Mary’s Remodel Update – Part 10

The eighteenth-century French philosopher Denis Diderot wrote an essay entitled “Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown.”It seems someone gave Diderot an exquisite gift — a scarlet dressing gown (not something your typical guy today would get too excited about, but remember this was the 1700s).

Diderot was so happy to get a new one that he promptly threw his old one away. Curiously, he hadn’t noticed how tattered the old gown was because it was comfortable and blended into his surroundings.

The contrast between the new scarlet gown and everything else in his study was startling. While Diderot was wearing the gown, he couldn’t stop noticing the threadbare tapestries, the worn chair, and the beat-up bookcases.

Piece by piece he replaced everything with something more closely suited to the elegance of his robe. Diderot closes his essay regretting ever receiving the scarlet robe that forced everything else into conformity.

I believe I have been struck with a case of the “Diderot effect.”

As you know, if you’ve been following along, our kitchen/family room remodel is moving ahead. Granted, way too slowly to please some of my readers as witnessed by their comments, but it is moving nonetheless. We believe we have now reached the halfway mark

On Tuesday, the new hardwood floors are going in said kitchen/family room.

Well, I got to thinking: How will the new hardwood floor look where it meets up with original 1972 marble terrazzo in the 10′ x 10′ entry? We’re talking 40-year old flooring here, folks. It’s in relatively good condition if by “good condition” one would mean no cracks or chips. But over the years, it’s lost its sheen, as terrazzo marble will do. And it’s a kind of milky-goldish-gray color. Some of our friends, who shall remain anonymous, have gone so far as to declare it to be downright ugly.

The family room is a step down from the entry so this is where the two floors will meet:

There is no doubt that the new flooring is going to make the old terrazzo look beat up, out of date and quite sorry. But is that reason enough to replace it to match?

The price to extend the wood through the entry: $1,200. Why so much more than the $5.50/sq. ft. we are paying for the kitchen/family room? The installation will be very labor intensive as there is also a step down to the living room on the other side, plus a coat closet and powder room that also adjoin the entry. And where the stairs meet the entry, another ticklish installation challenge.

So, we have 24 hours to make our decision. Should we make this a kitchen/family/entry remodel or just stick to the kitchen/family room? What would you do?

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  1. Anne
    Anne says:

    I may be late on weighing in but that entry looks exactly like the quartz entry in out 1972-built house in Elk Grove, California. I loved it. With three teenagers going in and out it was easy care at its best. Would love to have it in my entry now, no longer in that house or California, and am going to put some kind of tile there in the near future. Wood in your entry will require rugs or something as the upkeep in the entry will be more than the other areas. I have wood now and have a large mat on it which covers it. But with snow, dirt and whatever being tracked in it would be destroyed by now unless I made everyone remove their shoes before entering, which is done in many homes but I’ve never done it. Loved the Diderot story as that is what I am going through as my son has remodeled two of my bathrooms and my bedroom so far.

  2. Anne
    Anne says:

    Me again, after reading the other comments. We lived in the house with the quartz entry for 17 years. I never polished the entry or gave it any special care. The grout darkened and I liked it better so didn’t do anything to that either, just a quick dusting or mopping. Looked as good as the day we moved it and so does yours.

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