The Lettered Cottage Layout & Our Flooring Dilemmas

When Kev and I bought this place back in October of 2007, we had to tackle a couple of projects just to get the place livable before we could actually move in.

First project- the floors. The carpet in the living room, hallway, reading room, office and guest bedroom was buckling up in several places and there were big black, moldy stains on it too. It was a dirty job and Kev even discovered several of the tack strips holding it (somewhat) in place were still soaked with “the markings of previous owners pooches” ifyaknowwhatI’msayin.

I remember thinking, “How is that possible? The house has been vacant for almost 8 months!

Grizzity-oss!

Once the carpet was out- and the horrible “houstench” was gone, (yay!) we had to make a quick decision about what to do with what we found underneath it.

At one end of the living room, we found a 14′ x 5′ concrete foundation that was 1/4″ – 1/2″ higher than the original hardwood flooring that covered the rest of the room…

The kitchen, master bedroom, master bathroom and laundry room were all added onto the house in 2003.

Here’s a (rough) floorplan that shows how everything is laid out…

According to our neighbors, the living room used to stop where that concrete foundation starts, and there was a screened-in porch on that side of the house. (Sure wish I could’ve seen what that looked like!)

Other flooring dilemmas included, a really bad tile job in the kitchen, laundry room and master bathroom, baked-on yellow linoleum in the pantry and hallway, and plywood flooring in the reading room. We didn’t have the time or money to deal with it all, so we just decided to cover it all up with 800 bucks worth of laminate flooring from eBay instead. Since it was all gonna be temporary, Kev just laid it right up and on top of the concrete in the living room, right up and over the bad tile job in the kitchen, right on top of the plywood floor in the reading room, and right on top of the yellow linoleum flooring in the hallway and pantry.

Unfortunately, that means our floors slope up and down, here and there and everywhere. And as of today, we’ve got some major plank poppage goin’ on around here.  Not good, and super embarrassing when we have company over and one of the shorter planks actually flips up and outta place because someone thinks our flooring is actually securely attached to the floor and they can walk around wherever they want. Silly visitors! (Think: Me and Kevin repeatedly assuring them that “it’s just temporary flooring” and that “it happens all the time“, and our guest repeatedly apologizing for “breaking” our floor. Semi-funny/nightmarish)

Anywho, this is what we’re thinkin’ these days…

The homestudy process will begin sometime after the 1st of the year. Probably in the Spring.  That means a social worker is going to come over and tell us if our home if fit for a child to live in.  We’d love to have more stable/less booby-trappish floors by then, so we weighed our options, and decided on the latter:

Option 1-

– rent a jackhammer,

– break up the concrete at the end of the living room

– scoop out the broken up concrete

– pour in new concrete that’s a little lower than the original hardwood flooring that covers the rest of the room

– lay new, similar-sized/grained hardwood planks over the newly poured concrete

– sand the entire floor

– coat the entire floor with polyurethane

Option 2-

– carpet the living room, hallway, and reading room and use a little more padding on top of the original hardwood floors than we do on the concrete part so that everything is nice and level.

As much as it pains us to cover up the original hardwood floors in our hallway and living room, we just don’t have the extra funds/skillsets to deal with the all the unlevel probs right now, and with our upcoming adoption plans, option 2 just seems like the easier/faster/least expensive route to go.

We do, however, plan to refinish the original hardwood floors in the office, guest bedroom, pantry and dining room in January…

And then we’ll have a friend help us re-tile the kitchen, laundry room and master bathroom. We’re thinking we can get the tile from a place called Total Liquidation in Montgomery. It’s a great, big builders supply warehouse, and we can probably find some nice 12″x12″ tiles for under a buck a piece.

After the flooring business is all taken care of, we’re going to move our office into the room we’re currently using as our guest bedroom. (My Mom is really the only person who stays over night with us, and she said she didn’t mind sleeping on the twin-sized mattress in the reading room.) Then we’ll begin Operation: Kids Room in the room we’re currently using as our office.  It’s nice and big, so he/she will have plenty of room to rip & roar. That room actually used to be the master bedroom back when the house was just a wee little thing.  And speaking of wee little things, check out its *closet

It’s the same shrimpy size as *the one in the guest bedroom…

It’s crazy how tiny they are! I’m talking 18″ wide, 18″ deep. Maybe.

We’ll definitely have to use a lot of free-standing storage pieces, and we’ll probably have to build some built-ins too.

(PS- We do have two, nice-sized closets in our master bedroom, but like I said, these drawings are really rough and I seemed to have left them off and shown a shortened version of the kitchen & laundry room. Oops!)

So. There ya have it.

Not all parts of the plan are 100% ideal, but it’s the way it’s gotta be for now.

The big question is, what kind of carpet should we go with? It’s gonna have to be super tightly-woven or Max will be tempted to go into shred mode.  Except for his “buddies”, he’s never been much of a chewer, but he absolutely can-not resist plucking a hole into a sea of cut pile. I’m afraid he’d freak for frieze too, so that’s out as well.

Something like this might work though:

I’m not sure about the pattern, but it looks pretty tightly-woven, and it’s neutral in color (but lighter than our sofa and chair-and-a-half) which would be good.

Here’s another photo I came across while Googling hardcore carpets today…

I don’t think we’ll go with anything this visually “loud”, but what a cute room, huh?

Maybe we could go with something that looks sort of sisal-ish…

Then we could use a big area rug under our coffee table to ground our furniture arrangement. Choices, choices.

We’re gonna try not to over-think it when we go out to look at our options. We’ve gotta get this party started soon.

And, who knows, maybe one day we can have the concrete part fixed, and we’ll be able to restore those original hardwoods after all.

For now though, we’re just hoping for level floors and that Max doesn’t pull a “Toby” on us…

(Stanley Steemer commercial)

Have you had carpet installed in your home recently? If so, what brand/color did you go with?  Has it held up? Do you love it?

Any info you could pass along would be greatly appreciated!

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Comments

  1. says

    Don’t worry too much about your homestudy and house visits! They just want to make sure you have space for a kid, in your home and in your hearts. The interviews are much more about you as a family and not your house. Just remember that they have houses, too and theirs are not perfect either. They don’t expect that. : )

  2. KK says

    I’d suggest Berber preferably something near the color of dried dirt especially with kids & pets. I think it’s near impossible to keep any carpet looking fresh & clean. My first choice would be either the Flor brand or Martha Stewart’s peel & stick so you replace individual tiles if carpet as needed when those unfortunate life events occur. No Toby here but let me tell you about the projectile stream of red jello episode…

  3. Martha B. says

    Dear Layla,

    Love your site and that you’re adopting. As an adoptive mother of a CPS child, let me assure you that the social workers aren’t coming to your home to run a white glove across the top of your refrigerator – they’re making sure that you HAVE a refrigerator! Let me also assure you that my home was a “model home” once upon a time – and those days are long gone. The social worker even commented on it during one of her post-placement visits! Whatever you do, make it easy to maintain. Projects will never happen as quickly (if ever) after children are in your life.

  4. Lindsey says

    Layla & Kevin,

    I only read some of the comments so please forgive me if I repeat something!

    I really can’t stand carpet! Our current home has all carpet with beautiful hardwoods underneath! I would love to have the carpet removed and refinish the hardwoods. We had to move in quickly so we couldn’t do it before we moved in. We have 3 kiddos running around so the carpet has been good! If you go with a lighter carpet, I would suggest having everyone remove shoes before entering. The kids do it automatically now at home and when we go to other people’s homes!

    This may sound totally crazy but my in-laws have a small dog, and my MIL keeps baby wipes by the back door and wipes the dogs feet and bottom off (#2) before she lets him loose. I don’t wipe his bottom, but I will wipe his feet. 😉 They have hardwoods and rugs. It’s not so crazy when you think of everything they bring back inside, and you can’t shampoo your carpet everyday! Wish I could. And we don’t have any pets right now, just mice that like to come when hungry and cold.

    I can’t wait to hear about more of your journey with baby/little Palmer!

    Lindsey

  5. says

    Hey Layla,
    I’ve been a fan of you guys for quite some time! A thought came to mind about your higher cemented flooring. You could stick with the flooring you have, all you have to do is:

    …have the floating floor you have now end at the cement, ( you can even create a border around the cement area laying one row of floating floor along the sides of the cemented area, then have the floors meet up to that border.

    …then you lay floating floor on top of the cemented area as a separate floor then make it like it was on purpose by laying some quarter round trim around the edges. It’ll almost make it feel like a little stage.

    You sound like you already have your heart set on carpet but I thought I’d throw that out there!-) Keep up the great work!

  6. Camille says

    Since it’s pretty clear you are going with carpet, I can tell you that with potty-training twins and a barfy cat in my carpeted house, these two items have been indispensable:

    1) The little Bissell handheld Green Machine. It gets used weekly.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bissell-ProHeat-Compact-Multi-Purpose-14259/dp/B002KCMH6Q/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1292281269&sr=8-4

    2) Eureka Quick Up cordless vacuum. Works great on carpet. I use it every single day as an alternative to lugging out the hated heavy vacuum and struggling to plug it in all over the house. (Be sure to get an extra battery pack.) Nice for Cheerio crumbs in the kitchen too!

    http://www.amazon.com/Eureka-Quick-Up-Cordless-Vacuum-96F/dp/B000QV3SMK/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1292281414&sr=1-1

    Good luck with the carpet hunt and with your adoption process. I’ve so enjoyed your blog and am using your before and afters of the kitchen to convince my landlords to let me paint!

  7. says

    Layla,
    I chose a commerical grade carpet that my friends and family call possum gray…it is virtually dog and kid proof. While having our home painted, the painters left a styrofoam cup of green paint (Shore by Martha Stewart) in one of the rooms they were working on. Our little white dog, Izzie, couldn’t resist dragging the cup of paint to a comfortable spot on the carpet and well…it was a mess. She was GREEN and the floor looked hopeless. $99 dollars later….the fee from the carpet cleaner…it looked as if nothing had ever happened. Every bit of the green tint came out of the carpet…in all honesty, it took us longer to get Izzie back to normal! So, all that to say…don’t rule out a grayish blue commercial grade…less expensive carpet for durability. And…it look nice too!

  8. Brandy Howard says

    Ugh – don’t you hate all of this multi-phase stuff!! We are in the same boat – can’t do permanent flooring until we move some walls, so we’ve used porch paint to paint the family room floor. At least it’s better than the stained, teal carpet!

    Anyhoo – if you are going to go with carpet, one of our recent houses (have moved WAY too much!!) had a similar carpet to what you’ve shown here. Very short, almost berber-ish with a bit of a pattern to it. LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was mostly neutral, but with a tiny bit of speckle so spots blended well (2 dogs, 2 kids – u see what I’m sayin..).

    You may keep an eye out on Craigs list to see if anyone is pulling out carpet to install hardwoods – happens a fair bit in the Charlotte area. For buying carpet, be sure to check Carpets of Dalton or the other manufacturer’s places in Dalton Georgia. We’ve ordered from there 3 times and it’s always saved us about 50% off local prices.

    Good luck!

  9. Linda says

    I have a house full of hardwood floors with four kids and there are times I would LOVE to have a room with carpet. it’s much softer when kids fall and much warmer on colder days and nights! We have a couple area rugs and that is where the kids want to play. It’s not very comfortable to get on the wood floors to play with dolls or trucks. Plus, I’m a freak when I see new scratches and dings on my floors and it happens A LOT with kids. I’m sure whatever you decide will be great.
    I’m excited to read about your adoption journey. We’re foster parents and have been through the home study process. It really can be very nerve wrecking! I look forward to reading more about it!

  10. Kim says

    Agree, no to the Berber. I have young boys and hardwood in the main living area – I love it. The carpet will get vomit and pee on it- sorry, but I am keepin’ it real. You will be so much happier with the hardwood! However if you go with carpet, I loved that sisal look. Another option would be a tone on tone pattern, like a wavy vine pattern. My neighbor used a dark sage vine patterned carpet in her home and it looks fab! Patterns do help hide the inevitable stains! I am so excited to hear when you are blessed with a little one.

  11. Sylvia says

    Layla and Kevin,
    You will be marvelous parents. I have no recommendations re: carpet choices, but do highly recommend using Capture to spot clean ( or clean entire rooms for that matter) carpet. It is amazing. No water therefore no wet carpet and no special machines required. Blot up any excess moisture or pick up any solid stuff, sprinkle on, brush in, leave to set for a bit, then vacuum. Easy, peasy and it works.
    May God bless you in your adoption journey.

  12. Sherrie says

    Love your site. I have four children (7, 6, 4, and 6 months) all came to us through adoption. In our home we have hardwood floors, carpet (similar to what you are looking for) and ceramic tile. I LOVE hardwood floors, but I am so glad my living room, playroom and bedrooms have carpet — it so nice for the little ones and all their bumps and topples. Our carpet is a very light beige with a tight weave, it has really been a great choice, very durable (wish I could tell you where it is from and what kind but the previous owners put it in). I have had no problems with stains or maintenance (I simply spot clean as needed, and have not had any unraveling at all). Another advantage little parts of toys are easy to see before my toddlers would find them. As much as I like hardwood floors my boys have been a little rough on them, over the years that we have lived in our home. I would not put hardwood in high traffic areas now (travertine or slate would do much better).

  13. sue says

    I am a huge fan of hard flooring surfaces, but I think carpet is your best choice. We used carpet with a fiber called tactesse (sp?) and it was super soft, had a woolish feeling – it looked sisal-ly, but showed everything. It was a berber, we only had the carpet for a week, when my son had a buddy sleep over, and his sleeping bag zipper caught a loop. By the time I noticed, it was five feet long – oh well –

    My other two cents – when choosing babies room, consider the natural light, temperature of that room, etc – babies are small and don’t need much – besides, they never actually play in their rooms until later –

  14. Michiganhome says

    Wow — a lot of comments! I will admit; I read only about half of them, but I wanted to add my two cents anyway. I know hardwood floors look great. But I am telling you that if you have kids, YOU WILL BE ON THE FLOOR PLAYING WITH THEM, or at least we are, all. the. time. Our son is 12, and our daughter is 5, and we have had poop accidents, pee accidents, and LOTS of food and drink spills. Our carpet is ivory, and eleven years old, and it still looks awesome. The difference is the quality of carpet you get. I don’t think you have to spend that much more, (ours is just the first level of upgrade offered by the builder), to get one that CLEANS well. So… what I am saying is that I think it is a great decision to get carpet, even if you get a child that is already walking. Because they will probably be fine, but it’s the adults, with our heavier weight, that will have a hard time getting down on the floor, even one covered with an area rug with a rug pad underneath, and finding it comfortable. Good luck! With everything!
    Love,
    Michiganhome

  15. Cindy Chapman says

    Be sure to look at the commercial grade carpet when you’re out shopping. It’s really sturdy and a lot less expensive than regular carpet. We used it in a former house in a color that was sort of a “heathered” brownish gray. Ours didn’t have a pattern or texture, but it did the trick: inexpensive and hid dog and kid dirt well.

  16. Michelle says

    Hi Kevin and Layla,

    First of all congrats on your pending adoption!!! That is the most exciting news for sure! You are the sweetest couple and will be great parents!

    I’ve not had time to read through all the comments to this post, but we experienced a similar dilema when we installed a floating floor (AKA laminate) in our master bath and dressing area. Like you, we didn’t want to destroy the original hardwood floors that were in place, but had a substantial height difference between the areas. Luan (sp) plywood to the rescue!! If I remember correctly the thin luan underlayment comes in 1/4″ thick sheets. We used it in layers to level out the floors. The luan is quite flexible which helped ease the transitions enough to allow the laminate floor to float and flex without any issues. The best part is it won’t damage the original floor and we can refinish them at some point and add more as we can afford.

    Your laminate floors look so good in your home! The luan (sp) solution might fix your problem and allow you to reuse your laminate and save the wood underneath??

  17. says

    I second the MS carpet at Home Depot. I was there looking at samples and it’s very nice. Sooo, I’m not on FB or Twitter, but a little bird told me that you featured my living room! I was wondering where all my new visitors were coming from :) thank you so much!! my prayers are with you and Kevin with your adoption process. I can’t wait for the day to see a little bum scooting across your floor…whatever you choose. xxoo

  18. kay says

    Layla,

    It definitely sounds like you are on the right track as far as carpet pile, etc. I love the textured looks you’ve chosen! Here’s my 2 cents: What if you chose an even darker color of carpet? (Not like gross 70s brown, but something darker than even that sisal example, like maybe a few shades below caramel) Here’s my thinking: You’re absolutely set on carpet at this point in time, and I totally pity you having to cover up those hardwoods, even the laminate is gorgeous in your house. You already have dark floors and your decor is already geared around it, so keeping the carpet dark makes sense. PLUS..let me tell ya, I’m an Army wife and we are constantly moving into homes with the standard (I call it Rental Beige) carpet. We have 2 dogs. It lasts about a week without some sort of mud or dust being tracked in and making dark spots on the carpet. Usually the only way to get rid of them completely is a steam clean. You’ve got a dog and you’re about to have a toddler…for your sanity, pleeeeeeeease consider a darker color. I’m sure that you’ll find a gorgeous one with your shopping skills! Yes, I know you will totally vacuum and keep it clean but I’ve made friends with our carpet cleaner and even he says that many home solutions (Resolve, Bissel cleaners, etc.) simply cover up the stain or move it into the carpet padding, and often times they show back up without pro cleaning. If you went darker, you would have a little more wiggle room! Nothing is more embarrassing than having guests over and playing “guess that stain”, lol.

  19. says

    Definitely a sisal or sisal-like option to fit your great decorating taste. Then add an area rug to the living room when it fits the budget or you find an awesome deal!

  20. Erin says

    I have a berber-style carpet that is woven to look like a sisal rug (same color as a sisal also) in our bedrooms and basement. It isn’t super “cushy” soft, but it is carpet and not scratchy sisal. I love the more tailored look & I feel like it goes well w/ the wood I have throughout the house. It has help up amazingly well to my young boys and dog! It was a higher quality, so it cleans really well. I’ve had this style in two different homes, and the current home almost 7 years. It still looks great and I’m not tired of it. (My sister has a pattern similar to your first example, but it really shows the traffic patterns after a time.)

  21. Sunny says

    I read through nearly all these comments with interest that only one other person mentioned carpet cleaners. Yes, carpet is much warmer than hardwood or tile. Years back we rented a townhouse that had just been carpeted –and in an off white color. Who does that?! Anyway, four years later when moving, the realtor was stunned that it looked good as new, even with two active Goldens. That’s because I used a HOOVER STEAM VAC carpet cleaner monthly! And it’s amazing even w/no shoes how dirty your floors get. Cleaning carpets is very very easy, if you can vacuum, then you can steam clean. And I don’t like chemicals so we went green, especially with using a white vinegar rinse. If you Google, you will see there are so many green/economical cleaning solutions. Best of all, you can get one for just under $150 at Walmart, and they’ve had the highest satisfaction ratings over the years. Just don’t get cheapo carpet which will flatten in a few months time, and a denser underpad is money well spent.

  22. Allie says

    Hey Layla
    This is a bad time to ask me about carpet. My dog just had a HUGE accident and it wasn’t number 1! Part on the carpet, part on the hardwood. Needless to say, go with the hardwood. What a mess on the carpet. YUCK!
    I have a question about that gorgeous wood stainless steel stove in the picture above the dog. Any source on that. We are looking for a contemporary woodstove for a little shack we have and this would be awesome!!!
    Any help would be great! :)

  23. says

    About 10 years ago we got Pin Dot and good padding for one room – the Family Room, from Home Depot – very light neutral color. It has been abused by Kids, Dogs, Food, Parties, Tires, Muddy Shoes and Paws, crafting, furniture dragging, vacuming, you name it, and it’s still great. My house is all wood floors except for this Family Room, I have contemplated flooring it, even polishing the cement, but we play on this carpeting, we eat on it, we sit and sleep on it, we like it. Area rugs on wood or cement would be more work – wall to wall softness works for us – vacume one room coupla times a week, done. It’s been professionally cleaned maybe 5 times, and I spray clean on spots.

    I’m so happy for you and your first step into building a family –
    Marsha

  24. Ruth Baumgartner says

    Layla and Kevin, I am thrilled you are tackling this, because we too are facing a VERY similar dilemma right now and it makes me CRAZY! :) Life is good, if this is what makes me nuts right? Anywho, please know we eagerly anticipate learning your well choosen decision! :)

  25. says

    Hi Layla thought I would tell you about our carpet we had installed right before we moved in. We checked a few stores from local to major retail stores. Got tons of estamates. The empire today dont believe them…lol They charge you for those free rooms. We went with Carpet One which they had good deals on carpet they beat all the others but we did not get a major label carpet, it still has a good warranty which was our main goal. We had all the bedrooms done plus the living and hall. Its ran us about 2100 for thick pile we had a really tight budget like you we did not have alot to spend. My only regret I have is I am a very nurtral color person and I did not want really light but not a tan color. Those small smaples they give you dont give you the true look, I picked a like mushroom looking color and it turned out very light, to light. It shows so many little stains there is no forgiveness. If I could do it again I would chose something darker better half is electrican and we have two cats. So with a little one coming into the picture I would go dark as you can stand. And carpet would be great for the little one, mohawk has a great new product called tigressa its super soft I would have loved to get that but we had a whole house to install. They have it in low pile and even patterned if that is what you like. You can spill a drink on it and it will just pool it wont soak in. Now for my most important tip…lol Do not pay for the carpet in full up front! I leanred a lesson. We had a issue with a istaller using my vac and he sucked up painters tape and it damaged my dyson. I payed to get it repaired and still have not got my money back. And that was june we had it isntalled. So pay half up front and when the job is complete and everything looks good and you are happy then pay the other half. We had to get our guys out a few times after install. So that is was how it was for us so I hope that helps you some. Most important is to shop around and look at the BBB which I never did look at the BBB and come to find out they were not BBB rated. Good luck and you guys will do great on your home evaluation your home is so pretty and full of love and care they will see that.

  26. Joy says

    Just wanted to add that I even cleaned out the dishwasher prior to our homestudy. I laugh about it now, but it is intimidating to have someone come and evaluate you when you want nothing to come in between you and the child you want so badly! Lots of prayers for your adoption and I am appreciating the carpet advice. Thanks!

  27. missy says

    Oh my goodness!!! All the comments! Good stuff. My house is a lot like yours (added on to numerous times, 1/2 of the kitchen has concrete, different types of hardwood, etc…) I did a tile in my kitchen on the diagnal (it does cost a little more) so you couldn’t tell the room wasn’t square. I HATE the tile and so wish that I had done a hardwood in the kitchen. Grout is my worst enemy. I HATE grout. I’ve had someone come in to professionally clean and it still looks dirty. OK, now for the carpet. I have a one-year old and we decided to cover the hardwood in his room and our den and he is SO happy about that. He can roll around in his room and be happy playing. I’m not a fan of carpet but the hardwoods are just too….well, HARD! My house is old and drafty and the carpet helps the room feel warmer, too. Do not get ANY carpet that isn’t Stainmaster!!! Pay a little more for a better carpet. I know it’s hard when you are on a budget, but trust me! If you get the cheapest carpet you will be ready to rip it out in 6 months. I got a carpet that looks a lot like your first picture for my den and I love it! Just make sure the carpet is nice and soft so the little one can play! Sisals are nice, but usually very scratchy. I had one for a little while in my living room and we couldn’t walk in there without shoes because it was so scratchy!!! Good luck. I look forward to reading more about your journey!

  28. Stephanie says

    Operation Child’s Room is about to begin in our home in the next two weeks also! And we are also renovating our home office too! All of this is in preparation of our home study which we hope to complete in early January. We are pursuing a foster-adoption and still have mounds of paperwork to complete and several things around the house to get ready like locks on the cabinent doors, etc, etc. Its SO exciting and I can’t wait to welcome that little one into our home. I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime now and love all of your creations…you give me inspiration. Every time I see something you do it makes me want to paint, which in turn makes my husband say, “oh gez…um…how about let’s do some laundry first!” Laundry…who wants to do that?! Anyway, I’d love to send you some before pics and get your thoughts on how to create a warm, light and super-fantastic kids room….and one that is gender neutral since we aren’t sure who will get first…a boy or a girl :)

  29. Carol says

    It’s obvious you have researched all your options and decided on carpet. Sure, everyone likes hardwood floors, but I understand totally why you are going this route. The hardwood floors will still be there under the carpet like you said for possible future changes.

    I really like the look of the third carpet you showed. A sisal look seems to go with your style. I’d like to get a wool sisal style for my upstairs bedrooms (only my first floor has hardwood). So if you go with that, I’ll be counting on you to tell us how it is holding up! :-)

    I’m sure you plan on having a nursery monitor which will take care of any proximity issue. My only suggestion would be to make sure a child can’t unlock the front door — it’s amazing how clever little ones can be!

    I’m so excited for you both. From what I can tell, any child would be very lucky to have you for parents.

  30. says

    when we needed to install carpet in our last house (1950’s era) we used Shaw brand. I really loved it! it was a low pile, and held up beautifully. It felt great on our feet (only put it in the bedrooms) and had great resilience.
    The previous owners had Berber in the family room which held up great as well. Kinda like the flat style you are looking at. Not super soft, but it definitely holds up well in high traffic areas. It was the 90’s style with a cream background and brown flecks- nice because it also hid any dirt before the vacuum came out! :)
    We had uneven flooring issues there too thanks to a weird remodel. We never fixed it since we were only in the house for a couple years. Hope you get it all worked out!

  31. Diane says

    Have you considered actually making a “stage” a few inches up for the piano? Could be an option. Would be beautiful w/ matching hardwood on top. We had a family room remodeled from our attached garage and the little ones loved to sit on the steps. They were the right height and they used them for all kinds of things when playing. In my remodeling experiences, some of my most hated features in a house turned into favorites if you don’t try to cover them up but turn them into something else. That is why I love the quirky character of old houses! Just my humble opinion. I love your blog and your home.

  32. says

    NO to the carpet. I just ripped out all of what you are planning to buy out of my place & did the inexpensive faux maple flooring – I love it, easy to clean w/pets. Berber will pull up in strings when you vacuum & it is all kind of bad for kids & pets. Just say NO! Pick some spaces to even out with the float cement or go with a cool rug …

    Go to Dooce’s web site. She made some changes in one of her houses. She has kids & dogs.

    BTW, I love your blog!

  33. Laura says

    I can not believe how many comments/opinions there are on this post! Wowzers!! I read them with interest though because I’d like to tear out the dirty, stained Berber in our old house and refinish the floors. BUT my husband likes carpet, so I am contemplating my choices there somewhat too.

    A comment for those considering Berber carpets: our carpet cleaner guy told us that Berber was terrible if you went barefoot in your home. Who knew??! He said you should always wear socks or slippers because the oils in your skin react with the plastics in the Berber and attract stains. I though that was interesting. I thought we were doing well by going barefoot, but he said even shoes would be better than that. Bare feet were the worst on Berber.

    I too like the sisal option you showed. I really like that look right now. I’d be interested to hear about the comfiness of it from anyone who has it. Do you “need” area rugs to cozy it up? What about in a dining room? How does it fare under the table?

    You guys are gonna love being parents! I’m excited and happy for you to start that journey.
    Can’t wait to see how you ready your home.