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Remodeling the upstairs with new carpet, paint + trim

    At long last, we have new carpet, trim and paint on the second and third floors.

    This was a big project we were hoping to do before we moved in last fall … but you know how things go … sometimes plans change.

    Our closing kept getting pushed back and we were so anxious to just move in. On night one, we accidentally started a mini-makeover on the kitchen. Then we built a bedroom and playroom on the third floor. At the same time, we worked on finishing out the studio. Somewhere in there was Christmas and four out of six of our birthdays, gymnastics class and flag football, new schools, bible study, creating new classes, designing paper works … you get the idea.

    Finally, in January, we decided to start the carpet/trim/paint project.

    Here’s something you should know about me and Ryan: we are not fast decision makers. Choosing carpet was no exception.

    We knew we wanted a loop carpet with a slight texture in a light-to-midtone warm gray. Durability was important, as was quality. At least we agreed on those criteria.

    We went into a local wholesale flooring showroom we work with to pull options. There were a handful of carpets we liked but we really needed to seem them in the house to decide, so we ordered small samples of each of them. Once they arrived, nothing felt quite right.

    So back to the showroom we went in search of new options.

    This time we fell in love with the one on the right – a wool loop. I love a wool carpet and while most of the wools were out of our budget, this one was not. It was much darker than we originally wanted, but the idea grew on us.

    When our carpet installer came by to check out the house and give us a bid and he urged us to not pick the wool. Mainly because there were a few necessary seams running in obvious places in a few rooms and he was not confident that they would look great with this tight of a loop.

    We found ourselves back at the showroom yet again to pick another option. This time, we were pretty sure about what we needed, picked a textured loop in a nice color and placed the order.

    Our final pick was Shaw Detailed Statement Loop in Textured Canvas. Whew. It felt great to finally make a decision.

    Before we had the carpet installed, we wanted to repaint all of the ceilings and walls on the second floor (the third floor was already painted by yours truly). And since we were going to the trouble to have everything painted, we figured it was a great time to also replace all of the original oak trim.

    So basically we had to move all of our stuff out of the second and third floors and pile it all up on the main floor for two weeks while the remodel was underway. We’re pretty used to chaos, so we didn’t think much about it.

    Um … our house was a complete DISASTER.

    Mattresses in the kitchen, temporary bunks set up in the family room.

    Piles of furniture and beds and toys all stacked in the living and dining rooms.

    Funny story: one night during all of this some girlfriends asked me to go out for dinner and I had to decline. My stress level was particularly high that night and one of my sweet friends suggested that I pour a glass of wine and relax in a bubble bath. Which sounded lovely except for the fact that our bathtub looked like this:

    There’s nothing like a bathtub filled with clothes and deconstructed closet organizers littering the bathroom to put you at ease :)

    It’s a little crazy to live in a house while it is being remodeled. Lots of patience and the ability to see past the mess is required. I was so looking forward to lightening up the walls, having fresh carpet and updated trim, that all the mess felt worth it. Short-lived pain for a big gain (or something like that).

    We started by pulling off all of the trim around the doors, windows and baseboards. They just popped off with little effort.

    Next came the paint.

    To make things easy, we repeated the same white we used downstairs and in the studio – Shoji White by Sherwin Williams. It is a slightly creamy white with subtle gray undertones. All of the walls got an eggshell finish; ceilings in flat.

    Next, the trim went up and old carpet came out.

    The baseboards are 5.5″ and doors and windows 3.5″. I wanted a really simple framing around the doors and windows with just mitered corners. This is how we did the trim in the studio and I love how clean and modern it looks.

    If we had more time, we would have had the trim and doors caulked and painted before the carpet went in, but alas, we did not. So a day later, the carpet installers came and worked their magic.

    When you pick carpet in a showroom and don’t bring home a sample before ordering, you get a little nervous. Thankfully, it was just right and we were very happy with the choice.

    The carpet is cushy, low-pile and a good light warm-gray. Per our carpet installers suggestion, we went with a good quality carpet pad with moisture barrier and because of the pattern in the carpet the seams we were worried about are nearly invisible.

    Now that the walls, trim and carpet are in, the rooms feel so much brighter. And also cleaner.

    We’re just waiting on having the trim and doors caulked and painted which will really finish up the rooms.

    This very early 90’s window is not staying. It’s a shame to cover up natural light, but it must be done. Also, we sold our bed frame this weekend and now I’m on the hunt for a new one. Can’t wait to put our bedroom together!

    Just for fun, here is a gif of each step:

    It made a complete mess of the house, but we’re so happy with this clean slate!

    27 thoughts on “Remodeling the upstairs with new carpet, paint + trim”

    1. I love the carpet. Does the carpet “track footprints”? Or can you walk all over it and it look like not a lot of traffic has walked on it? I had that problem after I picked out a carpet for a basement remodel. You can see every step and vacuum stripe. Thank you!

    2. I love watching your remodeling process unfold! You have such impeccable taste, I find myself tucking away so many of your ideas for our home’s future. ;) Thank you for sharing the “before, during, and after” with us!

    3. I’m the odd one out on this opinion probably, but I really like the window! Especially if the trim was painted white or black (to blend in or pop more) and then paired with a hanging plant and maybe a piece of art it would look really nice. I’ll be sad to see it go. (:

    4. Listening to an audiobook always makes chores feel lighter! Try “I Let You Go” by Clare Mackintosh. I get such winning book recommendations recommendations from you, I figured we likely have similar taste in books.

    5. Very nice! The bunk beds in the living room made me laugh :)

      A while ago in a coffee chat video, you mentioned that you are realizing how important it is to you to add beauty to everyday life. I wanted to encourage you to keep building on that because I think there’s a lot there and it could be even deeper than you know. Beauty adds dignity to life. It teaches meanings and changes hearts. It sets a tone. I’d love to hear if more comes to you on this subject/mission. A lot of people talk about how “nice it is” to have a little beauty in the home and life. But it could be so much more profound.

    6. It looks great! Thank you for sharing all the real life photos. Our family has been eating at a coffee table in the master bathroom for two weeks while we are remodeling the main floor; its nice to know we aren’t alone in our temporary state of chaos :)

    7. Nice carpet selection! Thanks for sharing the pictures of the mess during the installation. It’s nice to see that change doesn’t just happen with a twitch of a nose or during a commercial break. It’s not magic. It’s planning, preparation, and inconvenience but so worth it in the end.

    8. Definitely do have to keep the new in mind when living with messes from old. Can be done but it helps to have cooperation of spouse. I take it you are realizing how much you love your new carpet and wall/trim colors.
      Before we bought this place we rented a house without furniture, made do. For while we were still sleeping in our travel trailer in back yard since that was our bed. Cooked and bathed in trailer for while also. Then we took trip to KY to get our furniture after we sold house there. Most of furniture stayed in storage as house just not big enuf but that was ok. After that we slept/bathed/cooked in house renting.
      Before we rented house had lived in our 24 ft. trailer for almost a year at a KOA. Got so used to living that way didn’t want to move into house, liked trailer life. Spot we had at KOA had it’s own little yard with fence on both sides for dog separating us from neighbors. I’m bit of a gypsy so was quite content but hubs getting squirrely in such confined space.
      Used to ride with over road trucker/hubs all over US and some of Canada for weeks at a time, didn’t want to go home. That was when we lived in MT before KY. Yes am bit of a nomad. Now we live in western CO, few miles west of Grand Junction out in rural area. Guess we’re here for duration as hubs says we’re too old to move anymore, drat. I’ll be 77 in July and he was 75 in Oct. If I had my way we’d be back in MT, of all places have lived is still my favorite. Were going to sell this place about 4 yrs. ago to move to Tucson where hubs and I met but our mtg. was underwater so we tuffed it out.
      Guess from all this you got idea we’ve lived in cayause ourselves. And that was just two of us, not with kids so you all deserve a medal.
      Enjoy your week

    9. From a Southerner,,,,”Bless your heart!” The pictures made me cringe. We’ve been in our house thirty-two years, and it stresses me out to make a mess when I repaint…your mess really would be stress! But the process can be so much fun, too. I sure enjoy your messes!

    10. New, tall baseboards really take the room to the next level! Will you keep the trim light on the upper level, or go dark like the main level?

    11. You really lucked out on the installer. When our daughter did their carpet this she was not explained and now I realize why her seems are nightmares. Snaps to an extra helpful pro!

    12. What a clean and simple refresh! Wow! You all took on a big process! It looks so terrific! I am sure that everyone is happy now! Love the carpet! We have the same and it has worn wonderfully and is so easy to care for….We have had three years in high traffic areas.

    13. Looks SO nice, clean, updated! As an Interior Designer, little windows like that make me cringe from a window covering stand point too, so I fully support your decision to cover it up, lol! I’m loving following along on your projects!

    14. Does the disarray and process make you anxious? I am about to have some thinks done inside and outside my house and the thought of the process and mess is making me nervous. And our kids are grown.

    15. I am so surprised to see someone putting in carpet in a remodel. Everyone here in Texas want hard wood floors and tile. I am a carpet person and everyone thinks I’m crazy. My house I have now doesn’t have carpet and I think the house echoes, I hate it. I hate getting up in the morning and touching cold floors.

    16. Looks so great! Curious… what’s your plan on covering up your 90’s window? We have something similar in our home and I can’t figure out what to do!

      1. We don’t have a set-in-stone plan yet … but the siding does need to be replaced in places around the exterior, so I think we’ll cover the window from both sides … I’ll keep you posted.

    17. Tina @ buildinghousemakinghome

      Great, fresh transformation! Way to power through the reno mess with four kids–I know EXACTLY what that is like… ;-).

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