Sunday, December 2, 2012


When I started the blog I said I had always had an ugly kitchen.  When I thought about what made those kitchens unattractive I realized the floor often played a starring role.  This was my first apartment in Palo Alto with my late husband.  It was in a wonderful old building built in the 1920s. The building had a storied past that the lovely, elderly, lady on the fifth floor would share with me over tea.  We loved the apartment, but the kitchen was tiny.   

Quite a busy floor

We lived there a few years and then bought our first home.  It was a great little house.  Like our apartment we loved it, but the kitchen was something else.  The house was built in the 1940s and I'm pretty sure every bit of it was original when we bought the house in the 1980s. 

I don't know which makes more of a statement - the floor or the wallpaper?  Notice how the linoleum doubles as a baseboard, curling up the walls.  Amazingly, all the appliances worked, even the original KitchenAid dishwasher.

Luckily, the floor in my current kitchen wasn't too busy, it was just beige linoleum, but the adjacent hall and half-bath had dark blue carpet and the foyer had hexagonal blue tile.  The combination had a disjointed feel and there was no harmonious flow.  

Since I spend most of my time on my feet in the kitchen I wanted a comfortable surface.  I chose stranded woven bamboo because it looks and feels like hardwood (technically bamboo is a grass), but is more durable and is sustainable.  The bamboo is pulled apart, woven back together, then heated to a high temperature to make it very strong.   My favorite part is the color.  Bamboo comes in light brown or dark brown.  The light brown is just the natural bamboo, but I'm told, the dark brown gets its color from being steamed or roasted (I'm not sure which) until the sugar in the bamboo caramelizes.  

After removing the tile, Addison used a leveling compound in the hall, half-bath, and foyer because the floor was slightly lower than in the kitchen.  The bamboo floor was a click and lock system that didn't need to be glued or nailed.  

Addison laying the last few boards

At last floor harmony

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