This was our house...It may look large, but trust me, it wasn't...but it was cute!
So we decided to move out of the cute little house near Balboa Park, in an adorable part of town called Burlingame and out to the east county of San Diego, into a city called La Mesa.
I looked for houses for months and months...and finally found this...
It was a fine old house (which we liked) on a really big lot (which made us nervous), but it seemed like it had great potential...and we could afford it!
Focus here on the word OLD.
We knew when we bought this house, it needed some work. We initially thought it needed, maybe, some cosmetics, like new carpet and windows...
But we were wrong.
Yes, we replaced windows...and then some walls (due to dry rot).
We re-did the kitchen. This was the old kitchen, with the back of the house torn out....without the back wall, it's nowhere near as dark as it really was.
Basically, we took the interior down to the studs. All things being equal, it would have been easier to buy a lot and build a home from scratch.
I remember bringing Betty over to look at the house when it was down to the studs one night. She looked at me with a combination of "What? Are you insane?" and "WHAT? are you NUTS?"... I'm pretty sure she bought me a beer or two that night.
I've got loads of photos like this...photos of nothing but 2 x 4s and drywall...It took about 9 months from when we bought the house until we were finally able to move in. It was a crazy time.
It'd be different if either Walter or I had any skill or interest in Do it Yourself Home Improvement, but basically both of us are just skilled at writing checks to contractors.
Anyway, at some point we stopped remodeling the interior (because the remodel could have gone on 4-EV-AH and not ever been finished) and we moved in. We knew there were still parts of the house that needed attention, parts that were not finished, but we had moved into the MONEY PIT...so we ignored those, moved in, and raised our children.
Nine Years Later
Over the last couple of years, some of the things we didn't deal with in the initial remodel have become harder to ignore...
This is one of them...
The hardwood floors in the kids bedrooms...
OK...other than the fact that DramaGirl is messy...the floors look fine, right? In fact, they are beautiful, old, red oak, hardwood floors...
Unfortunately, there's also this...
The floor in DramaGirl's bedroom...a combination of termite and probably water damage, is pulling away from the house...ewwwwww right?
We've gotta take out the hardwood and replace the subfloor in both the kid's bedrooms, so in the next several weeks, you will no doubt be reading plenty about our home improvement adventure. We can't afford it, but we really have no choice.
And since we're doing home improvement, I have some decisions to make.
Now let me make this perfectly clear. I have absolutely no talent for this kind of thing AT. ALL.
I mean, I can look at a Pottery Barn catalog and think...well of course you would pair orange and brown sofa cushions with a bronze statue and cherry wood floors...that looks REAL NICE, but I have ABSOLUTELY NO ABILITY to translate what I see into what I ought to be doing in my own home...GAH!
In fact, it gives me a headache to think about it. I just want things to look nice. I don't actually want to have to plan it out!
I think this is why rich people hire decorators.
So, I need help.
Here's my first issue. The Floors.
We've decided on a wood laminate because, frankly, we can afford it. One of the issues with this house has always been that the rooms are HUGE! DramaGirls bedroom is 14' x 12'. Turbo's bedroom is 12' x 12'. We need to redo a hallway that is (and I kid you not) 4' x 25' and we need to redo a portion of the family room (which is the smallest room of all) that is 11' x 12'.
(BTW...we also have a living room/dining room at the front of the house that is, I kid you not, 40' x 25'. It's not involved in the current remodel story.)
In other words, the part we want to refloor is a little more than 800 square feet, and as much as I would love to replace the old hardwood floors with new hardwood, we just can't afford it...so we're going with a laminate...you know something that looks like wood, but doesn't cost as much. You know Pergo...
Walter and I spent about five hours (way past his capacity to look at this stuff) looking at laminate samples today...and I'm more confused than when I even started.
So I'm throwing it out to some of you who are closet-home-decorating-geniuses. What stain/color floor should I get?
It doesn't matter so much in the kids rooms. But I'm also covering the family room, which is adjacent to the kitchen, and which has wood cabinets that look like this.
Yeah...this is the "redone kitchen..." It's a mess right now.
The laminate wood floors aren't going in the kitchen, but they are going in here...
...in the family room that is adjacent to the kitchen... We're also going to put in a counter/bar to go with those lonely barstools...
So, I wonder, can I put in a darker wood laminate? or will that clash with the oak cabinets. I brought home some samples that were roughly the same stain as the cabinets, and it looks like just too much natural oak...and BORING. Can I put in a wood floor that picks up on the darker grain in the wood cabinets?
I mean, what are the rules here?
Don't worry about the furniture...it's all cheap Ikea stuff that will eventually be replaced.
Oh...and here is the long hallway.
Really, our house has no real hallways...just open space, which is nice, but also means that things have to sort of flow into each other because there are no separate rooms.
So...I'm open to whatever help, suggestions, advice, you can send my way!