Aug 28, 2014

Our New Rugs and Rug Pad USA

Sometimes things happen at just the right time.
For us, it was being contacted by the rug pad company, Rug Pad USA, right after we purchased two new rugs for our living room this summer.

We needed new rug pads! So yay!

The first thing I liked about this company is that they have a fabulous website, and I love doing business on easy to navigate websites. A store's website design is something you rarely notice if it's good, but always if it's bad, right? This one is good enough to mention. In fact, it's one of the best I've seen, and it sold me pretty quickly on agreeing to review their rug pads.

Rug Pad USA exclusively offers rug pads made in the USA by American workers. And if going greener is a concern for you, choices range from having less petrochemicals used in the manufacture of the pad you choose, to full LEED Certification and more. There are rug pads offered for almost every situation, even soundproof rug pads. And they're all guaranteed.

Little did I know when I agreed to try them out, that these rug pads would end up being the solution to some very unique and aggravating problems we were having with our rugs. 

Our biggest problem was with this new rug in our entryway. We love the way this 5x7 indoor/outdoor rug from Ballard Designs looks here. We like the color and unique pattern, and we love that when it gets tracked with muddy footprints, we can just take it outside on the lawn and rinse it off with a hose. 

"Who, me?"
 The problem isn't really even with the rug at all. It's with this fella right here. Tucker. When someone comes knocking at our front door, Tucker (all 80 glorious pounds of him) races from the back of the house to answer it, and when he puts the brakes on at this rug, he surfs it all the way up the wall! 

Before we can answer the door, we have to back Tucker off the rug, which is not so easy when he's super excited to see who's come to visit. Finally, before we can get the door open, we have to slide the rug back off the wall and onto the floor. 

It's like the Three Stooges live here, or something!

Until I received Rug Pad USA's kind offer to review their products, it didn't even occur to me that a rug pad would solve this problem, because the rug pads we already have won't even keep a small hall rug from slipping around (let alone the surfing of The Three Stooges dog.)

After just a few minutes reading the glowing customer reviews for their non-slip rug pads, I was seeing the light, and more than ready to give one a try.

Good timing, right?

After studying all the descriptions carefully, I chose this Eco-Solid Non-Slip Rug Pad for our entryway rug. Our rug is thin and lightweight, but it's stiff, and this pad sounded like it wouldn't be so bulky that the rug wouldn't lay flat over it. I gave the exact rug dimensions (no extra charge for custom sizes) and requested the free option of having the pad trimmed one inch around the perimeter.

The rug pads arrived rolled up and wrapped in thick plastic within a week. They were easy to unroll and lay flat on the floor. Having the pads trimmed one inch smaller allowed the edges of the rug to rest lightly on the floor, so we can't see the edges of the pad beneath it from the other rooms. In fact, except for being softer and cushier to walk on now, you can't tell by looking that there's a pad under the rug at all.

We also had a problem with the chevron pattern rug from Joss and Main that's in the other side of our living room. It's a heavier indoor/outdoor rug that we also love, but when we would push our heavy ottoman away from our leather chair to stand up, the entire rug would move with it.

For this rug I chose the Superior-Lock Non-Slip Rug Pad, which is non-slip on two sides to hold the rug to the pad, as well as to hold the pad to the floor.

I also requested the one-inch trim for this pad, and as you can see, it allows the rug to lay perfectly flat on the floor. I was pleasantly surprised how plush this thin rug pad makes our low pile indoor/outdoor rug feel when walking on it. Best of all, our heavy ottoman can't even budge this rug anymore.
"Oh, darn!"

So, our new rug pads look and feel great, but did they pass the Tucker test? 

In fact, not only has this rug not been surfed up the wall since we put the rug pad under it; it hasn't budged an inch in any direction, even with all the traffic going through our entryway every day. It is so nice to not be constantly straightening this rug anymore. 

Tucker might be missing his surfing days, but I can honestly say a big thank you to Rug Pad USA for allowing me to review the best non-slip rug pads we've ever had.

Good timing!

{Rug Pad USA graciously supplied me with the rug pads reviewed in this post, but the opinions expressed here are my own.}


Aug 25, 2014

Master Bedroom Reveal

Today's the day for our new master bedroom reveal!

Our goal for our master bedroom remodel was to take our bedroom from dark and outdated to a look that more authentically fits our one hundred year-old cottage. (See the before photos here.)
It was important for us that the bones of our master bedroom have a timeless look that would never fall out of style again (as in no more hunter green wall to wall carpet.)

 The new white walls and refinished original wood floors create a neutral backdrop for easily changing to almost any look, by simply changing the bedding and accessories. 

Even knowing that new lighter paint would make a huge difference, it didn't prepare us for how light and airy our bedroom feels now. Our soaring ten and a-half foot tall ceilings also help our small bedroom seem larger and lighter than it really is. We accentuated the high ceilings, while also making the most out of our one small north facing window, by hanging our new curtains higher and wider than the window trim.
The door on the right leads to a small walk-in closet, and on the left is our master bath (See the master bathroom reveal here.) We've been loving the bare wood floors during our hot summer (so cool on bare feet), but I'm hoping you can all help us out with ideas for rugs. We don't know if it's better to have one big 8 x 10 rug that goes under the bed or two smaller rugs on each side and another one at the foot of the bed. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with both.

We downsized to a queen size bed and love the extra room it gave us for another small dresser. We also purchased a new headboard. It's so nice to lean against something soft while reading in bed now. 

I've decided to go slow with finishing our master bedroom decor. Since we're saving up for a few other large projects, the decorating must be done by me, and on a shoestring. (My favorite way, of course!) I have many plans floating around inside my head, like painting this dresser, and I'll be sure to share all my projects with you.

To that end, my first bedroom project was redoing our old guest bedroom lamps from chrome to gold (see the tutorial here.) I'd love to buy new drum shades in linen or burlap, but recovering these instead is one of those future projects rattling around inside my head. As for furniture, I won't be painting our pine bedside tables and armoire for sentimental reasons. Do your remember when this style was advertised in just about every issue of BHG and Country Living?

I borrowed this pillow from the guest room for now, but I have plans for sewing a long bolster.

You can see I don't like ironing like the wrinkly bed skirt look. I'll be cutting and resewing our old king size duvet into queen size instead of buying a new one. (Note to self: do this before it snows!)  

We love our heavy pine armoire. It fits this wall perfectly and holds so much!

Our new curtains are lined white cotton panels with soft gathers and ruching at the top. They were simple enough for my farmhouse look with just a touch of feminine detail.

Here's a close up of the Minwax Special Walnut stain on our old Douglas Fir floors with our original antique (scrubbed and spray-painted) heat register.

That's our master bedroom so far, with lots of plans still in the works for decorating. 

Thank you so much for stopping in today to take a look!  

{Thank you to Jed Dilworth Construction for making our dreams come true!}

It must be time to party!

The Scoop
Cozy Little House 
 Our Home Away From Home
Mod Vintage Life
Elizabeth & Co. 
Vintage Inspiration Party
Shabby Art Boutique

Aug 19, 2014

Quick Trip To Red Lodge, Montana

I hope everyone is enjoying the last month of summer. I remember back when our seasons revolved around the kids' school calender, and our summers seemed to end the day the kids went back to school in late August or early September. Now that we're empty nesters, our summers follow the weather and the traditional calender. So while some of you are turning to fall in your minds, we still have a whole month of summer left here at our house. I do have to say, though, I am longing for fall, my favorite season, especially after the hot and humid summer we've had here this year. 

We had a little break from the heat over the weekend with a quick road trip over to Red Lodge, Montana, where my husband's mother lives. The days were soft and warm and the nights were blissfully cool. I left my camera at home but snapped a few phone photos to share.

About twenty-five years ago we bought six acres at the base of the Absarokee Mountain Range just outside of Red Lodge, with thoughts of building our dream cabin and retiring here one day. This is our property in the foreground overlooking our favorite view of the meadows leading up to the foothills and palisades of the Rocky Mountains. The Red Lodge ski hill and snow capped Pryor Mountain peaks are just out of sight to the right. Yellowstone Park is out there a-ways, too, and the rolling prairie stretches out behind us in the other direction. Whenever we visit Red Lodge, we park our car here on our dirt road and drink our morning coffee while the sun rises. As we listen to the cows lowing off in the distance and watch the deer and elk pass slowly by munching the hay in our meadow, we imagine one day enjoying it all from our own deck.     

 On this visit we stayed with my sister in-law and her husband at the gorgeous resort they're developing next to the charming little tourist town of Red Lodge, called Island at Rock Creek. The resort's architecture is inspired by the old coal mine that was once here and is landscaped with waterfalls, ponds, and acres of beautiful perennials. Flowers always seem brighter to me in the crisp Rocky Mountain air.

The beautifully furnished and appointed townhouses are right on Rock Creek, and our bedroom door opened onto a balcony overlooking the water.  It doesn't get more relaxing than falling asleep to the sound of a tumbling creek.

 Whenever we go to Red Lodge we always enjoy some rare (and so delicious) vacation junk food from The Red Box Car, just south of town on the way to the Beartooth Highway. They have huge homemade onion rings and my husband's favorite Pork Chop John sandwiches. (That's him in the white hat, sandwich in-hand.)

Two twelve hour days riding in the car for two days of Rocky Mountain bliss. Worth every minute!

Have you ever been to beautiful Montana?  

Aug 14, 2014

Master Bathroom Reveal

I've been so excited to reveal our new master bathroom to you. I have lots of photos, so here we go! 

(I'll be mentioning what's what, but this isn't a sponsored post.)

This is the little alcove leading to our master bathroom from our bedroom. We uncovered and refinished the original 104 year-old Douglas Fir floors in both rooms. All the walls were painted with Benjamin Moore's White Dove in eggshell, and the woodwork is the same color in semi-gloss.

  Our bathroom is tiny, measuring just 5-1/2' x 11', and we kept the same plumbing footprint as the old bathroom.

We added a new and much needed linen cabinet where there is an unusually thick wall. Here in front of this cabinet is our little dressing area.

We chose simple but heavy polished chrome knobs from Schaub.

A new electrical outlet inside the linen closet conveniently recharges small appliances out of sight.

We added another smaller cabinet over the toilet for toiletries.

The new Memoirs toilet by Kohler suits our old home well. We chose the taller version, and for anyone over munchkin size we highly recommend a taller toilet.

We told our contractor we wanted a new walk-in shower big enough to dance in, and we got it! We love the way the frameless glass enclosure seems to disappear, making our bathroom appear larger. The new casement window is fiberglass, and the tile installer wrapped and sealed it carefully so it won't leak.

Our shower controls are Weymouth by Moen, and the handheld shower head is the Adler, also by Moen. We were able to play with the shower heads at our plumbing supply showroom to make sure we got the water pressure we wanted. All our fixtures are polished chrome.

I love the white porcelain inserts. 

We meticulously designed every feature of our new shower. We chose shiny white subway tile with light gray grout for the walls, with an accent line of gray tile. The plumbing supplier recommended having a second hook for the handheld shower near the quartz-topped bench, and we've used it a lot.

The shower floor is hexagon-shaped marble tiles with darker gray grout. We had the marble sealed and upgraded all the grout to one that resists mold and fading.

The tile border around the shampoo niche matches the border around the window.

A pony wall separates the shower and vanity and was capped with the same quartz as the counter and shower bench. This little wall goes all the way through the floor and was anchored from the crawl space below to support the weight of the glass door that's hinged off it. The 32" mirror frame over the vanity was built on the wall and then the glass was cut to fit inside it.

We love how far the Moen Weymouth faucet reaches over the sink, making it easy to fit our hands under it. And we love our Kohler Ladena rectangular sink, too. When we wash our faces, the water stays in the sink now instead of splashing on the counter.

The faucet handles have the same porcelain inserts as the shower fixtures, and I thought these Pottery Barn accessories almost looked made to match. In this picture you can see a little more of the color variation and depth of the pietre gray quartz from India. I went back and forth between marble and quartz, and in the end I liked the spa-like look and warmth of the quartz in our all white bathroom. 

I've been looking for a tall bright pink orchid in a pretty white pot for this corner, but I haven't found one yet. So I tucked these flowers into our toothbrush holder to spare you from seeing our toothbrushes! 

We wanted our new vanity to last a long time, just like our old vanity did. This one is actually made up of three separate cabinets attached together and has dovetailed drawers with really sturdy slides and hinges. All the new cabinets in our bathroom have soft close doors and drawers, and I'm totally spoiled by them now! We were able to fit in a 48" long vanity with three drawers for each of us. Yay! And we love the taller 35" counter height, too.
Here's a close up of the original Douglas Fir floors we had refinished. We love the one hundred year old patina and imperfections. Wood floors aren't the most practical choice for a bathroom, but we're fairly careful and don't slop a lot of water around. We'd never do this with kids! We held our breath when we took our first few showers because we didn't want to caulk our shower glass. (We were told the clear caulk would turn cloudy after a few years.) Luckily, our shower is huge and the glass is tight enough without caulk and doesn't leak at all, so we're now confident the wood floor will work out fine for us here. If we do ever need to replace it, though, we'll match the hexagon marble tile from the shower floor. The washable rug adds just the right amount of happy color for us and is from Target.

Our polished chrome light fixture is from our local Builder's Lighting. One of the reasons we chose it is because it holds three 100 watt bulbs, and we like a light bright bathroom. We matched the new molding above the mirror and the new cabinets with the old molding above the door.

We love the old five panel doors and bronze doornobs in our home. We added the brass lock from Restoration Hardware when we first moved here twenty-five years ago. I can never figure out how people can have bathrooms without locks on the doors - they're braver than I am!

We ordered our heavy polished chrome towel hooks from our local Builder's Lighting. We like the informal look of these hooks, and they allow us to hang more towels in our limited space than towel bars would.

We copied the wainscoting on the bathroom walls from the original wainscoting in our dining room. I'm still thinking about what to hang above the towels, but for now we're enjoying the clean spare look of our newly painted white walls.

So there you have it, our new little bathroom in all its splendor. Our aim was to design a timeless master bathroom that will work for our old cottage for another one hundred years. We're really happy with how it turned out, and I wish I could convey the joy we feel each time we walk into our shiny new bathroom. 

I'm so glad you stopped by today for the big reveal. I hope you'll come again when I unveil the rest of our new master bedroom, too. 

Have a great week!

{Thank you to Jed Dilworth Construction for making our dreams come true!}

Please join me this week at these lovely parties!