The Fifth Wall: Floors

So often we forget about the other walls in a room–the floor and ceiling.  I think the more important of these two is the floor and its color, texture, and material have to be considered when planning the overall design of a space.  How different would the hallway below feel if the wood were stained a dark espresso or tiled in slate or even carpeted.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

In my previous post on tile, I talked a lot about the practicality, durability and other considerations of the most popular types of natural stone.  In this post, I’d like to focus on wood floors and how versatile they have become.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

The planks above are the wood floors I dream of.  Ten inches wide with centuries of wear adding texture and warmth to a room that can’t be duplicated.  If you have these, can I come visit?

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

The planks in this photo are equally dreamy but with a drier, more rustic look than the oiled and waxed ones in the previous photo.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

Same with these above but because they are juxtaposed with the more elegant and refined furnishings their rusticity (is this a word?) becomes more textural.  This also reflects a larger trend.  Ten years ago you would never have seen floors like this in a room like this.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

And the same above with the elegant staircase descending into the gray washed wide plank floor.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

But what if you don’t live in a 200 year old house or can’t afford to import 400 year old planks to your home, but, you are remodeling and thinking about having wood floors installed?  Who says you have to have your floors laid in the traditional way?  Maybe your contractor or installer, but don’t let that deter you!  Why not go for this beautiful white-washed divided chevron pattern?

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

Or a traditional chevron…

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

Or something like this antique floor with chevron stripes meeting in a diamond.  So beautiful with the modern furnishings.  When trying to come up with ideas for designing with tile or pattern, I like to think outside the box while also sticking to classic proven forms–just new ways of using them.  There is a reason these patterns and traditions have stood the test of time!

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

These images are all chevron patterns but a herringbone would be lovely too.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

Be prepared to purchase significantly more material when laying a patterned floor–especially a herringbone.  With patterns like these there can be a lot of waste.  But I bet the DIYers could find something to do with all that leftover wood!

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

Or if an overall pattern isn’t doable, maybe create a focal point with an inlay as above.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

What if you have wood floors already and they are damaged, the wrong color, or maybe you are just bored with the same old basic hardwood floor?  Painting them is a beautiful and affordable alternative to getting them refinished.


Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

Or leave some of the wood showing through.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

I think this is tile above but you could paint this pattern if you wanted.  We sure are seeing a lot of this Escher-like tile pattern lately on Pinterest.   I love it though.

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

Or even create your own chevron pattern!

Source: via The Urban Orchard on Pinterest

I love this white floor with the negative pattern done like and inlay–so fresh and pretty.


What are your wood floors like?  Would you ever experiment with a pattern or paint them?

Online Shopping

Find me and nine other bloggers today over at:

We are all sharing our latest online purchases.  There are some great finds–check it out!

The Story of the Stump

We got back from vacation Saturday and I am still playing catch up.  It was a great trip–Mount Shasta and Lake Siskiyou–but I am ready for school to start!

I only came back with one souvenir from this trip.  See below:


Yes, it’s a stump.


One evening at sunset as we were walking by the lake, this stump just floated up next to us.  I thought it was so cool and would look so great as a little table or extra seat or something (yes, that’s what I’m thinking about even in beautiful family moments like this–it’s a problem…).  So I immediately went over to see how hard it would be to carry back (we were about 15 mins walk from the cabin).  Having been floating in the water for God knows how long, it was literally water-logged and impossible to move.  I admitted defeat and we kept walking and enjoying the rest of the night.

The next day we were packing to leave and John and my oldest went looking on the beach for a shoe we had dropped.  They were gone a while and when they finally came back, John was lugging this stump with them!  Seriously, I am still so touched.  He got me my stump!

I’m going to clean it up and make it pretty but I do have plans for it.  I know, totally crazy…


Also, I wanted to give a big welcome to all my new followers from Eclectically Vintage–So happy you’re here!


And finally, just a couple of pics from the trip.  It’s such a beautiful part of the country.



(Check out Mount Shasta in the background).

Thanks for stopping by!

Special Thanks!

We just got back in town from our week-long camping/cabin on the lake trip and had a great time.  I just wanted to do a quick post to say thanks so much to Kelly at Eclectically Vintage for such a wonderful and generous feature on my house today!  Please stop by Kelly’s fantastic blog and check it out.  Thanks so much Kelly–such an honor!



Eclectically Vintage

The blog Eclectically Vintage covers one of our recent projects in their post Exceptionally Eclectic – Urban Orchard Farmhouse Fabulous.
Read On

House Tour: Downstairs Bath

I know I have been posting so much the last few days but I wanted to get all this done before we leave tomorrow morning.  This is the last one for at least a week–I promise!

Next on my house tour is our downstairs bath.  This bathroom would be a powder room except that it happens to be a full bath even though I don’t think anyone has ever used the shower before.  We didn’t totally gut this space–just redid the floor, vanity, paint, etc.  I still need to do something about the lighting.  Here is the only before picture I could find from right after we moved in:

The towel holder next to the vanity is actually an antique cranberry picker, stained that color by the cranberries.

The vanity is an antique oak dresser refinished in tung oil.  The sink is the Iron Bell by Kohler.

The sketch above the toilet is an original by my MIL.  The basket is vintage.  You can probably tell I love baskets.  They are all over the house but they provide such great storage as well as texture in a room.  We need the extra storage in this house which, like  most old houses, doesn’t have a lot of closet space.

I added additional storage and display with the crates.  It was supposed to be temporary but that was a while ago…


Believe it or not, this is a really dark room–there is about an hour in the summer where the light shines in and that’s when I took the photos–and I’ve been thinking lately about embracing the coziness and going totally dark in here.  Honestly, there are so many other projects I need to tackle first that by the time I get around to repainting this room, I will have changed my  mind anyway!  :)  But it’s hard to leave well enough alone.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!

House Tour: Kids Bathroom


This is the impossible to photograph room.  It is so dark and so tiny!  As I said in my last post, we were desperate to find a place for a bathroom for the kids so that John and I wouldn’t be sharing with them for very  long.  With all the renovation, we were able to move our furnace from an upstairs furnace closet to the attic and lo and behold, the furnace closet was the perfect place for the new little bathroom.  Almost…

It was only about 3′ x 6′.  Not enough for a toilet and a sink much less a bath too.  Luckily we could take a couple of feet from the guest room.  You can see where the added space is in the photo below from the line in the floor showing the old and new.

So now it’s 5.5′ x 6′–still really small but we could fit a small tub and shower, a tiny sink and a toilet all in there.  No storage but they can make do until puberty…then it’s every girl or boy for her/himself!

The small pattern of the basketweave tile adds to the feeling of space.  So does the subway tile going all the way up to the ceiling…


Also, a wall mounted sink and a glass shelf take up less visual space.


And by the way, this bathroom has never been this clean before.  I think it lasted just long enough for the photos to be taken and now it’s back to its usual mess.

Thanks for checking it out!

House Tour: Upstairs Landing

This post will be short and sweet!  This is just the little vignette at the top of our stairs.

This display wall was created when we redid the master bath.  Before, this wall was actually the opening for two little bathrooms that were in terrible shape and very late 70s. Here is a before shot of what the view was coming up the stairs:

There were two of these staring at you as you came up the stairs.  We closed these entrances up and instead made our master bath and a small walk in closet that open from the master bedroom.


The bench is antique Chinese, the horse is by a sculptor I love named Botero, the mirror is vintage and the basket is from World Market.

If you go to the right up here you get the kids rooms and to the left is the guest room and master bedroom.  When we turned those two little bathrooms into the master bath, we lost the only other upstairs bath which meant John and I would have to share with the kids.  That didn’t last long and soon after we found room for a little bath upstairs for the kids and guests.  But that will be in my next post!

Stay tuned…

House Tour: Dining Room

I’ve been trying to get the house in order so I can put together a house tour for the blog but there are so many rooms in transition that I find myself posting about the same old rooms over and over again!  Here are some updated shots of the dining room which is right off of our kitchen and serves as a pass through as well.  It’s the first room you see when you come in our front door.  Similar to the bathroom, I’ve been trying to bring a lot of plants and green into the house everywhere lately…

Here is a before picture from right after we first moved in 4.5 years ago.  As you can see I was experimenting with a dark gray that I didn’t end up keeping:

And after:

The above photo shows our entryway too.  I’ll be posting other bits of the house here and there as I get it ready.  Hopefully when school starts I will have more time to get some of my projects crossed off my list.  And we will be out of town next week for our first ever camping trip with the kids so I won’t be blogging much, if at all.  Camping with a 2 year old can be fun, right?  Really, I’m looking forward to getting away with just us and especially excited about getting to see the kids playing in the woods–that doesn’t happen much around here.  But I’m nervous about all the packing and prep–so many things to remember to take…

Have a great weekend!