Archive for the ‘family room’ Category

Family Room Hardwoods

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Posted by Rebecca, April 23rd, 2012

In the midst of the glider chaos of last week, we forgot to tell you something.

Not only did we decide to go with hardwood in our family room (we discussed the reasoning here), but it was delivered and installed.

We didn’t have much time to flip flop on our decision and just decided that the carpet had to go… and quickly. We had stopped spending time in the family room because the cats follow us around the house and if we were in there, it meant Darwin was there, which meant an increased possibility of accidents. Plus, being 9 months pregnant and having to jump over SpotBot crop circles (as we called them) to get on to the couch was not a fun process. We scheduled our install about 2 weeks in advance and we could not wait until the day came. I was counting down the minutes until that carpet was gone and I told the baby that it could not come until that weight was off my shoulders.

So on Friday, we said our final goodbye to our carpet.

I was never in love with the idea of doing anything but carpet in this room. I liked our dark ottoman and dark entertainment center and thought the contrast of the carpet looked better. I accepted the hardwood as more of a necessity.

And I am completely impressed with how it looks. I love it more than the carpet (note: the floors come off strangely orange on camera)

One of our concerns was that the new floors would not match the existing floors, since they were installed over a year apart. But much to our surprise, they match perfectly.

The slate around the fireplace is now more level with the floors, which is a plus (we still need to find a way to paint this or something)

With the hardwoods, we also had to add an additional quarter round piece of molding. By we, I mean our contractor. We didn’t do these floors on our own!

We had to move everything off our of entertainment center so that it could be easily moved for the install… I still haven’t put it back.

I’ve wanted to de-clutter and restyle our entertainment center for months and this is the perfect opportunity. But, right now I am loving the zero clutter look. Does nesting include wanting your house to look like you just moved in? Though our dining room is suffering now, since it’s home to all of our misplaced clutter…

The lack of clutter isn’t going to last long, since we plan on dedicating this corner to a Pack ‘n Play.

Okay we put the Pack ‘n Play together tonight, but I didn’t take an after picture because we had to stuff it with cardboard and a random globe. We had to make it feel less than cozy since someone liked it a little too much…

Don’t worry, we would never forget about our first babies. Macky will be keeping his corner of the family room.

I haven’t brought their toy box back out yet (it’s just a wicker basket that they know stashes the toys) since I’m trying to enjoy the lack of stuff, but Macky’s bed was a necessity in the room. That guy LOVES his bed and will cry if it’s not around. We think that to keep life as normal as possible for him when the baby comes, he needs to keep his little safe zone. He’s much more sensitive than Mowie or Darwin who adapt more easily and aren’t as attached to routines. We’re trying our best to make the baby transition easy for them. Maybe that’s another post for another day?

Strangely, I think that my iPhone better captures the color of the floors.

They’re still cherry, but not an orange cherry. The ottoman and entertainment center mix in well with the darker spots on the floor. Now maybe you can see why we are so impressed with the new floors? Plus they seem to make the room appear larger, which is always a bonus!

ps- for anyone interested, all of our hardwoods throughout our house are Bruce Oak, Dundee Plank, 3 1/4 inch planks, cherry color

Au Revoir Carpet

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Posted by Rebecca, March 29th, 2012

This weekend Mike and I came to a sad realization– our family room carpet has to go.

This was not a happy decision because a) I’ve always wanted to keep our sunken family room carpeted and b) the timing is god awful.

It’s no secret that one of our cats, Darwin, has been battling renal lymphoma. In January, he successfully completed 6 months of chemotherapy and was declared to be in remission. This was an absolute miracle considering that the type of cancer he had was especially deadly and the oncologist had never seen a cat make it through a full course of chemo. Darwin did and continues to thrive, despite the fact that he was in such bad shape at one point that the oncologist suggested we stop treatment. We begged for just another week or two of treatments and it worked. We could not be prouder of him and of ourselves– for making the tough decisions we had to make, standing up for what we felt was right in our hearts and never giving up on him.

The downside to this happy story is that Darwin will forever have damaged kidneys. His kidney function did improve with chemo, which is how he is still alive today, but he is still in partial kidney failure. And with that comes the taboo pet owner topic of… accidents.

Darwin spared our family room carpet for months. We replaced our carpeting upstairs and considered ourselves lucky that he never went on our family room carpet. Anyone that has experienced cat accidents knows that they are extremely, extremely hard to stop once they start. Even if you cannot smell cat pee, they can and they continue to reuse certain spots.

Somewhere within the past few months, it finally happened in the family room. Our Bissell Spot Bot and Nature’s Miracle are our best friends. We even have a full sized Hoover carpet shampooer that we use often. While not ideal, we felt like we were managing the issue. One good thing (which is actually a very bad thing) is that Darwin’s pee is not very concentrated because his kidneys aren’t fully functioning. We could get rid of any smell rather easily, at least what us humans can smell. He generally stuck to one small area of the room, in front of our entertainment center (ps- this is an old picture with our old tv with wire hanging…)

After running some additional tests at the vet, we determined that Darwin’s family room issues are mostly behavioral at this point. It’s not that he’s not making it to the litter box in time, it’s that he thinks it’s actually okay to go on the rug since he’s had accidents there in the past. The past several weeks we’ve tried “potty training” him, since we can tell when he has to go. He only uses the family room when Mike and I are watching tv, so we watched him like a hawk. Any sign he had to go and we jumped up, walked him to the litter box and put him in there. If he didn’t go, we kept walking him back. Then we noticed something even stranger– he would only go in the litter box if I personally walked him there. So here I am, super pregnant and jumping up several times at night to walk my cat to the litter box and stand there until he went. Since I don’t sleep well at this point, sometimes I fall asleep on the couch and if he was with me, I’d have to jump up at odd hours in the middle of the night to walk him to the litter box. Needless to say, this method wasn’t fool proof and we still ended up with a few accidents when we weren’t vigilant.

I declared this past weekend as “Re-Potty Train Darwin” weekend. We planned to shampoo the whole carpet and use one of our new baby gates to discourage him from getting into the family room. Yes, we know that cats can jump, but poor Darwin also has a neurological disorder that makes him not the greatest jumper. Any obstacle we could use would help. We planned to have the carpet professionally cleaned before the baby comes to solve any remaining issues.

Well, plan backfired. We had twelve accidents this weekend. TWELVE.

I never wanted to get rid of our carpet, even up until a few days ago I was trying to come up with solutions to save it or be able to get a new one. I didn’t want to do hardwood and we tried to think of other materials we could use that would compliment our existing hardwood, but add some contrast and be pet/baby friendly. I didn’t want to lose this battle. Finally a few nights ago I looked at Mike and told him we should just do the hardwood.

We’ve been stressing over the constant accidents and carpet shampooing, worrying about the baby having a safe and clean place to play and embarrassed that we always have Spot Bot circles on our rug. We just need to be done with it and I have to be okay with that. These things happen and it is no one’s fault. In fact, we are lucky that he is still around and still so incredibly happy.

The problem is that hardwood is expensive and was no where near in our upcoming plans. We still have to buy things for the baby’s room, planned to replace the playroom carpet and there’s the issue of that mower we need. But this is important and urgent. We want to have it done before the baby comes to save our time and energy and also to keep this place as clean as possible. I can’t imagine I’d be able to feed the baby AND stalk Darwin for signs of a pee-pee dance in the middle of the night. We have savings for times like this, but I’ve just trained myself to never touch it. It took me a little while to be okay with using some of it to save our sanity. I mean, that’s what it’s there for.

We did consider trying to install the floors ourselves to save money. John from Our Home From Scratch happens to live in our area, has the same flooring and offered us his nailer. Oh and his floor plan is nearly identical to ours, so we have a nice visual of what our family room will look like with new floors!

(via Our Home From Scratch)

Because of our time constraints, my inability to help and the fact that we’ve never done this before, we don’t think it’s a good idea to take this on ourselves. What would take someone else hours would take us days, which we don’t have too many of lately.

We plan to pick up a small, inexpensive area rug for now that the baby can play on while we’re in the family room. We plan to put it away when we’re done with it. Maybe someday we’ll get a nice, big area rug to warm up this room, but we try not to think that far ahead. Being able to get an area rug may mean that Darwin is no longer with us, which we don’t want to think of.

After all, things are easily replaced, lives are not.

Rounding Out The Family Room

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Posted by Rebecca, October 24th, 2011

I’m very sad to report that I have no acorn wreath to show you today. I did collect a bunch of acorns, but I didn’t have time yesterday to assemble them. I’ll probably have to glue them on in stages over a few weekends, but I am determined to finish it for Thanksgiving!

Okay, Mike here totally post-bombing (it’s like photo-bombing, but yeah, you get it) Rebecca.  We spent most of our time Saturday following this guy…

We were out semi-hiking along a stream and every ten feet or so, we’d here ruffling noises in the leaves.  Sure enough, we kept seeing deer!  Or squirrels.  Either way, we kept getting excited. 

After we collected acorns on Saturday, Mike and I swung by a nearby Target to see of the Nolan ottoman that has been sold out of every Target was in stock. Turns out it was! Lucky for us, it was on sale for $139.99, plus I had a $5 off furniture coupon I got at the register during my last visit and I used my Target debit card for an additional 5% off. $169.99 online price? Pssh take that, Target :)

I wanted this particular ottoman because it was a) a storage ottoman, b) round, c) flipped to a wood top, d) inexpensive. My cats love wrecking ottomans and I knew the faux leather would be less appealing to them. The storage is key for us since we are those people that cannot lay on the couch without being wrapped in a blanket. I hate just laying blankets/throws on the couch because the cats will sleep on them and I will never get my blankey back. Sort of like how I let Darwin sleep on the cuddler portion of the couch once and I have never sat there again. It’s his spot and we dare not sit there….

Anyway, the pictures!

No, I didn’t stage the ottoman, that is my actual drink and laptop. I figured I’d keep the pictures realistic :)

I love how the round shape compliments all of the straight lines in the room….

…But yet provides some symmetry to the round, dark mirror over the fireplace.

The hard top was a selling point for us, since we always have drinks and need somewhere to put them. It’s hard to tell in pictures, but the wood top is a nice rich brown color.

I also like that the dark color of the ottoman balances all of the beige fabric in the room. I read a lot of designer’s blogs and magazines and I know that top pet peeve of designers is too much beige. And I still did it anyway. We are not easy on our furniture/carpets and we have 3 cats. Medium tones are necessary unless I want to vacuum and lint roll fabric all day long. So instead of having an impractical couch or flooring, we decided to balance everything with dark toned woods, textured pillows and colorful curtains (which we have to rewire some things to hang).

Now we just need some end tables since the couch is so huge that I can’t possibly reach my drink from the chaise or the cuddler. The hunt has been on, but I haven’t seen anything I like. Oh and incase you’re wondering, our previous storage ottoman is now living at the bottom of our bed. Here’s a picture from August, isn’t the family room looking way less cluttered already?

Though I can’t lie, I miss that old couch :( A couch that comfy comes only once in a lifetime. Just ask Macky, it’s now his personal couch in the formal living room, he sleeps on it every single day :)

Our Paint Colors

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Posted by Rebecca, October 13th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago when I planned to do a post with some frequently asked questions, I wanted to include a section for all of the paint colors we’ve used in our house. Mike ended up taking over the post for me when I fell asleep, answering his own version of our FAQs. Since the #1 question I am asked is what paint colors we’ve used in various rooms, I figured it was about time the question received it’s own post!

Here are all of our current paint colors displayed together. Some observations…

1. I never realized how well all of our house colors blend together. Since I didn’t really have the whole house in mind when choosing colors, I’m surprised that they all work well! I especially thought the dark gray was bolder and less expected, but even that blends in well.

2. The two middle colors on the top and bottom rows do not look that similar in real life. Or maybe they do? Mike says they do. I think the top color is more brown based and the bottom one is more of a true gray. At least I’m consistent in my choices :)

Here is our color breakdown, by room.

Family Room & Kitchen:

Wedgewood Gray

Benjamin Moore HC-146

Entryway & Upstairs Hallway:

Himalayan Trek

Benjamin Moore 1542

Living Room & Dining Room:

Waynesboro Taupe

Benjamin Moore 1544

Office:

Light Stripe- Gray Ghost

Olympic D17-2

Dark Stripe- Silver Fox

Benjamin Moore 2108-50

(we color matched the dark stripe to Olympic, but it is nearly identical to Olympic’s Silver Dollar D17-3)

Powder Room:

Cracked Slate

Olympic D44-5

You’ll notice that our recent paint projects have been done with Olympic’s no VOC paint. We try to keep things as toxin free as possible around here since Macky has seizures and we don’t want any unnecessary triggers. Plus those smells just aren’t good for anyone :( The Benjamin Moore paints we used were for rooms we had professionally painted before we moved in so Macky wasn’t exposed to those fumes (we couldn’t paint our two story entryway on our own so we hired it out).

I hope this post answers all of your paint questions in one spot. I plan to update it as we paint more rooms down the road. I’ll also add this post to our top navigation bar for easy access :)

Get Me Some Glasses!

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Posted by Rebecca, October 3rd, 2011

I told you on Thursday that our beloved family room TV had died right then and there, as I typed my post. By Friday, it was still dead, but I stared at it anyway.

(warning: this post has a lot of awful iPhone photos in it)

I had a long week last week and I really did not want to spend Friday night TV shopping. I thought maybe I could just lay down and relax by the dead TV, but I lasted about 20 minutes before we headed out.

First stop- Best Buy.

Here we got a nice introduction to the TVs of 2011. They are a) thin b) sleek and c) way cheaper than they were in 2005.  I should have started this post by saying that we are not normal blogger people. We are sometimes irrational and decide to buy a TV on a whim. Hey, we’re human and we like electronics. One person’s Missoni is another person’s Samsung :) We also like TV and accept the fact that it is the focal point of our family room. That being said, it had to be pretty. The few times I’ve seen TVs in the past few years I’ve loved these Samsung ones with the glass frame.

Other than that, we were not impressed with anything at Best Buy, so we headed to stop #2.

Second stop- hhgregg. (ps- just learned that the name of this store is one word and all lowercase, weird)

Woohoo! You had me at hello! hhgregg also had the most beautiful TV I have ever seen, it was basically frameless and the image extended all the way to the ends of the TV. Here it is on top, compared to a TV with more of a frame.

But it was expensive, so we traveled to the open box section which had a bunch of great deals. We could get a 46″ pretty glass framed TV for $900. We’ve bought numerous open box items before, so this didn’t bother us in the least. However, we decided to look around a little more.

Third stop- P.C. Richards.

I believe this is a regional store, but I wasn’t impressed. hhgregg had better deals and I have no pictures to share because I was busy sitting in a massage chair the whole time.

It was now about 8:15 and we debated whether we should go back to hhgregg or try a nearby Sears. We knew we were cutting our time close, but we still felt like we needed to shop around so we went to Sears.

Fourth stop- Sears.

We entered Sears and it was 5 million degrees in the store. Mike and I have had multiple bad experiences at this particular location (awful customer service when trying to buy garage door openers and appliances), so we were ready to just browse quickly and leave. It appeared like they didn’t have much, until we spotted that glorious frameless TV that we fell in love with in the distance. We were simply admiring it, since it didn’t have a price on it, when a salesperson came up to us and told us it was on sale. He also told us he could give us an additional 5%. He then told us he could give us 2 pairs of 3-D glasses, valued at $50 each. As appealing as this was, we knew we had little use for 3-D glasses, so Mike asked if we could have more off the price instead. The guy was all like sure! I’ll give you another 5% off!

So needless to say, we bought a beautiful, frameless, glass surrounded, Samsung TV that was $600 more at the affordably priced hhgregg. We got it for a little more than the cost of a less pretty, open box 46 incher. Sweet deal :)

The stats… it’s a 46″ LED. And we’re in love.

We haven’t yet attached it to our mount and haven’t properly plugged everything in yet. We had plans for the rest of the weekend, hence the Friday night shopping/setting up urgency :)

It is absolutely insane how thin this thing is. Our old plasma took both of us to move. This thing? Mike can grab it with like, one hand.

The strange thing is that it’s a larger TV (our previous one was 42″), but it looks smaller because of the lack of speakers and other extra bulk along the front. When we put it on the entertainment center we were like, ooh, we could have gone bigger! (I told you we are sometimes irrational) But then we realized that an increase in size equals an increase in price (we’re not THAT irrational).

It is insane how HD this TV is. Our other TV was too but I guess the technology has improved so much in 6 years that it doesn’t even compare. I think I can see people’s pores on this thing. It was a little creepy at first, but we’re getting used to it. Even this computer looks like it’s non-HD now…

Oh and that picture is proof that I always write these posts minutes before they’re actually posted. Yes that’s Amanda Knox, no post scheduling here! Though it would be nice to plan ahead like that, it would mean that I couldn’t spend my spare time watching my new pretty TV :)

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