April 17, 2014

Our 1970's House Makeover Part 5: My Biggest Flooring Mistake

Aaaaaand we're back.
So, if you've been paying attention, you may have realized that I just fell off the face of the Earth mid-renovation. 

Obviously, something went awry.
Let's not beat around the bush.

I temporarily messed up my floors. 
And, rather than divulge my mishaps as they were happening (Get. Real.) I instead spent a few weeks crying into Cheese's fur, planning my escape to Paraguay, and wiping pizza grease on my sweatpants uniform. 





 Okay, I'm being dramatic. Kinda. There are far worse things in the world than messing up your floors. I've lived through a few of them. However, I'm still a human, I occasionally lose perspective, and I definitely spent a few days drenching poor little Cheese's fur with my tears.

Here's what happened. 
I was determined to have dark floors in our house. I wanted them so bad. I looked at picture after picture of houses with dark floors, and I just knew that our house was meant to have dark floors.
I imagined something like this:


Or this.

 via Houzz


And then our flooring was installed. 
And since we used solid hardwood vs engineered hardwood, it was fully installed as unfinished wood (without the stain applied yet), and I had a chance to see what our house would look like with natural floors.
And I loved it.
It really made our 1970's house look light and bright and beautiful.


But, then self-doubt and insecurity raced in and ate me alive. I felt like I should do what everyone else does, rather than do what works best for me, and it felt scary to go against the norm.  Plus, my original vision was dark floors, and it was so hard to change course mid-race. 

In short, I could see with my own eyes that the light flooring looked really great in our house, and yet I ignored myself.
I am woman. Hear me roar. 


So, anyways, I pushed forward with my irrationally dark flooring plan.



 I eventually settled on a dark brown stain called 'Kona'.
In hindsight, I can totally see the doom that was headed my way. But, at the time, I was totally lost in the moment, dirty dancing on Kona's leg.


It looked so great when we tested the stain on a small piece of our flooring. I moved it around into each of the rooms and stared at it for several days while the flooring was finished being installed. 
Again, in hindsight, this was a terrible way to make a decision. A tiny poptart of dark wood does not give you an accurate indication of what your ENTIRE house will look like with wall to wall dark floors.



But, ultimately, I gave the go ahead for the stain, and when I came home that day, here's what our floors looked like.


It wasn't the worst thing ever. But it definitely wasn't good.
And it was just so gloomy.
 I knew I had made a mistake. 
I had inadvertently created a 1970's dungeon.
The stain turned out kinda orange (which still baffles me), and it didn't take well to the solid hardwood at all. It ended up being blotchy and uneven, and basically, I hated it.

When this all started, I had no idea about the differences between solid and engineered flooring, but I definitely do now.


In a nutshell, solid hardwood flooring is higher quality, but it's really difficult to get that uniform color that you would get with really dark engineered flooring, because you have to stain most solid hardwood flooring on site. You can buy already stained solid hardwood floors, but that was not in my little budget.
 There's about a million more things you should know about solid vs. engineering hardwoods (and about a million more options) but my plan is to share that info in another post. Otherwise this post will take you 42 years to read.


So, even though the stain looked terrible, there was a bit of a silver lining in the stain debacle...I was able to see once and for all that our house looked bad with dark floors.
Because even if they had been a lighter brown, or even just a uniform color, it wouldn't have mattered. 
I love dark hardwood floors, but not in our house.
So don't get mad at me if you have dark floors. Clearly, I wanted a set of my own.
It just wasn't meant to be.




It was around this time that Cheese's fur got soaked with eyeball secretions. 
Could I have phrased that any worse?

 I had no idea what on earth I was going to do. Do I apply for Paraguayan citizenship? Do I buy 800 rugs, admit defeat, and just pretend like none of this ever happened? 

None of those options seemed viable, so instead I just moped around for a few days and eventually mustered the courage to tell our contractor that we weren't happy.
Okay, fine, Jesse did it.

But, anyways, our contractor was wonderful about the entire thing, and he agreed to sand the floors back down to the natural wood. He didn't know I have a blog (not that that necessarily would've mattered...I'm not Beyonce). He's just a nice guy who wants to make sure his customers are happy.
Of course, we were already at week 5 in the renovation, and this new phase of sanding/sealing tacked on 2 more weeks.
Oh, joyous day.

So, the sanding began. Again.


I was feeling pretty panicked at this point, and searching for yacht-sized rugs online, but I did my best to remain patient and hope for the best.


After about a week, most of the stain was sanded off, I began to see the natural wood again, and I remembered how to breathe.


There was still stain all over the walls (which will all be repainted and covered down at the bottom with trim anyways), and just a tiny little bit still in the wood grain, but I could definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel.


Still though, we were going into week 7, and I began to feel a little meltdown-ey.
My fridge and oven were outside on the front deck with a tarp over them. The washer and dryer were next to my bed. And I was still basically living at this place.
At one point, I replaced my floor vents and just left the old disgusting ones on my kitchen counters for a week. 
Full of bugs and dust circa 1975.
It is what it is.


Luckily, right around the same time as my meltdown, we had plans to get out of town for a week. 
We drove to Charleston to watch my little brother, Mathias, graduate from the Navy Nuclear Power School, where he's studying to become a Nuclear Engineer.
I'm so proud of him, he's my favorite creature on the earth, 10 years younger than me, and it basically healed my soul to spend a little time with him. 


I know he's just some random dude in a dapper sailor suit to you, but trust me, to know Mathias is to love Mathias. 
I have yet to find the exception.
Jesse almost loves him even more than me, which is demonstrated by the above picture.
They intentionally posed that way, and even barked at me to get out of the picture so that they could capture this celebratory day with a prom photo. 
This is my life.


When that was over, Jesse and I headed to Myrtle Beach so that he could attend a work convention. He worked, I slothed on the beach. Then on the last day, Mathias and Meredith (his girlfriend that I also love) drove down from Charleston and Myrtled it up with us for the evening.
 They all ate oysters. I did not.
It was glorious.
Just so you know, I will eat anything. Unless it resembles a loogie.


I just got really sidetracked on a brother/beach tangent. So sorry.

Anyways, I came back with a new zest for life, which is good, because I was really fading fast.
By the time we came home, our floors had been sealed with several layers of satin topcoat, and were finally finished (at least on the main level).
  I jumped up and down for a full 42 minutes.

Just to really hammer home what an improvement this really is, here's our house when we first moved in:


And here we are today.


It's a floor mini-miracle.

And, luckily I captured the miracle when we first got home. Because the very next day, it was filled back up with stuff for the entryway.
And it kinda still looks like this.


But the good news is that I finally have floors that I love, and we finally have lift off in the entryway pit.


It only took 8 little weeks to get to this point.
We're going to laugh about that one day. 
I laughed a little bit while writing that sentence. 
Too soon.


I have a lot more to share about the entryway, and the stair rail is being built today, but we'll talk about all of that soon.

Today, we have floors.
FLOORS, ya'll.
And I might actually have my house back this weekend.
Can I hug you?



Before we go, I don't have any slightly nauseating life lessons to share with you. But, I will throw in a picture of Cheese, who refuses to look me in the eyes lately. Who can blame her.
Just a few more days, girl. 
And then you can Risky Business yourself all over the house. 
I'll even get you 4 little white socks.


That's all, ya'll.
'Til we meet again.
P.S. The other posts in the House Makeover series can be found here:




UPDATE: This story was FAR from over. We ended up having to redo these floors entirely. Only a year later. You can read why here.








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95 comments:

  1. Oh what a bummer that it took so long to get there. Glad you found a color you love. My house was built in 1978, so sometimes finding stuff that will work in my home that my not be my first choice. It's really about what finding what works best with your home.

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    1. That's definitely what I learned during this process. You nailed it!! xo

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  2. natural was definitely the way to go... its a lesson learned.. trust your instincts.. or ask the cat ;)

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    1. Oh, how I wish I would have trusted my instincts!! Definitely a lesson learned! :)

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  3. That is crazy. I also love dark floors and thought it would have been awesome. But I think the dark color made the house dated. Good choice on having them redone. I would have been balling right along with you. Congratulations to you brother. As a Nuclear Engineer he will probably get stationed at the base near me in Groton, CT. I think we are one of the largest Nuclear Sub Bases in the US.

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    1. Yep, totally dated. I couldn't agree more. It was such a sad discovery! And thank you! I'm so proud of him! He will definitely end up near water somewhere! I think his next stop is somewhere in NY...one more school to complete before he gets on a sub! :)

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  4. Oh Virginia, how frustrating! I'm with you - I love the dark wood (and had I commented I would have encouraged you to stick with the plan), but seeing is believing. Light is the way to go. It actually makes me feel a little better about the light laminate floors in our house that I don't love but I'm too cheap (ahem, frugal) to change.
    If you're looking for (maybe not yacht-sized) rugs on a budget, you may want to check out your local carpet store for remnants. You won't find statement pieces, but for a basic area rug, it's the way to go. We got a rug for our family room for a great price that way. You can read about it here: http://pinspiredhome.blogspot.com/2014/03/how-we-found-large-custom-area-rug-for.html (Pardon the shameless plug.)
    I absolutely love your blog! Not sure I've ever commented before, but I've been following you for over a year and because of you I see thrift stores differently. :)

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    1. Thanks Kim! That's super awesome! I love the dark, too! Obviously! ha! But yes, once I had them, they just didn't fit with the house at all. AT ALL. Perhaps my next house will be less-1970's and can accommodate my dark flooring desires!! :)

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  5. How frustrating! Solid hardwood flooring can come pre-stained, though. There's a wider spectrum than engineered vs. unstained solid wood. Both of my homes have had solid hardwood, one came pre-finished with a clear coat, the other stained a medium walnut. Without this kind of on-site staining process you could, theoretically, buy a box and just dry fit it to get a feel for it. I can't imagine how messy it was to sand and start over, but they look great now!

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    1. Yep, you're totally right. I was just simplifying for brevity's sake. I'll be talking about all of the different options (none of which I knew about before all of this madness! HA!) in my next post. I bet your medium walnut was GORGEOUS! xo

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  6. I loved this!! I can relate to the feeling of being torn between seeing a plan through to the end vs being brave enough to change something in the middle of a project because I think it will look better than what I'd originally envisioned. Usually when I keep going ahead with the original plan even if I'm feeling torn in another direction, I end up disappointed. I'll keep your floor story in mind next time and remind myself to trust my instincts in the moment! Oh and the way you told your story was hilarious- I love the way you write! I'm enjoying following your remodel; can't wait to see more!

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    1. Thank you SO much, Brooke. Your comment truly made me happy.

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  7. Oh my goodness, floors are always a trial. I love your lighter floors. They are perfect and they look amazing in your home. Great post.

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  8. Wow, the light floors really do make a difference! at least it all worked out in the end : )

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  9. I LOVE dark wood floors so I was skeptical light could ever look better and you 100% proved me wrong. The light looks so much better. The dark really was dungeon-y! It's a bummer it took so long but to have it done right is worth the wait! Please excuse me while I weep over my laminate wood floors that were the worst idea ever!

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    1. I felt the same way, Lauren! I had to prove myself wrong, too! :)

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  10. I really love the look of dark hardwood floors but I admire your decision to stick to what feels right to you and not just go with what's popular. I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to make the same choice but it totally works in your house! It looks so much better than the dark did! I'm so glad I read this before tackling our own floors. Thanks for posting your experience!

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  11. Your floors look beautiful! You've inspired me to think twice about dark wood. Our small 1940 house orange-tan floors that I really don't love. I've always planned to do them in a dark stain (Kona was actually one of my options!), but I think it could make our small house look even smaller. Thanks for sharing your journey!

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  12. I feel your pain. We have a 1969 house (just missed the 70s) and it has dark wood floors. You were so right to go back to the light floors they look great! I was thinking about having our floors sanded down, you inspired me to give it a shot. My only thing is I can't imagine what a mess it would make and I would have to convince my hubby it's worth the inconvenience. Love your blog!

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    1. Oh, it was definitely a giant mess. And I am still cleaning up the aftermath. But, I think it will be worth it in the end. That being said, I would have much preferred to have avoided the whole stain debacle. Ha! :)

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  13. I have been going back and forth between light vs dark hardwoods and I think you may have just convinced me! Every time I see my sisters dark, dark, so-dark-its-almost-black hardwoods it looks so gorgeous I decide to do that. But then I have this fear it will "shrink" the room. This was very helpful. Glad it worked out for you in the end!!!

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    1. I know what you mean. I truly love love love dark floors and always love them when I see them elsewhere. But, in reality, they just totally shrunk my house and made it so depressing. I think they just work better in more modern houses. Not so much in my 70s house! ha! :)

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  14. Sometimes those things just happen...but I love the lighter floors in there for sure! xo Kristin

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  15. Renos are SUCH fun! Smart to get it fixed while the fixing was good though, instead of living with it and hating it. Congrats to your little bro!! What a smarty pants. Hang in there, it'll all be worth it. Soon ;)

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    1. Aren't they though? ha! And thanks Shannon! You're such a sweetie! xo

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  16. Im sorry for all the hard work but in the end it's always better to sacrifice a few days (or months) to get what you want. After all, you have to love your home. And even though it was tragic in your eyes, i have to say I loved reading about your trials and tribulations. You are freaking hilarious!!! I laughed hysterically more than once. Keep up the blog and the laughter.

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    1. Thank youuuuu! And I so agree. That's what I kept trying to tell myself during the extra two weeks when I was a meltdowney mess.

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  17. Virginia-
    Be gentle with yourself - you're only human. I really enjoy your blogs and the creative and inspiring ideas you share. Thank you for sharing your lessons learned. Appreciate it! Your home is looking beautiful - love the floors. Keep on keepin -the worst of your remodeling trials will soon be over!

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    1. Thanks Sandee! Oh, how I yearn for the day!

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  18. I have always thought dark floors are the way to go no matter what. Mind blown!! The lighter looks so much lighter and fresher. High five to you (or your husband!) for having the guts to ask them to sand all of that off. I might have died of embarrassment. But you had to live with it, and your contractor sounds great. Loved laughing at all of your wordage as usual. Thanks!!

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    1. Ha! It was definitely Jesse. I more or less hid under the bed while he braved the sanding convo. Our contractor really was awesome though. He works by himself and really depends on word of mouth, so I think he just really wanted to make sure we were pleased with the final outcome. And we definitely are. :)

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  19. The house looks beautiful, Virginia! Great decision on the lighter floors. They are gorgeous! We've had dark floor struggles before and they ended up being a nightmare. I too thought they were beautiful and had to have them. What I failed to realize is that they don't stay so dark and clean all the time when you have a husky in the house. It should have been a no-brainer, but you live and you learn. I have much lighter floors now and it is a relief for me and my Dyson!

    Also, congrats on your brother's graduation! My future brother in-law just graduated from the Navy Nuclear Power School in Charleston, as well. I wonder if he and Mathias know each other? He's studying to become a Nuclear Engineer, too!

    I enjoy all of your posts! Looking forward to seeing what's next!

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    1. No kidding!!! What a small world. I bet they do! Congrats to your future bro in law, too! And yes, I know what you mean about the dust and dirt. Our floors showed every little speck of dirt during their weekend long stint as dark floors.

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  20. Good job owning your mistake and not being afraid to change it up. Sometimes that is hard to do, but its way better than living with something you hate! The light floors look fabulous!

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  21. Okay. I have to send you a virtual hug. I just went through a horrific furniture stripping project gone wrong and I have spent the past 24 hours being in full-on mopey mode. I even posted about it here: http://blesserhouse.blogspot.com/2014/04/welcome-to-my-brain-on-varnish-stripper.html Sometimes all you can do is laugh about it and move on. It's so refreshing to see another DIYer who admits defeat sometimes. No one is perfect, and sometimes when we get caught up in trying to be DIY experts, we forget that it's okay to be human. So thank you for being real. It's so hard to find in our social networking let's-try-to-out-do-each-other way of life. No other blog has the humorous little asides that you throw in, and even though the projects you do are fabulous, your writing is what keeps me coming back. :)

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    1. Aw, thanks Lauren! That means a lot. That's basically the goal for my blog: Be a human....disasters included. :)

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  22. you are so cute! I love dark floorings but i have to admit that your house look a lot better with lighter flooring. Glad your contractor sand it off! whew

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  23. It looks wonderful. Good on you for going with your gut (even if it was afterward) to get things fixed. I agree, the light looks much betters & adds a lot of brightness to your home. Soon your house will be back to normal and you can breathe again! :)

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    1. Thanks Brandi! Oh, I cannot waittttt!

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  24. I just love the way you write about things like this! You are hilarious and lovely, and your house is going to be wonderful, I'm sure. Already looks great! Thank you for sharing :)

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  25. Girl. You are truly . unabashedly. sincerely. the most hilarious blogger writing in the 21st century . I laugh so much at the comments underneath your
    " normal " thought-stream written in tee-tiny font. I love how honest you are with this
    DIY life we are all muddling through --
    You are a truly gifted woman. I love your style in every way !
    Thank you for sharing it all with us !

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    1. Sooooo sweet, Diane. I have no words other than thank you.

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  26. I'm sure I voted for light floors.(Just saying is all...) But hey, we all have our ideals and really, truly want them to work for us....but alas sometimes they just don't. You are blessed to have the opportunity to have them resanded cuz now you're back to the usual happy camper you are :-) I LOVE the light floors and as a 1960's homeowner will someday (hopefully) be doing light wood floors in our home too. (And getting rid of the "What the heck is THAT color?!?!??" reddish stain they used on the existing hardwood in the bedrooms. :-) Yay yay yay for you and your beautiful light wood floors :-)

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  27. I always look forward to your blog updates...I love your sense of humor and your projects :) I also love Jesse and Mathias' prom picture!! That made me LOL :)

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    1. Thank you! Their prom pic IS pretty awesome. :)

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  28. Oh you darling!! I have been waiting and waiting for this post, and I feel for you (or rather, now you are re-done lighter, I felt for you). But now it's light and blonde again it really is l o v e l y ! ! Horrible to have to go through it, but it came good at the other end. Well done, it's lovely, and I look forward to the "dressed" version.

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    1. Thank you Susan! I can't wait to get to the 'dressed' version! It's going to be an entire process in itself though...onto Phase 2!!

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  29. Oh my goodness, I can't even imagine what you were going through! Or maybe, I can and that's why I feel so bad! Sometimes, when you have a vision for so long, it's hard to accept that your gut might actually be telling you to go against that vision. I am glad you listened to your instincts in the end though. While the dark floors were still lovely, the light floors definitely compliment the space more. I am so happy it all worked out in the end :)

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  30. In an earlier blog post, you were debating your stain color. As I looked at the photos, I yelled, "Virginia, go to the light!" I'm glad you heard my screams! The floor looks divine! Congrats to little bro too! He's going places!

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    1. Thanks love! I thought I heard something!

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  31. I have been following you for a few months now and this is my first comment ever. I love your house and I have been waiting to see how the floors turned out. I have to say, as much as dark woods seem to be on everyone's wishlist these days, what a breath of fresh air these light floors are. I just love the look of the rock wall with the light floors; light, airy and even sophisticated. I like that you trusted your inner voice and made the change because the whole thing looks amazing :o)

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    1. Thank you, thank you!!! It definitely feels like a breath of fresh air! And I'm so glad to meet you, Barbara!

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  32. Hi Virginia - First time "caller" here! I just had my wall to wall 30-year old (ugh!) carpet removed and engineered hardwood installed throughout my great room and kitchen. I went with my first choice -- Maple Vintage Latte (Home Depot), but like you, I had second thoughts and for a day or so, considered a dark chocolate hickory color. finally I decided to go with my first choice, and when it was done, it was the perfect choice. The maple is actually closer in stain to a pecan which is what I was going for, as I had pecan faux wood Levelors installed last year. The match is nearly perfect.

    I started laughing when I read your post. I know your pain, gal! It's a BIG decision -- flooring, for goodness sakes! And you don't want to mess it up! I was apprehensive too, but it looks like it worked out in our favor! Congrats!

    I enjoy reading you and have fallen in love with Rustoleum Universal Metallic spray paint because of you.

    Rock on! You're an inspiration!

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    1. So glad your flooring choice worked out on the first go-round! It truly is such a big decision and so hard to make!! So, high five on getting it right!! And thank you!! xo

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  33. Your floors look great, I had a similar situation with a loft I renovated and decided to go against the grain and install like oak flooring and cabinets... I had to stare at it for about a month before I realized that it was indeed beautiful. :) By the way, any plans to redo the cool fireplace?

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    1. Thank you! Yes, definitely. I just need awhile to ponder my options. They might involve paint or demolition. Time will tell. :)

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  34. I just read a quote on Pinterest that reminded me of your post. "Sometimes when things are falling apart, they are really falling into place." Thank you for being real with us! You cracked me up every time!

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    1. Aw, thanks girl! That's so true!! I swear everytime my life gets really messy, the best times always follow. Funny how life does that, huh? :)

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  35. Glad you went back to the light floors - they're beautiful and they totally make the stone wall work! :)

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    1. Thanks so much Kathy! Yes, I think they definitely make the stone wall better. I still don't looooove it, but I'll take a little improvement anyday! :)

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  36. Yay! I know you will be so much happier with the lighter colors. The darker floors, while looking nice, are awful and require CONSTANT cleaning because the show EVERY SPECK of dust, fur, etc. :)

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  37. Wow it's amazing what a difference it makes! I am so indecisive so I can definitely relate! I've taken months to pick a paint colour for my bedroom walls and this has really put things in perspective - if I don't like it at least its a pretty easy fix.

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    1. Yes, especially with paint! I've repainted nearly every room at least twice! ha!

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  38. SC native writing in to say "Myrtled it up" is my new favorite phrase.

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  39. Some things, you can say "oops" and live with until you replace it again in 10 years. Flooring (and especially SO MUCH of it!) is not one of those things. I knew staining that wood wasn't going to look as good, but I'm one of those people who likes to leave material raw, so... who knew I'd be right? Anyway, in the end, your hard work has definitely paid off, because they look absolutely gorgeous. Well done! I think this calls for a celebratory night of chocolate covered mini donuts and binge Netflixing.

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    1. That sounds like my kinda night! Thanks girl! (And yes, you were soooooo right.)

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  40. Hey Virginia - I didn't know whether to laugh or cry as I read your blog...you are, what we call downunder - "a real trick" - translated that means "Girl - YOU ROCK!" you are just so real...and humble enough to share the bad times as well as the good. So big ups to you for hearing your heart, eating humble pie and going back to the drawing board. You so did the right thing!!! And speaking of eating - I'm right with you on the oysters. Even if you get past the "loogie" thing - awwwww the smell....!!!!! Can't wait for your next post. Yours from the upside down place. Kiwi Ros.

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    1. Oh Virginia! I <3 you! (Can I say that?) Well, I did. And it’s true! Your blog heals my DIY loving soul and your projects make me swoon. In part because you are a creative Do-It-Yourselfer working on a budget and sharing every trial and tribulation of young-homeownership with the world, and in part because I can SO relate! I want so badly to come over and bring you a bottle of wine, look at floor stains with you and move them strategically around your house to view them in different lighting! A girl needs opinions on this sort of thing! But I can’t do that (because it’s totally not practical, and would likely creep you out) so I’ll share the short & sweet version of my husband and I’s own home remodel project. It is funny now, but living in it was anything but.
      We bought ourselves the cutest little Cape Cod (circa 1976) in a neighborhood we were actually renting a house in. It was love at first sight. And It was a foreclosure that truly wore the battle scars of a tough existence. Beyond the bones, and the curb appeal we could envision, it left a lot to the imagination. When we moved in it had concrete floors, all the carpet and flooring had been pulled up, along with one of the toilets, it had no appliances and no water heater. The house had been abandon for almost a year and infested with rodents & pests (what were we thinking!). For the first YEAR we lived upstairs in one bedroom and had a tiny ‘living room’ set up in the other bedroom upstairs. We bough appliances but due to living in the middle of a reno, we kept them all in the garage for nearly a year!
      And the bathrooms! Oh the bathrooms. There is a full bathroom upstairs and one downstairs, however neither one was fully functioning. To get ready for work in the mornings meant using the toilet and sink upstairs and the shower downstairs (which doubled as or kitchen sinks since the kitchen was gutted!)
      Eventually we began putting the house back together and got the kitchen cabinets installed, we were able to move the appliance inside and we even moved ourselves downstairs to the master bedroom. But it took a while to complete the kitchen. After installing the cabinets we came to a stand still unsure what to do for the countertops. Needing to reclaim my kitchen and quit eating out we adhered the plywood and prepped the space for counters, but hemmed & hawed over what kind of material to do. It was about 6 months those plywood counters stayed in place. Do you know what it is like to wipe a plywood countertop with a sponge? Yay, it’s about as enjoyable and sterile as it sounds. I did a lot of Shop-Vac-ing my kitchen counters during that time period. 
      Five years later – all is (nearly) finished. The over grown hedges have been replaced with oh-so-cute landscaping; the drab grey paint has been repainted with a cheery yellow and complimented with black shutters, we have TWO FULLY functioning bathrooms, a complete kitchen with countertops and indoor appliance, a first floor master bedroom & first floor living room, and dark cherry stained wood floors. It was a labor of love and my husband and I came out of it unscathed, more in love than ever and super proud of our little home we made just ours. Plus we have SO many funny stories of late nights, projects gone awry, WAY TOO MANY trips to Lowe’s, tears of frustration and sub-par living conditions from our first few years of marriage. Wait until you can laugh about it all in the very near future! In the meantime, thank you for sharing it with us!
      Blessings,
      Ashley
      abszaronos@hotmail.com

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  41. Ok ok so I never thought I'd admit it but as much as I LOVE dark wood floors, they were totally wrong for your house. Gah, I thought for sure they'd be the absolutely perfect... and perfect they were not. :\ Two words couldn't have fit more perfectly.. DATED DUNGEON! It was like all the hard work you've put in to the house reno from day one was completely undone with those dark floors. Crazy how that works. On the other hand, I love the light natural look of the wood and how much more open it makes everything feel. I'm glad you went with natural wood floors vs eng,hard wood so that you were able to see them in that natural state BEFORE the stain otherwise just think, you would've never known you liked the light. Everything works out.. even if we are hard headed and have to find things out the hard way instead of just going with our instincts. I can't wait to see what you're doing with the railing. Update us soon, please! Congrats to your Bro! What an accomplishment! Oh, and next time, just listen to Cheese...Cheese knows best! ;) Kitten mittens and all.. :) Love this!

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  42. Oh no Virginia! Did you do this before I commented a few weeks ago about dark stains? I'm SO sorry you went through that. I know once you have an idea in your head of what will look good it can be hard to realize that maybe something different is better... truly I do feel your pain. I've been having some issues myself. Found the most perfect nesting tables only to find out that they scratched super easy and unfortunately will NOT be a good fit for my house with 2 kids, 2 cats, a dog and a husband. Such a bummer. But I am not deterred - I will figure something out. Even if it means completely changing my original design idea. Glad you went lighter. They'll be easier at hiding scratches and dirt hopefully! Missed your updates and look forward to hearing more :)

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  43. I'm such a fan of light wood floors and always have been. They are so much easier to keep clean. I'm glad it all worked out for you in the end. Looks awesome.

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  44. Ahhh I am sorry that you had to go through the mini-meltdown, but you made a GREAT decision ultimately - the floors look spectacular in the lighter shade!

    Bailey
    aka Bailey

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  45. Your blog is so distracting when I have finals :( hahaha. Also, can you please do something regarding makeup storage and organization? I know other people do it, but i like the way you explain things :) (Ps light floors definately the better option!)

    Rabia

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  46. I love your light floors. Our home has light floors and when we bought it, I, like you, have planned to redo the floors dark. Dark, dark. I have pined and pined for them. Now that we are planning to redo the carpet areas upstairs with hardwood, I thought, ok, here is my chance to start making the transition. I love dark wood floors, but the more I looked, I'm digging the light. I'm sticking with it. I know it's not the trend, but something tells me, stick light. Glad I'm in good company.

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  47. Ah! I've been obsessing over doing my floors dark. Like dark dark. Hmmm. This is making me rethink and go lighter. It's beachier and really lights up your home - looks great!

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  48. I was planning to disagree with you from the get go, especially when I read you used Kona, which is my favorite stain for furniture. But in your house, I totally agree the light floors just look so fantastic! Not only do they brighten the space, they do make your home feel more modern. Good for you for getting what you want even if it was a hassle.

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  49. I found you by pinning your striped bathroom wall from Pinterest. I have read your entire blog from start to finish - was fun to watch you grow and change and learn. You have a superb "blog" articulation, and I'll watch you from now on. I bet your husband loves your sense of humor - I know I do!
    Over the years I, too, have learned the hard way that it's always wiser to do one wall then live with it awhile...one floor and live with it awhile...drape the fabric over the chair and live with it awhile....my big life "faux pas" similar to yours was once thinking I'd love pastel colors in my living room. Enough that I sewed slipcovers, pillows, painted...all in one rushed couple of weeks - only to find out that pink and blue and yellow pastels in a room quite rapidly made me feel like I'd eaten wayyyy too much sugar. Blue and white? yes. Yellow and white? Yes. Maybe even pink and white but....maybe not. lol. But all three? No.
    One thing I love about Pinterest is that you can amass a lot of examples of rooms with colors and shapes that are similar to your own. Help you to make decisions. I noticed the kitchens that you thought your dark floors would resemble....those kitchens were huge. With no black/stainless huge appliances that faced directly into the entrance of the room. Thats why they could handle the dark floor and yours could not. And your house is basically long and thin in the living/dining/kitchen area. So the dark floor just made it longer and thinner. LOLOL. That plus the fact that you had your contractor lay the flooring the long way of the house - I loved the flooring and as I was reading I kept saying to myself "gosh I hope she keeps the flooring its natural color...it's perfect for her".....It looks very Scandinavian - which is what you lean towards whether you are aware of it or not. :)
    You've done a fantastic job for one so young...and I'm looking forward to seeing your porch, your yard, your basement. :)

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  50. I have been reading your blog for a while, but just read back to this lovely little nugget and nearly peed my pants laughing probably 3 times. I lived through my own reno when we were converting the attic of our capecod to a master bedroom. I was also very pregnant. I can relate to the insanity of living through a reno...and the crying..it just wears you down. Anyway I just wanted to say how much I like your blog and that I secretly wish you were my real life friend so that we could DIY together. If only you lived closer to Cincinnati! xoxoxo

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  51. Thank You!!! We just bought a 70's house we LOVE and I was wondering if I should "update" the floors. But I love the light look no matter what the world is showing us. Now I'll be content. Thanks!

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  52. oh my goodness!!!! i so completely relate to everything you said, and exactly the way you said it! even your little side trips! you crack me up!
    thank you for being "real!" i'm so following your blog now...and i don't follow anyone's blog's! ;) keep it up, girl! ;)

    Valerie - Oregon

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  53. It looks amazing! Live and learn :)
    - Krys

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  54. it looks great..
    we are going to be going through a similar process very soon.. our entire second floor will have it's carpet ripped out and the floors refinished while we are in the house.. I can only imagine the mess.. and we are currently mid construction in the master bedroom.. I am living in chaos.
    Thanks for the insight

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  55. OH MY GOSH you crack me up! We have had to replace our living room flooring THREE times due to SLAB LEAKS under our living room/entryway. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog - a refreshing viewpoint without R-rated expletives! It makes me PINE for our Reno-licious split-entry Oregon home that I never appreciated until now. Thank you for allowing us a peak into your life, and also for the great idea for a photo shoot with my husband and brother! Happy New Year - may it be filled with SUCCESSFUL renovations!

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  56. I'm feeling you. I was the exact same with this new current house: we were going to have dark hardwood floors, come hell or high water! They're 6" wide distressed American Hickory, engineered. They're beautiful...but not here. The lighting is wrong, the place looks dark. So how am I fixing this? Chalk paint. I am painting all my wood furniture light & white & bright. MUST have contrast in a space. BTW, LOVE your light floors & I will insist on those for our next house, lol!

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