Although our house is quite old – we think parts of it are over 200 years old – and is quite traditional in structural style to many of the stone houses in Istria, we are determined to stamp a contemporary feel on it. Apart from The Well Room where the floor is stone flags (therefore very beautiful, but extremely cold in the winter), and which will be dealt with a separate project, the rest of the floors are fairly recently laid pine boards. Fairly recently, as in within the last ten years. As no-one has really lived in the house, they’re not in bad condition – but have never been treated. This is good for us as we don’t need to do that awful sanding, but they are ripe for a refresh, especially as they are all of that golden-ish colour, which we don’t really like.
We’ve systematically gone through the house, with our paintbrushes, white-washing all of the walls, which were largely bare stone. Again, lovely – but too much of it and too cold. So, with white walls and white ceilings, we decided that certainly in our bedroom, we wanted to take the floors very dark. The room is big, with exposed original beams and a very high vaulted ceiling, so we figured we could go dark on the floor. Rather than paint (which we’ll be doing downstairs), we decided to stain and varnish the boards. Having seen some boards which had been treated with a walnut coloured stain, we went for this colour. Or so we thought…
DIY/building/renovation is as big in Croatia as it is back in the UK, and so we have absolutely no shortage of B&Q-like places. Our language skills are currently not good enough to go local and independent when shopping for DIY related things, so off we went to Bauhaus, in Pula, purchasing what looked like walnut wood stain, from the colour swatch on the tin and from what we could glean from our translation app.
However, when we finally started to stain the boards this weekend, what a disappointment! The colour could only be described as the honeycomb colour of a Crunchie bar. Even more “golden” than the boards in their untreated state 🙁
The original, unstained boards are to the forefront of the photograph, the boards stained with “Walnut” to the back. It was pointless even continuing, as there is a lot of floor area to cover and it just wasn’t right, so there was nothing for it, apart from to hotfoot back down to Bauhaus in Pula. We were going to have dark floors and after a bit of googling, decided the only thing to do was opt for an Ebony stain. And hurrah, it has worked!
There’s still a long way to go – this is only a third of the floor space, and we then are then going to hard varnish it for extra durability. The floor will then be done – and we will hopefully be ready for the next stages of the bedroom renovation/transformation. A free-standing bath (woop!), with shelving built around it and then building storage into a big recess, with Moroccan style wooden doors. This all the plan, so fingers crossed it all works out, so that finally, we shall a have bedroom which is not just a dumping ground for clothes 😉
And, to finish off, two of the beauties, from IKEA. Because the ceiling is so high, we needed two big shades, which would make staements, but not break the bank. Hopefully, these will fit the bill 🙂