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Thing Number 8: Home Sweet Hovel March 30, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, Home, random stuff.


You may recall, when we tore up the dining room carpet (was it really a year ago?), that I had every intention of continuing with the living room soon.   I mean, obviously, the duct tape threshold was never meant to be permanent, classy as it may be.

So, aside from the weight of the 101 Things List itself, there was the duct tape situation in addition to the hideous carpet.  Something needed to be done.

Of course, the hold-up wasn’t the carpet itself.  No, it was the fact that I’d be an idiot to replace the living room carpet without at least painting before I did.

After all, the old-and-hideous stuff was going out to the trash, so why not use it as a drop cloth first, right?


So I took some vacation time last week and went to work.

It should be noted that the last time I painted the living room was in 2004.   The Boy had been suspended from school, and, rather than allow him to enjoy a “vacation,”  I put him to work.  (Yes, I was a mean mom.  Sue me.)

We first scrubbed the walls (I smoked back then), then we painted.   We even painted the ceiling.  Unfortunately, I opted to paint it the same color as the walls.  I hated it about 5 minutes after it dried, but. . . there it was.  Eventually, just like with the carpet, “quiet loathing” sort of just became a way of life, I guess.  After all, if you’ve got a dark little living room, you may as well accentuate that, right?



So we first returned the ceiling to Flat White – which went a long way toward brightening the room.  The walls went from “Victoriana” to “Cancun Sand” – several shades lighter and much less peachy.  Good.

Then it was time to deal with the carpet.

The dated, worn, stained FUGLY carpet.

I didn’t realize quite how bad it was until we got all (or most) of the furniture out of the room.  It was pretty awful, wasn’t it?

Now, I took vacation time to do this, but fear not – I had some help!


Peeps is still dealing with the aftermath of the Groupon incident – and this was the first few days after that, so he was, to put it nicely, a baguette-baking, ravioli-packing fool.  That, and the last thing he needed after a day of that craziness was to come home to, well, Mr. Helpful and me.


So I did my best to be “done for the day” before he came home, which I thought was mighty generous of me.

Too  bad everything just took so much longer than expected!

Since I didn’t want to muck up my freshly painted walls – and I’m a girl – I dug out the utility knife and cut the carpet into manageable-sized strips and rolled them up as I went along.

And, of course, I dug the duct tape back out!


You would not believe how hard The Jar worked!  Why, he was plum tuckered out!


Actually, it turns out the The Jar doesn’t much like upheaval.  Yeah, sure, it’s all fun and games when we’re picking at the corner of the carpet, or biting pieces of the carpet pad, but What Do You Mean we’re going to roll it up and take it out?  It’s his floor!  He sleeps there!

I swear, it was like having a toddler in the house!


Bit by bit, I nudged the dog aside, rolled and taped first the carpet strips, then the padding, and I pulled every single staple out of the floor, along with the nail strips along the edge, making sure all the nasty old staples went right into a coffee can – then out to the trash.  It would not do to have either the dog or the kitty get hold of anything that could potentially harm them, you know.

And then I got to the last section of carpet, pulled that up, and what did I find?  W.T.F?  No, really, What The EFF???

It was a plywood patch of some sort – I have no idea what the story was there.

Later, The Boy went downstairs to the basement, and, what with knocking and shouting back and forth, we’re pretty sure someone closed up (then carpeted over) a cold-air return for the furnace.   No wonder the furnace guy was surprised that we didn’t have any returns.  We didn’t have any anymore.

~sigh~ What is wrong with people?

So anyway, right now, the plan is to see if I can find either a salvaged or reproduction grate to fix it properly – there’s a cool place downtown I’ve been dying to get to – here’s my chance!


I have always loved hardwood -while  I understand the allure of carpeting – it’s soft and warm on your feet (and the puppy’s belly!), I just don’t understand nailing carpet down and hiding what was once a lovely floor.  So I bought a rug – not a super-expensive one (after all, we have pets!), but a reasonable one, and one that will be a lot less work to replace if I’m ever so inclined!

Now it’s just a matter of getting used to the new layout. . . for all of us!



1. judy - March 30, 2011

Looking good. Love all your help! You have to go back work to rest up from your vacations!

Exactlty – pretty sad, huh? 🙄

2. Cristina - March 30, 2011

He seems to be hard at work in the first picture and then absolutely exhausted in the following ones. I love it! Do you have plans to sand and polish the floor? It looks really nice.

Eventually, yeah. It looks like someone did some painting without benefit of a drop cloth. 😦 Do keep in mind, though, that I’ve been in this house, living with the FUGLY carpet for over 10 years, though, so. . . 🙄 😉

3. anne - March 30, 2011

Dont’cha hate it when someone not only covers up hardwood, but covers it up with fugly carpet?? I’ve pulled up lots of carpet out of apartments, it’s not easy work. Of course, I didn’t have benefit of “help”. And here’s a tip: if you have more floors to do sometime, they sell a nifty gizmo that takes up staples. My carpet installer uses one, he says they’re about $7 at Lowes and boy, do they look easy. Much better than the hammer-n-pliers routine.

Now ya tell me!

I do still want to do the stairs and upstairs, so I’ll have to look for that. 😀

4. Karen - April 3, 2011

You have no idea how much I would love, love, love it if I pulled up my carpets and found wooden floors. Unfortunately, I know it’s just concrete under there. Looks wonderful!

Thanks, Karen. 🙂 A while back, we had a cold-air return cut into the floor (when we put the doors in the dining room), and the contractor was kind enough to show me what he’d cut out, so I knew it was there. 😀

Have you ever considered laminate flooring? We put that in the kitchen and have been happy with it.

5. Thing #11 – Windows on the World « Dark Side of the Fridge - May 4, 2011

[…] I’d want to keep anyway (they were some hokey calico or something that went with the hideous carpet, as I recall), and really, she was leaving the mini-blinds there and she promised to replace the […]

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