

For me, seeing beautiful floors in a room gets me every time. In fact in my architecture file, almost every page I saved has them. In this renovation a lot of floor repair is needed, so I decided to go for what I wanted, and replace plain and simple with pattern.

The possibilities are great from the scale of the boards, both length and width, to the pattern and level of distress. You can find salvaged varieties and new ones that look old. I would normally go the salvaged route, as the aged wood has a greater variation in color and height which adds dimension. They also have a time-worn quality that cannot be replicated new. That said, my budget liked the new looking old ones better.

Last weekend’s episode of Open House NYC was about all things French. The floors in the Palace of Versailles caught my eye right away. The parquet is not your ordinary parquet – its large scale. In fact each panel is over 3 feet wide and made up of many smaller pieces. You can buy “Versailles Floors” and they are beautiful, but pretty pricey. I put them on my wish list for a room my next place…or the one after that.

As we speak my floors are on the way from France – aged French oak herringbone. Hopefully they come naturally infused with French style and grace. I cannot wait to have them underfoot and feel the ambiance they bring. I suspect from here forward they will end up in all my renovations. As I get closer, I will share more about finish details and my contractor’s experience with laying them. Should be fun…

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