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family room reveal

 I was going to show how we installed the engineered floating hardwood floors today, but I did a little photo shoot with my family room and I decided I would share the pictures and some of my reasons for picking this floor.


 This is how the room looked when we first moved in…

We ripped out the fireplace a little over a year ago and I’ve been waiting to rip out this carpet since the day we moved in.  After 6 1/2 years of living in this house, we finally ripped out the carpet and replaced it with 4 3/4″ wide Heritage Hickory (a floating engineered hardwood floor) by Virginia Mill Works.



The color on the walls is Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore.  I love this color.  It’s a soft blue, but it’s still sort of neutral.


Having wood floors means that all of the furniture is on felt sliders.  Having all of the furniture on felt sliders means that I can move furniture around on my own at my every furniture-rearranging-whim.   It also means it’s easier to scoot the furniture away when I’m going to kick some tail playing Just Dance on the Kinnect.


I set up a desk in the corner for my computer.  (Surprisingly, that French chair is very comfortable.)









The wool rug I’m currently using in the room matches perfectly, but it’s too small.  I definitely need at least an 8 x 10 for the space, but we’re going to wait a while before getting one.


So, why did we pick these floors?  First of all, what are engineered hardwood floors?  They are not laminate, but a wood veneer over an MDF base.

Why did we choose engineer hardwood instead of solid hardwood?  Initially, I had my heart set on solid wood.  Actually, I had my heart set on reclaimed hardwood, but my husband talked me out of installing AND refinishing floors in the busiest part of our home.  My options were limited to pre-finished floors.  Going into the store we had a few picked out that we liked.  Once I got to the store, though, I wasn’t sure what I wanted.  We were willing to get solid hardwood floors, but Heritage Hickory caught my eye.   I literally saw the sample board and right away said, “This is it!  This is the one.”  I then inspected it and saw it was engineered and I was okay with that.  It was cheaper, easier to install and still comes with a 30 year warranty on the finish.

I like that this flooring is a rich, medium toned wood that’s not too red or orange.  It has beveled edges and a pretty grain.  It also has a bit of the hand-scraped look, but it’s not overdone.  It’s subtle.  The minor imperfections, dings, dents and saw marks are ultimately what captured my heart.  I also like that the finish isn’t shiny.  It just has a nice satin sheen to it.  My dad walked in just as we finished installing it and he said, “It looks very Civil War-ish.”  I think he meant it looks old.

The downsides?

  • Well, it’s definitely not as comfortable as carpet.  That’s an obvious one.
  • It’s a little slippery.  I almost went into the splits stepping out of our bedroom the morning after we installed it.  That was slightly painful since I was already waddling like I was pregnant from my sore muscles.  We’re all getting used to it.
  • It does show threads and crumbs and stuff like that.  I bought a white kitchen floor, though, so I’m obviously okay with cleaning floors frequently.  I figure the stuff is there, so I’d rather see it and clean it.
  • It’s cold.  Well, colder than carpet.  A bonus is that it prepares me to step onto the freezing tile in the kitchen!  It probably would’t be cold in most situations, but our basement workshop is underneath and it’s not insulated well.  It’ll probably be a bonus in the summer, but I find I’m using a blanket more than usual this time of year.
The boys have enjoyed running around on it and it’s perfect for building Legos and Lincoln Log houses.  All in all, we love it.  I can’t give testimony for how well it wears, since it’s only been installed for two days, but I’ll let you know in a year or two…

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    Just wait till your boys figure out that socks + wood floors = sliding at high speeds on feet and knees:) If they haven’t already.
    We installed laminate several years ago in livingroom/diningroom and while I love the look it is definitely louder and colder than carpet. Hoping to install some carpet tiles for a floor rug on the livingroom side soon.
    Personally I hate how often my floors need mopping but I love not having to freak out over stuff getting spilled on them. It is easier to wipe up milk on a wood floor than on carpet:)

  2. Mitzi says:

    I love that you put a before picture. It shows what you truly have done on a small budget! I have a coffee table similar to yours but in a lighter finish. I would love to have it darker like yours. Any suggestions to get it that way? Thanks!

  3. Denise T says:

    The flooring is gorgeous! Love this texture, finish, etc.. Glad you are enjoying it .

  4. Sherry says:

    I love the paint color on your walls! I’ve had the BM Glass Slipper paint chip in my file for years. I will be using it now! Thanks. Your floors look great, and you are so right on the “downsides”! Love your room.

  5. Marion, it is absolutely wonderful. There is something about wood that is warm even it is cold. Snuggling with blankets is an added bonus. AND I agree about seeing the gunk, junk and grime on the floor. At least it can bee seen to be cleaned. It made me realize how much dirt and nastiness was under my feet on the carpet.

  6. Really loving your new flooring. It looks so good with all of your furnishings. Your mix of contemporary fabrics and colors with the vintage/country style furnishings is just beautiful. Well done. Have you considered maybe layering your current rug on top of a larger natural fiber rug? I’m on a mission to do that in our family room. I currently have the jute rug and am on the hunt for the perfect pattern to layer on top. Just thought I’d share.

  7. Julia says:

    I love the lightness and airy feel when looking at the pictures of your home. Beautiful and thanks for sharing.

  8. Where did you get the small wreaths on the hutch? Floors look great, very authentic!

  9. colleen says:

    sooo looks good but would it work in a bathroom? we still have gross carpet upstairs .

  10. Beautiful!!! I also loved the old floors too… but these are such a gorgeous neutral wood! so happy for you!

  11. Looks so great! As much as l love the feel of carpet underfoot, hardwood floors and area rugs are the way to go, especially with pets. We have three cats, three dogs and three guinea pigs, and it the only thing that can hold up to their hair, accidents and whatever other animal fluids appear. When we got rid of our carpets, we were amazed by how much cleaner the house smelled. But the floors show every little dust bunny since they have no where to hide. I swear I can create an entire small mammal with the amount of pet hair I collect! Anyway, looks great!

  12. sharon mccullough says:

    EVERYTHING is so pretty. Job well done. I would just like to say that i like the pop of color in the little paisley like print chair and I like the cabinet in the one corner. I am always on the prowl for one like that. Just want you to know I enjoy seeing what you have accomplished and to Thank-You for all the inspiration you and your family are to other. Sharon in North Carolina

  13. Beautiful room and the darker floors really set everything else off so well. Love the little floral chair and “mismatched” but perfectly paired graphic ottoman. 😉

  14. Beth Morrow says:

    It is beautiful! We replaced our carpet with hardwood and my only regret was that I didn’t do it sooner! I’m not as brave as you and I’m older too so I had someone else install the floor but I think I could do it…maybe my next house!
    Love the pics of your lovely home!

  15. Carolyn says:

    Looks really beautiful! you must be very pleased, and proud for having done it yourselves.
    I have very similar floors going on 2 years now and absolutely love them. It’s not as cold here during he winter so coolness isn’t that much of an issue. But, I can tell you it did warm up quite a bit when we got our larger area rug…cuts down on noise too. Enjoy!

  16. Wow! Now that is a space I could curl up with a good book. It looks soooo cozy and comfy.

    The floors blend in perfectly with the rest of your décor. Really lovely choice!

  17. Petria OReilly says:

    I could move right into that beautiful room and feel right at home! Lovely, warm, inviting, relaxing, interesting…I could go on but I won’t. Just want to say that I had real wood floors in my last home…the finish was shiney….and I always wished that I had the engineered wood floors instead. I think that you made a wise decision.

  18. JessicaD says:

    Please come help me finish feathering my house/nest. IN SW Grandiose Green and Nankeen and vintage Harvest gold. Thank you in advance.

  19. Janet Lawson says:

    Your floor is beautiful..It makes the room look so much bigger..
    Have a wonderful night..

  20. It looks so lovely and all your beautiful furniture and decorating stands out on the warm hued floors.

  21. As usual, perfect!

  22. Love your floor…make me want to rip my carpet up right now!!

  23. Love the floor! I suggest you get a pair of yoga socks they will keep your feet warm and prevent you from busting your bum!

  24. White, brown, blue, and green is my favorite decorating color combination. I love it!

  25. looks fantastic! your changes really opened up the space & love that paint color

  26. Love the floors and your style! Love, love, love the chair next to the sofa with the blue pillow. I have my Granny’s sofa in the same shape with wood edges. What paint combination did you use on the wood trim to get that look? Please share!

  27. Just unbelievably gorgeous Marian!!…I so love the floors and the furniture just seems to pop in the entire room…I love your color scheme…You did a magnificent job…you must be so happy!!

  28. Dorothee says:

    Love the floor, really the whole room! We are building house with a very large great room, and I have 1 traditional navy background. 5×8 rug. Any suggestions for adding more rugs to the space? I’m not to good at mixing unless I see it somewhere. ( that’s why I really love your posts!)

  29. Marcy Ray says:

    Coincidentally, we used the same flooring, in two bedrooms, & office. It has proven to be fabulous and quite easy to take care of. I use a dustmop, spray some endust to attract the dust bunnies and viola, easy peasy! You are so inspirational and love your decorating & projects.

  30. Sonnet Hullinger says:

    Love, love, love…..I could move right in!!! All my favorite colors!! I must ask, where are your drapes from?

  31. David Davis says:

    Best thing you can invest in when having hardwood floors is SLIPPERS!! :)

  32. Beautiful! I love your dad’s remarks. :) I agree. It looks rich and sturdy and like home. Wonderful! ~k.

  33. looks gorgeous! what a transformation from when you first moved in!

  34. It’s funny reading about the reasons you chose this flooring. Sounds just like the reasons I gave! It was love at first sight for me, also. Our first room done was the music room (I give piano lessons) and wow! It is loud! Even with the new rug. Guess I will just have to get used to it! I know you are a busy mom, but here is the link to my blog if you want to see our room.

  35. I just read your part 2 of laying your floors. I must say that I am super impressed! I think I perhaps would like to try and lay floors, however, I am not sure my marriage would surrive ;-). I love your family room make over. It is so fresh and inviting! I love the color scheme you use too of the french blue and white with pops of green. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial as well as the inspiration!

  36. Tiffany says:

    What a lovely transformation! Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing this just as you do all of your other lovely projects and transformations. I look forward to ending each of my evenings with a visit to your blog. I like to end the day with a dose of “pretty”!

  37. Wow!!! Looks great. :)

  38. Everything is gorgeous! I love your style. I want the material that you used to cover the chair that’s sitting next to the blue and brown dresser. It has a footstool with blue and white material in front of it. I would love to cover an old chair of mine with the same material. Would love to know the manufacturer and pattern name. I just watched your milk paint tutorials and can’t wait to try it on an old dresser.

  39. Terrie from Atlanta, GA says:

    Bravo, Marian! The entire first floor looks sooo beautiful . . . absolutely put together and very “you”!! May you have many happy times in your lovely space with family and friends.
    *A few words about hardwood floors : 1) buy cozy slippers for all; 2) purchase two (2) Swiffers, one for each child ~ set the timer for 5 minutes and see who can cover the most floor space OR collect the most dust. Amazing what fun they think this is, and it’s easier than vacuuming!

  40. Gloria (Illinois) says:

    Hi Marian,
    Absolutely LOVE the new floor and your overall aesthetic in the living room….Bravo!!! Had an idea for you since my aunt faced the same problem with her wool carpet area rug when she moved…. the flooring/carpet experts matched up a solid to her wool rug to create an approximate 8″ border of sorts; they bound the outer edges of the solid color rug and cut a rectangular area in the center of the solid to lay down her wool rug and voila….larger area rug to accommodate her new space! I think your area rug would be perfect in that same scenario…..maybe the apple green color for a border or the light wedgewood blue center of the flower? Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will look fabulous as always!
    All the Best,
    Gloria :-)

  41. Deb R says:

    Marion – I love your wool rug. It would go perfectly in my tiny house. Who’s it made by and did you get in fairly recently? Thanks!

  42. I love it all! It’s so beautiful and I love how there’s this perfect flow from one side to the other….Perfection! One of these days I’ll makeover my space and will use you for inspiration!
    I love how you have tons of raw furniture…Where’s the cut off? how do you stop yourself from painting everything? I have a tendency to just paint away…Thank you so much…being here is like therapy :)

  43. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you need to publish more about this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not speak about such subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

  44. Lindsey says:

    What is the color of the stain on the floors?

  45. Jessica says:

    Hi! We are considering purchasing and installing this same floor, but it is such a big decision trying to decide on which one we like best. I was wondering, now that you have had this floor for almost a year, how is it holding up? Does it seem durable so far? Any drawbacks? My husband is hesitant to go with engineered clic, but I think it is a good option considering it’s price point and ease of installation. Any feedback would be much appreciated!!! Thank you so much for your inspiring blog posts!

  46. I was suggested this web site by way of my cousin. I am not certain
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  47. Kat Currie says:

    Your house looks beautiful! Your choice of floors even helped my boyfriend and I decide on the Heritage Hickory for our own place. I was curious, however, how your floors were holding up. We have a contractor scheduled to come in a week from now and have been reading a few negative reviews on the durability on Virginia Mills products. I would really appreciate hearing your experience with it. Thank you!

  48. Marilyn F. says:

    Hi Marian, I don’t know if you will see this but I would love to know how the floor is holding up. That is an engineered floor that I have looked at in the past – even have samples of it. We didn’t wait until we were ready to install hardwood at our house – we pulled up our carpet and painted the subfloor with porch paint but hardwoods are in our future. I’ve considered getting unfinished pine from Lumber Liquidators and giving it a distressed stained finish but it would be challenging to manage while living here. That’s the appeal of prefinished flooring. It would be great to get your perspective on that floor after having it this length of time. It looks beautiful here. Thanks!

  49. Rachael Marchese says:

    Hi Marian! So, it’s been ‘a year or two’.. how’s the floor holding up? I was looking at that particular floor on the Lumber Liquidators website, is that where you purchased it? I’m wondering if it’s a good place to buy from.. Thanks!


  1. […] ago when I painted the walls and cabinetry and made new curtains.  In January of this year, we installed new hardwood floors.  Since then, I’ve been waiting.  Busy with freelance stuff, busy with the Lucketts fair, […]

  2. […] hardwoods for the entire first floor.  (Wanna see what they look like in action?  Check out this post from a blogger who installed them in her […]

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