Tag Archives: Third Floor

How To Lay Triangle Carpet Tiles In a Not-So-Square Space

Now that all the things have been done to the third floor playroom/guest room, it’s time to do the final bit: laying the wall-to-wall carpet tile! Isn’t it exciting when a complicated project nears the finish line??

As I’ve shared before, this is our “inspiration room.” I’ll take a minute while you marvel at it’s beauty:

Done? Yeah… I pretty much want to move into this space. It’s so bright and clean and fun and inspiring. And I’ve been hell-bent on recreating it in my house, come what may. Determination… I haz it. Continue reading

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Cubby Holes + Secret Rooms

The entire third floor of this house was used by the previous owners as their master suite… I can see how it would be pretty awesome. We chose not to do that though, as it just felt so disconnected from the rest of the house, and with two little kids on the second floor, it just felt better to be near their rooms in the middle of the night.

The previous owners (POs?) did a great thing utilizing the empty space behind the knee walls by inserting three dressers into them to make a lot of “built-in” storage. Super practical and I totally get it.


For whatever reason, these things are just FUGLY to me. Maybe it’s the hardware? Maybe it’s the rounded molding around the sides? They just look so dated and yucky to me and since we moved in, I’ve been saying that I just want to chuck ‘em and put in something else. Anything else. Shelves? Cubbies? Different drawers? My mom, ever the practical one, always advises me to keep them (“Drawers are so functional!”) But I just can’t do it.

They’ve gotta go.

When I did a pinterest search for “Built in cubbies playroom,” a sense of omg I love these just washed over me. Seriously, there is just something pleasing about a little cubby hole, right? I can remember back to when I was in preschool… the littlest kids had hooks on a coat rack, but the bigger kids? Those guys had their own personalized cubby holes near the front door. I coveted those cubby holes and I remember how excited I was when I aged up into the part of the preschool where I got my very own personalized cubby hole.

So I feel like cubby holes are the way to go.

The Kallax just roughed in, before we get the trim and stuff up. Peanut The Cat is very excited about the cubbies. Cats + Cubbies are a natural combo.

The Kallax just roughed in, before we get the trim and stuff up. Peanut The Cat is very excited about the cubbies. Cats + Cubbies are a natural combo.

Luckily enough, we discovered that Ikea’s Kallax bookshelf is almost exactly as big as the openings in the wall! There is about an inch or two room on each side but I figured that can be covered with trim. This saves us from constructing a cubby unit from scratch and I also love that all the great Ikea storage boxes and baskets will fit into the cubbies—they’re my favorite organizational tools anyway! Ikea for the win, once again!

So that’s what is going to happen with those two horizontal dresser openings.

What I’m really excited about is what we are doing on the opposite side of the room where the vertical dresser was.


When we pulled it out, we found that the space behind was pretty roomy, and it felt like such a waste to just block it back up with something else. So we are fulfilling one of my childhood fantasties: A SECRET ROOM! Or a reading nook. Or a hidden room. Whatever you want to call it I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE GIRLS TO SEE IT.

It just makes sense to finish out that space. Once the kids are grown up and gone, it’s great storage space… or that how I’m justifying the expense in my head. 😉

The framing inside was already done and there are already floor boards in, so I had my friend Jeff, who is also an extraordinary handyman, come over to hang dry wall and beadboard and trim. Basically, Jeff has a saw. I do not have a saw, nor do I possess the gross motor skills to use a saw safely. So Jeff is here to do all the things that I cannot do with a screwdriver, hammer, or crow bar. (Okay he can do more than saw things, like plumbing stuff and electrical stuff… basically, he’s a great guy to have on speed dial if you own a house).


Poor guy. He’s at least six feet tall and he’s spent more hours than he ever wanted to cramped in a tiny crawlspace that we nicknamed the [horribly-bad-politically-incorrect-name-that-I-shall-not-publish-here.]

After all this talk about cubbies and cozy secret rooms, I’m sure you (and my husband) are wondering just who this playroom is actually for… the kids or me? Let’s just say “the kids” ok? 😉

Check out the finished project here!

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Cutting A Rug, Or The Most Disgusting Home Improvement Job Next To Toilet-Related Work

The new to do list for getting the third floor done is this:

  1. Paint walls and trim.
  2. Rip up disgusting 20 year old wall to wall carpet.IMG_9830
  3. Remove the ugly “built in” dressers from the knee walls
  4. Drywall and finish the crawlspace behind one of the knee walls
  5. Create built-in cubbies where dressers once were
  6. Lay down Flor carpet tiles inspired by this awesome picture ——>
  7. Enjoy really cool fun new space.

We are getting there!

Let’s talk about getting that carpet up, ok? It was the worst. It was tedious and smelly and dusty and itchy and I hated every second of it. Continue reading

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A Sonnet To My Crowbar

I’ve been working hard to get the third floor playroom/guest room ready, but I discovered something… I fell in love. Deep, mad love. With my crowbar.

I can say that I am deep into my Third Floor Checklist, which has been modified yet again (I’ll get to that tomorrow), but in the midst of ripping up the disgusting, not-my-pet urine soaked wall to wall carpet, I started to have feelings for this tool. I don’t even know where he came from. I never bought a crowbar. But he was in my basement workshop area, beckoning me just as I was standing there thinking “What the fuck do I use to get those old staples and tack strips off that fucking subfloor??” The needlenose pliers were effective at getting some of the staples up, but they were taking a long ass time to get even one, and they certainly weren’t going to do what I needed done on the tack strips.

But there he was. This guy. He came into my life serendipitously and I can promise you I will never look back.

And because my love is true, I wrote him a poem:


Crowbar, I did not know my love for you
Within your simple shape, magic exists
People say you’re the best, I’ve found it true
Times spent with you are my favorite trysts.

Just a wee move and you (de)nail my floor
I slip your smooth tool around pesky tacks
Pulling up nail strips is my least fave chore
It’s love, dear ‘bar, cue the sexy-time sax.

You do it all with a slide and a tug
Sometimes the pliers joined us just for fun
With you and the knife we sure cut a rug
Sweaty, spent, wasted, finally all done.

The wood is all gone, no more nails or pricks.
But I’ll come back soon when I need a fix.

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If Stephanie Paints A Wall, She’s Going To Want To Remodel

Three weeks ago, I complained here about wanting to do something with our third floor playroom and guest room. I didn’t quite know where to start. A good, old friend of mine text me something that got me motivated: JFDI. Just fucking do it. So I did.

I went out and bought a beautiful warm white paint (Benjamin Moore Atrium White, which some people hate due to its pinkish undertones but I happen to love because the three windows in the space face east, west, and south) and just started painting!

Just three weeks ago, I thought it was going to be a simple paint job. The to-do list looked like this:

  1. Paint walls.
  2. Enjoy freshened up space.

But…. once I got the beautiful, clean, warm color up, the to-do list became this:

  1. Paint walls.
  2. Rip up disgusting 20 year old wall to wall carpet.
  3. Lay down Flor carpet tiles inspired by this picture that I keep seeing floating around on Pinterest but cannot for the life of me find the original source, even with a reverse google image search.
  4. Enjoy really cool fun new space.

Because I can’t do anything easily, it has morphed into even more projects and drywall, and a handyman and a lot of other crap. I cannot WAIT to show you the finished project!!

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Third Floor Thoughts

One of the biggest features we loved about this house is the finished attic—one big room, with three separate zones and a bathroom with a shower. It has your typical “finished attic” features including sloping ceilings, only three windows (one on each gable at the front and back of the house, and one on the side dormer), no central air or heat, and “weekend warrior” workmanship… if you know what I mean.

I believe the previous owners used this entire floor as a master suite–the sconce lighting over where a bed might be and a small shelf sticking out of the wall with a cable jack directly opposite the sconces clue me in to that. We thought about using it the same, but with little babies in the house, I just wanted to be on the same floor as them. Plus we figured out a way to get a master walk-in closet into what we now use as the master, so that made that decision easy for us!

Currently, we use the space for two distinct functions. The smaller area near the front of the house, which is just big enough to comfortably fit a queen sized bed, serves as a guest room. The larger space near the back of the house is now our playroom. This has worked, really, really well for us. One big room=two rooms! Woot!

But the third floor has bothered me. When we first moved it, I used it as an office, but it was just not very inspiring and I hated every moment I spent up there during the day. I know it needs a redesign–not remodel so much as a few cans of paint and a little funkiness.

As you can see in these pictures, taken in August as high noon, the room doesn’t receive much light. The sun directly shines on all three windows, but something about the room just takes whatever sunlight comes in and sucks it up until it isn’t very sunny anymore. Perhaps it’s the current color of all the walls, which I affectionately refer to as “Creamy Nicotine.” I’m sure the dog-hair-laden, rippling puke-brown carpet doesn’t help the cause either.

So I’m on a mission. I’m FINALLY going to this. Change your space, change your attitude right?

A crappy iPhone photo of the guest space looking from the playroom area.

A crappy iPhone photo of the guest space looking from the playroom area.

Another crappy iPhone photo from the little hall that connects the guest room to the playroom. This is the sunlight that comes in during the day.

Another crappy iPhone photo from the little hall that connects the guest room to the playroom. This is the sunlight that comes in during the day.

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