I must be INSANE to show you what my cream carpet looks like after surviving 12 years in this home (we've only been here for 5). And this just does NOT do the "ick" justice. It's really, really gross. And the stains are everywhere.
And, oh the decisions!!
But I have made most of them ... flooring, carpeting, paint (yes, paint - it seems that when you change the floor colour, you need to change the wall colouring too *grin*). It seems to me that I'm not as "urban" as I thought ... I guess having a family of 5 makes you reevaluate what's hip and what's workable. I love white walls, chocolate floors, sleek lines ... but that'll have to be for another span of life. Right now, I want to have a cozy home. I would say that "modern country" is more my thing ... textures, warm colours, clear glass, greenery, individual furniture pieces. I'm more "Pottery Barn", than I am "Restoration Hardware". Although - love that place too ... just not for where I am.
My FIL is in the building industry, and connected us to a great guy at Town & Country. LOVED the store - and were able to get really, really great prices. We opted to go a bit higher-end because of the deal we were able to get, durability, resale, and the fact we never want to do this again *GRIN*.
We chose "engineered hardwood", as suggested by one of my readers. It just happened that the one we loved, was engineered. It's dark hickory, distressed with nicks and veins ... it's warm, but not cherry - nor is it chocolate. It's perfect.
Here is what the "before" kitchen laminate beside the family room carpet, and above what it will be changed to "after".