My Terrible, Miserable, Rotten No-Good Week (With a Happy Outcome)

Monday, February 27, 2012

I don't  think I complaint a lot.  Ok, those of you who know me can stop laughing.  But really, I don't think I complain more than the average person at least.  And I certainly know that I don't have much to complain about. Having watched my sister get a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis for her three year old, and seeing of much, much worse happening to friends and others, I honestly know that I have no right to genuinely complain.  So, I write this sort of tongue in cheek, knowing that my terrible week last week pales in comparison to those of so, so many, and hope you take my complaints with a grain of salt.

So I've been wanting to get my orange floors redone for ages. Like 7 years. But it is a LOT of money to do it right (I learned this the hard way -- more on that later), and it was hard to justify doing it when our floors were in pretty good shape. But finally this year we decided to do it (or, more accurately, my husband didn't freak out when I said I wanted to do it, so I went ahead and booked it). We had to be out of the house for several days, so I scheduled it for February school vacation week so we could go visit my sister while it was being done.

I initially hired a guy who is very prominent on the South Shore of MA, whose name comes up first in every search engine, and who was personally recommended by a friend.  I told him what I wanted, showed him pictures, and couldn't have been more clear.  He told me he could accomplish it with stain and two coats of poly. WRONG.  I'm not out to badmouth the guy, he has kids to feed after all, but he was horrible. He basically walked off the job. But like I said, I am not interested in hurting him, so I won't reveal his name here. But, if you are near me and want to hire someone, I DO recommend the guy who saved me...more on him later, and I will tell you his name!

This is what I had (orange!) :


 And a close up:


This is what I wanted (uniform, deep dark color):



And this is what I very clearly stated I did NOT want:

Photos

It's not that I hate the floors above, but they just weren't what I wanted. I feel that if you are going to pay thousands of dollars for something that is going to be there, in my case at least, forever, you should get what you want.  And I didn't want a lot of grain showing. I wanted a more uniform, deep, dark color, like the photo two above.

So, when it came time to look at and approve the stain color with the first contractor, I was devastated. I don't have a photo of what it looked like - I was too upset.  When I expressed that, the guy walked off the job.

To make a long story short, I ended up hiring someone who was able to fit me in only because he had a job where the closing on a new house fell through, opening up his schedule for a few days. I think it was fate. 

My new contractor's name is Jay at JJ Hardwood Floors.  He is in the Boston area, and it turns out that he is one of the few in my area that can actually DYE the floors to get them the way I wanted them.  It involves a coat of dye, a coat of stain, and three coats of poly.  Jay was unbelievable (nice, professional, truly looking to help me and not take advantage of my situation, where I was out of the house, had no furniture, and had only a few days to finish the project without causing a major headache.  (Jay is not a sponsor, and he gave me nothing to write this post -- I am recommending him and making a big deal about his company because I am truly thrilled with the work and the way I was treated by Jay and his guys).

So, before I show you the outcome, let me tell you what else happened (besides having to switch contractors mid-way through a job) to make my week so rotten, no-good, and terrible.  After I hired Jay and had approved the color, I took my kids and left for NJ to visit my sister.   My husband had to stay home because he as busy at work, so I arranged for him to sleep at a friend's house for three nights.  On my way to NJ, which is about a 5 hour drive, I stopped half way to get gas, and discovered I had left my wallet at home.  No license, no cash, no credit cards.  So, my poor husband had to leave work to drive 2.5 hours to CT to rescue me.  He was a saint - I honestly can't say I would have been as good natured about it.  Anyway, we ended up being delayed a few hours and hit NY rush hour traffic, so our little 5 hour trip took 11 hours.

When we got there, I called my husband to see if he got back safely, and he had.  BUT, he was feeling sick, and decided he didn't want to bring a virus into our friends' house, so he rented a hotel outside of Boston for the night.  On the way into the hotel lot, he ran over something in the road and popped his front two tires. Bam!  $600 down the drain (hotel, tires, and labor).

And THEN, out of the complete blue, I got an email from a new reader telling me how much she hates my blog header. Um, ok. Thanks so much for the completely unsolicited criticism.  Totally made my day.  Here is a good reason to say nothing at all when all you have to say is negative -- you have no idea what kind of day or week the recipient is having, and your comment might, just might, put them completely over the edge! I am proud to say that I responded kindly, but obviously it has stuck with me - the sheer rudeness is sort of appalling, even if she meant well. (Just saw that she stopped following me on GFC today... oh well. I probably shouldn't have said anything, but it really was the last straw and it's still bugging me).

Anyway, we did have a nice time with my sister, and started on our way home Friday.   Halfway through the trip, my sister called to say I had left one suitcase, my daughter's, in her living room. Perfect. Just perfect.  Usually, it wouldn't be a big deal, but it contained "Monk Monk", her oh-so-special and much needed stuffed monkey that Santa brought her, but doesn't remember where he bought.  So my poor sister had to mail it overnight mail (needless to say, it didn't arrive overnight as promised, but instead, came Monday).

The kids and I hadn't seen my husband for days (expect for the brief exchange of cash and hugs on Rt 95 in CT on Wednesday), so we were anxious to meet him at my parents on the Cape for our last night before we could go home.  Of course, he was on a plane ride home from a short business trip that day, and was delayed 5 hours, so we didn't see him until he got in in the middle of the night, after missing the nice dinner and evening my parents did for us.

Finally Saturday arrived, and we could go HOME! To our new floors!!  We drove the 45 minutes home, eager to see the floors but kind of dreading having to move all of the furniture back in.  When we got there, though, just to top off an absolutely vile week, we were locked out. I had given the contractors my only key, and told them to lock the door. Dumb.  So, then we had to wait an hour and a half (and spend another $100) to get into the house.

But once we got in, this is what we saw:

















 I totally have my work cut out for me.....painting, painting, and more painting.....




So the week ended up great!!  It will be two weeks before we can put rugs down. I most certainly will update you when that is done and everything else is back in its place!

One last shot:

Before:

After:


UPDATE
For those who have asked, the stain is Jacobean by Minwax. But the other coat, the alkaline dye, is kind of a custom mix. The contractor has to mix the color on site, so you kind of get what you get -- of course you can lighten or darken at the time, but once it's done, I don't think there is really a way to tell you what the formula was. At least I don't know it. BUT, I believe they mixed it to match the stain.  Also, one other note for those of you that have commented that you want to do your floors like this.  I showed you photos of the parts I love. But in the direct sunlight, the floors are A LOT lighter and A LOT more grain shoes. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE them, but I want you to know if you are relying on this post that there ARE other views that I didn't show you.  Email me if you need more photos or info!



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Laurie said...

Wow what a story and what a fabulous outcome! They look fantastic - totally worth it all. Hope your week is a good one after all that!!

Jenny @ Simcoe Street said...

Sounds like one heck of a process to get there, but all worth it because your floors look amazing!!! Love them! And glad monk monk made it home :)

Jenny
www.simcoestreet.blogspot.com

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Oh Stacy, they're just gorgeous. love the color and sheen. sorry things were so difficult, but oh so worth it!

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

OMG sounds hellacious! But now that it is over, you have your floors!!! Quite an entertaining story, it just kept getting worse and worse. Poor you. But nice floors!

miss b said...

The floors look absolutely gorgeous - love the colour! Very stylish but what an awful time you had - so many things going wrong in a few days. Glad there was a happy ending! Thanks for the lovely comment about Istanbul! (Unfortunately when I tried to publish it, there was a message saying it no longer existed - strange!)
http://missbbobochic.blogspot.com/

Tatiana Doria said...

Wow you´ve had a tough week but now look at the outcome!!! Gorgeous!!

www.tatianadoria.blogspot.com

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Well they look amazing, Stacy!! Just beautiful. Sometimes we have to go through things to know how much to appreciate things! Perfection.
Have a happy Monday!
Teresa
xoxo

At The Picket Fence said...

UGH!! You did have quite a time of it Stacey! But I have to say that those floors look absolutely gorgeous and even though it was a battle to get them that way it was worth it in the end. We have been putting off doing ours (kitchen and breakfast nook) but hope to have them redone this summer. I'm sure I'll be contacting you for advice and sympathy! LOL!
Vanessa

Jenny said...

G-G-Gorgeous!! So sorry you had so much drama to contend with on top of an already inconvenient and stressful situation! I *love* the floors though - they look absolutely stunning, and I have a feeling you will be happy with them - forever. ;-) I have to admit, part of me feels slightly redeemed to hear other people going through equally trying times when you think you have a straight forward plan laid out before you. NEVER seems to work that way, does it?

I love, love, love the floors though! Never heard of dyeing them - that's good to know. I'm going to begin the search for hardwood flooring in the not too distant future, starting my research now. ;-)

Sheer Serendipity said...

So sorry you had such terrible week, I think we all have had those days where nothing goes right. But got to bounce back turn that energy around. As for your floors, they look incredible… Your second contractor did an amazing job! I never heard putting dye on wood floors, sounds interesting.

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Wow, some story, but glad it had a great outcome! I've had days when nothing goes right, no matter what. Your floors looks fabulous and I too adore dark wood floors. They did an amazing job!
FABBY

pam {simple details} said...

Suddenly I'm not liking my hardwood floors so much! They're gorgeous!

suzyq said...

I would take 2 weeks of hell for that outcome - they are beautiful -
xxx

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

The floors turned out just beautiful, so it was worth all of the grief - you'll surely enjoy them for a long time to come!
www.chattafabulous.blogspot.com

Jean @ Flower Hill said...

The floors are stunning! In a few weeks you'll be laughing at all of this! :)

MaryBeth said...

All's well that ends well... maybe. Sometimes do you feel like nothing will ever go right again? I know there are worst things in the world but sometime I just can't believe one more thing will go wrong and boom it does. Hope all the bad stuff is over and it is just smooth sailing from now on for you and your family.
I am not sticking up for your first contractor but maybe he was just not capable of doing the TYPE of job you needed done, like a brain surgeon working on a spine, but if they would just admit it up front and save everybody time and money we would all be in a happier place. I wonder how many people he did take money from and not do what they wanted?

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Stacy, I am so sorry you had a week from you know where! It sounds like it could be a screen play! Thank God the floors look amazing!

Michelle said...

I feel your pain its so frustrating when you know what you want and the tradies can't deliver it even when you pay them good money and give them the information they need. Glad you stuck it out and found someone that could!

Joan said...

I love both the color and the sheen! Is the finish a satin?

Terry said...

Wow what a week you had. Are you forgetful or just too stressed? Anyway, your floors look fabulous and go soooo much better with your look. I am anxious to see what you are going to do with our railing and posts, because I have the same problem. I will stay posted to see.

vignette design said...

Your floors turned out beautiful! I'm gearing up to do the same thing in the summer. Not looking forward to the painting of the baseboards though afterwards. You do you your work cut out for you!

helen tilston said...

Dear Stacy - you deserve a medal for retaining your cool through all of those mishaps in one short week.
I am sure when you look at your floor in years to come you will laugh. I so understand what you mean about orange wood floors. We had similar in our condo and now have very dark brown which I love.

Happy to hear all is well and your are all in good health

Helen xx

Barbara@HausDesign said...

Stacy, your house just went up a few notches on the sophistication scale - they look amazing! I'm so glad it worked out...the saying "when it rains, it pours" comes to mind...doesn't sound like fun at all! Here's to a better week for you. :) BTW I love the new blog header. :)

PURA VIDA said...

Stacy I doubt anything bad will happen to you again since it all occurred in one week. That's crazininess! But....those floors are incredible. They looked good before but the dark is just amazing. Can't wait to see the rugs, but would look great without them too.

Paint It Forward said...

I'm going away in march and about too do the same thing. Thanks for the info. is the color like a Brazilian cherry (a little reddish) i'm not sure if its my cell, i'm looking for chocolate, thoughts???

Lisa said...

Wow what a dramatic difference. Looks great. Thankfully your crappy week had a wonderful outcome! Hope this week is calm and happy for you!

Amanda said...

oh girl! what a week!!! I am so sorry! and so glad you found the right contractor b/c those floors are crazy awesome!!! and so sorry about the snotty comment about your header- really people??? there are just some people out there that do not have any manners! Hope the rest of your week is amazing-you deserve it!

Wendi @ Classic Chic Home said...

Stacy, your floors look gorgeous! I'm so happy for you that you were able to have them refinished. I know how much you hated the old colour. Your house is truly my dream home in so many ways. It's a good thing I adore you, or I'd be crazy jealous!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the rather adventurous time you had getting your floors done but it was all worth it. I love your dark floors. Wow, what a huge difference! Gorgeous.

~ Monique

Tara said...

Wow! when it rain it pours! but you are obviously a fabulous lady and over come! it looks like the dark wood floors in the picture are most likely not oak like your are. Any good wood flooring finisher should have been able to tell you that different woods take stain differently Oak being very heavy in grain would not have a uniform consistent color when stained. Sometimes they can use an alkaline type dye and also moisten the wood to pop the grain and make it a more uniform color for oak floors, just an FYI to any other readers thinking of getting oak floors stained super dark! (-: I think the slightly lighter color that you ended up with is more timeless and classic than the super dark it is kind of a trend right now.

Tara said...

Your house is beautiful!

Stacy Curran said...

Thank you Tara for your sweet comments! The alkaline dye and water treatment to open the pores(?) is exactly what they did!
Stacy

pastsoon said...

Well ~ Ditto on all the compliments because they ARE stunning! Do you know what color/brand of stain was used or if it had to be custom mixed? The color is perfection ~ timeless! As for your logo (which no one seems to have mentioned)....To know you only through your blogs, your logo might not come through as.....elegant and exciting as you and your design style does but it isn't olive green appliance, faux brown brick linoleum and gold shag carpet ugly or anything so don't let it dampen your spirits, hell-week or any day of the week. If having a "less than perfectly suited to your polished design style" logo is the worst thing that ever happens in your life, good for you. And to be totally honest, if someone wants to offer advice to anyone on their blog logos (or whatever) ~ it should be done in a positive, kind spirit or not at all. You're funny, talented and offer an interesting read ~ please don't let any thoughtless criticism get to you! Happy Floors and Happy Tuesday! (I just know you're getting ready to stain those stair rails to match arent you! ;-})

Stacy Curran said...

OH Pastsoon, whenIi get LOVELY comments like these and can't reply to you directly I feel horrible!! I so wish your profile was linked to your email! Anyway, I hope you come back and read this, because I SO appreciate your thoughts. A - you are totally corrrect about the handrails -- they are on the short list! B- the color was Jacobean stain by Minwax and the dye that goes with that (not by Minwax...it's kind of a specialty item, but I can try to find out if you need the info), and C-thank you SO much for the kind words and compliments!!! You made my day :)
Stacy

Cynthia said...

I sounds like it took a lot to get to where things are now. The floors look beautiful. I love them.

mhr310 said...

FYI......your floors look great.
We did ours two years ago and our flooring contractor used black paint as the stain. The results were wonderful. They were sealed with several coats of polyurethane. We were thrilled with the results.....the black paint, when used as a stain on oak, turns a deep brown.

Jennifer @ Belclaire House said...

Yeah for no more orange floors!!! I can't wait to get mine redone! I'm so nervous though. I want what I want and I will be so stressed out if I don't get it. So glad it all worked out in the end!! They really look beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

Good things are worth the trouble, as evident in your lovely floors! Re: your blog design. You can't please everyone and can't worry about trying to. Your header has a current, youthful feel. I'm guessing the critic is simply uninformed regarding current trends in graphic design.

Laura Bradley said...

I know what you mean about orange floors. I dislike them as well. I also know what you mean about the wood grain still showing and I agree. I asked my husband, who is a home builder, and he said some woods used for your floors just have more obvious grain than others-inherent to the nature of that type of wood and would be very hard to cover with stain alone. This was of interest to me as we are looking for a new home and often the realtor will say "and look at the lovely hardwood floors!" All I see is a mess to get it so isnt orange! I think they do look 90% better...probably one of those things that no one but you will notice! Everyone else will be looking at your the "total- overall" look which is gorgeous! Sorry about your sister's daughter. I hope she joins support groups for herself to help her deal...and how to cook for her child..and all that. Support groups can help immensely and they are making headway in learning more about caring for people with diabetes. I am sending positive healing thoughts to her.

diane said...

Wow...what a week but those floors are scrumptious. And your homies award is well deserved...your blog is one I look forward to and appreciate the tremendous amount of work you put into finding all the great and inspiring photos.

Linda in AZ * said...

*** Stacy, you're such a cutie!!! And, what a great sense of humor you have managed to share here, ESPECIALLY when such "crummy stuff" has happened!!! (Maybe that's an advantage of being a lawyer!?!?!)...

Thanks for sharing... everything!!! You seem to manage to keep all in balance, and a good perspective on things helps heal a wounded ego, too, ya know!!!

I always enjoy coming here & reading your terrific blog, "good mood or bad" aside!!!
Did you realize that TOMORROW'S yet ANOTHER DAY (and hopefully ANOTHER DOLLAR!?!?!)...

Sending warmest smiles and biggest blessings,

Linda in AZ *
bellesmom1234@comcast.net

Linda in AZ * said...

*** P.S. Your floors look sooo FAB dark~~~ very rich... like the deepest chocolate!!! (Now THAT'S what I'M talkin' 'bout, girlfriend!)... Smiles, Linda ***

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Stacy..somehow this post got buried in my 300 emails...First of all, your header is beautiful...I feel it reflects your vivacious personality...I cannot imagine how someone would NOT like it....

Second, I am so sorry for all that is going on with the family...Yes, when it rains it pours..but you have a great attitude about your family's situation. I have a friend who has struggled with her health for over 25 years and she NEVER complains..she is always positive and when I feel bad about something I reach into my "Ruthie Perspective Box" and then realize my complaints were silly...But you really have had a week that you can honestly write a book about!!!...I would not feel the least bit regretful for feeling the way you did..."You definitely had a bad day/week for that matter"..The song come flowing into my brain..Now I will be singing that all day..uuggh

Last, but definitely not least..your floors rock!!!..They are beyond beautiful..I am sure you are smiling every time you walk on them..

I had ebony wood floors before...my only suggestion..keep a swifter mop duster handy..as they tend to show up the dust more often..but it is worth it as they are spectacular...

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND...REGARDS TO YOUR FAMILY...

Maggie said...

Wasn't going to comment at all because you've got so many wonderful ones already, but then decided you could use just one or two more uplifting thoughts.

The floors are gorgeous - it just feels good when having a rotten time to have such a lovely end to things and rightly deserved. Having stuck to your guns about what you wanted was a huge plus.

As to the unsolicited and negative comment - that's just plain weird and rude. I went back and looked at your header - it's perfect and seems so you! Know this is a bit late, but thought you should have more positive feedback. I love seeing all your updates and your favorite decorators.

Stacy Curran said...

Thank you Maggie!
Stacy

Kim Weir said...

Ran across your blog on Pinterest. I have to say I just love your style and your home is beautiful! I want to do my floors in our house. We have horrible linoleum that is lifting and damaged from having to redo our front door from water damage. (Feel your pain with bad contractors, our whole house were built by smucks!) and that dark finish is exactly what I wanted.
Then to find out your a fellow New Englander,( even if it's a different state, I like vet the Cape though) I squealed with delight! (Yeah little things like seeing CT license plates when I drive sets me off).
So,thank you for the eye candy and look forward to your posts!