Create Beautiful AND Livable Spaces

As a blogger and designer, I share beautiful spaces. I love to inspire, but I know sometimes this faux perfection can be exhausting. Today in partnership with STAINMASTER, I’m sharing how to create beautiful AND livable spaces.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of STAINMASTER®. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have a professional photographer, and together we stage photos such as this one of my bedroom. There is nothing wrong with creating a beautiful home (I’m a huge advocate for surrounding yourself with beauty) but you must realize that you LIVE in your home.

I wish our home looked as perfect as my Instagram feed, but the reality is that it never does. I have a messy husband and three kids – one of which is a mini tornado. She manages to leave a messy trail wherever she goes.

You’d never know how much use our stairs see from this staged shot.

Here’s a shot of the same stairway just a few nights ago. My kids were using the stairs as a sledding hill (even my 15 year old jumped in on the fun)! My family is fantastic at testing out the durability of our STAINMASTER flooring.

And here’s me happily fluffing pillows in our very clean guest room.

This is a more honest representation of the space.

It is the security office for my youngest two as they monitor our home.

We selected STAINMASTER® carpet for our home knowing all STAINMASTER® carpets include a *lifetime warranty on stain, soil, static shock and pet urine and can keep up with my crazy family (*as always, check your warranty for more details).

  • Upstairs Carpet: Power Point in White Dove
  • Stairway Carpet: Bora Bora in Harbor Lights
  • Master Bedroom: Braided Opulence in Flannel

Get 10% off Select STAINMASTER Carpet & RUGS!

If you are looking for new carpet, I have coupon from my friends at STAINMASTER just for you! You can get 10% off up to $500 on select carpet and rugs. GO HERE for the coupon and to find the nearest participating retailer to you.

Besides our STAINMASTER carpet, our LVP sees lots of living.

Here’s my perfectly clean laundry room (my laundry for the day apparently consisted of only two pretty towels).

However, here’s what my laundry room looks life in real life when photo shoots aren’t happening (and there was no way I was going to step in this photo and show you what real-life Sara looks like)!

We selected STAINMASTER® LVP for our home in Phenix natural because it provides the look of beautifully realistic wood and STAINMASTER’s durability and easy maintenance.

One evening I found my youngest painting on the laundry room floor.

When I asked her what was going on, she happily replied that she knew the paint would be easy to clean up since it was STAINMASTER flooring.

Our back entry is our mudroom, so it sees the most traffic in our home.

We often think about little kids being rough on homes and flooring, but my teenage boys are doing a fantastic job of making toddlers seem harmless.

I hope sharing my family’s real-life photos were helpful to you. Even influencers can’t live up to the staged social media images we share.

Want some tips on how to choose flooring? Go HERE to see how we thought through our selection process knowing it would create a beautiful AND livable spaces!

Go create something!

Are you new to my blog? Go HERE to see my home tour and HERE to shop for items I use in our home.

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How to Choose Flooring

How to Choose Flooring

We recently had new flooring installed, so today I’m going to share tips for how to choose flooring (and share how we thought through the selection process).

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of STAINMASTER®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Flooring is a big investment, both in terms of time and money. We all want floors that will last and continue to look good for many years to come. When determining your budget, you will need to consider the cost of the floor material as well as the cost of underlayment, delivery and installation. You will also need to include removal and disposal of your previous flooring as well as and additional materials such as baseboards, stains, and adhesives.

There are four obvious choices when it comes to flooring:

  • Carpet
  • Vinyl (I’ll be discussing LVP luxury vinyl planks)
  • Wood
  • Tile
How to choose flooring

I looked at only STAINMASTER® products for their incredible durability and visited Miller’s Flooring America in Lafayette, Indiana. I received fantastic customer service and was able to view a huge selection of STAINMASTER® carpet and LVP (luxury vinyl planks).


Carpet cuts down on noise which is why we selected it for the majority of our second floor. It can hide problems with irregular floors and offer a soft spot to lounge on the floor. Carpet must be vacuumed regularly and professionally cleaned to ensure a quality floor covering.

We selected STAINMASTER® carpet for our home:

  • Upstairs Carpet: Power Point in White Dove
  • Stairway Carpet: Bora Bora in Harbor Lights
  • Master Bedroom: Braided Opulence in Flannel

The upstairs carpet (Power Point in White Dove) brightens up the space and we can rest easy knowing all STAINMASTER® carpets include a lifetime warranty on stain, soil, static shock and pet urine.

On our stairway, we used Bora Bora in Harbor lights. Here is a before of the stairway:

And here’s the after:

I painted the stair railings knowing the cherry wood wouldn’t work well with the new LVP (which I’ll talk more about later).

We added Braided Opulence in Flannel to our master bedroom, and the subtle pattern is just perfect.


Vinyl has come a long way, and I am a huge fan of LVP – luxury vinyl planks. It can give you the look of wood without the headache of wood (I ruined our wood floors last year when I overflowed my farmhouse sink). Vinyl has come a long way. Today, they offer all the look of wood with superior durability to real wood floors. They are water-resistant, making them ideal for bathrooms and kitchens and resist scratching or damage from dropped objects. If your home has children, they’re as close to an “accident-proof” type of flooring as you can get.

In our front entryway, we had large white tile that showed every spec of dirt (not to mention the grout was permanently dirty).

A few years ago, I tried painting the same tile that was also in our laundry room, but it wasn’t holding up well.

We selected STAINMASTER® LVP (Phenix natural) which provides the look of beautifully realistic wood, plus STAINMASTER durability and easy maintenance.

We love the new look in our back entryway:

And in our laundry room:

Wood Floors

Wood flooring is a popular choice – probably for its timelessness. Wood floors come in natural styles, are fairly durable and, when properly sealed and finished. Woods such as oak, cherry, or fir don’t dent as easily as pine, and most gouges can be restained to hide the damage.

We have wood floors throughout much of our main floor. It is beautiful, but it definitely isn’t waterproof (as I learned the hard way in our kitchen).

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile has decorated floors for thousands of years. Because it is non-porous, ceramic tile withstands moisture and is well suited for bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Installing ceramic tile is a major undertaking, however, even in a small area such as a front or rear entryway.

We have ceramic tiles in a few of our bathrooms and like it. I just would not recommend white tile in high traffic areas like in our previous back entryway.

When considering what type of flooring for each space, think about how you use the room and factor in kids and/or pets. Your floors need to be able to stand up to the wear and tear your family will bring.

We absolutely love our new STAINMASTER® flooring and can’t say enough good things about it and how smoothly the installation process went with Miller’s Flooring America.

Lena talked us into two kittens for her birthday (this is what happens when your daughter has a quarantine birthday), and you’ll notice they made several appearances in the photos.

Are you new to my blog? Go HERE to see my home tour and HERE to shop for items I use in our home.

Find me on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Pinterest