30 Aug 2013

Let's Talk Paint & Floors

Of all of the work we have been doing in our new house, the most time consuming (by far) has been painting and flooring. But, it has also been the 2 projects that have made the biggest impact and have made the house start to feel like ours.  

I thought of splitting these out into 2 posts, but since we did them pretty much simultaneously, I don't have any photos of one step without the other.  So, my apologies ahead of time for the amount of photos that I am going to throw at you in this post!

Here's how our living room/dining room looked on the day we took possession (Dief photobombs and all!).

Living Room Before

Living Room/Dining Room Before  // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Living Room/Dining Room Before  // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

And here is how it looks today:

      Living Room & Dining Room Progress.  //  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

(I still can't wait until those trees get taken out...this room is too dark for my liking right now...hence the fuzzy pictures!)

Living Room & Dining Room Progress.  //  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Living Room & Dining Room Progress.  //  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

We (AKA Mr. Swell), ripped off all of the baseboards and casings and removed all of the old flooring.  The carpet in the living room was super gross (stained and buggy), and the laminate in the dining room was really cheap looking and feeling.  We couldn't wait to get the old flooring out of there!

We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Baby Fawn, which I think might just be my new favourite BM neutral.  It's such a nice soft 'greige', although I'd say it leans more towards beige than grey.  Depending on the lighting it can read a little pink, but I know that will change once we get our dark furniture in the spaces. Our current house is all Rockport Grey, and although I do love the colour, I was really craving something lighter on the walls in all of the main living spaces.

               Lamett Sapphire Antarctic  // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

The new flooring is laminate - not hardwood.  We decided to go with laminate for 2 reasons.  The first is durability.  With the toddler tornado and the giant dog who refuses to have his nails clipped, we had major scratching concerns, so we needed something that was going to withstand some pretty heavy usage.  The second reason was ease of installation.  We needed 1300 sq feet of laminate, so we wanted something that was easy to install ourselves, and the floating laminate won over hardwood in this case.  

I knew I wanted a whitewashed sort of look that would hide dust bunnies and dog hair.  We looked at quite a few stores and finally found one that we both liked.  I am really picky about laminate and need it to feel smooth to the touch.  I don't like laminate that has that sort of bumpy feel, so that ruled out a whole lot of options right away.  Once we found one we liked, we called most of the flooring stores in the city to find out their price on it (many carried it).  We shopped around and haggled until we were able to get a price we were happy with, which ended up being $2.50 sq/ft including underlay.  It's amazing what a little calling can do.  We were getting prices differing from about $1 sq/ft.  In our case, that was over $1000 difference, so it saved us a lot of money to shop around.  (If you live in Edmonton and would like the name of the store we went with just drop me a line - they have been really wonderful to deal with!)  

We went with Lamett Sapphire in the Antarctic colour.  It's AC4 which is commercial grade, so we are very hopefully that it will wear well. 

        Lamett Sapphire Antarctic  // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

It has a drop lock system that has been incredibly easy.  We've worked with other laminates in the past that have snapped and broke while installing, but this one has been great and none of the little edges have cracked or broke.  

Lamett Sapphire Antarctic  // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

We bought a small cordless Milwaukee circular saw to keep in the house so that Mr. Swell wouldn't have to keep running to the garage to make his cuts. (He's completely obsessed with Milwaukee...I will have to show you his collection one day!)  He mostly used that saw for the straight cuts and his jigsaw for cutting the registers and odd corners and then used his big radial-arm saw for any boards that he had to rip (which only happened a few times in every room).  

Moving onto the Master bedroom....

Here is how it looked 'before' - well, semi-before anyhow, with the baseboards already removed.  We were moving so fast with all the help we had that I kept missing the pictures!

Master Bedroom Before // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Master Bedroom Before // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

I showed you those paint swatches a couple of weeks ago when I was still trying to decide between two slightly different shades.

Well, I went with Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor, and here it is in all its glory...

Master Bedroom Progress.  Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor

Master Bedroom Progress.  Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor

Baby Fawn is my new favourite neutral and I think Dark Harbor is my new favourite dark.  It's such an amazing colour.  It's from Benjamin Moore's Color Stories line.  According to my paint guy, Color Stories colours don't use any black or grey pigments (which most paint does).  They instead use 5-7 different coloured pigments to make up the final colour.  The result is a paint that changes with the light.  

After staring at the paint for a few days I can completely attest to its colour changing qualities.  Sometimes this room looks navy blue and sometimes it's almost a hunter green.  Most of the time though it's a deep dark lovely teal colour.  

Color Stories is only available in Aura, which is pretty pricy at $80 a can, but for me it was worth it to get this colour.

Behind the can you can see what one coat looks like.  If you haven't painted a really dark colour before, I will tell you that the trick is to not completely freak out after the first coat.  It will look like crap until you get at least 2 coats on!  I trimmed twice and rolled on 3 coats. 


(I spot a Milwaukee radio above...I told you, die hard Milwaukee Tool fans around here.)

This is a great example though of how the colour changes.  This was morning light, while the photos of the finished paint above were of evening light coming from a different direction.  When we had the dark floors in the room the walls looked much greener. 

We have picked out all of our baseboard and casing, but now just actually have to buy it and paint it (not sure if it will get done before we move in!).

You can see a sample of the baseboard in the picture below.  We are going with a really simple profile.

Master Bedroom Progress.  Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor

And here is one last shot of the other side of the bedroom looking into the ensuite (which still needs a complete overhaul).

Master Bedroom Progress.  Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor

I have plans of lots of white and gold in this room....

So although this is major progress, we still have a looooong way to go.  I have the hallway and stairwell painting left to go (I have been procrastinating on it) along with 2 more bedrooms.  Fin's room is done and ready enough for her to move in.  It was important for us to make sure that the rooms we have to sleep in were done first so that the paint and laminate fumes had time to dissipate before we move in.  We also have a couple more rooms to lay laminate in, and then we have to prep the stairs and hallway for carpet.  I've picked the carpet and it's ordered and we are now just crossing our fingers that it will get here and be able to be installed before we move in (which realistically might not happen).  

Onwards!  Have a great weekend!


  1. You have no clue how much I love this floor. It looks amazing! Im such a huge fan of light flooring. Dust bunny camouflage!!
    New awesome flooring photos always get me majorly excited, for realz!

  2. Wow all the updates looks great! This really really makes me wish we would have done all of our updates before we moved in. SIGH. We planned on doing that and then I dont know what happened. We had our closing, signed the papers, changed the door locks and toilet seats and moved in. SIGH again. Now I am dreading having to do the floors and paint the rooms where we sleep - thats a lot of heavy furniture to move in and out. Oh well, I guess you live and learn!

    [email protected]

    1. Thank you! I think its a bit of a double edged sword. We are so busy doing stuff at the new house that we have completely neglected our current house. Its a big giant mess, and as much as I am trying to move stuff slowly and with every car trip, its not really working. Plus 4 weeks of straight work is making us really grouchy and we are pretty much tired of it all....but.....just keep on keepin on I guess and eventually everything will be done and we will be moved in.

  3. oooh i love the color on the walls and love the flooring! great choices!

  4. Gorgeous! Gorgeous floors, gorgeous colours. I love it!!!


Your comments make my day. Seriously, they make me do little dances of joy (usually in my office chair - so its a chair dance of joy). If your profile is connected to your email address then I will email you back, otherwise please check back for a reply.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover