It’s Done!

Ahhh – it feels so nice to finally be rid of all of our carpet downstairs.

(Please excuse the baby paraphernalia. I live in a house with a 6-month old, so it’s inevitable. My house definitely does not look like a magazine with no baby toys floating around, so there’s no reason to pretend it does!)

We’ve been talking about doing this for forever and we finally got around to it a few weeks ago – for those of you who missed it when we did Jackson’s room or the dining room, we’re slowly going through the process of replacing the flooring throughout our house with this “luxury vinyl” flooring from Lowe’s. It looks surprisingly like actual hardwood but is really peel and stick vinyl. It’s incredibly affordable and easy to install, and it’s super durable (which is vital when you have three dogs and a 6-month old!)

We also switched up a few other things around the living room while we were at it. Hadley was not a fan of the new flooring (it’s slippery and she still has to learn how to walk on it) and so for the first few days after we installed it she hid upstairs all day long so she didn’t have to step on it. We finally decided to bring in the big rug from the garage as a temporary measure to make her happy and to make the floor a little softer for Jackson. Turns out, though, we love how it looks in here and it’ll probably stay for the foreseeable future. It’s super sort and feels good underfoot, and it’s a really easy to clean rug so it’s great for a high traffic area like the living room.


We also switched out some pillows and got a fiddle leaf fig (I’m determined not to kill this one!). We don’t love the ottoman in here now with the new rug…it feels a bit too formal and out of place, but we haven’t decided what we’ll do about that yet. The options are to get a different rug (which we aren’t sure about, since we really like this one) or replace the ottoman (which makes us sad, since we really like it and haven’t had it for that long). We’ll see where we land, but for now we’re just happy it’s looking so much better in here!

It makes me so happy to see consistent flooring again from one side of the house to the other – dealing with that carpet transition for the last few months hasn’t been fun…the house feels so much more cohesive, and it immediately felt so much cleaner!

We still want to bring this flooring into the kitchen, but that’ll be last on our list – we want to finish all of the upstairs first. The next step for now is to re-install baseboards in both of these rooms and to fix the fireplace – Corey accidentally knocked off one of the tiles on the wall when we were working on the flooring. We had already been planning on doing something to update the fireplace, anyways, it’s just a little higher on our priority list now!

Whew, it feels good to be done with this! Now we just need to take a breather for a few weeks and then muster up the energy to tackle the baseboards – it’s never a fun project, but it makes such a big difference in how finished the room looks!

What have you been working on in your home lately?

Tile Removal (Finally!)

Alright, so I wish I was coming back from my impromptu blogging hiatus with a more exciting post, but I’m not. It may not have the prettiest photos or be the most fun to read, but I searched the entire internet for posts like this as we were gearing up for this project and they’re sadly lacking – so I want to document this for anyone else who might take this on in the future.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to it. A few months back, Corey and I replaced the flooring in our dining room – it was a major change and we’ve been very happy with it. Our goal was to get the living room done as well before summer ended, because Jackson has been spending more and more time on the floor lately and we hated to have him on that nasty carpet.The only problem with tackling the living room was all of the tile – there was a small spot of tile in front of the fireplace and a larger area by the entryway…and we were terrified of getting it up.

My sister and brother in law took this project on a couple of summers ago, and we have heard nothing but horror stories about how tough it was to get the tile up, how long it took, and how much they hated the entire process. So needless to say, we weren’t looking forward to it. But, as much as we weren’t excited about it, summer is quickly coming to an end so we decided to get it done last week. My sister emphasized to us that we needed to get some sort of a power tool to get it up rather than doing it all by hand, so we knew we wanted to start there. We headed to Home Depot (we chose them over Lowe’s this time because they’ll rent tools and Lowe’s won’t) and asked the guy at the tool rental department what he recommended. He pointed us to a demolition hammer with a chisel bit (for getting the tile up) and a scraper bit (for the thinset). It was a bit pricey (about $100) to rent it all for the day, but we figured if it made the job easier, it was well worth it.

I could practically end this post here and just call it a day – I’m telling you, that tool was amazingMost of the blog posts and tutorials I read prior to renting the tool didn’t seem to give us much hope – people mostly seemed to just use a plain hammer and chisel to get rid of the tile and thinset, or they didn’t elaborate on what they did. Let me tell you again – the demolition hammer is the way to go.

It was noisy and messy to get all of the tile up, but Corey got everything up and smoothed out about an hour – it didn’t mess up the concrete foundation at all, and thanks to how smooth it left the concrete there was no other prep work for us to do besides cleaning up. It was fabulous! Once we had all the tile up, we ripped up all of the carpet in the room – while we still had the tool, we also used it to smooth out any weird areas of concrete that were bumpy or would otherwise interfere with the flooring. It was exhausting (and disgusting) but soon enough, we had a carpet-less living room…and a giant mess.

And here’s where I’ll leave you because I haven’t gotten around to taking photos of the finished room yet. But it is finished, and I’m in love! I’ll take photos soon and hopefully be back next week to show it off – it’s looking amazing!

Okay, anyone have any fun house updates? Up to anything exciting lately?

 

A New Lamp

This post was written in partnership with Lamps.com. They provided me a lamp to review, but the choice of lamp was all mine and so are the opinions! 

Back when we updated the curtains in our living room last month, one of the very first things Corey and I agreed upon was that the lamp in the living room had to go.

We still love it, but with the blue curtains it just wasn’t working – too much blue in that one little area, and we wanted something that would contrast a little and wouldn’t just blend in completely with the curtains like this one seemed to. We weren’t really actively looking for anything yet, we just knew that eventually we’d be replacing that for something else.

Then, I ended up getting contacted by the awesome people at Lamps.com who wanted me to review a lamp for them. It was meant to be! They gave me a few suggestions of lamps but told me I could pretty much choose what I wanted, so Corey and I spent a while pouring over their website trying to decide which one we liked best.

Once I saw it, I knew pretty quickly that this guy would be coming to live in my home.

It’s the Clear HGTV Table Lamp and I’m smitten. This lamp is much smaller than the one we had here previously, which is not exactly what we wanted, but we are both absolutely head over heels with the look of it in this room. The pretty cork lampshade adds a really awesome texture that this room was desperately needing, and I am always a huge fan of plain ol’ glass lamp bases.

We have debated putting the lamp on a few books or something to make it look taller, but I think we’re both adjusting to the new size of it and I actually like it now. It settles into the background a little more nicely than our old lamp did while still providing a little bit of color contrast, and it just seems to layer right in the room without sticking out too much – like it was meant to be there.

I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence, but ever since we got this lamp I have found myself using the lamp light in the room much more than the overhead light. I love our fan and overhead light in the living room, but it doesn’t actually give off very much light, and it has a definite yellow cast to it (and I’m too lazy to change the bulb since the ceilings are about 7 million feet high there). But between this lamp and the floor lamp on the other side of the couch, it’s usually plenty of light for us throughout the day and into the early evening. I like the cozy feeling it creates in the room and it really makes me understand why so many designers talk about adding lamps to a room. It makes a huge difference in the entire feel of the room, and I’m obsessed.

Of course, for the past month or so the room has been very well-lit between these two guys and all of our Christmas lights…now that those have been taken down I may have to get a third lamp for the room to make up for it!

Overall I can safely say that Corey and I are both extremely pleased with our new lamp, and I kind of want to get one for every room in the house. Who knew all it took to capture my heart is a cork lampshade?

How do you use lamps in your home? Anyone else find a new lamp obsession lately?

De-Cluttering the Living Room

I know, I know. Sounds like the most boring post ever.

But it’s not what you think.

Back when we originally installed our homemade curtains in the living room, Corey and I both loved them. They were fun, bright, and made us happy.

But after almost two years of them, we’re both kind of over it. While we still love the colors and the pattern, it was definitely limiting us in what we could do in there – with that much pattern on the windows, there wasn’t much we could do elsewhere. And visually, I felt like they were just way too much – I felt like they made the room feel cluttered all the time.

We were both ready for a change.

So, we did some searching and fell in love with these Threshold brand curtains from Target. They’re much more neutral (only one color) and they still have a pattern, but it’s not too busy. While we were at it, we decided to go ahead and upgrade our curtain rods – we still loved the homemade ones but wanted something a little more substantial and “grown up”.

Mmmmm. I love this change.

The new curtains have a very calming effect on the room and make it feel much less visually cluttered. And they open us up to a whole world of new color options for things like the pillows and the accessories, because there aren’t a million colors in the curtains.

The new rods are gorgeous too – they’re these mercury glass rods from Target, and they feel so much more luxurious and expensive than the old ones (I mean, obviously they’re definitely more expensive than our DIY ones, but they’re still pretty cheap!). We had to buy two rods for the big window behind the couch and use the middle rod from one of them to extend the other rod and make it long enough for the whole window – luckily we found a broken one (the finial was broken, the rest was fine) at our local store and they sold it to us for only $10 – score!

I feel like this little change makes a huge difference in the room and gets us another step closer to where we want to eventually end up in here. We still want to replace the ugly white blinds with something prettier (probably bamboo shades, though I’d LOVE to do white roman shades if they weren’t so dang expensive) but for now, this is a good upgrade.

Anyone else changing out curtains in their home lately?

Nesting, Part 2

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I re-arranged a bunch of stuff and cleaned a room and called it an actual post? I’m doing it again – get excited.

This is actually a post I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but I haven’t taken the time to actually make the changes, and I’m so glad I finally decided to take care of it recently (I say that like I had any choice…the nesting monster reared its head and there was nothing I could do to stop it). You see, I’ve talked quite a few times about how I’m the worst about actually changing up the decor in my house – I buy a cute accessory, plop it on a shelf, and it ends up living there for, like, ever.

It makes life easy for me, but it’s really not that much fun. And it means that my house ends up feeling like it never changes (especially since we don’t currently decorate for any holidays/seasons other than Christmas), which I don’t love. But that has changed my friends. I re-arranged decor! Look at me go!

I’m always amazed at how much of a difference something like this makes for absolutely zero money, which is why I wanted to write this post. I always feel like I have to spend money to make changes to my home, but my living room feels completely refreshed to me and all it cost me was an hour or so on Saturday afternoon. When you use what you’ve already got laying around you can make changes that feel significant without spending a dime!

But enough talk – let me prove it to you. Let’s start with what my living room looked like before. I’m sure you’ve all seen it before, but here’s a refresher:

After gathering up a bunch of accessories from around the house that I wanted to bring in here (like extras from the guest room or the once-reading-room-now-nursery), I took everything off of the surfaces I was changing and piled it on the floor. I didn’t want to be tempted to leave anything in its original place, so I took it all down – which also gave me a good opportunity to dust all of my shelves. Because I don’t do that often enough, and ew.

And then I just placed it all back in a new spot. I’m no expert at styling shelves – in fact, I’m kind of just bad at it, but I always have fun. I put something in place, step back, and look at it to make sure I like it. Sometimes, it’s also super helpful to take a picture of it. There was one arrangement I did on the bookcase that I loved at first, but once I took a photo I realized I had grouped too much stuff on two shelves right next to one another and it looked really heavy. I switched a few things around and snapped another photo and it looked a billion times better. And now? My living room is feeling refreshed and a bit different, even though there’s absolutely nothing that I didn’t already own in here.

 

We also brought down the rug that used to be in the reading room:

It’s definitely not a perfect fit in the room (it’s a bit too small and holy pattern overload with the curtains), but it works for now, and we have already ordered new curtains (!!) so it should fit in a little better once we take care of that. Honestly, I’m just happy to cover up even a little bit of our disgusting carpet.

If you need a close-up…

Yeah, that’s what my living room looks like 90% of the time. Except there’s usually another dog or two on there as well. There’s very rarely actually room for humans on the couch.

And that, my friends, is how you refresh your entire living room in one hour with no money. It may not make a huge impact, but it’s enough to settle my nesting instincts for a week or so, which is really all I can ask for at this point.

What have you done lately to update your home? Anyone else suck at changing up their decor?