This is not a rare occurrence and as flattering as it is to be asked, giving advice for a space you usually have not seen is not exactly like driving blindfolded but it does feel a little like driving without a rear view mirror; not really impossible, but pas très comfortable.
Hence, this column:
I will post general advice in answer to non site-specific questions I have been asked.
You may participate, of course.
That would be so much fun.
Just keep it relatively general, if you could.
Martine: I live in an apartment from the 60's. The floors are the square parquet kind, typical of the era. Is there anything I can do to make them more special on a tight budget.
There is good news and bad news concerning this type of flooring.
First the bad news:
1) those run of the mill, "blah" floors don't do anything in the way of style for a home.
2) They usually need to be sanded and stained, at the very least, so as to remove the inevitable yellowish shade.
Very simple solution #1:
plain stain and 3 coats of polyurethane
I suggest either very dark smoky brown, or light sandy natural. Both are sophisticated and will give a boost of style to this type of ordinary flooring.
Very simple solution #2:
a few coats of paint
Now for the good news:
The geometric checkerboard pattern of the squares is the perfect canvas for something happy and creative or sophisticated or subtle..in other words, the possibilities for a great look are almost endless; the square pattern is an instant grid that makes any geometric pattern very easy to execute successfully.
Depending on the design style of your home, you can stain or paint and you can keep it very simple or let your imagination and your talent run free.
Stain more intricate patterns
paint and stain
Paint: more intricate patterns
I hope these tips help. Good luck and remember that the key here as always is good preparation, patience and a steady hand.
If you have any topic you may want me to analyze or any design question you would like answered, let me know at un petit commentaire below. It would be so much fun for me to put my 2 cents in.