A lot of folks tend to say this, but no one means it more than I: I never win anything. ANYTHING! Luck comes to me in other ways – I have incredible parking karma and more recently I’m known for my crazy rug luck. I was pretty shocked when I found out I won the Rug Pad USA giveaway from my great blog bud Gwen. What perfect timing! Our floors are finally done (thank goodness) and I finally got to lay the vintage rug I’ve been hoarding for the last couple months, and on top of the most amazing rug pad ever no less! Rug Pad USA sent me the rubber + felt pad. It’s pure luxury. The rubber is grooved and grips to our new tiled floors like no body’s business. I love it so much I had to give them a shout out! (as in, this is not a sponsored post).
I’m new to rug pads, I usually just wing it and lay my rugs down wherever. Do you guys do this too? I’ve always been hesitant to invest in a rug pad, but I’m a convert – they’re worth it! Nothing bothers me more than a slip and slide rug.
Anyone have any rug pad secrets they want to share?
Hello! Apologies for the slow posts lately, I mentioned it earlier but this flooring stuff is a real bottleneck! Good news is, both bedroom floors have been sealed and the base boards & door trim are just about finished. Hopefully we can put our bedroom back together tonight! ALSO, last night I pulled the trigger and started re-painting Zano’s room in one of my favorite colors ever. It already looks a thousand times better. My husband teased me in front of our contractor over the fact I was so concerned about North facing light. What? It’s a real thing!!!
As promised, I wanted to share with you everything we went through during this process, from making the decision to install wood tile over hardwood floors to actually selecting the look best fit for our house.
Before diving into this whole shebang, there were a few things we knew for certain that would influence our flooring decision:
- We have dogs, 3 of them, that’s 12 little doggy feet! We needed a hard, durable floor that would withstand scratches, dropped bones, and other animal behavior
- We have a baby who will grow into a toddler that will spill and drop things on our floors
- We might rent our house out someday, we did not want to worry about future tenants scratching up the floors
- We also wanted to consider potential resale and wanted to make the best investment possible; we eliminated laminate from the equation. Laminate just doesn’t hold it’s value here in CA.
I definitely spent substantial time researching hardwood flooring. Having animals with heavy feet limited our hardwood flooring options. During our hardwood flooring research, we learned about the Janka Hardness Scale: the higher the Janka score the harder/more durable the flooring. If we were to install a high Janka rated floor, we were looking at more “exotic” hardwoods like Brazilian cherry or Hickory, which comes with more $$$. Oak, being the most popular flooring choice, actually falls in the middle of the Janka scale – so, yes it’s affordable but it’s too soft for our needs. I was also afraid if we spent a lot of money on a high Janka rated wood floor it would still scratch and dent (because it would). I needed something more durable than that, I mean, I would be very upset if I spent a ton of $ on some super special, high Janka rated wood floor and days or weeks later see it start to scratch and dent. THIS, friends, is why we turned to wood tile.
Tile comes in a few different mediums: cement, porcelain, and ceramic – porcelain being the most durable. I actually started looking at styles before I realized what medium the tile was made from. I didn’t realize it, at first I thought shopping for wood tile would make the selection process easier, but believe me, shopping for wood tile is just as overwhelming as shopping for hardwood. The options seem endless!
We looked at a lot of wood tiles, like A LOT a lot. We visited Lowes (3 different locations), Home Depot (3 different locations), The Floor Store, and browsed websites including BuildDirect and The Tile Shop. Each vendor offers extremely different options, so I can’t recommend one over the other. One piece of advice I will tell you now is – don’t rely on your big box home improvement store to offer all, or the best, options. I learned first hand these retailers carry what happened to be my least favorite wood tile options. We were able to find better quality tiles from local mom & pop retailers that were even more affordable than the big box retailers! I would never have guessed! Not only did we find the perfect tile, we felt really good about purchasing from a smaller retailer (and good news! they have an online shop!). Supporting small business is extremely rewarding. You should do it any chance you get!
So anyway, we brought home a bunch of samples from various retailers. Hands down the hardest part was choosing a style. For a hot minute I got pulled towards the exotic look, I LOVED this acacia tile from Lowes. It looked incredible in this photo!
All my Instagram peeps loved it too! The problem with this is, yes, it looks amazing in this small scale, but picture this crazy grain across your entire house! Talk about busy, right? As much as I loved the look of this tile, I knew after bringing it home that I needed to find something more neutral – something that would just exist in the background and not bother anyone. This acacia-look tile would be too busy of a pattern, fighting to be the center of attention, and I could foresee it giving me headaches and I probably wouldn’t ever know why! I had to remind myself that my kitchen is the star and I couldn’t have the floors fighting for the spotlight. After this realization I was happy to finally focus on finding the perfect neutral looking tile.
Below is a chart of 9 of my favorite samples that we considered for our floors. I split them into 3 categories: grainy (lots of wood grain!), exotic (like that acacia!), and neutral. We ordered #8 for our house.
We were THIS close to ordering the Napa walnut tile. My husband’s favorite was the Allways (also in walnut, but not so dark). We brought both samples home – the Napa was 6″x24″ in size while the Allways was 8″x48″, and a bit more pricey than the Napa. This brings me to my next tidbit of advice – make sure you bring your samples home and lay them in your space. The size of the tiles make ALL the difference! My husband and I were utterly in love with the Allways tile, it’s scale was perfect – super wide & long planks. The other little test that sealed the deal was the dirt test. Our house was kinda dusty at the time since we were already tearing up flooring. We stepped in some dust with our shoes, then stepped on each plank to see how much dirt showed. You could see our full foot print on the dark walnut Napa tile, whereas the Allways tile hid almost all the dirt. Winner!!!! As much as I wish I could, I just can’t clean my floors daily. We needed something that wouldn’t show every little speck of dirt.
There you have it! Some real life advice and insight on how we selected our new floors. I just can’t wait for them to be finished so I can share! If you’re curious about anything, ask away in the comments!
I’ve been lusting over unique woven wall art for quite some time. I understand it’s not for everyone, especially folks who lived through the fad in the 70’s, where I was hardly a spec of a thought in my parent’s minds, ha! I have great appreciation of the art and understand it’s a special skill only mastered by few. I’ve been contemplating different ways to incorporate this look into my own home, so I started hunting around. Randomly I stumbled upon this gorgeous (and huge!) pink & gray toned wall hanging at a flea market, priced at $20. Total steal! Even the vendor said “my boss is going to kill me” after offering it to me at that price. It appears vintage, but you never really know at flea markets.. I’m obsessed with the colors in this piece.
See how I incorporated it in my home – full post is over at domino.com today!
I am SO excited to announce our newest collaboration with PrettyPegs! I can’t tell you how long I’ve adored their collection of table & sofa legs, and it feels surreal to say I get to give away a set of 4 Estelle table legs to one lucky reader (same legs as the ones above!).
PrettyPegs legs are most used to customize Ikea furniture – take a boring Ikea sofa and add some flare with brass capped Estelle legs or even the flirty turned Siri legs, they also have a couple retro options, if that’s your thing! PrettyPegs legs are universally fit, and can jazz up more than just Ikea furniture.
PrettyPegs is celebrating their newest top-to-toe collection where customers get to mix and match their favorite table legs + table top for a custom design that suits your personal style.
The giveaway is easy! Each reader will have 3 chances to win – like PrettyPegs on Facebook, follow PrettyPegs on Instagram, and best of all, leave a comment on how you will use these legs in your own home!
*open to US residents only
Happy St. Patty’s day! Speaking of luck, I feel like I’ve been extra lucky lately during my thrifting endeavors. I’ve stumbled across some amazing rugs lately! There is a weekly flea market in San Francisco, the Alemany Flea to be exact, which I like to go to whenever I’m feeling the flea-ing itch (pun intended!). I’ve scored some great items here before, most famously, my ballerina!
You can probably guess which rug I brought home. I was tempted to get both, but my husband – to gently put it – wouldn’t have liked that very much, so I stuck with my original plan and bought the one better fit for the space I’m working with. I can’t help but brainstorm ideas on how to capitalize on my good rug-juju. The wheels are turning….
Hope everyone has a safe yet fun St. Patty’s day!
Truth be told, designing spaces is more hard than it is easy. Sometimes you just know exactly what a space needs, and others, like our nursery, end up being WAY more difficult than expected. I’m having a major design crisis in our nursery. I just can’t seem to finish this space! I know, I know, #firstworldproblems
Let me explain what the issues are here:
1) The room faces north, who would have guessed that a north facing room happens to be the most difficult to decorate? I didn’t go to design school so this is probably a ‘duh’ situation for some of you. I’ve learned most recently (like today! ha!) that you shouldn’t fight the dark light in northern facing spaces, instead, embrace it by using darker hues to invoke drama and intimacy. The other lesson I learned? Definitely don’t paint the walls in tones of greens or grays in northern facing rooms. Well, crap! That’s exactly the tone of paint I used on the walls! A greeny-grey (BM Gray Owl).
2) I put a lot of emphasis on neutrals when originally designing the nursery, now I feel like there’s too much white going on! Like I intentionally voided the space of crazy colors, but now it’s too stark. I can fix this if I paint the walls a different color, which I might do. We’ll see.
3) I’m caught up in not wanting an out-of-the-box themed room but yet wanting to create a space with personality. Zano is the cutest kid, he certainly has a ton of personality (for a 9-month old) but it’s not like I could hold up two paint swatches and ask him which color he likes best! He would probably just take them both and put them in his mouth, or feed them to our pup, Olive.
I’ve felt this way about the nursery for a while, which is why there hasn’t been some big ‘reaveal’, sadly! I’ve been on the hunt for things here and there to layer in some personality. The coolest thing I found was this vintage United States poster at a thrift shop in Monterey. It’s a funny story, we were actually having dinner across the street at my favorite (FAVORITE!) restaurant. My husband and his friends were waiting for our table while one of the wives and I ran across the street to the thrift shop before they closed. I saw the poster hanging on the wall, It was marked down to almost free, so I snatched it up before, you know, asking the husband for permission? the poster is HUGE! I definitely did not anticipate how big it was. Oh, did I mention we drove to dinner? I had to cram this framed poster in our car, above the heads of our 3 friends. We all got a huge laugh out of it, except for my husband, he was a little grumpy about it hahaha.
Anyway, long story short, the space isn’t finished but I found this super cool poster which I wanted to share with you. Hopefully, soon, I’ll make some changes now that I know a little more about northern facing rooms which will hopefully be the fix this space needs to be complete.
Happy Wednesday folks!
It dawned on me yesterday that I never shared our new rug we added to our bedroom. I’m such a doof! This rug came to us at the perfect time actually, RugsUSA reached out to me at the same time I was planning our bedroom makeover. Initially I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in designing our bedroom but once I found this rug everything else easily fell into place. I clearly have a love affaire with navy blue, and this vibrant navy rug captures it all!
It looks like this rug is out of stock currently, but RugsUSA re-stocks ALL the time so sign up to receive notification emails or keep your eyes peeled!
Some changes are in the works for this room. Sadly, that headboard is on the chopping block. Any takers???
You guys are the greatest! Thank you for all the love over Friday’s post. Working with Domino is a DREAM, and I can’t thank you all enough because if it weren’t for you taking your valuable time and reading my blog and following me on Instagram (my media of choice), I wouldn’t have this incredible, life changing collaboration going on. I received such positive feedback on our dining room and the white floors, I’m really happy I shared the space. Not every home is polished and pristine, I’m happy I could share how we made our half-done space look pretty snazzy.
Now that you’ve seen the reveal! (If you haven’t, check the post out now!) It’s time to share the DIY behind this space. First up – the dining chairs!
I bought the dining chairs from a salvage warehouse for $10/each. They were worth every penny for the brass base alone! What you can’t tell in this photo is just how awful they smelled. These chairs came from a smoker’s home, and probably sat in the smoker’s home for YEARS, and smelled like it too. The original upholstery was grimy and they desperately needed to be redone. I feel like I always bite off more than I can chew when it comes to upholstery projects, but these chairs seemed straightforward enough so I wasn’t worried that I would be redoing 4 of them.
I removed the cushions on each chair first then went to cleaning up the bases. It looks like these chairs each sat in some water at some point in their lives, the bottom of the base that touches the floor are tarnished, rusty and dull. I asked my Instagram crew for some advice on how to clean oxidized/tarnished metal. Some suggested ketchup, some suggested wool brush, some suggested lemon juice and salt, some suggested Bar Keeper’s Friend. I tried a few methods, with no improvement. I think they just need to be re-plated. I called around some local shops and it would cost about $100/chair for re-plating. As much as I would LOVE to do this, it’s just not in our budget. For now (and due to the ‘Domino’ time crunch), I left the bases as is. I’ll be sure to update you if another method works!
There are so many upholstery tutorials out there, I’ll spare you the details and give you a high level summary of what I did. Usually with chairs, there is an upholstery ‘equation’ so to speak: plywood + foam + batting + fabric + staple gun (I have this one) = a comfortable seat cushion. I bought new foam for the seat cushions since the ‘vintage’ foam was super stinky and flat. The back cushions were in pretty decent shape so I left the original foam, sprayed with some Febreze and wrapped with new thick batting.
It took me quite a while to find a fabric I liked for these chairs. At first I was going to upholster them in a performance velvet, but decided I wanted a bit of pattern. I found this blue herringbone upholstery fabric at Jo-Ann’s (which I bought with a coupon). It was exactly what I was looking for! I bought 4 yards, although I probably only needed 3 1/2 yards.
Who doesn’t love a good before & after? Once I was finished with these chairs and brought them inside, my husband immediately said “wow! this is probably the first upholstery project you actually finished!” Ha! #whatajerk
So many good things are happening today. It’s Friday! And it’s finally time to spill the beans!
I’m so happy to announce I’m officially an online Style Influencer for Domino Magazine! I’ll be posting creative and original content on domino.com on a regular basis. This is literally a dream opportunity and I stoked BEYOND reason. I was so happy when they presented me with this opportunity, I couldn’t wait to get started. I have so many projects on the horizon and being able to share those and influence others through the Domino network seems like the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
My first post on Domino is our full dining room, painted flooring and all! Pulling our dining room and kitchen together has been an arduous 6-month task. What feels like has taken forever, I can finally say this space is worthy enough to share, and quite possibly, entertain! I’m so excited to finally feel comfortable enough to invite friends and family over and not be utterly embarrassed by the state of our floors. Our home as a whole is far from finished, but that just makes this Domino deal that much more exciting!
HAPPY HAPPY Friday folks!
Happy Monday! Just kidding, I know it’s Wednesday. I’m stoked Friday is just around the corner, but annoyed because this week has seriously escaped me.
I tend to think most of you already follow me on Instagram (I’m @brittanymakes) but actually realize not everyone even uses Instagram! It’s crazy, you should use it if you don’t! I post a lot of real-time and behind the scenes pictures there, and it’s a great place to discover new designers and gain inspiration!
So, for those of you who don’t use IG, or follow me, let me share with you two of my latest thrifting finds! Rugs!
The first rug I found was at the annual White Elephant Sale in Oakland, CA. The Oakland Museum hosts the event, they collect donations throughout the year and throw a once a year ‘rummage’ sale to help fund the Museum. You can find anything and everything there! This year I sought out rugs, a vintage Pendleton blanket (already thinking ahead for Zano’s big-boy room haha), art, linens and fabrics, and kinda whatever else I could find. I scored this stunning 9′ x 12′ 100% wool handwoven Pakistani rug for $400. That might sound like a lot, but it’s very rare to score a rug of that size and condition for that price. It can be done, obviously, but it’s super rare and usually takes a lot of time scouring thrift stores and hunting Craigslist to catch that good of a deal.
I plan to use this rug in our living room, once we rip up the carpet and lay down flooring. It’ll happen! I’m somewhat happy with our white floors (I started painting our sub-floor white this past weekend), and I’m even considering pulling up the carpet and extending the painted sub-floor into the living room. Right now our flooring situation is a hot mess: part hardwood, part sub-floor, part 1960’s poop-brown scroll tile, part gross carpet. I should have pics of our painted sub-floor for you soon. It looks SOOO much better.
The next rug I found was at the flea market! I scored this vintage beauty for $150. It’s 5×7-ish in size, and fits perfectly under our dining table. This rug and my kitchen cabinets are a match made in heaven. The navy in the rug is trying to seduce my charcoaly blue cabinets, it’s really awkward to watch, I keep telling my cabinets ‘stop playing hard to get!’ I’m thinking of window treatments that tie in with the light blues in this rug. Once this space is complete, it’s going to look sooo good.