Brick red terrazzo floor. Not the easiest thing to live with unless you love brick red. Especially difficult to live with mixed with actual dark red brick walls and a yellow pine ceiling. Did I mention the yellow pine stair banister – oh – and the fact that you hate the floor? This is the unfortunate situation of today’s reader who sent me this email:
The offending floor in question
And of course, pictures of the house:
And some more pictures:
And now my response.
I am going to shock some people with this, because it’s not an attitude taken today, so please sit down while reading this.
I hate naked pine. There, I said it.
Pine was never meant to be shown. It’s a soft nobby wood which was originally used as baseboards under real hardwood floors and cheap painted Scandinavian furniture (in other words – hidden). Pine is an abundant source for wood, so it’s easy to get and easy to use – but just because it’s wood does not make it beautiful.
Maple is beautiful, oak is beautiful and cherry is stunning. Pine – bleh.
As such it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when I say you should paint the lot of it. Paint the high sloped ceiling a nice eggshell white, the beams a shade or two darker and the walls a shade lighter than the ceiling.
Ignore the floor until you can afford to replace it. Cover it with cheap rugs from Ikea or Dalyat El Carmel.
Paint the brick as well in my opinion. Not because I don’t like brick, because I do – but because your home looks rather dark with things as they are.
Here I would either move up the mirror so that it was at picture height (top of the mirror on the same horizontal as the top of the door) or take the stuff off of the dresser.
The dishes are lovely. I would change the flowers to just one color. The set of white, then pink (are those real?) then colorful roses is too much for the eyes and contrasts with the patterned dishware. Either all the same flowers three times or only one bouquet in the middle.
I would paint the brick because the brick is contrasting too much with the painted white doors IMHO.
You need some type of carpet to tie this space together. The lamp is too small for the table, the scale is off and it looks odd. I like the lamp and I like the table – just not together – move the lamp. The style of the sofa and chairs go well – but not with the coffee table. If you can’t afford to replace it then go to Souk Ha PishPishim in Yaffa or Dalyat (again) and buy some fabulous embroidered cloth and cover it. The candle holders on top of the bookshelf look lonely. I would put them on the shelf above the window with a lot more tchochkes or move them entirely.
Wow – that brick really does not match the floor. It’s kind of shocking that someone would put the two together. Paint the brick the same color as the beams in the ceiling (the future paint color that is). And if that wall is artex then that should be sorted as well. A mask and a sander should be all you need for that.
If you love the brick then keep it as is. Eventually you will replace the floor and it’s a lot easier to live with the clashing than it is to sandblast the brick to get the original color back after painting.
Yeah. That’s bad.
Your style is obviously ‘shabby chic’ or ‘country cottage’ – so painting the ceiling and the trim should actually fit with what you like really nicely. And paint costs a lot less than a new floor (although painting a ceiling…)
And just to give you some proof that a painted ceiling can look good, here’s one from Completely Coastal
Readers – what do you think?
Shira Abel is the CEO and founder of Hunter & Bard, an award-winning public relations and design agency that works with scale-ups and enterprises on building their brand, awareness and thought leadership.
As CEO of Hunter & Bard, Shira oversees a team that manages public relations, marketing, design, and brand development for clients across multiple industries. She develops strategies for organically growing companies through sincere digital engagement and the application of behavioral marketing.
Clients include JELD-WEN, Benchling, Sixth Continent, Totango, Folloze, Radix DLT, Axa Tech, Allianz, and many more. Shira is also a sought after corporate speaker and marketing mentor, and has spoken at events such as Confluence and Content Marketing World, and taught at institutions such as Kellogg School of Management and S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai.
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Well, those floors are painful to look at. I agree with shira about the pine too. I also think that you may be able to paint the floors… There is a paint for tile that I mentioned in an earlier post and here is an attachment for another company that offers tile paint. I am not sure it is for marble ( it is for bathtubs & tiles) but if you did a little prep work on the floor(rough it up)the paint would probably stick.
I was also thinking it would be great to remove some of the red marble and install those patterened tile rugs like you see in many of the original old buildings in Israel (assuming that this house is in Israel. )This costs $$$ but I think it would look amazing and authentic and even may go with the pine and the brick as is. It would add an “Italian Countryside” flavor to the house, think Tuscany.
So, the expense may be less than painting all the pine and buying area rugs… if this is absolutely not an option then I would definately invest in some LARGE, cheap area rugs for the main rooms.
Thanks for posting my question and pictures!
It was comforting (in a weird way) to read your response. The contrast isn’t ‘all in my head’, as I was beginning to think.
You’re absolutely right, the ceiling needs to be painted. I’ve been flirting with the idea from day one (when we bought the house a year ago), but never had the guts to go through with it. Your post actually got my husband to agree that painting is a good idea! Suggestions seem much more professional when issued from a decorating blog than from your own wife.
The banister is another story. It’s actually not pine (not sure what, but not pine). I’m kind of scared that if I paint it, it will scuff terribly within a week.
People who come over usually like the ceiling, so I hope they won’t be too shocked if we paint. Everybody, however, is uniformly shocked by the floor. (BTW, most of the neighbourhood still has these floors. Maybe one day they will be admired as ‘vintage’, authentic Israeli?)
I believe I’ll keep the brick, since if I paint the ceiling and redo the floor at some point, the brick could be a nice accent.
BTW…the flowers…the two small bouquets were brought by our Shabbat guests. Unfortunately they didn’t call beforehand to color coordinate 😉 The large bunch in the middle is fake, a gift I got a while back. I’d never go out myself and purchase artificial flowers, but now they’re here, I kind of like them. (They came in the pitcher, which I really like).
Patti – thanks for weighing in. I don’t think I’ll be installing a ’tile carpet’, since the floor is too busy as is in my opinion. I just want it gone! As for painting the floor, I think with 5 rambunctious kids, no paint would hold up for long.
What about staining the banister another color? Or white washing it? (although with the kids…)
Ok – I wasn’t going to say this but I just can’t hold it back any longer. Dump the fake flowers. You only ‘kind of like them’ which means you don’t like them that much, and let’s face it – my 73 year old mom who has a human size Betty Boop cardboard stand up thing in her house and loves bright pink lipstick (along with bright pink polyester jump suits) also loves fake flowers. I love my mom – but that doesn’t mean I’m taking her design advice.
Keep the jug. That’s really cute. And make your husband buy you flowers every Friday.
Ok – I’m done now.
The link above is not right. here it is:
Thanks for letting me know Tammy K.
Everything else is salvageable, but the floor simply has to go. There is no other way around it.
You are too funny. I will hide the fake flowers one day when hubby isn’t looking (he thinks they’re awesome). I guarantee it will take him a week or two to notice. Alas, convincing him to buy a fresh bouquet every week is another story…
maybe I should just have guests over every Shabbat.
I love the arches and high ceilings. Your house looks homey and spacious and is filled with personal touches (that’s the point – personal, if you like it, go with it). Your table is beautifully set and the garden is a lovely backdrop.
I agree that ideally the floor should be changed.
one more thing – I like naked pine!
I’m glad she sent the question to me then 🙂
Although the floor is loud, I would warn you against going too light. We chose beautiful porcelain granite tiles for our home in a neutral tone and EVERY bit of dirt and every stain shows up on them. They look gorgeous when clean, but with a home full of kids, like mine, you have to go for practical, b/c those perfectly clean moments are few and far between (5 minutes after sponga). If I ever change my floor, I would choose something much closer in color to what you have than my seemingly gorgeous tiles. For the moment embrace the factthat they don’t show dirt and that, unlike me, you are not constantly going over them with a wet cloth!
That’s a great point. My GF has these fantastic tiles that look like stone (they probably cost a mint, they aren’t exactly lacking…) I’ll try to take some photos of her place in the next week and post it. They are the perfect tile floors for homes with kids!
I happen to really like that floor. It’s hard to tell from the monitor whether it has flecks of white or pale gray but if there’s pale gray that will go very well with the red. I would most definitely paint out the entire ceiling — particularly the dark beams. I agree with Shira. I’d also paint the banister — same color — either the white or the pale gray you choose.
If feel the natural pine is more of an issue with the floor than the floor — and easier to change. I think you house is very inviting all the same.
Thanks for the comments Jane and Judith…I try my best. I am still debating the pine ceiling.
As for the floor hiding dirt, Laura has a point. This floor is very forgiving….too much so. There really is no impetus to mop it at all…unless one walks about barefoot.
And when I sweep, I have to search for the pile of dirt I’ve collected.
It’s actually not that expensive to change to a ceramic floor (granite porcelain) if that’s what you would want. They can just glue it to the old floor.
I have no problem with the pine although I love the painted white in the picture. I love your personal touches especially the dining room and the mint green wall. I think it would look better with a lighter floor.
Actually I can probably date the house to the 1980’s. My parents house had the same features except for they have dark brown ceramic floor tiles my mom has been wanting to get rid of since they bought the house in 1990 (but my dad thinks it’s got great character). The bricks are now gone as is the stucco on the walls.
Your home has charming features and would be better served if you hesitated on replacing the terrazzo flooring. I truly think it looks great (especially the color). Red is a wonderful classic color to work off of. You might miss it when its gone. It could of easily been another color like avocado green, burnt orange, or mustard yellow which were very popular for a time. Anything you replace it with will pale in comparison (no pun intended) to the quality workmanship it took to make it. Popular choices in flooring now are only so because they are the best of the mass produced products available. You can lighten up a room while adding extra interest and texture with a light colored area rug and save the expense of new flooring.
As far as the ceiling, paint it out.
You have a lovely home. I think you should incorporate a lovely mustard yellow on the walls to work with the floor color. I am not sure of the age of the home, but make sure you do not have asbestos in that tile before you decide to remove it.
I think if you splash the walls with color, it will transform your place.
As far as the flowers, yes—never have anything fake in the house. Period. Sure you can incorporate twigs or natural things in a centerpiece, but silks are out and take the class away from your magestic home.
Best of luck to you!