Get to know our main floor – and see how floors affect EVERYTHING!

I figured it was about time to introduce you to the main part of our house. You’ve seen pretty much everything else, but I haven’t really shared our main living space. This is where we are going to be concentrating our efforts this year (not sure when we will start, yet), as we plan to exchange all of our carpet and tile (except the new mudroom, obviously) for hardwood floors.

There are a few reasons for the switch to hardwoods. First, our flooring was never great. We have lived in our house just over 5 years and there is lots of cracked tile, and the carpet has a lot of wear just from walking on it and vacuuming it. On top of that, our dog had health problems over his last few years, so he did a number (1 and 2 hahaha) on the carpet. Finally, our kids have both been diagnosed with dog allergies over the last year and a half. I think getting rid of the dog dander that still lives in our carpet would be beneficial for both of them. So we have a lot of reasons to make A switch. But why hardwoods? For me, its all about the appearance. I think hardwoods are beautiful and add so much character to a home. We loved them in our first house. Also, like I mentioned in my first post ever, Parker grew up in an old house and is definitely partial to wood floors.

Right now, here is my favorite floor that is a real possibility:

Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
It looks a little lighter here than in real life. In real life, I think the color is PERFECT. These are ash floors with a cappuccino stain.

Ok, I got totally side-tracked on floors. I’m just so excited about the possibility this will really happen! I think it will make an incredible difference on our first floor. However, I am also slightly nervous because getting these floors signs us up for several other projects. Let me explain as I give you a little tour of our first floor:

Its important for me to explain that when building a production home, your choices are limited. There are basic plans with basic finishes and then there are things that you can upgrade for extra money (but again, even those upgrade choices are limited). I do plan to write an entire post someday about our strategy for making these decisions, but basically we tried to spend our budget on things that would be hard to do on our own. For example, we added a sunroom. This is not something we could have easily done on our own or done for a price even remotely close to what they were asking for this upgrade ( I think we paid $8000 for the sunroom). On the other hand, can we “easily” switch out flooring later? Yes (let’s hope anyway 🙂 ). Will we end up liking the flooring we choose from unlimited choices (within our budget) more than any of THEIR choices? Yes. So it might seem like we are making a lot of changes to a 5 year old house that WE built, but that was always a part of our plan. It’s also nice that these upgrades will be paid for in cash rather than financed over the life of our mortgage.  So keep in mind as you look through the photos that there are a lot of things that are not indicative of our style. This is not a finished space. These are “befores” 🙂

Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
I think it will look so much nicer to have one floor here rather than carpet meets tile meets carpet.

This will be the hardest part of the flooring switch. The tile is layed on 2 layers of plywood glued together. This is the reason it is cracking. Cement board is a much better base for tile. Flooring is our biggest complaint about our builder. I do not feel like the floors were made to last. I would be extremely upset if we didn’t plan to change it anyway. I was kind of extremely upset anyway. I do feel like we could have put this off for longer if the flooring were higher quality/ installed more professionally.


Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
This is one of the first things Parker ever built. He built it before we were married. Also, my talented sister drew those sketches. I must like them a lot because they are the only things that I have hung on our first floor! It takes me forever to decide where to hang things!
Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
These pictures were taken about a year ago. You can see sweet Rocky in his favorite spot.

So here is my first example of what I mean when I say that floors affect everything. You can see that our cabinets and banisters are cherry. Not real cherry, just cherry stain. We will not be choosing cherry stained floors. I don’t want red floors. I refuse to spend a bunch of money on flooring I don’t like just so that it will match other stuff that I don’t really like. SO, something will need to be done with the banisters. Again, that requires a whole other post. Now, I DO think we could have made a better decision on stain when building. We could have gone with a browner stain instead of the cherry. That probably would have been better, but I still don’t think it would have been ideal. That was one of our harder decisions and I do think we may have gone the wrong way. But, I might be saying the same thing if I had made the other decision. We will never know. The cabinets will just not match for a really long time. Or we might try to paint them. I just don’t know how paintable they are. Eventually we will remodel the kitchen, but that is a long way down the road.


Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
This is just to the left of the couch in the last picture. Our sunroom is on the other side of this.

This is exhibit 2 of “flooring changes everything.” This tile is fine but nothing I am excited about. If we ever want to change it, changing it along with the floors is easiest. Not sure how this will pan out. I’ll keep you updated. Also look forward to a post with fireplace inspiration photos!


Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
Another picture to let you get a feel for the floor plan. Future project: Wood (painted white) valances for those breakfast nook windows.
Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
The linoleum will be staying until we renovate the kitchen some day. One step at a time!
Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
(forgot to move a few things before this shot 🙂 ) I didn’t think I would like this kitchen as much as I actually do. Again, I don’t really dig the fake cherry, and linoleum and formica wouldn’t be my first choice, but I like the layout a lot. I really thought I would wish I had an island, but I don’t. I love that there is so much open floor space. It doesn’t feel like it gets crowded in here. Also, if you didn’t know, under cabinet lighting is a MUST. We paid extra for that.
Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything
Can you say beige? New flooring will add some much needed interest to this room! Also, we bought that light before we moved in, and I would choose something different now. It’s too small for the space, and we probably hung it a little high….we love to argue about it because I decided to hang it here and Parker wanted it lower 🙂 It was a hard decision because the ceiling slopes down toward the fireplace.

Our Corner of the World Blog | Get to Know our Main Floor - and see how floors affect everything

These last two pictures highlight the challenges of two-story rooms. This room can feel a bit cavernous with only that one window. I would love to do moldings on that wall to ground the room a bit. This project would be silly before the flooring change. So while adding moldings to this wall is not necessary, it will be possible after the floors. On the other hand, it WILL be necessary to remove and replace all of the baseboards to replace the floors. We will take this opportunity to upgrade the baseboards to the same ones we put in the mudroom. So that’s example 3 of how flooring affects everything.

SO, there is our first floor. I feel like this post might leave people with a lot of questions. Shoot! I’d love to answer them! What do you think about the floors I like? How awful does this project sound? Would it drive you crazy to upgrade your house slowly, which results in stuff not matching? I do worry that our kitchen will stick out like a sore thumb after the flooring upgrade, but probably not enough to change my mind on anything. I’d really like everybody’s thoughts!!



4 thoughts on “Get to know our main floor – and see how floors affect EVERYTHING!

  1. You will love hardwoods on your first floor one thousand times more than you even think you will! Not just for the way it will look but for the low maintenance. I know from experience. Keeping my fingers crossed that you get to do it soon.

  2. Hello Jalene,
    I reckon you should go ahead and upgrade the flooring throughout the main floor to hardwood because it’ll look incredibly gorgeous. I am a huge advocate of hardwood floors throughout the entire house, actually (even bedrooms, utilizing rugs around the perimeter of the bed to soften that spot underfoot) so you are 100% on the right track here. As a designer, we do advice to renovate the home or an specific region of it all at once in order to see the substantial change, but I do understand that at this time it may not be possible. So the next best thing is to tackle the major concern areas first, in this case the flooring. Have you considered repainting the main floor to a lighter color? I think this would make such a huge impact, too.

    Your entryway is open to the open-plan living space so I can see why it is challenging to determine what to do with it. I recommend to literally draw out the basic shape on paper, including doorways / passageways and indicate more or less what you could do in the space this way. A round table in the center would be a lovely idea, just can’t tell if the dimensions would allow for this. The console table you currently have is a great beginning. Styling it thoughtfully may help the space appear like you’re envisioning it. I actually wrote an entire post on my blog all about “The Essentials for a Small Entryway” Here’s the link.

    Paola Arletty
    Creative Director / Principal Designer
    Synonymous | Interior Design Studio NYC
    Instagram: @synonymous__

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful response!! I don’t think we will repaint, but I DO think we may add white moldings to the bottom half of the great room. I think this will make a significant difference like you said. It will help ground the room, break up all the beige, and brighten everything up!! Per your suggestion, I would LOVE to do everything on our main floor all at once. Its just not financially possible, and we DIY pretty much everything, so time constraints also prevent all this from happening at once. Its a work in progress, but we do enjoy planning as we go. My husband loves building things and working on the house, and I love helping him plan everything.

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