Thursday, November 8, 2012

Did June Cleaver have Tuscan floors?

China may be taking over the world, but Tuscany still has a firm grip in the current home decor department. Personally, I’m Tuscaned out. I love Italy and have been there several times. But I bet even Tuscans would make some pointed Italian gestures at the current flooring choices facing a homeowner here in California.

The house we got was built in 1949, in the Sacramento Valley, far from Tuscany. It was built in a time of post war practicality - I heard the term Mid-Century Modest for the style of this house, and the description certainly fits. What kind of kitchen floor did it have back in the day? Perhaps funky and colorful real linoleum? Most likely not giant sized tile or stone or laminate or tile-like or stone-like flooring.

My oh my, the search for flooring for this little place has been so very far from fun. What I first fell in love with was Marmoleum. That is honest to goodness linoleum, made with real products, good for the health and good for the environment and warm on the tootsies in winter. I had my little heart set on 12x12 yellow and white checkerboard squares. I got my sweet Marmoleum samples, set them in our kitchen just to see, even dropped crumbs and Molly hair on them to see how they would hold up. I started calling the dog Mollyoleum.

But I was scared off for several reasons. This real deal linoleum needs a real deal installer who can seal the seams with heat and rollers. Sounded like we’d be laying a road, not flooring. Enzymes such as food stains and pet urine will stain it. While we don’t have food fights and our dog has a bladder of steel, stuff happens. It also will have uneven fade marks under throw rugs and furniture. So long Marmoleum, it would have been fun.

I think in five years, after all this giant sized tile and heavy earthy look is over, I’d find my funky 50’s flooring in no time. But now? Just walking into a flooring place and letting them know you don’t want stone or hardwood or tile gets some looks of concern. I have found myself on my knees, in the corner, back where the dorky people shop for flooring, looking for anything that doesn’t scream Italian castle. It reminded me of shopping for a tea length wedding dress in an industry pushing big ol' dresses. My life would be so much easier if I could just conform.

That is why in the end I let Ernst pick the floor. Yes, my color challenged husband has picked the floor for our kitchen. The man who doesn’t know that reds come in bluish and orangish and who thinks all greens are green. Silly man. But I just couldn’t look at one more website or store. Enough was enough, it’s just the stuff you stand on while you make food, right? So what did we pick? Fake Italian mosaic VCT tiles!!! Call it Venetian, call it Roman, you can even call it Sicilian. Just don’t call it Tuscan.

Here is just a little hint of the color of this non-Tuscan floor from Karndean. As my brother said, whatever you install, it’ll look really dumb in 15 years anyway. Go bold or go home, that is the theme here. 

Ready for The Beaver to come home from school!

Funky Fifties Fabulous - or Forever Feeling Foolish - we will see
An update on the new blue floors that I love, they always look clean, always!
Ditchin' the old kitchen