Decorating

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?

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!

Master Bedroom Facelift

We’ve finally decided it’s time to make some changes to our master bedroom.  I’ve never loved the room – it’s been on the “must renovate” list since we moved in 8 years ago, but it’s funny how you can just go blind to how bad something looks when you see it all the time.  Anyway, I’ve finally had enough and so has Chad – it’s time for some updates.

Our room is actually a pretty large space, although it’s laid out in a way that makes the furniture arrangement a little awkward.  The first room (where we have our bed) would have been a bedroom when the house was built and then the second area (with the couch, elliptical, and a bunch of other random furniture) was once a sleeping porch.  Around the corner to the right is a dressing area with a couple of closets.

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As you can see from the pictures, the room is clean and functional, but that’s really where it ends.  It’s time to make some changes that will actually help the space to feel intentional … and pretty.  So, where do we start?

Well, right away, we agreed the carpet needed to go.  It’s stained and worn and green floral – enough said.

Next up were the lights – or rather, fans.  They were rusting, had warping fan blades, and made a loud buzzing sound when they were turned on.  They were past their prime and it was just time to move on.

We also thought it would make sense to give the closet / dressing area a bit of a refresh since it included an old built in vanity cabinet with a cultured marble top (but no sink) and medicine cabinet with lights – the whole thing just felt a little weird and dated.

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A really old/bad picture of the closet area. Someday, I will learn to take proper “before” pictures!

And, reaching even farther into the archives, here's a picture of the closet area (wallpaper and all) from the day we moved in.

And, reaching even farther into the archives, here’s a picture of the closet area (wallpaper and all) from the day we moved in.

We think the previous owners probably got a lot of use out of this space, but we’ve never found it very functional.  A dresser in this location seemed like a better fit for the way we use the space.

And then there’s the paint.

A picture of the bedroom when the paint was new. Sherwin Williams Sand Dune.

A picture of the bedroom when the paint was new.

We actually painted this room this color (Sherwin Williams Sand Dune – SW6086) shortly after we moved in, but I’ve never loved it.  We have the same color in a couple of other rooms of our house and like it there, but, in person, it’s always had a weird pink/peach vibe in the bedroom that I just haven’t been able to get over.  We’ve also had a number of cases where we’ve had to touch up the paint and the left over paint we had wasn’t a good match, so the touch ups stand out like crazy.

Case in Point: Can you spot the touch ups around the thermostat?

Case in Point: Can you spot the touch ups from when we installed the Nest?

Anyway, I figured we might as well update the paint color at the same time as the rest of the work.

So, that’s our list – carpet, lights, built-in dresser, and paint.  I’ve put together a Pinterest board where I’ve been working through a bunch of ideas to settle on the things we think will work out best.  (You can follow along here.)  Of course, these updates will most certainly make our hodgepodge of furniture, lack of window treatments, and mismatched bedding look even more terrible, so I’m sure this first round of changes will lead to the need to actually decorate the room, too.  Regardless, though, I am excited to finally make some changes and (hopefully) have a bedroom that is actually pretty by the time we are done!

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