Hidden Art Friday: New Old House

Hello everybody, and happy Friday!

I know it’s been a while, and I wanted to show you a little bit of what we’ve been up to.

We bought a house! A cool, old house. Our last house was a cool, old house, but it was on a pretty busy road and had a very small lot. We knew our kids needed a little more space to roam, so we moved to a different town where the houses were cheaper due to a crummy school district and bought a big, old house on a big-for-NJ size lot. That’ll put teeth into your homeschooling decision: our kids will not ever be attending the schools here, so I’m now a dyed-in-the-wool homeschooler. We could probably have a discussion about whether or not I was before, but this has definitely clinched it for me.

The house is in good shape, and has been well taken care of by past owners. It was pretty firmly stuck in the 80s, though. We, who have watched way to many episodes of Property Brothers for our own good, knew that the things we didn’t like were cosmetic issues and we could fix them. Ha. Ask me in a year if I’m still sane. I’m not sure right now.

First up was the flooring. The house was covered in carpet from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Because of allergies in my family, we knew we’d (and by “we,” I mean the company we paid to redo all the floors before we moved in) be ripping it all up, and we had an inkling that what we’d find underneath would be pretty awesome. And it was.


This is our master, which had diagonal oak flooring with a darker border around the edges. The special green carpet is what covered all the halls and stairways.

Our entryway had been redone in marble which looked 90s-ish. We went back and forth about whether this was something we wanted to replace. After all, tile is a lot better at tolerating dirty shoes and snow gear. But when we got it quoted out, it wasn’t quite as expensive as we had thought to replace it, and we knew that getting wood in there would better fit the character of the house, as well as warm the space up, so we went for it.


It was cathartic watching them tear it all up.


We knew the stairs would need some repair work, and once they got the carpet off the bouncy ones, we were able to see exactly what was going on. Several of the risers were cracked, and on the bottom two steps, the treads were as well.


My flooring guy was not optimistic about how long a repair would last, but I told him I wanted to try to repair them, and if we needed to replace them in 10 years, I’d cross that bridge when we got there.


The crew ripped up carpet from the upstairs hallway, upstairs bedroom, stairs to the third floor, and all third floor bedrooms. We only had one bedroom whose flooring couldn’t be saved: my baby bedroom had been filled with approximately 200 screws, presumably to cut down on creaking. It was price prohibitive to remove all the screws, so they laid a new oak floor on top of the old one.


The master bedroom had the flooring that was in both the best and worst shape. It had had carpet over it for a long time, so the wood was not bleached out at all, and the border around the edge is the most pronounced in this room. But it had been spilled on many times, and had lots of different water stains, as well as this huge dark stain. When I asked the flooring guy what he thought it was, he jokingly replied, “Blood.” He then tried to tell me my master bedroom was now the stuff of ghost stories and hauntings. I’m choosing to believe that somebody gave birth here, instead of being brutally murdered, but, he, who is not married, looked decidedly queasy when I replied with my theory. Fortunately, all of the stains, organic or no, came out with the sanding.

They spend three days sanding, and then called us back to approve the finish color.


It’s not a traditional stain + poly finish. It is an oil finish, which is supposed to be just as durable, but easier to repair when scratches happen. Because it’s oil, it’s much more matte, which I enjoy.

Here are a few of the finished spots:





Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

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2 Responses to Hidden Art Friday: New Old House

  1. Jennifer says:

    wow, those re-done floors are gorgeous! love!

  2. Sara S says:

    Love a good home improvement story! And pixies, too! Keep the before and afters coming- it gives me proof that we will not always be stuck in the home that we have 🙂

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