Posts Tagged ‘carpeting’

The Playroom Carpet Hunt

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Posted by Rebecca, September 13th, 2012

I’ve mentioned multiple times that since we’ve moved the office upstairs, the former office downstairs will be Easton’s playroom. You know the room, it’s the one where we painted our sweat stripes on the wall.

The beige carpet never matched with our paint choice, so I’m happy to be on the hunt for something different.

One of my requirements was that the carpet be gray. I don’t care what shade of gray (nope, didn’t read that book), really I’d take anything. My number one priority is that the carpet be safe and as free of toxins as possible. Thus began my hunt for the eco friendly carpet. Dun dun dun!

I’ve posted about our search for a solid wood crib, my relevation about Easton’s Ikea dresser, the hunt for a wool area rug, using no-VOC paint and our use of solid wood/low-VOC adhesive on Easton’s paneled wall — all in the nursery. It should come as no surprise that I also want the playroom to be as non-toxic as possible. Or maybe that statement is surprising? I’m sure there are people who think that once your baby comes you become more relaxed about such things, but really, I think I worry about it more now. I mean, when you see your kid react to tummy time by immediately licking his playmat, you realize that what you lay him on should be as safe as possible.

Assuming that most carpets come in some shade of gray, I figured I’d begin my search with the eco friendly requirement. I simply googled for “eco friendly carpeting” to find out what brands made options. I knew that major retailers were starting to come around because we had spotted something in Lowe’s a few months ago, before we were really ready to start looking. My googling led me to Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet which has received glowing reviews from eco-friendly companies as well as carpet salespeople (and apparently Better Homes & Garden).

(via Mohawk)

This line of carpet has stain resistance somehow built-in rather than sprayed on with a chemical and supposedly can be cleaned WITH JUST WATER. So not only are you dodging the chemicals in a strain treatment, but you are also dodging the chemicals from cleaning it yourself. Let’s face it, kids are messy and the less you have to use the Resolve or the SpotBot, the better. Oh, pets are messy too and that’s the only reason why I can use both Resolve and the SpotBot with my hands behind my back… and my eyes closed.

Re-read the above sentence about Easton licking surfaces and you’ll see why chemical free is number one above looks. Granted, he won’t be licking flooring forever (he’ll stop for about 18 years then resume where he left off in college), but so much of his little body is still growing. The thought of toxins entering that little body cannot be good. So this weekend, the 3 of us trekked to check it out in person.

First, we headed to Home Depot, where we didn’t see any eco-friendly carpeting. We had the guest of honor with us and thankfully he let us put him back in the car and drive to a nearby speciality flooring store. There we hunted down the SmartStrand!

I wish I snapped pictures in the store, but I completely forgot to. The salesperson showed us where the carpet was and explained that you could tell it was SmartStrand just by touching it — it was that soft. There were all different levels of softness and then a million colors to choose from, so it was very overwhelming. She also told us that our room was so small (11′ x 11′) that we could get a remnant. Unfortunately, when we entered the remnant area, there were no SmartStrand carpets in any weight or design, in gray.

We decided to continue to shop around and to check out Lowe’s this weekend. We had seen the carpet there a few months ago and we’re hoping they’re running some sort of promotion. We’re also open for suggestions of other brands/types of carpeting that are safe for Easton. While being “green” is extremely trendy these days, it’s still hard to find products that are affordable and safe. Suggestions welcome… I’d take shag, carpet that leaves vaccuum marks, berber or Beiber.

Just look at him, he loves carpet :)

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

The Baby To-Do List

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Posted by Rebecca, November 7th, 2011

Thank you all for your comments on the post revealing our big announcement! It has been rough juggling a full-time job, 2 graduate courses, writing posts and doing projects for posts… while being ridiculously tired and usually nauseous around 9pm. Today has been one of my worst days…strangely, considering I’m out of the first trimester. Maybe that flu shot I got yesterday me the sleepies? But I always manage to find a little extra time and energy to blog because well, I love doing this :)

One of the hardest part of keeping up with the blog while being pregnant hasn’t been the exhaustion or sickness… it’s been the fact that I could not share all of the plans we’ve been working on! We have 3 rooms that will be directly affected by this baby… THREE. And I could not really talk about everything we’ve been working on which was even more challenging.

But I finally can, so here are the preliminary changes that will be going on around here in the next 6 months :)

1. Remove carpet in 3 upstairs bedrooms and have hardwood installed

Last year we removed this carpeting from our bedroom and upstairs hallway. We waited on the other three bedrooms to save us some money since we weren’t using them. Now with the baby taking one room and the office being moved to another, we figured it’s time to remove this beast. This is necessary not only because hardwood looks pretty, but well, we have a cat who is fighting a form of kidney cancer and carpeting is our worst enemy these days (besides cancer). Plus Macky loves to shred this particular type of carpet (it’s the less expensive carpet that some moron decided would make a great scratching post material), so we figured we’d start ahead of the game this time and nip any issues in the bud before they come up. Oh and I have a horrible fear of our child being allergic to cats (both Mike and I were as children), so any dander collectors are out! Right now we’re scheduled for flooring install November 21-22 so our hardwoods will be nice and seamless upstairs :)

2. Move current office furniture upstairs to make room for playroom

We discussed moving the office and some preliminary plans a few times because that was the only room we could really talk about! The truth is, ever since we bought this house we knew that the downstairs office would one day be a playroom. That is why we never attempted built-ins in this room and instead went for removable Ikea furniture. It is entirely true that this office was no longer working for us, which is why we were moving it upstairs. Several people asked us what would become of the room with the pretty stripes and the answer is now obvious, it will be a playroom and the stripes will of course stay :) The future of the room was indeed considered when we painted the stripes and we knew that it would one day make for a fun playroom.

3. Replace current office/future playroom carpet

This is the carpeting we currently have in the office. We added a bright green area rug, which will be likely moving upstairs with the office furniture to protect our soon to be new hardwoods from our rolling chairs. While we chose this carpet before our house was even built, we had no idea what it would look like in the room and had no idea that we would be painting gray stripes. But that’s not the reason why we have to replace it. The reason is that little orange guy in that picture. It’s one of those things a lot of people don’t talk about but hey! I’m saying it twice in one post! My poor kitty was sick and couldn’t make it to the bathroom at his worst and this carpet took the brunt of it. Anyone who has struggled with animal accidents (especially under heartbreaking circumstances) knows that they are not easy to resolve. I don’t think we can get this carpet back to it’s former glory so we plan to replace it with something more gray, fluffier and hopefully eco-friendly. We have a $200 giftcard to Home Depot that we’re hoping helps us a lot with the cost since this room is relatively small (11×11). No Darwin, we’re not mad at you, we’re happy that you’re still here with us and that you get to be a big brother :) Now it’s time to get a job…

4. Choose a room for the nursery.

No picture here, we have no clue what room to choose of the remaining two. I’ll keep you posted :)

5. Decorate!!

Once all of the logistics are done, we can get around to all of the projects we have in mind for the 3 new rooms. We’ve talked a little bit about the new office (which is still very much up in the air), but we also have some built-in solutions for the new playroom including a storage bench and bookcases. The nursery is still a giant question mark but I have begun the epic search for an environmentally friendly crib and will of course keep you all posted on my progress!

I think this is the first time we’ve done anything in this house with a deadline. Though of course, the baby won’t mind if the playroom isn’t completely decorated in time for his/her May arrival (let’s face it, the baby won’t be doing much playing at that point…) But we’re hoping to have all of the new flooring down by the end of the year, then we can clear out the current office and the priority will probably be the baby’s room. I would like to get the built-ins done in the playroom to store the mass amounts of stuff that comes with a baby. The rest of the playroom will probably be evolving as we get used to this new gig we’re taking on :)

So that’s the overall, shortened version of what will be going on around here. Now I’m off to Pinterest to find some inspiration. Wait I’m lying… I’m off to go back to bed… :)

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