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Hospitality is something of a lost art, but we try to keep it alive by rolling out the red carpet for our guests, especially our kids and grandkids!  We chose Shaw’s Passageway III (the best grade) in Faded Brick for the hallway because it’s the Library at Cair Paravel, and the rich red color seemed royally suited.  It’s just icing on the cake that it conjures up the idea of red carpet treatment.

Ken and Tony were back this morning to lay the carpet.  It was fascinating to watch.  That long tool that goes clear across the hall is something they use to stretch the carpet. I’m going to call it a Carpet Dragon!  The left hand (tail) end braces against the wall and can also swivel to let the business end (or head, at right) move along the wall.

Here it is in action.  Tony adjusted the long metal bar, braced the tail end against the wall, pushed the teeth (they’re in the head) into the pile of the carpet, and then he pushed down on the lever-like handle. This pushed the carpet (held by the teeth) towards the wall at left.

While the Carpet Dragon held the carpet in place, Tony used a tool that is much like a sturdy spackling blade to push the carpet right down against the wall and into the strip of carpet tacks.  The final step was cutting off the excess and using the blade to push stray fibers down in place.

The end result is a nicely laid carpet that Tony promised won’t wrinkle like our downstairs carpet did.  This photo makes the carpet look a little more plum-colored than it really is, just as the previous ones make it look more rosy.  The first photo is probably the most accurate, color-wise.

While Tony was busy upstairs, Ken was busy on the stairs.  They probably took almost as much time as laying the whole upstairs hall, but they look beautiful, too.

I think we really can tell our guests, “We’ve rolled out the red carpet for you!”

Oh, by the way, the carpet on the landing looks great when seen from the living room.  It’s one of the accent colors in our living room, but I was vacillating a lot about going with something so . . . intense.  Kara assured me it would look great, and she was right!