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  • Neyir Urminsky

Bringing a little style to an old worn floor

Welcome back for week 7 of another iteration of the One Room Challenge. An amazing event that happens twice a year that anyone can join with the goal to finish one space in their home :-)! Please hop over and check out the featured designers and the other guests like myself. To get caught up on my vestibule vivication plans check out post 1 , post 2, post 4,and post 5 here. Don't get distracted looking for post 3 or 6, it just didn't happen :-).

Raise your hands if you’ve ever been to a Paint your Own Pottery store! I have twice, the second time is hazy because it was in Vancouver in my University days and surely involved wine but the first time was in a converted ground floor of someone’s home. It was likely over Christmas break as it was in my hometown and I was with friends, a couple I have known well for years. I’m fairly certain I was equally intimidated and excited, like so many of my friends they were artistic and able to draw which is something I was firmly convinced I was unable to do until my early 30s. That is a story for another time. But I digress, I painted 2 things that night, the first a food dish for my first cat and the second, a large, round, shallow serving bowl. Which incidentally ended up serving as aforementioned cat’s water bowl. I had lots of original ideas for the first piece, I cleverly put my cat, Basil's name on the bowl but in Italian 'Basilico', ah so clever lol! Once I got to the serving bowl I had no real plan. I started by washing the whole piece in a light lavender and then in the end free handed 4 stylised, purple tulips on the inner walls. It wasn’t until years later, maybe even a decade that I realised I had intuitively copied the way tulips are shown on Turkish Iznik pottery (this tile pic illustrates the tulip image well). It is interesting because while my parents had a few tiled pieces they weren’t something I saw often yet they clearly made an impression.

As I’ve shared before, when I started dreaming up the vestibule I knew I wanted to pull the colour scheme from Iznik art and incorporate the light fixture my parents had bought years ago from the Kapalı Carşı (Covered Bazaar). I really wanted to set the tone in the vestibule of what kind of space people were entering. I wanted a space that was functional, inviting and glam of course but also that reflected our expat ways :-). It wasn’t until later in the planning that I started to think of using an actual Turkish pattern in the space. Years ago I had discovered this Etsy shop and had revisited its offerings many times but it never worked with anything I was doing until now.

I fleetingly considered changing the floor entirely but knew that it would blow my budget. Also the tiles are in really good condition, are mid century and I suspect are actually concreted into the floor. I loved this option as a quicker, less expensive and much more environmental option. It meant very little going into the landfill! I also thought about painting the floor but taking out the closet had left some holes and uneven spots that were sort of covered up with quickset concrete. I needed something that worked with the tiles and covered the uneven bits.

For the actual vinyl tiles I looked at a few different options and eventually settled on this shop and these tiles. The particular pattern that I chose felt like a really good fit as they looked more aged and worn and I loved the play of pattern with the wallpaper. Given that the grout would still be showing and was dark I felt like the overall look would be more cohesive and authentic. I messaged the shop asking if they would do a custom order for me. The tile stickers need to adhere to only the tile and not the grout, the size of my tiles are 10cm square, just under 4 inches. I didn’t want to have an entire pattern over one tile as I was concerned that the pattern would be so small that the space would look too busy. So I asked if they would consider doing only one of the tile patterns and breaking it over 4 tiles instead. I also really like that this shop had an extra top layer for floor tiles to make them less slippery. They agreed to my order, shipped it out and I had it within 2-3 weeks! Full disclosure, I did have to pay a small import duty to Canadian customs.

The installation itself was fairly straightforward though a bit laborious. The ‘stickers’ are essentially peel and stick so you are able to re-position when you are installing. Then you need to heat-set them with a hairdryer and soft cloth, really concentrating on pushing down on the edges. This activates the glue and essentially shrink wraps them to your existing tile. I found it easiest to apply 12-20 tiles or so and then heat set them on, mainly for the sake of my fingers! You can see that once that the sticker is quite thin and once installed looks as though it is the tiles itself.

The vestibule is a space that I see very, very often in our house. I walk past it all the time and when I am in the kitchen it is often in full or peripheral view. Seeing glimpses of these tiles makes me so, so happy! I will report back on how they fair in terms of longevity, so far we are all really happy with how they look and feel!

Still to do????

Prime and paint glass door


Finalize shelves and install

Install hooks

Finalize boy stuff containment ;-)

Style and Photograph

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