True colours and real scars

Kathy Krugerchange, contentment23 Comments

No matter that the yin yang symbol is black and white, life simply isn’t.

We went for a shade of grey as we transformed our timber floors from old to not new, but much better.

(note feature image is NOT our house, sigh)

The original parquetry, circa early 1990’s, had aged to an awful orange sheen. Plus we’d had a water leak in our ensuite that required replacement of a section of boards in the hallway, which then remained unstained Tassie Oak, for the last 18 months or more.

My interior designer alter ego has been getting pretty antsy about the unfinished state of our house for some time, and with Ruffus the Wrecker only making matters worse it was well past time to try to turn the house from trash can (ok slight exaggeration) to show home (OK big exaggeration).

Starting with the timber floors (actually we’ve been in the process of slowly renovating for several years, sigh – a lesson in yin patience).

(I didn’t take the obligatory before shot, so here’s an image from  a video of me doing the #22pushups, #22days challenge to raise awareness for veterans mental health and suicide prevention, to show the ugly orange before)

Doing my best

Doing my best

We could have called in the professionals, but hey $$$, so hubby hired a giant sander, plus a smaller edge sander and a big buffing machine and then we needed the floor stain itself, reducer to tone down the intensity of the black colour, sealer, and two different top coatings.  Still cost us over $1k.

Did I mention it was a simple exercise!!

More pushups

More pushups

Plus since the floor redo covered the lounge, dining and down the hallway it meant that half of the house including the bedrooms and our two bathrooms were effectively cut off during the process. We moved the furniture into the family room and could still use the kitchen and enter the house via the office.  But going to the toilet, taking a shower and sleeping required climbing in and out of our ensuite window to avoid wet floors, while the kids camped out in our bedroom for the best part of a week.

Fun and games.

The thing is the floors looked really good when they were sanded back to their raw Tassie Oak – promising quite a nice timber grain and no more ugly orange.

Hubby didn’t mention until later the difficulty he’d had navigating the big sander in the tighter entrance area while trying to sand with the grain rather than against it. Plus there was the colour variation of the timber that had faded near a big window, which we tried to address with a heavier cover of stain, which only left the area darker.

A floor can look perfectly sanded but appearances can be deceptive.

Once you apply a stain even the slightest grooves (that you can’t see or feel) seemingly turn into giant gouges, and (note to self) when you try to sand things out it can make matters worse.

So the upshot – the floors aren’t perfect – they weren’t before and they aren’t now, but I still really like them.  They have character (and rugs will be placed strategically at the front entrance and in front of the sofa near the window)!

What do you think?

What do you think?

And the lessons, because there are always lessons (like hire a professional next time).

Character is found in the grooves and the gouges, the scars and stains of a normal life, not a perfect one. A ‘perfect’ surface is just a foil for what’s deeper down, even the flaws that you can’t see. But it is what’s deep down that really counts.

Your true colours shine through with imperfections, not despite them. In fact they shine through in your imperfections.

The mark of true character is endurance, including enduring change and the scars it leaves behind.

Embrace change, but don’t be in a rush – we’re still to put back all the furniture and we’re repainting the walls.  We have to wait on a new rug, wall lights and blinds but have put in a new display cabinet (Ikea $129). Edit out what isn’t important and make special places for what means the most. Oh and be patient – both the rug and wall lights purchased online are suddenly ‘out of stock’, so it will be almost Christmas before we are complete – eek Christmas isn’t that far away).

Here’s a sneak peak.

Do you agree that imperfections are what create character? Can you believe Christmas is just over 10 weeks away?

Linking up with Grace for FYBF.

Namaste sign off_edited-1

Kathy X

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Kathy KrugerTrue colours and real scars

23 Comments on “True colours and real scars”

  1. nicolethebuilderswife

    I had a beautiful big, brand new modern Queenslander, and I hated it. It lacked the character and charm of an older home. Those imperfections are where the character and stories are. I love what I see so far!!

    1. Kathy Kruger

      We actually had timber all the way through the house expect bedrooms and bathrooms, but then we had a dishwasher leak about 6 years ago and opted to replace kitchen/family area with tiles because of the huge job of replacing all the timber. I sort of miss it but I do like the contrast now of light cream tiles and dark floorboards.

  2. hugzillablog

    I have floor envy. Our floors are the NUMBER ONE thing on my list to do, because the house we bought has – WAIT FOR IT – 8 different floor coverings, and they are all UGLY. A hideous combination of hideous tiles, vinyl and carpet. And NONE of the floorboards I love. LOL.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Oh No – 8 different coverings – that is a mishmash. If it is any consolation, we haven’t renovated our ensuite and it has pretty ugly tiles, the un-renovated main bathroom isn’t a whole lot better.

  3. writeofthemiddle

    I’m loving your new darker timber floor boards! Gosh it must take a lot of patience having the kids in with you and climbing through windows to access the toilet etc LOL. Good luck with the wall painting and I hope the rugs, wall lights and blinds arrive soon! I do not want to think about Christmas. Christmas shopping always stresses me out – not sure why!! BTW – I love imperfections. Nothing and noone is perfect … and it adds character and character is lovely! 🙂 xo

  4. Deborah

    I definitely agree that imperfections add character and make something more unique and lovable. My place is pretty clean and sterile (very white) but I’m trying to add colour through accessories etc… I’ve got a mish-mash of styles and I kinda like that cos it’s ‘me’.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I love when you have stuff that reflects you and really means something – our Chinese cabinet is pretty special to us and I’m glad I got the display cabinet to better show off things that mean something from China, our time living in Canada and special travels.

  5. Janet Camilleri

    It looks great and you can take pride in a job well done. And trust me, nobody will notice the imperfections – not even you – in time. Hubster did the tiled splashback in our laundry 2 (or was it 3?) years ago. Even though the tiles were exactly the same, white subway tiles, as soon as you open a new box they ARE different. Hubster learned the hard way that you should mix up your tiles so the different ones don’t stand out like a sore thumb!

  6. Cat@Life through the haze

    They look great! Oh I have banned my husband from doing any major renovations in our house anymore. Many years ago my husband knocked down a wall and left a hole in our ceiling (the length of the wall and width of a beam!) this stayed like this for over 8 years!!!!!!!

    I love your floors grooves give character! And who wants perfect a perfect surface is one thing it only takes a scratch to see how we all really are.


  7. Renee Wilson

    It looks great, Kathy. What a mammoth job! I can just imagine how stressful it would be sanding it back and managing that big machine. Great lessons in this post xx #teamIBOT

    1. Kathy Kruger

      It was noisy and dusty and keeping Ruffus outside and away from the floor was a challenge through the staining, sealing, coating. But its done and it feels like a new lease of life.

  8. toniazemek

    Looks fabulous Kathy and, yes, I’m with you on the imperfections angle. I once had a large timber coffee table and I insisted on NOT using coasters. I wanted visitors to feel right at home and ‘leave their mark’ on my furniture. That old coffee table really showed how lived in and loved my living room had been.

  9. mamagrace71

    Some great learnings here, Kathy! Especially this one: Your true colours shine through with imperfections, not despite them. In fact they shine through in your imperfections.

    We will need to do our floorboards again soon but I like the idea that while they won’t ever be perfect, they will have character.

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