About the Author: Mallory Recor is a Stuga blog contributor and former Design Consultant. A long time lover of all things design, she has lived all over the world and is building a cozy home in Northern Michigan. You can find her on Instagram at @malloryrecor.
Last time we talked, I brought you all into my mindset when I selected the floors for my Michigan home. We landed on Harbor, second guessed that choice for a minute, and came back to it with gusto after revisiting my Pinterest boards and the other samples from our Minimal English Country inspired home. We wanted something timeless with a touch of rustic coziness… spoiler alert, we’ve finished the installation and Harbor is IT.
Installing our floors first.
After a whirlwind DIY install, I think every bruised knee and sore back was completely and utterly worth it. We decided to lay our floors pretty early on in the grand scheme of our build, right after drywall, at the instruction of our seasoned builder. Because we chose to staple the floors, we could run them under our cabinets–which I loved for the longevity of the home. If we ever remodel our kitchen, I won’t have to worry about patching floors. (Heads up, your floors can be installed under your cabinets if they are stapled or glued, but not if the floors are floated!) Since we weren’t working around cabinetry, the floor installation was fairly simple. There were minimal cuts to be made to work around obstacles, meaning the install was quicker and easier.
The transformation from a skeleton home to a place I can actually see myself throwing a sock dance party was instant and slightly unbelievable.
Opening the boxes of flooring was so exciting. We weren’t totally sure what to expect from one box to the next. Though there is no trace of “stripey” floors in my home, something many people–myself included!–worry about, each board is an individual and some tell a more interesting story than others. My particular favorites were boards that had a streak of a warm honey color in the otherwise mid-tone brown. It felt like these boards were a little extra special, and therefore added that character we’re craving.
The verdict is in: We’re in love.
We chose Harbor because we knew it would provide a warm base for the rest of our fixtures, decor, and furniture. We wanted something extra cozy, and boy did we get it with Harbor. Instead of staining the floors, our suppliers use a smoking process on the boards and therefore gives it so much character in the variation of the boards. Our home is a new build aiming for the nearly impossible: to feel like a home that has been there forever, a home with a history. I knew one of the best ways to give our home that familiar feel was to bring in elements that were unique and weren’t “perfect.”
Harbor is a floor for someone who can handle a little drama. The variation in boards range from a warm honey brown, to a darker smoky brown, but mostly fall somewhere in between. It looks perfectly comfortable in my cozy, country home, but would look just as beautiful in a Spanish Revival, a New England Colonial, or cool beach house. It’s got character spilling out of every corner and we couldn’t love it any more.
Now that the floors have been installed, cleaned, and oiled, I can see our life here so much better. I can see my kids skidding around the corner in their socks, my cats sunbathing at the top of the stairs, I can even see the big dining table we hope to host lots of loved ones and new friends around, sitting on top of our floors in a sun-soaked corner of my big kitchen. They have set the stage for what comes next: tile, cabinets, trim, and everything else that will make this house a home.