What to suggest to clients buying an older home with "awful" floors.

Services for Real Estate Pros with The Historic Interior

Front Hall

Family Room



Refinishing your floors in your historic home may not be an option at first. You may have more important renovations to take care of and certainly floors are the last to be redone as you would not want to have to redo them yet again if a careless contractor spilled paint or scratched them. My problem was that our floors in our Dutch Colonial had never been restored since the house had been built in 1930.

I was faced with the problem of floors that were stained, scratched and worn with the traffic of a family of two children and a backyard pool. What to do? If we had invested in having them redone, the constant stream of football players, little brownies and small wet feet would surely undo the effort and yet as a designer I needed to come up with something other than just throwing a pretty rug down.

My solution was to start with a small (4×6) area painted by a friend directly onto the floor in the front entrance hall. It has lasted for 12 years now and I feel it has just the right mix of vivid color and the contrast of the worn floor beneath.

Next was the kitchen and I found a local artist to paint a historic stencil design on it with a heavy polyurethene coating over it that has handled all the kitchen traffic and activity easily.

Our little family room also got a great simple "border rug" from the same artist and it has held up great for many summers as the steady stream of wet feet made their way from the pool to the bathroom.

Think "outside the box" when you have a design issue and very little money. Refinishing the floors at a later date, whether they had been touched by an artists brush or not, would have cost the same in time and money and not been nearly as special.

Comments (2)

Diane Osowiecki
Diane O and Friends - Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Greater Nashville Real Estate

Great reminder of how our fore-fathers took care of the floors.  No one had the money for fancy carpets, so they painted the designs on the floor. 

Jan 11, 2010 12:20 AM
Lisa Ackerson
JP and Associates REALTORS® - Keller, TX
CRS - Dallas Fort Worth Area Expert

Louise - Great idea.  I knew someone who did this also.  I'd love to see pictures.

Jan 11, 2010 12:20 AM