Living Room

Thing #1: I recently bought an item that may necessitate the purchase of one of the flat screen TV stands offered by CSN! (OK, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what I just bought.)

Thing #2: I’m going to review a CSN product in the near future. Hold on to your seats, peeps!

On a completely unrelated note, how awesome is this for a backyard wedding?

Image from

(To be sung to the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree”, or “Oh Tennenbaum”.)

The other day, as I mentioned before, I found myself wandering through Robert’s Crafts with a huge goofy grin on my face. Having completely forgotten why I went in there in the first place, I was smitten by their 50% off sale. Sure I could have held out for their almost-certain 75% off sale after Christmas, but I suddenly wanted a Christmas this year! I called Stan giggling and said “Want to decorate a Christmas tree tonight? Giggle giggle giggle!” (I don’t know what was so funny either.)

I’ve never owned a Christmas tree. My family was the type to drive up into the mountains with the ol’ 4WD and chop one down ourselves (complete with peeing in the snowy woods because as a child, of course you have to pee right when you summit a mountain with 4 feet of snow), and I plan on carrying on that tradition with my own kids someday. But for now, I’m a 25 year-old city girl and let’s face it- I’m not going to stuff a Christmas tree in the back of my ’95 Saturn SC2.

Unless it’s 4.5 feet tall.

And skinny.

And fake.

And 50% off at Robert’s.

Is that not the most pathetic thing you’ve ever seen?

Except for maybe this?

No matter. I wanted the tree to bring joy year-round, by not being a behemoth of a thing to store. And Stan and I had a great time decorating our first tree together (cheesefest- mmm, I like cheese). It turned out quite cute, I think.

And yes, I strategically cropped a few things out of the pic. Don’t worry, you’ll find out why soon enough.

When I was filling nail holes on the recently-installed quarter-round, I decided to also patch a few dents and cracks in the walls. I was just going to do a couple.

Juuuuust a couple. Oops.

PS- I woke up at 12:34 today due to getting home at 4am due to seeing the 12:40 showing of Harry Potter. Anyone else see it yet? It was good, but there were some awkward parts. That’s all I’m going to say.

Not to hype it up, but I can’t resist an opportunity for a good (or not so good) pun.

This is how my living room looked before. I know the wood floors look ok here, maybe even charming, but that’s because I don’t know how to take a decent photo and the bad photography covers up the worst parts.

I didn’t just apologize to my readers for not saving these old cheap hardwoods- I also felt it necessary to apologize to any future laminate-haters that might one day own my house:

I have no regrets.

It’s so light and bright and finished in here, and the floor actually looks clean after I clean it. I have to thank Chelsea over at This Fresh Fossil, because I totally copied her floors. Yep- exact same brand and color. I scored them from Costco on sale, too- for over 25% off, bringing the total to $1.25 per square foot. Not too shabby, especially with pre-attached underlayment and easy-click and general high quality. (Note- it’s not a difficult installation per se, but they don’t just click together like legos, either. It takes some finagling.)

And yes, as you can tell, I spent a considerable amount of time sitting on the floor today enjoying/taking pictures of my new floors.

As you all know, this carpet transition has bugged me pretty much since day 1:

Well, look at me now!

Don’t mind the mess and unpainted cold air return grate.

And I’m not the only one who’s had an annoying thing that bugs the crap out of me. My friend Carrie has mentioned (multiple times- okay I get it Carrie!) that she wished I’d do something about the unfinished edge of the tile between the kitchen and dining room.

Carrie, this one’s for you!

I can’t figure out how to rotate this thing, so sorry. You get it though.

I swear the trim is taking almost as long as the flooring itself. Or maybe that’s just because I’m tackling it after work when my brain is already fried. The piece above was a real beyotch, especially for someone like me who’s rusty on their geometry. Yeah ok, Stan had to come take over, which made me cry. Ahh well. It’s coming, guys. I really really hope to get this project done this weekend!

This is all I have for you today. We got all of the flooring down, but we still have all the trim and molding to do.

Is it weird that one of the things I’m most excited about is that this is an opportunity to replace nasty things like this transition piece into the hallway?

Also note along the very bottom edge of the above photo, the deep gashes and gaps. I just didn’t want to deal with all of those (and there were many) even though I still feel slightly guilty for covering up real wood with laminate. To read more about me defending the laminate over the wood, you can read this post.

The molding will probably take at least a few more days, because I have this pesky thing called a day job. I’ll try to get it done asap though!

See, aren’t they beautiful?


No, of course they’re not installed yet. But could I resist telling you about them? Of course not.

I think the floors are the last big thing about my house that when you walk in you go “Oh, cute- oh nice, I like what you’ve done with the- oh wow, you could really use new floors.” Hopefully after they are installed, all you will see is “cute!” (Since I’m not a hoity toity designer, I don’t aim for words like “esquisitely designed” or “flawlessly executed” or “wow your house should be in Architectural Digest”. I’m thrilled when people say “cute”.)

Now listen, guys. I feel like a real jerk, because a few months ago I made a poll asking for your opinions on what to do with my floors (refinish, replace, cover up, etc). And I appreciated each and every one of your answers- I really did. Why then, am I doing the opposite and putting in all new laminate wood-look flooring?

Well, a few reasons.

  1. I want to get this done, and the thought of pulling everything out and hoping for good weather for 3-5 days while I refinish is just too daunting.
  2. The gaps. I have no doubt that these floors could be made to look really, really nice. But the gaps bug the crap out of me. Every time I sweep or mop, extra dirt gets pushed into the gaps and it’s really annoying to get out. Plus when I’m barefoot I’m always nervous I’m going to step on a gap. I thought about patching them, but most people I talked to said that the patches pop out and they’ve just resigned to having gaps. I don’t like gaps.
  3. The existing wood is no treasure. It’s thin and brittle and was low quality to begin with, so I don’t feel that bad for not rescuing it.
  4. Laminate is a good choice for my neighborhood. New real hardwood would definitely outprice the house for the ‘hood.
  5. A few friends of mine have wood-look laminate, and I really like it. To the untrained eye (ie. the eyes of people who don’t spend their days reading house blogs and visiting Home Depot every waking minute) it looks pretty real. And to the trained eye, it still looks pretty good.
  6. If I had wood floors, I’d be afraid to wear heels on it or let the dog go across it with her big ol claws or move the couch around. I know that laminate needs to be cared for as well, but it seems a little less scary than wood to me (especially since the price is so much lower).
  7. Since they click together and don’t require glue or nails, I don’t feel bad about putting them over the existing wood floors. Someday, a future owner can pull up my laminate and say “What were they thinking covering up these wood floors??” I like to think that someone after me will have that pleasure.

Anyhoo, I had admired Chelsea over at This Fresh Fossil‘s floors before, and one day inquired what brand they were. She kindly responded that they were Harmonics Harvest Oak from Costco. Like the true copycat that I am, I went out and bought it. Plus, it was over 25% off, so it was only $1.25 per square foot. Not bad, my friends- not bad. Including tax and an extra box, it cost me $450.

I’ve been playing around with them a bit, and trying to decide whether to keep the direction the same as the current wood floors.

Option A- same direction

Option B- opposite direction

I’ve pretty much made up my mind to stick with Option A and keep it the same direction, but feel free to weigh in with your opinions anyway. 🙂

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