My Personal HELL (I Mean Remodel!)


(c) Quavondo

Okay—just so everyone knows, I practice what I preach and I put my money where my mouth is.
I was feeling bored as I looked around my house and had decided my super “designery” black floors—the ones that were of the “now” five years ago when I purchased and remodeled my house—where feeling ‘blah’! I wanted to warm up my house and give it a new, softer look. Out went the black, in came the soft gray whitewash and a sense of serenity… but the voyage to the serene floors was filled with angst, hair pulling, and straining my vocal cords!
My house is about 4,200 square feet, and that’s a lot of flooring! Here started my dilemma… how can I purchase floors that look like a million that cost me only a minor stroke? I went on the hunt like a savvy designer tigress prowling for the right ‘killer deal.’ Oh, and here’s another important detail I failed to mention… I had 30 days to redesign my kitchen with all new custom cabinets, counters, and appliances, put in all new floors throughout the entire house, and even paint. I had decided to go rent a house for the month by the beach and this was the only window of time I had to complete this work. I have learned this from experience that unless one is actively planning to achieve a total mental breakdown: do NOT do construction while living in your house when you have children!
So off to the races we went; I had one week to pick my floors and have them delivered to my house. This included the four days you need to let wood sit in your home to acclimate to the home’s climate! I have to say, there are some very impressive laminates on the market today that one can scoop at $3 a square foot. I was on the fence as to whether or not to do laminate, but in the end, I went with engineered wood. Engineered wood is more expensive but has a longer life and more of an authentic feel. I could not do unfinished floors that required sanding and staining because of my time restraints.


Alright, one hurdle down: I had chosen what kind of flooring I wanted. I knew I wanted a soft gray with wide planks—a very popular color these days. I went all over my city, downtown, to the valley, to West Hollywood, and even went to places that, if it weren’t for my handy GPS in my car, I would still be driving around aimlessly trying to return to civilization.
Designing requires a lot of tedious exploration. You have to go find the right floors, they have to be at an acceptable cost, and since paint and floors always look different in your home than in the show room, you need to take the samples to your home so you can see how they work with your paint colors, lighting, etc. You have to bring samples home and live with them for a day to really get a feel of them.  This is a tedious process! I did it myself and on store number six I found my floors! They were a beautiful soft gray with hints of old world charm. I walked up to the counter confidently, shaking my tail feather with excitement that I had found my holy grail of flooring. I place the order and… NOPE! It was back-ordered for the next two months.
“Grey is so popular these days, we can’t keep it in stock!”  said the salesman.
Just as I was about to high-five myself and pat myself on my back, the salesman pulled the carpet right out from underneath me! I was not happy.
This is where I had to practice my breathing techniques from yoga (yes, I am that much of an LA cliché).  This continued, and all of a sudden, I was like Goldilocks… one floor was too expensive, one floor was too cheap-looking, one floor was back-ordered, and then when I thought it was hopeless… I found the one that was just right!
bedroom after without dog


Here’s where all the pressure was coming from: it was Friday at this point and the workers were coming on Monday to install my floors… my floors that I hadn’t even ordered yet.  But they were perfect: these floors were $5 a square foot and looked like $20 a square foot and they would be delivered Monday. I placed my order, exhausted by the whole ordeal, ready to clap on the counter from all the pressure. I handed over my credit card and left feeling very proud of myself. I returned home to eat some food—something I had neglected doing all day. I was relaxing in my home when my phone rang at 5 p.m.
“Hi, Morgan, I have some bad news. We made a mistake on the floors. They will not be ready Monday. They are back-ordered for three weeks,” said the salesman. “Hello? …Morgan?”
The words that were in my head were not fit for the public! BACK to square one! I drove back to a store I had been in previously, where I had found some beauties that were slightly over my budget (these were desperate times!). I begged and pleaded for a deal and then reluctantly handed over my credit card. You know how when you hand it to the cashier there is that pause before you actually let go of the card, a minute tug of war? That happened.
In the end, everything worked out the way it is supposed to. I was very pleased with the end result and even though I had to fork over more cash than I was comfortable with, when I look at the before and after photos, I’m confident in my choice and have a sense of pride.
The kitchen was a whole other can of worms—but that you’ll have to wait on that story!  BY MORGAN BROWN

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