Floral Pumpkin Arrangment




 Hot coffee, sweater weather, and pumpkin rolls ... just a few things I love about fall.  Oh and the beautiful fall scenery too! I just prefer to keep the burnt orange and browns for my outside viewing pleasure. My house is more on the cooler side, pun not intended but.... haaa! 😉
  Honestly I have never been one to decorate much for autumn ,  I'm more about the fall feels.  I bust out my fall candles, cozy blankets and sip on my coffee. 
  But even in the fall I have to keep it fresh , as in fresh flowers! I still I have to have my weekly fresh flowers from Kroger. If you haven't checked your local Kroger for fresh clearance arrangements... you're missing out! Sometimes I snag a bouquet for $1! No, they are not dead or dying.. lol . I actually have NO idea why they mark them down but I'm not complaining! 
  Even though I do like to keep things simple, I still want to be a little festive! Typically, I just put my arrangements in glass vases but I decided to think outside the glass box. That's when I thought why not use a pumpkin as a vase! I've seen fake floral arrangements in pumpkins at the store and thought hmmm... how would/could I do it with fresh flowers...



The great thing about using fresh flowers is that I get to have a new fresh arrangement weekly and I only have to spend a dollar, literally... s/o to my local Kroger!




I love how it says fall without screaming orange pumpkins, ya know? I think it would look really pretty do multiple smaller pumpkin arrangements on the table, too! What do you guys think? 

#fallingforfall #falldecorating #fall #interiors

Creating a space from the floor up | Livingroom Inspo





 What I have come to realize throughout the our home renovations is that without grounded vision of the end result , it can make the designing process incredibly difficult.  Starting with the foundation, the flooring, and working up and out takes a lot of the guess work out of the process.
  If you think about the actual construction of a house , it is built from the ground up. You wouldn't put the roof on before you laid the foundation ,That's actually impossible. So I decided to start applying that same mentality when designing each room, starting with the floor.
   I have an entire blog post dedicated to choosing the right flooring for your space, you can check it out HERE. The flooring you choose is what is going to unify the entire space , think of it as the common denominator of each design element you add in. It sets the mood and the tone.
  I really wanted our living room to say two things; mindful and simplicity. I wanted the floors to be  the substance that added depth or the "come stay awhile factor".   The living room is obviously a place for most people to relax and unwind, and for me that means simplicity. If you've followed me for a while now, I am sure you know that I am not one for clutter. Clutter screams unrest to me. That isn't something I want in a space where I was to relax at the end of a long day.
  That's why the Onyx Stately Manor flooring by Mohawk from BuildDirect.com is a perfect slate to build from. It has a traditional feel with neutral undertone and minimal grain , keeping them timeless. The grain actually appears solid from a distance not distracting from the texture of the fireplace, tile and artwork. Our floors truly set the stage for the rest of the living room design elements.




   Whatever your grounded vision looks like, establish it ! It will make every decision from this foot forward a step easier! If you're looking for a good starting place , BuildDirect  is a one stop shop for home improvement. They offer loads of flooring options with manufacture-direct prices.

Curious about how my living room renovations turned out, watch HERE.


Guide to Selecting the Perfect Floor


   Six months ago, I had no idea what I was in for when it came to picking out the perfect floor for our living room. I knew what I liked ,when I saw it , but had no clue that I had to take a multitude of other factors into consideration to make sure I ended up floored, in a good way.

I decided to take note of the checklist that I wish I had going into this overhaul. Hopefully, this can help make your flooring experience a lot less time consuming than mine!    



1. Start with Budget - Price can be a kicker. You can fall in love with the floor of your dreams , then you look at the price tag and then instantly your flooring dreams are crushed. Save yourself the heartbreak. Set your budget and browse within your allocation.


2. Type - I'm sure most people don't even realize how many types of flooring there actually are to choose from these days . I know, I didn't. Hardwood, laminate, tile and vinyl are just a few of the options available these days. Not to mention more eco-friendly choices like bamboo or cork that have rose in-demand over the last few years. Each of these choices will have there pro's and con's that will depend upon your space. 
   For example, If you live in a humid climate, hardwood might not be the best option as it is affected by humidity. Bathrooms and kitchens are also not ideal for hardwood because of the moisture in those spaces. You can still achieve a similar look as hardwood by choosing another option like vinyl, which performs great in those conditions.  


3. Color -  For most people this is the easy part. I thought that would be the case for me and it was , kind of. I know what I like when I see it but what I didn't realize is that I had to take lighting into consideration. Similar to picking out paint, depending on the natural or artificial light that the room gets the paint color , in this case the floor, will appear differently under different lighting scenarios .

Note: The flooring may appear darker in-store or online vs. in the lighting in  your home. That is why samples are key! Not a sample , SAMPLES! Request enough samples so that you're able to make a versed decision.

4. Finish - Smooth, Shiny, Matte, Distressed. Each options has it's pro's and con's, from cleaning to overall aesthetic. It is easy to get caught up in the face of flooring vs. reality. Remember to ask yourself, is it practical for my lifestyle? If you have pets , you may want to steer clear of Hardwood , for example, as it is the least desired because of Hardwoods ability to hold scent from urine stains. Who wants a beautiful floor.. that smells? In the end, practically always wins whether you chose it or not.


5.  Retailer - Half the battle is finding a retailer. I visited several floor covering stores before deciding to online shop. Online shopping can be intimidating but because Build Direct offers samples before you purchase; it ,essentially, is like bringing the store to your home without the hassle of a salesman or middleman.If you do happen to have any questions the customer service is available at your leisure via chat, e-mail and phone . Personally,  I don't like to be rushed into decision making , especially when it comes to something as costly and important as my home. For me, shopping online saved me more than money, it saved me my sanity!

----Ever heard the saying " Time is money" ? Shopping online on BuildDirect saved me both.


BuildDirect.com makes it easy to browse through each home improvement category, sub-category of flooring type followed by filters for your specific wants and needs.






If you're curious about the floors we ended up choosing, they are the Stately Manor Engineered Hardwood floors by Mohawk from BuildDirect.com. These floors met all of my "wants". Even though it did take a little longer for me to sift though all of these considerations since I didn't have this guide. In the end, we couldn't be happier. These floors are the perfect foundation for our living room!






Perks of Purchasing Flooring Online


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  Online shopping is considered the norm in 2017. However , Making a significant purchase online can be intimidating because the gamble of possibly making the wrong decision.
         Since online shopping has been on the rise and likely the consumers preferred choice of shopping, online retailers have went to great lengths to compete with domestic retailers to offer and provide the highest level of customer service to attract consumers to their sites. This includes return policies. Most online retailers , including Build Direct , offer a 30 day money back guarantee.
  With that being said, is the risk of online shopping really a risk at all? If so, does it outweigh the perks for shopping online for home improvement ? I put together a few reason why I personally think purchasing flooring online is a parade of perks.


1. Cost - Purchasing flooring from an online retailer can be an instant wallet gratifier. Prices are usually much less than big box store prices. Why? Because the product is delivered directly from the production warehouse to your house.Unlike a store front retailer where the flooring is shipped from warehouse to warehouse and then to the store or your home. Purchasing online allows you to bypass the price markup from each transfer making the cost lower for consumer purchase, manufacture -direct prices.
2. Customer Service - I don't know about you but the last thing I want when making a paramount purchase is someone trying to rush me , trying to suede me into something that I really don't want nor need. Don't get me  wrong, I regard customer service of great value but with the competitive market these days it is hard to trust the integrity of someone trying to make a sale. Online customer service is at the will of the consumer. You can chat, e-mail or phone at your convenience.
3. Convenience- You can browse , shop and purchase from the comfort of your home , your favorite coffee shop, or wherever you please without ever stepping foot in a showroom. The showroom is essentially your home.
4.  Samples - Test before you buy. Samples are available to be shipped directly to your doorstep without a deposit or credit card hold. No commitment only options.


    We recently shopped online for our flooring on BuildDirect.com. They offer a wide range of selection from wood to laminate and everything in between. Not to mention, they also offer other building materials. Think of them as your one stop online shop for home improvement.


If you haven't seen the post where I reveal our Stately Manor floors from Build Direct, check it out HERE.

How to lay Engineered Hardwood | The Rookie's Guide





   Since Tim was the one to physically lay the floor, along with his friend and my step-dad, I thought it'd be fun to have Tim takeover this post. He truly is the hands in our home renovations and I thought it'd be fun to have him takeover this post to share his experience, tips and tricks on how he laid our new floors! -Kayla
   
  I would like to thank Kayla, first and foremost, for sharing her creative space here on sheekndivine.com with me. Flooring is expense in and of itself but adding the install cost on top was, well, not an option for us. But replacing our floors was a must! Truth be told, I've never laid any type of flooring...ever! I'm sure I'm not the only first-time homeowner out there that is trying to save money where I can, so I thought sharing some tips that I found helpful along the way might help you out!
    Choosing the perfect flooring took quite some time, as in eight months. We took the carpet and pink tile up at the end of December 2016. We sampled several different types of flooring, but none of them gave the feel we were looking for. I did not realize how difficult the decision-making process was going to be. On top of that, I was intimidated to install the flooring because it was my first time. Luckily, I had four extra helping hands, my father-in-law and a close friend, finishing the entire room in only 3 hours. I hope this blog post will help prepare you with these helpful tips that I found useful.

1. Preparation

     The most important tip to ANY project is preparation. It is important to know what you need and what to do to get the job finished. First, decide on the type of flooring you may want, such as vinyl, hardwood or engineered. Is the thickness different then original floor? Make sure the flooring you choose is the right material for that room. You would not want to install hardwood or engineered hardwood in your bathroom. Get to know how to install your flooring, whether it is nail down, glue or floating.

    This blog will focus on floating floors even though the steps are similar for any kind of flooring. After you have received the flooring, plan to acclimate to the house for at least 4 to 5 days. Next decide which way you want the flooring to lay...as you can tell we laid it length wise with the room. Pick out your underlayment, there are different qualities and features for each choice. We chose  Quiet Walk from Menards.  Make sure the sub flooring is as level and smooth as possible and no nails or anything are sticking up out of floor. The underlayment can help a little for unevenness but don't rely on that. Remove baseboards if need be. Being prepared can make a project go smoothly or become a disaster.

2. Tools

   Having the proper tools from the beginning is part of being prepared. Kayla likes to give the metaphor that tools are like makeup brushes for the face...  if you have great makeup (floors) but without the right brushes (tools) you won't get the best application. These tools are a must to be efficient at laying floor. The tools you need are:

Table saw - for cutting the floor length of plank, a.k.a ripping.
Miter saw - to make width cuts, to make shorter pieces when necessary.
Carpenters square and Carpenters pencil - to mark where cuts need to be made.
Tapping Block/Pull Bar and Rubber mallet - to help lock flooring together.
Spacers - to allow approximately a 1/4" gap in between new flooring and the wall during install. You can get installation kit Here
Tape- for underlayment
Measuring Tape - Measure twice, or three times, cut once.
Safety glasses - Safety First





3. Measure

      Measure twice, cut once! Measure your space and decide amount of flooring needed in square foot(Measure room in feet then convert to square foot, ex. if room is 10' x 5' = 50 sq ft.). Make sure to add 10% to total square foot for defects and mistakes. Amount of underlayment is bought in sq ft. as well. As you lay each row of flooring you may notice the direction of the newly laid flooring start to misalign diagonally off from center. To prevent this or at least minimize this, use a tape measure every 3rd row and measure from the wall to edge of every 3rd row (so measure at row 3, then row 6, again at row 9, etc). You will want to measure on the left side and right side of room and have both measurements to be as close as possible. If the flooring misaligns it is ok to be approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inch off but anything more could be noticeable and ruin the look of the room. It is important to not use the wall as a means of laying the floor in a straight line, walls are not even!

4. Floor Installation

      To start off you need to remove baseboards(not always necessary if you have enough gap between baseboard and subfloor). To lay the floor correctly have tongue(male side) facing wall and groove(female side) facing toward next row. Use spacers or whatever alternative item in-between the wall and planks. Spacers help prevent floor from moving while installing and allows a 1/4" gap for expansion and contraction which will prevent buckling.
     Another way you can install if you don't want to use spacers or pull all baseboards up (as long as their is enough gap between subfloor and baseboard) is to butt the flooring up to the wall on one side of room but leave approximately 1/2" from wall on other side of room. Same goes for the width of room.
     I was able to do this because the baseboards were thick enough to cover that size of gap on one side plus adding quarter round will help cover any gaps. To connect planks together, slightly angle board up(groove side up, tongue side angled down) and insert the tongue into the groove. Then Lock pieces together with tapping block kit.  It is always important to remember to stagger the planks. This is very important for the look of the room and also helps with the strength of floor. Use a full plank for doorways, preferably no joints in a doorway.

The rule of threes doesn't just apply to decorating. SIZE, CLICK, TAP.  The three steps to the installing engineered hardwood.



5. Making Cuts

      Planks may or may not come in variable lengths. My flooring, the Stately Manor Engineered Hardwood from Build Direct, came with variable lengths which helped with the speed of laying the floor thus cutting back on trips made to the saw. Pre-cut planks are convenient but will not prevent you from having to make your own cuts to finish a row. Again, make sure as you are cutting and laying the floor that no two joints line up, you always want staggering. Stagger is swagger, floor swagger.

      When you have to make a cut on the last plank in the row just flip plank over with bottom side up, groove side facing toward row and tongue toward wall. Use a Carpenter Square, I used this one, and pencil to help you mark where to make your cut. Head to your Table Saw or what I prefer for this cut, a Miter Saw. Table Saws are great for any kind of cut that might need multiple cuts on one plank such as corners or doorways. Again when making cuts for door ways make sure to use a whole plank and not two joined together because it will have a better look and more strength.

     Some people may rip 1/4" to 1/2" off the width of the plank on the starting and finishing rows for a nice symmetrical look to the room. For us this was not feasible. We just laid the floor without making any cuts. If you want to have your flooring as symmetrical as possible then measure the width of room and then divide by width of one plank, (ex: 120" wide room divided by 5" wide plank = 24 planks wide) then you can decide if you want to take anything off of first and last rows. 


    ––– Extra Tip:  Not necessary but helpful. While laying the flooring, because it was a floating floor, it would shift and misalign slightly, so we would have to straighten the floor back out. After about the 3rd row, I pulled out my handy dandy brad nailer and put a nail in both corners of every plank in the first row to help prevent the floor from shifting. Again not need because eventually after laying enough rows it will be difficult to move all that floor but is still possible.

  


   
   
Check out the Reno Reveal HERE
                                                         + Before & After Video HERE

 From the aesthetic to install we couldn't be happier with our new Mohawk- Stately Manor floors from Build Direct, they are above and beyond what we hoped for. If you're not already familiar with Builddirect.com, it's a must to browse if you are doing any sort of home renovation/remodel!






Floored | Living Room Renovation Reveal


We are floored , literally, to finally have flooring. Do you know someone who has taken months to complete a renovation in their home and thought to yourself;  why so long, how could you live in construction like that? Guilty as charged over here, on two accounts.
  It wasn't until I became a home owner and embarked on this journey of renovation, for myself, that I understood the how and the why. One day you're ripping up carpet and 6 months later you're staring at the blue underlayment still deciding between light wood or dark. Yep, we were those people. Who knew that picking out flooring could turn into such a lengthy task? Never did it cross my mind, all of the details we had to take into consideration before we had already ripped the carpet up. Oops.

 At the time all I knew was the carpet had to go, that's about as far as I got. Fast forward through spring and several trips to all of the local floor covering companies and we were still left far from floored, feeling overwhelmed and a bit discouraged. Blue is my favorite color but not a color I wanted to see on my living floor for another six months.
 
 We ended up browsing through BuildDirect.com one night. They offer free flooring samples shipped directly to your door. Naturally, we took full advantage of that. We narrowed it down to five contenders and placed our sample order.

––We wanted our the living room to feel cohesive with a modern flare and traditional roots.

 We really liked all five samples that we ordered but they were all falling short of either the traditional root or modern twist that we wanted, except one. The Onyx Maple Stately Manor by Mohawk held a green light to everything we were asking for. When we realized there was nothing we didn't like about the Stately Manor Engineered Hardwood,  It was almost one of those "to good to be true moments". Now that we have them installed... it's just true, they're good.

––– Note: This is not the room fully furnished, check back in December for the complete room reveal! 


              If you haven't seen our Living Room Reveal on YouTube , check it out here: HERE




Dining Room Table Turnover


Our dining room table was the first big purchase we made when we bought our house. Let's be honest , we like to eat so we knew we'd be spending a lot of time around the table. We've always wanted a BIG table to host the holidays. As Tim would say "fit for a king".
  We ended up looking at several furniture stores but decided to go with  this  table from World Market. It wasn't exactly the color we wanted because it does have a red undertone but at the time "farmhouse" tables weren't super popular just yet , options were limited.




  Long story short we bought it , have loved it but over the last few months as we have been renovating, I've been looking to purchase a new dining table , something similar just less warm.
   Re-staining the table never crossed my mind , because it has a veneer top, until the other night when I was painting my nails on the table and accidentally put the paper towel that had fingernail polish remover on it on the table. Of course, when I went to throw the paper towel away it ate through the stain on the table top. Then all of a sudden when I saw the 'bare" wood veneer a little light bulb went off and I googled "can you sand and stain veneer". The answer was YES and that is all I needed.
   

The next morning I went to Menard's , bought some sand paper and started sanding away... I mean like for the next day and half. Sanding is never "fun" but it honestly wasn't to bad. When sanding veneer you want to be very careful not to go through the veneer so it didn't take much effort.



 The entire turnover only cost $15. Here's the breakdown of what we used :

Sandpaper 220 - Started with this but ended up switched to get the poly off first then came back to it to smooth finish.
Sandpaper 60 - Used this for the majority of the project to get the heavy polyurethane off
Plastic -  To protect the floor , defiantly recommend OR be smart and take your table outside to eliminate dust because there is ALOT of it.
Stain - We ended up using Sunbleach by Vanathane . This was actually just going to be the first of two stains. I was originally going to go on top of this with weather gray, also by Varathane . However, we ended up loving the Sunbleached alone.
Polyurathane- Two coats to seal the deal. We used satin.
Stain Sponge -  I used a sponge but you could also use a brush. I just wanted to try to eliminate any brush stokes that I could get from a brush.

The entire turnover took a whopping two whole days. Probably one of the easiest and quickest projects we've done to date. I couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out! Defiantly loving the restoration hardware vibes it gives now.

Feast your eyes... corny, I know. lol





Take note: Wear gloves when sanding. If not your manicure won't we the only thing that gets messed up. I ended up sanding my thumb along with the table.


  Sheek -Saver Tip: Less is more , than enough. We only used half of this 8 oz can for the entire table. Although we did only do one coat , if we had done two we still would have had enough!
Vanathane | Sunbleached 
         








I do plan on sanding the chairs with a 220 grit and washing a light coat of the stain over them to take out some of the yellow. Now that the table is "cooler" I also am wanting new flooring even more. Look out for that soon!

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