My New Laminate Floors - Part III - The Installation Process

This post is sponsored by Quick-Step.  I received Quick-Step flooring and accessories free of charge to facilitate my review.

Welcome to the third installment of my series on installing Quick-Step laminate flooring in Hydeaway Cottage.  If you've missed either of my first two posts, you can catch up on my reasons for choosing laminate here, and the process of picking my laminate finish and color here.  And today, I'm excited to share a bit about the actual process of installing the floors. 

I have some good friends with some construction experience who were willing to help me with the demo and installation.   On the first day, we started by ripping up the carpet and pulling out the small tile entry just inside the front door to reveal the plywood subfloor.


After cleaning up the mess, day 2 was spent on installation.  For those who are not familiar with the process of installing laminate flooring, let me give you a (very) basic rundown.  First, an underlayment is put down which provides a cushion between the subfloor and the laminate.  Laminate floors “float” which means that they are not fixed down to the subfloor like hardwood or tile.   Rather they interlock by clicking together.  As a result, many times laminate floors have quarter round molding installed around the edges of a room to hide the small gap between the walls and the floors so that they can expand and contract. 


A Barn Door for my Master Bath

This post is sponsored by National Hardware.

Okay, so I know that it is really popular in newer homes to have the master bath open to the master bedroom.  What I don't understand is "WHY?"  I don't know about you, but honestly, I prefer to have a bathroom to which I can shut the door.

Ever since I moved into Hydeaway Cottage, the fact that I have an open master bath door has plagued me.  Not only that, but the opening to my master bath is an arch, so it's not like I could just run to the hardware store and buy a door to put there.

After I gave the idea some thought, I decided that a barn door would be the perfect solution.  I could custom make a door that would fit the tall arched opening, and the barn door hardware would make it so that the door could be rectangle and slide right over the opening.  Brilliant!

I kept my eye out for some barn door hardware.  But I was having a hard time because the wall with the door is not very long - only about 58".  Luckily, I was approached by National Hardware to see if I would like to try out their barn door hardware.  The shortest length they had was 72", so before I could agree, I needed to be sure that cutting down the hardware would not interfere with its functionality.


An Electric Fireplace for My Master Bedroom

This post is sponsored by Hayneedle.

I love fireplaces.  And I can't tell you how long I've wanted to have a fireplace in my master bedroom.  But alas! adding a gas burning fireplace is a costly project.  Needless to say, it wasn't something that I could spend my money on.

As I was judging the Parade of Homes this past summer, however, I got a brilliant idea.
One of the homes that I saw had incorporated an electric fireplace in the master.  
An electric fireplace!  Why hadn't the thought occurred to me before?

I found a great little electric fireplace on Hayneedle and knew that it would be the perfect addition to my master.


Christmas Three Trees Cake

 And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.


Hello Lovelies!

I'm so glad you are here!  Today I'm sharing a new Christmas tradition that we started this year. 

I was first inspired when I saw a pretty cake in my Instagram feed made by Rachel  of Rachel Elizabeth Creates.  Her cake had three white trees on it.  I loved how it looked, so I thought about how I might re-create it.

So last Sunday, my daughter and I decided to try our hand at creating a cake with three trees. 

I admit that when I first thought about making the cake, I just wanted something pretty and festive.  But afterward, I found a perfect Christmas lesson within the new tradition.

 Are you familiar with the Christmas legend of the three trees?  It tells the story of three trees and what they dream of becoming.  All three trees find themselves in situations that are not what they planned, but ultimately, God has a plan for each of the trees and through each tree significant parts of the Savior's life are brought to pass.  The first tree becomes the manger.  The second tree becomes His boat.  And the final tree becomes the cross.

There are many versions of the story on-line, but the version I remember best is the book by Angela Elwell Hunt.  I believe there are still some available for purchase on-line as well.

I'll admit to not being much of a baker, so we used cake mix and store-bought frosting.  For our trees, we frosted some ice-cream cones and then used sprinkles to decorate them,

And here is our finished product...certainly not the most beautiful cake ever created.  But, to me, it's  the symbolism behind the traditions that really matters and any tradition that helps us remember the true meaning of Christmas is my kind of tradition.  So I shared the story of The Three Trees with the kiddos and we enjoyed the cake.  (It tasted better than it looked - lol!)  And I look forward to repeating this tradition each year.

I hope you are all having a lovely holiday and remembering The Reason for The Season.




Why I Chose Laminate Flooring For My House - Part II - Narrowing My Choices

This post is sponsored by Quick-Step.  I received Quick-Step flooring and accessories free of charge to facilitate my review.

Thank you for joining me for this second installment of my series on installing laminate flooring in Hydeaway Cottage.  You can read about the reason I chose to use laminate in my first post here.

If you recall, this is what my living room looked like BEFORE with the dark brown carpet. 

Once I made the decision to use Quick•Step laminate flooring to replace carpet on my main floor, the fun part really began...picking a style and color.  There are so many styles and colors available, the process could have been overwhelming.  But since this is something that I do on a daily basis for clients, I have a couple of tips to share.

First, pay attention to the other finishes in the space.  Since I was installing my flooring in an existing space, I needed to take into account the other finishes that were already in the space.  For example, I knew that I wouldn't be pulling up the tile in my kitchen or the carpet that was on the stairs.  Since those were staying, it was important that whatever laminate I chose worked well as it transitioned to those other flooring types.  I also took into account the color of the paint on the walls. In short, anything that was permanent - or that I knew I wouldn't be changing any time soon.

These were the samples that I chose to have Quick-Step send me.

Second, make sure you get samples and bring them into your space.  Seeing products on a computer screen and seeing them in person are two very different things.  I knew that I wanted a wide plank flooring, and I knew that I wanted it to have some grain to it.   I also knew that I wanted a more bleached look for the color.  So, I perused the available products on the Quick•Step website and had them send me several samples of different styles and colors. 

Once I received the samples, I started by putting each sample next to the other finishes until I had narrowed it down.  Then, I used this great app that Quick*Step introduced called Style My Floor to try the flooring out in my space.  This is an amazing tool for people who have a difficult time visualizing how a flooring might look once it's installed.  Even though this is something I do all the time in my line of work as a designer, it was still a lot of fun to see what the flooring would look like once it was installed in my room.


After I could see that my choice really looked how I wanted it to look, I ordered the flooring...and waited excitedly for it to arrive.  Join me for my next post where I'm going to talk about the installation process.

Learn more about Quick•Step:

This post is sponsored by Quick-Step.  I received Quick-Step flooring and accessories free of charge to facilitate my review.  As always, the opinions expressed are 100% mine.



Christmas House Tour

This post sponsored by Wayfair.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Hello Lovelies!

Welcome to the Shabby Nest!  I'm glad you're here.  And I'm so excited to be taking part in this year's Holiday Housewalk hosted by Jennifer Rizzo,

It is always a privilege to be invited to take part in this tour with so many other insanely talented bloggers. 

The tour started on Monday and if you've missed any of the beautiful houses so far, you can start the full tour on Jen's blog.

If you've been following along, I hope you enjoyed the previous stop at the beautiful home of The Golden Boys and Me.

And now I'm excited to present Christmas at Hydeaway Cottage 2016...

I was able to receive my beautiful flocked tree and french market basket (holding the firewood) from Wayfair as a part of their sponsorship of this Housewalk, and I couldn't be happier with them,  I just love the flocked tree sitting in the adorable planter box (which I bought at a warehouse/yard sale from the builder I work for).  The rustic with the refined really makes my Christmas decor this year special.


Our 2016 Family Portraits and What We Wore

~Michael J Fox

We haven't had a family portrait taken for a few years, so this year we took the plunge.  My good friend Aly Brooks recently started her own photography business, and I knew she'd be the perfect person to take these long-awaited photos.  Let me tell you, she did not disappoint.  I love them all!

See the rest of our photos and find sources for our outfits after the break...


Styling a Glass Bowl Centerpiece 3 Times

Today, I'm really excited to be joining in on the Styled x3 challenge hosted by my adorable friend Stacy of Not Just a Housewife.

Each month, Stacy sends two bloggers an item and challenges them to style it.  Since, the holidays are just around the corner I decided to style mine for Christmas.

Read More After the Break...


Why I Chose Laminate Flooring For My House

This post is sponsored by Quick-Step.  I received Quick-Step flooring and accessories free of charge to facilitate my review.

I have been living in Hydeaway Cottage for just over two years now.    I love my little house, but the main floor is - how shall I say it?  Compact?  Cozy?  Let’s just say it like it is.  The main floor is small.   It is also open concept.  And the main living area – including the dining area – was carpeted. 
I knew immediately that I wanted to replace the carpet with a hard-surface flooring.  One that would be more conducive to the wear and tear that my main floor gets.  In my line of work as an interior designer, I have a lot of experience working with different types of flooring.   So, when I had to make the decision of what to put in to replace the carpet, laminate was my natural choice.

My Living Room BEFORE - with carpeted floors.  This is the main living area of my house and carpet was NOT a good flooring choice.
Read More After the Break...


On My Coffee Table: Books You Might Want to Check Out

I received complimentary copies of these books in order to facilitate my post.  As always, opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Hello Lovelies! 

It's November!  Can you believe it?  I just love this time of year.  With the cooler weather outside, I love to snuggle up in cozy sweaters and socks, wrap myself in a blanket, and curl up with a good book.

I absolutely adore reading...and I LOVE books.  Yes, I read digital books and I love those.  But, to me, nothing compares with a paper book.  The feel of a book in my hands.  The smell of the paper.  The satisfaction of turning pages.  There's nothing like it.

So I decided that it would be a great idea to start a feature where I share great books with you...I'm calling it "on my coffee table"  although truthfully, most of them sit on my nightstand. Ha!

Today I want to share with you a couple of fun books...neither one is really the type you curl up with...but both of them are a lot of fun.

First up,  The Sprinkles Baking Book by Candace Nelson.    Now, I have a confession to make.  I am not a baker.  In fact, I don't really like cooking in general. GASP! My daughter, on the other hand, loves it!  (I'm not sure where she got that from.  Lol!)  She literally squealed when she saw a copy of this book in our house.  She is a huge fan of Cupcake Wars...and I am a huge fan of pretty food photography, so this book is a win for both of us.

Read more After the Break...


Thin For You Thursday (on Saturday)

Hello Lovelies!

It's been a long time since I've posted on the blog.  I took a vacation to regroup, and now I'm really excited to be returning to blog-land!

It's also been a long time since I've done a Thin For You Thursday post.  If you recall, Thin For You Thursdays started as a way to share real-life weight loss and body acceptance with my readers.  You can read all about it in my first Thin For You Thursday post here. Losing weight can be a very difficult journey.  And it has been for me.

But I am really excited to show you the progress I have had on my weight loss journey!

See my BEFORE and AFTER after the break...


Master Bedroom Refresh~

This post is sponsored by Rug Studio.

Hello Lovelies!

Today I'm excited to share my Master Bedroom Refresh with you.

For me, any room redo usually starts with a single item.  In this case, a rug...this rug...

Read more after the break...


So Where Do I Go From Here~

Hello Lovelies!

It's been a while.

I'm not sure how many people I even have left reading The Shabby Nest since I haven't been giving it the attention it deserves for quite a while.  But I sure hope there are some of you still out there because I'm looking for some input.

I have been thinking a lot about the blog.  And I'm not ready to throw in the towel on it.
 But, I'm also not sure what direction to take it.

I am an interior designer.  I LOVE DESIGN!  But it has been really hard for me to keep up on the type of amazing projects that all the wonderful design blogs out there are posting.  I get the projects done...but since I became a single mom...I churn them out a lot more slowly than I used to. Lol!

So I can't give up writing about design.

But I also love fashion.  I graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising (Just like Elle Woods! Any Legally Blonde fans out there?).  And my love for fashion has never diminished.  I have done fashion posts here and there along my blogging journey, but never really focused on them.

I considered starting a separate fashion blog...about fashion for families...but the idea of starting a blog from scratch seemed like more than I can handle right now. 

So here's my idea.  And here's where I want input.

I'm thinking of making The Shabby Nest more of a lifestyle blog.  I'm hoping to add fashion and beauty into the mix along with design.

What are you thoughts?  I'd sure like to hear. Pretty please with sugar on it. ;)




Kitchen Cabinet Painting: To DIY or Not To DIY~

Hello Lovelies!

I wanted to follow up on my kitchen redo by talking about painting kitchen cabinets.

My current kitchen with painted cabinets.

Read more after the break...


One Room Challenge - The Kitchen Reveal~

Hello Lovelies!

It's the final week of the One Room Challenge and I'm so excited to reveal my kitchen 
makeover today!

As you may recall, this is how my kitchen looked BEFORE...


Ever since I bought Hydeaway Cottage 2 years ago, I've wanted to paint the kitchen cabinets and  to add a back splash.  And I couldn't be happier with how it turned out...



I kept the same granite.  Replacing it was definitely not in the budget, and since it has a lot of gray in it, I knew it work beautifully.

I feel like the best decision I made was to extend the back splash all the way to the ceiling on 
the sink wall.

I also really love the pop of color that is offered by the new rug.


  • The paint on the cabinets is a paint match to the white that was already painted on the island
  • The backplash is Calacatta marble
  • The rug is the Catriona Rug from Joss and Main
  • The granite is Verde Tunas
  • The bar stools are from Walmart (yes, really)