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Apparently My Design Genes Have Been Replaced With Wine.

It occurred to me that I’ve never showed you our living room.

I mean, aside from this picture from move-in day:

And, while it’s far from finished, I think it’s come a long way since then.

This is slightly embarrassing.  This is a photo I quickly snapped when the room was clean for about 4 seconds.  It’s especially embarrassing after recently publishing photos of my friend Matt’s ridiculously awesome home on Re-Nest.  I wish I could replace everything in my house with his delicious, paint-peely, story-filled furniture, but alas.  New furniture — even old new furniture — is just not in the cards right now.  Which is why, dear readers, it’s important to collect things you love slowly over time.

A lesson I still clearly need to learn.

Anyway.  Looking at the above photo, it’s obvious I like things cozy, and, as determined by that style quiz of yore, I’m into a room with craftsman style that’s apparently filled with booze.

Hey, that’s the quiz talkin’– not me.

But it’s also me,

The overstuffed sofas have seen better days, as I’ve mentioned before.  They’re too big for the room and happen to be the first new furniture Justin and I bought together… seven years ago.

Everything else is way too matchy-matchy — my entertainment console on the left, which I’ve had for 9 years, used to be blonde wood laminate that I’ve since disassembled and painted dark.  Then apparently I went on a dark wood kick, because the Target bookshelf, end tables, and sofa table (not pictured), are also all dark wood.  Matching dark wood.

And finally, the carpet.

That carpet is nasty.

Like, installed-in-1994-and-survived-years-of-renters nasty.

And I use the term “survived” loosely.  As in, it’s still there.  Mostly.

And this, my friends, is next on the list.  We’re getting ready to order some laminate floors.

Why laminate?

Well, we’re set on a DIY install to save some much-needed moolah, and wood requires a lot more work (nailing, gluing, etc.).  Also, while we’re getting a really nice laminate, the material is less expensive than wood.  Also, we’ve really already spent too much money on this house for its price point, so we really shouldn’t expect to recoup anything else we spend.  Higher end laminate will look just as nice as wood floors, and while it doesn’t have the classic longevity, frankly, we’re not going to be here long enough to care.  Plus, with the warranty, this laminate should last much — much — longer than carpet.

This is what we’ve been eyeballin’.  In the Cosmopolitan color.  Yes, it’s high gloss, which worries me, too.

Anyway.  I’ll share more details on that when we actually order.

I just thought you should know.

Any strong opinions out there on laminate vs. hardwood?   Are we making a horrible mistake?  Should we just abandon the house and move now to a yurt in northern California?

Actually, the yurt thing doesn’t sound like a bad backup plan.


What say you?


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I think you will be happy with it. When we did “real” wood, you could see every dog scrape, which is in the huge layer of gloss they put over the wood, they weren’t actually scratching the wood but in the right light it looked very scratched up – I don’t know about you but I certainly didn’t want to re-gloss floors in my free time. Laminate is a great choice IMO:) Have fun!


Hmm, so maybe I should reconsider the high gloss laminate, since that can’t even be refinished! Though I was kinda thinking maybe the dog scratches in the gloss would make it look more authentic. ;)

Jeannine Bruner

We had laminate in our house in WY & I loved it. It looked like real wood & cleaned up easily. I have had real wood floors in the last 2 houses we have lived. While I still love the look, the maintenance is a lot more work, especially if the renters before you didn’t know how to care for wood floors & used that stupid Orange Glo stuff that leaves a nice waxy residue that you must scrape off on your hands and knees after soaking the floor with windex…….anywho- I think you will be happy with your decision. :)


Haha… sounds like the previous owners might have irritated you. Just a little. :) I just hope the laminate we get ends up being as good as yours in WY!


The yurt looks cool! But where do you live now – the daily commute could be awful!


Well, I live in North Carolina, so the commute would only be like 3,000 miles. Totally doable. ;)


I concur with the real wood being a pain in the arse! We had hardwood floors growing up and, while they were beautiful, I remember my mother constantly freaking out about us tracking in any moisture – like the frequent rain & snow we had in the midwest! She’d labor over polishing & buffing it, and would lay blankets down whenever we had to move things in or out. SO not worth the hassle! Nowadays, the laminate looks gorgeous! I still think your living room is cozy & perfect, but the laminate floors will make it look even purtier :-)


Why, thank you! And that makes me feel better… I’d probably be stressin’ about real wood all the time. Of course, water can damage laminate too… Ugh I just need to pick something already! :)


I suggest you add some colour in the living room. More art on the walls, change the curtains or update the cushions. Even a big bowl of flowers on the coffee table or a cyclamen plant. the laminate floors sound good, especially since you don’t want to overcapitalize


You are so exactly right! See, this is why I need help. I’m terrified of hanging things on the walls, and I’m terrible at picking out stuff to sit around, like bowls of flowers. Want to come over and decorate my place? :)


We have laminate too, and I love it. It’s really strong. (Like, I dropped my iron on it twice and you can’t tell kind of strong.)


Whoah! Now that makes me feel better!


We have laminate from Ikea, so far so good, we put it in about 2 years ago. We have a runner on the main hallway for the dogs to collide and frolic on, but other than that, it seems to be holding up well.

Don’t be terrified of color or hanging things on the walls, go to flea markets and thrift shops and experiment, textured spray paint is a godsend for “finds” and this way your mistakes won’t cost much. We have over 20 colors of paint in our home, granted we have a lot of rooms, but each room has on average, 3 different colors.

Possibly a couple of tropical floor plants, easy ones like Ficus or Rubber Tree, they are practically indestructible and can take periods of drought. The mantle is crying out to me too…though I love the map. Have fun with it, nothing is permanent ;)


I actually like your living room it looks very cozy. As for wood or laminate I guess decide on how much “upkeep” time you want to put into it then that will give you a better answer on what choice you should pick because they really are two different looks,


Thank you! It just needs more aspects to make it look like someone lives here. Like stuff on the walls. :)

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