Monday was my anniversary. My husband and I have been married for a year. We had a really big year last year. We got engaged, bought a house, got married, and if all of that wasn’t enough, I also started a photography business.
This year we have slowed down a bit and have started to focus a bit more on our house, but there is so much to be done that we often feel overwhelmed and stuck. We don’t even know where to start. We are in that middle ground of wanting to create beauty in our home and not being able to afford what we want, much like many people our age who are just starting out their “adult” lives.
We have friends that are avid Craigslisters. Basically everything they have done to their home was a Craigslist purchase. And as far as I know, they are pleased with all of their purchases. Probably because they didn’t feel bad about spray painting chairs they got for super cheap to fit their own style and or needs. I LOVE the idea of our home being filled with wonderfully recycled products that we tweak to fit exactly our style, but the TIME involved… We just don’t have the TIME to dedicate to it. We don’t even have kids. It is just us and our wonderful but allergic to everything black lab/hound, Piper. Well, us and our full time jobs and my “part-time” photography business. And our general lack of corresponding schedules. And our TV. And my photo editing. Okay, so we COULD have time, I’m sure, but we don’t want to MAKE time for getting creative with Craigslist. But that wouldn’t really help us with the big stuff like our floors and windows.
We bought a foreclosure. Honestly, short sales and foreclosures are the only thing on the market aside from mansions. We are lucky in that the house was not completely trashed when we bought the place. The yard was a little scary.. 6 foot tall weeds all over the place, but the house itself was in pretty good condition. The carpet was dirty but cleanable and will probably last a bit longer. We have engineered hardwood in the kitchen that is in okay shape, but the install job was not done very well. We have horrible vertical blinds that are just a bit too long for the windows and the vanes stick when you’re opening the blinds. They flap in the wind if the window is open, and they also let light into our room at night, allowing the moon and or lights to seep through. They are my least favorite things in the whole house.
So, I thought that perhaps I should put together some product information for first time home buyers who are looking for quality but can’t afford to spend the big bucks at this point in their life.
Carpet. If you are looking for a good quality carpet that is going to wear well for a good chunk of time, look fairly nice, and hold up to kids, dogs, constantly cleaning, stains etc, Mohawk has a great product called SmartStrand.
Not even joking, they put this product in with rhino at a zoo for two weeks and let them do their business all over it and then cleaned it and the carpet cleaned incredibly well. Watch a video below. They also do a durability test with elephants, rhinos, and camels and the carpet bounced back really well.
Polyesters are also carpet fibers that clean fairly well, and because the technology has improved so much, the durability has improved quite a bit as well. It is less expensive than most nylon products and if you spend a bit more you can get a great polyester product that will wear better than some of the lower end nylons.
If you don’t want to mess with carpet and would much rather have a hard surface but can’t afford hardwood or engineered hardwood, I’d suggest looking at a vinyl product. Honestly, anyone with kids or pets should seriously consider vinyl or laminate. Armstrong and now Karndean have come out with Luxury Vinyl Tile products that look remarkably like real hardwood because the digital photography has come so far. There are also some really interesting patterns for kitchen and bathrooms in vinyl sheet flooring that really do look like real ceramic tile when installed.
For window coverings, if you want a step up from your generic aluminum mini blinds, cellular shades offer great UV protection and are very energy efficient, especially if you go to a double cell. Composite wood blinds are also fairly inexpensive and still provide a great wood look that will last.
Hunter Douglas provides excellent quality and they are always creating great ways to save money through their energy efficient window coverings.
If you have any questions, please call us! We’d love to hear from you! We would also love for you to stop by our showroom to take a look at these products!
Our showroom is open the following hours:
Monday, Wednesday – 8 AM – 5 PM
Tuesday, Thursday- 8 AM- 7 PM
Friday – 8 AM- 4:30 PM
Come visit us during our new extended hours during September and receive a complementary bottle of Carpet Odor and Spot Remover spray!