I didn’t think I was going hardwood
I’m the kind of person that would have found a creative solution around the (old, a bit spotty) beige carpet in the living room, and linoleum in the kitchen. I had it all planned out. Jute rug layered with mudcloth on an angle – and BAM, a classy cover-up.
I thought in my head, hey, I’ll live with the carpet for a while and then build myself some wide-planked floors with plywood and an industrial sander.
I had already bought the jute rug and mudcloth, had ordered my couch and was ready to 100% move in when I got a call from someone in the family who told me they wanted to housewarm in a big way. Which included subsidizing part of new flooring on the main level. Part of me was oddly disappointed that I wasn’t going to have a giant Pinterest-worthy flooring project on my hands, and the other part of me was dreaming up maple or hickory hardwood with the perfect variation.
I’m not the kind of person to shy away from actual facts, so that’s why you’re getting honesty on here! I don’t want people thinking, “how can I do that?” or “how did she even do this on a charitable salary?” I’m incredibly grateful and humbly know that this kind of budget injection doesn’t happen every day.
The point is, regardless of if it happened or not, I feel confident I would have made it beautiful – and that’s the key.
When decorating your home, there’s a certain amount of faith you need in yourself, and patience. It’s not going to be Pin-perfect on the first round (there are definitely going to be some holes in the walls from adjusting picture frames), and sometimes you need to flex your style to discover a new way of appreciating the space.
There are always ways to make places beautiful if you embrace them and amplify their strengths.
I’ll get more into that later when I share my kitchen reno, but for now, back to the wood floors! Now that I had a little help on the way, I made the decision to stretch out my budget more and replace the floors on the whole main level. When we ripped up the floor and started popping out the staples with needlenose plyers, we were able to see the original stick-on flooring AND the original sub-floor the family used in the front extension. The bulkhead area and window at the front of the house actually used to be the porch – and they covered it up to gain more square footage inside! GREAT idea if you ask me. It really opened up the space, and the full-length window lets in so much light.
Another bit of honesty to keep things real around here – I had to cover up that mint green and paint all over the entire house, among other little fixes. That meant a credit line opened in order to pay for the initial round of renos and paint. Paint is expensive.
Hot tip: ask for Benjamin Moore’s Ultra-Spec paint – it’s half the price of the regular line, and just as beautifully easy to work with. Saves a TON when you’re literally going over an entire mint green house. It’s not even on the shelves because it’s typically used by contractors, so just casually ask for it when you go in.
Once all the walls were white, white, white, I picked out a beautiful 5-inch natural maple with variations. The variation allowed me to embrace quite a few antique pieces of furniture handed down through the family, and worked well with the older elements of the house while still keeping the atmosphere soft and bright.
I can’t get enough of these floors. The variation is soft enough to not detract from the room, and just enough to tie the darker elements together.
Oh – I didn’t mention this, but that wood slab table? That’s walnut – my Nonno chopped down a HUGE tree when I was in college, and I was sentimental about it. I brought my car over to his house and asked if I could take a piece. A few years later, it was fully dried out and I found an amazing local woodworker who was just as passionate about this piece as I was. He crafted it into a gorgeous coffee table and now I have a piece of my Nonna and Nonno’s backyard with me always.
Any questions? Comment below, I’m always happy to answer!