The Beautiful Border : Part I

When we realized that the Parlor, Library, and Study all needed to be replaced – AND that the flooring in there wasn’t original, we got to thinking about the most dangerous phrase in restoration-

“While we’re at it….”

LOTS of houses from our era had inlay borders in their Parlors and Entry Halls. We have a border in the Entry Hall, but not in the Parlor. Now, we have ZERO proof that there was originally a border there – but there is enough precedent in houses of this era, that we feel okay making this decision. Because, WHILE WE’RE AT IT.

So, years ago, when doing some research to find out about the Entry Hall border, I found this site call FLOOR BORDERS, which is a jaw-dropping resource on parquet, inlays, and borders. I mean, it is AMAZING. Catalogues, Photographs, Research, Materials, How to Build…… it’s SO GOOD.

From this, I learned that the Entry Hall Pattern is “Two Twisted 90 Degree Ribbons.”

Here’s a picture from the site :

And here is our floor :

So exciting!

I didn’t want to match it, but I definitely wanted to compliment it, using the same materials (oak, maple, and mahogany).

After doing some searching, I liked the Two Twisted Ribbons pattern. On the site, it was in a house from 1901 – so the era was perfect.

There’s a drawing of this border in the catalogue on the site : Wm. Hannam & Co: Wood Carpet Co.’s Elegant Parquet and Inlaid Floors: circa 1890

I LOVE that it’s called WOOD CARPET. Pattern number 14 looks like it! Also, can someone put pattern 13 in a house? I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE to gawk at.

Seriously. You could spend hours drooling over this site. It’s amazing.

Our floorers – Gabe and Everett from Virtuoso Hardwoods, were eager to do the border. I have to admit, I am little jealous that we’re not putting it in ourselves. But they are doing an amazing AMAZING job. We absolutely found the right people.

Doug and I figured out the HVAC, including replacing the vent below on the right, with the one on the left. GOOD DECISIONS.

The wood was delivered, and our inspectors inspected. Ha.

One thing I was NOT expecting, was sample boards. Everett made these so we could look at the borders for the borders (those are the sticks), and look at the dimensions when they’re slightly different. This is some serious, insane math. I’m told there were spreadsheets galore – and there would have to be.

Seriously. This is service.


Here’s what we decided on. The borders won’t be close like this in real life – but this gives you and idea of scale to the Entry Hall. I like they they are best friends in terms of scale, material, and complexity. We didn’t go CRAZY with the new pattern – that would have looked weird.

Here’s closer shot of the sample board. SO EXCITED.

But I’ve saved the best for last. REALLY.

Everett made a video of him MAKING ALL THE PIECES and putting the border together. This is pure art.

I just can’t believe all this amazing, beautiful craftsmanship is going in our house. It makes me so joyful.



  1. I can sure relate to “while we are at it.” My new bath turned into fixing the whole roof and replace all the pipes in the house. 2 things we will never have to worry about again.

  2. That video is fantastic! All the setups (called jigs?). It reminds me of my Dad working in the garage making wooden toys for donation to Fisher House. Thanks for posting Amy!

  3. I am blown away. You are so so so lucky to live where there are craftsmen like this. The video was fascinating, especially as I’m thinking about how the original border in your house would have been made with hand tools. And that pattern resource is amazing. So glad you decided to do this. It will be stunning! (And, yeah, I love pattern 13 also.)

  4. Since so many of us are sheltered in place, I’ve been anxiously awaiting any updates from the restoration blogs that I follow. Thank you!!! As usual…you did not disappoint! Love, love, love your border and how amazing it is all going to look.

  5. Oh my, so beautiful. I watched (in awe) but also immediately thought this is like crafting a fine quilt. It’s why as we look around our surroundings, wherever we are, we see art in everything. And plan on a new project. I so enjoy following your restorations. Thank you for sharing your passion.

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