Carsyn Lamb and her husband moved to Park City, Utah, in 2020. The couple, who hail from Colorado, were eager to buy a home yet it became clear a fixer-upper was their best option due to the high-priced housing market. They purchased two adjoining ‘90s-built townhomes, one directly from the original owner, and got to work renovating. They also have a separate bedroom on the property they now rent through Airbnb. While the duo had no previous large-scale renovation experience, their patience, desire to update the dated interiors, and some DIY tips from Stuga helped them pull off the projects in less than one year.
Read our full interview with Carsyn and her tips for picking the right Stuga floors for your home.
How did you get into renovating and what were some of your main inspirations?
We loved the idea of putting our own style into our home. We taught ourselves everything as we went, working on projects after work and on weekends. The first side, which we live in, we finished in under four months, while the other side, which we rent out, took eight months. There were a few frustrating moments and a few hilarious moments. I'm so proud of what we were able to accomplish!
I love House and Garden UK. They showcase the coziest, most welcoming spaces, which is really important to me in designing my own home. Chris Loves Julia has some great DIY tips, and Architectural Digest will always be such a source of inspiration for me. I devour their print magazine every month.
Tell us more about the projects and the goals with renovating.
They’re two sides of a townhome building, each with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The downstairs bedroom is a lockoff to one of the townhomes that we rent on Airbnb, and before was just a gravel pit at the back of our carport (a dramatic transformation). The entire unit hadn't been updated since it was built and was sold to us furnished. We found boxes and boxes of velcro hair curlers, old ski passes, and Bon Appetit holiday issues from the year it was built. We had to scrap everything from flooring to the kitchens, bathrooms, wall color, ceiling texture, windows, etc.
The goal for our first project was to create a cozy, light-filled home to live in. It's small, just 590 square feet, and our no. 1 goal was to not do anything too strange to make it feel like we're on an episode of HGTV’s “Tiny House, Big Living.” Working with the layout as it was, and trimming down our belongings was a better solution to us than anything. We love to host dinner parties, so making the kitchen and the dining space enjoyable to use was one of our primary goals.
You used Shell, Fika, and Old Town. What made these the right fit?
We are from Vail, Colorado, and there is a shop there called Hygge Life that used your flooring for their store renovation. They told us how easy it was to install. It looked beautiful, so we didn't even look at other companies. Availability is what mainly led us to choose Shell, Fika and Old Town. Everything from Stuga is so pretty, so there was no need to be picky.
How was the installation process? Did you staple, float, or glue your floors?
It was one of our favorite parts because it's so easy and so satisfying to see the room dramatically transform in a day. It took us about a day to lay the floors in each room. The most challenging part was making the cuts around tricky corners or jogs in the wall, but it was simple overall. We stapled everything, except for the herringbone, which we glued.
Has it been living with your Stuga floors?
The floors are unscratched and still looking great three years in (and that's with a puppy running around on them). They're so easy to keep clean.
What are your best tips for DIYers?
Follow the Stuga tutorials, don't forget to put down underlayment, and enjoy the transformation!