The Carpet Has Left the Building!


We were hoping to have the same luck with this room as we did with the family room, but unfortunately no such luck. Beneath this carpet was there was simply subfloor - no hardwood, just particle board. Which meant that we could even lay wood floors directly on top. Particle board is too brittle to hold the nails properly, so we had to lay down a whole new layer of subflooring.

Here's the room with a fresh layer of plywood, and you can see our paint samples as well (sorry mustard color - you just weren't doing it for us). We were looking for a blue/green/gray hue of some sort. I think the one we ended up going with (Behr Juniper Breeze) is the bottom left square:

After painting, Kev added a silicon vapor barrier on top to protect the wood from moisture in the subfloor, and although the dog smell seemed to vacate the premises along with the carpet, we figured it couldn't hurt to have some extra layers between us and any potential odors that could rear their ugly head!

That shot looks so clinical to me - glad that wasn't the end result! I'm excited to say that I helped with installing the wood floors! I've helped Kevin choose and line up the pieces before, but this time I also used a mitre saw to trim the wood down to size and even used the nail gun once or twice! I've always been jealous that I wasn't taught how to do these things (being a girl and all), and I love learning. It's not fun having all kinds of ideas in your head and having to rely on someone else to execute them. Here's a not-so-great photo of the wood floor installation in-progress:

I haven't had a chance to take a photo of the full space, but here are a couple of photos from my Instagram feed to give you the idea:

(They were playing mama and baby bird and this was their "nest") 

We don't have a ton of furniture for this space yet - going from a small house to a larger one means we have some shopping to do! For now on this side of the room we're using this IKEA table (actually part of our desk that didn't quite fit in the office) and my old piano that my parents sent over as a Christmas gift. I don't think either will stay in this location, but currently this is where they landed.

I have to say it's kind of crazy having actual options as far as furniture placement. In the old house, the size and layout of the rooms didn't leave much space for creativity - there were certain places a sofa or table would fit, and that was that. So this whole concept of space planning is fairly new to me. I thought I'd be thrilled to have these big rectangular spaces to fill, but my mind is actually kind of reeling from the possibilities! Anyway, we're super excited to have banished carpet from the premises and our noses are breathing a sigh of relief for sure! Stay tuned for more to come! xo, Lauren

Update on the Family Room


Well, it's certainly not finished, but I'm happy to say that we've got one room in the house feeling a little bit more livable! Here's a reminder of what it looked like before:

We still have to:

  • Paint and replace the cabinet doors at the bottom of the bookshelves
  • Paint the shelves 
  • Polycrylic the bookshelves and mantel
  • Paint the ceiling (maybe a light blue/green?)
  • Replace the fluorescent lighting with LED's
  • Paint the vent cover
  • Find a new coffee table (this is a super old one that's been hanging out in our basement for about seven years!)
This is the current way that we're using the room - mainly as a TV/play room, but we're thinking we eventually want to move the television to the living room and make this more of a family/sitting room. I'd love to replace the TV stand with something that has a little more personality/character. My parents gave us my old piano as as Christmas gift, now that we actually have space for it, and that might end up in here as well! And I hate the textured ceiling. The plan right now is to paint it, but I'd love to do something a little more extreme - drywall? scrape it? cover it somehow? Kev isn't into any of those ideas, unfortunately. But for now this is working for us, and we're all loving our lighter, brighter, more functional family room. xo, Lauren

So Long Carpet, Hello Hardwoods!

One of the first rooms we definitely wanted to tackle was our family room - AKA "the cave". It's the room where we spend most of our time - a lot of the girls' toys are housed in the cabinets and our TV is in this room. Plus, the fireplace! But it was SO dark and the carpet was super gross with the dog hair and awful smell in the carpet. 

While we'd love some drywall or even some shiplap in this space, we're working with a small budget, so here's what we decided to do with the space for now:

1. Prime & paint the paneling
2. Rip out the carpet
3. Add hardwood floors or refinish hardwoods (depending on what we found under the carpet)
4. Paint the ceiling
5. Possibly paint the brick on the fireplace
6. New curtains & area rug

We started by priming and painting most of the wood in the space. We painted first so that the carpet could act as a giant drop cloth, just in case there was hardwood flooring hiding under there. It took two coats of primer and 2-3 coats of paint + primer to get the job done. The wood was super dark and insanely thick, and it just sucked up the paint. 

Then we decided to remove the carpet to see whether or not we needed to buy hardwoods. We assumed at the very least we'd have to refinish the floors even if we did find hardwoods under the carpet, because why would someone cover up hardwood flooring with carpet unless it was damaged, right? Well apparently people actually do cover up perfectly good, beautiful, mint condition hardwoods with gross wall to wall carpet. When we pulled up the carpeting, there was a super THICK high quality carpet pad under it, and beneath that were absolutely beautiful hardwoods. I think the thick pad saved the floors from being stained by the dogs and kept them in mint condition. I couldn't believe our good luck. It saved us a ton of money and a boatload of back-breaking work.

We're still plugging away at the paint, but I can't wait to show you the transformation so far! xo, Lauren

Master Bedroom: Now You Have It, Now You Don't


In the last post I mentioned that we randomly ended up redoing our bedroom in the middle of trying to sell the house. It was a collaboration with Apartment Therapy and Sherwin Williams that was pitched to me, and it was too fun to turn down. I received a selection of bold, trendy paint colors to choose from for the walls, and it definitely took me outside of my comfort zone. While I love this color, I never would have picked it if it wasn't for this challenge. I would have chosen a much more toned-down, gray, probably even slightly lighter version of the color. But I'm so glad that AT and SW convinced me to make that leap of faith. The room felt like it had that zing that it was missing before. Kev and his dad also built me this amazing headboard, and I bought a new pillow and quilt for the bed.

The only thing I would probably do differently if I could have, would be to buy a new bed frame. We were (and are) still using a metal bed frame with a box spring and mattress, and the height of the bed really is a bit much for the space. I would have loved to have purchased a bed frame and gotten rid of the boxspring, but it just wasn't in the budget. Overall though I was really proud of the transformation and was super sad to leave this space. We got to sleep in it for probably about a month before moving out.

I absolutely adored having all of these beautiful roses in the space. Believe it or not they are grocery store flowers! They were having a sale on make-your-own bouquets and I got all of these beautiful fresh roses for a STEAL. It felt so romantic, I wish we could have them all of the time.

I also picked up a few cacti with those cute little flowers and buds on the tops (not sure what they're called exactly!) and I'm happy to say that they survived the trip to the new place. They're still blooming and I haven't killed them yet, so I'm definitely planning to continue to buy more succulents from now on!

I also wanted to rip out those sconces and take them with us. We got them on sale at Pottery Barn and it was great to have some extra lighting in the space. For the longest time we lived with a single table lamp (no ceiling lighting to speak of!) Let's just say seeing ourselves when we were getting ready in the morning was a challenge. Anyway, even though it's way after the fact, I really wanted to share these photos on the blog. Now I can't wait to get our new master bedroom together. Add it to the list... xo, Lauren

Starting Over


It's been so bitter-sweet buying this new house. While I knew for a fact that we had outgrown our little home, it was a really difficult decision to leave it. We had lived there for nine years. It was our first home purchase and where we came home for the first time as a married couple. We spent our first night as husband and wife here, raised our babies here, and put in countless hours of work, blood, sweat, and tears to make it a home.

It took us all nine years to get the house "finished". We painted and repainted every single room. We put on a new roof, got a new furnace, converted to gas, put in a new water heater, landscaped, added a garden, installed hardwood floors, tiled the shower, tiled floors, painted cabinets, put in new counters, added a shiplap backsplash, new sink, faucet, hardware, and much, much, much more. We did it all while working full-time as teachers and raising a family.

Our new house isn't going to be one of those transformations that happen overnight. We aren't full-time bloggers like Sherry and John over at Young House Love. We don't have the money or star power to call in Emily Henderson or Jenny Komenda like Cup of Jo. But I'm excited to make this house feel every bit as much ours as the last one did. Even if it takes us nine years (although I'm hoping it doesn't!) Because we're planning to live here forever. '

It helps to soften the blow a little because when we visit our friends in the old neighborhood I can see that our little house is well loved and cared for. I feel like all of our hard work isn't going to waste, and I hope that the new family who lives there appreciates it as much as we did. I hope that they make as many wonderful memories as we have. And I hope that the house is set to last at least another hundred years.

I think that Lucy has already mostly forgotten her first home, but Violet is holding onto it fiercely. All of sudden out of the blue emotions will bubble up and she'll burst out with tears and wishes that she still lived in her old house with her little climbing tree and her secret garden and her room with her cozy bed nook. She misses romping through the neighborhood with all of her friends and taking walks around the corner to the park. I think that the move has been hardest on her. We have big plans to make her room feel a little more like her old one. She misses her birds and her clouds, and she's requested that her walls look just like her old ones did.

Lucy is excited for her dots to go back up on her wall, and she seems to regard photos and videos of her old crib with nostalgia, but she doesn't have the sadness over the loss of her first home that her sister has. Two is a much more flexible age, and she's taken the move in stride. She started climbing out of her crib just before the move, and I was nervous about switching her to a big girl bed and moving her to a new house all in the course of a few weeks. But except for a couple of weeks of rough nights for Kevin and I, everything has really been a lot easier than I expected with her.

A week or two after we put our house on the market, we were contacted by Sherwin Williams and Apartment Therapy about collaborating on a room makeover. We redid our master bedroom in the middle of trying to sell the house, and it felt insane to finally have the very last room finished only to move a few weeks later. I still feel sad and nostalgic when I drive through our old neighborhood, but I don't think I'd do anything differently. Our old house was perfect for our first chapter, and it will always have a big place in our hearts, but we're ready to make this new home ours. To make new memories and start the next chapter. We hope you'll follow along for the ride! I think it's going to be a great one. xo, Lauren

New House Tour: The First Floor

I wanted to get photos of the house empty - before we moved any of our furniture in, but the moving company was scheduled to come super early, so I didn't think I was going to be able to pull it off. Luckily my dad saved the day! While I was busy bubble wrapping back at the old house, he snuck in and snapped some quick shots. Here's the first floor in all it's glory:

The Living Room

Imagine this room paired with the fantastic scent of dog urine to complete the experience. We didn't smell a thing when we toured the house, but after we moved in? Let's just say we closed this room off and didn't use it at ALL for the first few weeks. It's a formal living room, which we've never really had before. On the other side of the wall on the right of the photo is the family room. We have potential thoughts of removing the wall entirely, or even just creating a doorway/walkway of some sort to tie the two spaces together. Or we might just keep it as is. A big question mark on this one.

Here it is from the opposite angle I love the French doors and the big windows (that are so sadly hidden by the most unfortunate maroon drapes) and that's about it. The carpet, paint color, window treatments, and hopefully *smell* will all go.

The Family Room

Dark. Wood. Paneling. It's super thick, solid wood. We eventually want to tear it out and potentially drywall (or I love me some of that Chip & Joanna shiplap), but for now we'll probably just paint it, rip out the carpet, and most likely even paint the fireplace. I also despise the textured ceiling, but, again, we may have to live with it for a while.

And the other side of the room:

Super excited about those doors that lead right onto the patio (which also needs a TON of work.) Luckily this carpet only has a mild urine scent, although it is CAKED in dog fur.

Half Bath

I'm super excited about having a half bath on the first floor! NOT super excited about the sponge-painted walls or faux gold-leaf ceiling. I also want to eventually replace the vanity and mirror.

The Dining Room

Another first for us: a formal dining room. There is a wall that separates the space from the kitchen, We want to see how the whole formal dining concept works for us, but there's potential to remove the wall and make one big space if we want to. At least this space has hardwood floors!

The Kitchen

I already miss my tiny little kitchen terribly. That was the hardest space to say goodbye to, since it was the one we had most recently finished. My farmhouse sink! Painted cabinets! Hardwood floors! :*( Sob. I do love having more space in the kitchen though, and someday I hope that this will be my dream kitchen!

I'm not a huge fan of this island in particular, but I do love that we have one! I have a plan to modify it to feel more us. The former owner was nice enough to leave these stools behind, so we're using them for the time being:

This are really makes the kitchen feel more spacious, and I love how it connects the kitchen with the patio/backyard. I can really see the girls playing in the yard so easily from this space, and it's really really amazing:

Here's another view of the island, with a shot of the crackle-texture wall that is behind it. At first this wall was a big question mark for us, as we weren't sure how to cover up/get rid of this texture, but the other day a light bulb went off, and we've got big plans for this baby now! The closed door in the photo leads to a partially finished basement (AKA toy heaven):

The Laundry Room

A big selling feature for me was the fact that this house has a laundry room on the first floor. A real, dedicated laundry room! Instead of the corner of a dungeon basement with incredibly precarious, narrow stairs! Life. Changing. To the right here is the door to the garage, and you can't see it in this photo, but to the left is another door that leads out to the patio/backyard area. Oh, and did I mention the storage? Yes, this house actually has it. Again, life changing.

So there you have it! The first floor of our new casa. Now, someone hand me a can of paint please!

xo, Lauren

Our New House!

Surprise! We moved! A little over four months ago to be exact. The whole thing has been a complete whirlwind - we'd been wanting to find something bigger for a while - our "forever" home, but we finally decided to take the plunge and start seriously trying to sell our house back in the Spring. We met with a realtor but ultimately made the decision to the sell the house on our own. Luckily, it worked! We didn't want to buy a new home until we sold ours, but we also wanted to get settled into a new house before Violet started school, so as soon as we sold our house the clock was ticking. It was a ton of pressure, especially because we didn't want to move again, so we were being really picky. Luckily, just in the knick of time, we found "the one!" Here she is in all her glory:

Stay tuned for more details about how we sold our house on our own, and lots of photos of the interior of the house! I'm sooo excited to tell you about our plans for it! xo, Lauren

© A Lovely Lark All rights reserved . Layout by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger

Pin It button on image hover