New Carpet

You guys!  We have new carpet!  It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here and we love it.  We had been planning on replacing the carpet in the master bedroom since we moved in 8 (!) years ago … and then we decided to go ahead and replace the carpet on the stairs & upstairs hall at the same time since it was looking pretty worn also.  What a huge difference new flooring can make!

To replace the old floral green carpet in the master bedroom, we picked a really soft, dense plush.  I must have brought home at least 20 different plush, beige carpet samples for the bedroom before deciding on this one.  It’s Risque by Karastan in Tasteful Tan.

It coordinates nicely with the new wall color (SW Accessible Beige) without being completely matchy matchy.  (The carpet has a little less gray in it than the paint.)  Plus, did I mention it’s super soft?  Such an improvement over the old green carpet that I’ve now realized was in “crunchy” territory.  Ick.

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Since we had to move all the furniture for the installation, we also switched out dressers and put this low one opposite the bed to be used as a TV stand.  It makes so much more sense like this – the TV used to be on top of the tall dresser, which was kind of awkward.

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The “sitting area” part of our bedroom is feeling really light and airy now.  What a difference some fresh neutral colors make!  Only thing is, it’s now super obvious that we need to put some effort into decorating.  Curtains, furniture, things on the walls … the works.
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Here is the new dresser we had built to replace the old vanity that used to be in the closet area.  I need to get a piece of glass for the top yet so we actually feel like we can use it (we’re afraid of scratching it even though that would probably be unlikely), but we’re already finding it way more useful than the old cabinet.

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While we were picking carpet for the master bedroom, we decided to also re-carpet the stairs and upstairs hallway.  Originally, we’d planned to put the same carpet in the hallway as in the master bedroom, but neither one of us really loved the way the old plush carpet looked on the steps, so we went with a fine berber-like carpet with a diamond pattern instead.  It is Tristan by Masland in Ivory.

I like the little bit of interest the diamond pattern gives without being overwhelming.  From a distance, it kind of all blends together and just looks neutral.

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And we had the same carpet installed on the landing and the stairs.  Overall, it’s a lot fresher look than what was here before.  I didn’t realize how badly it needed to be replaced until the new carpet went in.  And, same as the bedroom, the new carpet is now making me really feel how sparsely our house is decorated.  Might have to actually hang some things on the walls here, too.
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We picked this carpet primarily based on how we thought it would look on the stairs – and we love it.  It’s a bit more tailored and formal than the tan plush carpet we had before and should hopefully wear really well.  IMG_6935 IMG_6940 IMG_6943

One thing we didn’t totally think through with this carpet is the fact that the pile on it was a lot lower than the old plush carpet it was replacing, so there are some imperfections low on the trim showing now that used to be covered by the old carpet.  We’ll have some patching and touching up paint in our future, but I think it was still worth it.

Since we hired both the removal of the old carpet & pad and the installation of the new, there wasn’t much time between when the old carpet came up and the new went down to get good pictures of the condition of the wood floors underneath, but we did take a couple of cell phone pictures.

The floors on the bedroom side of the master bedroom looked like they probably had a few pet stains, but were otherwise in good condition.  We felt like they would probably be able to be refinished if we wanted to do that the next time around.IMG_5710

We didn’t get any pictures of the “sitting room” side of the bedroom, but the subfloor there is plywood, which wasn’t a huge surprise since that part of the room started life as an exterior porch.  So, if we really wanted wood floors in the master bedroom, we’d have to install some new flooring there.

As for the stairs, they actually looked a little better than I expected.  All of the old trim pieces were still in tact (we expected some of them to be missing).  There’s old paint on the risers and either brown paint or a really opaque stain on the treads.  Either way, it would be a good effort to bring them back to life as finished wood stairs.  Maybe next time …

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Anyway, that’s it for our carpet update.  Amazing what a difference some new flooring can make, huh?

New Chandelier

When we ordered the new light fixtures for our bedroom, we decided to also order the new chandelier we’d been liking for the upstairs hallway at the same time.

The old one was brass and crystal-ly, but not in a good way.  It was looking pretty dated.

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We’d actually started looking for a replacement chandelier around the time we took down the wallpaper and painted the foyer and upstairs hallway – in 2011 – but never pulled the trigger on it.  The chandelier we liked then (and the one we finally wound up ordering now) was part of the same Hinkley Sussex collection as the lights we put in the master bedroom and some sconces we’d installed in the entry way and bathroom downstairs.

Hinkley Sussex 4795EZ 5 Light Chandelier (image source)

Same as the other fixtures from the collection, we liked the understated style of the chandelier, which is current without feeling out of place in our old house.  We also liked that the lights have fabric shades, which keeps them from being blinding (like bare bulbs would be) since the chandelier is hung in the center of our stairway in a spot where we it’s regularly in line of site, so we look right at it a lot.

The new chandelier was installed at the same time as the bedroom fixtures and, overall, we feel like the change was a good one.  It really updates the hallway nicely.

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Like any updates, though, this one has not been without it’s challenges.

To start with, the chandelier came with less chain and wire attached than we expected, so the fixture had to be re-wired and a new section of chain needed to be attached before it could even be installed.  Luckily, we had the electrician from the lighting store do the installation, so this was a non-event.

Then, once the electrician left, I noticed that the chandelier was hanging really crooked.  Not just a little “we live in an old crooked house” crooked, but like really listing to one side.  It drove me nuts.  I tried everything – I even bought some lead weights that I planned to attach to help level it out, but then I realized it would take several PACKAGES of weights to balance the fixture properly.  Eventually, I thought to look in the assembly instructions, which described spreading the arms of the chandelier apart to create 72* angles between them.  I found it pretty impossible to measure the exact angle between the arms, but just looking at our fixture, we could tell that they were not evenly spaced.  And, wouldn’t you know it – once we realized the arms could be repositioned, adjusting the spacing between them to be more even fixed the “super crooked” issue that had been driving me batty.

So, as of now, really our only remaining complaint is that the shades are super wobbly and always crooked.  I need to spend some time trying to figure out a fix for this.  The shades just slip over the base of the light socket, but don’t lock in place or anything.  They are very loose.  I think something needs to be added that will give the shade some grip so that it can stay straight … I’m thinking maybe o-rings or a rubbery hair tie or maybe even a few layers of painters tape will do the trick.  If anyone has any good suggestions, do share!

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I still like the style of the new chandelier and I think it feels so much better in our upstairs hallway than the old one, which was really making the whole area feel old and dated.  I just need to take the time to work with the shades and then, once the memory of all of this fades, I think we will really love it.  Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.  Ha!

I mentioned earlier that we had decided to finally update the master bedroom – woo-hoo!  And, clearly, the first thing that came to mind as needing to be replaced was the carpet.  So, I promptly went to the carpet store, brought home about 8 samples, laid them all over, looking at them in different lights and at different times of day.  Then I got confused and decided we could just start with lights instead – ha!  (As a side note, that first trip to the carpet store was back in September … and we finally made a decision just before Christmas.  Seriously – I can’t be the only one who finds picking carpet to be the most frustrating thing ever, right?)

Anyway, lights.

Here’s what we started with – a couple of mismatched white-ish ceiling fans that didn’t work quite right anymore:

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Replacing those ceiling fans was a close second on the list of updates, just behind the green carpet.  We went back and forth, but ultimately decided not to put ceiling fans back up because we just didn’t use them that much.  Instead, we picked a couple of semi flush mount fixtures from the Hinkley Sussex collection.

Hinkley Sussex Semi-Flush Mount – 4791EZ. (image source)

We liked that they take 3-75 watt bulbs, which (even with the shade & diffuser) is plenty of light.  We actually bought 75W equivalent LED bulbs when the fixtures were first installed and they were crazy bright.  We’ve since swapped them out for 60W equivalent bulbs, which is still plenty bright, without being blinding.

Plus, we liked the style of the lights.  They are updated while not looking out of place in our 100-year old house.  (We have some sconces from the same collection in our entry way and guest bathroom and love those as well.)

Because we never know exactly what scary things we’ll find when it comes to electrical in this house, we opted to have the fixtures installed by an electrician.  With all of the different generations of wiring in the house, combined with some interesting DIY stuff, hiring a real electrician even for “simple” jobs like switching out some light fixtures always feels like money well spent.  While the electrician was out working on the fixtures, we also had him swap out all of the outlets and light switches in the room for white, which feels a lot fresher than the beige ones we had before.  It’s also good knowing they’re all safe – we had a couple of outlets where GFCIs had to be installed since the old ones were missing a ground.  True to form – the electrical in this house keeps us on our toes!

Anyway, here are some photos of the new lights installed in the bedroom.  Such an improvement!

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In the end, we’re totally happy with the new fixtures.  They are a complete improvement over the old fans and, even with the old green carpet, they make the room feel just a bit fresher, which is such a welcome change!  This is definitely one of those updates that makes us wonder exactly why we waited so long!

You might also notice from these photos that I decided to just bite the bullet and re-paint the bedroom too.  Chad says the new color is so similar to the old one that no one would ever notice the difference and painting it was probably just wasted effort, but, to me, it makes all the difference in the world!

The "before" photo.

The old paint color – Sherwin Williams Sand Dune (SW6086).

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The new paint color – Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige (SW7036).

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Before

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After

True, both the old color and the new fall squarely in the “beige” family, but the new color feels a lot fresher to me.  Where the old color (SW Sand Dune) had pinkish undertones that came through in spades in our darkish north facing bedroom, the new color (SW Accessible Beige) is more of a greige.  It reads a little more creamy some times and a little more gray others, but it always feels light, airy, and fresh, which our room was really lacking before.  I think it’s definitely a better color choice for a north facing room than the color we started with.

Anyway, between the lights and paint, the room is starting to feel a lot more intentional than it did when we started.  I have a feeling the new carpet will really make it feel like a brand new space.  I can’t wait – installation is scheduled for next Monday (finally)!  I feel like we have been waiting for this upgrade since we bought the house … EIGHT years ago.  Needless to say, we’re totally looking forward to bidding that green floral carpet farewell!  Monday can’t come soon enough!

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