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Yesterday was Christmas at my sister’s house, at least, that was my initial impression when I drove over to see how the carpet installation in her basement was working out and one of her twin nine-year-old boys HUGGED me. There was actual physical contact, and it wasn’t a shove or a punch or a kick in the groin.

Because, I mean, that’s how we are as a family. There is an occasional, brief hug here and there, but usually we just bump shoulders or forcibly push someone off of their feet to say hello. We’re safe that way. Because physical affection can be awkward. How long do you linger on a hug until the other person is like, MAYBE YOU NEED THERAPY. We’re always walking that fine line, you know. And yesterday when Joshua hugged me at the door, that line said, “Aunt Heather, I’ll risk it. THE CARPET IS AWESOME.”

Indeed, the carpet is awesome:



We chose a stain-resistant wool blend with a subtle pattern in a small loop. How’s that carpet talk for ya! I had to think about that last sentence about 300 times before I could get the whole thing out.


My sister’s kids were more than a little thrilled about it, and when they took me downstairs to look at it, the twins both took a swan dive onto the floor and began rubbing their faces and arms about as if trying to give it a hug. One of them asked my sister if they could bring down a sleeping bag and use it as their bed last night, and she said, “Dude, that you’re even allowed to look at it right now is a privilege.”

Yes, we refer to our children as “Dude.” At least it’s more endearing than “Spawn.”



One of my favorite parts of the installation is how the carpet and the tile meet at exactly the same plane. There is no tricky or unsightly transition between the two. They are married in peace. Imagine me standing here smoking an imaginary cigarette, rubbing my knuckles on my shoulder, taking credit for this gorgeous detail. In reality, I think it’s a happy coincidence. That won’t stop me from putting this on my resume.


Anyway, any design project like this should probably start with a master plan, and I had one in my head, I did, I just never really put it on paper. And now that two of the major parts of this project are in place, and…. AND… neither one of them is a disaster (PHEW!) I decided to go ahead and create a mood board. A what? A mood board? Is that something hippies use to file their nails?


Basically, it’s a place where you gather your color ideas, your thoughts on texture, your hopes for furniture, and when you put everything next to each other you can see how it all ties together. One of my favorite design bloggers, Holly Becker of decor8, held a mood board contest a couple of years ago, and the winners were stunning. You can see them all here.

Since my sister’s only request was that we reserve one wall for a BYU football shrine, I knew that the BYU school colors would have to be my jumping off point. So I started with blue, wove my way around to a golden yellow, and ended up in a charcoal gray. Behold my mood board:


I’m trying to marry my sister’s very traditional sense of style with my more modern take on things. And If I do say so myself, I think we’re off to a great start.

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Design Inspiration

87 Responses

  1. Spokeit says:

    When I meet a carpet for the first time I usually roll around on it like a dog. Good for your nephews for showing such restraint- is that something Mormons teach?

  2. Ames says:

    The mood board is a great idea! My friend does "inspiration boards", which are sort of the same thing. Check them out at thecraftbegins.com.

    Love how this is coming together!

  3. Robert says:

    Holy Shitballs!!! That looks awesome! Huge, huge, huge improvement!

  4. Elle says:

    I need so much more than a mood board. Can you come to my house next? Pleeeeeaasssss!

  5. cknox says:

    It looks goofy with half tile, half carpet. It would have looked better all carpet.

    • 3AcresDesign says:

      I would have preferred that she used all tile. On a technical level carpets in basements bother me. I've been in way to many that have dampness issues with that musty smell that lingers in fabric.

  6. aubriane says:

    The couch! Ohhhh, that couch.
    I completely disagree with cknox; every house I have loved has had a basement with mostly carpet and outlying tile. It looks terrific.

  7. Mers says:

    Looks great! And the fact that the carpet and tile meet so smoothly mean no broken toes. ;)

  8. Awesome carpet indeed, and the flawless meeting of carpet and tile is amazing — good for you! I think that having both carpet and tile not only looks good, but it serves a decorative purpose because they divide the basement in distinct areas. It looks like there's a a hallway and a room there.

    Great mood board! I'm happy to be introduced to this idea and I think I may use it in the future.

  9. failjolesfail says:

    Can anyone tell me the source of the glass based lamp? I've seen several out there, but none within my budget…esp. not smokey ones like that!

    • Natalie says:

      If budget is an issue, I will let you in on a secret. They make bottle to lamp kits (that don't require any knowledge of electrical engineering). So if you can find a vessel you like with a small top, you can make it into a lamp.

  10. Wendi says:

    i want that couch? where?

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