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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.

Want More Heather?

HGTV and Heather Armstrong (@HGTVHeather) invite you to our first “Watch with Heather” Twitter Party! We’ll be tweeting Monday 3/15 during the Series Premiere of “Home Rules.” Join us at #watchHGTV from 9-10pm EST for all the fun.

To make comments and/or replies, please follow @HGTVHeather and include #watchHGTV in your tweet


Design Inspiration

87 Responses

  1. Natalie says:

    I'm with the rest – the couch is awesome! Looks comfy and stylish at the same time!

  2. It looks fantastic! You're lucky to have good college colors to start with…could get pretty scary with some schools.

  3. acm says:

    wait, do we have "before" pics for comparison??

  4. Annie says:

    It looks great!

  5. Lora says:

    It's not a happy coincidence that the tile and carpet meet at the same level…a good carpet layer is *supposed* to be able to do this…yay that it looks so fabulous. I miss my old basement…we lost it when we moved back to CA.

  6. LongStoryLonger says:

    The carpet looks great, but more importantly: I want to eat those two kids up. Holy cuteness.

  7. Dee says:

    I think if I am not mistaken that is a Pottery Barn Lamp.

  8. Genns says:

    Someone installed a cheap fitted carpet in the tiny basement of a suburban tract house. This is some mighty fine design blogging! Good Lord, people, go read Decor8 or something written by people who know what design is, and how to execute it.

    • Lindsay says:

      How about you go read it and let the rest of us enjoy Heather's post? If we're here, there's probably a reason (and who cares what reason).

    • 3AcresDesign says:

      I was kinda hoping for the crossover to be more interesting than Heather tries to be Interior Designer and brings along her Mommy Blog to talk about herself and her family in the process. So far this is "meh" for me.

      But you have to admit, HGTV probably has good motive to bring her here. From what I've read she seems to have lots of loyal followers – both "lovers" and "haters" The "lovers" will pounce on anyone who disagrees with her and accuse them of being the "haters".

      Oops, but I guess I'm a hater now too.

    • Beth says:

      speaking as a flooring dealer and not a "Dooce Defender", clearly you are not one of those people who knows anything about design. What is "fitted carpet?" Is the way wall to wall carpet is normally installed supposed to be an insult? How is wool blend "cheap?" I was amazed that she used it on a project that's supposed to be budget friendly. It's not polyester/olefin. THAT is cheap carpet. And thirdly, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, she cited Decor8 HERSELF. Design snobbery fail.

  9. Brian Kelsey says:

    Nice stuff!! Super carpet…
    -Brian Kelsey
    "The Making of a Home Renovation Show"

  10. Tracy says:

    I LOVE it! I can't believe you're doing HGTV…I'm totally going to get sucked in and subscribe now =)

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