I spent almost three hours at my local home reno store yesterday, learning all about carpets and blinds. I was feeling utterly, utterly overwhelmed, tired and discouraged. There is so much!
I measured the room I want re-carpeted, not once, not twice, but three times. (I believe you already know that I am not great with numbers.) I bravely headed to the store, armed with that information, a pen, and lots of paper. I found a knowledgable, helpful salesperson, who proceeded to tell me everything I never wanted to know about carpeting. In fact, somewhere about ten minutes in, I recall thinking things like, “I’m not going to remember any of this. It’s not making any sense now, so it’s not going to make any sense later. I wonder if she would be able to tell if I wasn’t listening. Oh crap! I’m actually not listening!”
I tried, I truly tried, but I just couldn’t take in much information yesterday afternoon. I did eventually narrow down my carpet choices, though, and got some samples to take home. I gave the salesperson all my information so that their installer can phone me and book a time to come in and measure the room. Again. So basically, I measured the room myself for no reason. Oh well, at least I’ll know that the measurements we end up with will be very, very accurate.
Then I asked about window blinds, and looked at what the store offered. I learned how to measure correctly (actually, I already knew, but the salesperson assumed I didn’t and explained the procedure anyway). I learned that yes, it is possible to have those California shutters installed on a sliding glass patio door such as the one I have in my kitchen, and that it would cost around 1000$, depending upon whether the door is 5 or 6 feet wide. I was given a price list so that I could go home and measure my windows and calculate a ballpark price for new blinds for all of them. I also learned that the store was currently offering 20% off a particular brand of blinds, so I took that as a sign that I should go ahead and do this now.
I visited the paint department and inquired about painting my kitchen cabinets. I was told which paint to use and how to use it, but cautioned that I should purchase the new cabinet doors first, then match that colour with the paint I eventually purchase. Good plan, I thought. There are many, many different whites out there.
By this time, I was hot and hungry and although I had more questions to ask and more information to glean, I went home. I left all my piles of paper and carpet samples downstairs, made myself some dinner and played on the Intarnets a little.
A couple of hours later, I tackled the carpet samples. They all looked awful with my couches. You see, my couches in the room I want redone (my TV room) are beige, with navy blue throw cushions as accents. The walls are navy blue below a white chair rail and a lighter blue above. I was thinking a beige carpet. That won’t work at all. Either I have to match the couches exactly, which will make the room look like a sea of vomitous beige, or I have to go for contrast, which will mean a very light beige which will quickly show dirt and normal wear-and-tear.
I gave up and started to measure all my windows. Did I mention that I’m not great with numbers? Somehow, numbers like 69 got turned into 59, and fractions like 5/8 just got me confused. I couldn’t manipulate my metal tape measure into the corners properly, and I was getting sloppy and scraping the walls with it. I kept forgetting to write things down, reasoning that repeating the numbers aloud would work just as well. (Note to self: repeating aloud does not work at all. Write it down immediately – but correctly.) I also have some fairly wide and tall windows, so I literally couldn’t measure accurately because I couldn’t stretch out that far. And those stupid metal tape measures don’t bend enough to get properly right in the corners, so I was stressing out that I wasn’t really measuring accurately enough, and accuracy is so important when measuring for blinds, and I’d better do it again – and then I started worrying whether or not the California shutters would fit over the patio door’s protruding handle, and if they wouldn’t, what were my options.
I went to bed, all pissed off.
Today, I was able to tell DD how frustrated and incompetent I felt. She listened and she helped me measure the windows, and though I’m still not sure that I was entirely accurate in the corners with that dumb metal tape measure, I think it’ll be okay. At most, I think I might be out an eighth of an inch, and realistically, that will make almost no difference.
DD looked at the carpet samples with me, and suggested that I go for contrast and choose the lightest one. Never mind the wear-and-tear and the possibility of getting it dirty, she said, if it gets too bad, clean it or throw an area rug on top. And really, if I live here long enough, I can always replace the carpet again. She also suggested that we (We! I think that means that she’ll help!) stain the two wood tables in the room darker brown, to contrast even more with a new lighter-coloured carpet. I looked at the tables in question, and damn, she’s right. At the moment, they are quite light in colour – uh, beige, one might say. Too much beige is not a good thing, so the tables will become dark. Soon.
Then I researched California shutters more thoroughly. It took a long time to get the information I was seeking, but I found out that if they are mounted outside the window casing, they will stick out about three inches. That should just – just – clear the door handle. And if it doesn’t, it looks like I can remove and replace that handle with a smaller one. It’s just a couple of screws, so I can do that.
Though I’m feeling more positive than I was yesterday, still I’m exhausted. I’m only at the beginning of my home renos, basically just gathering information, and I was almost ready to throw in the towel. What will I be like when I start the kitchen???
You may want to avoid me and my blog when I get to that point.