Posts Tagged ‘carpet’

A Soft Place To Land

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Posted by Rebecca, December 12th, 2012

Last week, it finally happened, we got our playroom carpet!

Here’s the old, smelly, flat, beige one…

And our new cushy gray one!

There is always a cat photobombing my pictures. I’ve just accepted it at this point.

Anyway, I first have to admit that the true color of the carpet is hard to photograph. It often looks beige like the old one, but I promise you it’s gray. It goes quite well with the stripes and actually falls in between the two colors on the wall. It does have a slight brown undertone (the color is sugared bronze afterall), but it’s perfect because the paint does as well. The room definitely has a slight greige going to it, which we like because it goes with the entryway. It’s Mohawk’s SmartStrand Preston carpet in sugared bronze.

Our favorite part, other than the part that it’s a completely green carpet, is that it is so soft and cushy. I don’t mind that it’s the type of carpet that leaves vacuum marks because it’s so comfy for Easton. And us. We may or may not lay on the carpet all day now.

I didn’t properly white balance the camera before taking these pictures and I couldn’t manage to make the above picture less orange-y. Photoshop is not at all my speciality and the early sunset doesn’t help.

I picked up 2 gray felt storage baskets at Target last week to try to wrangle baby toys and add some style to the room. I love them, they add some texture yet are soft enough for Easton to reach in.

They are where we hide that puppy we both hate. Easton loves him more than anything (except maybe his snowman book), so I guess Puppy (his official name) can stay. First thing I do at night is throw Puppy in a basket. Usually he yells “Bye-Bye!” which just makes me hate him more.

The only other things in the room at the moment are a pack ‘n play and a jumperoo hidden behind the door.

I was cleaning off the shelves as I was taking these pictures, but then Easton started to wake up from his nap. I cut the cleaning short and just snapped some quick pictures.

The shelves and fan are going. We bought a light fixture a while ago, so we’ll move the fan upstairs. The rest of the room doesn’t have any concrete plans for now. We would like some built-in bookcases for storage, but we’re not in any rush.

Right now the open room makes someone very happy.

We spend most of our days in here now.

Easton’s favorite uses for his new playroom? Rolling from wall to wall and back again. Over and over…

Reading books…

And reading books to his puppy…

All in his pajamas. We clearly take most of our pictures in the morning…

Playroom Under Construction

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Posted by Rebecca, November 27th, 2012

Has it seriously been 2 months since we started looking for a playroom carpet? We didn’t plan on waiting this long (we wanted it done for Thanksgiving), but some things happened and we ended up ordering it much later than planned. But the moral of the story is… we ordered a playroom carpet!!

Need a refresher? The playroom is actually our former office that is downstairs with the striped walls and french doors.

Thanks to that little cat, who ironically photobombed this picture, we have to completely scrap this carpet. Darwin was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year and had a few very, very rough months that included… peeing on our carpets. We tore up the family room carpet this spring and now it’s time for this one to go.

(For those of you wanting a Darwin update, he is doing amazing. He was the first cat with renal lymphoma that his oncologist has ever treated to live past 6 months. It’s just an awful form of cancer for cats that essentially causes kidney failure even if chemo is suppressing the cancer. Darwin beat the odds and has since made it to a year post-diagnosis. Though he does suffer from some loss of kidney function, cats can actually live normal lives with something ridiculous like 75% of their kidney function lost. He has been off chemo for almost a year now!)

A few weeks ago I discovered Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet, which is eco-friendly and you can clean it with just soap and water. We looked around some major retailers, but we didn’t see anything that you could clean with just soap and water. So after being frustrated that Easton had no where to roll free (though he has carpet in his room), we realized that we really need to choose something. I am generally a pretty decisive person, so we headed to Lowe’s all set to choose something. And choose we did.

So we trekked up to the salesperson, with this board and baby in hand and were like, “okay, we’ll take it”. That guy made the easiest commission ever. We wanted Lowe’s to install it (what the heck do we know about stapling carpets??), but we didn’t know that regardless of if we had the measurements on hand, they still had to send someone out fo measure. Whaaamp whaamp. So they wrote down what carpet we wanted and took our information. Then we had to wait to hear from the installer.

He called us within a day or so and scheduled a measurement for a few days away. He came, confirmed our measurements and called them into Lowe’s. Lowe’s then called us and told us the price and that we just had to come in to pay, yay! Except they lied. Mike got there and they needed all of the carpet information again, which is how I have the above picture. Since I was carrying Easton and whatnot, I trusted that Lowe’s was recording what I was choosing and didn’t take any pictures the day we selected it. Thankfully my memory is ridiculous and I remembered the style name, so I asked Mike to send a picture of the board because I knew the position of the color we wanted.

So we went with the SmartStrand Preston in Sugared Bronze with the recommended carpet pad. Using the SmartStrand pad protects the warranty and was seriously something like 10 cents more a square foot. Our room is incredibly small so it was something like $15 for the better pad. Sold!

Here is where I would normally give you pictures of the carpet I found while googling… but I can’t find any. My google-age (new word) has led me to believe that the big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot carry their own lines of SmartStrand carpet. Quite like mattresses, this makes it impossible to compare across retailers. So I’m guessing that my Preston is someone else’s Harrison and someone else’s Mason. My sugared bronze is someone elses shimmer metallic brown. It has to be in limited availability to have no history on the internet. Bizarre.

Anyway, we really just guessed what color would look best. We knew the paint color of the stripes in the new playroom has a tinge of brown to it. A bluish gray wouldn’t go as well as one with more of a taupe undertone. From there we just picked a mid-tone color that wasn’t too dark or too light.

As for the style of the carpet, we petted the larger samples to see how each one would feel on little knees. Then we compared prices and weighed the pros and cons. For example, our room is between 100-150 square feet, so we knew if the prices differed by a small amount, we would just go with the nicer one. A 20 cent price difference wasn’t making a big dent in the budget if it meant we were getting a more dense carpet. Using that method, we went with a mid-range carpet that was the best in it’s group. So it’s like the upper middle class of carpets.

We were told that the carpet would take only 2-3 weeks to come in, since the room is so small and the manufacturer should have enough on hand. We ordered it about a week and a half ago, so we’re hoping to hear from the installer soon. We were told that the whole room would take them less than an hour to do. I can’t wait 🙂

ps- Am I the only one that manages to kill an entire sleeve of crackers each time I open one? One blog post = a sleeve of saltines gone. Whoops.

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.

Goal Setting 2012

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Posted by Rebecca, January 16th, 2012

Since I finally put away our Christmas things, I feel as though I need to write out everything we want to get done around here while it’s fresh in my mind. If I could have tackled all of this tonight, I would have. I am so anxious to finally organize this house and make some progress on projects that were put on the back burner when I was busy with school.

Oh, and we have a baby coming in May so many of these items are marked urgent. Some are just marked as “they are bothering us and we’d like to do them ASAP”. Since we realize we have to prioritize (I’m approaching the third trimester here, eek), I’m putting them in the order we’d like to do them.

1. Finish built-in bench in new office

We scratched our heads and shopped for wood this weekend, but hit a standstill when we realized we need to buy a table saw or something. And we’re cheap a–es. Solution pending.

2. Move office furniture in

Mike needs this room to work in and be organized and our goal was to get him somewhat settled in the new office before the baby comes. We’re going to use the furniture we currently have with some potential hacks.

3. Remove wire rack from the baby’s closet, paint, stencil and add closet system

(from Roomzaar via Pinterest)

I put this as first in the baby’s room progress because the closet is the most needed to start to organize some of the stuff we already have. Hanging tiny little clothes in a huge closet is killllling me. Must. Make. Closet. Pretty.

4. Add board and batten to the baby’s room

(via Decorchick)

We plan to add molding high and all the way around the room, like Emily’s living room. Pattern to be determined 🙂

5. Add crown molding to the baby’s room, paint, add furniture, etc.

I know this category is huge and can probably be another to-do ist in itself, but we kinda have to wait until we get through other stages to work this part out. We have furniture in mind and a general idea of where we’re going, so we’ll share as much of it as we can as we go along (being sure not to spill any gender specific details :))

6. Replace playroom carpet

We originally planned to do this before Christmas but that didn’t happen. Since it’s not a space we’ll be using right away, we put the new office and the baby’s room first. But this carpet has got to go. If carpet wasn’t so expensive, we probably would have committed to this already.

7. Add bookcases to playroom

(via Centsational Girl)

We want to add some Ikea bookcases to the wall where the shelving is in the picture above and make them look built-in, like Kate did with hers.

8. Finish up the molding in our entryway

We need to add the box portion underneath our chair rail in the entryway and upstairs hallway. Mike is itching to finish this one but we reeeally need to do the baby’s room first. We’re just dying to get to number 8…

9. Start our gallery wall(s)

(via Sawdust and Paper Scraps)

I’ve shared this inspiration picture from Sandra before and we’ve been slowly accumulating frames to hang all the way throughout our entryway. We haven’t hung any yet because we figured we’d have to take them down to nail into the wall to finish the molding, so we wanted to do #7 first.

10. Build outdoor kitchen

Despite the fact that we’ll have a newborn, we’re hoping to make some progress in our backyard this year. We seeded back there in the fall and we hope to do something with the landscaping and start working on the built-in grill we’ve been dreaming of (and drawing in Paint :))

Um anyone else overwhelmed by this list? I’m about to have a Jessie Spano freak out moment and start screaming “there’s never enough time!!!”….

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