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Adding a Touch of French Country to Your Home - Day 7


· French Country,Decorating

Flooring in Your French Country Home

I hope all of you have been able to join me this week with my daily articles on Adding a Touch of French Country to Your Home. It's been a great week being able to share all of this with you. Believe it or not, each article I wrote inspired me as well. Reminded me of all the gorgeous things we can do in a French Country way.

Whenever I take a moment to really think about French Country design, I reflect back to where it all started back in the 1700's. I think about all the people without much money living in the countryside of France making their homes purely functional with well built furniture to last many years. This is one of the reasons why I always opt for antique pieces rather than store bought pieces.

Today I want to talk about flooring. Flooring always gets the last look when designing a space. It somewhat takes a back seat to everything else. Flooring should actually be one of the first things to consider when designing, or redecorating a space.

When I say this, I understand that many people may already have the flooring that they chose 10 - 20 years ago. Whether if it's hardwood, carpeting, or laminate - they can all be worked with to bring a fresh look to the space.

Hardwood's easy, so let's talk about carpeting. Let's explore ideas if you have wall-to-wall carpeting.

Wall-to-Wall carpeting provides a lot of comfort in a room, both visually and under your feet. It can be a gorgeous platform to build up from. It can also be an opportunity to create more texture in the space. Like seen here, I love layering carpeting. This is very casual. The area rug is placed to incorporate the seating area and I think it looks gorgeous.

How beautiful is this bedroom? I love it. The color scheme is so warm and makes you want to indulge in sitting or lying down. With this said, I love how the area rug compliments the wall-to-wall carpet. You can do this as well in your home. Again, the area rug is to accent the seating area.

In writing this article, I've seen a lot of this. Using two area rugs in a space. I love this photo. Look how gorgeous the two area rugs compliment each other. The natural jute area rug is placed to anchor the seating area. Then an area rug with lot's of color is used to accentuate the seating area.

This space is using two very different area rugs and they compliment each other in the fact that there both neutral. This is perfect if you have a lot of very neutral furniture and you want to add a punch of interest to the space.

Please don't harbor having wall-to-wall carpeting instead of hardwood floors. Simply work with what you have. Put down hardwood floors when you can afford to do so without breaking the bank.

Now let's talk about laminate, or vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring dates back to the 60's. If your ever inclined to pull it up, where a mack because the likely hood of it having asbestos is very good.

You can do one of two things when it comes to your vinyl flooring. You can hate it and ponder over replacing it every day, making your days not so beautiful. Or you can embrace them.

As seen here, a pattern that was so prevalent in the 1960's has made a come back now in vinyl flooring. This room is so beautiful.

Same is true in this kitchen that's been renovated. A new vinyl floor with a reminiscent of the 60's. These floors are perfect if you live in a very old home.

Their incredibly durable and easy to clean.

Here's an area rug that insinuates a glimpse back to the 60's. It's gorgeous upon this very neutral wall-to-wall carpeting.

How gorgeous is this floor. You know that it's not a typical floor for today with everyone wanting to put down vinyl wood flooring, but again - taking cues from the 60's.

My purpose today in talking about vinyl flooring is that I don't want you to be discourage if you actually have original vinyl flooring. I want you to embrace it. I know you wash it all the time and it still may appear filthy because of how old it is.

To get your vintage floors incredibly clean, here's a few suggestions.

  • Dawn dish soap
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda

This one's from Bob Villa - the one and only who knows old houses - inside and out.

One of the best cleansers for vinyl flooring is apple cider vinegar. The acidity in the vinegar helps remove dirt and grime without leaving a buildup of soap or wax. Simply mix one cup of cider vinegar with a gallon of hot water and use a damp mop to clean, rinsing the mop frequently with hot water. Substitute white vinegar for cider vinegar if you want to disinfect as you clean. If your floor is especially dirty, try adding a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap to the mixture before mopping once with the soap mixture, a second time with vinegar and water. To add shine to your vinyl floor, add a few drops of baby oil to the vinegar and water solution.

For stubborn scuffs, try putting some WD-40 lubricant or jojoba oil on a towel and rub the area until the scuffs disappear. Clean thoroughly with the vinegar and water solution to remove any traces of lubrication.

For food stains from grape juice, mustard, ketchup, tomato sauce and the like, make a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub the stain until it disappears. Clean thoroughly to remove any traces of baking soda.

A soft, nylon-bristle brush can help remove many types of stains, especially when used with common household solvents. Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove lipstick, hair dye, and ink stains. Use mineral spirits to remove crayon, paint, and marker stains. Use a nail polish remover that contains acetone to remove nail polish stains.

What Not-to-Do on your vinyl floors...

  • When vacuuming vinyl, do not use a “beater bar” attachment; this can damage the flooring surface.
  • Never use highly-abrasive scrubbers or steel wool.
  • Do not use detergents, abrasive cleaners, or “mop and shine” products, because these can leave a dull film on the floor.
  • Do not use paste wax or solvent-based polishes.
  • Do not use ammonia or ammonia-based cleaning solutions on vinyl flooring; these can break down the material and cause cracks in the flooring.

So please don't get concerned with things that you can embrace. I'm always here to solve any issues in your French Country home. If there's issues that I've missed and haven't talked about, please email be with it and I'll find a solution to make your days beautiful.

Now we can talk about hardwood floors.

Hardwood I'll admit is the best flooring anyone could have. Their gorgeous, easy to clean and withstands many years of walking upon. So if you have hardwood floors, consider yourself very lucky.

So why do we love hardwood floors so much? Why do people invest a lot of money with them in their homes?

All of the little imperfections in the wood is one. Like in this photo, if you look closely, you'll notice that some of the boards aren't perfectly flush with the ones they abutt to. If you look towards the right, you'll notice some of the boards being somewhat concave. Then you may have tons of tiny nail holes in them if they made of reclaimed wood.

Imagine having a floor that you don't have to constantly worry about showing dirt. Of course your going to wash it and possibly swifter it, but if you skip a few days - does it really matter?

If you go to someone's home and you can take off your shoes and just glide across their floor, chances are that it's laminate. Hardwood doesn't afford you this luxury.

So what are the best cleaners for hardwood floors?

There's lots of products on the market that claim to clean your hardwood floors, but I love a natural remedy and these are certainly just that.

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Vinegar is an acid and hardwood floors need a pH neutral or close to it cleaner. When mixed with water, the solution’s acidity is drastically lowered and it becomes an effective method to wash hardwood floors. The vinegar and water mixture cuts through dirt and grime, leaving a streak-free and naturally clean floor. Use a ratio of 1/2 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm/hot water.

Hardwood floors foot sections and never let standing water sit on hardwood floors as it can warp and ruin the wood.

This is the old-fashioned method to wash floors and works great if you are wanting to get up close and personal with your floors. I don’t do this every week, but when I feel like the floors need a really good cleaning, this works really well. You can use the mixture on most baseboards too.

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 2-3 drops essential oils (I love lemon or lemon and clove for my hardwood floors)

If you prefer a spray bottle and microfiber mop, this works great – I recommend this microfiber mop. Mix up the same solution that you’d put in a refillable spray mop bottle, wet the mop head with water and wring out. Then spray and wipe, working in 4-6 foot sections.

  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 16 ounces of warm water
  • 1-2 drops essential oils (I love lemon or lemon and clove for my hardwood floors)
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