2011 was a big year.  I lost an aunt and a grandma, I started a(nother) new business, and we bought our first house.  Honestly, if this is our only house ever, I will be happy.  My mom has lived in the same house since I was three, and I lived there with her until I got married at 23 and moved to San Diego.  I thought I’d miss living close to my family and friends, but I love San Diego, and I don’t have any plans on moving away from this sunny-almost-everyday place.  So sunny, we had to get shutters on all our windows.  Actually, if you look at the picture below, taken from my bedroom, you can see the reason we needed shutters was because our second floor looks out onto the sidewalk.  Tricky, right?


So sunny through that vintagey filter. Also, the messy bedroom looks much more chic that way.

I had every intention of posting blogs as our house was being built, as we picked out the tile:


Matte subway, of course.

and the carpet, and the washer and dryer:


Electrolux, obviously.

If not for all 12 of you readers, then for my own memory.  Unfortunately, I’m a major procrastinator with blogging (and lots of other things), and it’s hard to figure out what to write about, and what people care about reading.  I like to read blogs about DIYing and renovations, although I’m learning that my husband, Ryan, isn’t much into actually doing major renovations ourselves, but rather, paying a professional to do it instead.  I tried recently to get him excited about laying our own hardwood floors, or maybe cutting plywood into strips to actually MAKE our own wood flooring, like this:

do it yourself wood flooring using plywood

Via: Frugal Farmhouse Design

That whole kitchen floor cost something like $12!  Or $300, whatever.  Either way, that is a STEAL.  Totally Sarah’s Summer House.  So we’ll lay the plywood flooring, and then we can PAINT them, and they’ll look just like this, I’m sure:


Via: Pencil Shavings


Via: Pencil Shavings

Reclaimed wood flooring was what I really wanted when we set out to look at flooring a few months ago.  We originally had looked at some flooring like the picture below.  When the price came back at about $25/sq.ft. installed, that went out the window.  Well, maybe we could find reclaimed wood and install it ourselves.  I’ve seen plenty of Nate Berkus, so I really should be able to do it with a little patience and some Pinterest tutorials.

Via: Houndstooth and Nail

I Googled ‘how to find reclaimed wood’, and the article I found said, “It is really quite easy. Most barn owners will happily give you there [sic] old dilapidated barn just to get it out of the way and cleaned up.”  Okay, San Diego barn owners, anybody have some old barn wood I can take off your hands?  I’ll pick it up and take it somewhere to be kiln-dried (UCSD Crafts Center?  They used a kiln for our ceramics there.  I’m sure it’s totally the same), to get rid of any termites.  Max also pointed out that fire gets rid of termites, too.  And old barn wood.  After it’s kiln-dried and termite-free, I need to find someone to teach me how to hand-plane it (note to self: should have paid more attention in Design Crafts- was too busy engraving “Snappleye” into plexiglass), because with all the nails and various other bits of metal that have been shoved into it (character!  They give it character!), it can’t be machine planed.  Then we’ll just take a few leisurely weeks off of work to install it, on our hands and knees, matching up random sized pieces of wood here and there like a splintery puzzle, high-fiving over saving so much money by DIY-ing, and we’ll have a Pinterest-worthy reclaimed wood floor in no time at all.  And then we’ll be featured in House Proud on Nate Berkus and we’ll say, “it was really quite easy.” Or we’ll kill each other in the process.  You know, either one.

For some reason, Ryan didn’t find the idea of installing our own floors as exciting as I did, so we got a quote on some really pretty acacia wood floors on Saturday.  The sample the owner brought by looked something like the ones on the bottom left/in the middle.


Via: Marlo’s iPhone, taken at Click On Floors

The price was pretty reasonable, and they looked SO MUCH better than what’s there now (vinyl, carpet and baseboards that have been completely wrecked by bunnies):


Carpet and baseboards lovingly distressed courtesy of Rocky and Cinnabun.

I think we’re going to do the wood in the downstairs and on the stairs. We considered having wood flooring put in upstairs, but agreed we’d rather have some nice, soft carpet (read: not the scratchy, padless carpet that came with the house- see above picture) in the office and bedrooms.  And it might save us a tiny bit in price (but maybe not if I get that eco-friendly wool carpet I found..)  Now, to keep the bunnies from eating the baseboards…any suggestions?  Maybe they’ll just have to live in one of these:


Via: Heather Bullard

And THAT- we could totally do that ourselves.