PROJECT LANDON DRIVE: Following the ongoing renovations with the Hudsons

Published 7:13 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018

Home renovations often don’t come easy, and inexpensive might not be a word often associated with them. For one Washington home owner, easy and inexpensive, along with life-changing, do describe her most recent renovation.

Readers last saw Jen Stewart Hudson’s Landon Drive home when she took on the project of ripping up carpet and redoing her new home’s original hardwood floors. When Hudson bought the three-bedroom brick ranch house last June, the house was in need of some updating though in great condition, and the mother of two wanted to put her own stamp the family’s new home.

Like then, Hudson tackled her next renovation project with a little help from some friends.

“I want to say that I did the floor, but actually I helped with the floor,” Hudson laughed.

The floor in this case is that of a large living room off of the kitchen. The living room represents not one, but two, additions onto the original footprint of the house, which can be seen in what is now a freestanding fireplace in the middle of the room, which was once located on an exterior wall. The fireplace now makes an interesting focal point in a large room with two separate seating areas — perfect for Hudson and the kids. But it was the decades-old carpet that was a bit objectionable.

BEFORE PICTURE: Old dark blue carpet showed dirt and debris. It’s replacement by laminate faux-hardwood flooring transformed Jen Hudson’s living room completely, with little hassle and much less expense. (Jen Hudson)

“The blue carpet in the ’80s or ’90s — it was what everyone did, but picked up every bit of dirt and smelled weird,” Hudson said.

Rather than go with the much greater expense of hardwood floors, Hudson decided on laminate that looks like hardwood, so much so, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference.

“I really can’t. I mean, if you get down to the nitty gritty, you can see,” Hudson said. “Certainly, aesthetically, you can’t tell.”

In the more recent addition’s area, Hudson and helpers pulled up the carpet, along with the spike strips, nails and staples to find a pristine subfloor. In the older addition’s area, a layer of indoor-outdoor carpet, black with age, greeted them.

“Old houses tend to tell their own stories as you peel back the layers,” Hudson said.

It was no problem for Hudson’s friends Jaime and Tracey Connor, however. They’d just installed laminate flooring at Tracey Conner’s mother’s home, according to Hudson.

“They said, ‘We have all the tools. We can knock it out in a day,’” she said.

GOOD FRIENDS: Tracey and Jaime Conner lay down faux-hardwood laminate in the Hudsons’ living room. The end result was a warmer, more open feel to the main living area of the Landon Drive house. (Jen Hudson)

Indeed, the couple tackled the floors, laying out the laminate in little time, with Hudson’s help. The result is a remarkable transformation, made even more remarkable by how easy and comparably inexpensive it was.

“It’s easier to put together; it’s less expensive — this was 99 cents a square foot versus four dollars,” Hudson said. “It feels more open. It’s lighter, so it feels more open. I think it’s cleaner; it kind of warms (the room) up a little bit.”

The renovation has been a big hit with the kids, as well as with the Hudsons’ new goldendoodle puppy, Beau.

“They love it. It is hover-board proof. It is puppy proof. We’ve all done the ‘Tom Cruise’ slide,’” Hudson said, referring to a scene in the 1980s blockbuster movie “Risky Business.” “It’s fun, and we’re having a good time looking at different paint colors for here, window treatments. It’s just ongoing, but it’s fun.”

The living room was the last of the Hudson family’s first round of projects. Now, in time for warmer weather, Hudson is turning her attention to the out of doors.

“We’ve spent a lot of time inside working and revamping and updating,” she said. “Now we’re going to spend time on the outside.”

On the list: building a walkway from driveway to front door so the front door will be used more often; building a fence for Beau and constructing a patio with a fire pit, so the family can spend more time outside.