I know.

I haven’t blogged in like two weeks (which is 20 years in blog years) and I come to you with FLOORS.

Listen.  Let me ease back into this.

It’s like riding a bike: you never really forget, but you might be wobbly.

(Also, I straight up got out of bed at 4:20…so that I could get this done and beat before the dumb kids came waddling in at 5:30.  Dedication.)


You might remember that when we first moved in, we had a creamy beige carpet in the house.

As you can see here, it’s already seen better days and a darker strip along the main walkway was showing signs of wear.  Even when we had it professionally cleaned, it wasn’t quite looking great.  And a lot of the stains came back within a couple of weeks.  (Apparently carpet does that.)


Just a few months later?

Yeah.  Four kids.  Two dogs.  Four acres.  No bueno.

Plus, it doesn’t help that the kitchen and living room are RIGHT next to each other.  (As in, sometimes when I’m sitting on the couch, it kinda feels like I’m sitting on a couch in a kitchen.)

So there isn’t a demilitarization zone for food.  Kids aren’t allowed in the living room with food, but it happens (I’ll let you guess who)  and we have no buffer to catch Owen them.

But really, I think most of that is good old fashioned we-just-spent-two-hours-digging-holes-and-catching-lizards dirt.

Owen.  You’re gonna rot your eyes if you stand that close to the TV.

(And in my defense, once I knew we were planning on ripping it out, I kinda let it get nasty.  I figured the worse it looked, the more desperate Andy would be to sign off on the project.  Not sneaky.)


But even where it wasn’t dirty and stained, it was sunbleached and looking splotchy.

The carpet was original to the house (12 years) so it had been faded where the sun shone through the windows and it didn’t even give you the satisfaction of vacuum lines anymore.  (Which is irrationally annoying.)


See?  The carpet was supposed to have some kind of pattern…and here you can see the huge difference from what it was supposed to look like and where it had been bleached by the sun.


Blotchy and weird.

And that’s totally my leg in Hakuna Matata pajama pants and gold moccs.

Only the best for you guys.



No more janky stains and dirt clod marks.

No more embarrassingly nasty not-really-beige-anymore carpet.

Just beautiful, non staining, YOU CAN WIPE IT UP, laminate flooring.

Did I mention YOU CAN WIPE. IT. UP.

You can.  And it is glorious.  I may have had tears in my eyes the first time Owen walked in with muddy Chucks.

We only did the living room, hallway and master bedroom.  For now.  I’d like to lay this same flooring in the school room and Andy’s office.  Especially now that I see how pretty and clean it looks.

Did I mention you can wipe it?


Remember this unusually large cut out in the wall?  And how we had our teeny tiny newly married Ikea TV stand in there and it looked so bitty and out of place?

(The previous owners had a large wall unit here…but even that was too small for the space.)



We bought off the shelf cabinets from Home Depot and had those installed too.

We’ve since hung the TV on the wall (and it makes a huge difference!), and I’m planning on being a copy cat and doing a galvanized countertop like Lindsey did.  (I’m even having the same place do the wrap.  Because I take my copy catting seriously.)

Please take special note of that walkway area.

Not stained.

And I can wipe it.


People often ask why I chose laminate (over hardwood and engineered hardwood).

Price was definitely a consideration, but when the owner of the flooring company…a company that had been family owned for over 50 years told me that his wife was pregnant with their fourth baby and he just installed laminate…I was sold.

If the owner of a flooring company, who has been in the business for that long, chose to put laminate in his personal home…well, that’s saying something.

He basically explained that today’s laminate is so durable and so realistic looking that it wasn’t worth the extra cost when you had little kids dropping toys, pushing cars, and spilling sticky drinks on it.  He said he’d save the stress of worrying about ruining the floors while the kids were little, and maybe once they were grown, they’d put in solid hardwood.

In fact, while I was at the shop, I held up the laminate right against a much more expensive hardwood, and if I thought about it real hard, squinted, and gave my best guess I could have picked the hardwood.  But it was honestly REALLLLLLLLLLY similar.  Even right up against each other.

We also opted for the more expensive padding, so it doesn’t sound hollow or “click”.  (And by more expensive, I mean it was 39 cents a square foot vs. 19 cents.  We’re not talking lots of coin here.)

(But let’s face it, there is a warmth to real wood that you can’t recreate.  Also a price tag to match.)





The darker flooring does darken up the room a little bit, but keep in mind that the before photos were taken in July and the afters were taken in December.  Also, my photography skills suck.  And no, those are totally not the same angle.  JUST WHATEVER.


Before.  (Oh that fan!)







(One would think I would put not dead flowers in the vase and that I would straighten the curtains and throw pillows before photographing for my blog.  One would be wrong.)


This is my favorite view.  I make my bed every day.

And now I gotta paint those walls.  But I cannot for the life of me decide which color.  (For real.  Help.)

As for durablity, I can’t really say…it’s only been installed for about two weeks.  But we did have laminate (a different brand) in our last house and it held up really well to the crazy that is my kids.

And yes, dark floors do show EVERYTHING.  Every white speck, every sliver of tinsel, every piece of golden retriever dog hair (and we have TWO of those).

We had a very similar colored laminate in our last house (it was more cherry than brown though), and yeah, it’s maintenance (I use one of these microfiber flat mop/sweeper thingys) daily.  I don’t mind…and I prefer the dark color so it’s worth it to me.  If you’re not willing to microfiber sweeper thingy everyday, a color this dark would probably drive you batty.

So there ya go.  We put in new floors and it makes me completely and utterly and embarrassingly happy.

(The flooring is by Eternity, The Frontier Collection in Walnut Harrington.  It was $1.79/s.f.  Not sponsored, but that would have been nice.)

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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    What an awesome transformation! I agree that today’s laminate is close enough in appearance to wood that it is the perfect budget-friendly alternative, especially for families with young children.

  2. 2

    Your house looks fabulous!

    We tore out disgusting carpet and installed laminate in our old house and it was wonderful! That carpet was so disgusting. But with the dog, it was so hard to keep the laminate clean, and even harder to vacuum the throw rugs- which we had to use because the floor was so cold. I was really happy when we moved into a house with new carpeting. When that carpet is 10 years old, I bet we end up replacing it again with laminate :)

    • 3

      I TOTALLY get this. I don’t have trouble vacuuming my rug though. It is heavy and made of wool, so maybe that’s why? I think that carpet is only nice when it’s new, and when it’s the right color. Too light or too dark and it’s a disaster.

  3. 4

    Beautiful floors! Your bedroom walls should be one of the blues or yellows from your pillows. That would look awesome! I don’t know if I would have the courage to do it in my own house, though.

  4. 5
    Shawna@nottheformerthings.com says:

    Oh my goodness – just beautiful. And funny (especially two weeks being 20 years in blog world). Thank you for sharing your very real, very warm, very inviting new home with us.

  5. 6

    I LOVE dark rooms, but after 12 years of Brighten A Corner projects and working with LOTS of people, I am the exception. Plus, you often see things through the perspective of light, so I would not recommend the charcoal grey for your master bedroom. Go with the lighter bluish greyish that will be glorious with your new floors.

    Just my thoughts…

  6. 7

    I cannot help you at all with color choices, but I do have a laminate question. How quickly to you have to clean up wet spills? If some one has a potty accident without telling me or leaves their sopping wet shoes on the floor for a while will it warp? I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Even about floors. :)

    • 8

      I’m not an expert, but I will tell you that it can be wet for a bit and not warp. I had plenty of spills at the last house and didn’t see it for at least an hour and it was fine. I try to wipe up any wetness immediately for good measure though. I will say that our Christmas tree stand leaked water and collected underneath for who knows how long…we didn’t see it until we removed the tree, and I was terrified it would have ruined the floors. It didn’t. But I would NOT recommend that. At all. :)

  7. 9

    Our landlords put laminate in our entire house right after we moved in (they wanted to wait until all our furniture was there for sport, I guess). I got a Roomba a month later and my (housekeeping) life is now amazing. I mean, I could mop, but no. Our little bo-bot (as the 2yo says) does a great job on our laminate.

  8. 10

    It doesn’t darken the room, it adds depth and dimension. You’re welcome. =)

    Bedroom: celtic gray by Behr. In a room with good natural lighting, it looks like sky and feels like aah. Besides, it’ll coordinate with your pillows.

    (I might have recommended that color when you were talking about the living room, too. What can I say.)

  9. 11

    The first thought that came to my mind was the color Carolina Inn Club Aqua from Valspar. I think it would be perfect. (http://www.younghouselove.com/2012/06/the-headboard-adventures-part-2/ ) . Otherwise Ben Moore Brittany Blue – has some grey undertones, but still so airy and light.
    I def think light….it will look so relaxing!!!

    Oh – i LOVE the flooring! LOVE

  10. 12

    Love, love, love that flooring! I’ve always wanted dark laminate or hardwoods like those, but our house has natural hardwoods so I’m rolling with it. Your home looks so pretty!

  11. 13

    What was the total cost of the flooring, (materials&labor)? The rooms look fabulous!

    • 14

      Overall, we spent about $3,500. :)

      • 15

        That’s incredible. It looks like it would be four times that amount. Did you install the floors yourself? I would love to have these in my house. I currently have tile and as my house settled I got cracks all over the place. I’ll never do tile again.