After months of slow-moving processes and mostly hands-on work for us Gabriels, things have been moving faster than I can even keep up with!

We’ve had our hardwood floors refinished…

Kitchen flooring installed…

Appliances delivered (and mostly installed)…

Bathroom gutted, tub set, electrical + plumbing prepped, drywall installed…

Our renovation crews have impressed us with this pace of progress!

But as promised–a blog post featuring befores and afters of our beloved 126-year-old hardwood floors.

Refinishing Options

After sanding each room, our team brought in some samples of stain based on our design preferences. We chose from four options, and while each one looked absolutely stunning when it hit the floor, we had our hearts set on a warm, golden tone.


This was the first stain we tested, and I was in love with it right away. (Of course, that was before it dried darker…game changer!)
My first favorite is there on the left, looking darker just a few minutes after application. It didn’t turn out to have the warm, golden tone we were going for after all!
Here’s the warm, golden winner we went with! Though we referred to it as stain, we didn’t realize at first that it was simply a polyurethane that brought out the natural vibrance of the wood. Turns out these 19th century floors were a better fit for us than we even knew!

Befores + Afters

Here’s a rundown of the progress throughout each room!

(Some of the older pictures come from my cell phone, but hey, I guess that only enhances the contrast between the befores and afters!)

The Living Room

The living room was where we first checked for hardwood floors upon buying the home. We saw layers of paint, but it looked hopeful…and the floors in this room turned out to be in great shape!

The fur-covered carpeting, post cleaning. It may not look like it had been overtaken by pet store animals at this point, but it still smelled like it!







Restored living room floors! They’re in great shape, and we couldn’t be happier with them!


The Master Bedroom

The first time I ever saw the master bedroom, the carpeting was covered in pet bedding. It’s come a long way since then! My trusty husband tackled this room so quickly that I didn’t catch pictures of every stage. We love the finished product…the warmth and brightness it brings to our space.





Our happy place! (Our plants’ happy place, too.) Our bedroom floors are beautiful in the morning sun, and these little succulents just got a whole lot perkier.


The Dining Room

The dining room had everyone doubting. The floors looked pretty rough, but something in me wasn’t willing to say no to them. I loved them, and upon first revealing the original hardwood in the dining room I even professed that I would keep them as is. That probably wouldn’t have been the best idea, but I was smitten. Our impressive floor team managed to salvage the 1890s wood, even despite the cries of naysayers–and despite sanding down to the nail on several of the planks! These floors turned out like nothing any of us had seen before…they are wild, but we love our revitalized 126-year-old floors!



There is just so much happening in the dining room floors! They’ve lived through a lot, were buried for who knows how long, and now they get another chance at life. The restoration process was a little scary in this space, even amidst our steadfast hope that these floors hadn’t seen the last of their days. They have their quirks, but we are in awe.
My favorite part of the dining room floors? These patches! At some point in time, someone used can lids to patch holes through the flooring. We think there may have been a wood burning stove or some other appliance here. (These are above the location of the oldest–and coolest–furnace we think we’ve ever seen.)


Shay’s Office

Who knew there was an art gallery hiding behind that old carpet? As interesting as I found this, I wasn’t so sure how they’d turn out with those many layers of paint.


To our surprise, they turned out better than any room in the house! This is exactly the look we were going for.



We are floored with the progress here at Livingston. It’s been a long process, and we still have quite a ways to go before the design is complete–but the hardwood floors were a major turning point for us. Once they were done, we were able to begin moving in. Finally, Livingston is transcending “house” and becoming home. And we are so thankful.




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