25 December 2008

The bedroom

The 'master suite' is cavernous with a cathedral ceiling, When we looked at it, we were unable to calculate how to use such a large space as a bedroom. Moreover, it has windows on three walls, all with fine views, and as April observed, it would be a shame to use that gorgeous room when our eyes are closed. So we picked one of the small bedrooms to use.

It is a well proportioned room with two well placed windows looking out at right angles onto the forest beyond (conducive to sleep!). It also has a door directly into the bathroom, something Russ will often utilize at night... but the room was, well, boring. What to do? Well, that 1991 carpet sure might do better in a new location.

We contacted our old friend, Wayne Dunlap, of Dunlap Woodcrafts, right here in Virginia. Wayne founded his business to provide fabulous woods for blackpowder gunmakers. Eventually, he diversified to musical instrument makers in America and Europe and flooring; we were amongst his very first flooring customers in 1998 when we added a second floor to the Santa Fe casa. Wayne sent us beautiful figured maple for that upstairs addition. We knew he knew his business and he would deliver as he promised.

Last Friday night, Wayne rolled into the driveway with a rental truck and our 'character' prefinished solid walnut floor. It took us about 40 minutes to unload it then we ventured into beautiful downtown Floyd to listen to Celtic and medieval Spanish music and songs at Oddfellas restaurant. Oh, and we consumed a delightful repast whilst enjoying the voices and notes.

Saturday morning saw Wayne headed homeward and Eric Johnson arriving. Eric was our realtor in purchasing the farm and he is also a contractor. He demolished the 'closet' in the little bedroom, then we removed the baseboard molding, tore out the carpet and its underlying pad. I spent several hours the next day removing the track strips and hundreds of staples (which held the pad in place).

Eric returned on Tuesday to lay the floor; Wayne would have preferred that we let the wood acclimate for another two or three days but with the holidays, that was not possible. I carefully selected the boards and ferried them to Eric's waiting saw to be trimmed to precise length. Wait, you say! Selected? Couldn't the boards just be pulled off in sequence? Of course but then, some of the most beautiful figure night end up under the dresser, too many light or dark boards might end up grouped together, and there is a fair amount of decision making regarding the board widths (there were 4, 5 and 6 inch widths in random lengths).

By being thoughtful in selection, the figure would be easily visible in the room, the widths randomly distributed, light and dark boards randomly placed. Selection is also a key to minimizing wasted 'trim offs.' The proof is in the pudding, as they are wont to say: the waste was less then three board feet (see picture).

Alas, we were unable to finish the job; the baseboard molding is only partially installed. Until it is finished, I cannot place anything in that room. More in another post on why that is a problem.

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