Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Billie Jean Is Not My Lover (but she's on my FLOR)

I was a pretty die-hard Michael Jackson back in the day. I started a Michael Jackson fan club and had various Thriller iron-ons. Lots of my childhood makes its way into my interior design work -especially in my own house. And I have fond, strong, clear-cut memories of my Michael Jackson period, specifically an affinity for Billie Jean (as in, is, not my lover...she's just a girl who says that I am the one...but the kid is not my son.) This taught me oodles about love and paternity at way too young an age, but I was infatuated with the video - panels of flooring that lit up as MJ danced. It was the flooring of dreams. I had sort of stashed this flooring fantasy until this summer with MJ died. Only then did I realize how well it meshed with my current obsession with primary colors given the abundance of Tonka trucks and Fisher-Price which have infiltrated much of my living space due to my two-year-old son. So, I matched the dreams of my teen-years with my current day domestic realities and voila - Billie Jean carpeting.

FLOR has been a favorite of mine for a long, long time. Conceptually, I love anything that is sold as a kit, of sorts. I buy the tiles, neat little numbers at just under 20" by 20" and then I assemble them in whatever pattern I like. I've used them dozens of times for clients, for TV projects and of course in my own home. They can be mod, playful, uber-linear or subdued. And they are affordable, unless you're doing a ball-room's worth of them. They are better for smaller spaces.

My flooring dilemna was that I needed a solution for high-traffic areas where the passersby were almost always little people with greasy hands and likely dirty feet. I needed something that would wear well, and clean up even better. I needed something with punch and personality to liven up my boxy, 40's-era ranch house in the suburbs. In two configurations, I applied a Billie-Jean-esque pattern as an entry mat on steroids and then a hall runner with FLOR tiles cut into 1/3s. (Once you start cutting FLOR tiles - use duct tape as the "dots" they provide aren't typically adhesive quite enough.)

I'll be thrilled the day I can teach my soon to moonwalk on these babies.

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