Friday, February 11, 2011

Carpet -- Could it be any more disgusting???

I'm pretty sure that the first place I read Andy Warhol's opinion on wall-to-wall carpet was The Andy Warhol Diaries. He likened it (I'm paraphrasing here) to being sewn into one outfit of clothing and being stuck with it. You could only wash or treat it on the outside but you'd never feel like you got the dirt, dust, etc., out of it.

That pretty much sums up my feeling about carpet. And I do mean wall-to-wall, of course, not a really large rug that can be taken up and cleaned professionally. The carpet on our stairs and in the upstairs hall and bedrooms is looking worse for wear after 22 years in our house. I'm sure that the only reason the carpet upstairs has held out for this long is due to not having children and only having very small dogs (and never more than two at any given time). Our downstairs has absolutely no carpet although we do have rugs in certain areas for shoe wiping and decoration.

I would love to have bamboo flooring put in upstairs but after listening to my husband, George, during his weight-lifting routine in his man-cave (located upstairs directly above the kitchen), I'm afraid nothing but MORE carpet will have to be installed due to the likelihood of what a barbell would do to bamboo (no matter how hard it's supposed to be). Besides I already know that we'd have to have carpet on the 'bridge' -- that's what the architect called it on the floor plan -- that begins at the top of the stairs and leads you into the upstairs hall. You can actually look over each side of the bridge and see the formal living areas on one side and the family room on the other. I've already experienced the chest-clutching horror of watching my young nephews and nieces attempting to peer over the bridge, so the thought of having any type of slippery floor there is not an option. Same problem with the actual stairs.

Some type of Berber would probably be the best option but why does it have to be so ugly and industrial looking? Not that it's not an improvement over past styles like the high 'shag' of the '70's. Ugh. Seriously ugly stuff. When harvest gold and avocado green were in, my mother was right there to jump feet first into the fad that so many people embraced. My parents went with harvest gold shag on most of the floors in the house. To anyone unfamiliar with REAL shag carpeting, there was also a plastic tool called a 'rake' -- yes, similar to what you use outside to gather leaves, etc. One of my chores as a teenager (and the oldest) was to 'rake' the shag at least once or twice a week. Talk about a thankless task. I'd rake over it after it was vacuumed and as soon as someone walked on it... well, I'm sure you get the idea.

I've never understood why wall-to-wall carpet took off the way it did in the '60's. You're living in a house with nice wood floors or terrazzo and you cover them up with carpet nailed into them? In the late '60's, we lived in a two-story house in New Hampshire. It was a row house on an Air Force base but it had very nice wood floors including... drumroll... on the stairs! And these stairs, unlike the ones where I live now which have a break with a landing, went straight down.

My sister Pam and I figured out pretty quickly that if we sat on them in our cotton pajamas, we could push off from the top step and thump on our bums down to the next step and the next one. We'd gather momentum as we went down and were going pretty fast by the time we hit the bottom one on the first floor. Then, as icing on the cake, we discovered that if we rubbed the wood steps with wax paper, the steps got REALLY slippery. Ah, nirvana! At least until the day we came home from school and discovered our parents had had the stairs carpeted. (Boo! Hiss!)  My loathing of carpet began early.

George really hates the idea of having to have everything moved out of the upstairs bedrooms and living through the mess involved with replacing the carpet. I'm with him on that score. Our current carpet has a low nap and the color is a good one - a medium beige -- and we could probably have another professional cleaning done and, really, not that many people go upstairs. Putting of the inevitable sounds better and better.

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