DIY DECORATING TIPS
This week, I’m giving you my tried-and-true tips for picking exactly the right paint color without any scientific equations or personality style quizzes. I’m also showing off our new carpet and detailing the EXACT costs, as well as the other quotes we received. Spoiler: It was more expensive than I ever thought it would be.
WHEW. Who’s tired?! (insert hands up emojis here)
It’s Week 3 of the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge and we are busy bees over here. In addition to readying this space for our big reveal in just three more weeks, we’re also completing makeovers in the following spaces: Kitchen, Master Bathroom, Back Yard, and Front Yard. All this hard work will pay off once the house is sold in a few months (Missed that part? That’s okay. You can read all about my move here: We Are Downsizing: Why My Family Is Choosing Life In A Smaller Home).
Achy bones aside and without further ado, here’s what we learned this week:
CARPET IS EXPENSIVE
Or at least, I thought it was. If you saw my post from last week, you heard me kind of glaze over the subject and gripe a little about this. Now that we’ve officially had our new carpet installed, I’m ready to do into full details.
First, here’s a reminder of why we decided replacing the carpet in our bonus room was a necessity:
That was the original carpet in this space. It’s okay. Go ahead and judge us. I am.
But, truthfully, only some of that mess is actually ours. Remember that our home had been a rental for a decade before we purchased it? Yeah. Tenants aren’t known for preserving your floors.
While the majority of the house was in pretty great condition, there were two obvious leftovers from a crew of rowdy teenaged boys (the previous tenants had five kids, four were boys): The terribly stained carpet in the bonus room (which they’d been using as a bedroom for two of their children) and the massive amounts of holes in the walls.
This room was in such terrible shape that the original listing failed to even show or mention it. We had no idea this room even existed until we saw the house on our first tour!
We certainly didn’t help matters in here when we moved in, quickly threw down furniture, and abandoned the space. Remember how it looked on Week One?
While this was tidy enough, it had kind of just become a space where we allowed our daughter to have free reign over the past two years. The result? Cheerios and popcorn and pink slime were imbedded into the carpet. Spills occurred and were never reported for cleanup. The carpet just got thoroughly trashed.
Of course, we didn't mind because we’d always known we’d be replacing the carpet some day. I figured it was just a quick and cheap project and never really scorned our kid for all her messes. After all, it was just one room.
Boy was I wrong. I mean, it was quick, but it was not as cheap as I’d thought it would be.
Carpet Replacement Quote Number One: $1,076
This was from a local company and I’d actually assumed it was a fluke. I’d called them out for a quote to replace our downstairs hardwood when we first moved in and their quote had been significantly higher than anyone else’s. So I still had hope and moved on to the next company.
Carpet Replacement Quote Number Two: $1145
This is when I started to get a little nervous. The quotes were only going UP not down!!
So I called my old standby - Empire Flooring - to come out and give us a quick quote. They’d installed the hardwoods in our upstairs hallway during the last season of the ORC and the price had been pretty fair, so I figured it was worth a shot. (You can see the full ORC reveal from last fall here: ORC™ Week Six: Updated Suburban Entryway Reveal)
Carpet Replacement Quote Number Three: $2495
Okay, so I didn’t even get an actual quote from Empire because when the salesperson said that number, I was quick to show him the door.
He was super polite about it. He understood we’d gotten lower quotes and we chatted for a bit before I sent him on his way and then had a near-breakdown.
Carpet Replacement Quote Number Four: $35 Quote Fee
Before my fourth quote came in, I received an email from another company who said they would come out and show me samples, measure my space, and assist me in designing the room for $35! They literally charge just to come give a quote. Because, let’s be real, I don’t need help deciding what’s going in here. My man objective? 60 cents a square foot.
So when I saw that, I politely declined and told Christine I would just rent a steam cleaner and repair the carpet myself.
Then my fifth carpet installer rang the doorbell.
Carpet Replacement Quote Number Three: $575
So guess which one we went with? Hahahaha. JUST KIDDING!
I’d actually seen amazing reviews of this company and was really hoping they were going to come in lower and BOY DID THEY.
Now that’s more like it. In case you’re local to Nashville and would like to get a better quote, contact Country Floor Direct. (not sponsored, just hooray).
The irony in all of that is that, of the five companies I’d called, that company had the best reviews too! The difference? They work out of a town just adjacent to Nashville called Pegram. Pegram is quaint but it’s also not a wealthy area. So they’re doing honest business and not hiking up prices just because Nashville is a fast market. Bravo to honest people!!
It’s always a good reminder to shop around. Read reviews. If the reviews are good and a company gives you a substantial discount, ask to see their insurance information and then sign the paperwork! Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
My gift horse is this fresh carpet that makes the room look nearly brand new!
Carpet woes aside, here’s the other thing I learned this week: Most people don’t know a good method for picking the best paint color for their own spaces. I’ll show you how I pin it down.
GET SWATCHES OR A FANDECK FROM THE STORE
There are a million different paint colors in the world of design. So save yourself the hassle of testing eighty different colors on your walls and start by browsing the swatches first.
By narrowing the colors down via swatch first, while you’re actually in the room not at the store, you can guarantee that when you do get paint testers, you’re going to be on the right path.
CHOOSE YOUR TOP FIVE PAINT SWATCHES
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a general color (as in “pink”), pick five swatches within that group to test. Then head to the store and pick up your paint samples. Don’t paint five completely different paint colors on your wall. That never works. Pick a color first. Then get samples.
At $5 each, they aren’t cheap, but this step is worth it to insure you have a hue that will actually appear true-to-color on your actual walls.
PAINT YOUR SAMPLES ON EVERY SINGLE WALL
Don’t just apply your samples to a single wall, or apply a small bit of paint and expect that to tell you how the shade is going to appear in every light.
For any walls that will be painted, they will require a sample painted onto them.
Keep note of which sample is which by marking a series of lines, as shown, one both the wall under the sample and on the sample pot. Don’t mark the lid, as these may get swapped around and cause error. Mark your lines beside the paint formula sticker.
BRING IN YOUR FINISHES FIRST
For a lot of people, this sounds counterintuitive but it actually makes perfect sense. Paint can be found in nearly every tone under the sun. Meanwhile, decor is specific.
So determine what pieces will be in the space before you make a final decision about paint. The stand back and take a look at how each sample vibes with your decor.
So there you have it - you’ve gotten a peek into my space and some tips about how you can update your own rooms! Now go get some more inspiration and tips by checking out the other projects being designed for the Spring 2019 ORC -
I’ve been a long-time follower of the ORC™ and I’m always a little humbled and sentimental that it’s still around for me to participate in. So if you’re looking to kickstart a DIY home project or you just want to take a peek into the reality of renovating spaces, I highly encourage you to check it out.
Thanks, as always, to Linda Holt for bringing this event back every season! We love it as much as you do. And a super huge thanks to Better Home and Gardens and all of the amazing sponsors who keep this event going! You can see the full list of official sponsors here.
This time around, I’ve even got my own list of sponsors to show off. I can’t wait to tell you about each of these brands that has made my participation in this event possible. So stay tuned! That is, after you go check out all the other spaces.
UNTIL NEXT WEEK, HAPPY RENOVATING!
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Commenting on this post is disabled after 24 hours so I can focus on our upcoming projects + client designs. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear from you. Send me your questions and comments on Instagram by either commenting on my latest post or sending me a direct message. I really love to chat it out! xoxo