Get The Layered Doormat Trend for Spring 2019

By | Haus Hacks | No Comments

The layered doormat trend seems to be here to stay! It all started for a very functional reason—most doormats sold today (18″ x 30″) are usually not the right scale for a standard front door. So to solve the issue, without spending lots of dough on a custom or larger size, we started to layer them with larger cotton rugs underneath. Problem solved! And super accessible—nearly all of these links below are from Target or Amazon.

I’ve gathered all my favorites, in the right sizes you’ll need to layer them perfectly. Nearly all of the bottom rugs here are cotton flatweaves meant for indoor or outdoor. Most cotton flatweaves are washable, so can be tossed easily for a quick clean mid-season.

Layered Door Mats for Spring 2019

Links here (bottom rugs listed in the pair first): 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Layered Door Mats for Spring 2019

Links here (bottom rugs listed in the pair first): 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16


Layered Door Mats for Spring 2019

Links here (bottom rugs listed in the pair first): 17 / 18 / 19 / 20




Behind The Scenes Of Our Hardwood Floor Project

By | Random | One Comment

Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation

I had two big project goals for 2018—the boys’ room (check out the reveal here) and new hardwood flooring on our first floor. New flooring was a utility need more than anything else. They were drafty as sub-floors were not a thing yet in 1902, the soft pine could not withstand the beating it took from our family and we had several spots that were crumbly and rotting.


They had also been stained black and there is nothing more torturous than cleaning a home with dark floors. Truly the job that never ends. Public service announcement: do NOT for the love of all that is holy put dark floors in your home. The constant upkeep required is enough to make your head spin. I have spent far too much time the last 4 years hunched over these black floors sweeping up the dirt and dust. I was ready to be done with it.

So anyhoo, let’s get to the point of this post! A behind the scenes look at what happens when you have to move entirely out of your first floor for several days! With 3 kids ages three and under! An adventure that is for sure.


We decided to demo our island because we had plans to update it anyways. I also felt socially responsible to the house to install flooring underneath it as I kept imagining the next owners decades from now renovating and saying, “Hey those jerks didn’t do the whole floor!” Ha! The island cabinets were stored in the basement to be used in the re-build and the drywall and framing wood was hauled off to a construction materials dump site. We turned off the electrical too (obviously!).


Moving out is the thing I couldn’t quite get my head around as we prepared for this project. It seems like an incredibly daunting task. The idea that every piece of furniture, rug, wall decor and all the accessories that come along with that had to be completely removed had me so intimidated. We opted to have a storage unit delivered (from a local Cincinnati company called UNITS which we LOVE!! Thank you Steve!!) and parked on our driveway for a month. I’ve seen others haul the furniture to other parts of the house, but the thought of dragging things up and down stairs and crammed into other parts of our home seemed awful. I needed the upstairs to feel normal to maintain some level of sanity, as that would be our comfort zone for about a month or so. Our driveway was only a few steps away, and very little stairs.

Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation

We filled up a 16′ trailer with all of our contents from the first floor. We kept a little walking path down the right side so we could get to the things we needed, if we needed them. I can recall a couple of evenings running to the unit to grab a skillet or pot for Aaron as he was trying to cook dinner! I was worried about the dust too, as I had heard horror stories, but more on that later. It was a good call to remove everything.

Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation


I knew I wanted a wide plank white oak floor with some character. I was somewhat indifferent between engineered hardwood and real hardwood as it ultimately came down to aesthetics and cost. We ended up with real hardwood that would be finished on-site for several reasons:

1.) Complete control over the stain color

2.) Felt like the right thing to do for a 100+ year old home

3.) Ability to refinish my floors forever and ever

4.) Integrated floor vents and special details around the thresholds and hearth

5.) No routed edges (most engineered hardwood and pre-finished hardwood comes with routed edges on two or all sides, creating a little “ditch” between planks)

6.) And probably the most important, it needed to be within our budget. Some of the above options could be achieved by an engineered hardwood but it meant an enormous cost. We’re talking $11/sq ft for the materials and $2+/sq ft for installation. Nope, nope not happening. Our flooring was around $3.50/sq ft.


I would be remiss to not mention the downsides. They are absolutely downsides going the route we went. Engineered hardwood is easier and in many cases, less expensive. But, the advantages above were worth it to us. 

Downside #1 – It takes a lot longer to do it this way. Engineered hardwoods or even pre-finished hardwoods can be installed in a couple of days. Most folks don’t even find it necessary to move out like we had to. The installers just move the furniture from room to room as they work their way around the house. Furniture can be placed back on the floor immediately afterwards.

Downside #2 – The gigantic disruption. Moving out, the length of time post-installation you have to live without heavy furniture while the floor cures, etc.

Downside #3 – The fumes! Most of the reason why we were out of the house were the chemical smells. With small kids, this made me the most nervous and why we were out of the house the longest (about 5 days once it had been stained and sealed). Even when we moved back in, it was still somewhat smelly but livable.

The other big decision we had to make was what grade of white oak. Depending on the cut, you are going to get different levels of knots and color variation. Or as I like to call it, character. 😉 Between the Common 2 (lots of knots and variation, Common 1 (a few knots and some color variation) and Select (no knots, no color variation) options, we chose Common 2. It was also the least expensive of the three. Here’s a good visual that can explain it better than me!


A few days before installation was scheduled, a big pile of hardwoods showed up to acclimate to our house before being installed. We had five piles about this size around the house! They could not put them in one spot because of the weight. Good to know! We had only cleared one space, so we were scrambling to find other places to put them.

Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation


It took them just two days to install the hardwoods. Even unfinished, it was GLORIOUS to see the transformation. So much lighter and brighter. We were able to stay in the house during this time and the guys were so careful to have everything cleaned up before we returned from work each evening. You can see they also removed the baseboards, which they’d later reinstall on top of the new floors.

Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation

This is when we got to see all the little details come to life. The integrated floor vents were spackled in. Integrated floor vents are just wood vents installed flush with the rest of the floors. They also get sanded and stained like everything else.

Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation


We also had them sand off the old black stain from the stair treads, knowing eventually I had planned to paint the stairs. 


Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation


They had the floors breathe for a few days (caveat: this was back in May so my memory is fuzzy!) over the weekend, then they were back Monday to sand. This is when I got nervous. Aaron and I covered the entire house in plastic sheeting—the cabinets, the entry to the upstairs, etc. (Watch the video below for proof. Ha.) I had heard horror stories. Turns out they use special dust collection machinery and there was barely any dust. When he showed up to my Dexter set that morning, he was like “Uh, you know we use dust collection right?” HA! There was barely any dust to be found. INCREDIBLE!! Because of this we were able to prolong the time we were able to actually stay in the house. I just remember we had to wear socks and be careful of skin contact so there wouldn’t be any oil transfer to the now-raw wood.

Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation


Now the fun could really begin! Picking our stain color! They brought in multiple stains for me to try, plus some empty buckets in case we wanted a few mixed up. Here is my biggest tip in this whole process. Find a stain color you really like that’s on a real-life object. On a chair, on a table leg, on a picture frame, whatever! I had a flooring sample from my search of a color that I LOVED, so I used this sample to help guide me in the process. I ended up with a custom color stain that more or less equaled 3 parts Minwax Natural to 1 part Minwax Classic Gray. This is swatch #4 in the picture below. We really loved the raw floor color, but mixed in some gray to neutralize any red, oranges and yellows we were seeing, plus it helped it to desaturate it overall.

Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation

We picked the color that morning, then we were out of the house for 5 days. This happened on a Thursday. I picked the kids up directly from daycare and drove to my parents house where we stayed until Monday morning. While we were out, they stained over two days, then took a rest day, then came back and sealed it all up. From there, it needed to be totally undisturbed for another 48 hours. We were happy to oblige because it was stinky! If I had to do it over again, I would have asked about no-emissions sealers and stains. Thank goodness it was mild out because we slept with the windows open for a few weeks!


Behind The Scenes Hardwood Floor Installation

Once we were back in, we entered the “no heavy things” portion of the project. For 10 days, we could have no heavy furniture on the new floors as the stain and sealer completely cured. We brought out a blanket (see above) during dinner but for the most part, we spent a lot of time upstairs. I also took some time off work during this part so that I could spackle, re-caulk and paint the floor trim that they had re-installed for me after installation.

After we passed the furniture deadline, we mostly lived life as normal except one small thing: NO RUGS! For an additional 22 days (specific, I know) we were to not put any rugs down. This was to avoid any color discoloration that may happen in those early post-installation weeks from the sun. Let me just tell ya… I was happy to have my rugs back. I do remember we went on vacation shortly thereafter and rolled up our rugs before we left for the same reason.


To recap, here is what this 770 square foot job entailed:

  • 5″ white oak common #2 hardwood unfinished
  • On-site finishing, staining and sealing
  • Baseboard removal and re-installation
  • Integrated floor vents
  • Refinishing of stair treads
  • Installation of toemolding around cabinetry

We paid ~$7,300 for this job and we LOVED who we used. Please email me at if you’d like his name! He was awesome!! We are 9 months in and absolutely loving the look and durability of these floors.






Teller and Nixon’s Big Boy Room [REVEAL!]

By | Room Makeovers, The Brothers May | One Comment

Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room

Happy new year my friends! One of my 2018 house goals was to convert our boys’ nursery into their big boy room. They will be four in March, so we were well overdue for big beds, but the thought of having two three-year olds with late-night roaming freedom combined with a baby who wasn’t sleeping well had me hold off longer than normal. Plus, I think they would have stayed in the comfort of their cribs forever had we let them!

Four thoughts I had going into this project:

1.) I needed to makeover their space in a big way with as little disruption to their sleep routines and environment as possible (easier said than done!). To do this, I took off work for several days so that I could get a lot done without having to rely on the evenings when they’d need their room the most. On the days when I was doing the smellier stuff (like the floors), they slept on their crib mattresses in our room. But overall, I tried to get them back into their room every night.

2.) I wanted to use a mix of what we already had (like some of the art, the DIY growth chart, and the blue vintage dresser I love) with all-new furniture/decor that could age up with them and last us a long time. Although I loved their nursery and all of its sentimental value, I was ready for a change. Although the boys probably couldn’t care less—ha!

3.) I wanted to go straight to twin beds vs. the step change to a toddler bed or a crib conversion. Mainly because twin beds just looked better in my vision and Aaron and I wanted the ability to lay down with them if we needed to. I have been known to sleep in a crib with Nixon from time to time!

4.) My budget was $1500. I’ll give you all the details on where we netted out with that!


Here’s where we started, a room that had barely changed since I pulled it together in 2015.


Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room

Colorful Modern Kids Room

Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room

Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room

Teller and Nixon's Big Boy RoomTeller and Nixon's Big Boy Room

Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room

Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room


Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room


  • We painted the floors, which you can see a little better in the photo below. We used all Sherwin Williams… the paint color is Samovar Silver in their Porch & Floor finish formula. We’ll ultimately get the floors in here redone to match the rest of the house, but until then, this is a fun little in between stage. Plus I’ve always wanted to paint an interior room’s floor… my first time turned out pretty well! The walls, trim and fireplace were painted as well.

Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room

  • I wanted a built-in platform bunk vibe, but I also knew I wasn’t going to be to build anything in a reasonable amount of time that would still look good. So I set out to find twin bed frames that had little-to-no sides, would fit snugly along one wall to give it that built-in bunk look, plus space for storage underneath. That is a very complicated order, I know. 🙂 I bought two of these Addison Daybeds in Natural from the Novogratz collection at WalmartInstalling these in the room was fraught with anxiety because I knew I would only have a fraction of an inch to spare once both beds were along one wall. It worked. Phew.

Teller and Nixon's Big Boy Room

  • I needed white, cordless, pull-down flat roman shades with 100% blackout liner that didn’t cost $800+. Because that was about the going rate when I sent it out for quotes! For two shades my boys might destroy? Nope, absolutely not. I found these Classic Roman Shades in Rio Winter White Fabric w/ Cordless and Blackout liner and they have been great. I love the cordless feature. (And I couldn’t do curtains because of the placement of the beds underneath the windows.)
  • Safety, safety, safety. We implemented all sorts of safety precautions in here. We added Window Guards that prevent the window to be opened more than 2-3 inches. The dresser has been equipped with No-Tip Furniture Straps. I used Museum Putty on the backs of all the frames to ensure they wouldn’t bounce off the walls. And finally, we use Toddler Monitor  to make sure we’re notified if the boys leave their room.
  • We had to do a bit of brainstorming on how to re-route the floor vent, as the bed situation completely covered up the only heat and A/C source in the room. We used some HVAC supplies (like a vent tube and a boot, plus lots of tape) to re-route it through one of the cubby holes. I break down this DIY in detail in my Instagram highlights!
  • The gallery wall was super fun to put together and everything there is stuff I’ve been collecting over the years. The little onesies are their NICU Easter outfits and I LOVE having them on display. There is no special secret to how those are mounted. Just pressed flat on white paper in a normal frame.

SOURCES & COST – Total was $1819.15 (Budget was $1500)

(2) Twin Mattresses – $200

(2) Novogratz Twin Bed Frames – $395.02

Safety & Mattress Protection – $166.23

(6) Twin Sheet Sets – $104.51

Toddler Monitor – $76.32 (I received an influencer discount) Classic Roman Shades in Rio Winter White Fabric w/ Cordless and Blackout liner – $382.07

Paint and Supplies – $150

(7) 13″ Square Knit Baskets with Leather Handles – $120

(3) Leather Towel Hooks – $45 (No longer available—from Harp Design Co. in Waco, TX)

(20) Michael’s Belmont Picture Frames for Gallery Wall – $180 (Make sure you buy these during the 70% off frames sale! They are excellent quality)

The boys absolutely love this space. I’ve let them completely decide how they’d like to use the baskets underneath their respective beds. Teller generally has books and little treasures he does not want his brothers to find, while Nixon prefers to store blankets, pillows and other things his mom crowds his bed with. It’s so cute to see them climb up on these beds and how the arrange their spaces overall. They transitioned to a new bedtime routine fairly easily (although if a nap is included, we’re all up until 10:30! argh) and just generally love hanging out in their rooms.

I’m not too worried about the budget thing. I continued to be schooled on how much things escalate when you need two of everything! Yes, I went over but this happened over such a long period of time that I could cash flow accordingly.

If you want more of a play by play of the project and see it slowly transform from the “Before” to the “After” I have it all saved on my Instagram highlights. I think you can access those videos directly here.

Before I know it, I’m going to have to go through this again with Otto’s nursery, but let it be on record that his bug paper is going nowhere!




**Affiliate links are included in this post. I earn a small commission when you purchase Amazon products from the links on this page. 


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