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So What Is The Deal With The Stairs?

December 20, 2013

Well lemme just tell you…

We originally thought we could just pop the old treads off, add the new risers and the new treads and call it a day but after removing the carpet we realized that the treads were built into the trim. And after some research, we realized that we had to retrofit the new treads. This meant cutting the bull nose off, patching the trim and installing the treads on top of the existing ones.

Like I mentioned here, Bill has been busy removing the carpet


taking off the padding, nail strips and cutting the bull nose off of the treads.


I have been busy removing a gazillion staples.

IMG_2354[1] IMG_2355[1]

Bill has also been actively building the treads.  Which means turning pieces of lumber like these


to pre-treads like these


He has also matched the stain to our existing laminate floors


So here is what we have left

  • Finish building the funky treads where the stairs turn
  • Rout the edges
  • Sand treads
  • Stain & seal treads
  • Cut and paint risers
  • Patch holes on baseboards along the stairs
  • Paint the baseboard along the stairs
  • Install them 🙂

Shoe Mold, Trim, Stairs, and the Like.

December 18, 2013

So it is only Tuesday but this week has already been a fun-filled week. Last night Bill came home and said “I have the remodeling bug again” and started ripping out the carpet from the stairs and cutting out the bull nose off of the treads. (A post about this coming soon) Now, for any women that is addicted to DIY, you know how much those kinds statements mean!

So once again the house is chaotic. We currently have exposed stairs with staples that need to be removed, there is dust EVERYWHERE, and while this is a sign of progress I have to admit that the chaos and dust does become overwhelming. This happens on every big undertaking we take, so we just remind ourselves about those occasions and the joy and satisfaction that those chaotic, dusty, overwhelming projects bring to us once they are finished. So don’t get me wrong, I am super excited, it is as if I am 90% excited and 10% overwhelmed with dust. That is totally normal, right?

But before we move on to the stairs part of the floor project let me tell you what we did this weekend. Ready?

So on Sunday, Bill installed all of the shoe mold. Which means big pieces like this one


and little pieces like these


Please don’t pay attention to our dingy baseboard. They need to be repainted but we are not quite ready to open THAT can of worms just yet.  I mean it is cracked a little, it has to be, because we have to paint the trim on the stairs before the treads are installed but we are just not ready to think about painting the trim in the living spaces beyond that.

For now, we have painted the shoe mold in our bedroom and in the office since those baseboard did not need to be repainted. We have also installed crown molding in the guest bedroom and in the guest bathroom. So our plan is to paint both the walls and all the trim in the guest bedroom next. I have even picked a color, woo hoo! Picture me doing a happy dance because Paint + Me = L.O.V.E.

Oh also, yesterday I removed the strip of wall paper in the guest bedroom and I plan on writing about my experience soon. I know so much to write, so much to do and so little time. I better get busy!

Laminate Floor Installation

December 7, 2013

I made a small slide show of the installation process of the laminate floors. It only covers the bedroom though, we got side tracked and did not take as many pictures after the first day but the video does cover all of the steps of the installation.

Enjoy the video



Hardwood Throughout

December 3, 2013

Having hardwood floors throughout the entire house has been on our wishlist since day one and six years later our wish came true.  So this is a major milestone as far as our house is concerned.

We chose laminate floors for the upstairs.  They are a nice rich dark brown “hand-scraped” laminate floors. The color is close enough to what we already have on the main level and we are extremely pleased with them.

It took about 4 days to install the floors. Here is the breakdown,

  • Bedroom – less than a day



  • Landing – One and half days for this tiny little area!



This was definitely the hump of the project.  This area has sooooo many angles and countless door jams.  Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but those suckers added so much time to this project that you’d think there were at least a few thousands.

  • Office – less than a day

The office also had its challenges. See, we had already installed laminate flooring before we installed the bookcases and this meant that before we could install the new floor we had to take the old floor out. It was definitely not an easy task; We had to “lift” the cabinets up just enough to get the weight off the cabinets so that we could slide the old flooring out but thankfully it wasn’t too terrible and we were able to get all off the flooring out without any major damage. I wish I had pictures but I was too busy helping Bill that I completely forgot!

As you can imagine, the other issue was to install the new flooring under the cabinets. Before we begin the installation, we thought that we could just install the floors up to the cabinets and save some flooring so that later on if we needed to remove the cabinets we could “patch” in the floors.

Luckily,  after removing the old floors we had just enough wiggle room to slide the base out to install the new floors.

IMG_0312Notice how we took the base out

Although the cabinets were screwed into the wall, they started to sag due to lack of support so we literally had to grab my car jack and jack the cabinets up so that we could slide the base back underneath the cabinets. It was crazy but it all worked out and the cabinets are safe and sound, phew!


  • Guest Bedroom- less than a day

As I am was typing this, we are were installing the last part of the bedroom, and I innocently typed “this is the easy part since its a rectangular room” so of course I ended up jinxing us!  It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. We kept having to re-adjust the floors because they were shifting and we almost ran out of flooring.

…I learned my lesson though!



We could not be more happy with the results. Yes we had to spend our anniversary installing floors which is obviously less than ideal, but the fact of the matter is that we are extremely lucky to be able to this. Not everyone has the ability, or the money, or the time to spend their thanksgiving break embellishing their home so I am extremely grateful for this.

So for now we are just enjoying our floors and recharging for what is next.

To Do List

  • Install the stair treads
  • Paint the raisers
  • Install shoe mold

When Design Clashes with Real Life

July 8, 2013

Hope everyone had a very red, white and blue weekend! We spent our holiday weekend grilling out and shooting fireworks.  We also spent some time checking things off  of our spring (summer?) cleaning to do list. Which consisted of items like,

  • cleaning under the washer and dryer
  • cleaning blinds
  • cleaning baseboards
  • cleaning windows/doors
  • cleaning the sliding door track
  • AND cleaning this dirty old ugly ceiling


This ugly thing is what started it all. Admittedly, it was waaaay over due for a cleaning and when a couple of balloons got caught in it we were forced to tackle this dreaded task.

I had already planned on spray painting the blades and gold accents white in hopes of making it “blend in.” Of course just until we figured out what we wanted to replace it with.  However, once I saw the thing come apart, I realized how bad it looked and how much I want it gone but before I could go any further Bill quickly reminded me that the fan is a very efficient way to keep the air circulating and requested to keep the fan under consideration.

I’ve looked endlessly for some inspiration pictures where a fan fits into the design and I just can’t find one.  I think it is also much more difficult for us because our living room has 17′ ceilings and a fireplace with a mantle that goes all the way up to the ceiling. So, I always feel like the ceiling fan is stealing the show, and not in a good way, from the fireplace and the two-story ceilings.

For now, though, the fan is back up because that is our only source of lighting but this may just be the thing that we sacrifice for design. Don’t judge we’ve all done it! 🙂 As matter of fact, I’d love to hear what you have sacrificed in the name of design or even fashion.