Instead of getting up very early on Saturday to drive to Kitchener, Ontario for the autumn knitting fair I love so well, I got up very early to drive somewhere else.
Well, to be a knitting passenger, but you know what I mean.
Knitting passenger and navigator, which is easier now that I have a smartphone because with the paper maps I used to use exclusively, I couldn't guarantee knowing where we were in relation to where we were meant to be. The smartphone makes it easy to see how far off the route you managed to get while looking more at your needles than at the view. (hint: blue dot = us, blue line = route.)
Thankfully we allowed extra time for what was always going to be a long drive - long enough to get in some serious gift sock mileage.
And where were we going, you might wonder, with a bigger magnetic pull than the knitting fair? Well... here.
That's a whole lotta hardwood curing in stacks in a lumberyard. Most of it is destined to be luxury furniture, but we were looking for flooring. Black Bear Flooring is worth the drive, because the trees are sourced specifically for their purpose and finished at the company's own site. You get to pick whatever type of wood you want, in whatever finish you want, and whatever width you want - and the finish is stronger than what you can get anywhere else. And since we plan to stay in the house for a very long time and hate doing maintenance, choosing to pay a little more is a no-brainer. The hardest part was the choosing.
Maple or Oak?
Oak or Maple?
Thank goodness we narrowed it quickly to those two options because I am getting tired out from all the choices involved in starting your house practically from scratch.
Our hardwood is going to run through the whole main and second floors, apart from the front hall and the bathrooms. We're putting it into the kitchen too because I am just about done looking at tile and so is Pete. If we wreck it, we can always put tile in later, but if we put tile in now, we'll never know if I could be trusted not to wreck it*. And maybe I won't wreck it!** One can always hope.***
* one time, I ran water for dishes and wandered off to get something else done while the sink filled, and I flooded the kitchen and shorted out some lights in the basement.
** a little while after that, I did the same darned thing again.
*** Pete mostly does the dishes now.
All our bathrooms are going to be sensible, with large floor tiles set close together in neutral shades that won't limit any decorating ideas I get over the next 20+ years. But I feel a bit down about paying for something that practical for the front hall. For the first room you step into when you walk inside our house, I really want to do something amazing like the floor in my favourite coffee place:
This pattern is WAY too bold for our house. I know because Pete says so while wincing and shielding his eyes, but I love everything else about the design and colour. I use dark red all the time and hugely enjoy that shade of green. What I'm looking for instead is something that includes black (all our doorknobs and light fixture bits will be black) and the colour of our hardwood, to make the transition from entry to dining room a comfortable experience. And more importantly to get Pete to agree, which he promised he will if I can find something mild enough.
Wish me luck, because we don't live in the U.S., land of decorative plenty.
Meanwhile: in case you're wondering what we picked:
Clear Maple, 3.25" width. In an even narrower width, that's what was in the bedrooms of the original house, and it darkens to such a gorgeous honey colour in just a few months.
And I got some serious sock headway out of it all. I mean, if you can't get to the knitting fair, that's pretty good compensation don't you think?
Hope you had a good weekend and I'll see you tomorrow!