Sunday we decided to tackle a project that we'd been putting off for quite a while.

A couple of years ago we purchased a large entertainment center. It was a massive piece of furniture that we just barely got in the front door and that dominated the living room. Given the layout of the room, it could only go in one place, and that meant that all the furniture had to be arranged around the TV. In addition, when the afternoon sun came in the front window, it basically rendered the TV unwatchable (which, admittedly, was only a problem on a handful of football Sundays when the Vikings were nationally telecast). Regardless, we decided that it made little sense to arrange the room around a massive piece of furniture that neither of us was terribly fond of, much less the television inside it that we rarely watched. So, a week ago Sarah sold the entertainment center via craigslist. We unplugged the TV and the stereo and put them in the basement until we could get a smaller piece of furniture that would let us arrange the room in a different fashion. We spent a couple of hours in furniture stores looking at entertainment centers that were smaller, but none of them were that interesting, so we decided to sit on the decision for a while and see if we could come up with a different scheme.

With the entertainment center out of the picture, the shabbiness of the carpet in the room really stood out. We knew it was shabby (the people who owned the house before us installed it), but with the entertainment center in the room we could never get excited about doing anything about the carpet. Yesterday changed all that.

We ripped out all the carpet in our living room and the hallway that connects the dining room, living room, the bathroom, the office, and our bedroom. Now that the carpet is gone, we can't understand why we didn't get rid of it years ago. It was all stained underneath and the pad was disintegrating in the high traffic areas. Where the pad was disintegrating it left large piles of dust on the floor. Once all the carpet was outside, we had to pull out the tack strips that held it down along the edges of the room and the staples that the installers used to fasten the pad to the floor. It was dirty, hot work, but the room looks so much better now that the carpet is gone.

My sister, Amy, is staying with us at the moment and she was a big help with the project. Having three people working on that project made the difference between getting it done in one day or having it linger over several.

Now that the entertainment center and carpet are gone, we'll likely paint the ceiling, put up some more pictures, and have the floors professionally refinished. The work is far from done but at least we've started down the path.

If you want to see pictures of what we did on Sunday, check out this photo gallery.