• Tell Your Friends

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. Trish says:

    Love the Mood Board! What an excellent idea. Basement is looking great. Can't wait to see more.

  2. AidelK says:

    What a difference! The basement looks great–and that mood board is so inspiring. Just like everyone else, I would love to know the sources. Way to go, Heather!

  3. Wendy says:

    Looking good! Love how you are incorporating the BYU colors but it doesn't look like a man cave1

  4. Lura says:

    So, Heather, when are we going to be seeing you on First Time Design? :)

  5. Paige says:

    Beige carpet, beige tile and beige walls. I really hope the room shapes up with more colors as the "mood board" suggests.

    And I wonder how those people who spent years in and good money on design school feel about this little venture? Maybe kind of like how I, a trained chef, feel about the way Rachael Ray holds a knife.

    • kay says:

      Yeah I think people who are prone to jealously all feel the same way, you know? When someone gets a good gig that they think they themselves deserve, it's got to hurt deep inside. You've explained it well.

      So I am sure those folks in design school are feeling the pang, just like you are. Go develop an audience around you talents and then maybe you can get a gig too!

  6. Debrah says:

    Really? HGTV? Really?

  7. Madeleine says:

    Aw who needs stupid DESIGN SCHOOL? That's like saying you have to graduate from medical school to, you know, like, DO OPERATIONS AND STUFF. That's so, like 2002. Before the goddess of snark and new expert on design started her blog….and is now going to extoll the glories of BEIGE CARPET AND TILE. OMG!!

  8. amelia says:

    i love the idea of a mood board. i usually just throw things together and see how they turn out.

    finally, somewhere to put all of my crate and barrel clippings!

  9. Heather C says:

    As an interior designer, I appreciate good design, trained or untrained, professional or hobby level. Anyone who is upset by this "little venture" should probably look into why they feel so insecure.

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • "Everything" Bagel Flavored Party Mix! #recipe

  • In this case, the grass IS greener on the other side of the

  • This washable carryall can tote up to 50 lbs! #hgtvmagazine

  • You'll never have to take your shower curtain down to get