Fresh Start Carpet

Well, we managed to get the carpet installed in a day, but the installers didn’t leave until about 8:30 PM (they arrived about 10:30) so it’s been a long night of trying to put the house back together. I started out taking photos and even made a little collage to post to Facebook as the festivities were just beginning, with the intention of adding progress photos throughout the day, but that didn’t happen.


That up there is, of course, is our old Berber carpet, which has been thoroughly trashed over the last 12 years. In really thinking about it, it’s surprising it got as ragged as it did; we don’t have kids, never entertain, and while we do have pets, it’s not like they’re elephants or anything. And yet, that Berber has completely come apart in the past five years. I’ve read reviews of Berber that are less than stellar and complain about the sort of snagging and unraveling  we experienced – especially coming from people with indoor pets – but the extent of the damage we experienced still seems extreme. I actually took a picture of some of the worst bits, but then decided there was no way in hell I wanted to share that mess with blog readers, so you’ll have to look at the photos above for your only reference.

Photo Jul 01, 1 45 02 PM (1)

While I do not want to go all  First World Problems here whining about sitting around in a warm house all day watching other people install carpet in my home, I have to mention that I am still out of sorts about the whole experience. There is something about strangers coming into your home and ripping it apart that’s unsettling; it’s not just the presence of the strange people but also the weird secrets that tearing apart reveals about the home’s owners. Or at least it felt that way to me. And it’s not just how small and simple and shabby the floors looked once the carpet and the pad were removed, although that was disconcerting enough; it was the little patches of rotted wood in the bottom stairs, and the strip of fallen wainscoting we’d haphazardly stuck up on the bookcase that fell down when the men were stretching the carpet in the den, exposing our laziness. Every piecemeal, patchwork, slapdash, and half-ass “repair” we’d made to our home over the years was on full display, and while I’m sure this is not a unique experience, and I wasn’t exactly embarrassed by it, I still felt as if dirty little flaws were being revealed – to me as much as to anyone. Not to mention the surprises that occurred throughout the day – the yellow jacket’s nest the installers discovered in an upstairs wall (spent the rest of the day killing them, and obviously have to take care of that ASAP) and the air conditioning unit on the bedroom side of the house that decided to stop working mid-day (we were all boiling by the time they got done). So, we get to take care of that now, too. Secrets and surprises, all tied to a sense of disarray and, I guess, this homeowner’s guilt that I’ve fallen down on my duty.

But for now, this step at least is done, and I’ve tried to put the house back together and regain that sense of security I had before, when I was convinced it was all rock-solid and indestructible – but I haven’t settled back into that yet. I’m still seeing it with all its ugly guts exposed, and it’s odd. I don’t know if that makes sense to any of you – but Simon gets it. He’s kind of skittering around the house hesitantly, sniffing everything as if it’s all new now, and not just the carpet. As if we tried our best to set the house right when it was all over, but we didn’t quite get it done, and things are still off-kilter. As am I, obviously, given the weird tone of this post. I mean, it’s just carpet. And by the way – holy crap, is this stuff soft. The Berber we had before was hard and unyieliding, and we went from that to this carpet called SmartStrand that is marketed as the softest available, with more strands per fiber, organic materials, lifelong stain resistance, blah blah blah. But it’s seriously so soft it’s almost puffy. It’s actually lush. I am a hard-core shoe-wearer who never takes hers off, but I can’t bring myself to wear flip-flops or even my Uggs when walking on this new material. I bet when I jump on it for pictures it’ll be like landing on a huge marshmallow.

I think I need to go to bed now. This post makes very little sense. And also has very few pictures, because I’m still feeling weird about this whole home invasion, and I kind of want to spin a safe and new cocoon that doesn’t include outsiders. Sorry. Those of you that know me will understand. 🙂

23 thoughts on “Fresh Start Carpet

  1. I get it. It’s like your “home” was broken into, but what was stolen was something you actually wanted to get rid of. Oh yeah, SmartStrand will least a life time, provided you don’t walk on it.
    Your place looks very nice, by the way.

  2. Damn,I wrote a comment about carpet, “home”violation, how nice your place looks and manymany more very funny, interesting, things and pressed “post” and it disappeared. Well use your imagination. 🙂

  3. Nothing like new carpet. Makes one want to lie down on it and make carpet angels. 🙂 On the other hand, nothing worse than having to tear up old carpet and those vicious tack strips. I hope you didn’t have to do THAT!

  4. First of all, I cannot believe you tried to put that house back together last night! Goodness, it takes time after something so pervasive as putting in carpet, to reorganize a house.

    Do not feel the slightest bit badly about any non-fixes or home remedies while living in your house. Are you kidding? Your profession isn’t staging for home decorators, who the heck has time to do even our work, let alone anything else.

    Given the fact that the new couple across the street, in my old friend Bert’s perfect, gorgeous home, have spent the last month completely overhauling it — [yesterday I am not kidding you — there were 6 trucks outside — what can they be doing in there — It was perfect when they sold it] I shudder to think what someone would think of my house.

    Anyway, I wish you could convince my husband to get us cushiony, soft, plush carpet! We wear only slippers in the house, or clean socks and I would relish having something soft underfoot, and to see the last of the wall-to-wall that is under the orientals right now and very hard as well as old.

    Congratulations! Oh and I actually love the look of those stripped wood stairs — so vintage.

    • This carpet is called SmartStrand if you want to check it out, although it sounds like Geoff is set against it. The only complaint people have about it is that it’s so fluffy they had to buy a different vacuum cleaner to work on it, but that happens a lot with new carpet anyway I think. We definitely researched what was best to get with our pets, and mainly I think we were buying this in reaction to the Berber – what we got what has every feature the opposite of that stuff, so it’s still a shock to see it in the house even though it feels amazing. We also got a mottled color this time instead of the solid wheat-gold of the old stuff because we read that is better to conceal spills and stains, and with pets and a clumsy woman in the house that is something else we lamented with the Berber, but again, it’s so weird to look at right now. Honestly the look of the Berber, for the few years it looked good, was perfection, but it never felt good to walk on and was a huge disaster in general. maybe someday I’ll feel brave enough to post the pics I took of what a mess it was. And we still need to paint the house desperately, but now with the broken AC and the yellow jackets that is taking a slight back seat. Perhaps when the painting is done I’ll share. Overall I think Simon and I reacted the same to all the chaos yesterday – we just got flipped out by the stress of it and needed to settle back in. I feel much better this morning than I did last night. I was just really out of sorts!

    • Now that I think of it, I can ‘t imagine how flipped out I’d be if we’d gone with wood or laminate floors – I think I’d be traumatized by the difference in appearance and feel!

      • Yeah, I think the reason Geoff wants hardwood, is the industry he is in: sustainable eco-friendly urban restoration — all hard surfaces for practical purposes and longevity. He likes things like cork and recycled plastic bottles and genuine rubber, lol! Or polished concrete. I have over two dozen huge oriental rugs and they bunch up on the wall to wall, so it is driving me crazy. We priced what it would take to put the bamboo or polished olive and ash Geoffrey says is sustainable, throughout the house and it almost made him faint. So we are stuck for the moment. We do have a good vacuum cleaner — in fact it is too good, I fear it will suck Psyche right off her tree one day. I think a variegated color is a great idea. Can’t wait to see it.

    • And you know what else, now that I look back, I think I started wearing shoes around the house after we got the Berber because it was so scratchy and hard…geez I am thinking way too much about this carpet today!

    • I lived in this amazing apartment complex back in my 20’s that was patterned after an Italian villa…it was this little gem in the city, in a not very nice neighborhood, but man was it beautiful. It’s still there too. Anyway. There was this older gentleman who lived there and he had loads of beautiful antiques stuffed everywhere, and all these Persian rugs and things, runners and full carpets. You comments made me remember him because they too were placed over carpeting that made them buckle and whatnot. But it was such a part of the charm of his apartment!

      • That sounds so lovely. There was a guy in our co-op in NY like that, he was Jean Crane’s (? – I get all those Jeans mixed up) son and he was loaded (gay, too). I once took a tour of his magnificent apartment and was just blown away by the antiques and paintings. I did try to simulate that in my humble way, buying things in the want ads of the NYTimes and on the street. I am not sure our bunched up carpets look charming and we sometimes trip over them infuriatingly. They also attract carpet beetles but I am hanging on to them for dear life. If I didn’t have those, we would be walking on sea-glass, leaving it up to my environmentalist here, LOL.

  5. Glad everything worked out well.
    Actually this is a test to see if I can actually comment on your site. I tried 3 times last evening at around 11pm. my time, When I pressed Post comment, they disappeared. I was on my Samsung tablet, so that may have been the problem?

  6. Hi Marey, I do think it quite interesting your experience with carpet! My house was half-hardwood and half-carpet. I couldn’t wait to get all the carpet removed (there is still some) and hardwood installed. I had the work done shortly after I bought the house so no trauma or drama at all. It was wonderful to look in the rooms when it was finished. I have quite a few rugs but nothing fancy or expensive like Persians. I use tape or get rubber backed to keep them from sliding otherwise the cat and dog would use them like sleds! Biggest thing I like about hardwood floors is that they are so easy to clean, especially for someone as klumzy as I am or when the cat leaves breakfast on the floor.

    • Yeah, we just weren’t willing to go through the added time and expense to install wood floors since we don’t plan to be in this house too much longer. I’d love to see your pets using the rugs like sleds!

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