Sunday, December 15, 2013

Red and White Nordic Christmas Tree

In the midst of all of our painting and floor laying and fixing up of the new house, we did manage to get a tree up and decorated.  Since we plan to be moved into the new house by Christmas that's where we set it up.  It's the only part of the house that looks clean and normal.  : )

Y'all know I love me some red, and the red and white color scheme of the Nordic style has appealed to me for a few years now.  So last year I decided that I wanted to do a red and white Nordic style tree this year.  So as I packed up our ornaments from last year's tree, I set aside any of them that would fit with this theme and packed them away separately.

I bought a few new things on after Christmas clearance sales, and found the tree skirt on Etsy. 
 It's actually a vintage tablecloth.

The rocking chair is the only piece of furniture in the house so far, and my antique quilt was already there from my son using it to take naps on while I'm there working.  The little ladder was there for functional use for painting and things, but I commandeered it for these pictures.  The little red trees were found at Goodwill.

I am loving this tree!  Any time I need a break from the house projects I come sit in here and enjoy looking at it.

Let's take a little closer look at some of the ornaments.

These ornaments were bought at after Christmas clearance sales.  The snowflakes like the one in the top right picture are some of my favorites of the new ones.

These adorable mitten ornaments were not on clearance, I found those this year at Sears. Aren't they just the cutest?!?

There are quite a few of these red and white snowflakes all over the tree.  They're actually felt coasters and they were also a clearance find.

These letters were another Christmas clearance buy and I was so excited to find each of our initials.  They'll be used every year from now on I'm sure, regardless of the theme. 

I had several Santas in my collection already, here are just a few of them.

I also already had the primitive looking wooden icicles in two different styles, as well a few handmade ornaments that my sister gave me years ago.  I also already had the wooden cranberry garland.

The quilted star ornament is another favorite, and was actually the inspiration for this whole tree. 
 I found it at a thrift store.

Along with the beautiful theme appropriate ornaments, there are plenty of meaningful and memorable family ornaments mixed in as well.  

Hubby's Craftsman toolbox ornament even made it on!  : )  See that bear ornament in the background of the bottom right picture?  I've had that since I was about a year old, and it's that one ornament that is an absolute must on the tree every year.  It's not Christmas until the Avon bear ornament goes on the tree.  It used to be scented and I think it still smells good, but my family thinks it stinks, lol!

So there you have it.  That's our tree for this year, a red and white Nordic farmhouse Christmas tree.  

I hope you're having a blessed Christmas season and remembering that Jesus is the reason for the season.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

New House Update #2

Just popping in to give another quick update on where we're at with the new house.  Things haven't changed looks-wise for over a week now.  Caulking, spackling, sanding, priming, etc. has proven to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  BUT....Hubby has now finished scraping ALL the ceilings of their horrible popcorn.  He's got them all spackled and sanded too.  Can I get a woot woot!!  

The ceilings in the kitchen and dining room have already been painted, as well as the front entryway and what we've been calling the "Christmas tree room."  (It's this odd little extra room that we don't know what to call, but that's where the Christmas tree is going.)  All the upper trim in the kitchen and DR is finished, and Hubs put up a light/ceiling fan.  Later on I'd like to find a nice chandelier style light to go in here, but since I don't know what I want yet, we just went ahead and put this up for now.  The walls are all spackled and sanded as well and ready for paint.

I've been testing out paint samples.  I wanted a light tan to go along with the white trim.  The color on the left is what I tried first.  It looked great on the paint chip, but up on the wall it took on too much of a pink tone.  I think I'll be going with option #2 on the right.  It's Natural Linen by Glidden.  The plan is to paint all the main rooms in this for now just to get rid of the current colors.  Dining room isn't that bad, but the color in the living room makes me cringe and it must go.  Later on if I decide I want more color then I can change it as needed.

Notice any changes here in the kitchen?  (Other than the fact that it's an absolute dee-saster.)  There's a big ol' empty spot right there in the middle where the island used to be.  Yep, you heard that right, we took the island out.  I can hear you now, "WHYYY o' why would she take a perfectly good and functional island out?!?"  Lol!!  Well...lemme do some 'splainin.'  

  All the cabinets are way too builder grade and matchy-matchy for my liking, it needs some more character in there.  We knew that the flooring runs under the cabinets, so I told Hubby that, guaranteed, that island was coming out at some point down the road and getting replaced with something more junkified that could be repurposed into an island.  So to avoid ending up with a section of flooring that didn't match smack dab in the middle of everything (because the dimensions of whatever thing I come up with to use probably wouldn't be the same as the previous island) he went ahead and pulled it out so the flooring can be laid. We'll use my current rolling island cart there for now.

Today Hubs will be picking up our laminate order and bringing it to the house.  That will give it a week to acclimate before he starts laying it next Saturday.  My job will continue to be paint paint and more paint.  Finishing up doorway trim in the kitchen and dining room, as well as starting to cut in and edge with the linen colored paint to get the walls ready for rolling.

Onward and upward we go!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Laminate Floors Have Finally Been Chosen!

After weeks and weeks of agonizing and analyzing and debating and stressing and literally dreaming about it...I finally chose and ordered the laminate flooring for our new house.  I had no idea it would be such a nerve wracking experience!

I knew in my head what I was looking for, something warm and rustic to bring that old farmhouse feel.  I knew I definitely did NOT want something orange-y or 80's honey oak colored.  I wanted something that was brown/tan, not orangeish or reddish.  I also knew I definitely did NOT want anything shiny and smooth.  I wanted texture and rusticness and something that looked realistic.  Basically I wanted hardwood, but at a laminate price.  : )  Let me tell ya, this is not that easy to find apparently.  At least it wasn't for me, because I tend to be v.e.r.y. picky.  Plus, our bank account made some immediate decisions for me on ones that were lovely but just too expensive.

You might remember this picture I shared a few weeks ago asking for everyone's opinions.

There was a big variety of opinions and each option had lots of people who loved it, though I think #4 probably took the lead.  We ordered samples of these, but when they came they weren't what I was looking for.  They had that waviness to them that some of the handscraped style laminates do, and that is something else I don't care for.  Not really sure why that is, I just don't.

So...those were out.

Then I shared this picture with my Facebook followers.  It was of 3 options we found at Home Depot.

Again, a wide variety of opinions were shared, some even said they didn't like any of them, lol!

Ultimately I decided the one on the far left, though beautiful and rustic, was just going to be too dark.  The rooms where this will be laid don't get very much direct sunlight and I was afraid it would end up being too dark and suck the light right out of the room.  Plus, everyone's comments that dark floors show every bit of dust and dirt kind of worried me.  I don't like cleaning very much.  For realz.

I also decided the one on the right had too much orange in it for my liking.  So, I thought the middle one was looking like my only option, but even though I liked it I just wasn't completely sold on it.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine that I went to high school with posted a picture on her Facebook page of her kids playing on the floor in her house.  Her kids are adorably cute, guessed it...I noticed her floors.  They were gorgeous!  I immediately shot off a nosy message asking her what kind they were and what color.  She told me the color (Historic Oak Charcoal) and said that they love their floors.  They're beautiful and easy to clean and hardly show any dirt at all.  Ummm...sold!  I immediately started Googling.  I found it and promptly fell in love.  But what I also found was that it was way out of our price range.  (They had gotten a great deal on theirs since they knew the owner of the flooring store in their town.)

I finally decided that I would just have to come to terms with the fact that I might not find the perfect one in our price range, and that I would just have to settle for something and learn to like it.  I even prayed about.  I told the Lord, "I know that this is such a tiny inconsequential thing in the grand scheme of things going on in this world, but this decision is pretty important to me right now so I'm asking that you'll please just help me to choose the right flooring that I can be happy with."

So...I continued the search.  I visited a couple of local stores right here in our small town, but nothing was jumping out at me.  I knew there was a flooring store about 40 minutes away, and they just so happened to carry my dream floors.  I decided, "I've got nothing to lose, I'll just call them and see what kind of price they have on those floors.  Never hurts to ask."  Surprisingly, their price was not nearly as high as the other place I had checked!  I began to feel a spark of hope.  It was still more than we could afford, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I had originally thought.  I remembered seeing this flooring on one of those discount flooring websites and decided to give them a call and do a price comparison.  (All of this was while sitting in a CVS parking lot while my kids climbed like little monkeys all over the seats in the back of the van.)  Turns out, they were having a Cyber Monday sale and their price was even lower, like ''we could afford that" lower.  Woowhee!  My heart was pounding!  At this point I had only seen pictures of it, but had not looked at any samples in person.  So we took off and drove the 40 minutes to the smaller store so that I could look at it in person and make sure that's really what I wanted before I placed any order.

And it was gorgeous, exactly what I had been looking for all along, and I fell in love all over again.

The people at The Floor Store were so nice and extremely helpful and knowledgeable.  I told them about the sale from the discount flooring site, but said that I would much rather support a local small business than a huge online store and asked if they could do any better on their price.  Not only did they do better, they actually beat the online store's sale price!!  I could not believe it!  I was so extremely happy and excited!  I was amazed at the thought that God cares about the little things, and that He cares enough about lil' ol' me to not only answer my prayer but to give me the desire of my heart.  He is amazingly awesome!

So, if you've made it this far then I'm sure you're dying to know what I ended up choosing, right?
Well, without further ado, here it is. (This cell phone picture doesn't do it justice!)

It's called Historic Oak Timber, and it's from the Restoration Collection made by Mannington (100% American made I might add!)

It is the perfect shade of brown I was looking for, no orange undertones there!  It's rustic and it has texture and beveled edges, and and and.....I just love it!  I cannot wait until it comes in and we can get it laid.  It will go a long way in making a doublewide feel like an old farmhouse.

Not only am I excited about it, I'm also glad to have this decision behind me so that I can quit stressing over it and move on to other things to stress about.  : )


I've received several questions from readers wondering how we ended up liking the Mannington floors so I decided to add an update.  After 2 years of having these, with 3 young kids, a dog, and an indoor/outdoor cat, I can honestly say that we still LOVE them!!  They've held up really well, we've had no major issues with them, and they almost always look clean!  They hide dirt so well.  The only minor issue we've had is that if something sharp or extra heavy has been dropped on them we've gotten the occasional small chip in the surface.  I don't think they're a big deal though.  I just simply color in the chipped area with a brown Sharpie marker and it blends right in with the worn character of the laminate.  The beveled edges do tend to catch crumbs, but it's nothing a quick vacuum can't handle.  I would definitely recommend these floors if you're considering them.  In fact, I hope to get them installed in our living room and piano room someday soon!

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