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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
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Despite having styled 754 rooms, every single project is full of different problems that create so many questions. Sure there are one million design decisions to make, and I’m on those (stay tuned), but my big questions right now are more about function/use. Since many of you might have other experiences – either with older houses or older kids, I thought it would be fun to ask you, to get opinions in hopes that Brian and I can stop wish-washing around and make some much needed decisions.

1. The floor creaks. UGH. Badly. So boring, I realize. Our contractor and Brian’s parents were like “WOAH, we gotta fix that…” and Brian and I didn’t even really notice the intense creaking. It’s a 100 year old house, so yea, the floor boards are weakening, nails are loosening, and they creak because of it. The question to you is – while we had intended to repair and refinish them as much as possible, our contractor has warned us that it’s not a cosmetic problem and that if we don’t replace the flooring now those creaks could get worse. And yes, it’s bad. For those of you who live in an old house, on a scale of 1 – 10 how much does it bother you? Replacing the flooring wasn’t something we thought we were going to do but now I’m thinking it’s something we should…but maybe I could do something amazing…right now its 2″ oak, and not particularly rare or special – just original and old.

It’s really hard to tell how damaged it is upstairs in the photo, but yes … it’s damaged and she is yelling about it.

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Quandry #2: The fig tree outside in front of the courtyard blocks the view to the garden but creates so much shade and makes it feel cozy. We are giving up our huge fig tree here at our current home that we have inside, but alas there is already a huge one there that I love so much. I personally loved how it made the courtyard feel cozy and shady, but Brian and many others want a better view of the kids in the yard when we are in the looking out from the house. I’m starting to see the light and I’m coming around, but I also am trying on a daily basis to curb my helicopter parenting urges and wouldn’t it be lovely to just know they are safe but not need to watch them?? Or maybe it’s less high maintenance to be able to see but sit up there and hang out with adults while the kids are down below?

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Looking back, you can’t really see the architecture of the house so well because its being covered by that tree.

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If we got rid of the tree then even from the living room you could see down to the backyard.

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But look at the shade it provides!!! Thank goodness the location of the courtyard only gets full sun in the morning til around 1pm which is awesome, so that in the afternoons/evenings when it is hotter the courtyard is shaded by the house.

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As of now I’m calling an arborist to see how much we can remove from the bottom canopy to be able to see out but still have that gorgeous tree remain … but if you guys have any input or experience/strong opinions do tell…

3. Should our kids share a room? In case you need the bio – Charlie (boy) is 2 1/2 and Elliot (girl) is 10 months. They are both still in cribs and Charlie will probably transfer into a toddler bed soon (although I’m not letting him know that it’s an option yet and we have friends who’s daughter is 3 1/2 and still in a crib.

But all that aside the reason I’m wondering is because right now they both only sleep in their rooms. We don’t really spend time in them either and while we do have a guest room in the basement we could turn this beautiful all-window walled room into a pretty home office or sitting room (wtf is a sitting room???).

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It’s hard to tell size, but the above room is an awkward shape (otherwise we would nab it) but the below bedroom is pretty big. Not huge, but big enough for two twin beds or one queen that they share (which is my fantasy but everybody in my life has poo pood it). Why can’t two kids share a big bed? That sounds so cozy and sweet to me, especially since they are so close in age and we are moving into a new house.

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If they shared one big bed then I could crawl in the middle for story time and snuggle both of them and be in total paradise every night!! Although I suppose I could do that on Elliot’s daybed (which I’m not getting rid of, don’t worry.)

So anyone out there ever have their children share a big full or queen bed? Were they same gender or different? I know that a lot of you out there have kids that share a room, we did growing up, but in your objective opinion would you if you had an extra room? My thought would be that they share until they don’t want to anymore – maybe when she’s five and he’s seven?

Besides…two twin beds are so cute….

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Even though, like I said, one big queen would be so much more cozy for all of us, no?

So all y’all who have any experience with any of these situations please weigh in. These decisions aren’t going to make themselves …

1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish?

2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep?

3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own??

  1. My sister and I shared a bed for about two years! Then we had a fight and she moved out to the guest room 😉

  2. Regarding the tree, I’d say don’t remove it until you’ve tried to prune/trim it first. I’m sure it will be a huge improvement.
    IMO, the kids should stay in separate rooms, at least for now. They’re both so young and you don’t want them waking each other up in the morning or during the night if they’re sick, etc. I’d put a queen bed in Charlie’s room (don’t bother with a toddler bed ever) when he’s ready to transition from his crib (but DON’T transition him during the move, either do it now in your current house or after a few months in the new house). That way, you can do story time for both of them in Charlie’s bed and when Eliott gets older she’ll have the option if sleeping with him if they both want to. My boys (currently 9 and 7) have separate rooms but went through a period of sleeping together in a full bed and it was sweet, as long as they weren’t fooling around at bedtime and were both happy with it. Best of luck with all your planning. The new house is awesome.

    1. Totally agree with not bothering with a toddler bed, especially for an older toddler. And a daybed is especially great.
      Instead of using a side rail on the bed…..we use a pool noodle placed under the fitted mattress pad (thank you Pinterest) to create a little speed bump = no falling out of bed and no cumbersome bed rails.

      1. I 100% concur. We skipped the toddler bed for our older son and I do the snuggle-in-the-middle-of-both-and-read-at-bedtime move often but still gave them separate rooms. His serves as a guest room as needed. My daughter has a daybed with a trundle and so they have the option of sharing either room but having their own space to decorate/destroy or just have alone time to play, read, etc.
        Ditto on the pool noodle move.

    2. I think you meant twin bed, not queen bed. Full is large for a kid, Queen is big, and it’s more work changing and washing the bed. Especially in california where people need to use less energy and water.

  3. Your new home is lovely ! My kiddos are 8, 6 and almost 3
    1. Creaky -floors….are the creaks loud enough to wake sleeping children in the early mornings or keep them awake at night? If so, yes, absolutely replace. No one wants to tip toe every mornings.
    2. Fig tree – I would not give up my line of vision from my kitchen sink to my children’s playset in our back yard for anything. It’s so valuable when cooking dinner, cleaning up or just when I want to sit at the kitchen table and have a cup of coffee in peace and quiet. That said, I would attempt pruning it first.
    3. As a girl who shared a bed (a full at that) her entire life at home…..I would provide two twins in a shared room. A little space to call your own. My sister and I are still close, but showing a bed gets rough, aka puke always happens in the middle of the night and kids never make it out of the bed in time. All my kids are in their own rooms although I am not opposed to sharing, it is just easier now not to share with morning school schedules changing and personalities. They have shared in the past with twin beds. Now, they have sleepovers in each other’s rooms on weekends. Best of both worlds.

    1. Totally agree with the creaky floors waking up kids. I live in an older home. My husband worked hard to fix the squeaks but I still have to do a Mission Impossible obstacle course to get up before the kids without waking them. In fact, I have just surrendered to staying in bed until one of them wakes up. It fails every time

      When I moved last, my oldest was 2 1/2. I showed him his room before we moved in and talked about one thing that would be in the room that he would think would be cool over and over (a robot picture). He stayed with a grandparent on moving day while I made his room my first priority and when he came to the new house to his new room, the first thing he said was “MY ROBOT PICTURE”. And still loves his big boy room a year later

      1. Really great advice.

      2. Re: the creaky floors. I kind of like them and think they’re part of the character of an older house. When my kids were younger, we used a small fan as white noise in their rooms at night and naptime to mask the sound of us walking down the hall after bedtime, etc. That said, my floors were only about 40 years old, not 100, so yours might be beyond just cosmetic and need replacing. If you do replace, please use something sympathetic with the age of the house. I get that it’s your home and you should do what you love, but I hate it when people rip out the heart and soul of the original character of an older home-you know, the stuff that drew you to it in the first place. I also ditto just going straight to a queen size bed. That’s what we did with all three of my kids.

  4. 1. We had some creaking in our old home and it didn’t bother us. If it’s not structural and otherwise in good shape I’d leave it. Especially if it’s not bothering you and Brian.
    2. You can’t replace the shade once the tree is gone. I’d try to trim some lower branches first. Since it’s not something like the floor I’d try to live with it for a little while. Then if you decide that it’s got to go later on it’s not that big of a deal. At least you know you’ve given it a shot.
    3. I can’t speak from experience on this yet but I have high hopes for some cute matching twin bed action. I’ve started looking around at local eBay and estate sales, they are surprisingly rare.

  5. 1) I can’t speak to the floors without audio or video, but replacing them seems like overkill. Can you get at them from the basement/crawl space to repair or reinforce?

    2) Don’t take out an entire tree until you actually encounter the problems you’re anticipating. Are they even old enough to play in the backyard solo yet, per your parenting style? Wait until they are and then see how much the fig tree bugs you. Asking an arborist how much you can get away with thinning it out is perfect, but I’d defer even that until you’ve actually lived there a bit and can better determine how much the tree is a problem vs. benefit.

    3) I love the idea of them sharing a room, but are they on the same sleep schedule and does anyone have problems crying or talking to themselves for a long time before they conk out? Also, if you want more One Big Bed input, seek out some attachment parenting folks to survey. But like Attachment Lite folks. They might have actual experience with this instead of just strong opinions where they pooh-pooh the idea without actually knowing how it might pan out.

    1. I second this tree comment!! I wouldn’t do anything until you’ve lived with it for a while. Maybe you and they will both like the privacy over the next year. And DEFINITELY don’t remove it!! Trim if you feel you must, and really prefer a view, but I wouldn’t touch the tree for at least another year. 3 and a half is SOOOO different from 2 and a half, as is 10 months from 20. Next year they will play so differently together and the separation of space might just be great.

      1. I 100% agree with this comment about the tree providing some separation of space that may be great for your kids. I think people forget that children, like all people, don’t want to be watched all the time. To have a precious few moments with their siblings in which they are (or feel) outside of the loving but watchful eye of their parent is, in my view, a right of childhood that too many parents overlook in their pursuit of eliminating all risk for their kids. My son loves climbing under our overgrown trees and being out of sight, something he enjoyed as much at 2 as he does now at 5. The tree is beautiful and is a living testiment to your home’s history-it appears healthy and can provide you shade and privacy for years to come. I hope you keep it.

  6. It sounds like floors will need to be on the fix list at some point. If doing it later means that you have to take everything out of the rooms and store it, and maybe not walk through those rooms for a few days, maybe you’d rather have the pain now.
    Save the tree! Trim if you must, but save the tree!
    Sharing a room is not bad when kids are little, and their universe and priorities are ruled by Mom and Dad. How about when your boy wants to have a sleepover, or just play and be a rowdy boy with his friends but his two year old sister needs a nap? As for one bed: think of a week in January with the flu. Or one kid sick and the other well. That might be pretty hard to manage.

    1. My kids have separate rooms but often sleep in each others beds. They seem to always be sleeping together when someone gets sick. Everybody’s survived and it wasn’t really any harder to deal with because they were together. Not mentioning this to argue with you here – just because I had a very recent experience with this and couldn’t help commenting haha

  7. Dear Emily,

    Here is my experience regarding question number 3:

    My boy is 4 years and 8 months old and my girl will be 1 year old on Friday :-). She slept until 11 months with me and her dad in our room and our boy has his own room where he sleeps in a big boy bed (the one that has a rail so that he can’t fall) since the age of 2 or 2 and a half, can’t rememmber precisely 🙂

    Anyway, I wanted them to share the room so we decided to test them this July while we were at the seaside. It is worth mentioning, though, that our boy asked to share his room with his baby sister whom he adores, so he was very happy when we said that will happen at the seaside. We were just hoping that baby will respond well and that they will not wake each other up. She sleeps through the night but we thought that maybe movement during the night, when he changes sides or wakes up to go to the toilet, could wake them up. But, everything went well! And it was as they have always slept in the same room!

    Once we returned home, we immediately, that same night, placed the baby crib in our boy’s room and now they sleep there and everything is great. He is quiet if he wakes up during the night and also, somehow, she doesn’t wake him up when she wakes up before him in the morning – I hear her and take her out of the room and he continues to sleep for a bit longer. Children are very adaptable!

    I think that sharing the room is great, even if you have space for separate rooms. Because, in that way they can bond more, for sure. Our girl is too small, but once she starts speaking I feel it will be great conversations between the two of them before sleep. 🙂 Also, even if you choose to have separate rooms, they may ask to be together as small kids tend to do that and love sharing.

    For us, the key for successful sleeping of our kids in a shared room is that our baby goes down first at 7 pm and then we have two additional hours with our boy. The baby will firmly sleep once he goes to bed at 9 pm and he just quietly sneeks in.

    I would, however, be in favour of separate beds while the baby is too small, but that also depends on wheteher your kids move a lot during the sleep. It was until 3 and a half years that our boy was moving a lot during the sleep and he only recently stopped and now we don’t find him in strange positions :-). Our baby also switchs sides during the night 🙂

    If you decide for them to share the room, do it the first night you move in and that will be the easiest way for them to accept it. Of course, prepare them, especially Charlie, by talking about it a lot in advance. If you have friends whose kids share the room, take Charlie there and show him the shared room and talk about it.

    Hope this helps!


    1. Totally agree with Jasna. We moved our daughter into our son’s room when they were 10 months and almost 4 years. I was initially worried about the transition but it was much easier than I thought. She was still feeding once during the night but he would sleep right through it. He even slept through the 3 nights she cried for a few minutes when we dropped that feeding. Kids are amazingly adaptable and we’ve found it to be super easy and they love being together. We have another room in our house but I always wanted my kids to share because I think it helps with bonding. That’s certainly been our experience. We stagger bedtimes and that works well. During sick times, if we need to move my son into our bed for a night or two then we do it but he’s always been willing to go back to his bed after everyone is well (i.e. we don’t struggle with him wanting to be in our bed all the time). The same bed does sound amazing but I would definitely be more concerned with them waking each other or just playing around at bedtime.

      1. This is our plan too. We currently have a 3.5mo old son and a 3.5yo daughter. She is just dying to have her baby brother in her room with her. Once he is a few months older, we plan to move him in with her. His bed is currently in our room, which is working well for us at this point. I’m so happy that she adores him so. And having them share a room is allowing us to create a separate play room for them, which I think will function a lot better for them than two separate bedrooms.

  8. I love the idea of them sharing a room. My grandsons shared a room until the older one left for college. They did have a separate tv/play room and just used the shared room for sleeping.
    Many of us “older folk” shared a room with siblings, not sure why it’s not done as much nowadays.

  9. We have two girls (4 & 2). They used to have separate rooms but when we moved into our new home they both wanted to share even though we have a spare bedroom in addition to the guest room. So now they share a pretty large room and the oldest has a queen bed that we all snuggle in every night together. But when it’s time to sleep we put the youngest in her toddler bed that’s at the foot of the queen. We’ve tried the sleeping in one bed routine and it did not work at all for us. They talk, play, or torment each other which generally prevented any sleeping. I really wasn’t thinking that I have now set a precedent that when you graduate from your toddler bed, you get a queen-size so that should be interesting to navigate.

  10. 1) Do the floors before you move in. My parents kept meaning to get around to fixing the floors and 30 years later the creaking and stains still drive them bonkers but there’s way too much stuff to move around.
    2) Our AC compressor died after a large tree that provided a ton of shade fell down, it didn’t land on anything but the sudden sun made the house super hot. So I wouldn’t tear down the tree unless absolutely necessary. I think trimming is the best option, you can always take it down if it becomes a problem but buying a new marure tree is really expensive. I think you should live with it for now and address it at a later date.

    1. Great point about the floors and experience from watching your parents…my parents have been trying to get the floors re-done for 2+ years now but just keep putting it off because of the hassle of getting everything out and getting everyone out of the house. It will be such a hassle to do them later.

    2. I agree with Carly on both points:
      1. if you think the floors will need replacing/repairing at some point, better do it now when it’s easier and probably cheaper as the space is empty. Who wants to move all the furniture later and live through the construction. Unless you are only doing some cosmetic updates now and are planning to do major renovation of the living room later, at which point the floors could be fixed.
      2. Do not remove the tree unless absolutely needed. Maybe it’s not going to be a problem at all. it’s not an urgent issue and the kids are too little to play alone anyway.
      3. My sister and I shared a room until college because we didn’t have an extra room to spread. we had a bunk bed that could be separated into two twin beds which we did often (I made my parents move furniture all the time). We played together and it was great. I started hating it when I became a teenager but by then I am sure they will have separate rooms anyway. Two twin beds is a way to go in my opinion.
      I am sure whatever you choose it will be great

  11. Here’s my penny’s worth!

    1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish? Definitely keep the floor as it is original! I live in an old Victorian house in London and my parents have a large old 16th century house in France and they all have squeaky floorboards. It comes with the territory of living in old property. They will also pop and squeal when the weather and temperature changes. It is possible to lift the old floors and re-nail them to stop the noise although pricy. But if you’re having the floors refurbished anyway it might be worth it.

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep? Keep the tree and trim it! The tree will probably benefit from a prune so a win-win situation. You’ll regret that shade being gone. You can put a lovely table and chairs under the tree and sit with the kids whilst they play. And in my experience not seeing the kids for short periods of time is OK. It’s when you can’t hear them that you need to worry about what nonsense they are up to. In another 4 years they will be totally fine out there on their own. A tree will take a lot longer to grow!

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own?? Sharing it totally fine until they reach about 9 years old in my experience. As for sharing a queen – my vote is no. Toddlers are bound to wet the bed at night sometimes and do you really want to have to change the bedding for both every time one of tem has an accident? Also, if one of them has a stomach bug they are going to have to share that bed!

    Hope the above helps. Whatever you decide, I’m sue you’ll make a success of it!

    1. I totally agree with all these comments! I live in a 100+ year old home, and we jumped into a lot of things that “had” to be replaced when we moved in, that I wish we would have kept/fixed instead of taking it out and starting from scratch. Despite creaking, old-forested wood is SO much stronger than anything new, and you can’t take it back once it’s gone.

      It’s probably best to be in the space awhile so you can make your best assessments and come to your own conclusion. Yes, moving furniture later is a pain, but for me it’s less of a nuisance than making a decision that you regret and can’t go back on.

    2. My 5-year-old wets the bed at least weekly (he has a pull-up on, but it’s a genetic/developmental thing) so sharing a bed is out of the question. My boys have shared a bed while on vacation, however, and it worked out very well.

  12. I have an opinion on #3. I have a daughter and son who are about the same age difference as yours (21 months apart; daughter is 5 years old and son is 3). We have 4 bedrooms in our house, but they started sharing a room when my son was two. We moved them in together, because my son kept getting scared in the night and would climb into bed with my husband and me. He does so much better with a roommate! In fact, they both do. They are in bunkbeds (which I wouldn’t recommend until your youngest is old enough to safely climb up and down). I think it’s good for them to share a room and it means they giggle and sing songs together at night which is just the best thing to overhear. I always shared a room growing up (until I went to college) with my younger sister, and we slept in a queen bed together. Seems way less typical now for kids to share a bed, but we’d make up dance routines and tell each other stories and generally have a great time…all when we were supposed to be sleeping. 🙂

    1. That sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing. xx

  13. 2. I’m not sure if mosquitoes are an issue for LA, but our pest control guy said that figs are a haven for mosquitoes because they’re so dense and shady. My kids have a giant fig tree in their yard at school and while it’s amazing and majestic, mosquitoes are so bad despite treatment! Also, I’m about as free-range as they come as a parent, but it’s glorious to be inside and able to glance out the window to the backyard and make sure the kids aren’t doing something insane or destructive!

    3. My kids are 2.5 (girl) and 4.5 (boy) and we started having them share a room about a year ago. It’s awesome and they love it. Bedtime used to be such a struggle and now it’s so easy with them together. I’m actually considering switching to one big bed for the reasons you mentioned — we’d have so much more snuggle space, and my daughter falls asleep in my son’s bed nightly anyway! And we use our third bedroom as a playroom so no toys in their rooms, no toys around the house. It’s awesome.

    1. I would also add, do the figs drop and make a mess of the courtyard?

    2. See? That sounds awesome. xx

  14. What a beautiful house! So-IMO. If you can try to fix the floors I would fix them. I have seen the guys on “This Old House” do some fixing to save the floors. Maybe they replaced some boards in the basement and/or used very small screws to get the squeaking under control. Seems like a lot less work. The tree. I love shade too, but I also liked to see my kids. Is it possible to remove the tree and plant it with a mid sized tree that only grows to about 20-30 feet tall? This would provide some shade to the patio but not be a towering thing in your yard. Keeping the canopy higher always helps too. Kids sharing. I have a 16 yo boy and 14 yo girl. IMO let them share a room for sure and if you think it is fun, let them share a bed too!! If they get tired of the queen bed, you can replace it with two twins, and when they get tired of the twins, you can move them to separate rooms. I think the bond that it could potentially create between the two of them will last a lifetime. My two still really like each other (both now in high school together as of Monday)! While they did not share a room or a bed, they did sometimes sleep together and loved it. Your daughter will probably tire of it first, seems like all the girls I know seek out independence first. Like everyone says…they are only young for a short time! Go with your gut! Let them share! It’s not a permanent thing, you can always change it!!!

    1. OOh, another compelling argument for sharing. I’m heading in that direction …

      1. Having a bond is one thing and being codependent is quite another. You never know what it’s going to be until you see it. It really depends on kids’ personality as kids react differently to different situations. It’s great when kids have each other and can spend time together, but what if they will be unable to be content by themselves or be independent? What if one of them will always have to be in a relationship, just random relationships because they will be unable to be by themselves. There are many people like that who are not critical enough of others to even select someone who would not be good for them. Or worse, what if they codependence will cause other great people to stay away from them? I’ve known a sibling pair that bought a computer in high school together, then after high school they bought a car together, then after college they rented an appartment together, and they had the same friends, traveled together. It’s great that they had each other, but it’s not great that they couldn’t develop lasting friendships and lasting relationships with others. The brother had many relationships with random girls, the sister had problems finding someone, perhaphs because other guys were put off by how close they were. Some codependent siblings will prioritize the relationship with their sibling over their own spouse and kids. Is that a compelling argument? I’m not saying that it will happen, but having some balance may be better. It’s great when siblings are each others’ best friends, but I don’t think it’s healthy when they prioritize each other over their own family unit.

  15. My votes:
    1- Replace flooring. I think I’m the only one who doesn’t love old wood.
    2- Remove tree. I’m a proud helicopter. Live kids with supervision rule. Free range is for chickens.
    3- Separate bedrooms. Sharing didn’t make us close in my family.

  16. 1. Leave the creak. It’s what makes old homes so wonderful.
    2. Leave the tree. Shade is so desirable, as are mature trees.
    3. I’m a firm believer of kids sharing a room. And if you want to try one bed, why not? If it doesn’t work you can always go to two.

  17. 1.)I don’t think the creaking would bother me that much, of course I don’t know how bad it is. I would probably refinish, but I’m also cheap so maybe don’t listen to me.

    2.) My kids are 7, 5, and 2 and I love being able to see them play in the backyard from inside the house. I like to be able to keep tabs on them and make sure they aren’t getting in too much mischief. I would see about trimming the tree. Re: shade, I have two big trees in my backyard that provide almost too much shade. The back of the house is pretty dark all summer (when they have their leaves), and it’s nice because it keeps things cool, it’s also kind of depressing. Of course it’s nice having the shade when we’re actually outside.

    3.) My two oldest (boy and girl) shared a room for about a year. It worked well, but they didn’t fight much at that age. Now they bicker like crazy and it’s nice for them to have their own spaces so they can escape from each other. I would not do a big bed because again, fighting. Growing up I had two friends who shared a waterbed (how 80’s is that?) and I thought it was the coolest thing. Haha.

    4.) Not that you asked but I loved Orlando’s idea in the video of extending the dining room. I realize that’s a pretty huge project though.

    Good luck with all this! Love the house and can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    1. yea, we asked about Orlando’s idea and they were like ‘do you have 1 billion dollars?’. I know it wouldn’t be that much but I think the value of the house and the small lot its on wouldn’t be worth it. but I agree about seeing them …

  18. I grew up in a house with creaky floors and then later my first condo was in a building built in 1850 and had VERY creaky uneven floors. Neither situation bothered me or even came onto my radar UNTIL I had a baby. Then I absolutely loathed the creaky floors. And the doors that don’t close well. I can’t tell from the pictures but are there creaky stairs near the bedroom? Or creaky floors in the hallway outside the bedroom? Fix ’em. Your kids will hear you going downstairs in the morning, and if they are at all like mine, will know its time to wake up and perhaps cry out, when you could instead be taking 10 minutes for some coffee while they continue to snooze. We just moved into a newish construction home and OMG, the silent stairs. Glorious. But if it is elsewhere in the house away from sleeping babes, don’t worry about it. You will never hear it.

    As for the other two questions, I’d say maybe leave fig tree until you move in and find out if it will be a problem or not. It seems like something that can be taken care of even after all your stuff is moved in. And I only have one kid (for now), but I have plenty of friends and family who’s kids love to share a large bed and it seems so sweet. Though, I grew up with a sister close and age and while we chose to share a bedroom for a few years, it was definitely nice to retreat to our own spaces, though I don’t think that came into play until we were older.

    1. No. It’s SOOOOO creaky near the kids rooms. Like I don’t know how we would possibly move without waking them up but then I’d think that they’d get used to it?

      1. I’ve lived in my house for 10 yrs and have never gotten used to the creaking. I have wood floors and stairs and you can hear everyone coming and going. I even know what room they are in. Not good when your husband gets up at 4 am and your trying to sleep. I’m all for keeping original details in an older home, so if you can live with it then definitely keep them, but if they are actually damaged and not just creaky then safety and aesthetics first.

        On the sharing a bedroom thing – I don’t think at their age it would be a problem, and would give them a chance to bond more, but once they get older you would probably have to put them in separate rooms. My kids shared a room when they were 3 yrs old and 9 months but then they got to the bickering age pretty quickly. I’d say around 4 and 2 yrs of age and I had to move them to separate rooms. Separation is actually good and helps develop their independence. I have lots of experience, My children are now 34, 27 and 24. I been through and seen it all.

        Don’t remove the tree. I agree with the other comment about waiting till your moved in and seeing how it goes. Your children might not be playing in the backyard by themselves for a while and by the time they can the tree might not even be an issue. Unless the mosquito information is correct. Then you might need to re-evaluate, or you could research eco-friendly non-toxic pest control options.

      2. See, I think that you will totally get used to it and if you go up and down the stairs in the evening or middle of the night no one will be woken up. BUT, in my experience, there’s just something about those early morning hours when the kid is close to waking up anyways that the stair creaking just AMPLIFIES and they know you are up and that they are not and it just ruins your 10-15 extra minutes to yourself to get ready. But every kid and every parent and every home is different. I will say though, I’m all about keeping original wood, and maybe if it starts to be a problem you could get a nice loud white noise machine and hope for the best?

        1. The creaky floors in my house aren’t so bothersome to my kids in the middle of the night, but biggest issue is right when I’m leaving their bedroom when they are sleepy/falling asleep but still a little awake. I can’t leave the room! It was worse when my oldest was under 2.5 years –he was such a bear to put to bed and a light sleeper that the slightest noise would startle him. No white noise machine or fan would muffle the floor/door creaks enough. I guess it all depends on your kids though.

      3. They’ll get used to knowing that’s when to get up, if they are anything like my kids.

  19. Last month we moved my son (3.5) and daughter (2) into the same room. They each are in a twin bed and we/they love it. Routine was a little harder at first but it’s so fun for me to listen from the hallway talking to eachother before they fall asleep. That was the whole reason I wanted them to share. I grew up sharing a room with my sister until I was a Junior in high school! You learn a lot from sharing spaces. I say go for it, at least while your children are willing to share.

    1. Done. that sounds awesome. xx

  20. Loving your new house so much!! Super excited to see what you do! I live in a really old house, 130 years old-the creaking floors don’t bother me. I agree with just trim the tree first and see how that seems. I’ve got three kids, a boy (8) and two girls (6&4) and they all three share a room and love it. We have enough bedrooms for them each to have their own but I like them all together and they do too. As for one big bed? Depends on your kids. When my girls have shared at bed at hotels or at grandmas, there’s always fighting over who is using too much of the blankets and whose feet are on whose side of the bed. They eventually fall asleep and it’s adorable, but also ugh!

  21. We have 3 kids (3.5, 5, and 14) and they all have separate rooms and full sized beds. The decision to go with a full sized bed (or larger in your case) was absolutely the best one we made in reference to their rooms. There’s enough for both little ones and a parent (or two if you squeeze!) to snuggle up for book every night. Its one of my very favorite times we share together. Giving the two youngest separate rooms is debatable. At least 20% of the time they end up sleeping in the same bed anyway BUT they really do keep each other up longer. Sometimes when they are starting to quarrel a little I will ask them to go play in their own rooms for a while so they get some space before things escalate and I am a big believer in prevention when it comes to sibling relationships. You have enough space that you can separate them in areas other than bedrooms so the issue probably boils down to how well they sleep. If they both seem to fall asleep easily I say go for one big bed! It’s really so fun to check in on them and see them all cuddled up. Despite the issues I think our kids could very happily adapt to a shared room.

    For the tree I’d keep it if you could. As a child I remember being so emotionally attached to the trees in our yard and the shade will provide the kids with some protection from the sun as well.

    1. Hmm. yes, prevention … that’s compelling, too.

  22. Some tough decisions there! I can only comment on the last one.. We had 3 sharing a room until we found a bigger place – 3yo and younger siblings. I could only recommend it if you are prepared to deal with the bedtime shenanigans. The two younger ones still share and unless they’re ready to fall asleep they can be up playing and jumping about and annoying each other for an hour or more after lights out.

  23. Here are my thoughts:
    1) replace flooring. Sad but seems like it’s too far gone to be satisfactory
    2) prune and keep tree. You can always remove it down the road but you can’t get it back once it’s gone. Shade and division of spaces are wonderful things.
    3) separate rooms. You’re likely going to do it in a few years, so why set your home in a way that won’t grow with you?
    4) you didn’t really ask but… I say paint beans and all woodwork in living room the same color-dark brown or gray or black. Don’t toke fireplace-it’s elegant in its simplicity esp. with the woodwork painted the same color. And I think I would get rid of the bookshelves. Can’t believe I’m saying that but they’re not really functional and I think the room is kind of busy even empty. I know you’ll fill it with great things and lots of pattern so this area would look good simplified.
    Good luck!

    1. Yeah, didn’t mean “toke the fireplace”-that wouldn’t be fun… “Don’t TILE” was what I meant 🙂

      1. ha. i figured. thank you for noticing how unfunctional they are (the bookcases). they are like 5″ deep. cute in theory but they only hold like vintage novels and a trinket. and i got trinkets but they are gonna look super bitsy …

    2. Deal with the floors before you move in. Have your contractor spec out replacement vs refurbishment. They look like strip oak to me, not really that special. Floors are so foundational to a house and such a pain to do later.

      Keep the tree & prune it. You can always remove it later!

      Share a room, but separate beds. They may not want to share a room forever. I have 1 kid who wanted to share forever and 1 kid who adamantly did NOT want to share (2 boys, 19 months apart). In our 2nd house, we put them in separate rooms for the sake of getting along. You can always separate them later if it’s a problem, but as others said, separate beds are good.

      1. thanks re flooring. I think that i what we are going to do. and re kids in beds … that’s good advice too. they are both going to be in cribs for a while so maybe not design room with a queen but instead figure out how they are going to like it then move into queen?

        1. I think if you replace it you should go with more skinny wood planks (2in or less) to emulate the originals. I’m pretty over wide plank, esp. in a house that age. I just love the patchwork effect of the skinny (and even short) boards.

    3. I love this house!! No opinion here about the floors or the tree, but when it comes to the kids sharing rooms, we’ve done a flexible scenario where the kids have separate rooms, but one of them can serve as a (quite comfortable!) guest room when needed. In my experience, having very small kids share rooms isn’t as much of the bonding experience you’d imagine; that kind of giggling with flashlights happens later (maybe in your next home?). I’d give the kids separate rooms and create several flexible spaces! If Ellie has a daybed in her room and Charlie wants to sleep in there, he can! If Charlie has a bigger bed and Ellie wants to sleep in with him, she can!

      1. OOH. interesting. in my mind they whisper each other to sleep. like ‘elliot, are you going to dream about dumptrucks? and she’s like, yeah .. and baby dinosaurs …’ and they fall asleep … but glad for your perspective … i’m just worried if we try to do it later they won’t take to it, so it we do it now we have a better chance?

  24. 1) The house is lovely. I love the courtyard. As one who is easily annoyed by creaks and squeaks, I’d say replace the floors.
    2) I like your idea of meeting an arborist. I would try to save the tree.
    3) While I understand the cozyness of a queen, I would likely go with twins or separate rooms.
    Your ideas are fabulous. Extending the bookshelves higher around fireplace would be very dramatic. Best wishes and congrats on the new house.

    1. Ok. I love your directness. There seems to be enough people who don’t think sharing is the best idea … i’m listening ..

  25. Keep the tree! My kids are 6, 4, and 2. While I like to keep a close eye on the 2 year old, the 4 and 6 year olds wouldn’t have half as much fun if our yard didn’t have a sense of independence. It might be a little annoying for a year or two but then you can’t get it back! Trimming would be a great option. Could you live there for a while before you make a tree decision?

    Sharing a room is great, especially with a house move. My daughter (6) wanted to stop sharing with her brother (4) when she was about 5 but they still have sleepovers sometimes :). Another option is to skip a toddler bed and go straight to a single bed. You could go for bunk beds or even the kind that can have a double bed on the bottom, best of both worlds.

  26. Our home is 76 years old. Original floors. I cannot imagine ripping out the floors and replacing them, personally. When we refinished them, our contractor tighten nails, checked boards, and for two years, we had very little sound. Now three years later, our floors make some noise but I think it just goes with the old home. Also, your home has no furnishings right now so the the floor noise bounces off the walls. Once you have rugs, drapes, furniture, it will be quieter. I would resist the advice from your contractor. Old floors rule!

    1. Good point! That’s what brian and I said, ‘maybe its so creaky because its so echo-y’. thanks for that comment ..

    2. Agreed on keeping the floors! We have a 17 month old and some seriously creaky 90+ year old floors, but we had to carpet our stairs and landing (wooden stairs that a few people slipped on, once we were carrying the baby up and down we knew we didn’t have choice). The carpet plus pad muffles a lot of the creaking, I don’t think it is any louder than any other sounds of moving around. In our house, you might as well be unloading the dishwasher in the baby’s room, for some reason the sound seems to bounce right up the stairs, so it is impossible to control for everything! They learn to sleep through it, if they are sharing a room they won’t have a perfectly quiet environment anyway.

      My sister and I shared a room until she was about 12, I was 9 – our room until that age was just for sleeping/ reading. Homework was done in the kitchen, toys were all in the playroom so the bedroom was a quiet space, whereas everything else was communal space.

  27. I’d replace the wood floors for something amazing.

    I’d try to see if the tree can be trimmed.

    and lastly i think it’s fine if the kids share a room until they say otherwise. I remember sharing a room with my sisters until i was 10. and then we were ready. My sister’s boy and girl shared a room until i think he was 9 or 10. and she was 7 or 8. so no big deal in either of those situations!

    1. I agree with you 100% on every point.

  28. I would live in the house a bit before you decide on the fig tree. Also, my two boys share a room by choice even though they have separate rooms. It strengthens their bond and makes bedtime fun! I think you can put them together now, because being able to put themselves to sleep despite distractions is a great skill to teach them. They will get used to it quickly.

    1. compelling … every comment is so compelling!!!

  29. We’ve lived in apartments in houses ranging from 15 -110 years old, nearly all of which have creaky floors. The noise doesn’t bother us if it’s on the first floor, but second floor creaks and groans can be a nuisance to whomever is down below. If there aren’t other issues, maybe refinish the first floor and redo the upstairs rather than lose all the old wood.

    Looking forward to what you do with the place, and how you marry your modern sensibilities with this traditional gem.

  30. 1. I grew up with freaky flooring and it was a sound of cozy comfort to me. 🙂 To hear my parents on the move and all that. Good memories. But, I don’t feel so strongly about it that’d I’d not get rid of it. 50/50 on that.

    2. DEFINITELY trim the lower canopy. Definitely do not cut down a perfectly good, aged tree. Unless there’s potential for damage to your home KEEP IT. You’ll only need to be diligent with watching kids close for a short period of time in the whole scheme. Once they’re 6+ they will be FINE in your yard put of site. Think if the fun adventures they can have with a big tree back there. Almost as good as having a creek! 100/0 on that.

    3. My boy/girl shared a room until he was 5 and she was 7. (Our third kid, the baby, had the nursery) Twin beds, hands down. Queen is too awful with the “he’s touching me! She’s breathing on me!” I especially think with diff gender it’d be important to keep the separate. We loved them sharing. They shared until around the time they stopped bathing together…don’t remember the age, but we jusy knew it was time to cease the haring of the tub and the room.

    1. Oh gosh! The typos. I have poor thumb typing skills. Freaking floors…creaking floors…sharing of the tub…etc etc etc

      1. HA. But that’s a compelling argument about ‘he’s touching me’!!’ He’s already annoyed by her since she is the baby and he’s a big boy so I think my dreams of cuddlyness are certainly not the reality. Sold. No queen bed.

  31. Interesting to not want to see the kids in the garden but want the kids to share a bed? I am not sure what is meant by “helicoptering parenting” here? Choice of bed the question is for you to answer based on your lifestyle.

    But, shared rooms at your kids’ age is great. Though, in my experience, it’s hard to figure out when to split the kids up. My boys share: the nine year old wants his own room but my six year old doesn’t want to be on his own yet. Meanwhile my three year old loves being in her own room (but she has never known anything else). I recall that I shared a room with my younger brother until I got my period, and my brother got nosy about my feminine products and bras.

    For the tree, I guess as a designer you want to do big things at once but I think you may want to live with it and see.

    Floors need to go. They don’t look good. In Belgium where I live, floors of that quality would be removed and new floors laid, most likely a wide plank oak. Fixing creaky floors can be labor intensive, but quality flooring is so expensive.

    As for the photo, I went black (doors) and white (walls and molding) in my house. But I love the dark wood. With the trim and walls white sometimes I think it is a bit much, but it looks so crisp. Curtains would seem to conflict with those decorative beams. Book cases need more verticality, no?

    Anyway, what a beautiful house! Congratulations and good luck with your project!

  32. I’ve got four kiddos—the oldest being 8 and the youngest is 6 months. In regards to the tree: keep it big! I know it seems like you need to keep an eagle eye on them in yard, but they get big/old FAST and as long as you can HEAR them, you’re golden. We have a huge yard, and I like to send them out to play while I do dishes/fold laundry… The reality of me sitting and watching ALL their play is not likely. BUT! If I keep my windows open, I can hear anything.
    Hold off on the tree trimming and see how you LIVE in the house. If you decide it really IS too hard with all the foliage, then you can always trim it down later.

    In regards to sharing rooms, we have two extra bedrooms bc I like my kids sharing a room. They love it too. In fact, often times my three oldest all sleep in the same room bc they have so much fun together. They don’t fight nearly as much as they do in day bc toy wise, we only allow three stuffed animals and books in their bedrooms. Have them share. We’ve all loved it! Some of the sweetest and most magical times have been seeing them in there, reading their books to each other with twinkle lights glowing. ✨ You can always split them up when they get older or if it’s not working. Plus, I love seeing gender neutral kid rooms. They are so fun to create!

    1. PS we’ve loved doing twin beds. It’s nice to have their own “space” in shared room. To switch it up, sometimes times the three big kids sneak into guest room and love sleeping on the queen bed together. Good luck! These things always take so much thought. See what works best for YOUR family and go for it! Can’t wait to follow your journey!

      1. Oh, Melissa those are compelling words!!! the most magical times ever … right now (on comment 43 of 350) I’m leaning towards sharing a bit later, but not so young …

        1. We are currently debating the sharing situation as well.

          I have two boys that are two years apart – 19 months and 3.5 years. I am due to have our third (a girl!) in October.

          We have enough bedrooms for the kids to each have their own room, but I like the idea of the boys sharing and of freeing up one bedroom to be used as a study. However, the boys sleep really well at the moment so I am hesitant to muck with things (particularly as we will have a newborn soon!).

          After much agonising I have decided on a middle ground. We are setting up my 19 month old’s new room upstairs next to his brother. He is still in a cot, but we are buying a set of bunk beds. We figure that way, if the kids want to sleep together they can but if it isn’t working they can have their separate spaces… Hopefully it works out!

          Perhaps you can do the same – put twin beds or bunk in one room (say Charlie’s room) and have the other a play space with the daybed (notionally Elliot’s room)…

  33. 1. Not sure, either. IMO, can’t really go wrong either way.
    2. KEEP TREE> 100%. But, trim away what is needed to obtain a clear view from living room and porch.
    3. SHARE ROOM (while they are young, like you said). As for sharing bed? In my experience, my son wakes up the second someone sleeping with him moves; he sleeps way better alone. So, I think it depends how your kiddos sleep. A good idea might be a bunk bed for sleeping, and then include your sweet girl’s day bed in the room for reading, snuggles, and family naps like you envision/dream of!

  34. Oo what good questions! Let’s see, my vote would be:

    1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish? Replace the flooring with wide planks. Would be so pretty! Plus the creaking will end up being annoying eventually, and you don’t want to have to deal with that while you’re living in the house.

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep? I vote that you keep it for now, live with it a bit, and see how you like it. You can always change your mind later!

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own?? I say share, but with twin beds. Better sleep for everyone involved, and a super cute room setup!

  35. I’m so excited for you and your family! I loved your last house, but this one has the potential to be even better. Even though MCM is popular (and I enjoy the style) there is something cozy and wonderful about even older homes. My family and I live in Minneapolis and I can’t wait to get my hands on a bungalow! We’re hoping to buy this spring and so I’m excited to watch your renovation process.

    Since you asked… Here’s my two cents 🙂

    1. Floor – no idea. I love old floors, but it would probably be easier to replace it now if you’re going to do it at some point.

    2. Tree – keep it if you can! Shade is a precious commodity, as are trees when you’re a kid. We used to play in the woods behind our house. Although my mom has since admitted that sometimes she would get completely stressed out because she couldn’t see or hear us when we went on an adventure, she said she knew the value of independent exploration was important. And we were totally, totally fine. I’m hoping that my daughter has the same kind of space I had.

    3. Sharing a room/bed – yes! We haven’t reached this point, but this is a definite goal of mine. I come from a family of four and shared with my two sisters until I was 16. For a while, my sisters even shared a bed. We’ve found (although don’t tell my brother) that it seems to have had a big impact on our adaptability and sense of ‘possession.’ Not to say that you can’t develop good pro-social skills without sharing a room, but I think it really helps! In terms of the bed, I think it depends on the kids. Everyone requires different things when they sleep… so you might try letting them share and then decide? A friend of ours let her boy and girl share a room and bed until they asked to have their own rooms. Done and done. Another friend has six kids and one son and daughter asked to share in high school and worked out a system for changing, etc. (And, yes, they’re perfectly well adjusted and normal.) So I think it can work however. I also think that sleeping together is a normal, biological, human thing to want, and I wonder if it would be easier to transition my daughter out of our bed if she had a sibling to share with. Unfortunately for her, she’ll have to wait a bit for that option 🙂

    1. I should clarify – the h.s. kids have a bunk bed… in case that was unclear! 🙂

  36. Only have experience with #3. My girl/boy are 4 and 2; both went into real beds about 18 months. We have tried to sleep them in the same bed–at home, at hotels, visiting family–and have yet to be successful. They just bug each other. Someone kicks. Someone throws another’s blanket out. They want to share the same bed at home, it just hasn’t worked. But we’ve had really good experiences with two beds in the same room–especially if we put the 2yo down about 20-30 minutes before the 4yo. That said, this is only for night sleep. Naps MUST be separate or no one does it. We usually put the 4yo in our room for her nap/rest time. My nieces–also 4/2–share a full bed and do wonderfully.

    1. a ha. so what i’m hearing is that its very based on the child/children …

  37. 2) leave the tree just trim. I lost 2 trees due to extreme weather and they gave so much shade and I miss them terribly!!!! Live with it at first, I have kids and I can’t always see them playing out in the yard but I can hear them and know they are ok.
    3) I shared a room with my brother, he’s room was the farthest and was always scared, were 6 years apart and just the 2 of us. By parents were ok when I asked one night if he can sleep with me (I had a queen size) and they were. We shared a room and bed for ablong time, I believe he was 10 and I had no problems with it. He was my little brother and I saw it nothing more than taking care of him when he needed me. So I have no problem on sharing a bed and now my kids also share a room and we had a spare bedroom but decided that sharing was best, they are 18 and 14 now and have never fought or complained about it and we ( brother and me) are close, now I see it was a bonding fundamental the we benefited from, no regrets

    1. that’s the sweetest story ever. See???? that’s what I want!! that kind of sibling love but I know i can’t force it, just encourage it ..

  38. 1. If the creaking doesn’t bother you I wouldn’t worry about it. I would try refinishing the floors instead of replacing. (our old house had squeaky floors, and I kinda of miss them! I could always hear my husband coming down the hallway – the floors squeaked a certain way underneath his feet).
    2. Definitely trim the tree, don’t get rid of it. The shade it provides is irreplaceable. I wouldn’t worry about not being able to see the kids – often keeping an ear out for them is enough, or you’ll be outside with them. And before you know it they’ll be old enough that you don’t have to watch them all the time.
    3. I would have them share a room, at least until they don’t want to anymore. Not sure about sharing a bed, though, I don’t have any experience with that.

  39. LOVE seeing these photos of the house! I wanted to chime in on the idea of your kids sharing a room. Our boys (21 months apart – now 4 and 2.5) have shared a room since my youngest was 10 months old, more out of necessity than a desire to do so (we just have two bedrooms). While it has bonded them so much, if I had the choice of separate rooms, I’d probably separate them. I’ve always been pretty regimented about sleep for them, and sharing a room definitely shakes up a few things. They have pretty similar bedtimes, but if we put them down at the same time, they wind each other up and it just takes them longer to fall asleep. And every few weeks, one of them will randomly start waking up super early and ultimately wake up the other, so it takes a few days to get them back on track. I’d definitely say if you have the option to do a larger bed in Charlie’s room, do that so they can bunk up when they want to, but still have the option for separation.

    I might’ve had massive jealousy pangs reading everyone’s lovely comments about their kids sharing… 🙂

    1. You are not alone. so many people have said that it hasn’t worked…. thank you so much for sharing. I’m like a hungry squirrel wher each comment pro sharing I’m nodding my head maniacally as if I’m going to get more nuts in my mouth, but each comment against it I’m nodding maniacally as if of course I wouldn’t (with the same nuts in my mouth). So hard!!! (that came off very strange….)

  40. 1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish?
    I would take up a few board to take a look at the supports, before making that call. If the supports are in trouble, go from there.

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep?
    Trim all of the trees appropriately, but do not remove.

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own??
    If you value your sleep and your own bedroom at all, have them in their own rooms. Because even though they are sleeping through the night, all it will take is a sickness on one child, or nightmare, to disrupt the other, and a pattern will emerge. Keeping them separate will make it so much easier on you and your husband to control the chaos erupting. If not, he will wake when she wakes. She will wake, and he will wake and so on. Besides the 3 years in a shared room, really isn’t that convenient in the long run. You’ll waste money decorating a room, that won’t really stay the same in the long run.

    1. Interesting … Ok that sounds sounds rather terrible … thank you 🙂

  41. 1. If your floors creak upstairs, it might wake the kids. If you are investing a lot in this house, I feel like you need toget the foundation part right. If the floors are more than cosmetic problem, I would replace them.
    2. I would canopy up the tree and wait a year or two. You can’t I replace a tree that size and shade will be a reason your kids STAY out there and not complain it’s toooo hot.
    3. My boys share a room. I would advise against at the age your kids are right now. Your precious sleep training will go down the tubes. Sleep is king. When they are both out of cribs then reevaluate the situation.
    Just my 2 cents! I love love love your house!!!!

    1. Ok . done. not sharing. I’m barely a human being right now. WHY WOULD I RISK THAT!!!????

      1. I’m with Jody. I have two girls and I tried sharing a room because it sound it sweet and so my husband could keep his office. Well bad idea for me. My baby was teething and will wake up often crying like crazy and a few nights it will wake up my 4 year old . They are 3 years apart. I noticed then that my oldest was waking up then every night to go potty which is not bad but I really think that it was due to her sister awaking the nights before.
        Also my oldest goes to bed an hour later than the baby and wakes up early three days a week to go to school. So I split them and my husband had to move his office out to the formal living room. Now my family room is combined with kind of formal things and casual things and it’s ok.
        Having said all that. I will wanted them to share a room later, maybe two more years or so. Since actually my oldest wants to do it and she was very happy sharing before, but it was the sleeping thing that makes me moved her out.

  42. My parents own a very old home with the original oak floors. Although they are beautiful, and it was a good gesture to keep them, they sound terrible! They squeak, creak, snap and pop with every step! It gets old (HA). And think of your babies…. do you have any light sleepers in the house? Do you really want to be tiptoeing around the house at nap time and bedtime for fear of waking someone up? Take my word for it….. it’s totally not worth it! You have access to stunning floors, get new ones throughout your house. Your home already has so much original character, and you are so good at mixing things up! I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

    1. No. I don’t want to light walk around the house. thank you. if creaking means less sleep then I’m very ANTI-CREAK.

  43. Hello Emily 🙂

    Congratulations on your new home! I have two girls 2 years apart that shared a room when they were young but around 6,7,8 years old I could tell they needed their own spaces, but we left the two twin beds in my younger daughters room (or you could do the queen) just in case they wanted to sleep together in the same room when they wanted to (and they did) …also handy for sleepovers with friends which comes up quicker than you think. Butttt I always think it is best to do what works for your family at any given time, always fun and easy to switch it up!

  44. My house is almost 100 years old and has original wood floors everywhere. They’re in decent condition thanks to having been refinished by the last home owners. They creak. They squeak. That said, it gives so much more charm to the house than you can ever imagine. Seriously. They’re not even that great and people compliment them all the time. I personally cry a little every time a home reno show rips out the floors. So sad.

    Trim the tree, it probably needs it anyways.

    Room sharing is great! As long as both kids like to do so and don’t bother each other sleeping. Around age 4 or 5, they’ll start to play in their rooms more, so you probably have a couple of years! I did share a bed with my sister and hated it, but we had bunk beds later on and that was ok!

  45. 1.) replace flooring – I love the original look, but functionally, it is going to need to be replaced at some point soonish so might as well do it before yore actually living there.

    2.) keep the tree! Trim it maybe, but keep for sure. You won’t need to watch your kids so closely forever.

    3.) share a room! Maybe have a full/queen size bed and a twin so they can have options for both b

  46. 1. We have an old house with hardwood. It’s not that creaky but noticeably slopes in the hallway and is super scuffed in the kitchen. We have all unpainted trim which complements the floor so we kept as is.

    2. Maybe trim the tree now and wait until kids are a little older to remove if it’s a problem.

    3. I can’t imagine my 3 year old son sharing a bed with his 9 month sister in the future, mainly because he kicks and gets overestimated when he is in our bed. Realistically if they only share until 7 and 5 years, that’s probably only 1 or 2 years of sharing a queen. My son has been in his twin for 6 months but he still ends up in weird positions and we have a rail cause he has fallen out. I also think it would be better if a shared bed was something they chose for themselves rather than decided for them. Is your son going to want to share with his sister when she gets old enough?

  47. I would say keep the floors. If it didn’t bother you before, it probably won’t later. It’s only an issue if you have an infant that is a really light sleeper. We live in a house built in 1879 and my parents said the same thing but it doesn’t bother us. And I think rugs help a lot. Also, I like the twin bed idea. I think my kids would have a party every night though if they slept in the same room. But maybe that would be fun?

    Other items: keep shelves in LR but put some fun art above them? Black trim! – love love love.

    Please let me know if you need any hardware! Brady is on this, I know, but I would love to see some of our designs in your new place. Can’t wait to see where you take this!

  48. 1.) refinish flooring

    2.) lightly trim tree

    3.) each get their own room

  49. My boys are 2 years apart. The little one was SUCH a trial to get to bed at night! When we moved him in with his brother it was perfectly peaceful…
    I’d say definitely 2 beds though, pee and puke happens…
    p.s. When I was small there were 5 of us in a small bedroom, 2 bunk beds and a crib. Beat that!

  50. This is the first time I’ve ever commented, but I can directly relate to #1. We bought a 100 year-old arts and crafts style home 3 years ago, and it needed new floors throughout the first floor. The home had had a fire many years ago, and in the extensive renovations, the previous owners chose not to replace the hardwoods and instead went with wall-to-wall carpet, which needed to come out regardless. To keep with the style of the home, we decided to replace the entire first floor with new hardwood (not engineered or prefinished). I have never regretted it. It has modernized our home while maintaining the style. Like your home, ours has white walls throughout and dark woodwork, so we decided to go with an unstained 3.25″ white oak, which is wider than what was traditionally installed in homes of that era, but we felt it was a little more modern and easier to maintain/clean. (We also have a very matte finish – no gloss, which we love). The light floors did wonders to brighten up our house, so that we could keep the dark trim without feeling like we are in a dungeon.

    What we do regret, however, is not repairing/replacing the subfloor. I don’t know how creaky the floors were previously, but even with new hardwoods they still creak a little. It doesn’t bother me at all, and I attribute it to the fact that we bought a 100 year old home. BUT, it drives my husband insane. He curses all the money we spent to replace the floors, only to have them still creak. So, if you choose to replace, definitely have your contractor/carpenter take a very thorough look at the subfloor and consider repairing/replacing if possible. By the way, I previously owned another 80+ year-old home with damaged and creaky hardwoods and I grew to hate them, so I totally support replacing your floors – it instantly refreshed our current older home, and if you use true hardwoods and have them stained and sealed onsite, it doesn’t detract from the home’s integrity. My two cents : )

  51. My two cents…

    1) Repair flooring. Based on what you’ve said it’s something that could go either way but if it’s already tipping towards the “must repair side” better to to it now when the house is empty vs. 5 years from now which will just be a HUGE hassle. What’s the saying, short term investment for long term gain?
    2) KEEP THE TREE!! Trim it, don’t cut it down!
    3) The kids are young, have them share! They’ll only “want” to have more space when they’re older but you’re in that sweet spot where they can share a room for several, several years before this even becomes an issue– you’ll probably be in a new house by that point!

  52. 1. Replace the flooring. To get a more “old” look, you could replace it with unfinished wood, then finish in place, vs. the pre-engineered stuff. That usually gives a better look, imo as well.

    2. Try trimming first. Having the shade is so key, but if trimming doesn’t give you great sight lines to the kids…

    3. Is there any way to squeeze in the second bathroom if the kids share a room? Mine loved to share at that age, and it was nice to be able to have a different “flex” space.

    Do you have floor plans of the existing drawn up yet? I’ve watched the videos a few times and I’m still not quite getting the layout upstairs.

  53. 1. I do like the floors, so I would probably just refinish, but if the creaking is too loud – loud enough to bother at night or early mornings – or if there’s too much demage, it’s probably best to get rid of themreplace early on, before you’re all moved, in and save the trouble later.
    2. Love the tree, I think it makes the yard look dreamy and cozy. Don’t have kids though, so I can’t comment on the “parent watch” benefits…
    3. I have always shared a bedroom with my sister and we loved it. Our room was always our safe place. I will say, though, that having separate beds felt like the perfect arrangement. We liked sharing a big space, but it felt good to have some independence. I think it’s important that kids have something of their own, it helps them develop a “sense of self”, if it makes sense. Plus, sometimes kids just don’t sleep so well when sharing a bed.

  54. I would not remove the tree just to be able to see your kids playing in the yard. Your kids are not even old enough to play in the yard by themselves and when they are you’d be surprised at how you really don’t need to be staring out the window watching them. We only have a window in the guest room and french door that lead to a deck where we can see the yard from inside and it has never been an issue. I do leave a window open when they are out there so I can hear if someone gets hurt, but that’s it. Obviously all parents have different levels of comfort, but I wouldn’t decide that level until your kids are at least old enough to be out there alone.

    As for sharing a room, I’d base that on how well your kids sleep. My kids share a room, one is loud sleeper who frequently cries out random things in his sleep, however, sharing works because his brother sleeps so hard that nothing wakes him up, not even a malfunctioning smoke detector going off at 2am.

  55. I live in an older home that has those lovely, charming….super annoying, mind numbing squeaky floors and it drives me insane!!! When we had out daughter and we’re trying to get her into her own room those floors woke her up every time causing mommy meltdowns on a daily basis. I’ve spent a fortune on rugs that hardly make a difference so I say deal with it now and either replace them or fix what is prob a foundational issue. Believe me you don’t want to be transitioning your son into a big boy bed, sneaking out of his room when he finally falls asleep and then the floors wake him. You’ll kick yourself every time!

  56. We renovated our 1925 Craftsman about a year ago, so I know a little about the fun you are about to get into! Our floors creak a little, and honestly I rarely notice/am bothered by it. The only time it’s a problem is on those rare occasions when my daughter sleeps in and we try to sneak past her room without waking her. There is a trick I’ve heard about (haven’t tried, so no idea if it actually works) where you sprinkle baby powder into the cracks between the boards, which is suppose to help with the creaking.
    For the tree, I think that part of the charm of living in an older house is the mature landscape it affords. I’d definitely try trimming/pruning the tree before you remove it. A shady patio is such a nice thing to have. Also, remember as your kids get older you’ll likely be able to hear them playing and having clear line-of-sight won’t be nearly as important.
    We just have one kiddo, so we haven’t had to wrestle with the sharing a room question, but I think I’d come down on the side of giving them their own rooms. I think if they were the same gender sharing would be fine, but our friends who have 2 or more kids always say they like having their own space and it’s especially important when they start having friends come over to play or for sleepovers. If you do opt to have them share, I’d definitely do twin beds. The queen bed idea sounds like it’s more for you than for them!
    Can’t wait to see what you do with this house – it’s going to be amazing!!

  57. I have super creaky floors, so bad they actually creak a bit when the cats walk on them. I like them! I am a person who is easily startled so I like knowing someone is coming. Also, at night they serve as a layer of protection…no one is breaking in without our knowledge. I don’t even notice the creaking when I walk on them, and we have only lived there a year.
    No opinions on fig tree, but give your children their own room. It is just prolonging the inevitable not to.

  58. Some thoughts about replacing the floors. I grew up in a 120 year old house with original floors and the creaking never bothered us on the main floor. The upstairs however made it almost impossible to walk around without tiptoeing for fear of waking someone up. I now live in a 75 year old house and am finding the exact same problem. The floors are original and in great shape, and the main floor creaking doesn’t bother us at all, but the upstairs creaking makes it difficult for my husband and I to walk around without waking one of our toddlers up. I truly love the floors and am willing to make the trade (creaking vs. original) for the main floor, but I would replace our upstairs floors in a second if I could. Just remember, once you move in, it’s going to prove incredibly difficult to work on the floors again. I can’t wait to see you put your stamp on this beautiful old home. Best of luck and try to enjoy the process!

  59. Let’s go in reverse order:
    3) My kids are 9-boy and 5-girl, and they have been sharing a room since she was 6 months old. As soon as we moved her in, he slept so much more soundly, he really likes having her in there. This past school year (2nd grade and pre-k) i could tell the winds were changing, and i decorated a room for her, moved all of her clothes and stuff there. It made some things easier as they both had a place to go to get away from one another, also separate places to play with friends (we’re in a 1400 sqft house, 3 br 1.5 ba, no separate playspace). Last week he finally decided it was time for her to move out, so we’re going to work on that the 2nd or 3rd week after school starts (she is REALLY scared about kindergarten right now, needs the security of his being there).
    I’m not sure a bed for them to share will work, one of my kids is a HUGE floppy sleeper and constantly wakes the other up when they share a bed (MOM! SHE HIT ME IN THE FACE!). Also, you NEED that separation when one is sick. NEED. They’re ‘small enough that they can still share a twin, if they want to, but having dedicated separate spaces that are nearby would probably work better for you for a longer amount of time.

    2) Personally, I would thin the tree as much as possible before cutting it down, unless it was a hazard to the house. Shade is worth it, and the kids won’t be little for long.

    1) What are you trying to do with this house? You mentioned “traditional” but do you mean traditional-traditional, or Emily Henderson (extra capital letters there) period appropriate modernization? If the former, keep the floors. If the latter, new floors to funk/update the look would be better.

  60. 1. I think if the floors are fixable (not just look good but stop the majority of squeak and bend), then they should be fixed. But if not, then do what you can now before you move in. I’d get a second option from a flooring person. I personally think contractors are too quick to rip things out. Also, save a tree.

    2. Save a tree! Please! I would trim the best you can. I would never remove a tree unless it was causing some kind of structural damage. Especially in California where the shade is so valuable.

    3. This one is really personal. At the end of the day, I’d go with your instinct on sharing the room. I would, however, suggest two beds. If one is sick, and has to get up/change sheets, it doesn’t seem really fair to disturb the other – which would be inevitable if they shared a bed.

  61. I’m so excited we’re getting more of a glimpse into your new home and the process of renovating it! I don’t have the right perspective to answer ALL of your questions or address all of the quandries, but I do have a couple of opinions based on my experience or preference:

    1. Get rid of the fig tree (not just the canopy), especially since you have other trees in the yard. We recently took down quite a few trees (but left some) and are SO happy that it made our house and yard look so open. Huge difference. We don’t regret it.
    2. Paint the moldings/mullions black–I love that look but don’t have the style of house for it. You do!
    3. Refinish the ceiling beams (and maybe take off the decorative curvy things on them??).
    4. Hang curtains to soften of all of the interesting architectural details in the room.
    5. Extend the shelving upward.
    6. Do not tile the fireplace and leave the brick as-is.

    Just my two cents…can’t wait to see it come together!!!

    1. Regarding your floors – I live in an old house and also have the squeaky floorboard issues. With a napping toddler, I have learned where to step to avoid the creaks as I walk out of her room after putting her down! However, I have learned that a thick rug works wonders to mask the noise. We have a runner with a thick rug pad in our bedroom hallway and that has helped a ton. I’m glad our floors are original to the house!

  62. You do not have to replace to flooring to fix the creaky floors. The guys on This Old House have great tutorials to do this yourself or if you are hiring out to refinish the floors, just do it then. It seriously is easy to do: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-repair-squeaky-wood-floors

    The original floors and woodwork are of a quality that you will not be able to buy today. Treat it well and it will last another hundred years.

  63. Husband and I live in an old house (DC, 1920’s) and the floors creak LOUDLY. When we first moved in a few years ago, it was a slight, charming, old-house creak, but it only got worse and soon we won’t be able to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking the other up (hyperbole, but you get it). I love our old floors, but they aren’t particularly special either and once we have a kiddo I feel like we will want to reduce noise as much as possible. I vote to replace yours with something fab so I can copy!

    Also re: fig tree, they can take A LOT of trimming without dying. I have two and love them so much, but I prune them back by like half every year so they don’t take over our tiny, highly-prized rowhouse yard. Maybe try trimming yours back and pairing it with a pretty patio umbrella (or arbor???) for shade?

  64. My house is 83 years old and I LOVE our old floors. I don’t think they’re very creaky though. I mean there are definitely a few spots, but it’s not like haunted house creaky or anything.
    We had them refinished before we moved in and I love knowing that they’re the original floors. There aren’t many original features left of the house, so I was glad to save those.

  65. You ask and the world will respond!

    1. Replace the floors. You’ll have to do it before you sell again in 5-10 years and you’d be upset after doing it then that you didn’t do it now and enjoy the results. Selfishly I want to see what you’d do anyway!
    2. Trim the tree, but don’t remove it.
    3. Separate rooms. Agree with another responder up above that you’ll likely have separate rooms in the future anyway, so best to do it now. No to sharing a larger bed. If Charlie has a queen mattress then they can do so when they want to, but not be forced into it every night.
    4. Refinish the beams in the living room. Strip and stain a more natural/lighter color.
    5. Make shelving deeper and extend up and around fireplace. Where would we be without an Emily Henderson shelfie!?
    6. Don’t hang curtains, it could seem weird with the beams. Find some other light blocking/privacy solution for TV viewing.
    7. Don’t tile the fireplace. Unless you remove the shelving, then tile the fireplace.
    8. Paint the trim/moulding white.
    9. I’m on the fence about painting the room. I’m definitely interested in seeing a new design scheme, a new-new California, as it seems all designers there leave all walls white. However it does have such beautiful light…. It’s a hand-wringer. If you do paint the room, perhaps paint the ceiling as well, then maybe consider painting all the molding and window casements in a tonal hue.

  66. 1. Replace the floors. They are just old and not special, just do the nuclear solution now and get er’ done so you don’t have to worry about it. Also, totally paint the trim black with white walls, and I think you could get rid of the bookshelves – they don’t seem super special, and would give you some nice wall space in that room. Similarly, tiling the fireplace wouldn’t be my first choice. I like the simplicity of that wall. As for curtains, I would not do any unless the style of the Tudor house really demands it – keeps it so much more bright and open.
    2. I would say keep the tree, because a big beautiful tree is the whole reason for having a nice backyard! But if it’s going to be a huge functional problem then just get rid of it, and don’t feel bad about it. You can put up an umbrella for shade! 🙂
    3. You know your kids better than I do, but sharing a room seems like a recipe for trouble when it comes to bedtime. (and definitely not sharing a bed, because battles over getting kicked in the night and stealing covers are REAL)

  67. I shared a room with my sis till she hit 13 and wanted her own room. I think it depends on the kids and their personalities. Some kids are high energy and messy and some are book readers and tidy. Then, that might be time to give them their own space.

    You can only refinish original oak floors so many times before the nails come popping thru. If you’re near that point now, bite the bullet and replace before you move in. If you only plan on living in this house for a few years, refinish and live with them.

    Fig tree, is it beautiful? You already find it useful. A good arborist should be able to help you a lot. Trees take time to grow that big, even in your sunny climate.

    I am looking forward to lots of fun posts about your reno.

    1. Twin beds not double. Save yourself a whole lotta “you’re touching my side” “quit kicking me” “you’ve got all the blankets” and other arguements. Plus bedwetting … not that your kids would ever.
      I’d paint the window frames black and leave them uncurtained if it works with privacy and sun control. Also if you have landscape lighting, then you don’t have black holes for windows at night. Landscape lighting changes everything.
      We’re an opinionated lot, but you did ask for it!

  68. I only have an opinion on #3.

    I have a 5 year old boy, and a 15 month old girl, and they share a room out of necessity. They do very well sharing, and I think it does help create a special bond. They have each woken up in the middle of the night for various reasons (peed the bed, teething, etc), and the other sleeps right through it. HOWEVER, mornings are a little rough. Both of them are early risers, and they kind of feed off each other. If our son wakes at 5:00, and runs to the bathroom, then he’ll usually wake up our daughter who’s already at the edge of waking up. And vice versa, if our daughter wakes at 5:30 and starts babbling, then it will wake up our son who’s also at the edge of waking up. I know not everyone has crazy early morning kids like we do, but if you do, it’s something to think about.

  69. So excited about your new house! It’s gonna be amazing. Okay…weighing in. Floors, I say keep and refinish. Creaky floors are part of the charm of an old house. I’d try to trim the tree first before cutting it down. Mature trees are so hard to come by. And I’d go with two twin beds for the kids. My 7 year old daughter and 5 year old son sometimes share her full size bed and they always end kicking each other or waking the other up. Though they love the snuggle part of it.

  70. I live in an old house with two kids, that we are fixing up one step at a time (don’t do that…fix it up first!) so I have some insight…

    As for the floors, one thing I can say about an old house is fixing things in the beginning is always worth it. Everything breaks all the time in an old house, so if you can resolve any problems up front you should definitely do it. I can’t tell you how many times creaky floors have woken up my kids. Downstairs you might be fine, but if your upstairs floors and your stairs creak you will definitely regret not fixing it. I walk down my stairs like a teenager trying to sneak out of her parents’ house every night!

    I live in Texas so I hear you on the shade, but I also think it’s worth the peace of mind to be able to let your kids run around outside where you can see them. Your kids probably aren’t fighting a lot yet, but I have a four year old and a two year old and I spend a lot of time playing referee. See if you can trim it, but as much as it pains me to say it…the tree might have to go.

    Do you follow Babyccino? Courtney’s kids share beds and it looks so sweet! If you think it would work for you, you can always try it! I think it would be great for sibling bonding, and it would probably be really comforting for them. I agree with the above commenters who said skip the toddler bed. My daughter was a little afraid of the height of her bed at first, so we put her mattress on the floor, then added the box spring, then put it all on the bed gradually as she got used to things. I selfishly want you to do two twin beds so I can see how you style them 😉

    My last note, that’s kind of a bummer, is to look out for lead. Just be aware that if you’re in an old house, there is lead somewhere. My pediatrician asks me about it every time we go!

    1. Re the lead thing, London is full of lead piping but apparently as the water is very hard and the pipes have built up a layer of calcified deposits it prevents the lead from leaching into the water. It probably is only a concern if the lead pipes are damaged in the renovation work (and depending on how soft / hard the water is). The other thing to look out for too in older properties is the use of asbestos in garages and basements.

  71. 1. I think it’s more important to do the addition that Orlando mentioned, off the dining room and the bedroom, so I would save your money for that, and simply refinish the current floor. I would say I only notice floorboards squeaking when it comes to waking a sleeping child. If your kids are deep sleepers, then that’s not an issue to keep creaking floors.

    2. Definitely keep the tree! It’s charming, and cozy, and totally practical. Your kids will be safe in the yard. Just trim the tree a bit. Besides, it’s so much cheaper than having it ripped out and then having to pay for some sort of patio awning. Save the money, keep the charm!

    3. Let them share a bedroom, with two separate beds. The basement guest bedroom needs some work, and with the kids sharing a room, you can have one guest bedroom set to go upstairs. If Charlie and Elliot can share a room, then use the extra space of the spare bedroom for something else.

  72. replace. remove. share.

  73. Shade is wonderful, and it looks like you have other trees that could provide it, but being able to see into the backyard from as many rooms in the house is invaluable. We have that ability in our little cottage and it is so convenient to look out and see what’s going on. You can always bring in more shade but an unobstructed view is so great. I’ve snapped many photos through the windows of my kitchen, living room or bedroom of adorable moments happening outside.

  74. I love your house, Emily, and I love old houses, in general. My kids are about the same age as yours and we bought an over-100-year-old house last year.
    My votes:
    -separate kids (unless they are amazing sleepers). I think it’s nice for kids to have their own space and with different nap times, etc., it makes things easier. But definitely designate a playroom.
    One of our first projects was finishing our basement and making it into a playroom, and i don’t regret that at all.
    -keep tree!! you will use the courtyard more if it’s comfortable (not so hot)
    -the floor dilemma is tough – but if you think you’ll eventually replace, you might as well do it now. We don’t mind our creaks, but we probably should have at least refinished the floors before we moved in. To do it now will be challenging!

  75. My votes:
    1. Save the floors! I’ve lived in old homes most of my life and as a kid I loved finding the creaky spots. They give the house character. Unless they are a safety hazard, old floors have a charm that can’t be reproduced.
    2. Trim the tree! Live with it for a while before making your final decision.
    3. There was a 5 year gap between me and my little brother so I can’t really comment. We always had separate rooms, but even then we sometimes had sleepover nights where we would share a bed (or both sleep in sleeping bags on the floor). I kind of like the idea of 2 twin beds. Imagine the pillow forts you could build between them!
    4. Just in answer to your first gif: I would add more shelves around the fireplace, but otherwise keep it as is.

    No matter what you end up doing, I’m excited to see the results!

  76. So many thoughts!!!

    1 – While I always think you should keep original flooring, the rest of the house is SO LOVELY AND OLD that I will take exception to my own rule and say I think you should replace. There are so many other features to this Tudor that the floors won’t be missed. Also better to replace now than later.

    2 – That fig tree is gorgeous so KEEP!

    3 – The kids will have lot of time for their own rooms when they get bigger. Totally vote that they should share (yay matching twin beds!!!) and that you should use the extra room for a sitting room.

  77. 1. Repair the original floors.
    2. Keep the tree; prune responsibly.
    3. Have the kids share a room, bed.

  78. I’d say fix the creaking floors! We lived in a 1920s rental house that had really creaky floors. I didn’t notice it at all when we were going through the place before signing the lease, but after living with it for a year and a half, I had enough. You don’t think it will bother you until it does, and by then it will be much harder to fix.

  79. As others have said, unless the floor is loud enough to wake the kids, I would refinish. Your kids will always remember the exact pitch of the creaky sound.

    the first time I saw the photo of your living room, I shrieked “black molding!!!!” in my head.

  80. I would not get rid of that beautiful tree! As your kids get older you won’t be as worried about seeing them from every angle of the yard! I’m all for room sharing if it doesn’t mess up the sleep! Nothing is worth ruining good sleeping babies! We are about to move my 16 month old in with my 3 year old (boy and girl) and I think it’s going to be great! But I may have more wisdom on that in a few months!!

  81. I was already so excited about this new house… but the way you are engaging all of us in these questions is drawing me in even more. How do you pull off having the best blog going by such a shocking margin!?

    My humble opinions —

    The floors: my parents’ house is over 150 years old, and trying to get my kids to sleep there sometimes feels like the end of the world. To be fair, the fact that the doors are impossible to close without clanking is the part that has brought me to tears more often than the actual floor creaks. But, when you’re trying to get upstairs at night without waking the kid in the room next to you, it’s about as intense as my life ever gets as far as heart-racing goes. In contrast, my grandparents’ house is built like a rock, and when I’ve had the kids nap there, the experience of laying them down, and then sneaking out without the slightest sound, is delightful. THAT SAID, kids are resilient, and will get used to extraordinary things when it’s part of their regular life. If you leave it as is, you’ll have a few stressful months while you all adjust… and then it’ll become the most natural thing in the world. That’s how I felt in my parents’ home as a kid — it was actually a really comforting thing for me that I could tell exactly who was coming up the stairs by the particular way they made the stairs/hall creak and that I could recognize who was getting up and going to bathroom, but the particular noises of their door. If you go for that built-in old house creak, though, I guess the main issue would be that you’ll get used to it, but your friends won’t. So, it might be a thing that makes staying at your house feel very uncomfortable for them. (They won’t *feel* like your kids are used to the stairs creaking late at night.)

    The tree: I agree with others — at least try trimming it first. I personally think it’s okay if the kids are playing in the backyard and you can’t see them, especially once there are two — one can call for help if you’re needed. Our kids sometimes play at the side of our house and/or I’m working in a room without windows to the back while they are out there, and it’s never bothered me. I keep an “eye” on them more by sound rather than sight anyway. Hearing something off is what makes you go over and take a peak out to see how things are going. If you absolutely can’t see them, even when you’re trying, I guess that might feel uncomfortable at times. But, if the tree can be trimmed to make that possible, that seems like the best of both worlds to me.

    The kids’ rooms: yes! have them share! I have a 9-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter (21 months apart) and they have been sharing a room (two twin beds) since my daughter was 2.5 and moved to a big bed. They are the best of friends, and it’s the very sweetest thing in the world. I wouldn’t have it any other way no matter how many other rooms we had in the house. We do plan to move things around to two girls sharing a room and two boys sharing a room once our younger two are older, but I don’t think any of my kids will ever want their own room. Again with the “kids get used to pretty much anything”… but with an addd in “I think that learning to share life/space with someone else closely is an awesome life lesson, and that it builds deeper connection, and there is nothing to lose.” Especially when you have the vague sense that you might move again when Charlie is 10-ish… I would go for it and have them share! (Added bonus: it’ll be something new as far as blog content goes.) I can’t speak to sharing a bed because we haven’t done that (although, my son and daughter do share a double bed when we travel, and it’s never been an issue then). One thing I’ll say is I personally like, when they are flu-sick, or potty training, that they aren’t in one bed. But, I think that with that as with everything else, they would get used to it and become fond of it, if that’s what you do.

    Can’t wait to see what you decide. I’m way too excited about this new project!

    1. Very random thing (trying to be constructive vs. critical — hope that comes across): I always find your comments a bit hard to read because of the spacing around “Reply”. It feels like there should be “Reply” should be snugged just a touch closer to the comment, and that there should be much more space above the new commenters name. I also think the commenters name/date should be snugged in a bit closer to their comment. Not sure if it’s just me, but it just visually groups the name with the previous comment in my mind, vs. the comment that person actually wrote.

  82. Now is the time to fix the floors! It’s a bummer if the original flooring can’t be repaired but that just means it’s time to give this home fresh floors to last the next 100+ years. We know you’ll pick something beautiful, timeless, and appropriate to the architecture.

  83. We have a 100+ year old house and the floors do creak, especially the stairs. After a while, you barely notice. Plus, our kids will NEVER be able to sneak out.

  84. So sweet of you to ask our opinion, Emily. First, let me say I’m SO excited about your new house and how old and character-filled it is!!! Okay, my answers:
    1. Keep and refinish. Aren’t the original floors part of what you loved about the house in the first place? I’d say old, 2″‘oak IS special! My husband and I are renovating our 5th old house (with young kids!) and have yet to tear out a floor. The creaking has never bothered me (it’s never been too bad) and seems to dissipate with rugs and furniture in the space. It’s hard to get a feel about the condition from the photo, but if they do need replaced how about replacing with the same thing?
    2. Prime and then live with the tree for a year. Once you get a feel for how you live in the house and how the tree/shade feels year round, I think you’ll know if should come down or not. ttees take a long time to grow, you don’t need to decide quickly.
    3. Oh man, I’m having the same dilemma! My two boys are within a few months of Charlie and Elliott and I’ve tried to get them in the same room, but they seem to be keeping eachother up and we are all tired! Like many of my peers, I grew up sharing a room and want that for my kids. Why does everything in parenting have to be so damn hard?!
    Good luck! Excited to see what you decide!

  85. The only thing I would say about the creaky floors is that they will for sure drive you crazy now because you are aware of them. If no one had said anything, you may have been fine but in a year from now, you will be mad at yourself for not fixing them when you had the chance.

  86. I believe in letting an old house be an old house. I’d just refinish the floors unless the creaking is REALLY bothering you, or unless there is a problem structurally. If you are even partly thinking of replacing them, do it now because you will never want to do it later: it will totally upheave your life. I’d trim the tree, but keep it. While the kids are little you will be outside with them. When they are big enough to be out alone, the tree won’t matter. I have two kiddos, a girl and boy, 17 months apart. They would love to share a room, and though they have separate rooms, we often lug one mattress into the other’s room for “sleepovers”, and it makes the bedtime routine so fun. I shared a room as a kid and never minded a bit. It’s beautiful home and property. Just beautiful as it is. I can’t wait to see what you do to it!

  87. Congrats on your new home! I have twin boys who had always shared a room. When they hit 1st grade, they each asked for their own rooms. They loved having their own space but every night they would still meet in the guest bedroom and sleep together in the queen bed. They are now entering 4th grade and they now have “sleepovers” in each other’s rooms almost every night. 🙂 Personally, I would skip the toddler beds and go with a full/queen or a trundle. That way, they can have “sleepovers” anytime they want yet still maintain their own space, especially until they are on the same sleep schedule and until they both stop wetting the bed. 😐

    As for the fig tree, my vote is to remove. Would be nice to see straight through to your huge yard!

  88. I grew up sharing a room with my brother (5 years younger than me) in a Full bed when he was in pre-school and I was in elementary, then my sister and I (2 years apart) shared a room with two twin beds when I entered 3rd grade. I don’t remember us ever having issues. Maybe once we got into the end of elementary school we’d be chatting a little too late past bedtime, but those are memories I cherish. We had a shared bookcase and read together and it was just so fun to me to share a room. Once we moved to a bigger house we all got our own rooms, but my sister and I had sleepovers in each others rooms anyway on the weekends for old times sake… I say go for it 🙂

  89. We refinished all the floors in our 100 year old house, they see fir, they were really damaged (much worse than yours, painted,covered in linoleum) they are so beautiful now and all the flaws add character that new floors will never have. I would really try to keep them.
    I always want to remove trees, I love light, but I agree pruning it first and seeing if that can make a difference is the best approach.
    Sharing rooms is such a personal decision, I have 3 kids who are now teens, they shared rooms very early on and it was great, but your kids will definitely need their own spaces at some point.
    Good luck on your house, it’s beautiful

  90. I’d say let them share a room, but in twin beds. My brother (who is five years younger than me) and I shared a room for years because we were both night owls. I never thought it was odd. We had bunk beds though. My two sisters shared a full bed, but I would def go twin. If someone has an accident during the night, it’s easier to clean up one kid/ mattress.
    Plus gender neutral kids bedrooms are so stinkin cute!

  91. So fun to ask the readers! I only have a thought/experience re the kid room situation. We have a 4 bedroom house but our three kids (girl 6, boy 4, boy 2) all share a room (two twins and a crib) they sleep better together! And I sleep better knowing they are together! Safety in numbers! One other bedroom is a play room for now but eventually I know our daughter will move into it. Maybe another year… Let them share while they are young. It’s special and fun…they’ll have plenty of time for their own space when they are older!

  92. Hi! Your new home is lovely.
    With regard to the tree, I would say live with it for a year. If it bugs you, then you can get rid of it. It might be critical to keeping the house cool and you’re not realizing it because the sun’s angles right now or something.
    Skip the toddler bed, they’re a total waste of money. We actually did the mattress(full) on the floor for a few months so that our two year old could get in and out, and then raised it up about 6 months in once he was comfortable. Also they can share a room, but beds get tricky because bedtimes are different. Also, we have one child who is very kicky, and the other doesn’t like it. However, we do let them have “sleepovers” whenever they want.

  93. My girls (8/5 yrs) share a full bed and I love it! They have for a few years and it has been so sweet! We will do twin beds in a couple of years, but it has been so worth it!

  94. 1. Replace the floors – if they are nailed down. Old nails can pop up when you don’t expect it, tearing a hole in someone’s foot. And I think you could really make the house your own with new flooring. Just please don’t do ceramic wood pattern;) – I think something period-appropriate but Emily-ish would be great.
    2. Leave the tree for now. Trees are hard to grow, they take so much water to establish in this time of California drought, and their absence changes your entire experience of a living space. Right now your kids aren’t going to be playing together outside without you much anyway;). Once you have really understood the light patterns, the temperature, etc., you can change your minds if that’s the right course. Besides, it’s the right thing for the planet.
    3. My two kids (girl and boy) shared a room, not a bed, until my daughter turned 8 or 9. It was lovely. I read them bedtime stories – sang songs, while I sat on their floor, leaned up against my son’s bed. And we used the other room for a “playroom” AKA huge toy closet and venue for the building of enormous imaginary populated worlds.

    1. Your new home is phenomenal!

      As the mom of two in college and one in high school, may I say – please don’t cut down the great fig tree yet! Put a few comfortable chairs for yourself down below with a small table, and live that way for a few years. The kids will grow so fast and be able to play down in the yard by themselves but a new tree will not mature at anywhere near the same pace.

  95. I say:

    1. Replace the flooring.
    2. See what your arborist says about trimming the fig. You’ll want to be able to see the kids. You might also be able to replace with a tree that can easily be pruned for light and grow a long trunk to maintain your sight line in the future. Maybe a tree that blossoms flowers would be pretty.
    3. Twin beds! They may decide they want to stay together through high school and you will have a great office/tv/reading room – or that room becomes where they entertain friends and they sleep in their room. I suppose you could even put a dividing curtain up as they grow older (“Stay on your own side!”)

    As for the first photo of the living room (just can’t help myself):
    1. Paint the trim white (or whatever your walls are if they are light in color)
    2. Tile the fireplace.
    3. Make the shelves deeper
    4. I wouldn’t extend the shelves up and around. The tiled fireplace will draw your eye upward so the shelves won’t “shorten” the wall. Also, it gives you the opportunity to add art above the shelves if you’d like.
    5. Refinish beams – painting them out like the walls, or refinishing and keeping the wood look, as long as it goes well with your flooring.
    6. It’s hard to tell what to do with the windows (curtains or no?) from the photo as I don’t know the heights. My first instinct is to have curtains on the taller windows (left) and roman shades on the shorter side doors so that you can block the morning sun.

    It’s a great house – can’t wait to see it progress!

  96. Replace the flooring…it’s not rare or too special, black windows, wooden beams
    Trim the tree
    Have the kids share a room with 2 twin beds or a full until they want their own room. Like you said, you don’t spend time in their bedrooms. They will be outside or in the playroom, or just generally downstairs. Good luck, I love seeing the progress!

  97. If you have the money, I would probably replace the floors. The house I grew up is creaky and I never even noticed, but you could tell if someone was walking around the house and who it was because of the sound of their walk. Now that I’ve lived out of that house for quite sometime, it does seem kind of loud when I’m visiting. Not really a deal breaker because you get used to it.

    I shared a room with my brother for the first couple years of my life and we loved it. I then shared a queen bed with my sister and that wasn’t quite so fun… we did always stay up later than our bedtime playing, but it was not enjoyable to share a bed with a bed hog. We’re having a second child and plan to have them share a room even though there is an extra room.

  98. Please save the fig tree! You can always take it down later. It’s not essential to remove now, right? I like the idea of trimming it up and living with the tree first for awhile before you decide to cut it down. We had a neighbor cut down this lovely tree which was blocking the view of their house however it provided us with so much shade. Made a huge difference in the temperature of our house and theirs too. They regretted it later.

    I am all for replacing the floors before you move in. Our house is new but the 2nd story floors cracks when we walk on them and it drives me nuts. My husband and I are always afraid of waking our baby. Your house is old enough to retain it’s charm and character. Better for the floors are sound before you put all this money into it and/or move in.

  99. Keep the tree! Having shade back there is going to be so important for summer lunches and keeping the house cool. Consult an arborist to find out what trimming the tree can handle and the appropriate season. (We just went through this with our backyard shade tree!)

    I go back and forth about refinishing the floors and changing some of the original features in our 1940 home too. I’m one of those people that likes to think about all the people that lived in our house before us and how they walked these floor boards. I tend to leave as much original as I can. That being said, we have top-nailed oak floors so fixing creaks is easier but the noises give the house some character. I know where the squeaky spots are but I don’t notice the noise now after living here a year.

    Go with your (and Brian’s) gut for the question about sharing a bedroom. That will steer you best about what’s right for your family. Well actually, that goes for all of these questions! 🙂

  100. I am a horticulturist that lives in a house that is 110 years old and I have a ten year old daughter. We have been here for over 10 years and have been remodeling the entire time. Get the flooring fixed! We have only a couple of creaky boards and they drive me crazy. There is so much we wish we had done before we moved in, including issues with the foundation and leveling of the house. I think you’ll regret not doing it if you have any concerns now. As far as your fig tree… I’m a huge fan of shade. Personally, I am fair skinned and I would use the outdoor space more if it has shade, so try to meet somewhere in the middle? I would get the tree limbed up and thinned so that you can see through it. The tree could always be removed later, so maybe live with it for a bit. Think about how pretty it would be with string lights wrapped around its branches! Also, I am the mother of an only child, but I grew up with a brother and we never wanted to be that close together. I also know how much my daughter enjoys her personal space and alone time. I would try twin beds while they are little with the option for their own rooms in the future. Good luck! Can’t wait to watch your journey.

  101. 1) I live in a 182 year old house in the west village with a toddler and our floors are incredibly old and squeaky… everywhere. We repaired a few parts of floor that had broken, but otherwise have left it all as it is. It honestly does not bother us at all, and kind of adds to the character of the home. The only time it was frustrating was during times of sleep regression and the floors would always give us away when trying to escape the room! Ha. Other that that, it’s been totally fine and we don’t even notice it anymore.

  102. I live in circa 1895 home with huge windows, which is great but leaves little room for art and collectables, so I would keep the shelves if you want to display items or collect books.
    My kids (boy/girl 3 years apart) shared a room until the little one turned 5. I think it created a closeness.
    I would fight to save the original floors, and trim up the tree. Over time we have had to remove trees because they have become overgrown or sickly, but it’s a last resort.

  103. We once lived in an apartment with floors so damaged and creaky you had to stop walking to hear someone speaking. They also kind of pinched your feet. If they are that bad or will become that bad, fix ’em. Trim the tree… I say you gotta make tha lovely thing work <3 And I'm with you regarding kids sharing a room if they can handle it. We don't have kids yet, but I have a gorgeous set of antique twins beds I intend to use, and I wouldn't want to be without our guest room or office for the time being. I can't wait to see what you do with your house! We bought an old home (pre-1900) last fall, and I can use the inspiration!

  104. my brother, sister and i all shared a queen size bed together until i was 5 or 6. we thought it was so fun 🙂

  105. First, I say do the floors now. It will be so much easier before the rooms are filled with furniture. Also, we call that sort of project “infrastructure” – not necessarily exciting, but good to do for the long term.
    Second, if you can’t trim the trees to see the kids, cut it down. You want to be able to glance out at them without being out there with them.
    Third, let them share a room as long as they’re willing! I love two twin beds – as they get older they can personalize their bedding. Believe me, eventually they will want their own rooms. But for now, let them grow up as best friends and roommates.
    As for the living room, I love the contrast of white walls with dark trim. It’s also original to the design of the house.
    Good luck!

  106. We currently rent a 100+ year old house in Los Angeles, but plan to but it in a few years and the first thing we will do is replace the floors. They’re currently beautifully finished, and very well maintained but SO CREAKY!!! They are only going to get worse, plus they warp down at the edges of the room from the house settling. Because that will involve intense engineering to fix, we figure we might as well have quiet floors as well. It would seem so silly to fix the warp but not the noise!

  107. 1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish? Replace it now before you move it. Uprooting to redo the floors will be SUCH a pain later on.

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep? Trim!!! Don’t get rid of it if you can avoid it!! There is a lot to be said about being able to see the kids, but if you can create the sight line, do it.

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own?? This is tough…as someone with a younger brother, I’ll say we both took a lot of ownership of having our own spaces. Until I started grade school, I think it would have been fine to share, but once we were on different schedules and I was a “big girl” in 1st grade, I think sharing would have been harder. Maybe do twin beds in one room for now and then when Charlie is ready to move, you can split the set of twin beds?

  108. I’m a guy and I shared a room with my younger sister until I was about 6. I turned out normal. I will say …since I watched your home tour that you could possibly make the 2nd child’s room into the playroom/tv watching room…then you don’t have to sacrifice the dining room for the playroom. When they are ready to separate turn the playroom back to the 2nd bedroom.

    Selfishly I want to see you design a dining room in this house too.

    Also, creaky floors drive some people crazy, I’d fix them now so someone doesn’t make that a huge issue when you resell in the future, especially if it’s only going to get worse. If you are spending now, you might as well get it done right.

  109. 1.Replace the floor. 2. Trim the tree. 3. Have their own rooms.

  110. 1. I would just replace the flooring, we have a 1950s house that has the original flooring. It has been refinished and is in perfect condition and just the feeling of one board shifting under my foot is enough to drive me crazy. I know where the squeeks are so at night I am hopping around the floor like a crazy person trying not to make noise and wake up the kids.

    2. DON’T YOU DARE CUT DOWN THAT TREE. Trees are irreplaceable. It provides a perfect amount of shade to the patio and living room. I think you could easily trim it to give a little bit better visual but DO NOT CUT IT DOWN!!!

    3. Have the kids share a room! I have two girls, but they LOVE sharing a room. We use the other room as an office and it’s really nice. My kids almost always sleep together anyway, but their room looks cute with two beds in it..

  111. My sister and I (she’s 2 years older than me) shared a room for a good portion of our childhood. We are super close and for the most part we loved it. When we were grade school age, we both had twin day beds and for fun, sometimes we’d push them together to create one big “crib”.. Hah! We loved it and thought it was so fun. Maybe this is a way to give them separate beds but still have fun nights of cuddling up together.
    PS your new house is gorgeous. I love that it’s a Tudor with sort of a California/mission style flair. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  112. Replace the floors! Thye creaking didn’t bother me until kids came along and we had to be be concerned about waking them u[. It drove me crazy enough to have to do it later–and we practically had to move out all over agian… Ugh, it was nightmarish with two young kids.
    Don’t cut the tree! Your kids will be grown in a few years but to replace the tree will take a lot longer. And a tree canopy is a fab thing to sit under and look up at and eat fresh figs… mmmmm. A pruning may do the trick, though. I have a friend who took a out a kitchen island becasue she didn’t want her kids to get hurt running around. Three years later she was very regretful.
    I’m not American and in Europe it’s quite common to share a room with a sibling–even if they are a different sex. When I became older I shared a room with my grandmother and loved it. But I’ve never shared a bed…..
    To this day our guest bedroom had two twin beds and they are surprisingly liked by everyone. My friends has a huge (to me) house–4700 sf–and, when her three girls were older, they opted to all move in, together, into the nanny suite, abondoning their perfecltly decoarted rooms. I was their nanny at one time and, when I lived in said nanny suite, they always wanted to sleep with me. And would sneak in at night and do so…

  113. Replace the floors if it is in budget- you may always wish you had if you just refinish them!
    Can you lose the tree and do a canopy of some sort to help with shade (and still keep the view to the backyard?)
    I have dreams of my little sharing a room with her soon-to-be sibling. My MIL put my husband & brother in the same room and their nighttime chatter fostered such a sweet relationship. They were buddies, and still are. It frees up a room, even if creating more noise, less quiet nap times, longer falling asleep times. But that relationship it helps to cement! So precious.

  114. I love your new house Emily! It is so beautiful! I can’t wait to see how you update the space.

    My advice, I would…:

    1. Replace. You may fix them cosmetically, but spend even more money replacing them in 3-5 years when the creaking begins to really annoy you.
    2. Trim first, remove later? Mature trees are beautiful and add so much character. You might regret not keeping it!
    3. Let them share. I think it is a great experience for siblings to share a room, leads to more bonding and more memories. Plus, twin beds look cute, and mama deserves an office or extra den. 🙂

    I’d love to see the trim modernized and painted an off-white. A full wall off book shelves could look great around the fireplace…or maybe just made a foot or so taller with some shelves removed for a more modern look.

  115. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-repair-squeaky-wood-floors
    We used these break off headless screws as a fix with our house to remove the major squeaks in high traffic areas. It has worked really well.

  116. Live in the house for one week and you will know for sure if you can live with the tree or if you need to remove it.

    The floors are trickier because you need to do those ahead of time for sure! I love old, beautiful floors and would personally put up with quite a bit of creakiness to have those in my home. We have young kids and an old house and there’s a huge creak right in the doorway to my son’s room. It’s annoying, but if I had gorgeous floors I might not mind it as much 😉
    (Our floors are creaky because they are laminate on top of old damaged floors. Boo!)

    Um, I also kind of love the fireplace as-is but I’m sure you’ll do something lovely if you tile it.

  117. I’m pro save the tree!! Prune if you must but there’s nothing nicer than relaxing on a shady patio under a beautiful tree! And once the kids are a bit older (old enough to play in the yard without much supervision) you might want the separation from the “adult” and “kids” areas when having friends over.
    Having lived in an old house and now a new one, no creaking floors is soooo nice! I’d fix them if you can.

    I had been anti room sharing until we had a fire and had to live in a two bedroom for a year while our new house was being built. My son was 5/6 and my daughter was 3/4 while we were there and I was really nervous about how it would go but ended up being awesome! They initially had to share a double bed which was ok but we got bunk beds and that was fantastic. They each had their own little area but the loved having each other and even missed each other when we moved into our new house and they had separate rooms again. They were still young enough that half the time they were playing out in the common areas of the house so the wanting the room to themselves to play wasn’t really an issue. And they just seemed to get used to each others noises or wakings and most of the time slept through it. I think it was a great bonding time for them! I loved listening to their chats at bedtime, so sweet!!!

  118. 1. replace the floor if you can afford it. the floors in my old house are noisy. But we’ve gotten used to it.
    2. I love the shade. we trimmed back our large trees and I miss the extra shade they provided
    3. My boy is 2 1/2 and girl is 6 months. For now they have their own rooms but we’re thinking of putting them together. We just use our bedrooms for sleeping so space isn’t an issue as long as 2 beds fit. I look forward to reclaiming that extra room for guests, office, play/lounge space.

  119. I bought an old house 4 months ago and the floors creak very bad. At first it was a big concern and I hated the sound…for about 3 weeks! Now we don’t really even notice it. Oh-the floors needed to be refinished as well, but a couple of large area rugs solved it and the bit that shows adds character.

  120. I have three boys (10,8,5) and they share a bedroom even though we have a 5 bedroom house. They love it. It’s the largest room with the biggest closet and my super handy husband designed and built them a ‘triple’ bunk bed with two on top going across and one on the bottom with a reading nook. It’s wonderful having them all together.

  121. I would totally replace the floors. There are so many great hardwood floors now that would not look out of place in your home.

    Tree- leave it until you prune it. I’m all about having that green canopy, and I think we’ve been too conditioned by the new construction neighborhoods to live without trees.

    Sharing a room while young is so not a bad idea. I love the thought of two twin beds. My sister and I shared a room until I was 13. We had separate beds, but would often push them together to cuddle. My older brother and sister shared a room until they were 6 and 8. I don’t see any issue with this!

  122. I live in a nearly 100 yo house. The floors creak and it doesn’t bother us. Where there is a rug laid, the creaks are muffled to almost nothing. And I know you like your Persian vintage rugs as much as I do!

    We have a sitting room like yours on our second floor too. I have the TV hidden in an armoire with a comfy sectional couch for reading or TV/movies. I think you would love having a place to relax on the same floor as your sleeping kiddos. (Old houses should maintain their grandeur and not have the living room sullied with something as crass as a screen!)

    I also have a beautiful PNW garden and am a gardener and garden docent. Your tree appears to be over 50 years old and to chop it down would be almost criminal. Especially in LA where trees provide natural cooling inside and out. Please get a good arborist who will prune your tree for its own health and happiness. If your garden has a fence your kids will be fine. I was a free range parent too and one day came out to see my 7 yo son in the treetop of a redwood. It scared the crap out of me but if he could get up he could get down and he did. (IMO adventurous children become adventurous adults…I wasn’t aspiring to raise boys who couldn’t wait to get their own cubicle.)

    My boys shared a room until 12 and 14 (by choice). I think it is a great experience but with mixed genders yours will probably split up by 10. Go for it!

  123. So much fun planning! A little stress too, I’m sure 🙂 My perspective: own an 1875 victorian. Familiar with ollldddd houses!

    Those floors. They are magical. You are going to spend a lot of money, regardless if you refinish or replace. I always think refinishing original wood is the right choice – it’s what is meant to be in the home. You can patch in pieces if certain boards are too damaged, and everything else can be sanded and refinished, and they’ll look so gorgeous and true to the home. As far as the squeaking goes – some of that can be repaired. As you walk around the house empty, squeaky floorboards are going to be obvious and loud. Once you have rugs, furnishings, and kiddos, you’re not going to be hearing the squeaks! Not sure how accessible it is underneath your floors, but a lot of the floorboards can be tightened up with screws through the subfloor below. Save the original floors if you can, you won’t regret it. I think the mantra here changes from “make it beautiful” to “restore it’s beauty”.

    I would hesitate to take any action on that lovely tree until you’re living in the house. You can’t really know whether you’re going to prefer a sightline to the yard or some coveted shade yet – all you can do is speculate! Your instinct is to keep the tree, so stick to that for now. Nothing says you can’t trim it back or cut it down later. Let yourself live with it for a bit – especially since your kiddos are still too little to play independently outside anyways.

    I’m pregnant with my first – so my experience with sharing a room is based on growing up. I think sharing a room is great! No real idea about sharing a bed or not, I could see it being fine when they are little.

  124. 1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish?
    -Unfortunately, you will probably have to replace at some point in time. Can you handle the thought of the expense and disruption in a few years?
    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep?
    -Trim as best you can or keep. Removing it will change how that whole room feels and I can tell you from experience morning sun is still going to heat that room unbearably. I am a firm believer in giving kids a yard that is fenced and secure, but just a bit hidden so that natural fun and learning can take place without mom and dad always on top of you. Taking risks when you are little and learning the consequences of those risks costs so much less in childhood than it does the teenaged, or worse, college years.
    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own??
    -Share until they don’t want to share any more. I have two girls, so it was a bit different for us. Yes, they will mess around a little at bedtime, but that’s okay. Bonding is a good thing 🙂 Give them twin beds so they have a space that is their own (you will probably find them snuggled sometimes anyway) and be sure to keep a guest space for those times when one of them needs to be a little more on their own for whatever reason.

    No matter what you ultimately choose, love the house!

  125. Take or leave my two cents, but all of that original character is what makes your place stunning. The noise got on our nerves bad, and it only gets more noticeable. Replace the floors but use 3″ white oak rift cut wood with a beautiful dark stain (costs less and looks original!). That’s what I did in my old house and it looks to die for, people think it’s original but the larger 3″ makes it more modern…Keep a tree that provides shade if you don’t have AC!

  126. Excited about your new digs! I have lived in several old homes and old floors creaking don’t bother me. What does bother me is old damaged floors (even when repaired) never seem to stay clean very well. Makes me crazy! I would replace but only if you go with a natural material! No engineered stuff.

    You will totally want the tree gone to see the kids and not have tree “droppings” on the courtyard! Looks like it might be a great candidate for a beautiful pergola for your shade needs?

    I have two boys (6 & 3.5) and they have been sharing a room and a bed since the youngest was almost 2. By choice. They have 2 full beds (it’s a huge room) in there but squeeze up next to each other every night like puppies! And yes, it’s wonderful at bedtime to read and snuggle with them both!

    Have fun!

  127. Right, my experience only stretches as far as answering #1 and based on living in the UK, so ignore me if irrelevant!

    My first house was a Victorian Cottage built in 1888. Before we could move in, we had to treat all the wood, from attic to basement, for woodworm. Anything that creaked badly, looked dreadful, or felt like it was sagging/wouldn’t weight-bare we replaced. Old houses need renovating continuously and part of the charm of living in an older property is seeing the old and the new side by side. Our motto was ‘repair what we can save, replace what we can’t’.

    So, is it an option to treat or replace only the floorboards that creak excessively?

  128. Looks like you already have plenty of input, but I also think replacing the flooring now while the house is empty would bring peace of mind if nothing else – feel free to move everything in without worrying about if you’ll have to tear up/repair/replace later.

    Also, I think kids sharing a room while they are young is awesome – I think having to share keeps them from becoming too spoiled. I have two boys two years apart and they share a room. One is in a twin bed and one is in the crib still. The only problems I have with kids sharing a bed are the points others raised – what about when someone wets the bed or gets sick in the middle of the night. If your kids are good sleepers and on similar sleep schedules, I think same room but separate beds is a good choice – and they can always snuggle together in one of the beds if they would like.

    And don’t even bother with the toddler bed – just go straight to twin. If you’re worried about them rolling off you could just put the mattress on the floor for a while or get one of those railings that attach under the mattress.

    1. Hi Emily,
      I’m not stylist but I follow your amazing work and i’d like To share my opinion.
      I am italian, so please forgive my english.
      Your questions: I lived in many old houses with old creaking parquet ..and I liked it! I’s something cozy, like a fireplace to me.
      I’d repair the old floor scraping the wood, eliminating some creacking with stucco (plaster?) and deciding if it’s to coat or to simply soak with linen oil. I chose this way and actually it is warmer.
      The tree. Probably I’d remove it. I live almost in a wood and here I don’t have the hot problem, but grass has harder growing under a tree. Also you’ll have to collect a lot of leaves and smascherare fruits when winter comes. And you have other trees.
      Finally kids’ room: I find that sharing the room is a lovely idea: they could talk to each other, conforting, plotting romps, creating articulate games…
      When comes the time to separate the rooms? It depends on their personalities. If they grow compliciy, may be that they’ll like to be together till adolescence. At a certain age, say 8 or 10 for instance, you could put the possibility of two rooms on the table and see what it happens. And there will be different possibilities: a room to sleep and a room to play and to study or a room for each one.
      a big hug!

  129. 1. Refinish don’t replace. I grew up in old houses and live in one now (1905), and I like old floors so that’s my bias. New floors in old houses often don’t look ‘right’ to me. I guess we always had creaky floors and no one really cared. I don’t necessarily think it will wake up your kids if they’re used to the sound. We have a really creaky spot in our bedroom now that’s a little annoying, but I definitely wouldn’t trade our nice old floors (2” oak downstairs, 3.5” pine upstairs) to get rid of it. We refinished without staining them and the color is beautiful.

    I wonder if LA contractors have different opinions about this stuff than in cities with older housing stock (Philadelphia,in my case). I’ve never heard of anyone being advised to rip out 100 year old floors unless there’s severe water damage.

    2. Don’t cut it down until you’ve lived with it and really feel like you need to. You can’t undo it and a beautiful old shade tree is precious.

    3. Try it out!

  130. Personally, I wouldn’t replace the flooring on the lower level. I have an older home with some creaky floors and yes, it’s pretty loud downstairs when people are walking upstairs but its not very noticeable on the lower level. I think keeping the original flooring in at least a couple areas downstairs would be worth the creaks. I love the fireplace, definitely add something to emphasize that design. The white on white washes out the personality.
    I’d get rid of the tree. Morning sun is great and if its shaded by the house in the afternoon it will be fine. I think once you design the courtyard area you can make it plenty cozy without the tree, add flowerboxes and maybe a couple of larger potted trees for height. That railing is begging for some fun design.
    The bedrooms: I have a 9 year old daughter and 7 year old son. My son still prefers to sleep in his sister’s room (she has a bunk bed) instead of his own bed. Maybe make one room a sleeping room and one a play room. It w

  131. if you make one sound decision, let it be this: replace the floor!!! I’m 16 years into a 1930’s traditional colonial and the squeaking floors and subfloor drive me bat shit crazy!! It never used to. I never noticed a thing. New home bliss and all, I guess. But over the last 5 years it’s like a fog horn. I can’t wait for the day to tear out the not so fab original hardwood floors and noisy subfloor to finally have peace and quiet.

    It will only get worse. TRUTST ME!

  132. i would lift the fig tree as much as possible. it is so pretty. and, i just heard an interview on npr about humans should share a room. we weren’t meant to be alone in a room at night, especially children. and, if you want, i will come over and assess the floor creaking (heh heh…jk)

  133. On sharing rooms…really depends on the kids and their ages. Our 2 girls shared until the oldest was about 8. It was around the time she wanted a desk, time away from her little sister and didn’t play with toys as much, was more into crafts. She’s also a little more high strung?. Now at almost 12 and 10 they have their own rooms but share a queen bed at night (unless one is sick then they have to sleep in their own rooms). It’s working out really well for us all. In fact we didn’t even know they were sleeping together for a couple weeks! Now we also have 3 boys (8, 6, 2) and they all share one room and it’s great. They are young enough (and boys) that they don’t spend any time in their room. I think the key is being flexible. If sharing now is working, great! But having an option in the future if needed to give them their own space would be ideal. We actually have a large basement we plan to finish and put the girls there (with their own girls only bathroom) and split the boys up when and *if* they need it.

  134. My brother and I are 17-months apart. We shared a large full/queen (not sure) until I was maybe 10 and then we continued to share a room until I was in middle school and we moved into a larger house. I have the best memories of Christmas Eve’s and the nights before vacations and such giggling and chatting long into the night. Now my boys ages 12 and 9 still share a room in a 4 bedroom house out of choice and we just recently moved them into separate beds. I think sharing a room creates such a bond between siblings. My boys are the best of friends most days and my brother is still the first person I call when I need to talk without any judgement. I am sure this wouldn’t work in some families, but it worked well when I was a kid and it continues to work for my “big” kids!

  135. 1. Floors–have renovated two old homes…my advice is you won’t know what you’re dealing with until you start removing floor boards–we have uncovered old termite damage in joists and subfloor which, once fixed, solved problems (tho always some level of creaking)
    2. Have arborist trim tree to see if that helps with view while continuing to offer shade…
    3. I’d have each kid in their own room and they can have slumber parties when company comes…

  136. Creaking floors are inexpensively repairable! Check Old House Journal for instructions. Some contractors jump on the replace rather than renovate bandwagon. Trim tree first then reevaluate. Share room, twin beds. In your living room consider removing angled part of beams and removing shelves by fireplace altogether.

  137. 1. Definitely replace the floor now so you don’t have to do it in the future and move all your stuff out.

    2. Try trimming the tree first to see if that helps.

    3. Try sharing in two twins but be real with yourselves. If it isn’t working, then move to separate rooms!

  138. 1-Will the creaking wake sleeping children? If yes, replace it now to save your sanity. Maybe look at donating the old floor to be reused?

    2- My kids find places to hide in the backyard so I crack a window open to listen out and periodically call out to them as I can’t always see them. I’d trim the tree but not cut it down. They will love the freedom of exploring.

    3- I have my three girls sharing a room (by choice, have other rooms). They are 6, 4, and 2. I have loved it and I feel like it’s a child bonding tool also. My middle child sleeps amazing so that helped keep bedtime shenanigans to a minimum. My oldest is only now asking if she might have her own room soon.

  139. 1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish? — I would try to do everything possible to save the floors. There’s just something special about original floors even if they aren’t some amazing kind of wood.

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep? It probably would look cleaner and fresher to remove the tree, but yeah find out about trimming!

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own?? SHARE SHARE SHARE! I’ll bet even at 5 and 7 the kids would still want to share. Mine are 11 (boy), 9 (girl), and 7 (boy), and they all share a room. We are JUST reaching the ages where, if we moved somewhere bigger, I’d give my girl her own room but still have the boys share. But night time, with the lights off, is where their sweetest, kindest conversations take place, even if they’ve been fighting like cats and dogs during the day.

  140. EmbrCe the time you have for them to share space. It will provide lovely memories and a binding experience for all- plus it is good for kids to share space IMO. Eventually, they will get too big to share space. Enjoy this season while it lasts, and if instinct tells you to use one bed for awhile- go for it! Changing beds is easy. Don’t worry about being conventional. Congrats on the new house!

  141. My contractor told me that the pine floors in my 1939 home could not be saved. They were rough, I didn’t disagree. Enter his floor guy, who completely disagreed and brought a few matching slats from his personal wood stash to make some repairs and save me a lot of money. I did have to put down some new wood in my kitchen. It had no wood floors to save, and is now the creakiest floor in the house. It’s oak, and butts right up to the pine. We had them stained the same. It flows, I didn’t need it to match, and am happy with the decision to hang on to as much original flooring as possible.

  142. 1. I have a 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter, who are 23 months apart. They have shared a room with separate beds up until last month since my son now needs “privacy.” A shared room has worked out great for us.

    3. My home has sloping and creaking floors that didn’t bother me and my husband, but now that we’ve been in the house for 7 years, no one is allowed to walk through the house in high heels. While the wood flooring is still beautiful, it’s old and deteriorating, and easily “punctured” by heeled shoes if you step where the planks meet!

  143. So exciting! Gorgeous house! I’d try trimming the tree, it’s such a bummer when you don’t want to go outside because it is too hot to deal, trees make it bearable. My kids shared a room until they were about 9 and 6 (older girl, younger boy), but the sharing a bed was impossible because they were such bed hogs. It’s good for them to have some private space at night if they want it.

  144. If you need to replace the floor now is the time. You won’t want to do it once you’re moved in. I vote to do it now, but do something that is in keeping with the history of the home. As for the tree, if you can keep it and just have it trimmed you should. I love old trees. Now for the kids, that is a personal decision. I think that in the long run you will want to give them each their own room. They will get along better when they have their own space. But, everyone is different. You’ll make it work regardless. It’s just that one will be ready for their own space before the other and it will be harder to separate then. I’ve seen it so many families. Why give yourself stress later when you don’t have to. Also, I love it when you decorate the kids’ rooms so I’d rather you had two to do! You can put two twin beds in there so they have a spot for a friend!

    1. Oh, and I vote no on sharing a bed. I had to share with my sister for years and it was weird. I still have a scratch across one of my eye brows because she scratched me in her sleep!

  145. * Replace flooring and with your style you’ll knock it out of the park. Creaks are character infusing, but can become annoying and as in your case, are symptoms of a greater ill.

    *Trim the fig tree…best of both worlds?

    *Own rooms, or at the very least their own beds. Even wee ones need their own physical space sometimes. Then, if they want to be snuggled or if they get lonely one can crawl in with the other, but the privacy issue will only intensify with time and it happens sooner than later. Just my opinion as a mom of 3 and grandma of 5. My kids always had their own rooms. But, then again, I’m kind of a privacy fanatic!

    Love that you are taking us all on this adventure with you! LOVE the new house. Beams? Moulding? Hmmmm. Drapes? Not if you can have privacy from others. Shutters an option? Bookshelves? The more the merrier!! Good luck and enjoy the journey!

  146. yes to re-finishing the floors – you will hate the creaky-ness in the end! I say keep the tree and see if you can trim it. Personally I don’t see you leaving your kids out there all alone for a while anyway, and kids are small and like to hide – I don’t think removing that tree is going to give you 100% visibility anyway so you will probably be out there with them more than you think. And for the sharing rooms – we are currently struggling with the same thing, although we haven’t even started trying for kid number two yet! ha Our son is three, so at the soonest they will be 4 years apart. Part of my likes the thought of them sharing – but how to decide when we don’t even know if the second will be a boy or girl? haha I think sharing for them would be good though, especially if they basically only sleep in there. why not??

  147. Floors: I’d replace them… they are beautiful but I think you could do something better, cooler and no creaking. And now is better than later.

    Fig Tree: Although beautiful, remove remove remove… you’ll be happy.

    Share room: Yes! I have 3 boys ages 7, 6 and 3 and they share a room… it’s a long narrow room so 3 twin beds work perfectly. They love it. And really all they do in there is sleep (and bounce from bed to bed). Sharing allows us to have a play room that they spend all of their time in. Also, I have never done a toddler bed and think it’s a waste of time to be honest… go straight to a twin for Charlie (by the way, my 3 year old is Charlie too!).. and if you’re concerned about him falling out add side rails or get a cute bed with side rails.

    That’s just my two-cents. Love going on this journey with you! It would be my absolute dream to renovate a gorgeous house in the perfect location… enjoy!

  148. I have an 11 year old and a 9 year old. I think the kids sharing a bed while they’re little is sweet but I have a few questions / suggestions to make it successful. First off, are the kids on the same sleep schedules? I got lucky in that my first requires a huge amount of sleep while my second a more “normal” amount. Since they’re 23 months apart it kind of worked out that they have always been on the same schedule. Also, if you have space I would do a king sized bed so there is room for the whole family to snuggle (they get big fast). Helps keep the kids out of your bed (which in the long run helps you and hubby get sleep and stay sane) but allows for mom or dad to sleep with sick or scared kiddos and not give up on a good night sleep for all. But for now, I would keep those kiddos in their cribs for as long as is safe and comfortable for them. I think there is a tendency for parents to move kids too early to a “big kid” bed. It’s unnecessary unless they’re potty trained and need to be able to get up in the middle of the night. Hope this helps! Good luck with your amazing house.

  149. If the floor is badly damaged it may actually still take a few thousand dollars to refinish and repair. It may actually be just a bit more to replace the entire thing if you use oak hardwood. If you’re going to go with exotic wood it will cost you a lot more.
    Get rid of the fig tree. It’s giving you a lot of shade inside the house. Having a nicer view of the backyard is a good reason in itself.
    Separate bedrooms for boy & girl after the older one is 5-6. If you had two of the same gender I think the idea of keeping them together longer would be good. Unless you really need an office and don’t have any other spare rooms I’d give kids some privacy. It’s not bad to keep them in one room, but kids have different personalities and the older they get in this house the more likely they will appreciate separate rooms. You don’t have a very large familly of your own so different rules apply. In a large family there’s little space (typically) so everyone understands and copes somehow. One bed is not appropriate because they can become clingy or they may eventually dislike each other. People in general need their own space and some privacy.
    The last one which you aren’t asking about, Are you going to paint the beams? They give off a very strong character to the interior. I’d paint molding as well as beams white

  150. We have two boys ages 9 and 7. Our setup is a master bedroom for us, a shared bedroom (bunk beds) for the boys, a guest room, and the 4th bedroom (which is a decent size but not huge) is setup as a media/play room. The media/play room has an L-shaped couch (pushed up against the walls), a big TV, and a closet with games and toys. I can’t tell you how great this room has been for us! When we have people over, the kids ALL cram into this room, and it’s so nice that we still have our living room for the adults. The L-shaped couch is also a pull-out, so that when the boys are older and want their own room, that room can still be a guest room. I highly recommend this setup if you don’t already have a bonus room or basement where kids can play separately from adults.

  151. 1. Need to hear how loud it is.
    2. Keep the tree & trim if necessary.
    3. Separate rooms.

  152. I have two younger sisters and when we were kids, all three of us had our own bedrooms. But my sisters decided that if they made one room the ‘sleeping bedroom’ they could make the other room the ‘play room’ and have all their toys out all the time. I think they were about 4 and 9 at the time. (there shared a full). They did that until I went to college and my middle sister took over my room (she would have been 13 and starting high school).

    Then when my younger sister was on summer break when she was in college she lived at my house. I gave her her own room but she never slept in it, she always slept in my bed. (my bf lived out of state). I think some friends thought that was weird, but we are a close family and I never minded it. I thought it was kind of sweet.

    So fast forward many years and I gave my daughter a twin bed and she hated sleeping in it. She does flop around when she sleeps but I didn’t realize that her little mind was afraid of falling out of it all night long. When she was 5 we got a big king bed and she declared our old queen (which was supposed to be the guest bedroom) her new bed. And she has been a sound sleeper ever since. If i could go back in time I would have given her a big bed when she was 3 and saved all of us some restless nights. (I just used a body pillow on each side to help her feel safe.)

    Anyway we are all girls, but I say go for it! You know your kids and your family better than anyone else.

  153. Your house is so charming, you are gonna make it beautiful!
    1) Floors, replace them! They will always bother you! Better to do it now before you move in, you won’t regret it. We’ve had many houses and our oldest was built in 1929 and had creaky floors. We replaced the bad flooring and shored up the sub floor, so nice to walk on sturdy quiet floors!
    2) Remove the tree. The house we are renovating right now had a gorgeous fig tree that we had to remove to make space for the new garage, I was sad but I can plant more fruit trees in a better spot when we are done – better to have a view of your kids, again that will bug you if you can’t see them.
    3) I would make 2 separate rooms for your kids but maybe put a queen bed in one room and twins in the other so they can have sleepovers together or with friends. I have 3 kids 19 yr old son, 17 year old daughter and almost 12 year old daughter. My girls had to share a room in our old house for 5 years and while it was a huge room they really needed their own space – so they are getting their own rooms in the new house 🙂
    I’m so excited to see your renovations!!

  154. I have no idea what others are commenting, but here’s my two cents:

    With your tree, trim it first, and then live with it for a while. Unless there’s a serious hazard in the backyard. If after like two months of living with it it’s still stressful to not see the children, cut it down. But then I’m a HUGE tree lover, climbed trees regularly as a child, literally hugged them to, for me, trees are magical.

    I strongly urge you NOT to combine the children into a single bed. It opens up lots of opportunity for kicking and pinching, or for one child to shake the bed, or jabber, etc. Also, if they sleep at different temperatures then there will be covers tussels, and unhappiness over being too cold or too hot, etc. etc. That said I think sharing a room is fine until the dressing/undressing in front of one another becomes awkward.

    As for your floors if you think it might be bothersome then I’d say fix it. There will be no better time to fix the floors than now.

  155. Hi Emily – I know you didn’t ask about the dining room exterior elevation, but i just wanted to mention an observation from the photo. It looks like there might be some water damage in the stucco below the upstairs bedroom window. There is an obvious repair under the center of the window bump-out and the textural difference in that area might imply that there have been a series of repairs. Due to the age of your home, I would bet the stucco is on wood lath, and any cracking in the stucco finish could weaken the lath, causing further damage. I would just watch it if I was you, and be mindful of any cracking or buckling in that area. In the future you might need to have the stucco refinished with metal lath and a proper moisture barrier in that area and properly flashed below the protruding window. (Stucco isn’t waterproof itself as its a concrete product, moisture can mitigate through the stucco to the structure supporting it.) If I was detailing the window above, I would include a drip edge to keep water from moving back toward the house and getting into the stucco below the window…. but that’s just me looking a photo 🙂

  156. 1. Keep the floors. Our home is 98 years old, with hardwoods everywhere. They squeak, so what. My kids can sleep through anything. My mother told me to go about any task, and the kids would learn to sleep through it. Wise woman.

    2. Keep the tree. I kept all my trees, and th red shade is a godsend. The kids played outside, without my constant warch. Remarkably, they lived!

    3. If you want them to share a bed, go for it. My boys went from cribs to twin beds, antique ones high off the ground.

    Good luck.


  157. 1.) Fix the creaking however possible. Salvage wood and use for something else if can’t reuse for flooring.

    2.) Keep/trim tree. Do not remove. Trees are the best. Also helps separate the areas in a magical way.

    3.) If kids share, do two separate beds. Is there room for a full and a twin? An adult and two kids can bedtime snuggle in a full.

  158. 1. Consider replacing the floors. We lived in a 1908 Victorian rowhouse when my little one was a baby, and I remember acting like I was in Mission Impossible when she was asleep so the creaks wouldn’t wake her up (and when they did, I cursed the old floors!).
    2. Talk it over with the aborist. He or she is the pro. Can you move the tree? Also, your talent will be able to make the courtyard cozy and shady as needed.
    3. Give sharing a room a try! You can always change course. (Then blog about how it goes because I’m considering doing the same thing. 😉 )

    1. 1. Always deal with floor issues before moving in – I’ve learned that the hard way. I would love to see the floors replaced with the same thing. A lot of the beautiful wood floor styles that are trendy now will date quickly and feel out of place in your home.
      2. Due to skin cancer prevention I would vote for keeping ample shade in your back yard. Work with an arborist to trim the tree, but don’t rush to do this.
      3. My kids shared a queen bed for years as littles, then had singles in a shared bedroom until the oldest was 12. Vomiting and stomach bugs were not a problem for us in the queen, thank goodness. But being active sleepers probably made a shared bed less than ideal. My kids did benefit from sharing a room with single beds for sure. One option that works for some is those bunk beds with a larger bed on the bottom – that makes for a space to have cozy story time with Mom, but still gives the children separate beds when it’s time to sleep.

    2. I live in an almost-100 yr old house and dealt with both concerns #1 and #2 IRL.
      1) Floors creak – some spots it’s horrible! But we kept them for two reasons: 1) that they were original pegged floors and 2) it is almost 3000 sq ft of flooring in our house so it’s mucho $$$ to redo flooring everywhere. Given an unlimited budget, I think I would have replaced them though… Creaking bugs me; I’d say at an 7 on a 1-10 scale.
      2) Our front and back yards are filled with huge mature trees. We kept them all – but trimmed them. KEEP!
      Now onto #3….
      3) I have 2 girls – they are 2 years apart. While they each have their own rooms, I would totally let them share one. [I have crazy dreams of downsizing to a swanky loft where they’d have to share a room-ha!]. I’d even let them sleep in the same bed! My toddler keeps asking to hang out in the baby’s crib every day – so it may be something we will actually do anyway. It is totally adorable!

    3. How glorious to have these thought swirling around in your head.
      Yes, anything you can do to foster closeness between siblings is great. Maybe each can have liberal visiting privliges to sleepover the the others place?
      Recommend sep. beds in case of wetting, lice, flu.
      I love old wood, echo what others said to firmly reattach /screw in loose boards, sand lightly, and refinish. Kids might like the job of hammering in any nails that loosen.
      It probably took a couple of generations for that tree to get that size. The shade, oxygen, coolness, and “rooms” it provides are a gift. Also tree boost property values!
      If I were lucky enough to own a similar property I’d find a way of adding more trees like avocado and Meyer lemon.
      I thought you’d appreciate this article on tree removal that bordered on criminal! http://chicago.curbed.com/2011/6/22/10460682/revisiting-mr-ts-1987-lake-forest-chainsaw-massacre

  159. 1. Replace floors
    2. Separate rooms with Charlie in a queen bed (although I love the look of 2 twins side by side : )
    3. Don’t remove a large shading tree. Trim & live with it first. If you’ve got a secure fence, why do you need to helicopter your children? Gives them a bit of freedom in a safe place

    My two cents.

  160. So excited for you, and for me, for getting to see what you do with your new house! My 2 cents:

    1. Creaky floors drive me bananas. Refinish if/where possible but don’t feel bad about replacing if you need to. Can you can donate the floorboards to Habitat for Humanity?

    2. Trim the tree for now and wait until you’ve lived there for awhile to make any bigger decisions. You can always take it out later, but you won’t be able to put it back!

    3. My kids are 5 and 2 and have shared a room since the younger one was six months old, and it’s the sweetest thing to hear them talking and giggling before they fall asleep. We have never had an issue with them waking each other up, but the older is a very deep sleeper. They have separate beds but often share anyway, and we are all able to fit on a twin for story time.

    I don’t see any good reason they couldn’t share a bed, but to be honest, I don’t think you should put much stock in other peoples’ opinions about this. It’s a totally reversible decision so you can always try it and then try something else if it doesn’t work.

  161. You do not need to replace floors to fix squeaking/creaking. Check with a good flooring guy but believe the squeaking is due to nails working loose from the subfloor/joists and can be cured. More environmentally friendly and less disruption to salvage if you can.
    As a mom of 3, I’ve tried sleeping kids in the same bed and they just kept each other awake.

  162. 1. Repair the floor. There are ways to stop some of the squeaking. It’s part of its charm.
    2. Trim the tree. You can always take it down in the future if you really think it necessary. You haven’t even lived with it. So don’t cut it down before you know. You can always plant another but it will take time to grow.
    3. I think share room until they are older. I shared room with brother and sister for a long time. We had fun. It’s bonding.

  163. 1. The floors, I have never minded the creak but if you do, change the floors before you move in.
    2. I wouldn’t cut the tree down. Hopefully trimming will give you the sight lines you want and keep the lovely feeling of coziness.
    3. I think separate rooms with are better all around. One room could have a full or queen and the other a set of twin beds to allow for sharing when they want to. Even very small people take up a lot of space in a bed.
    The house is so lovely and I know you will make it special.

  164. Our floorboards are super creaky. On a daily basis it wouldn’t bother me very much, except our house is small and I have to tiptoe in the morning if I want five seconds alone before the kids wake up. Also makes visits from Santa and the Tooth Fairy especially stressful. 😉

  165. My kids (girl, 6, boy, 4) share a full-sized bed. The girl is scared at night and likes a body next to her. Her brother moved in when he left his crib. It’s actually a bunk bed- twin over full, but the top bunk remains unused. It’s not always smooth sailing. They still come into our room intermittently. But I don’t think the bed sharing is the problem- they’re just annoying. We live in NYC, so sharing a room is a necessity, but they are so devoted to each other. It’s sweet. It can be rough at times (we had to cut the boy’s nap short so that he was tired at night when his sister was, for example), but it’s never going to be perfect. Also, please don’t cut that gorgeous shady tree down. Your kids will be fine.

  166. 1. Replace floor – make it something awesome yet in keeping with the style of the house (like you don’t already know that.) Fix it now before you load in the house.

    2. I like your idea of trimming up the canopy and still keeping the tree. We lost a big shade tree due to storm damage and the heat impact on our house has been so hard to manage.

    3. Share a room! I shared with my brother when I was a baby/toddler – we have almost the same age difference as C and E. It probably won’t last forever but at this age it is totally fine (and fun!) to share!

  167. We live in a 100 year old house and EVERYBODY encouraged me to redo the floors. We are going on twelve years with beat up 1926 floors and I adore them. I am so glad I ignored everyone and kept them. For what it’s worth, we live in a single story, so we don’t have to worry about the sound of creaky floors on a second level.

    My daughters have shared a room since the youngest was in a crib. They are now 10 and 6 and we are just beginning to consider separating them. We did have enough bedrooms, but they wanted to share a room, so we converted the connecting room to a playspace and had no regrets. They share a full-size bed and despite their protestations (fakers), they are always snuggled up when we get them up the next morning. We love piling in bed together for story time and I think it has made their relationship sweeter. I’m not sure I would have done anything differently if they had been two different genders, so I would totally go for it! My sister and I had separate rooms for the majority of our childhood, but we slept together right up until I went to college. Having a roommate is the best!

  168. I live in a 1936 Tudor cottage, so I’m LOVING your new home and look forward to following your reno and updates! We have squeaky wood floors that I do hear as I walk around on the main floor all the time. They seriously don’t bother me except when I’m trying to get around or out of the house without waking others up, and I’ve got be all Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment trying to avoid the squeakier boards.

    We did do some patching where there were some hack jobs with heating vents when we pulled up carpet and refinished the floors, and even though its just old oak, I notice that the color and grain doesn’t look as good in the newer floor boards. So maybe old oak is more special then you think? ;o)

    Also, you didn’t ask (and rightly so!), but I must say I love the fireplace brick as is. (heart eye emoji)

  169. I would keep the tree. I don’t think there’s a need to see your kids at every moment. Make sure the backyard is child-friendly and fenced, open a window so you can hear them, and let them play! My five year old has been playing in our backyard by himself since he could walk. In theory, I could see him, but if he was out there, I’d take the opportunity to do something else rather than checking on him all the time. I have to admit, I’m not sure what people are afraid of in this scenario. Perhaps my backyard is missing some common hazards?

  170. !. Keep the creaky original floors! I have the same old oak floors in my house and I love them with the creaks. It makes me wonder how many people stepped on or avoided stepping on those boards over the years. My kids are grown to I don’t have to worry about creaks waking them up. I try to be true to the spirit and age of all the old houses I have lived in over the years. They deserve it!
    2. Keep the tree. Hopefully the arborist will have a good solution on trimming the tree. Chances are you won’t feel comfortable watching your kids from inside the house and will be outside with your them anyway.
    3. Put the kids in the same bedroom. I shared a bedroom with my sister until we were teenagers and I have such fond memories of being in the same room . Ask your Pediatrician about sharing a bed. Use the space room or sitting room while you can. Soon enough, your kids will want their own rooms.

  171. I dont have kids and not planning to, but I share the room with my sisters and I love it.
    Also, you can check this condo in florida, has 2 boys sharing the bed.


    I think that is what your are talking about.

  172. My house is almost 110 years old and we have the original flooring throughout. It’s 2″ pine so a little more rare than oak, and we had it refinished a few years back. It creaks in certain areas and yes, it’s annoying, but I also grew up in old homes and appreciate that it’s just part of the character and charm. Since the floors aren’t a special type of wood and the creaking seems to be bothersome to most, I say replace it! You’ll obviously choose the right type of wood and thickness to make it feel original to the home, so if it eases your worry then go for it. I cannot wait to see you switch from mid-century to old, old home… This is gonna be so fun to watch!

  173. In my opinion …
    1. Keep the floor, but repair and refinish it. Creaking is part of the charm, plus, old floors have a different (warmer?) feel than new wood floors. It’s part of the charm, and it shows the history of the house – someone elses wear patterns in the floor are intriguing, plus, your family will leave their own.
    2. Trim the tree and keep the shade. I totally agree you want to see the kids (I have an 8 year old little boy). So if you can’t trim it and still see the backyard, get rid of it. Find a fun striped awning or viney pergola for over the patio.
    3. Separate rooms. Kids need to be able to have a space to express their own personality. They have very little freedom in that regard, and molding a room to meet their tastes is one of the pleasures of being a kid. If they share, it doesn’t wok out that way.

    Good luck! Seeing your “new” house makes me want to check the MLS – the willpower not to has ben strong so far!

  174. I would trim the tree and live with it for awhile. If it doesn’t give you the view of the kids that you need, then take it out. Once gone, you will have to spend the money to replant if you regret the decision.

    I always had my kids in separate rooms, they got to pick the décor and what went on their walls. It didn’t turn into a designer room, but a room that expressed their likes and personalities (over the years posters and pictures were tacked to the walls.

  175. I have a 2.5 year old daughter and a 13m old son who have shared a room since he was about 3 months old, even though we have an extra room. They are in matching white toddler beds and when they wake up in the morning they usually play together for 10-15 minutes before getting up for the day, which I really love. My son still wakes up once a night to eat and my daughter sleeps through it. Having them share a room has worked really well for us so far, I don’t think many little kids like being alone and it has definitely helped my daughter to learn to share and be less possessive about her things.

  176. Our house was built in 1951, and still has the original hardwood floors in all the living spaces except the bathrooms and kitchen. They are so pretty but the creaking is horrendous. It wasn’t so bad pre baby (we’ve lived in the house a little over 3 years) but now we have our 6 month old we totally notice the creaking! she whips awake if she hears anyone walking and when we walk with her asleep to her crib she wakes up if she hears it creak. I think if we didn’t have the babe it wouldn’t bother us so much. It is nice to have something that is original to the house.

    1. Oh and I love trees and if you can do something to me it and make it work for your family do it! The one thing I wish for our backyard was that it had a mature tree!

  177. So….

    1) Definitely refinish the floors. You know the hassle it would be to do it in a year or 2 and have to move all the furniture, and you’d probably have to repaint the trim because of scuffs. (Also, here’s one vote for black trim!) I know you want to keep as much original elements as possible, but don’t you think it’ll bum you out every time you walk barefoot across those damaged floors? There’s still SO MUCH character in this house! New floors won’t change that, they will just enhance all the other cool original features.

    2) That tree is gorgeous, but I love being able to see my kiddos from the deck. Saves me from standing and going to check “Wait, are those tears or laughter?” Much easier to do that from a reclined-with-wine-in-hand position. 😉

    3) So with the caveat that “all kids are different” and trust your own Momma voice, let the kids share a room. My boys (ages 5 and 2) have since we brought the new one home and they love it. They tune each other out when the other one cries so there’s not any sleep interruption, and it is really nice to have the extra room for a guest room. But the main reason is because it’s so freaking cute! They are so bonded, it really solidifies the Team Siblings feeling. And most nights the little one climbs into my oldest’s bed and they sleep next to each other all night. It’ll melt you. I highly recommend it.

    Good luck! Love the house, congratulations!

  178. 1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish? I don’t have strong opinions either way but I feel that once there’s rugs and furniture and things on the walls the creaks will be less noticeable. So I say refinish and live with the sounds of an old house.

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep? Trim the tree but keep it. Really the kids are fine and adults need to chill.

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own?? Share a room. Two twins or fulls if there’s room. A lot of antique beds are full sized. Too small for an adult but perfect for a kid yet big enough for all three of you to pile in together during storytime. You can take turns in whose beds you all snuggle in. That’s what my mom did with us.

    Answers to your other questions:
    black molding, no drapery (well maybe gauzy ones if they don’t get in the way), warm white walls, refinish the beams, don’t tile fireplace, deepen shelves, unsure whether to extend up and around fireplace -I’ll have to see a mockup of it before I approve. Ha!

  179. 1. Stop all the creaking! You may not notice it now, but as it gets worse, you will, and you’ll want to die…

    2. Trim or remove the tree to give good sight lines. If your goal is to stop helicopter-ing, this is your best option. You’ll want to see, but not involve yourself. Without the sight lines you will be running outside every 3 minutes.

    3. Totally have them share a room, but not a bed. We have a 6yo boy and 7yo girl sharing now and it is so good for them. Besides snuggling on that dreamy daybed is the fantasy!

    Congrats on the house, and good luck making all the decisions that will be best for your family!!

  180. 1. We have two year-old twins and live in a 103 year-old house with floors that creak bigtime. Our priority was to salvage the original floors, and after six months in the house, we all (kids included) stopped noticing the creaking. Original wood floors are awesome.

    2. Leave it but trim it!

    3. Share (indefinitely)!

  181. 1. Creaky floors are part of old house charm in my opinion. Both in my parents 100 year old Victorian and our current house now the creaking doesn’t bother me, in fact, it kinda fits the house.
    2. Keep the tree for the shade! Prune it as much as you can, sure, but good shade is like gold in LA.
    3. We’re considering one big bed for our two girls. The baby is still in a crib, but once she’s ready we love the idea of a cozy bed for them to share. (At least until they voice strong opinions against it).

  182. Beautiful home! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    About #3. My boys are 4 years apart and we did the queen bed for at least a year when the youngest just moved into a big boy bed (3 and 7 ish).

    That winter one of them got sick and the other caught it and this happened over and over again. Our doctor actually recommended separate beds at that point but I didn’t change my mind until…the youngest came home from school with lice and that was it! Thank God our oldest never got it. Phew! We found it early. The last issue with sharing a bed was when the youngest is still peeing the bed accidentally and you have to wake the oldest to change the sheets and everything ’cause they’re sleeping on top of each other…not fun! So we bought them a custom made double over double bunk bed…it looks like a tree house and they loved it. Two twin beds didn’t fit in our room but I agree they are cute!

    Both boys still share a room (now 7 and 11 years) but the oldest is really wanting his own space and I think that is going to happen in the next year or so.

  183. 3) Have kids share. My kids are different genders and sharing a room works until the oldest is around 9 or 10. So take advantage of this time. Give them a sleeping quarters in one room and a family hang (play room) in the other.

  184. My boy and girl are four years apart (7 and 3) and have shared rooms since Annie moved out of her crib last year. They switch where they sleep on a regular basis: between the queen-sized bed in her room and the bunk beds in his room. Since we started this system bedtime has been 100x easier for my husband and I. I think it’s great for my kids’ relationship (they are totally best friends). But this was all initiated by them, we haven’t forced them to share. I guess staying flexible is ideal.

  185. I think you’ve gathered enough opinions on the other issues, but please do not tile that fireplace! It is simple and lovely, with beautiful lines.

    1. We just reno’d a 120 year old home, converting from a 2 flat to a SFH. So, the bad floors upstairs (which looked A LOT like yours) – despite being told you can always fix hardwood, we replaced. We knew from living on the first floor w/ tenants on the second floor how much noise they made, and it was a lot. Plus nail-pops and just a ton of inconsistencies that meant even staining wouldn’t help much, aside from the noise/stability. We replaced the flooring but kept the old stairs, which means we still get a good amount of old house creakiness!

      And as a consolation for losing an original feature…..went with herringbone for the new floors. It fit the time period, and there are other circa 1890s homes in Chicago with herringbone. We also used a hardwax finish called Rubio monocoat, no shiny poly finish (and no VOCs). The new floors already feel totally appropriate with the home.

    2. Posting my comment before reading everyone else’s but….replace the flooring, remove the tree, and I love the idea of a shared bedroom!!! But two twin beds, I know it *shouldn’t* be weird to share a bed that little, but, I guess it just is.

      Love hearing about all these dilemmas! Keep em coming!

  186. I haven’t read other comments so no idea what’s been said on the topic, but thought I’d share my experience having my opposite sex kiddos room share. It went really well when they were little like your kiddos current ages. Once our daughter got to be around 4 though, she didn’t like sharing with her brother (2 at the time) anymore and asked to share with her baby sister. At that time we hadn’t been bathing them together for some time and she had a strong desire for privacy while changing and was bothered that he would bust in on her. We were working on knocking ect. but he was 2 so it was hard. We switched rooms to girls/boys and while sharing and boundaries are things we still work on (and good things to have to learn!) it works better for us.

  187. I’d get a second opinion, possibly a third, from a flooring contractor.

    I’d keep the tree and see how it goes. Kids grow quickly : ) . At the very least live in the house and yard and see how you use it.

    Same room, yes, at least until one of them decides against it. Same bed, probably not. I have three kids, now teens, and we all used to squish on one of the kid’s twin beds, or in our master bedroom, for readalouds. To this day, the kids still like to come in and hang out for a bit at night if I’m in bed before they are (usually!) or on Sunday mornings.

    Good luck and have fun!

  188. Love the house! I moved into a 1922 Colonial revival house in the Philadelphia suburbs nine years ago. The floors creaked, but we decided to refinish them instead of replace them. I didn’t think the creaking would be a big deal, but it has turned out to be something that does bug me. It doesn’t bother my husband, so I think it’s something particular to each person.

    Our three kids were babies and toddlers when we moved in, and I thought that my annoyance with the creaking was just over the potential to wake up a child as I would tiptoe by, or in, their rooms at night. But, the kids are nine years older now and don’t wake up from a creaking floor anymore – but it still bothers me at night! It’s just a sensory thing that I can’t tune out and it disrupts my sense of peaceful calm in the evening.

  189. My kids,close in age,shared a room small room
    When they were little.
    Story reading in the lover bunk.
    We lived in a victorian house.
    Kept the creaking floor.
    Refinished and repaired the old original floors.
    And trimmed the tree in the back yard.
    You cant beat age and history in a house
    My experience.
    Kids are grown ups now.
    Both live in old houses.

  190. I would
    1) replace the floors because I lived in a house from the 20s, and the creaking bothered me. If someone gets up at night to go to the bathroom everybody hears it! Maybe you can replace it downstairs where the traffic is heavier and just refinish up in the bedrooms if that is cheaper.
    2) keep the tree! With every summer in the future being the hottest on record, you will be so grateful for the shade and save so much on AC bills. No amount of money will buy back that old tree when it is gone.
    3) have separate beds for the kids. Don’t kids of different ages have different sleeping needs? Do they get the same amount of sleep now? I do think that they will play there more (by themselves leaving you to do other things) rather than just use it for sleeping if it is a shared room.

  191. I have two daughters and they have always (aside from new infancy) shared a room. When we built the house we are now living in, I designed one large bedroom with ensuite and large walk-in closet for the purpose of them always sharing a room (they are now 9 and 11). Sharing engenders so many good things for siblings!

    As far as the tree goes, in Southern California, we need our precious shade! Also, I don’t get the need to always be in visual contact with my children. Also, in about five years, it will make the most awesome perch for a tree house. Your kids will thank you forever.

    As to the creaky floors…no one knows but you how much you can stand!

  192. My daughter and son have shared a since they were babies. My daughter is eight and I think it’s time to move her to her own room. She’s already changing into a young lady so I think she’ll need her own space. As for kids sharing a bed, I don’t see it as a problem when their little. I find them sleeping in the same bad all the time.

  193. i would replace the floors. and i would also cut down the trees. only because every time you guys go out on the patio you’re going to ask yourself, why didn’t we cut down this tree? can’t see a thing! as far as sharing a room? my kids are 5 and 9 and although they have their own bedroom, my daughter does not like to sleep alone. from age 3 to 4 she would sneak into our bed almost every night and now she just sleeps in her big brother’s room on his second bed. but sometimes they share a bed! and sometimes if they’ve gotten into a fight, he won’t let her sleep in his room. but for most nights, they share a room. i think until he reaches puberty they will continue to share a room.

  194. 1) replace floor now, it will be worst in a few years. listen to the contractor. If he says you’ll have problema, listen to them
    2) trim or Keep It as it is. Just because you can’t see the Kids? They will grow up and don’t be lazy, If they aren’t big enough, one adult should be with them or near
    3) each kid in their own room. They are used to It and they don’t wake up each other which is really important (trust me)

  195. My son and daughter shared a room up until last month – (he’s now seven and she is 4 1/2). They shared a queen sized bed and it was fantastic. They are very close and they loved sharing. It was nice for us to know they were in there snuggled up together. We only recently split them up because my daughter really wanted a pink room and we wanted the extra toys out of our living room. So now they each have their own room with all of their toys in their own rooms. I think its great for them to share while they are sill little.

  196. Brother sister rooms are great. Go for it!
    On the bed sharing issue I’ll say this. My sister and I shared a bed for years. She was a bed wetter. Just let that sink in. (No pun intended)

  197. I say have the kids share a room, and make the extra room a fun sitting room for you with toys for the kiddos. Also, I had a queen-sized bed growing up and my brother who is 2.5 years younger had his own room, but got scared at night and basically slept with me every night for about 2 years when he was around ages 6-8. It was FUN! We would tell each other stories, hang out and have tea parties in the morning, read books together, those moments are some of my favorite memories with him as a kid.

  198. I’m all for sharing a room. Growing up not only did I share a room, I shared a queen bed with my sister from age 6 to 17 (she was 1 to 12.) It made for a lot of good memories. It wasn’t all perfect, their were fights over who had more space, etc. but we are definitely super close now. When I was 4, I shared a bed with my 7 year old brother. I think it’s nice for kids to have someone near when they sleep.

  199. Tree: I would think about how many years you anticipate needing to watch them in the garden (2years?) vs. how many years it takes a (fig) tree to grow that large and majestic (20 years?). Can you make your garden safe(r) for the kids so you don’t need to see them constantly? I tend to think we feel the need to watch our children more than is necessary, especially age 4+.

    Floors: I would think about how loud the squeaks are, where they are (in the corners vs. heavy traffic paths), and how sensitive you all are to this kind of sound. Not sure if this hack works or not but you could try: Identify the squeaky floor boards and then apply a generous amount of powdered soapstone, talcum powder (hmmm, this may be cancer causing??), or powdered graphite between the boards. Place a cloth or towel over the area and work the powder in by stepping on the towel.

    Room assignments: Could one room be for sleeping and one for playing? In “A Pattern Language,” they talk about the traditions of assigning space by activity rather than our modern perceived need for privacy. I don’t think kids will feel the need for privacy until pre-teen or teen age whereas they might really like having cozy sleepy time in the same room/bed. My brother and I and the dog used to sleep in a twin bed some of the time. If they had two twins that were fairly lightweight they could move them together, put them in different configurations, build forts…???


  200. I love your new home!!! We bought a remodeled 1920s tudor. I love the character that comes from its age, but I also love all the modern amenities.

    1) I’d replace the floors. They aren’t particularly special and they are in rough shape. The creaking would seal the deal for me.

    2) I’d keep the tree. The mature landscaping is one of the things I love most about your house.

    3) I’d go with your gut on this one. My kids (1 and 5) have always had separate bedrooms, but there’s a bigger gap so they have different sleep schedules.

  201. OK I have kids ages 6,4,and 2. We have some creaky floors upstairs and it is not good. I hated sneaking around trying not to wake them up. It isn’t such a big deal now that they sleep better but it was hard when my oldest was younger. Also, I vote you keep the tree. If you are worried about the kids just make sure the back yard is fenced in and check on them frequently. They won’t be this little very long but it will take forever to get a tree that big to grow. Finally, my kids have separate bedrooms but the older two,a girl and a boy, have loved sleeping together some this summer. And I have LOVED sneaking in after they are asleep to take pictures of the adorable and strange contortions they have ended up in. Good luck!

  202. I am not a designer but here are my opinions:
    1. I have a creaky old house and have learned which boards squeak. It doesn’t bother me at all. I think these floors are beautiful. But maybe re-do if you will have to later for safety reasons?!
    2. Keep the tree! My son is 5 and would kill for that tree! So would do. Also, you will miss that shade. A tree got cut down in my neighbor’s front yard and now our house bakes in the sun.
    3. If the kids are into the idea, I say, let them share a room. They can separate when they’re older. Also, I think it’s easier to transition to a bed from a crib when they’re younger. The older they get, the more difficult, as they get more and more independent. When they’re younger they are more likely to stay in their new bed because you tell them to. Also, I think sharing a bed is cute, if you think they’ll actually do it. Maybe test-run in a guest room or something?

    Whatever you do, it’ll be lovely.

  203. My sister (6 years younger) and I shared a room up until I went away to college. For the most part, it was totally fine – until we reached the age of separate bedtimes/reading in bed, at which point things became difficult. I always wanted to stay up, finish one more chapter, and keep the light on a bit longer, and she was much younger and decidedly crankier about being kept up until all hours. We kind of solved this by bisecting the room with bookshelves, but it wasn’t a great solution. Other than that, I loved sharing a room with her, though

  204. Replace the floor.

    When we bought our house I was very excited to buy an old house with squeaky floors and loads of character. It was lovely to think of all the footsteps that made the floors squeak and the stories that go along with it.

    But three years later, that is a load of bull cookie fantasy stories, and I want new floors. Putting a baby to sleep was hell. Any step the cat takes in the night makes you think scary ghost thoughts. And new floors can be done to look like the fit the house.

  205. I would replace the floors. I’m sure you will come up with something fantastic and it’s so much easier to do before you move in than after.
    As far as the tree goes, I would definitely try trimming it first. I live in a part of the country that is not abundant with mature trees, and I think it’s worth trying to save. It’s not easy to replace a mature tree like that should you want to someday.
    About the kid’s rooms, I think because of their ages, that separate rooms are the way to go. I have a 7 and 4 year old daughter, and they have always had their own room, mainly because I believe they sleep so much better on their own. My oldest falls asleep quickly while my youngest usually gets up 2 or 3 times and just takes longer to wind down. They each have a full-size bed, and we all read books together in one of their beds before I tuck each of them in to their own beds. Ditto on not using a toddler bed as well. My kids went from their cribs to a full-sized bed, with pillows on either side of them at first, and it was never a problem. My oldest actually wouldn’t get out of her big girl bed in the morning until I came to get her up, but no such luck with the youngest!

  206. 1) I think this is a personal comfort level that you have to decide for yourself. Creaking floors make me crazy.

    2) I think you have to decide which is the more important aspect of your decision: is this mainly based on watching kids? If so, it isn’t that long of time between when you feel like you must be nearby for safety and when you feel comfortable for them to be playing out of sight (assuming the yard is fenced). I wouldn’t cut down a tree that is providing great shade just for that one or two (at the most) year period of being cautious. Or is the main part of the decision about having a better view from the living room? If so, that’s a different issue. Personally, I think shade is hugely valuable in LA (I live here too). But you could make shade in other ways.

    3) My kids, a boy (age 7) and a girl (age 5) have been sharing a room since my daughter was a year old. We have a spare room, but we prefer to have them together and to use that room for other things (office/guest room). My kids have done really well together—they don’t wake each other up and they find comfort in each other’s presence. It also makes getting them ready for the day or bed easier because they are in the same room. And we only have to put toys away in one place, rather than two. At some point we’ll separate them, but neither is asking yet, so we’ll just see how long it goes. When they were younger and my daughter was still napping, it was no big deal to keep my son out of the room. We had toys in another area of the house, and he liked having time with us that didn’t involve her! It also wasn’t hard putting her to sleep first for a while (now they go to bed at the same time). Again, he liked that he was special and got to stay up later than her and have mommy and daddy time. They we’d tip toe into his room when it was bedtime. Wasn’t a big deal at all. When we travel, they share a queen bed, and they are always bickering about one touching the other, crossing the middle, etc., so that’s annoying for everyone.

  207. refinish/repair. – this is our third house and I highly recommend it. Maybe place mosaic tile in the rooms or space that need it most.

    REMOVE.-plant something smaller.

    share- I shared with my older bother until pre-teen years. We played with our GI- JOES & BARBIE.

  208. This whole move is so exciting–I can’t wait! I am also pretty pleased because my fiancé and I just bought a very similar style house, so I can’t wait to see what you do!

    1) Floors-replace. The creaking will only get worse and since you are planning on selling this home in 5-7 years, I think it makes sense to just do now.

    2) Leave the tree!!!! Having a mature tree is such a benefit for a house (plus, big trees are pricey and can’t just be replaced). Trim it if you must, but realistically, you aren’t likely to stare down at the kids playing that often–you’ll be out there playing with them.

    3) I’d have them share a room with separate beds. They may actually comfort one another being in the same room, especially in a new house.

  209. Check out This Old House re: creaking floors. There’s a lot you can do.
    And to me, your floors don’t look too bad, it’s just the surface. I’d try to save the old floor. So many people pull out perfectly good flooring, only to add in new flooring that isn’t equally as good…

    You could stain it darker, that will hide the stains.
    Plus, knowing you, you’ll have big big rugs in every room, so the worn out / stained floors won’t be an issue!

    Also check out Rehab Addict on DIY, she says there’s no floor you can’t save. You can also get patches of the flooring to feather in, steal from closets, or get salvage. Nikki sometimes uses new flooring to feather in with patches, but it’s pretty visible, I wouldn’t do that, the new doesn’t take the stain same as the old, wood just isn’t the same as it was a hundred years ago.

    Of course, make sure the structure below is sound. The floor boards aren’t meant to hold your weight, so if the structure/joists below aren’t in great condition, the squeaking floors could be a symptom of that, that the span is too long.

    We have 1908 floors, and yeah, they creak a bit. We managed to fix the ones that were bad (onbe in our master bedroom was LOUD), but that’s part of the old house charm, little squeaks.

  210. We live in a 1920’s Spanish in Pasadena. My kids are 10 + 12 and we’ve lived here since they were born.

    – Flooring – creaking has never bothered me, our issue is that when we bought the house, we had the (original) floors sanded and refinished and that was one sanding too many – not long after they started splintering and coming up where the boards meet, now we have holes everywhere and have to totally replace them. when we do replace them, it’ll be an exact match to the oringinals – I would never buy an old l.a. house with wide planked floors or something else that doesn’t look original.

    – the tree – I would just have a tree trimmer thin it out and see if that helps. my kids lived outside when they were younger – we just left our back doors open. you will want to be able to see them from the spot you’re spending most of your time. for me, I could easily see them from the kitchen.

    – my kids (boy, girl) shared a room til they were 8 and 10. it was more due to the configuration of our rooms, but it worked well for us. they really just slept there and had a playroom downstairs.

  211. I have opinions about your other things but I want to streamline to offer just this one piece of advice. KEEP the tree! I say this as a mom of 4 and a Southern California resident. Here’s the thing, shade is a very valuable commodity in Southern California. Greenery is a very valuable commodity. You know how paint is always touted as a low risk change to try? I would say removing a tree is the exact opposite. In this area, removing a tree is incredibly permanent. To put it back would take a generation if it was even successful. With current water restrictions in force and the drought, growing a tree that size is an incredible undertaking. Now, as for the supervision thing, as a parent of 4 I don’t think it is that big of an issue. Here’s why. When kids are very small, just watching them from the living room is not enough supervision. You need to be right there with them. Once they are old enough to be “supervised” from the living room, you really don’t need to see them all the time, or at least not for very long. A verbal call out is usually enough. Since your kids are very close together in age, I do not see a very long time frame that “seeing” from the living room would be a tremendous advantage. Keep the tree!

    1. Best comment about the tree! Fruit bearing trees were like magic to me when I was little. I always felt like we were the richest family when our cherry trees fruited (we weren’t ;)). And I agree about the supervision thing. If it’s frustrating when you have friends over and the adults want to hang out AND see kids, why not just relocate to the terrace? Worth it for that beautiful tree.

  212. You’ve got a lot of fun decisions to make, huh?! ? Regarding the squeaky floors, in pretty sure the only way to make them stop creaking is to secure the subfloor to the joists and then secure the finished flooring to the subfloor really well. We went through this with our 1930s house last fall and literally went through and nailed the old subfloor down everywhere before installing the new hardwood. It was a pain, but so worth it! No more squeaks. We also reinforced our stairs from the underside by adding small blocks under each tread (you’d have to expose them from underneath). It made such a difference! People comment all the time on how quiet the floors are. It might be worth putting in new floors if the creaking really is as bad as you’re saying!

  213. Sharing a room: YES!!!! My two kids (2.5 years apart, a boy and a girl) shared a room until my oldest was 7. We all ADORED IT! Can’t recommend it enough, from our experience. Bedtime was easier, they had a buddy in the middle of the night, and toys were edited to fit into that one room. I think they are closer because of it. They’d occasionally wake each other up but not enough to offset the positives. Would have done it longer, but one started having major nighttime anxiety that was frequently waking the other. My dream was a giant shared bed, but mine are thrashers when they sleep. We went straight to double twin beds (from co-sleeping) and it’s the cutest!

    Creaky floors: We lived in a 1910 home with the loudest floors upstairs. Our experience was that the kids quickly got used to it and it didn’t wake them. You learn where the worst creaks are and avoid when you can 🙂

    I’m so excited to see you do another house! Thanks for taking us along!

  214. My 70 year old original oak floors don’t annoy me with their creakiness at all. They’re actually kind of handy- I can tell who’s walking and where they are because of the sounds the floor is making.
    I think anytime you can leave a tree, you should. I have giant lilac bushes that cut off the view of our backyard in half from most angles, but right next to them is where my kids (5 and 7) play most days because of that shade. You can always leave a window open and then you’d always be able to hear if one of yours fell and actually needed help. I’m not a helicopter parent at all, though, and that does have a lot of bearing on my opinion here.
    My girls are in separate rooms right now because their sleep needs have always been different. They will start sharing late this fall to prep for a new baby early next year, and while I’m excited for that, it is also very easy to have separate rooms I can send them to when playing devolves into them just bugging each other. You’ll have pros and cons either way. As for sharing a bed, that sounds risky. I know when mine get to do that when we’re on vacation, it adversely effects their sleep. Besides the vacation excitement aspect of it, they kick each other in their sleep. Another reason I would worry about sharing a bed- when you potty train and there is inevitable night time peeing, you’ll have to handle it on a big bed where pee may or may not get on two kids instead of one. I know you said everyone else poo pooed on this, so sorry to add on, but your idyllic snuggle fest might not be worth it. That’s why your bed is giant, right? Everyone can snuggle in there!

  215. 1) I like creaky floors, it’s the audible character of an old house. Keep them.
    2) Trim the tree. You can take it out later, but you can’t put it back.
    3) Have the kids share a room for now if that’s what you want to do. You can push 2 twin beds together for a combined bed that can easily be separated. My daughters do this and it gives them an easy line to tell the other not to cross when they want their own space. They even separate the beds when they’ve had enough together time, although the beds are usually together. I’ve slept on the crack and it’s not bothersome. I’m not sure if it’s the mattresses or the beds that enable us to do this.

  216. Downing a tree…never allowed.
    creaking floors, it’s like the ticking of an old clock. leave it alone.
    having shared a room , best times and giggles ever. EVER! Since I have lost that sibling to cancer, I am so grateful for that perfectly empty 3rd bedroom.
    love your blog and everything you do.

  217. 1 – Refinish no question. We have a 100+ year old home and I wish every day that we would have refinished the floors BEFORE we moved in…it’s impossible to do once you’re living in the house.

    2 – I vote for keeping the tree and trimming if possible. It’s nice to have some shade in the yard and in the house during the heat of the day.

    3 – Own rooms…eventually. I think this depends on what kind of sleepers you are dealing with. Our kids have their own rooms because the baby wakes up during the night and our 3 year old will sleep straight through. Having them share a room would cause the toddler to wake up and need drinks, potty, book, etc before heading back to bed. Although I would love the extra room I love having 1 child sleep through the night more 🙂

  218. One answer I know for sure… if you have the rooms, give each child their own room now. By the time they’re 5 or 6 they’ll be talking about having their own room and that time is here before you know it! Trust me. Skip any toddler beds and go straight to the big beds now – doubles or queens if you can – snuggle time is important they’ll be able to sleep in the same bed if they want for a while. They grow out of the twins so fast.

  219. 1. I have no idea. Good Luck.
    2. Trim first and see how it goes. You can always remove later if you want. See how it fits into your lives before you make a decision you could regret.
    3. I love that you are thinking of them sharing a room! I always shared with my sister and it really helps siblings bond. We did twins and a queen in different homes – but we were the same gender. I think two twin bed for kiddos of opposite gender would be more comfortable for them in the long run.

  220. Hello Emily,

    100+ yer old house owner here. Also in SoCal :)…..I am fourth generation to live in our family home, so I am invested in “restoration”. I restored the hardwoods that remained under the plushest avocado wool carpet that looked like new for 50 years…gags. The floor noises are just part of the house, they don’t bother me. I had large floor heater returns that had to be removed and the wood filled in. It turned out fantastic and 5 years later I cannot tell the old vs. new. I have the thin boards such as your home.

    Trees, for SURE thin only, unless they are diseased. We need as much shade as we can get with these hotter than ever summers. You will be amazed how thinning helps all of your issues.

    As for the kids in one bedroom….(my kids are now 19 and 21) I had my kids in one room for their first 9 and 11 years. They were fine at the time. Now they hate each other and live very differently….haha. Slob vs. neat nick. Etc.

    There’s my two cents. Super excited to watch your progress on this new house.

  221. -I live in a 1945 house with the same floors. They make a ton of noise too and even when cleaned with a steamer are not THAT fab. (Even though i like there history). Replace them. New or recycled wood would upgrade it if was bigger than the 2 inch. It will make the rooms look bigger.
    -Don’t cut the tree! Honor the landscape. That tree took a long time to become that big fabulous shading dream. FIRST! Prune. Yes. They can prune it so you can see enough of what they are doing. Also kids are loud. You’ll know if they are getting into trouble. BUT! Move in first before you even THINK about cutting it. You don’t know how much you’ll love it, hate it, become a huge admirer of the way the leaves shadow on your patio. My mom used to say, “When in doubt, wait.”
    -They kids sharing. I don’t know. I have a little girl on the way and a boy that 16 months and I love that they have their on space. A girl and boy have such different things and colors and toys. Give them their own special world. Especially for Charlie. But follow your gut.
    Good Luck! Keep us posted. LOVE IT!

  222. We have wood floors that creak SO BAD! We only hate it though when we are trying to sneak around when our daughter is sleeping. So babies/kids and creaky floors don’t mix well! On the other hand we always joke that she will never be able to sneak out of the house when she is a teenager because we will definitely be able to hear her! Ha! – LOVE the fig tree! You can always take it down after you have lived in the house awhile to see if it really bothers you or not. Maybe it wont bother you and you can really actually see the kids just fine. Also, 2 twin beds is ADORABLE! Can’t wait to see what you choose! Love your blog!

  223. Sharing rooms:
    My 2 boys share a room and their sister has her own. This gives us one spare bedroom. The boys love it. It has some cons:
    1. When they have timeout, one has to go to the guest room or somewhere else
    2. Sometimes they stay up late chatting and won’t go to sleep on time (but part of me LOVES that!).
    3. Cleaning up becomes a bit of an argument – whose stuff is whose and who should clean it.

    But overall, it is a fabulous thing for them to share at this point – they are 6 and 8 now, but have been sharing since 2.5 yo and 5.5 yo. They have bunk beds and I’m sure that they sleep much better having their own beds and also have a space to call their own – put their own books and make their own way with their own bedding, pillows, etc. We all just hop in one of their beds to read together at bedtime – no biggie. We can all fit in a twin for 15 minutes together and it’s quite cozy. They love making decisions together about where they should hang things and get very creative playing in there together – building forts and legos and just having time to bond together. Your kids will play in their rooms more as they get older and it’s great for them to do this together. Honestly, if we had a big enough room, I’d be a fan of all 3 of our kids sharing a room. It builds a bond for sure.

    The added benefit of having an extra room is WAY WORTH IT!!! No rushing around to get some makeshift guest room ready – there is always an extra, clean room in our house that kids don’t destroy and I love that.

  224. If you don’t think you can live with the floors forever I would replace them now! Doing it later would be a big mess and hassle!

    I am curious to see what you decide on the room sharing! My boys are 6 months and 2 and I debated back and forth and ended up putting them separate rooms. Now that they both sleep through the night I think it would be fun to have them share a room and use the second room as a guest room or play area. I agree with you, if they are that close in age they have similar bed time routines and interests. It would be nice to read a book to both of them at the same time instead of repeating my routine over each night!

    As far as the fig tree goes, I wouldn’t cut it down right away. Remember once it’s down there is no bring it back! I just trimmed all the trees at my lake house and with a few snips here and there it made everything feel so much more open!

    Best of luck and I can’t wait to follow along! I adore the tutor style you chose!

  225. Having no experience with old homes or children, here are my comments:

    1) Replace the floors. If the creaking is only going to get worse, than you might as well replace it while you are already renovating (provided you can make room for it in the budget.)

    2) Try and trim the tree to improve the backyard visibility, but keep if possible. I love a good mature tree!

    3) Share a room. If they hate the experience, you can do a shuffle. I didn’t share a room as a child though, so this is entirely motivated by how cute matching twin beds are. As for the bigger bed, I think it is possible, but why can’t you do two twin beds that could push together for the nights they wanted to have a “slumber party” and then pull them apart if they aren’t loving it at another point. Not sure how that works, but maybe it is an option.

    Good luck! I can’t wait to see this entire process!

  226. 1. Replace the floors! We have a 1954 bungalow with original floors. We refinished/restored them when we moved into the house 2 years ago. While they are beautiful, they are also so loud that I am already dreading having a child next year… We are going to wake him/her up every time we walk down the hall.
    2. Don’t cut it down until you know that it’s an issue. You can always cut it down if it’s a problem, but you can’t put it back if you miss it when it’s gone.

  227. Forgive me if someone already suggested this, there are so many comments!

    Call Nicole Curtis about your floors!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 There’s got to be some HGTV connection you have. See what she recommends as the old house guru 🙂

  228. 1. Replace the flooring. My first house was a 1920’s Tudor (much smaller than yours) and I thought how quaint the original floors would be, but the squeaking floors drove me crazy after a few months. When I would go into neighbors’ houses with new floors the houses feel more secure and cozy – if that makes any sense!

    2. Trim the tree if at all possible. You will miss that shade more than you know.

    3. Let the kids share a room for as long as they are okay with it. But, I’m a sucker for a room with two twin beds so that could be clouding my judgement. Plus, when they are tired of sharing, you will have a good excuse to design two new kids’ rooms!

  229. I’m all about kids sharing rooms. My toddler boy and infant girl will soon share a room. Sharing a bed sounds fun too. Maybe two twin beds that can be pushed together for cuddles, and then moved apart if needed?

  230. Keep the tree. The season of life in which your kids play outside without you, but with the need for you to be watching, is really short. I would say we had one summer here where I let them play outside but wanted to keep a pretty good eye on them. The next year they played outside independently and I only checked occasionally. This year they play outside and I don’t worry about them. Cutting down a tree that provides that much shade/enjoyment for a two year period is short sighted.

    Of course, you are in the parenting stage where a month is an eternity (until you have consistent sleeper-through-the-nighters it will feel that way!) But trust me that you will wish you had kept the tree!

    I would never put my kids in the same bed. Refer back to my comments above regarding the value of sleeping through the night. I would never risk the quality of their sleep! As they’re older they won’t get out of bed or call out for you, but if they don’t sleep well they are pissy and grumpy and it is so not worth it. Of course, mine are used to their own space, so maybe it is different for kids who have always slept that way.

    Just my $.02. New house looks lovely! I’m excited to see what you do with it!

  231. 1) Replace the floors if you can budget it – they aren’t particularly special or in good shape – and then the whole house can match.

    2) Trim the tree first (removing some of the lower branches and thinning it out) and see if that makes enough of a difference for you – Also if you were to get rid of the tree completely – could the neighboors see into your deck then?

    3) I would set-up Charlie’s room with two twin beds and install a nursery with the 2 cribs in the other room. If it works well having them in the same room they could both transition out of the nursery together and you can free up the nursery room – if it doesn’t Charlie can transition into the big room himself- and use the other twin bed for sleepovers!

    Also from the first photo- I vote extend the bookcases to the ceiling / fireplace or remove them completely – depending on how much display space you want. I think you should also paint the window trim black and the baseboard the same color as the walls.

    What happened with Orlando’s Idea of extending out the one exterior wall so you could get a master suite and a dining room? To extensive / expensive? It seems like such a huge improvement to the house and it would probably be amazing for resale value – esp if you are replacing all the flooring at the same time!

  232. 1. My husbands main want on buying our second house was no squeaky floors. It drove him nuts and over time it got worse.
    2.Start with trimming.
    3. If they’re good sleepers, share. If one consistently disrupts the others sleep, don’t share.

  233. My husband and I play a game of avoid the landmines every time our little one is sleeping because of extremely squeaky floors. I’d say fix them!

  234. No experience with question #1. Can you canopy the tree for now & decide after you move in? Once it’s gone it’s gone….

    I never shared a room, but I don’t think it’s weird at all. You just need to make sure they will both sleep if they are in the same room :). A lot of kids sleep in one room even if they technically each have their own. I love the idea of an upstairs lounge…it could be kind of a playroom/media/library that you use after dinner & before bed. I personally think you should plan for toys in the living room & kitchen & maybe use that nice room on the main as a guest room/office. Idk if the kids will use it as a playroom since they are so young…maybe in a few years? Anyhow those are my thoughts! Congrats on the beautiful new place!

  235. 1. Don’t know.
    2. Keep the tree for now. Have an arborist figure out some trimming, but do NOT remove until you’ve actually lived there a while and are certain it needs to go. The shade is so lovely; you will miss it.
    3. Put kids in same room, twin beds when big enough. (Skip toddler bed completely). We actually had all 3 kids in one bedroom and it worked great. The bedroom was always kept calm and free of clutter and used for sleeping, not playing. Set up other room as playroom.

  236. I would keep the tree, because it would take 30 years to grow a tree like that. IT adds character to the house and adds much needed shade. I would get 3 opinions from Arborists and see if they agree, trimming up the canopy and greatly thinning out the branches will greatly improve the look of the tree. I bet that tree has not been trimmed for decades. Many homeowners just plant a tree and then assume they never have to do anything with it but let it grow…I see so many trees that just look like giant bushes!

  237. My boy/girl twins shared a room until they were 7 and then my daughter was really wanting her own space. She quickly regretted having him not sleeping in her room but still likes having a room with just her things. I recently bought bunk beds for her room and my son insists on sleeping there every night (they are now 9). My experience has been that they love sleeping near one another (not a queen bed though as they both get sideways during the night) but my daughter appreciates having a space that she can decorate as her own. My son’s room is pretty much just a room for clothes and toys.

  238. I vote definitely yes on kids sharing a room but not a bed. Our girls have shared a room since we brought the younger one home from the hospital. But when we tried to have them share a full bed, it was a nightmare. They talked, fought, cried, and stayed awake for 1.5 hours every night after being put in bed. They were 4.5 and 2 when we tried that. It only lasted maybe 2 months because I was losing my mind. They get along great sharing a room though, and I keep them in the same room even though we have more space.
    New house is looking great!
    (Woah is spelled whoa. Drives me crazy, sorry!)

  239. I’m so excited to follow along on your new adventure. I have a 4 and 1 year old and we just moved in to a 100+ year old home. Unfortunately we are living here during our kitchen and (only) full bath remodel. Stay in your your current home as long as you can because living in our house with two kids during renovations is beyond miserable. The floors: we had big plans to refinish our floors before we moved in but we ran out of time. Now that we are living here I really wish we would’ve made it happen. The floors aren’t horrible looking but they feel dirty no matter how much I clean them. It’s my only regret thus far and it seems like a huge project going forward having just moved in. We are also considering getting new rather than refinishing them (mainly because they are apparently thin?) so I can’t wait to see what you do!

  240. Creaky floors are a built in alarm system! But if you are going to have more kids and the floors creak near the bedrooms, fix them first. Our creaky floors woke my son when he was an infant more times than I could count. I practically learned that museum scene from that oceans 11 sequel to get out of his room without waking him.

    1. 1) I have creaking floors in a 100 year old house, and they don’t bother me or wake my kids. Sprinkling baby powder in the crevices works wonders! I wouldn’t trade the historic floors for anything. So much more character than modern hardwoods. But, maybe your floors are worse/louder.
      2) I’d try trimming the tree first. It’ll be awhile before your kids will be playing outside without an adult with them, so being able to see them from a window might not be that big of deal. I’d want the shade and the cozy garden/forest feel the tree creates in your living room.
      3) Save yourself future headaches, and give your kids separate rooms. As they grow (even as toddlers and young kids), they’ll have different bedtimes, one might wake during the night and inevitably wake the other one, or they’ll chat at night instead of sleeping. I’ve done it both ways, and I would never have my kids share a room again unless absolutely necessary. For your cozy time, have everyone climb into your bed for bedtime stories and then move into their own rooms and beds.

  241. 1. Replace the floors, you’ll regret not doing it while the house is empty and there is nothing special about 2″ oak. Get something you love instead!

    2. Prune it up (it looks like it could benefit from a haircut) but I’d live with it for a bit before cutting it down. Mature trees take time and love to grow, live with it for a year thru each season and see if it really is an issue. You might really like the shade it offers and the privacy.

    3. Like other comments – Share a room, why not? It can create a great bond! Have a separate space in the house for a playroom and keep the bedroom more for sleeping. Transition beds either before or a bit after the move – moves are just as stressful for kids as they are for adults. I’d go with a queen for extra snuggles and from following your blog that fits your family dynamic better anyway. If you worry about when their sick or potty training get a trundle that you can pull out to sleep them in when needed. ***Also the best thing I did was buy two mattress pads/covers and double the sets of sheets for kids beds. You make them twice (one set then again right over the top of it with a cover and fitted sheet) that way if they wet the bed or vomit in the night you just have to grab a new duvet and pull the top layer of sheets and mattress pad off the bed. It makes for a very quick bed change and gets everyone back in bed with less disturbance and wake up.

  242. When I was a kid, I shared a room with my brother and sister. They are twins and two years younger. They had bunk beds and I had a twin. I think it was a great experience and I would definitely have my children share a room, no matter what the gender breakdown is. We shared until I was around 10 and they were 8. Then I moved into my own room and they continued to share for another year or so.

    I think the room sharing was an amazing bonding experience and also prepared us for things like living with roommates as adults. Having to share personal space as a kid taught us to be more patient and giving, and certainly less possessive and precious about our things. We had to learn to clean up after ourselves and give each other space when we needed it.

    Definitely have them share!!

  243. I think replacing the wood floors is a good idea. Creaking floors at night in an old house is pretty scary.
    As far as the tree, I say keep it, if you love it. It’s part of the charm of the house!
    I recommend separate beds for the children.
    Safer, better sleep, still fun!!

  244. By all means, have them share a room, my 2nd and 3rd children did, a boy and girl. They each had a twin though. If bedwetting is ever an issue, you will appreciate having two!

    I would replace the floors if I could afford to. 2″ oak is not special, just old. You can salvage and sell it probably? At the least, you have to take them up to repair the support structure, so put down some new that will carry you forward for a looooong time with no trouble.

    Just trim the tree! Shade is so valuable! You can take more drastic measures later after you’ve lived in it for a bit.

    PLEASE don’t paint that trim white OR alter your fireplace with shelving (except maybe a mantel). Think how awesome the end wall would look with the white fireplace standing out (those beautiful curves!) against a strong color?!

  245. 1 – I think floors are one of the best parts of an older home or building! They have so much character, BUT having lived in a very old apartment with VERY creaky floors, I lean towards replacing them. They may have scratches and dings that are cool and interesting, but if you LIVE there, then the creakiness will definitely get annoying! Plus, not all new hardwood floors have to look brand spanking new…

    2 – Keep the tree!! Especially if it’s healthy and provides shade. The concern to see Charlie and Elliot playing is totally legitimate, trees add so much value to a home!

    3 – I’m not a parent, but I’d say do whatever they want to do! I shared a room with my sisters and it was great for our relationship 🙂

  246. Don’t remove the tree! Trim if need be. Mature trees add to the character of the house & neighborhood..too many horrid cement yards in SoCal. Our 60 year old floors creak & you all get used to it & don’t notice..my sensitive kids were never woken up by it.

  247. 1) You can’t get wood as nice as the floors you have now. It simply isn’t grown anymore. If repairing is an option, take it! I have some squeaks in my 85-year-old floors, and they don’t bother me (except when I’m trying to sneak out of the toddler’s room and I step in the wrong spot and she starts crying).

    2) Trim if possible. Shade is priceless! I have a fig in my “yard” (really just a sad patio), and it has put up with a ton of aggressive pruning.

    3) Share a room, but not a bed. They can crawl into each others’ beds if they want to, but don’t make that decision for them.

  248. We have an old house in LA and refinished the floors even though they creak. It looks really good refinished, and we asked the floor guy about replacing originally, and he basically said “It’s so much cheaper to refinish. It’ll look great refinished. You might need new floors in 10 years, but in 10 years you’ll be rich and won’t live here anymore!” I appreciated his faith in our future prosperity, but he was right that we probably won’t live in that house in 10 years.

    Anyway, the creaking doesn’t bother me day-to-day but it DOES sometimes wake up our baby, so I try to be gentle and know my “spots” on the floor. Although you might be almost out of the “wake up the baby phase.”

  249. I think replacing the wood floors is a good idea. Creaking floors at night in an old house is pretty scary.
    As far as the tree, I say keep it, if you love it. It’s part of the charm of the house!
    I recommend separate beds for the children, same room. Safer, better sleep, still fun!!

  250. I would get a flooring specialist in to check out the floors. Since it’s original, it’s worth saving if you can. The boards are probably 1/2-3/4″ thick which isn’t even available any more, but that very thickness makes it possible to do a lot of sanding, refinishing and adding nails to eliminate the squeaking. They’ll be gorgeous (and baby powder in the cracks tones down any squeaking still going on after the refinishing/repairing.)

    Fig trees respond really well to drastic pruning. Have your arborist cut it back as far as possible. It will look bare naked but will grow back, just not right away giving you the sight lines you want while your children are small. It will be a wonderful experience for your children to be able to eat fruit in their own backyard. (Mine gobbled up tangerines with their cousins in one of my backyards.) And you’ll love the shade later.

    If the window trim, doorways and baseboards are salvageable, I’d keep them as stained wood but in a house that old, the windows are often in pretty rough shape. I would also lighten the beams somewhat. Before painting all the woodwork, remember the age and beauty of the home is what sold you on it and you’re going more classic traditional on it. You don’t want to paint all the character out of it. That said, I love everything about your designs and whatever you choose will be beautiful!

    And letting the kids sleep in the same room or in the same bed will be a wonderful memory for them! Five years from now, when you give them their own rooms you’ll have two more rooms to decorate and they will be special treats of “big boy” “big girl” rooms that they will remember!

  251. My kids (girl/boy, three years apart) have always had separate rooms, but preferred to sleep in the same room until I made them split up this summer (this fall, they will have drastically different schedules, so I wanted them to get used to going to bed earlier/later as appropriate). So they essentially shared until they were 12 and 9!

    Most of that time, they both slept in DD’s full bed, and it was just fine (and very sweet!). Once they got bigger, I noticed neither was sleeping as well, so I dragged a twin bed into DD’s room so they could still be in the same room, but sleep in their own beds.

    1. Fix the floors now, before everything is in the rooms because floors never seem to fix themselves or get less squeaky over time and use.

      Share a room, but not a bed because then when they do eventually get their own rooms, it’s such a big independence/adulty thing for them.

  252. I am sure you are able to make a perfect decision on your own, regarding what suits you and your family best. But, sure, if you want opinions, I can wheigh in 🙂
    On the subject of old creeking floors: We live in an old house not 100 years old, but from 1963, so the floors still creek. As we have three kids between 2 and 6 the noise doesn’t bother us at all during daytime, but at night, when I walk around picking up the last toys and clothes around the house, or when I walk into their bedrooms before I ho to bed, to make sure they are safely tucked in and the temperature is ok, I am always afraid that the loud creeking will wake them up and I feel inhibited by trying to remember which floor boards that creek the most to try to avoid stepping on them. So I would definitely replace the creeking floors, at least in the bedrooms and in the hallway just outside the bedrooms. I know we will, as soon as we can find the money 😉
    Trees are beautiful, and I can understand that shade is important in LA, but it makes life so much easier to be able to just glance outside to make sure the kids are alright. I would either remove enough of the tree to provide a minimum of view, or take it all down and just put up some gorgeous sun shade sail.
    Please let them share a room, at least until Charlie is around 6 years old. My two eldest have shared a room all their lives, and they love it so much. I would let all three share if we had a bedroom big enough for them all. It provides so much unity. In the mornings I sometime hear them talking and laughing and telling each other stories before they get up. I really sometimes feel really bad about our youngest who has to sleep alone, due to the room size situation. Personally I prefer separate bedt, because they seem to sleep better and longer in them. When they stay over at their grandparents they usually share a queen bed, and they always end up waking each other up during the night because one pushes the other out of the bed, or they throw out their arms and end up hitting (and waking) each other up. And as you point out: there are not many cuter things than twin beds in a kids room!
    Good luck with all the decisions you have to make. I am sure it will all turn out great!

  253. Such a cute home, I’m excited to see how you decorate it.
    Floors- if the creaks aren’t bothering you, I say leave it. Especially if you didn’t notice it until someone else pointed it out.
    Tree- that big tree is gorgeous, maybe just trim it down a little.
    Rooms- I have 2 kids, a four year old boy and an almost 2 year old girl. They are in separate rooms, and I’m so thankful to have a house that lets us do that. When my son switched to a toddler bed it became nearly impossible to keep him in bed. Even if he stays in his room he is always turning on lights and bringing toys out. And then at 18 months my daughter (who had always slept through the night) started waking up in the middle of the night, every night. It’s so hard to get any sleep as a parent, which is why I think it’s worth it to have separate rooms so they aren’t waking each other up. I do like another commenters idea of getting your son a full size bed, reading and cuddling together, then putting them in their own rooms.
    Hope this helps 🙂

  254. My kids are 1 1/2 years apart and they have always shared a room. They would have been happy to share a big bed too, but we only had to twins. Which they have many times slept together in.(: they are 9 (boy) and 10 (girl) now and they do still share a room, but will be separating very soon. I think it was a great experience for them both! your kids are close and it would be so cozy to snuggle and read together! we do that in my bed but it would be so fun to have it in their room. I also shared with my sister (1 year apart) growing up in a full size and it was kind of like slumber party every night. (:

  255. It would be totally weird to put both kids in the same bed. It’s different when they choose to sleep together. You need two beds. Preferably one room for boy and one room for girl.

  256. 1) We moved into our 80-year-old Tudor about two years ago, and the not-original-nothing-super-special floors totally creak. And they’re not in great shape. But it’s turned out to be something I kind of appreciate: they’re old and a little worn, so I don’t worry about (me, kids, pets, etc.) wearing them out more. What’s one more scratch? We don’t really notice the creaking anymore–it’s just background noise. (I worry this makes it sound like our floors are a total mess, which they’re not. They’re just not new, you know?) But I’m not a design pro, so I get that the pressures might be different.

    2) Our friends took out a bunch of mature trees when they moved into their current place, for reasons like yours. I think they regret it a little, mostly for missing the shade. I say trim and live with it before taking it out. Once you do, there’s no going back.

    3) No kids, no informed opinion. But I think shared bedrooms are adorable.

  257. I love this post! How wonderful to see more pictures of your insanely beautiful new house. Here are my two cents:

    1) Floors – so cozy to have creaky old floors. That’s part of the point of buying an old house. It’s a personal taste issue, but I think new floors can make it look TOO new inside. Unless they are so old and damaged that there is another reason beyond the creakiness to replace them, I’d keep them and just refinish.

    2) I have two boys; when they were 3 and 1 we went abroad for a while, and I had the opportunity to change up the 3 bedrooms in our house and put them in one room and create an office for myself. I’m so glad I decided to do it. The office has since been totally co-opted by my husband, but the sharing of a room brought my two boys closer. I never looked back. My friends thought I was crazy doing it when they were so young, but I truly think it cemented their relationship and there is something so sweet about the two twin beds (I agree with other posters who cautioned against having your kids share a bed – there are other places you can have a cozy reading space, and the time will come when they are reading totally different books and you and your husband might have to each take one kid and split up for reading time anyway).

    3) Tree – in Southern California it’s hard to overstate how wonderful and important shade can be. It’d try trimming before removing the fig tree. Live in the house for a bit before doing any major landscaping. You have to see how things change with the seasons in terms of sun exposure. An older tree is a huge asset…and landscaping is so easy to do later anyway.

    Thanks again for the awesome post, I love your new house and look forward to seeing how you renovate!

  258. Looks like a wonderful house!

    I’d replace the floor. It’s a big project and one you’re better doing right away instead of later, if you can afford to do it now. Once you’ve settled in, it would be a huge disruption — we’re going through that right now, having all the floors in the living areas redone.

    I’d keep the fig tree. You could try pruning the lower branches, as someone else suggested. I don’t think your kids are old enough to be playing outside without someone right by them.

    As for the kids sharing a bedroom, I think it would be okay for now, maybe for a year, but once the elder one is 4, I’d put him in his own room. Or you could go the Asian route and have them both sleep with you for now.

  259. I was extra excited to hear about your new house because I currently live in an old tudor (in Columbus, OH)! It’s been converted into two apartments and we rent the first floor. When we pulled up and saw the adorable exterior, I think the savvy parts of our brains just shut off — we didn’t notice all the “quirks” of the place at all, we were too in love. It wasn’t until a month later when we moved in that we realized the floors creaked BADLY. Yes, they’re original and pretty (though very beat up) but after a year of living here I don’t even care. I’d take old greige carpet with mystery stains over these creaks. (That’s a lie but you get my point.)
    Why? I’ll tell you:
    1. My husband and I can’t talk to each other while moving around the apartment. IT’S THAT BAD. We’ll be hanging out on the couch talking, he’ll get up to grab something out of the kitchen mid-sentence, and I’ll have to shout over the creaking “I can’t hear you! Wait til you come back!” Or when we’re rushing around trying to leave the house, we’ll have to stop mid-stride like, “What? Yes I have the goddamn sunscreen.”
    2. He doesn’t sleep well and often has to get up in the middle of the night. Which means he has to walk around, while I’m sleeping. Which means I wake up in the night.

    Basically, the creaky floors will drive a very loud and annoying wedge between you and Brian. Fix them!!

  260. There is a tool that drills down through the flooring and catches the underlayment back into proper contact with the flooring it sets below the floor level and may require a plug or maybe it makes the plug? If you have a basement obviously you can access the sub flooring from there-but I know from experience that the flooring people ALWAYS advise new flooring. Wonder why that is? I can see lots of different treatments for your beautiful room but they all depend on the furniture. I was 10 in mid century and 20 in 1960 and I say burn it all….just kidding but not my cuppa tea. love your blog and your beautiful family and how the heck do you get so lucky?

  261. 1. If you can afford the new floors, do it now because you did say they are in bad condition.

    2. Trim the tree if it will provide the view you want.

    3. Separate beds because they will definitely need their own rooms when you son turns 5 or 6.

  262. For what my opinion is worth, here it is:
    1: I say keep and refinish the floors. I have an old house too, with creaky floors and I love that they are original to the house, creaks and all. The only time I haven’t liked the creaking is when my kiddos were infants and I had to sneak out of their room without the creaky floors waking them- that was a short phase though:)
    2: keep that tree!! I’m all about free-range kiddos- they will be FINE, you’ll have to check on them from time to time for the next couple years regardless, but the tree is beautiful and the shade is awesome!! No need to chop it!
    3: I am all about the shared room- we’ve done both with our 3, and right now they all have their own rooms and the two eldest (girl 9 boy 7) share a room for sleeping BY CHOICE- they have bunk beds- the bottom being a full and it’s great for story time, the older will also come down and sleep with the younger when he has nightmares occasionally (instead of waking us up!! Win-win!)

  263. I like the idea of an upstairs office/living area – a place to hang in the morning while people are getting ready, to have storytimes, keep some extra toys, etc. Once they’re both going safely upstairs/downstairs independently (both in big beds?), go ahead and give Charlie a room. A multi-use room might not be the most pulled together space, but I say just make it work for your current needs.

    And man, if you can figure out a way to make those shelves deeper, I love a fireplace with shelves to either side.

    1. I meant give Elliot her own room. Doh.

  264. We have four children, age five and under, and based on the number of bedrooms we have, two of them have to share. I always thought it would be so sweet our kids to share a room (went the Jenny Lind twin bed route. Very cute!). However, it has been a challenge. We have three girls and a boy. Ideally, I’d have our twins together, but they are boy/girl, and I knew eventually we’d probably need to put two of the girls together. So, when we moved last year, we took the reins out of cribs (they were almost 3) and split them up, putting our two older girls together. Gave our son his own room, and gave the baby her own room since she was still in a crib. The girls would not go to bed, woke each other up, etc. I think the challenge comes in them being so young and still wanting to play. I’m hoping it gets easier as they get older because we only have so many bedrooms. Just last week, we have our older daughter her own room and put our two younger girls together, and that’s not going so well either even though youngest still in crib. They will not go to sleep. So, my advice is: 1. keep them in their cribs as long as possible. Moving to regular beds is always when sleep went downhill for us. And 2. If you have the space, give them their own rooms. My two that have their own rooms definitely get the Most sleep.

    I vote replace flooring. Will probably be happier in the long run and gives you an opportunity to pick out something new and amazing. Not sure what to do about the tree. It’s beautiful and so green but would really open up that space.

    1. *so when we moved last year, we took the twins out of cribs.

  265. Replace the floors. You said in the video that there is a lot of cat pee damage. They’re not special and they’ve already been refinished several times. The situation is not going to improve in the next 5-7 years, so you will have to replace them when you sell the house anyway. Might as well bite the bullet (hopefully get a sponsor to help) and start fresh.

    Let the kids share a room. I would do the transition when you move – talk about it as their room, get them used to the idea, etc. I would do two beds, but maybe that is because everyone in my family is a sleepkicker.

    Trim the tree if possible, and leave it until later. Especially since you guys are probably going to expand the kitchen into the dining room, which would give you sight lines to the backyard, right?

    Roman shades on the French doors and curtains on the bay window? I would get rid of the shelves and then maybe do a beautiful cement tile pattern on the walls, leaving the fireplace as is. Or leave it all white with the black trim. Going to be gorgeous anything you do!

  266. 1. Keep the floors if you can! Our house is the same age as yours, and the floors do creak, but they are ridiculously charming and they just “feel” right with the house the age it is. The noise is only a problem when my twins are sleeping, so we always turn on the noise maker. Buying one was a $20 fix vs. a $7,500 fix for new floors.

    2. We limbed up a big Ponderosa pine for improved visibility from the windows, and it’s worked great for us. We still get the shade but can see the kids from the living room.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with your new place!

  267. My advice:
    1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish? Replace it
    2.) Remove tree, trim it, or keep it? Keep it and don’t trim it yet – next year, after spring (when it’s the right time of year for tree pruning), consider trimming it
    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own?? Each get their own room, seriously
    4.) Paint molding black or white? White
    5.) Tile fireplace? Yes

  268. since you asked, i am going to answer, LOL
    1. replace the floor. there are so great options that are also much more resistent and easier to clean. I have all new wooden floor and LOVE it!
    2. do not cut, try to trim it if you really need to. You will anyway do not stay all the time looking through the windows to see what the kids are doing, so you can leave the tree (said it from a mom from now 11, 9 and 8 years old kids, who were 4, 2 and 1 few years ago LOL).
    3. share a room. the time will come when they will not want to share a room anymore (for us now that our oldest girl is 11, she left to her only room, the 9 years old boy and the 8 years old girl are staying together). But not share a bed. They only play and nobody sleeps when they put the beds together, it is a nightmare.

  269. Sharing beds and/or bedrooms… do what works at the time that it works.
    I have 4 kids, (1 boy -age 8, 3 girls – ages 7,4,2) and always planned ahead on how to arrange their rooms. Finally I realized, I will change it when it doesn’t work anymore.
    When my two oldest were little, about the age of yours, they shared a queen bed – yes, one boy, one girl. They liked sleeping together and keeping each other company. They are only 18months apart. I think by the time they were 4 and 3, we got twin beds. Only bc they needed more room.
    Now, my son has his own room, he is older and no longer needs to the comfort of another sibling.
    My two middle girls, ages 7 and 4, share a room. They have twin beds…they sleep in one bed together every.single.night. They call it a sleepover every.single.night. When they are ready to sleep alone they will, they will make that call, because I want them to feel secure at night. If sleeping together works for them that’s great!
    My 2 year old sleeps in a crib in her own bedroom. She likes her own space. And I like that she can’t get out!
    When she is ready, I will move her into a twin bed with the other girls and all 3 will share a room.
    Everyone has their own preferences.
    The best advise is: Do what is best for your family and your kids. And you can always change it when it doesn’t work anymore.
    Good luck! Can’t wait to see how the design turns out!

  270. I don’t have kids (so take this with a grain of salt) but my niece and nephew (currently 4 and 7) have shared a room for 1-2 years. They have a double/queen sized bunk bed so if one of them needs mom or dad for comfort, there’s space. Although they each have a bunk, they sleep together every night which I think is so freaking adorable. Not sure when they’ll break the band up.

  271. 1. Replace (sad, but practical). If the floors creak *and* are in bad shape, I think it makes sense to bite the bullet now. It’ll be so much harder to tackle flooring once you’ve moved in. And we you go to sell in 5-10 years, everyone will say the house “needs new floors.” Might as well do it now and enjoy them.

    2. Live with it. It’s definitely something that can be addressed in 6mos – a year if you feel like the sight line is still important to you. I also think mature fig trees are super dreamy, so I would love to see it stay!

    3. I think sharing a room is a great idea and I love the idea of a beautiful, sunny playroom! Sharing a bed? All I can think of is potting training being even more aggravating. So, I would vote for 2 twin beds. You can always push them together for special family “sleep overs” or pillow fort building. As they get older, you’ll have the playroom available if fights or naptime gets difficult. My sister and I shared for several years despite the presence of an extra bedroom. I think it helped cut down on monsters under the bed, being scared of the dark, etc.

    4. I love the idea of wood beams and black windows! For the fire place, I think adding a mantle would probably help, but agree that the shelves are a little problematic. If you can’t find a shelving design that works for you, I’d take them out.

  272. 1. I would leave the floors if possible. I love love love love the original old wood in houses. No matter what you put in it always ends up feeling not quite right for the age of the house. I like the creak — it makes me think of all the other people who’ve lived in the house and creaked the floors. 🙂 That said, I would consider working out any creaks near children’s bedrooms if they are light sleepers.

    2. Leave the tree! Sure, trim it. But don’t let fear of not seeing your children make you cut down something so pretty, which gives the courtyard shade. I learned so many vital skills as a child while not in direct view of my parents where they could spring up to rescue me before I even had a chance to assess whether I was hurt/how to fix a problem/etc. (As last resort, is there any way to move the tree?)

    3. This is so dependent on your kids and their personalities. Does Charlie want to share a room? How are they at sleeping through the night? Have you worked through the sleep issues Elliot was having? I loved sharing a bedroom with my brother as a child but my parents ultimately moved us because we spent HOURS at night giggling and talking instead of sleeping. Do they like cuddling or do they like space? Children have opinions on these things just like adults.

    Good luck with your choices!

  273. Having a very creaky floor that looks much like yours and might be of a similar vintage, I would say, redo your floors. Often I don’t even hear the various croaks and creaks, but when I do, I can’t stop hearing every one of them for quite a while.
    And because I love lots of light and never have it, I’d say limn the tree but don’t take it down because it is lovely.
    Being the mother of an only child, it’s hard for me to weigh in on the room thing. Although as an only child myself for the first ten years of my life, I liked having my own room. So, I’ll be a fence-sitter–put them together until they want their own spaces.
    I so love your new house as well as the old one. Wish I lived in CA!

  274. Floor creaking rairly bothered me in out 1897 house

    Kids share. Mine stared from 3 and 15 months and we added a third toddler to that mix. Now they girls share and the boy has his own. But he comes a sleeps with them most nights. Why. ONE bedtime. One patent can be in the room for both kids. But two beds because sometimes they need space (she is kicking, breathing, looking at me) and it is easy to snuggle in a twin.

  275. Please don’t cut that pretty little tree down. I bet your kids will love having a mature, fruiting tree around. We grew up with a fig tree in our neighborhood and LOVED it. We played in the branches, ate the fruit and played all kinds of games under and around it. Little kids love watching fruit grow and picking it when it’s ready. Also, you’ll spend more time on the terrace if it’s cool and shaded. Trimming is the way to go.

  276. I’m of two minds re the shared room thing. My girls share a room. I love the thought of them sharing, I love the thought of twin beds or a shared double too. But I also see how they long for their own space to go off to sometimes. If we had a bigger home, I’d set aside a couple of nooks as “I want to be alone” space. As is, I’m thinking of getting a bunk bed when they’re a little older – one of those with a double on bottom so they can share if they want, but with a curtained space on top for my oldest daughter to retreat to (she seems to need it more).

  277. I absolutely LOVE this home! So beautiful, I can totally see why you fell in love with it!

    I definitely wouldn’t remove the tree. It’s so mature and beautiful and provides privacy for you. I also shared a room with my sister for years and as the older sister, I completely hated it. If you can afford for them to have their own rooms I’d definitely go that route!!

  278. You gotta replace with something AMAZING, otherwise, fix it.

    Don’t kill tree, trim it!

    If this is your forever home, separate bedrooms, otherwise they should share. At some point, C+E are going to want their own space. I know this. Our 2 girls NEEDED their own spaces.

    Don’t freak out about anything. This house is going to reveal itself to you.

  279. 2. Keep the tree. Your kids grow older in no time (so you don’t need to watch them all the time) and you can’t replace such a huge tree once you took it out.
    3. We have 3 kids, now 17 (R, boy), 14 (L, boy) and 10 (O, girl) . R and L shared a big bed ( 2meters wide) until R turned 11 (we moved and he wanted a room of his own). Then L and O shared a big bed until L turned 10 (they now have a bunkbed/ shared room). Just as you imagined i would lay between my children and read to them and snuggle with them. It made life so much easier and they loved it. (The reason why we started the whole thing was, that we all slept in one big bed and at one point, we as parents, wanted our bed back but could’nt imagine to put them in separeted rooms all by themselves.) It’s one of their dearest memory growing up. Just give it a try. If it doesn’t work, you can change it.

  280. My vote is:
    1) replace floor – especially with kiddos running around what feels like 24/7

    2) trim the bajeezus out of the fig tree

    3) share room with twin beds. My 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter share a room and it’s the sweetest. I think separate beds is key for when one is acting out or being sassy at nap/bed time. I’d give the kids an incredible play room and skip the sitting room idea for that windowed room.

    Can’t wait to see what you do.

  281. I am really looking forward to seeing what you do with your new house. I own a 1926 home (spanish colonial revival) and have a lot of the same design dilemmas you will be tackling soon.

    1.) Our floors creak and squeak but it didn’t bother me until we had babies. Now that our kids are out of the baby phase it doesn’t bother me anymore we are used it and don’t even heat it anymore. However we have doug fir flooring that was milled in our historic neighborhood and is in pristine shape so there’s no question about replacing it. But imo squeaks aren’t the deal breaker.
    2) trim the tree, then live with it for a couple of years. If it still bothers you, build a bomb ass shade structure and take the tree out..
    3) my girls are 4 and (nearly) 2 and share a room. They have since the little one was 1. Fortunately my older child sleeps through anything, including sleep training. I love that they share a room. We live in a 2 bedroom home so it’s our of necessity, but if we ever moved to a larger house (unlikely), I’d keep them in the same room. I love two twin beds in one room (Jenny Lind beds give me heart eyes), but they take up So Much Space. So we’ll be doing bunk beds. although a shared double gives me the feels, too.

  282. I say fix/keep/restore whenever possible. And live with/accept where that’s not possible. Why? Because it results in authentic unique and real spaces. Real and original is what gives a house soul and character. Flaws, noise, imperfections… That’s life. That’s a real messy imperfect home for a real family. Plus keeping the original as much as possible challenges you as a designer & adds to your design skills. It’s a lot harder to update, freshen and make new again than to gut everything and fill it with new stuff. You’re in a class by yourself among bloggers but no one needs to see another room decorated with all the same new stuff that anyone can buy (I know you would never do that of course but it’s keeping those original details that set a place apart from what everyone else is doing). Plus it is more realistic financially (not a priority for your house I know but this does make better blog content when the projects aren’t so crazy expensive that few can relate).

  283. Love your new house! We live in an old house (1920s) and the only places the creaking floors really bother me are in and around the baby’s room. We are always trying to tiptoe out without making a sound but it’s impossible. Area rugs do dampen the sound, though. I honestly don’t notice the creaking elsewhere. I do notice how quiet the floors are at friends houses though 🙂 My two oldest kids (girl and boy, two years apart) have shared a room with a bunk bed since they were 3 and 5 yrs old. It works pretty well. When we have nap/quiet time in the afternoon one of them gets the bedroom and the other gets the playroom or living room. They can share a bed when we’re on vacation but I think they like having a little personal space that is just for them within their shared room.

  284. Congrats on your new house. My husband is an arborist and we have had a tree service in Portland for 19 years. Here’s what comes to mind when I see those trees: Ask your bidding arborist about the health of the tree near the retaining wall. There’s a chance that one may have to come out sometime. In which case, if you decide to remove the other one you’ll be left without a shade source. I really don’t think you should remove the one by the windows. Temperatures will continue to rise and you won’t regret having the cool shade. Plus, you really won’t be leaving the kids unattended for too long until they’re a bit older anyway. ( I understand the fantasy of sitting back and chilling with a drink while your kids play on their own. But the reality is that you’ll be down there with them for the next two years. May as well have some shade for yourself.) If you’re leaning towards removal, do it right away. You’ll be too sad to do it once you’ve made some memories there. You can seriously write me if you have specific questions. Good luck!

  285. 1. You’ll need to replace the flooring, unless you or Brian are okay with the kids waking up in the morning while you try to tip-toe (crack!) your way down to the pot of coffee. Any alone time in the morning you may have had is gone. We have lived this, and occasionally, one of us has to sleep in the first floor if we are leaving really early in the morning. Not worth it!
    2. Trim
    3. Share a bedroom (twin beds – you never know if you have a sleeping gymnast!). Use the other room as the play room, then that frees up the extra room on the first floor to give you flexibility. Dining room, perhaps? Then you can have a big, open kitchen.
    Also, when they are old enough to want their own bedrooms, they will be old enough to no longer need a play room. 🙂

  286. Wow. So Many comments!
    1. Floors – My subfloor creaks in my house and it’s not loud. Were it any louder I’d go nuts because my kids wake up when I breathe too loud. You may want to replace?

    2. Tree. No clue. I have no yard.

    3. Kids – I have four kids and have loved poring over the comments. We have three bedrooms and three boys share one room. My older two shared a bed up until last Christmas (ages 5 & 3 then) when they got bunkbeds. My middle boy will not sleep in a room alone. My youngest never had the option. Our third bedroom is not really in use and fourth baby is a girl so – does she get her own room? I want to see what the crowd says to you about your kiddos. I have until, say, early next year to decide.

  287. Listen to your own heart! Keep the tree and put the kids in the big queen bed and snuggle with them every chance you get.

    The tree is a jewel. What are you going to do-cut it down and then build a pergola or roof for shade? Without some shade the patio will be uninviting and maybe unusable. You can always cut it later if you grow to dislike it. Keep it keep it.

    Of courses those babies can share a room! I shared a room with my little brother until I was about seven. What makes people think these days that every child must have their own room? Trust your instincts. You’ll know when it’s time to separate them.

  288. 1.) We live in a house that was built in the early 50’s and there are some INSANELY creaky spots…. I’ve been a wood girl all my life because my dad owns a tree service and makes things with wood, so I get pretty sentimental about old wood stuff. However…….. There are some creaks that are seriously offensive. They’re fricking offensive. Like, how dare you creak so fricking loud at me! And in the middle of the night going to deal with my kids or go pee and not wanting to deal with my kids because my floor creaked so loud that it woke them up is seriously a pain in the tush. I have to play hopscotch in the middle of the night and sometimes I don’t win. I don’t even understand hopscotch anyway…..
    2.) Again, wood girl, tree girl….. I would say have someone who knows what they’re doing trim it up nice or at least tell you whether or not you can have the best of both worlds. OR take her down nice and plant something else in a bit of a different spot to give you some shade and keep that coziness.
    3.) We have three bedrooms and two kids 4 1/2 and 2 1/2. For a bit there, I had them in their own room…. then one day it dawned on me, “Are you kidding me…? You’re a tiny kid! You don’t need your own room! I need an art room! Or an escape room with a lock!” They didn’t even play in there ever. When they’re small like that and aren’t needing healthy independence and autonomy, put them together. You’re the mom, if having them in the same bed would be great for you for a few years, do it! Obviously once they get a little older it may not be the best due to them being different genders. Just have to cover all the bases for protection. (I’m not saying your kids or other kids are creeps…. I just think a few steps ahead.)

    There’s my take on it all. You’re going to make this house great.
    (Why do I smell hotdogs right now? There are no hotdogs in this house…. so gross……)
    Take things one step at a time!

  289. 1. The house I grew up in had old creaky floors which didn’t bother anyone–except when I was trying to sneak in or out of the house quietly as a teenager!

    2. Though the pictures are a little hard to see, it looks like your fig tree is the kind that actually has edible figs. If you like to eat figs, then you should absolutely keep it. Also, those types of fig trees can be cut waaaay back, will regrow just fine, and can then be kept pruned to a much shorter height going forward. In parts of the country where the winters are colder (but not too cold), figs may die back to the ground and resprout entirely every year. I would probably suggest making the tree shorter rather than cutting away the lower canopy because one, you won’t be able to reach the figs, and two, it probably won’t look very good when it tries to grow back from the base every spring (which will just make you want to cut it down).

    3. Sharing a bed doesn’t sound like a great idea because of bed wetting, nightmares, fights, illness, etc. Are the kids allowed in your bed for group stories and cuddling?

  290. 1) You have confirmed with your floor guy that the floors have enough depth left to refinish well? That might make the decision for you if they are already on their last sanding and need a lot of depth taken off to fix the stains. Our stairs creak badly, but our original 1937 floors don’t seem to. The stairs we barely noticed with baby no. 1 as she has always been a sound sleeper. They drive us batty with No. 2 because she wakes every time she hears us creak. If your kids are light sleepers – replace. Just remember (as I am sure you know well, but I didn’t as a non-design person), that the new oaks are so much more easily damaged than the original oak, which can take Tonka trucks dropped from 6 feet with out even a scratch. Our new wood in the kitchen dents if the kids even drop a sippy cup.
    2) I’d ditch the tree unless it can be trimmed back. Blocking the view of the yard would be a no go for me. Not just for kid viewing, which I would appreciate, but because I like to look out over the lawn and enjoy the whole scenery, not just the up close tree.
    3) I can’t fathom having to move 2 kids during unexpected nighttime vomiting and having to find separate sleeping arrangements when a kid is sick. Shared rooms are fine and will give you some interesting content (and allow you more content when you redo them when your boy wants his own in a few years), but twin beds all the way.

  291. 1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish? skip it. I live in a house that was built in 1875 and I think it gives a bit of character and charm. (unless it is structural, which it sounds like it isn’t)

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep? Cut it down. You can always add shade from an umbrella. Over grown trees detract from your house, attack animals and are a lot to clean up after. If that was the only tree, I would say leave it, but cutting it down will help you see the backyard and make your house look better.

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own?? OK to have them share a room, NOT ok to have them share a big bed. Not only because they are boy/girl but also they need their own space and autonomy. OK to share room until they are about 6, then I would say they need their own room (unless they are the same gender).

    1. My kids are late 2 and young 1 (22 months apart). We have a spare room but use it as a home office so the babies share a nursery. The first week or so of moving the younger one in were hard sleep-wise but they figured it out pretty quickly. I think they’ve both become better sleepers as a result. They’ve become accustomed to the other’s noises and crying and sleep through it. I can even go in and out during the older one’s naps now to put the baby down or get her up. They’re more flexible with sleep situations during travel and vacations now too. Mainly I LOVE listening to their bedtime or post nap chatter and babbling. The two year old often sings them both to sleep. Babies are so moldable and flexible if we give them the chance to be. I love the closeness created by sharing. Right now we have a crib and a bed and plan on doing two beds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I found them snuggled together of their own accord.

    2. I’m so, so excited to see the evolution of this house.
      1) I just bought a circa 1926 house on the East Coast. The floors on the first floors looked a lot like your floors. Many of the boards were splitting and you could see light from the basement. The second floor was in worst shape cosmetically but structurally in better shape. It ended up being only $800 more to replace the first floor with a new floor. We went for it because we were told we’d only be able to refinish them that one time (too thin) and they’d need to be replaced down the line. We refinished upstairs. There are a few creaks on the stairs, in the hall and my son’s nursery as you walk out the door. He really doesn’t seem to notice them most of the time. I love my new floors downstairs buuuuttt it does kill me every time the dog slides across them and scratches them. This was my second go refinishing original hardwoods. My last house had similar pet urine damage. They can easily replace just the damaged floor boards and make some fixes to lessen the creaking. I think you need estimates for refinish repair vs. replace new. I personally would stick to replacing it with something similar. I’m not sure how authentic a wide planked floor would be in there. There’s so much going on in the house, the floor isn’t really the star.
      2) Keep the tree and thin it. Live with it awhlile.
      3) Shared bedroom with twin beds or bunkbeds. If anyone can make bunkbeds look good, it is you Emily Henderson. My brother and I shared a room for 5-6 years and I have fond memories of reading at night at the top of my bunkbed with a little light on the wall. My brother actually had night terrors and they didn’t even disturb my sleep too much.

      You didn’t ask but on the others: I vote black trim, don’t tile the fireplaces, get rid of shelves or build new ones, paint walls light color and hang curtains. Annnnddd if you can put on Orlando’s suggested addition I think that’s fab.

  292. If you want them to share – share! I have two kids, a boy (almost 10) and a girl (5 and a half), and all three of us sleep in the Master bedroom, have for years. It started out as a temporary solution when the kids were younger, but every time we think about moving them back to their rooms, they don’t want to. Aside from the nagging feeling that they “should” sleep in their own rooms, I can’t think of a compelling reason to change. I figure they will want to move to their own rooms eventually, but in the meantime we listen to audiobooks together at night, and the bedtime and morning transitions are much easier. I totally get this doesn’t work for everyone, and if I were married, I wouldn’t have them in my room, but I’m convinced that my kids get along better sleeping in the same room, and it seems to make them both feel safer and more comfortable. Of course you should do what feels right for you & your family – but if you want to know if there are others doing shared rooms for kids, it looks like there are a lot of us!

  293. 1-Replace the floors….especially since you have time before you move in. Living there and then replacing would be ugly for everyone.
    2- If the arborist says it’s okay for the tree to be majorly pruned and thinned then keep. If not, get it out and a gorgeous pergola would be nice for the patio with pretty blooming shrubs in place of the tree.
    3- I would not have them share a bed. Room maybe, definitely no on the bed idea.

    Your new home is gorgeous and I can’t wait for all the updates!
    Enjoy 🙂

  294. refinish the beams: yes
    tile the fireplace: yes
    paint the trim white: yes
    extend shelving up: yes
    curtains: no (unless you need privacy)
    paint walls: yes

  295. I have to let my New England self bust out and just say: fixing creaky floors because the creak bothers people is dumb. So, so dumb. I drive past 1700’s houses on the way to the library. The bank I go to is in an old colonial house from the early 1800’s. My daughter’s preschool is in a historic mill building from the late 1800’s, which isn’t very old at all. And the town I referred to dates from 1640 (I know it’s all relative–a European would laugh at me for thinking 1640 is old). An old house comes with quirks, admittedly some expensive ones over time. But a creaky floor is a part of an old house’s soul. Don’t like the creak? Then don’t buy an older home!!

  296. I have a 2.5 yo, a 5 mo, a 110 year old house and a heavy-footed husband. I curse the floors every night when we try to sneak away from the toddlers room and “CREAK!” and he yells “HELLO!” But I know I will adore it when he is 15 and I catch his ass sneaking out. There is no sneaking around this old house.

    I say wait until next fall (2017) to decide on the tree. It would be a total bummer to cut it–not miss it over the winter–and then want it back come full summer sun. Besides, you are likely to be out with the kids for the most part for the next year anyway, and when they are 4ish and 2ish you will have primed them to fly solo while you drink cocktails on the porch.

    I have a friend whose sons (2 years apart) share a mattress on the floor, separated by a wedge. I think the wedge helps them not inadvertently kick the crap out of, and wake each other up.

  297. We have creaky wood floors. You get used to them and learn the spots to step in/around your kids’ rooms to make the least amount of noise when they are sleeping. However, it’s so nice when we go to my parents house and can creep in to check on sleeping babies without them ever knowing. I love the cozy patio, but being able to see your kids is really important while they’re young, even if you aren’t right there with them. Check to see how much you can trim and still keep it, then decide. Finally, my oldest two share a room. My son is 6 and my daughter is 4. They each have their own bed and they love it. In fact, they are already talking about getting a bunkbed and twin bed so their baby sister can join them when she’s old enough. I thought they could share a queen bed too, but my husband said no. The hardest part is nap time. They’re all sleeping/resting at the same time, but they all need their own napping space. The oldest plays quietly in his room, the middle sleeps in my bed, and the baby is in her room in the crib. It’s a season, but it’s challenging. I would wait to put them together to sleep until the youngest is a little older, but we just started them out with a shared closet and dresser, which made the transition totally natural for everyone.

  298. Re the tree, we moved into a house with huge trees (an enormous fig and a huge holly) blocking the light into our west-facing windows into the main living space. We lived with it a year but eventually removed the holly and – unplanned by us – the fig died to the ground in a bad winter and is just now recovering at a much smaller size. I’m glad we lived with the holly for a year because once we decided to cut it down we just never looked back since we knew exactly what it was like to live with it. It is so great now to have the light come into the house and to not have the prickles on our (or our kids’) bare feet. With kids who are still so young, it might be worth living with it a bit to see how much you use and like the shade/sun patterns on your patio; there will still be time to take it down later but you might be more confident in and less likely to regret your decision once you’ve tried living there with the tree.

    Our house is also old and our floors creak and are so uneven (they slope drastically toward the exterior walls). The creaking kind of bothers me, but it bothered me more when my kids were babies and I was trying to sneak around and keep them asleep. We plan major renovations on our house down the line so we don’t want to do anything to our floors until our kids are a little older (and past the phase of driving cars around the house or throwing things) and we’re ready to roll it into our other house projects. I don’t have advice on this, other than the slope bothers me more than the creaking at this point. (All of our little balls and crayons roll under the furniture to one side of the room. 🙂

    I love the idea of kids sharing a room and think it would be so fun, but we haven’t yet moved our kids in with each other (almost exactly 2 years apart at 4yo and 2yo) although we plan to. I say go for it! But that’s not based on personal experience yet. But other families that we know who do it love it! My kids do go to sleep together or wake up together (in our bed) occasionally and it is the sweetest thing ever. Joint bedtimes, sibling closeness, extra space in the other parts of the house… they all seem like pluses to me!

  299. I have to say that it seems like a real gift to have original floors. If it were me I would try everything possible to salvage them- partially because it’s environmentally more sound but also because they are an organic part of the house and have a unique history that goes with everything else there. Also, new wood usually just don’t have the same nice tight grain that old wood has. Forestry practices have changed. Can you lift the boards, refinish them and put them back down? Seems like something Daniel Kanter would do. : )
    Can’t weigh in on the other two questions because I’m so emotionally invested in hoping that you keep your original wood floors. So excited you have a tudor! We do too. Can’t wait to see what you do with her.

  300. We live in a 50 year old house that has creeking floors. It doesn’t bother me very much, but I notice how much our floors creek when I am in a house where they don’t. And that is NICE. I vote fix if you can, replace if you must.

  301. I have a boy and a girl who started sleeping in a queen bed together when they were 2 and 4 (a move prompted the change). Boy is 26 months older. Both kids have always had their own bedroom, so our situation is a little different, but they have loved sleeping together! We did it for the exact reasons you described – so cozy for a parent to lay between them and read and snuggle. And then when the parent left, they snuggled with each other. Have they annoyed each other from time to time? Have they kept each other awake occasionally? Yes. But they have also loved having a buddy and a night companion and it helped when one had a nightmare. My son is 9 now, and often sleeps in his own room, but many nights, when he finally puts down his book and is ready to sleep, he pads into his sisters room and snuggles up to her to fall asleep. It has fostered a closeness between them, and it was the right thing for our family.

  302. This is so exciting! I’m living vicariously. 🙂

    1. Replace the floors. We have oak floors that squeak in our 60s ranch and the spot in front of the fridge is horrible. Four years later I’m still grumbling about the squeaks. You’ll be happy you did.
    2. Try thinning the Fig tree first. You’ve got a lot of lush beautiful mature trees even if you take it out. Besides, you could replace it with something more to scale with your current kid lifestyle!
    3. I love the idea of the big bed. I have two boys, 5 and 9 and I know they’d love it but we already have twin bunks. Its so hard for 3 of us to snuggle for reading in a twin! But that said, consider your kids personalities first. It may work for a couple years, then separate them.

  303. I only have answers for one and two now as I can speak to both of those from experience.

    Replace your floors. I think they are gorgeous, but we have a 100 year old house with beautiful old wide floor boards that I think were actually reclaimed from another historic house. A few years into our residence here they are creaky, and cracking, and shifting and as much as I love these wide, old floor boards that have a different color peg in them, sometimes I worry about them breaking if I step in the wrong place.

    Don’t cut down the fig tree!! We have one. and have been pulling in bowls of figs to make ice cream and chutney and dried figs… Our neighbors come by and get figs, and we have oh so many birds flocking to the tree to eat – it’s lovely. Or do cut it down if you can’t stand the flies for the week or two that they will get bad buzzing around figs on the tree. Or maybe live with it for a year just to see what you think.

    1. re: the bed-sharing/room-sharing — I think bed-sharing is a bad idea for a lot of boundary-setting and identity reasons. However, the room-sharing, especially when moving into the new house, sounds like a great plan. Also, if they start to hate it, or if one of the kids starts to act out in some way, the promise of their own room can be a very powerful positive motivator/reward down the road.

    2. As to the point Nr. 1 maybe keep it and repair, but I am not sure about. It is so annoying to remake flooring after you finish decorating. Horrible vision to be exact 🙂
      Nr. 2 I would remove the tree. We have a huge, newly founded garden and after 3 years all trees are really big and provide some shade and lots of cosiness already. So you can remove the big one (too big and messy) and if not satisfied, then you can plant new, little one.
      3. I love my sister but I hated sharing one room all my childhood with her.

      1. Have the kids share a room! My sister and I shared until we were 7 and 10. It was fantastic. My niece and nephew are 6 and 8 and they happily share. There’s no need for 2 rooms for 2 young kiddos. Save that room for other uses.

        And, remove the tree. You won’t regret it, you’ll be relieved once it’s gone and you’re used to the new view. You’ll love having the view and you don’t need it for afternoon shade. Plant a more polite sized tree in its place if you feel bad about killing a tree (who doesn’t feel bad about that?)

        Also, mature figs produce an enormous amount of fruit in late summer, it’s exciting at first and then overwhelming. My tree in LA gave at least 100 ripe fruits a day for about 6 weeks. I used to work at a farmers’ market and this amount of fruit was overwhelming even for me! Not to mention the flies that invade with the fallen fruit…


    3. This is a great house!!!
      If I were getting to live there I would:
      1. Live with the floors first and see how much they interfere with sleeping or whatever. I lived in an ancient Victorian for 14 years and I didn’t notice the creaking EVERYTHING. If it’s structural it can prob be fixed from below.
      2. Cutting down a tree is a crime. Trim up the canopy and thin out the branches if necessary – a really good arborist will make it look natural.
      3. Put twin beds in every kids and guest room – my girls are a year apart and regularly have sleepovers in each others room. You can never have enough beds because you WANT your house to the THE SPOT for slumber parties!

  304. 1. Don’t replace flooring. There are ways to get rid of really bad creaks without pulling up the floors. See This Old House.com. I would address only the worst of the creKs, which you’ll soon become accustomed to.

    2. Trim tree only. Would be such a darn shame to lose such a beautiful shading tree! Once it’s gone you can’t get it back!

    3. Try twin beds in your children’s shared room. It’s too bad this type of sharing has gone away in our era of huge houses. If it doesn’t work out well, you can always change it up.

    Beautiful house that you will make into a beautiful home, I am sure. Thank you for all you do and contribute to making lives more comfortable and making so many spaces more beautiful! ?

  305. If you’re dead set on having them share a bed, I’d get two twins, and push them together, and then get the T-shaped piece to put between that makes them feel like one king. That way, you can always separate them later, if the one bed isnt working out. This is the situation in all four bedrooms at my parents house, and they just keep an assortment of sheets available for the necessary configuration for whoever’s sleeping there!

  306. 1) Definitely replace the floors. I live in an old brownstone and the squeaking is the worst. Also one time a guest literally put a foot THROUGH the floor.
    2) Save the tree! Kids won’t be young for a long time (like need to watch them all the time young) and this tree took a lot longer to grow. The thought of cutting it is so so sad.
    3) Not sure why you would make them share if they don’t have to? I grew up having my own room and it was lovely and my own retreat.

  307. I have 2 girls in a 4 bedroom house. My girls have been sharing since the younger was 10 mo. I plan to have them share until they move out. Their room is huge (15×16), and I have a roommate so why shouldn’t they?? Lol

  308. We have a daughter that is 8 and son that is 11 and are fixing up house #5 (but none as old or character rich as your new one!) just for reference.
    1. Flooring – I hesitate to say replace because I know how much more expensive that can be. I’m guessing that the underlayment is really the issue, not the oak floor itself. Is it possible to scope beneath to access the damage to the joists and floorboards? I really hate throwing good money after bad so I wouldn’t want you to go to the trouble and expense of repairing and refinishing and then run into structural issues with the floor sagging later on. However if the scope shows no damage, then you could get years and years of use and replace them later on and put that money into the kitchen or elsewhere!
    2. I’d do what you are doing…have an arborist access how much the limbs can be thinned out. It takes a day to knock down a tree like that and a childhood to grow another. I’d love having an area where the kids can play in the shade (they get plenty of California UV at the park and beach!) Our daughter is clamoring for a hammock and I’d love trees like yours to hang it or a swing. I mean, check out this surfer swing! http://swurfer.com/ Our kids would be over the moon with this and I’d want to use it! Not to mention all of the mega cool hanging chairs and pods available now…
    3. Our kids shared a room (and loved it!) when we briefly rented an apartment to finish out the worst of a remodel. They were 4 and 7 at the time, well past napping and before the gender difference was any issue. My sister has 4 kids and 2 bedrooms for them and she is constantly having to swap kids/rooms to get napping to work. So, if your kids are good nappers/sleepers and wouldn’t keep each other awake, I say go for it! But I remember when my kids were young sleep was paramount in my world to stay sane, so if that is any hurdle, maybe consider carving out a napping zone elsewhere (your bedroom or a large closet even).

    My two cents! 🙂

  309. I’ll chime in on the only subject I feel qualified to do so: my children shared a bed until very recently. A large queen sized mattress was so cozy for us all to snuggle in at bed time and realistically, we played musical beds so much that I wanted somewhere comfortable to sleep too! They started with the mattress on the floor due to their age but eventually added a bed frame once they were older. We have since moved them in to bunk beds (which they begged for) and feel that sharing a bedroom with your sibling is a rite of passage!!

  310. I’m really excited for this renovation! (I’m sure you are too), thoughts:

    The entire fireplace wall could use more contrast. Building out the shelving would give you the depth you’re looking for and add material contrast. A pop of color for the fireplace would also help. That’s the wall I would focus on for color – the other walls look great in white. The beams need to be refinished and lightened (color), they really look to weigh down the ceiling (at least in pictures). Curtains would make those windows/doors sing, but I’m not sure how to hang them with the way the beams terminate – a white painted wood valance might be a solution depending on the refinishing of the beams. The windows in the rest of the house look great in white, but black windows look amazing and the room has enough light to handle it. If you do replace the floors, consider tile – blending indoor and outdoor in this room would be so amazing and stretching materials/pattern between the two could be a great look.

  311. Put in new floors, before you move in, they look like “strip” oak planks, not worth saving.
    As to the fig tree, see what the arborist has to say. Although I hate that cut down trees, this one might have to go. If you want a tree there, consider a cpl of birches, they grow fast, are open yet leafy, have great bark. Consider removing altogether and installing a pergola over the terrace with climbing mandevilla.
    Same bedroom is fine when children are small but NOT same beds.
    As to the living room, I’d consult with Maria Killam, who I am sure you are familiar with. She just recently posted on color of wood floors too albeit from 2009. On a personal note, I’d paint the beams a shade of white. As much as I love beams, I don’t like the feng shui aspect of them so white (in my mind) would help offset them.
    Love following you in this new adventure!

  312. Our home is a 1917 Dutch Colonial in Portland. We didn’t replace our floors (due to cost, mostly), but did have them sanded and refinished. We had to replace some boards and they are slightly a different color. The person who refinished our floors said that due to all the color variations in the wood (like your new home, our previous owners had cats who urinated EVERYWHERE!) the stain would be different colors and not look right, so we were not able to stain the floors after the sanding. Also, we have some creaking upstairs that is annoying, but you get used to it. Our upstairs won is really soft, so it scratches easily, as well- not sure if you have this same issue. I would say REPLACE the floors because now is really the best time.

    As for the tree, I think it’s your personal choice. You may want to keep it until you landscape your yard and see if it fits in your plan. The shade is very nice and I feel terrible pangs about cutting down trees.

    The issue with sharing a room as your kids’s age is that they may not get great sleep. I would wait until they are sleeping through the night; otherwise they will wake each other up. I only have a 17 month old with one on the way, so I don’t have much experience with room sharing, but my friend has a 3 and 6 year old and they share a room.

  313. 1. If you’re going to replace or fix the floors do it now when it’s easier
    2. DON’T remove the tree! Please!!! They take so long to grow- and shade is awesome. And ditto to everyone who says kids grow up fast and they will love the tree, etc., etc. We had to cut down a tree near our house (disease) and I miss it every single day it did so much for the yard and the house.
    3. Same rooms if you want, different beds for space.

  314. 1. About two years ago, we got the amazing opportunity to move into a house that is just over 100 years old (built in 1910). It was a rental property in the family that we bought. Before we moved in, the one thing we decided to do, was rip up the carpet and refinish the old original flooring. A lot of the character of the home had been stripped in earlier renos, so finding that original floor was amazing. It required a lot of work, and patching weird areas throughout. We were almost done, and the contractor cut a pipe in the wall on the third floor and flooded the whole entire house. We went back a couple of days later and the restoration company had removed ALL of the flooring. None of it was salvageable and I was (and still am) devastated. If you’ve got those beautiful old floors, keep them! You can repair areas that are really bad for creaking if it bothers you, but I think you might regret getting rid of them altogether. Our new floors, look new, and although I am really happy with them, I would be happier with the original.

    2. I agree with other comments about keeping the tree for now and decide later, if and when it becomes an issue. Definitely live there first and wait until the kids are a bit older before you decide.

    3. Can’t comment as I don’t have kids yet…but I do hope to have two and I’d love for them to share for a while as our place is small. I’m planning for matching twin beds 🙂

  315. We live in a 1928 home and only refinished the floors. The creaking does not bother us- it’s kind of part and parcel of owing an old home. And there’s something to be said for having the original flooring if it can be salvaged.

  316. 1- I think the floors add character but if the contractor says it’s an issue I’d do it now instead of waiting cuz it’s a pain to do floors while your living in a house

    2- I like the tree cuz it provides shade and your living room could get really hot if u cut it down you can always cut it down later if u change your mind

    3- I would have the kids share a room for a few years and then transition into their own rooms but I would do two twin beds I did that with my brother my entire childhood

  317. I think sharing a room is a great choice! We have the space, but still chose to stick my now 3y and 16mo girls in the same room. We moved them in together about 8 months ago and they have grown so close. It’s so sweet to hear their little baby conversations through the monitor and, though they don’t yet(!) share a bed, my toddler will offen climb into the crib to sleep with her sister. Seriously so so sweet, I highly recommend.

    1. P.S. At this age, we do have a pack ‘n play set up in a separate room for nap time and if the little one has a bad-sleep night. Though, overall, they’ve both gotten used to sleeping through light fussing.

  318. My sister and I shared a queen bed for years, until we got old enough to start fighting with each other 🙂

  319. 1. Fix the floor. I live in a 102 yo house in Australia and there are two distinct spots that creak and it drives. Me. Nuts. The creak in our bedroom is avoidable but there is a spot in the hallway that I have to step every on every time I go to the kitchen. It creaks so loud it sometimes wakes up my kids! Arg! All I want is a cup of coffee and blog reading time but that damn floor….I also find that is gets worse with the heat (prob the floor boards expanding).

    2. Keep the tree. You won’t get the same type of cool in the shade from a sail that you’d get from the tree. Live with it for a few years and if you still think it might be better, then cut it. LA is so hot in the summer that I think you’ll be glad it’s there!

    3. My boys started sharing a room a few months ago when the older was 3 and the younger was 8 months. Older in a bed (IKEA kura which he loves!) and the Bub is in a cot. It’s worked out so much better than I ever hoped to imagine. They sleep so deeply and both can go to sleep if the other is making noise! Or crying! Kinda amazing. Once the Bub is old enough to move out of his cot, we will do bunk beds with the Kura. I’m a big fan of the shared room. It was a bit nerve wracking to combine rooms….our older son is so particular about his sleeping conditions that I thought he’d just stay up all night. Not the case! It’s great. We did get a baby monitor for above the cot to see if/when the boy would climb in. It’s only happened once and the monitor has a talk feature. I just told him from that to get back into his own bed and he did pretty quickly, haha!

    Best of luck Emily! I’m stoked to see how you transform this beauty; you are seriously a designer magician!

  320. I would never, ever, ever have two small kids share a big bed. No way. Just seems like that would cause a lot of codependency problems down the road. Encouraging them to be independent and able to sleep on their own is so important! I think you are thinking of *your* needs waaaaaay more than theirs. So nope. No big bed.

    As for separate beds in the same room, not so bad. But with that you also have to know that one child might constantly wake the other one up, and vice versa. Just kinda seems like it could be a pain if you otherwise have the space for them to have their own rooms.

    I would trim the tree, but no way remove it! Heck no!!!

    Old floors can have new nails put in where the squeaks are the worst to help. If I were you I’d do my damndest to salvage them, not only because they’re original, but the cost to replace them… yikes!

  321. I have four kids, the older three have all shared a room at some point in their life, it’s always been brother/sister sharing. Currently my middle two share, 7 yr old boy and 5 yr old girl. I would totally do a shared room. It makes them so much closer as siblings, and they will have so many fun nighttime conversations together, it will melt your heart. I have always wanted the kids to just share a bed, but separate beds are nice, they will each want to decorate their bed to match their taste.

  322. Replace the floors
    keep the tree
    Separate bedrooms. I’m a fraternal twin and it was nice to have separate rooms growing up even though we played together constantly.

  323. With 3 boys in our household aged 9,11 and 14 we’ve encountered loads of different sleeping arrangements – some by choice, others by necessity! Although our two youngest sons share a room, each with their own twin bed, recently while renovating they had to move out of their room and share our queen sized guest bed. Both slept really well and they enjoyed the change but loved being back in their own beds once more when their room was ready again. My 11 yr old commented that he liked being able to lie facing whatever side was most comfortable in bed again…without being breathed on in the night by his little brother! Fair enough.
    The boys shared room is also a tricky room to furnish as it is longer than it is wide. To give each boy his own zone/territory, we’ve installed a book shelf style room divider so they can see each other through the shelving which they both like, it defines their spaces and give them each somewhere to display their nik naks and books but docent hinder the light getting into the room.
    Re the tree – I’d err on the side of having it pruned first. We’ve made the mistake before of removing established trees thinking they were in the way, when renovating our home, and the property looked bare for years despite replanting.
    The floors? Creaking floors are annoying. If the labour cost of repairing them out weighs the cost of replacing them with a beautiful new hardwood, then I’d probably replace the existing.

  324. I have a very similar style 1920’s home with stained trim throughout the first floor, three bedrooms, one bath upstairs. We have renovated nearly every square inch over the last 9 years. I also have an unbreakable obsession with blue! I even have a blue range.

    1. I am so grateful my contractor insisted we pull up our old oak flooring when we renovated the kitchen (we tore down a wall between the kitchen and dining room, creating one big space). It was both in bad shape and creaked. After the floor was pulled up, they screwed the plywood subfloor every foot along the floor joists. Now we have gorgeous floors and zero creaking. So much better… Do it!!

    2. Agree with others – live with it, try bringing up the canopy, then remove it as a last resort. The tree creates such a cozy courtyard.

    3. I have three kids – boy 14, girls 13 & 11 in two weeks! (I know CRAZY). The first two were exceptionally close, the best of friends until my son was about 7 or 8 – never shared a room though. Not sure if anyone else made this point – I think it’s important that the kids LOVE their room and their beds. Get them both a full or a queen so you can go in their room if they are sick or when you read at night. the more time they spend in your bed, the more they think it’s theirs. If you and your husband want to have some kind of privacy, start encouraging them to be independant sleepers now. Learn from my mistake! My 10 year old still crawls into bed with us occasionally! I think it’s because my bed is more comfortable and because of the hours she spent in it with me/us when she was younger.

    Also re: painting the trim. I have that same trim and I HATED it for years, wanted to paint it but when we did the kitchen (we salvaged all the trim – it was a gut rehab) my painter restained and polyed all trim. Now I love it. The trim is part of our homes history, it makes it special. I painted our living room Meditteranean White from Restoration Hardware and I think it is lovely. I can email pics if you like.

    Lastly, we looked into an addition to gain a true master suite recently but it’s too darn expensive. Sharing a bathroom with a teen boy and two tween girls is not fun. Avoid it at all costs. you’ve been warned ;0)

  325. How bluntly can i put this……… Do NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES put both your kids in one bed. What happens when one is sick, or extra fussy, or has a nightmare or just wants a spot thats his (or hers)?! Crucial to have a spot at the end of the day to call their own.
    Disclosure- my kids are 27,24 and 18

  326. Hmmmmm…..lots to think about. Here is my humble opinion,

    1. Yes, replace floors….STAT. I’m sure you’ll be amazed at how much it will dress up the house and for goodness sake the creaking!!! That alone would be a reason for me to replace. If cost is not an option (which I’m sure it always is because….life/kids) then replace, replace, replace those floors.

    2. I’m team ‘Save the Fig’ so yeah. It’s gorgeous. Calling an arborist is a brilliant idea!

    3. I love the idea of kids sharing a room but I think twin beds would be best. Then they would get the best of both worlds. A. They get to share a room and have those sweet moments together and B. they each get their own space-a sense of self by having their own bed(s). Boom.

    Good luck on the decisions and thanks for sharing your fun new adventure with us!! Cheers!

  327. Please don’t cut down the tree. You don’t need to see your children every minute, and the planet needs every tree it can get. They make oxygen for your children to breathe, which is 10 million times more important than anything else, including helicopter parenting.
    Please repair and recycle the old floors. They have a vibe. Repair with reclaimed 2″ oak.
    One bed for snuggling, yes. They’re your kids.

    1. LOVE your new house! Congratulations!
      My two cents:
      The floors look special to me! Repair them.
      KEEP tree! Growing up I had a special bond with the big elm in my backyard. I still miss it.
      My twin boys still share a bed despite the fact that they’ve always had their own. They love snuggling and whispering together at night. I love your idea of getting a queen and having them share it. Sounds like HEAVEN to me!

  328. When we moved here with little ones, we put in doors and windows so I can see all around the property from inside the house. Funny thing is that the children chose to always play together in a little corner of the big yard right outside the back door. But I still liked that I could see all around and who’s approaching, include random animals and stray dogs when they were out there.

  329. For the wood floor, if you have the $ the replace them.
    Get rid of the fig tree and plant a new one somewhere else.
    I would give each kid their own room. Too much togetherness otherwise.

  330. Is it possible to shore up the foundation and/or support beams to give more support for the flooring? In many cases that is the cause of the creaking and so, yes it often is a big deal. The floors might be able to be salvaged and placed back down once the foundational issues are resolved.
    2.Trim the tree for starters and then see how you feel after living in the house with the kids for a few months.
    3. Go by your kids’ personalities. My sister and I shared a room and I hated it because I am the type of person who gets exhausted when around others (although I love it, it is exhausting not regenerating).
    It could be sweet to have a “nursery” right now, but could also mean more times waking at night since they are not use to each other’s noises while sleeping. I imagine things will change as you move in, get settled and then see what type of personalities they have as they develop and grow.
    Don’t sweat too much now as life and people are always evolving – your house and beautifully designed rooms will always evolve to match their needs. I personally can’t wait to see what you do

  331. Can you use 2 full size beds? That way you can have cuddle time and the kids can sleep together or apart.

  332. 1.) Creaking gets annoying, especially if you have guests visiting who aren’t used to creaking floors. And they WILL only get worse over time. I vote replace, so you know that they will be solid and good for years to come.

    2.) Try trimming the tree!

    3.) DEFINITELY share a room!!! I had to share a room from age 5 to 19, and looking back, it prepared me better for adulthood than most anything else my parents did. Give them their own beds, though.

  333. 1. Replace the flooring, the creaking will only get worse and bug you even more. I would love to see wide planked floors in here. Gorgeous!!!

    2. If at all possible I would keep the tree. Having it thinned out might do the trick.

    3. I would give them their own room. They will want their own soon enough so you might as well start now. I am sure they will still want to stay together while they are young but it gives you a chance to design their rooms!!!

  334. 1) Replace – just get it over with
    2) Save the tree!! If you need to see the kids, attach a wireless security camera in a place where you get a good view and stream it to an iPad. That’s an easy fix.
    3) Same room. You can split them up later. My cousins shared a room until one of them turned 13. I think that maybe sooner is better, but you have years until it matters.

  335. Refinish the floors but don’t replace. Creaking floors are fun and will become the sound of “home.”
    Leave the tree. It’s beautiful. Your kids will be fine in your yard.
    Sharing a room is a great idea. Great brother/sister bonding and memories in the making for your kids.

  336. My husband and I just bought a 112 year old house with original oak hardwood floors. They weren’t too squeaky overall, but they were an ugly yellowish color and super scratched up. We had them refinished/restained before moving in and we are in LOVE! Everyone comments on how beautiful they are. (Which means we now have to get the rest of the woodwork up to snuff because it pales in comparison!) The floor guy told us you just can’t find long boards with interesting grain like that anymore. With the new stain, we can really see and appreciate that beauty! The only place where the creakiness bothers me is in the bedrooms because, well, sometimes you need to tiptoe. But I don’t have rugs down yet, so I’m thinking that will help. Or you could keep the hardwood in living spaces but not bedrooms…?

    As for the tree situation, we lost a huge elm between our house and the neighbor’s within days of moving in. The yard is sad without its shade, and we’re sad about being so exposed. I can’t tell from the pictures how close your neighbors are, but I’d definitely consider the privacy factor.

  337. I think in the long run you will thank yourself for replacing the floors. They will just get louder.
    Also, I vote for asking the arborist if you can trim that great tree up a bit so you can see out, but still have all that beauty!
    My last vote, deeper shelves by the fireplace.
    I can’t wait to see what you do with all this loveliness!!

  338. 1. Refinish! The last two homes I lived in were built in 1898 and 1901- both had creaky floors, it’s part of the deal.
    2. Trim- if your backyard is safe and has a fence. Kids only get older so plan with future in mind too, won’t always need your eyes on them all the time.
    3. Share. I have 4 kids and we have a 6 bedroom house- I still have my kids share. 9 and 7 year old boys share, two twins but they inevitably end up in bed together every night (so I totally get one bed concept). Then 3 year old twins, boy girl twins in twin beds. I totally think you can have brothers and sisters share.

    Go with your gut on all 3 decisions.

  339. I shared a room with my brother and sister until my brother was 10 when he moved into his own room. I don’t think we fought more than other siblings did and as we had a playroom as well as the bedroom, each person could still play in a different space if needed. You might find this article interesting: http://babyccinokids.com/blog/2014/07/08/do-or-would-your-kids-share-a-bed/

  340. My girls shared a room in a full bed when we moved into a new house. They had just turned 2 & 4 when that started. My oldest had just given up naps for good and would immediately fall dead asleep while the 2-year-old sang or yelled for us. A year later, my younger finally requested to go to the guest room. I think they don’t like the other one messing around at bedtime! Putting away toys and clothes all in one location was the biggest benefit. And less sheets to wash and beds to make.

  341. 1. I love creaky old wood floors. I was just in an old antique shop here in Colorado with the most glorious creaky floors and commented to my friend that if I could purchase that sound, that feel I totally would.

    2. I think trimming the tree is the right thing to do. I hope the arborist has good news for you!

    3. We have twin boys (age 8) who have mostly shared a room—we went from double cribs to double toddler beds, to two twin beds (my favorite look). Two years ago there was a fight and one of them moved into the guest room. I thought that was the end of the shared room. However, one of them recently begged for bunk beds and now they are together again. Long way to say, I think your kiddos will clue you in on what they’d like when the time comes. Until then, go for the big, shared bed!

  342. Live with the tree before doing anything to it. You may regret removing it or you may be able to tell right away to keep it.

    I personally think they should have their own rooms when they are older but I see no reason why they can’t share for a few years, in separate beds. Although I always slept with my sister in her full bed (she is younger and I had a twin), I don’t think it’s a good idea for different sexes to share a bed. IMHO.

  343. Those kind of oak floors are common and it would be a great design challenge to incorporate them into a design plan. So many people just have to live with 2″ oak flooring and don’t have the funds to completely replace them. What can you do with what you have and a small budget?

  344. I’ve always lived in new, modern homes so I don’t have any opinions on the rooms.
    But I think the tree question shouldn’t be decided in haste. Think of the picnics you
    can have, a place for the pooch to cool off, play the guitar, and just think of this living
    thing that has survived this far. Consult an arborist to see if you can save it and also
    give you more visibility by some judicious pruning. Don’t know if you could move it to
    a more practical location.

  345. Floors: I would get a second opinion. If there was an inlay it would be difficult but with the floors being a straight shot like that you should really just be able to reinforce them.

  346. Replace floors. How else can you sneak into the kitchen for ice cream? No on sharing a bed, if you have the room, have separate rooms. We have 4 bedrooms and 2 kids. They weren’t going to share, but I heard a co-worker say, “I think the reason my sister and I are so close is because we shared a room.” I was like that’s it! They are sharing! But I have 2 boys.

    1. I’d remove stain for raw finish on beams. Ditch shelving. Keep brick, it’s timeless in this kind of house (can you replace w a softer color brick?). I personally would get rid of the fig tree and get a custom outdoor umbrella – if pruning doesn’t let you have a view from the house. Sending the kids into the backyard when they’re driving me insane is a lifesaver!

  347. Emily, your home is lovely. When I watched the tour, I kept thinking about how low the window openings are upstairs wondering how you are going to ensure your kiddos’ safety. We have some low windows on the back of the house, but they open from the bottom, and I installed a lock that keeps them from opening more than a few inches. How will you handle your windows?

    We refinished existing floors and had the creaks repaired. The creaks are all back now. It doesn’t bother me by day, not a but, but at night when the house is quiet I feel like I am waking the whole house when I walk to the bathroom.

    So excited about seeing the transformation of your new home.

  348. 1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish?
    This is a tough one because it’s not simply cosmetic. In our previous apartment our 100+ year old floors creaked like nothing I had ever heard, but my biggest concern was for annoying our downstairs neighbors (it didn’t really bug me unless my husband walked by while I was watching TV). If they’re really loud it might be an issue for your little one too if she’s easily woken. Normally I’d be all for refinishing the old floors, but in this case I’d lean a little bit towards replacement because if it ends up driving you crazy it would be a giant hassle to redo later.

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep?
    Keep! (possibly trim a little). Since the house is 100+ years old I’m going to assume there’s no central air and having a well-shaded house is HUGE. I’m always shocked how cool our house stays during the summer (house circa 1900 so no central air for us) and I attribute that at least partly to our well shaded lot. If a modern HVAC system was retrofitted at some point it’s a little less of an issue so then I’d lean towards removal–you could always add a vine-covered pergola to the patio to bring back some shade to the outdoor space.

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own??
    Sorry, no kids so it’s harder to be opinionated here 🙂

  349. My vote:
    Replace the floors since they aren’t particularly special, are in rough shape and the creaking and problems the creaking indicates sound major.

    Please KEEP the tree, even if you prune it back a bit. Old trees are precious and absolutely make a property and are sacred/irreplaceable in a way. I also think the shade it provides will be welcome.

    No opinion on the sharing room issue – you know your kids best and sounds like you can’t go wrong, either way.

    Excited to see what you do with the new house and wish HGTV were making a show out of your renovation and all these kinds of decisions.
    Best wishes!

  350. 1)We had a 100-year-old house in Denver with super creaky floors and it was terrible (maybe a 6 or 7) with a 2-year-old and a baby; we were always walking on eggshells trying not to wake one of them downstairs from upstairs (because you could hear upstairs creaking from downstairs). That being said, I kept them because they were beautiful and it felt wrong to get rid of something old and precious like that. But if your floors are nothing special: replace.

    2)I would reserve judgement on the tree until you live in the house for a while unless you are absolutely sure you don’t want it. Big trees take a long time to grow! Now that my kids are older, I can always hear them in my yard even when I can’t always see them and I pretty much have a good read on what is going on at all times, for better or worse.

    3)We have our kids share a room and reserve a free bedroom as a guest room. We started this when my younger son slept reasonably well through the night. They love it, and don’t know any different. As for one bed, well, ha. But I’m sure it can be done (with lots of yelling, etc.).

  351. Hi Emily, I have an older home full of 2″ red oak that was in really bad shape in several rooms and very squeaky on the stairs. We decided to refinish the floors and live with the squeaks. Purely a budgetary decision. There were so many other things we wanted to spend on and replace in our old home! The finisher replaced a few areas and filled some wider cracks. It is beautiful! We went with no stain just a water based finish so it wouldn’t yellow like a polyurethane, and we are very happy with the way it lightened up the house. What’s old is new again – lately we’ve seen so many people putting in exotic wood and dark finishes and wide planks – I’m happy to have light and bright.

    I have four kids aged 8 through 12. The boys share a room and the girls share a room. If I had enough bedrooms, they would all have their own rooms! I would recommend a set of twin beds in one room and a queen in the other room (this will make a good place for guests when needed, and the kids can bunk together on the twin beds). I’m sure your kids will want to have “sleepovers” with each other, which is exciting and fun when they are not already sharing a room! Absolutely skip the toddler bed – not necessary.

  352. Floors: Given that either repairing or replacing are going to cost major bucks, I vote to replace. The look of the floors is a big part of your rooms, so why not go for it. I know your hesitation is because you love to keep/restore original details. But sometimes it makes more sense when looking at the WHOLE PICTURE to replace…….

    Tree: NO – do not cut down that tree. You will regret it. While your kids are really young you will always be outside with them. Once they are old enough to play outside on their own, you will learn to survive without having your eyes on them every minute. If you’re really paranoid, put a video/audio monitor outside 🙂

    Room: I think it would be fine for them to share a room while they are young. However, I would suggest separate rooms by the time Elliot is 6 – 8. Why? Because once hormones start changing, girls need their space (it starts really early now days…….). I also think it’s important for kids by that age to have a space they can call their own. They need to be able to express themselves, and decorating, having friends over, or just having their own space for quiet time is important. It’s also good for doing homework.

    Bed: Twins Kids sleep differently. Some travel a lot during sleep, jerk, etc. They are going to sleep a lot better in their own beds. When one is sick, it’s best to be sleeping alone also. You can still have your snuggle time. I always read to my kids before bed every night. You can get some awesome floor pillows or have a neat tent that you use as your spot for reading if you really want to do it in their room. Or you can do it on your comfy sofa. It’s not so much the place as the bonding and enjoyment of being together every night as your bedtime routine 🙂

    Love the house! Try to enjoy all the decisions – it’s what you do 🙂

  353. Keep and refinish the floors! They’re part of the charm of an old house. I grew up in a 200+ year old house with original hardwood floors. Yes, they were very creaky, but it never bothered any of us. I actually found comfort in the sound of the floorboards creaking as my mom passed outside my bedroom door. Everything doesn’t have to be new and perfect!

    And I would do everything possible to save the tree. But I guess I’m a tree-hugger and hate to see beautiful mature trees cut down…

  354. 1. I’m not an expert but I’ve rented a few old houses (early 1900s in Savannah, GA, and 1920’s in San Antonio, TX) and now own a house built in the 50’s in Hawaii. I would very strongly encourage you to keep the old wood floors and just do some repair and refinishing. Old wood is a million times harder than new wood in my experience. I don’t know if it’s the trees themselves back then or the fact that they’ve been walked on for 100 years, but I have three big dogs and they’ve never put a scratch in old wood but have wreaked havoc on new wood. Now that I have a kid who drops things and bangs things on the regular, I imagine it’s a similar effect. And honestly, creaking has never bothered me – there’s a spot outside my daughter’s room that I have to step in the right place while she’s sleeping so it doesn’t creak loudly and I kinda like it. I feel like the house has personality and I know it, I’m familiar with it.
    2. Please don’t cut down that beautiful tree! By all means, give it a good trimming. But the amount of years it’s taken that tree to grow versus the couple of years your kids will need close supervision doesn’t even begin to compare!
    3. I shared a room with my two younger brothers for years and then my baby sister for years after that. I wasn’t always a fan, but I have always been more comfortable not sleeping alone. Girls Gone Child has written a bit about her son and daughter sharing a room – you might be interested in her take on it.

  355. I can only speak to #1: there are 3 top things that really bother me about our house. Top thing is the lame heating system (we’re in N. Idaho). And #2 is the squeaking floors. It drives. me. crazy. Especially since we have a night owl living among early to bed-ers. On the upside, no one could EVER prowl in our house unnoticed, because of the noise. So it’s kind of a built in burglar/sneaking teenager alarm! Lol!

    1. Oh, one other thing I wanted to mention is that we didn’t notice it at all when we were looking to buy the house. It’s one of those things that doesn’t seem that important until you’re all moved in.

  356. 1) I’d refinish. Our house was built around 1900 and the floors creak but the only time I notice it is when I have people over for the first time and I’m showing them the house and want them to love it as much as I do. I’m always trying to talk friends into buying old houses so when a floor board creaks I feel like I have to say “Ignore that – the house is super stable and these floors will last forever!”

    Plus the acoustics at your place are probably really different right now because all of your rooms are empty. Once your furniture and curtains are in it may be a lot less noticeable. And while it’d be a pain, you could always replace later on if it bothers you but once you replace you can’t get those original floors back.

  357. Why thanks for asking!
    1. Don’t replace the floors. Old houses creak, its part of the charm and makes it easier for you know where the kids are and what they are doing. You learn where to step to avoid creaking when you don’t want to wake the kids. Think American Ninja Warrior.
    2. Keep the tree, limb it up and thin it, live with it a year or two, then if necessary, remove it. My boys are 8, 5, and 2 and I don’t really supervise their outside play. Someone will tattle if they are being naughty or have gotten hurt. And layers and screening create a sense of privacy and connection nature that isn’t easily replaced.
    3. We share and unshare kid rooms regularly. They love sharing, but generally get more sleep when in different rooms. However, we still pile in bed with the two littlest for bedtime stories, then tuck them in their respective crib/bed later. We also converted a walk-in closet for a sleeping nook, bc that’s all they really need. Start with sharing, you can always move a crib into your guest room for nap time or whatever. Ditto leaving them in their crib forever. Or until they can read the instructions for converting it to a toddler bed. Seriously, life is better when little ones get good sleep, naps included, which happens better in cribs. The end.

    1. I have heard Nicole Curtis say more than once, “I’ve never met a hardwood floor I couldn’t save,” or something to that effect. I always assumed she meant it, LOL. I happen to think 2″ oak floors are very special.

  358. I lived in a charming neighborhood of English Tudor homes. somehow, the wood trim remained unpainted all these years. I refinished the windows, trim and beams in a rich English oak stain. Everyone loves it – especially my neighbors who have painted trim.

  359. Oh Emily…I am such a huge fan of yours! and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you share your own life with us all. Especially your beautiful and adorable kiddos. I am originally from CA and LOVE that you have purchased an old home. We have always owned older homes except now and can offer some input. When we didn’t have kids, they were awesome quirks. Including the floors creaking. Once we had kids, it became a nightmare. As I’m sure you know, nap and bedtimes are sacred times for us parents. And those loud floors would sometimes wake up my kiddos, and there was no option to walk in to their rooms to check in on them because any creaking would wake them up. My reco would be to fix now. Regarding the sharing of rooms…my bro and I are 2 yrs apart and we shared and LOVED it. I have a girl 6 and boy 5 and no way will I put them together. They were in their own rooms, and then we moved in to this house and had them share a queen. It became a nightmare. We would constantly go in there every night because they would be talking, jumping on the bed, they would decide they wanted to read to each other…all very cute except when it was past their bed time. Plus they would wake each other up in the middle of the night. If one was sick then the other one did not get good rest. Mine just couldn’t do it. I have heard that if you start them out sharing from the very beginning, then they are used to it. I agree with you regarding the twin beds…I love the look so much that I will do it for my daughter soon so that if she ever has sleep overs it will come in handy…regarding the tree, I agree with what others have said. Prune it to see how much you would have to take off without cutting it down. However, in the end, the best thing for you as a parent is being able to see them. You will be much more relaxed indoors if you can see them from afar…otherwise you will find yourself walking out there constantly. Or as soon as one starts screaming you’ll run out there and be like…”what happend?”…You should wait on this one and live with it for a while too…good luck and look forward to see your progress on the house!

  360. Emily, to see the absolute sweetest bed and room sharing, check out @erob77 on IG. Your heart will explode. I say go for it, obviously. I have friends who have done room and bed sharing with littles spaced 4 yrs apart and 18 months. I have a 4yo and one on the way, they will definitely share a room (watch one of them be the lightest sleeper in the history of the world, ha)

  361. Sharing a room could workout great. My brother and I did and we were 19 months apart. The one time we shared a bed, he puked on me…

  362. Oh my gosh what a fun post – I’m looking forward to reading all the comments and suggestions!

    And what a BEAUTIFUL home – I can’t wait to see what you do Emily!

  363. My brothers (now 20 and 22) shared a bedroom until a few years ago when I moved out of home! They complained so rarely, because they secretly loved it. They were both super popular at school so it’s never something they worried about being judged for – because two teenage boys sharing a room is certainly not common! They’re still so close, even though they argue a lot. The sweetest thing is that they even used to argue in their sleep. My Mum and I would melt, it was just so entertaining and sweet in a funny kinda way xo

  364. Hi Emily!
    We just had to remove a 75 plus year old oak tree from our yard… It was the saddest day. I vote to trim and see what you think. There are energy benefits to your home from the shade the tree provides as well.

    I bathed my two oldest kids (2 years apart) together until they were five and seven. I wish they had shared a room! I vote for twin beds… they’ll get to sleep faster. 😉

    Think about having to refurbish your floors AFTER you’ve moved in… do you want to do that? Will you have to move out? Yikes. I love squeaky floors but I hate moving.

    Congratulations on your new home. How exciting!!!

  365. 1. Get rid of the creaks! Good god do it for my sake. I am dealing with a few really loud areas and they drive me BATTY. I try to avoid them and feel stressed out in my living room. Also, the work it takes to remove all furniture out of the house to replace floors after you’ve moved in is harrowing. Don’t force yourself through that.

    2. Remove the fig. Fig trees grow really fast. Plant a new one in a better place– even if it’s only a few feet difference.

  366. 1. Fixing the creaking floor is not a fun way to spend money, but I think after finishing it you would be really happy…. Especially since quiet morning pre kiddos is the best (at least for me!)
    2. I’m all save the tree! Trim it, but not too much.
    3. I shared a room with my brother until we were about 7 (me) and 9 (brother). Overall it was great. I felt really safe with him in the room. We did have our own beds which I think was nice, but I get the appeal of one, big bed. I can’t wait to see where you end up.

  367. My kids (almost 4 and 20 months, boy and girl) share a room and we love it! It won’t be forever….but it is so sweet right now and they know nothing else! Obviously sometimes someone wakes the other one up, but in general it works out, and there is nothing better than the sound of your kids laughing together! My daughter is still in her crib and my son is in a toddler bed (because of space). Even when we move to somewhere with more space I plan on having them share until they are ready for their own spaces. It’s the best! I think kids learn to adapt and I find the younger one want to be wherever her brother is anyhow.

  368. Keep the tree in all of its glory! I live in California, so I know how the afternoon soon can heat up a room. The beautiful high ceiling in your living room will make it that much harder to keep cool. If it gets too hot, you’re not going to want to be in that room even if it does give you a clear view. Secondly, your kids will be safe in their fenced backyard (there is no pool you need to monitor). Throughout childhood, my brother and I played safely in the dry creek on our court. No adult watched us; we were expected to be responsible and make good decisions. Playing in the creek and riding bikes down the street are my most favorite memories from childhood!

  369. 1. I have section of crazy floorboards in from entry. LOVE to hear when my 17 year old comes in late at night.
    2. Live with the tree and you will soon know if it needs to go.
    3. Separate beds, pretty soon. Stow a sleepover pad under each one for friends.

  370. I think old creaky floors are charming. We had some creaky old stairs growing up. My brother and knew exactly which steps creaked the worst, on which side of the step, etc. and had mapped out a very intricate course when trying to sneak in past curfew. Pretty sure my folks heard us anyway. Our last house had a big tree up near the front door and although it looked beautiful and provided wonderful shade, we had to have it removed because the root system was disrupting our foundation. My girls are four years apart and shared a room until the oldest turned 10 or so. They have these great stories of jumping from one of their twin beds to the other (think hot lava) and made intricate forts between the two beds. They are 16 and 12 now and do have separate rooms, but I still find them giggling (and occasionally jumping on the bed) together in one room or the other, especially before bed.

  371. My oldest two (both boys) shared a full sized bed for several years — they loved it, we could all snuggle up for story time, and I have many adorable (and hilarious) photos of the two of them sleeping, piled on each other like puppies. They shared from about 1 1/2 and 4 to about 5 and 7 1/2. My sister and I also shared a queen sized bed when we were teenagers, and it was lovely. I say go for it!

  372. I would try trimming the tree and see how that works before I would get rid of it.

    I would definitely go ahead and replace the floors now while it’s under reno. You would hate to have to do that later.

    Toddler beds are a waste! My twin boys went straight from cribs to a full size bed each. I would definitely give them their own room if you can. You won’t believe how fast the time will go by and they’ll be ready to separate. They will keep each other up and disturb each other when they’re sick etc…

    I don’t think you asked this but I think you should paint the trim black. I love that look and it’s just even more beautiful in a home with character and charm. 🙂

  373. Two-inch oak is not rare, but 100 year old 2-inch oak is. Our house is 90 years old, and we just refinished the floors to hide pet stains. Sawdust may help with some of that squeaking, but quirks are the charm of an old house. Also, we have two twins in our guest room which is great when two people who are not a couple need to spend the night. We plan to move our boys in that guest room together once they’re both out of cribs. Think of future sleepovers when considering bedrooms, non-sibling boys staying in girls rooms, etc.

  374. 1 – Keep the floors. I am a very light sleeper, but if it’s your house you will learn to not to notice the creaks. After a section of our floor stopped creaking mysteriously, I missed it. It becomes part of the sounds of your house (like your refrigerator running).

    I had to replace some of the old 2″ oak in my house, and it is NOT the same. Old growth wood has a look that you cannot replace.

    2 – “Thin” the tree. Most of the comments seem to talk about trimming, but you can prune off the bottom and also thin the limbs throughout. That might give you some sight lines through the branches.

    3 – Not a parent, but of my 9 nieces and nephews (now ages 11-22), the ones that seem to enjoy spending the most time together share or shared a room. I think it’s less about the room and more that sharing leads them to spend more time together in the public parts of the house.

  375. On the kids together in the same room: My boy-girl twins slept in the same room until about age 7+, even though they each had a room. They mostly slept in his room with its two cute red twin beds. They wanted to be together!

    Often we’d all cram into one of the twin beds together for storytelling.

    My daughter had a room across the hall with a full size bed (double) and even when she started to choose to sleep there, I’d often find them back together–either in her double bed or back in his room. It was so sweet and so lovely.

    Even when they chose to split up later, whoever got the second visit for storytelling would be jealous and yell from the other room. “It’s my turn!” So keep that in mind. Together is quite fun.

    Now they are 16 and very close. I wonder if those shared memories contributed to that.

    Why not set up the guest room as somewhere your daughter will eventually settle alone with a queen bed? They can sleep together there for fun some nights or in his room most nights?

    They will giggle together well past their bedtime, giving you many happy memories.

  376. 1. Hate to say it, but redo the floors with something wonderful. You already know you want to. They already need to be sanded and that takes away some of the wood, and if they’re creaking (I personally hate that, especially if I’m tip-toeing around sleeping children or husbands!). New floors will ease your mind.
    2. TRIM the tree, don’t get rid of it. Trees are SO expensive, and so beautiful that to cut one down is heartbreaking. I know there’s no reason you can’t trim it well enough to see the kids outside.
    3. TWO beds. No matter how cozy it sounds, your kids need their own beds. I promise. They won’t need their own rooms until later, like you said.

  377. 1. No experience with wood floors but have been doing diy renovation of my home for several years. Doing the floors now is going to be a nightmare!!
    2. Would be best is could trim tree to improve sight line. I’m not a helicopter parent but it’s nice to be able to look out the window to check in kids while you are inside. You will find yourself walking outside constantly to check on them.
    3. I have a boy & a girl. They each have their own room & sleep so much better apart. I don’t have a problem with kids sharing rooms. I did, but I like my sleep & so do my kids. My kids also like their own space with their own toys, especially the older they get. It will be problematic when one is up sick all night, the other won’t sleep either.

    Just my opinion. So excited to see how your house progresses.

    1. There are you tube videos that suggest putting baby powder between the cracks of floors that creak. I’m going to try it tomorrow in a room with that problem. It’s worth a try!

  378. SHARE A ROOM!! No kid ever remembers those awesome memories of sleeping by themselves, but staying up talking to each other is the best! I have 4 year old twins that share a full, and seeing them snuggled together makes me happy! And eventually two twin beds which together are fun. Replace floor, and tree…good luck!

  379. Get new floors! You will never regret it and it will make the whole house feel more stable, substantial, and fresh! Beautiful new home…it’s going to be GORGEOUS! Congratulations!

  380. Whoa. I was going to respond, but I think you’re good in the advice department…

    Congrats on the house and good luck with all the decisions! (One thing I will say- I love old floors, or should I say LOVED old floors.. until I stubbed my toe in the worn down crack in between two boards and cut the crap out of my foot. There was real blood. Love the look, but in practice they are not so great… I do love the squeaks, though. 🙂 )

  381. I’m always against losing trees/plants. But in this case, it does look overgrown, and it doesn’t sound like the shade is an issue for most of the day (and look at that shade from the other trees)!

    The open sight-lines will be wonderful not only for ease of mind, but also for the pretty view. Sitting on your deck and looking at that long expanse will be so therapeutic, no?

    Why not replace the fig with something smaller, possibly potted, and set a bit to the side? Couldn’t it be a new fig, even, which you keep leggy rather than full?

    Sharing a room at some point is important, imo. It’s bonding and helps with social/conflict/sharing skills. Best done early on, as they will want their privacy as tweens. My parents would read to us in one of our twin beds, sitting up, on the long side against the wall. It was nice to have a buddy to chat with at lights out, and to make room-cleaning a team effort. Really good memories.

    You didn’t ask, but hoping you paint the living room trim to match whichever color the walls will be. That will look lovely!

  382. Bed sharing is awesome for little kids. My three each have their own beds and rooms but they all choose to sleep in s double bed together. They are 5yo boy, 3yo boy and 1yo girl. They love it and we love it because it keeps them out of our room and if they wake up scared or lonely in the night they have each other.

  383. First, congratulations! There are so many decisions to be made when moving into a new home, even more when it’s old, or should i say vintage, but nothing has more character. i love trees. Not only because they add so much, but also because there’s potential for making memories. Swinging, tree climbing, and maybe even a tree house someday. i love old flooring, nothing new can compare, except maybe for new, old flooring. Some old recycled pine maybe? For paint, i would paint the walls, and ceiling the same color in the entire house. Maybe your favorite white? i love wood, so painting over trim would not be my choice. i love sharing rooms, and having the extra room for the playroom, especially when your kids are young. Having most of the toys in one room, can be so practical, and leaves their bedroom cleaner. Also believe it’s good for them as well. We have bought and sold a few
    homes, and the decisions i made in haste, i usually lived to regret. Take your time, looks like you’ll be there for many years. Bless you and yours Emily Henderson!

  384. This house is dreamy! Regarding the shared bed – so fun! My sister and I shared a queen from the time I was 3 (she was 7 months!) until we were teenagers. And we got our own rooms at about 8&10 so that’s saying something. ?

  385. I had a wonderful 100 year old home in Nashville. The floors were original heart pine with a basement underneath. The boards were very thick. The floors did not creak much at all. Did your contractor let you know why they are creaking so badly? Are the floor boards warped? Are the floors level with little settling? Many historic homes have a lot of settling when they are not on a solid foundation, but on piers. I’m sure the inspector would have pointed that out if it was an issue. It often requires the house to be jacked up underneath and supports put into place.

  386. Two twin beds and share a room til they complain or want more privacy. If kids are scared they can both fit in on twin bed and then retreat to their own bed when ready.

  387. We were forced to share a room with our parents (me and sister) growing up because we were very poor and my dad was alcoholic abusive. I never ever got my own room growing up (wished I had a taste of how it felt). I say it’s OK to share a room but not OK in my book for different gender, if I have a boy and girl, they are getting their own bedroom. You don’t need to sleep in the same room to have close or good relationship. If you can afford to let them each have a room, I say do it.

    The tree NEEDS to be trimmed enough for you to be able to see your kids. You wouldn’t want losing any of your kids or your friends’ kid just cos you wanted that big tree, Bad things can happen and the worst is you started blaming yourself and your decisions.

    Replace the floor, creaking is a big no-no to me, I like peace and quiet in my home but that’s me. 🙂

  388. I’ve lived in old apartments with creaking wood floors and for the most part I just stopped noticing it. Are your kids super sensitive to noise when they’re sleeping? Regarding the tree, generally, I hate the idea of removing established trees unless they’re sick or creating a danger (e.g., roots too close to the foundation of your house, or something). It takes a lot of time for trees to mature, and it would be a shame to remove it before you’re even sure if or how it will impact how you live. Prune it and live with it for awhile. If it ends up being a real problem, you can always have it removed down the line. For awhile I shared a bed with my sister as a kid and loathed it. Granted you kids are younger than we were. But nevertheless, a night of restless sleep, a bedwetting accident, etc., for one kid can ruin the sleep of the other. Not worth it.

  389. Wow! A boatload of comments.
    1. If you can afford it and are going to stay for awhile or if you can get your money out of it when you sell-replace the floor.
    2. Trim the tree and keep if possible, at any rate, live with it for a year or so before you decide for sure. YOU REALLY NEED TO BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR KIDS! Your house is gorgeous and will be unbelievable when you get your hands on it fully!
    3. Let them have their own rooms but go ahead and put twin beds in larger one for when there are guests for a Charley sleep over in Elliot’s room..or vice-versa. Definitely do not have them sleep together. Know this sounds … whatever it sounds, but it really isn’t the best idea. Guests can then stay in Charley’s room which you will have made totally workable as a boys room doubling as a great guest room. :))
    4. Amazing tile on the fireplace, please.
    5. Deeper shelves to the ceiling but not so close together with some large artwork as part of the styling.
    6. Drapery, yes, airy but amazing.
    7. How about painting the trim one of those deep glossy midnight blues?
    8. I normally like the dark beams but I’m seeing light this time. At least if you are going white on the walls as you usually do.

  390. 1) replace the floors now. Refinishing them will not solve the damaged areas or the creaking. You’ll need to likely add leveling subfloor beneath the new planks in a few places, and all of this is MUCH more doable before you move in, have firniture, need to cope with chemical smell to the stain / finishes. Etc.

    Also, with new wood floors, you can sand and refinish them 4-5 times to achieve differnt look/feel, etc. Just do it now. It’s definitely worth the investment.

    2) trim and keep the fig tree. You can vastly improve visibility this way, but both the beauty and shade of the tree add value to the home. And the energy savings for heat reduction is invaluable. Plus, free food 🙂

    3) kids can share the room for another several years, but I’d probably recommend separate beds. It’s not a crisis when they’re this young to share physical space in a bed, but if that’s what they get used to, it’ll be far harder to physically separate them when they mature and it’s developmentally inappropriate to sleep together. (Trust me on this. I’m a shrink and you don’t want to know my horror stories about this)

    PS I’d paint the trim around doors and windows white 😀

  391. K, so here’s my 2 Aussie cents’ worth:
    1. Don’t change the floor boards – fix ’em! Otherwise, why buy a 100 year old house??
    We live in a house of similar age, but much smaller, and the squeaking boards are part of the vintage. I also dunno if I agree about there being a serious problem if the boards squeak…a few extra nails added prior to sanding and polishing fixed most of ours and the ones that still do their thang are quaint and endearing. Other people always comment on how they love it, genuinely!
    2. KEEP THE TREE! I studied child development (2 degrees and part of a Master’s) and kids want and need to be out of their parents’ sight every now and then. The current trend of “Nature Play” is all about cubby building – not sure of the US term for that?! In UK it’s ‘fort’ building? The yard is fenced, right? You’ll be hovering over you kids with your ears anyway and you’ll know what’s going on as soon as it gets too quiet! Ha! Keep the tree! It’ snot ALL about seeing the architecture of the house from all aspects, it’s about the kids being able to play in their own back yard – that’s what you told us, yeah? Anyway, as one ventures toward the house, Ta-da!, the house will be revealed and everyone will exclaim an “Ooooh!” much better than if it was in their faces all the time. You know the importance of the REVEAL.
    3. My vote is for the kids to get their own rooms from the start. (It’s weird even getting to propose a ‘say’ in this!) Child development info. again, kids are supposed to have their own ‘privacy’ from age 6, and they are used to having their own room now, so keep it the same for the move. This house is a m a z i n g!!! It’s a move that for the family, right? Let them have their own room, (screw the witting room, we have one and never use it!) and stick with what already works.
    BTW: When you [posted your BIG NEWS, I was stoked!! You are soooo gonna lurve that house, I can feel it in my waters! 🙂 We are currently in an @ 100year old house and considering moving 5 houses down the street to one that’s much bigger and @ 125 years old. Your decision on moving felt like a sign to me that our trying for that house is the RIGHT thing for us to do, again, felt it in my waters!! (My waters have been busy feeling lately! Ha ha!)
    We have first bid for house – no agent involved – but we’re waiting to hear what the owner wants/needs for it…..yiiiiikes!~

  392. Regarding the creaky floors, we had them in our old house and I found them comforting. Also, you always knew when and where in the house people were walking (which may be useful if you don’t want to helicopter, but still know where the kids are inside). It’s just something you get used to, and I actually miss it now that our new hose is tiled everywhere.

    I have a boy and a girl who are 2 1/2 years apart, and they shared a room until my oldest turned 10. They survived. I think it helped them get comfortable with the idea of sharing fairly quickly, and I think it definitely helped them learn to get along with each other and their peers. It’s been a couple of years and they’re in their own rooms now, but are constantly in each other’s rooms visiting and hanging out.

  393. 1.) Replace flooring due to creaking or refinish?

    Refinish the flooring. I’d stick to the original architecture as much as I could (it restores the value of the house best in my opinion). I just might paint some walls white or very light grey, and some wooden surfaces I’d cover with white staining to update the look a bit.

    2.) Remove tree, trim, or keep?

    I’d just trim the tree and try living with it for a while to see how it goes. Then I would know what I want to do with it. You can always remove it but you can’t get it back…

    3.) Have kids share a room or each get their own?

    Each get their own! Kids share their room only if they really have to. If there’s plenty of rooms, why not give everybody their own space?


    1. I grew up in a nearly 100yr old house with creaky similar looking floors and I have to say…. I loved every bit of them! First off, you very quickly don’t notice the creaks but when you do – it’s actually really reassuring and feels like the house is talking to you. The creaks and oddities of old homes are fully part of their charm.

      My parents also loved them – when I was a teenager it was nearly impossible to sneak out of the house without a floorboard giving you away. My brother and I had this elaborate dance to go up and down our curved staircase at night without getting caught (expert tip – hug the walls!).

      Good luck and congrats on your gorgeous new treasure!

  394. Somebody may have already said this, but don’t forget fig trees lose their leaves for up to six months of the year, so it may not be the issue you think it is.
    Also, my mum gave me the best advice ever when I bought my first house. Live in it for a year before doing anything major (unless of course it’s a hazard), because the light in the house changes for each season. But I live in Melbourne, Australia, so L.A. may not have such dramatic changes of season.
    Good luck Emily. Your new house is gorgeous!

  395. Yes, share a room! I have a girl and a boy. They loved sharing. I kept them together j him my daughter asked for her own.

  396. My two share a room, boy age 11 and girl age 8, and they love it. They wanted bunk beds, and that’s how the whole process began. The only problem with it is that she refuses to go to bed until he’s in his bed, too…so, if they go to sleep at different times, it’s tough. But the sweetest part is how sweet it is that they want to be in the same room! I realize that’ll change in coming years as our son gets older, but for now we love it.

  397. I live in a THREE HUNDRED years old building, and in two rooms we have very old wood floors. Probably not original, but still really old. They are big large planks of a cheap wood, with large cracks between them and lots of woodworm holes. But they are gorgeous. We had them deeply cleaned and then sealed, without sanding (to avoid removing the beautiful patina) and we love them. They do make noise, but it does not bother us.

    As for the kids room, I’d say let them share a room with twin beds, until they ask to be moved in two separate rooms. My sister and I asked at 10/12, I believe. Before that I remember the fun of whispering late at night (well, “late”… it was probably 9pm) when we were supposed to be sleeping.

  398. Only thing I would say for sure is get rid of the living room shelves.
    You’re a shopper and a rearranger-you would have tons of options for consoles, shelving units, lamps, art, mirrors, symmetry, asymmetry…you get my drift…I think you had even mentioned how the built in shelving at your current house sometimes stymies you. This way the space could be your version of a playground!

  399. Refinish the floors. Put actual books in the bookcases. Please don’t paint any woodwork or tile the fireplace. This house appealed to you because of its history and character. Let that shine. Furnishing, textiles and accessories will make a huge difference. Probably the wisest thing I ever learned about design is that just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should.

  400. 1) Replace. I did live in a house with very creaky floors and it is amazing how quickly you adapt and stop noticing the noise. But if it structural and you have the budget, it is just easiest to do a proper fix now.
    2) Trim- seems like the best compromise till you have some time with the house to really decide.
    3)Share. For what it’s worth my kids (girl then boy 2 1/2 years later) loved sleeping together, and still do occasionally (they are 8 and 11). Lots of snuggling and cozy times with the whole family, and we had a big 4 bedroom house… we didn’t need to make them share, it was just how our family dynamic evolved.

  401. 1. Yes, replace the floors and probably the subfloor to get rid of the squeaks. We didn’t and we really, really, really regret it very, very, very much.

    2. Keep the tree!!! Mature trees are awesome and they take many years to get. You can always remove it in a year if you decide you want to but for now, have the lower branches opened up and keep it! A magical fig tree is like finding gold in your garden. Keep it!

    3. Share the room if it’s the easiest way for you to parent those kids now. It seems like it will be easy enough to give them separate bedrooms later if you change your mind (and more opportunity to explore more designs).

  402. I vote to keep the tree and have the kids share a room but my real input comes with the floors. I love old homes and keeping them authentic. I fought all reason to keep our floors and refinish them. It felt so wrong to buy this old house then plop in new floors. It felt fake and like it was against my religion. They looked amazing after we did them and…I totally regret the decision. They are really creaky and not only that the old wood just isn’t durable enough to handle my 3 and 1 year old boy. Lesson learned.

  403. 3.) sharing a room works great for us. We have 3 kids…yes 3 sharing a room. A 5yr old girl, 3yr old girl, and 2 yr old boy. They have a full size bed with a trundle bed below.2 share larger bed and sometimes we find all 3 snuggled together. It is all what ypu are comfortable with as parents. We find that even when there is an argument, come bed time all is forgiven enough to snuggle up together. They all go to bed at the same time so it saves fights in that aspect. Good luck! Can’t wait to see your new place when it’s done.

  404. No. 3 is the only question I have any personal experience on. My boys, ages 5 & 7, share a room (separate beds) and have since the youngest was three years old. I love it! I enjoy being able to say prayers with both of them while they are comfy in their beds, I love sitting outside their door and listening to their conversations without them knowing, and it makes cleaning their room so much easier than if I had two to clean! It provides safety to them both and teaches them the importance respecting others’ things/time/space. I’m 100% on board with this trend. As for sharing one bed, myself and younger brother did this when we were kids. And I remember having these same feelings about how great it was to have a companion with me during those late night scary dreams. I would possibly suggest having a conversation with them when they get older about privacy, since they have different genders. And possibly putting a couple privacy screens in the room for them to change behind. Curiosity sprouts very early in age and you’ll want to be aware of that before it becomes an issue.

  405. I shared a room with twin or bunk beds with my brother off and on until I was 9 and he was 6. Even after that we still occasionally shared a bed – the guest room had a full size bed and two windows so when it was hot hot hot in the summer and our respective bedrooms weren’t getting as much air circulation we would both sleep in the big bed in the guest room. Probably a couple weeks of the summer until we were 11/8 or 12/9? Wasn’t a big deal to us or our parents. Ultimately I think we stopped because my mom was tired of us fighting over who was encroaching on whose side of the bed rather than sleeping.

  406. Just was reading this Domino article. In some places they painted the beams white and they painted the window casings white. Similar vibe to your house.

  407. Replace flooring – my old 1920’s flooring isn’t quite as creaky but it is full of termites. Yikes.
    Tile fireplace & cover up shelving or make shelving more functional and leave fireplace as is, IMO. Seems like it could be too busy with a ton of stuff on shelves and all the eye-action from a busy tile.

    My fig tree is basically sticks 11 months out of the year, so sightline might not be an issue at all. Also, they are very messy. Prune and live with it for a full year to see it through all the seasons before you decide.

    Share a room with two beds until they gripe. They might love it! Then at least you know you tried. And they can always split their beds up if it doesn’t work out. Can’t wait to see the progress!

  408. #1 If the tree is healthy, keep it. Shade is so important when spending time outdoors, as well as keeping air conditioning costs down indoors.

    #2) If the structure of the floors are sound, keep them. I love our squeaky old floors. They have character. Once you become accustomed to the sounds of your new home, they become white noise.

    #3) I feel that it is okay to allow little boys and little girls to share a room as long as they get along with each other. At some point, they will want and require their own space. I feel that separate beds is best due to many issues that impede the sleep of children. Illness (especially the stomach flu), bed wetting, hogging the bed, hogging the blankets, some kids sleep hot, some kids sleep cold, little legs that jerk and kick while sleeping, etc, etc. Also, it is MUCH easier to fit twin bedding into the washing machine than larger bedding. It dries more quickly, too. I wish that my husband and I had twin beds, as well! Haha! I can’t tell you how many times his restless legs have kicked me in the night.

  409. Ugh. You are simply the best.

    I cannot wait for you to work your magic on this house! The Spanish house is far and away my favorite client project, and I have been dreaming of those charcoal-painted windows ever since. (hashtag swoon).

    Now, to answer your questions — as an owner of a 100-year-old American Foursquare — here is my input:

    1. Keep the floors. Mine are original and in decent, not great, shape. They creak under my feet, and there are knicks and chunks missing, but they are just so lovely and add so much character to the space. They were a huge selling point for me!

    2. I would try to trim the tree as a compromise. I imagine you’ll spend a lot of time on the porch, and you want it to be comfortable. Plus, it looks so pretty out there!

    3. My sister and I shared a queen bed until we were in middle school. Probably a little too old for mixed gender, but I think it’s okay for now. HOWEVER, that first picture of the twin beds has been saved on my computer for quite awhile now. It is my dream to find two antique twin bed frames for the guest room. So, YES to sharing, but preferably with twin beds!

  410. Keep the tree (shade).

    Keep the squeaky floors (becomes white noise).

    Get twin beds (prevents bed wetting and vomiting on one’s sibling).

    1. Sorry that I commented twice. WordPress said that my first attempt did not go through, but it did. Oh well.

  411. The new house is gorgeous. My 2 fav styles, your present house and the new older home.

    Replace the floors. You will always regret not doing so now.
    Trim the tree.
    Share a room with twins. They seem like summer camp to me which was always fun. I shared a room with 3 sisters so 4 twins. (I am Irish) Everyday was summercamp 🙂

  412. 1. Creaky Floors: Ditto what another commenter said about creaks loud enough to wake sleeping children. Ours are old (house is circa 1923) and creak everywhere –even with carpeting in bedrooms to muffle the noise, it’s still loud enough to wake babies, children. Bottom line: replace if you can. Same goes for doors that stick, creak, or don’t latch properly. Our bathroom door does all of these things, is the only bathroom, and is loud enough to wake people. Probably doesn’t require replacing the doors, but have your contractor inspect them.
    2. Fig Tree: Limb up the tree, if you can. My advice is not to limb it up (trimming bottom branches so you see more trunk) uniformly, but remove some and not all of the lower limbs to create “windows” through the branches. That way your tree still has the fullness but won’t get so stressed. Consider where you’ll be in the house or on the courtyard and where your kids will be playing in the yard to create sightlines from inside to outside.
    3. Sharing a Room: My two boys (ages 2 and 5) share a room. Sometimes it works out just fine. Other times not so much. We have a guest room, but it’s in the basement so it’s not ideal for either child or us parents to move down there so the bedrooms are all used evenly. Eventually, one of them is going to want his own space –especially once homework, alone time, and hanging out with friends become priorities. I expect that’s a good 5 years from now at least. So, we deal with the occasional so-and-so woke me up, gigglefests, and challenges when one child is sick, but it’s not every day. They’re also pretty much on the same schedule so bedtime and wake-up time isn’t too much of a problem. BUT refer to #1 Creaky floors, if sleep schedules are different! Oh, and sharing a bed is sweet and something my kids have only done on vacation so they find it really fun (we have some cute pics of it, too!), but I think it would be problematic for every night (see gigglefests, wake ups, and sicknesses above). Oh and skip the toddler bed and go straight for the twin beds: large enough for mom or dad plus two kids for stories, two twins and they can have special night sleepovers in each other’s room, plus cute!

  413. 1. We refinished our old oak floors and they creak. The only time it really bothers me is when I’m trying to sneak out of baby’s room while he is sleeping. Otherwise I find it charming 😉

    2. Don’t get rid of that beautiful tree! We removed a lot of trees from our old property (mostly out of necessity) and I’m still sad about it. I love the greenery through the window. I bet the pruning will help.

    3. I vote for a shared room with twin beds!

  414. Great questions! Regarding the creaky floors- my husband and I just completed a full renovation on our 100 year old house. I replaced a lot, but would have never dreamed of removing the original floors. The are creaky! We did some repair to stop the major squeaks, but 1.5 years in I love the squeaks. They give the house character for me and the first thing everyone asks when they visit our home is “Are the floors original!” I love being able to answer yes!

  415. New OLD houses are so fun! We spent almost 2 years restoring our 1902 American Foursquare from top to bottom. It was literally falling apart. But one thing we didn’t do was the floors. They aren’t particularly special (3 inch pine), and they aren’t particularly pretty. Tons of scuff marks, fade marks from sun, some termite damage, and yes, they creak. But to me that just adds more character! We don’t want to “refinish” because that would mean sanding and we’re afraid there’s not much left to sand. The only thing we plan to do at some point is stain them with a slightly darker shade. You get used to the creaks very quickly, trust me!

    As far as kids rooms, I love the idea of sharing. We have extra large rooms in our house, and it feels wasteful to give each (future) kid a room that they won’t spend a ton of time in. I had a friend growing up that shared a room and queen size bed with her sister and she loved it. My only question would be do you want your opposite gender kids sharing a bed in their teenage years? I love my bro, but probably wouldn’t want to share a bed with him every day.

    I know whatever you do will slay! I can’t wait to see!!

  416. Emily, you have such a wonderful house. I’m so glad you got it and appreciate its character. And this forum is so fun – Here’s what I think you should consider:
    1. Lose the bookcases and choose a couple of really cool case pieces instead, tall or short, something approriately scaled. Add furniture instead of shallow unusable built-ins. Paint walls, do NOT paint beams. Add a big potted tree like a fiddle leaf or palm.
    2. Refinish floor, don’t worry about squeaks. Character. Cool.
    3. Curtains from floor to ceiling in some incredible, rich, but So-Cal fabric like slubby linen or ivory mohair
    4. Kids in one room! twin beds are wonderful and so is the camaraderie and closeness can develop. Only if they share a room! Telling secrets only they will know!
    5. Prune the fig tree or delete it from its present location but if you do, I suggest you plant another somewhere else where you can enjoy it. They are fast growers and have such good juju. Not to mention incredible fruit. It’s not often you get a tree with such amazing huge leaves and shade.
    – Thanks for asking! Amy – Interiors&Light SF

  417. My sister and I shared a room and a bed until we were 7 and 5. We loved it! Typically, we didn’t wake the other one up when one of us was sick or scared. We did chat a bit but would slowly nod off to sleep. We ended up getting separate rooms when our brother came along, and our parents had to add an addition to the house creating more bedrooms.

  418. Hi Emily,
    Welcome to the neighborhood — I live in a 1939 Georgian Colonial in LF, not far from your new home. Congratulations — what a score, especially in this market!

    1. Re: floors. We bought our house 4 years ago from a family who owned it since 1955. Every system had to be updated/replaced, but luckily, there was hideous carpet in every room (including the bathrooms!), so the floors were in fantastic shape — in fact, we were probably the first ever to refinish them. HOWEVER, though both we and our contractor are devoted architectural preservationists, and attempted to refurbish every original element we could (door/window hinges and hardware, etc.), 4 years later, NONE of it works properly. Having lived in our house for a while now, the only renovation and design decisions we regret were the ones when we decided NOT to do something. So perhaps you might ask yourself: “What am I likely to regret more: having changed the floors to something more functional and beautiful (albeit less original), or living with creaky, original (but relatively average) floors?” My aunt, an NYC designer who has won awards for her historic restorations — so her bias clearly favors the original — always says: “Just because it’s original doesn’t mean it’s the Woolworth Mansion.” And 2″ oak ain’t the Woolworth Mansion (I have it; I know).

    2. Re: the fig tree: keep it! Prune/trim as necessary. I speak from personal experience: unfortunately, the previous owners of our 1939 Colonial re-did the backyard in 1960, very much in the (completely incongruous) style of the day — think concrete and kidney-shaped pool — and judging by what (little) shade is left, they likely cut down some beautiful old-growth trees. Despite having over 10K sf, we ALWAYS huddle in the tiny bit of shade that remains. Also, FWIW, my daughter (also called Charlie) is now 5; I found the stage at which she and her pals could play outside without a grownup present, yet still needed to be watched from inside, was basically non-existent. If you can hear the kids playing — and therefore screaming for help if necessary (hopefully never the case) — I think you should be fine. But as others have said, every parent/child/family is different.

    3. Re: the shared room — I have an only child, so can’t be of too much help, but one thing you will confront before too long is SLEEPOVERS — which I never thought about until recently, as my daughter and her friends have begun to demand them with increasing frequency. Another commenter mentioned this, but even if your children share a room, I think there might be some social anxiety/stigma to having both kids — especially kids of different genders — share a bed. Plus the disruption to your daughter’s sleep schedule when your son starts hosting sleepovers (or for everyone later on). Also nighttime toilet training of each kid in a shared bed indeed sounds like a nightmare. Not to mention communicable illnesses, which will likely begin in full effect when your Charlie starts preschool (though I suppose you could always separate kids in the event one was sick). Anyway, good luck with whatever you choose — I can’t wait to see what you do with this house!

  419. I would give each child their own room- that way they will always feel like they have their own space. Also from babysitting experience- kids end up talking to each other/keeping each other up even when the other wants to sleep when they are little and bicker more without their own bedroom.

    Also a Queen sized bed seems really large for small children- I would say daybeds or full size at the most until they are teenagers? But having an extra bed in one of the rooms (or both for sleepovers!) for them to bunk together when they really want or when you have guests is a great idea!

  420. Hi Emily,
    I would totally, totally recommend having the kids share a room! I shared with my brother throughout my childhood (he was just a year younger than me), and it was a wonderful experience! At age 10, we each got a room “makeover,” which was a really special milestone. Our mom sent us (individually) on a week-long trip with our grandparents while she and my dad did the makeover. When we got home, there was a big, fun reveal. That’s when I got my own room and my brother moved into what had been the office. When he turned 10, they did the same thing for him. My parents were like you – super practical about spaces and functionality – and just did not see the point of taking up every single bedroom with beds when were were little. Plus, the memories of whispering to each other and telling stories in the dark are some of my favorites 🙂

  421. If I had a vote, it would be definitely no to the shared bed: You only said how convenient and cozy it would be to you. And concerning a shared room: definitely no as well. You mainly shared how cute it was.
    I was close to my brother in age and I have uncomfortable memories of some of his behavior when he was 4, 5 and 6… We talked about it later, je learned some odd things from a friend, let’s just put it that way. It is also a little twee and weird…. to have them share a room and talk about how cute and cozy it is… Not to be harsh. Why make your kids grow up to be oddballs… and if this is common now, thenjoy it is because it is “in style”. Kids like space and privacy too. Please think about whose needs will really be met here…

  422. Tree- I would say try living with it for a bit before you decide to remove it. You may decide once you’re living there & the kids are playing it’s not a big deal. But if it is, all it did was set you back on time.
    Floors- original have more character if you’re really concerned the squeak will bother you don’t feel guilty for replacing them with something amazing that you get to pick out yourself.
    Sharing- I would absolutely recommend having kids share! Esp if it frees up an extra room to become a guest room or play room. I have 3 boys & they all share one gigantic room even though our new house is 5000 sq ft. It’s not like we don’t have room to separate them, it’s just our choice. It’s been a great bonding experience. I would recommend giving each child a small bookshelf next to their bed that’s theirs not to share. My boys each get to keep their special treasures on their shelf & have a space that’s their own. Mine don’t share a bed but after going on vacation this summer where they did share I don’t think it would be a problem. Do expect a few weeks of transition time. And every now & again we may have a rowdy night but it’s part of the fun & bonding.

  423. 1. KIDS share the bedroom!!! one day they will thank you for being closer to each other as siblings
    2. KEEP the tree!!! it’s easier to get rid of one than to have one mature tree! one day you’ll be thankful when you’re enjoying fig jam with goat cheese 🙂
    3. floors: hmm….. unless it’s TOTALLY squeaky, repair it… it adds to the character of the home… they will look great for longer and quality of the old floors BEAT any new fast grown wood in a heart beat!

    Your new house is absolutely adorable!!! Wishing you many blessings and rooms filled with great memories as your children grow in it!

  424. A lot of it depends on how long you plan to be in the house. My 2 cents:

    1) Replace the flooring – once the creaking has been pointed out to you, you will notice it every time.
    2) Keep the tree – shade is such a valuable commodity in Los Angeles! It will keep the house cooler, too. PLUS there isn’t a lot of time during which you would have the kids playing in the yard and need a view. They will either be little enough that you’ll want to be outside with them or big enough that you won’t need eyes on them at all times.
    3) Separate rooms. My kids really love each other – they get along remarkably well. Thing 2 climbs into Thing 1’s bed to sleep many many nights. But there are still times I am so happy I can say GO TO YOUR ROOMS AND STOP MESSING WITH EACH OTHER. It is valuable to separate children from time to time. Siblings are great but MAN can they bicker and it will drive you nuts.

    If you’re planning to move in two years, my answers would mostly be different.

  425. Take this with several grains of salt, since this is a large scale issue, but baby powder rubbed into wood floors can silence creaks really nicely. It would take some doing, but you could spend a day walking around and working talc into the creaking parts. This obviously doesn’t do anything to fix any potential structural components underlying the creaks, but if the house is sound, this might be a good way to fix the problem somewhat cheaply and without throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    It’s such a shame to replace flooring in an old house if you don’t have to. Even if it’s not particularly unusual or rare, old floors have so much more character. I wouldn’t give up the thousands of black nail holes in my floors for anything.

  426. We recently bought a new to us old house and I LOVE the old oak floors similar to yours. They were in rough shape but we opted to refinish the downstairs to keep the original character. Upstairs we do have creaking though and it can be a pain with sleeping kiddos. For a while I could not go upstairs during naptime for fear of waking my 1 year old. Maybe yours isn’t as bad, but it could be worth fixing it while you’re already doing work. So far, we are living with ours and finding the quieter parts to walk on. Even with the creaking I think we’ll opt to refinish instead of replace them in the near future. As far as kids sharing a room, I’m all for it! Our kids are 3.5 and 1.5 and currently sharing. They love it! We’ve always wanted them to share even though we have an extra room. There have definitely been rough spots with sickness, teething, different sleep schedules and we put our oldest in the guest room if everyone is losing sleep. We also put our youngest down first and sneak the other in a half hour later after he’s sound asleep. Sometimes we do naps this way or we separate them. It makes traveling easier when we don’t have space for them to be in separate rooms, we know they can handle it. I say try it with your kids but if you have the extra room don’t torture yourselves pushing it if your kids don’t respond well!

  427. I think sharing a bed would be great, and you can use their room as a makeshift guest room when guests are in town, if you need the option. Just keep in mind that sharing a bed “may” be disruptive at a certain age when they are playing more than they are trying to actually sleep. Because of this, I know some people opt to keep them in separate beds in the same room.


    Why does a house have to be seen to say “Look at me”?
    It is home and will look amazing.
    A house that is prominent is like a person standing saying
    “Look at me”. Real beauty is discovered not flaunted.

    Ps. Love your posts. Felicity

  429. 1. Refinish the floors. we have a 1914 with very creaky floors. I think its part of the charm of an old house. I love having the original wood.

    2. Our 9 year and and 7 year old twins still share a large bedroom and it is the best thing for their sibling friendships. When you don’t see each other during the day, its the surest way to keep them from growing apart!

  430. 1. I’m all for old floors, but 100% against creaks. So if it’s not possible to repair it to silent, I’d replace it. Kids get used to it, but also to catch the first sounds of morning activities:( they will not wake up during the night, but will definitely get up with you in the morning.

    2. Had the same situation with a huuuuge tree, my initial reaction was it must go. But now I’m so glad we decided to wait, with a little pruning we have clear view downstairs and some much needed shade in the upstairs bedroom and on the terrace.

    3. My girls are now 11 and 9. Shared a bedroom until the older was 8, with twin beds, and never had a problem with it. Then my older girl said she would like to have her own room. Still, they mostly sleep together in someone’s queen bed. But it’s nice they have their own rooms for times of fights, sleepovers, or just when someone needs privacy.

  431. Since you are not moving in yet, I would say address the floors now before you move in. I got new wood floors and it was a mess. I love old and original best but if there are possible structure issues under floors, they should be addresses.

    Keep the tree!! Do a little pruning maybe and try to adjust.

    Can you put twin beds in Charlie’s room and the crib in the other room for now? I agree with sharing a bed being a bad idea. Longer to get to sleep, kicking each other, one always hogs the bed, bed wetting and puke nightmares. Sharing a room is bad when one is sick especially but you need to do whatever works best for everyone. I thought the downstairs room was going to be a guest room? You may not completely figure it out until you are moved in. I find that the house and the family will work everything out.

  432. I have my 2 boys in a room together and turned the other room into a playroom. They are 6 and 3 now and started sharing about 18 months ago (in two single beds).
    I think it’s so natural for little kids to not want to sleep in a big room by themselves.
    My eldest used to have night terrors, almost every night. But after they started sharing a room they completely stopped.
    I will let them have separate rooms when they ask for it, but for now, I love knowing they’re comforted by each other’s presence.

    And they very very rarely wake each other up. I’ve had to do a full bedding change in the middle of the night with a screaming 3 year old, and the other one didn’t even stir!

    1. Also the two rooms are next to each other, so we cut a big new doorway between the rooms and put in a sliding barn door. For now, they can slide open the door to have it open to the playroom. And when they’re older and in separate rooms they can choose to have the sliding door left open or shut.

    2. Have your kids share a room and then have a playroom for all their toys. I have an 8 1/2 yr old and a 6 1/2 yr old of opposite gender who have been sharing a room since they were 2 1/2 yrs and 6 mos. When I think of how often I had to change bedding when they were toddlers (puking, wetting the bed), I would not recommend a queen sized bed! I plan to have my kids share a room for a couple more years till they really want their privacy, but in the meantime sharing has really helped them bond.

  433. I would see if you can keep the fig tree. I just planted a young one and it’s taking forever to grow! Also, the shade it provides looks nice.

  434. We live in an old house and we love it. The creaking is part of the character!! Honestly, I never notice it except when I *want* to notice it (e.g., to listen for my husband’s arrival, or, in your case when the kids are older, for when the kids are trying to sneak downstairs or elsewhere. Don’t get rid of the creaks! Also, don’t get rid of the tree!!! I shook my head vigorously at that one. I don’t think it’s likely that you’d truly stay seater in living room and look out to backyard. You’d get up and walk toward those lovely French doors. At which point, you’d see them even with the tree. They take forever to grow big and lovely like that, and the shade and beauty are huge. Keep it!! At least for a year or two, as you can always change your mind later, whereas, is you regretted cutting out and replanted, you’d have to wait decades.
    I think sharing a room with a sibling is nice! I did, with sibling of same gender though, and my husband did with his sister until he was about 7. So, neat idea. But I think it’s nice for kids to have their own bed – their own little sanctuary that’s theirs.

  435. Fix those creaky floors! You know what really sucks? Finally getting your baby to sleep and then walking away on creaky floors, so she wakes back up again. Fiiiiiiiiiix iiiiiiiiiit.

  436. Save the tree and put some cameras up in the backyard instead. We made a playground for our son in the side yard, and put cameras to see what he was up to while playing alone. We have the camera feed on our tablet and phones. Cheers!

  437. I have kids the same gender and about as far apart in age and I put them in the same room when my daughter was about 1. After a few nights it wasn’t a problem. They get used to each other and they ignore each other’s noises. I loved that my kids were the best of friends every night- I think some of their best bonding came as a result of sharing a room. They were best friends at night. Funny how that happens when both parties are trying to stay up a little later. I would put them to bed a little early just to give them time to play and talk before I got serious about bedtime. The best part of parenting is when you hear your kids laughing together. I would usually hang out and listen to some of their conversations. Priceless. We finally separated them about six months ago because it was time and I might have cried (totally cried) to have that part of their childhood be over.

  438. Keep the floors! I FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THIS! If they are too creaky to live with. Pull them, repair and then relay. The reason I feel this way is because new wood floors are in no way as good as what you have there. For one, new hardwood stock tend to be wider and it’s hard to get nice long lengths -which will not look original to the house and IMO looks cheap. Two, if you replace downstairs, you must upstairs. Otherwise there is the glaring evidence that some of the original flooring was replaced. People who choose to buy Tudors rather than new construction care about this kind of thing, so down the road you may be preserving value if you ever opt to move. OK, I’ve made my peace! lol.

  439. First off, the house has really pretty light everywhere – so so nice!!

    Re: the floors – we have a 100 year old row house that we now rent out and the floors were old and original (like you could see light between some of the boards upstairs from the light downstairs!!)..okay so they were old..they creaked and we never were bothered by it because we ultimately loved the look of them more (and when they got scratched or something fell on them we never needed to care). That said..when we lived there we had no pets and no children, so maybe the walking on creaking floors would bother me now that I try to walk quietly when the little one (13 month old) is asleep. Overall if the original look trumps the creaks then you’ll probably be okay with them..if not, replace them!

    Re: fig tree – In our new house we have a large bush that blocked the view from our back deck to the yard also. We had a garden company come in to do a big “fall cleanup” and they really pruned back the bush and it was amazing the visibility that we got from the clean up (while still keeping the bush which flowers really beautifully in spring!). I’m not sure if that would be the same with the fig tree – but you could always try first to prune it back and if it really bothers you after you’ve lived in the house for a little while then could get it removed – then you won’t regret the decision to take it out before really using the space and seeing how much it impacts the kids playing/you being able to see them.

    Re: kids space – I think sharing is a nice idea! I have a friend who’s kids (a girl 5 yrs, and boy 3 yrs) share a room and they LOVE it!! I would say the queen bed thing might not be the best….!!!..My brother and I would share a bed some nights when we were little kids and he was a “bed-wetter”…not the most fun for me..!!!..If one kid is sick/bed-wetting/throwing up etc, you don’t want to have to change the entire bed in the middle of the night and wake up the other one too…just a thought!! 🙂 Might be nice to have separate beds.

    Enjoy!! New home planning to so much fun 🙂

  440. As a mom of 5, I highly recommend letting your kids share a room. The key word here is “share”. Children have to be taught how to share, especially when you have 1 of each sex. They will probably have different interests and therefore have separate toys, where as if they are the same sex, they may share their toys and therfore learn to share. Plus I believe it fosters friendship. You will know when it’s time to put them in separate rooms, but for now…let the fun begin.

  441. 1. Replace the floor now because it as an absolute nightmare to do after the fact. Also,
    I’ve got creeky stairs and the hallways outside my kids room and it drives me nuts!
    2. Keep the tree and trim it for sure.
    3. The kids should totally share a room, and for as long as it works. Just be forewarned there might be an adjustment period. When my two started sharing they would stay up late “talking” every night. It was adorable but they were definitely up later than we were all used to. As far as one bed vs. two is totally your call but if the main reason is to have a space for snuggling up and hanging, reading, whatever, that’s what your big bed of awesomeness is for.

  442. The new house looks so incredible! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    Our house is a historic 1856 home in Savannah (which you should totally visit for your anniversary trip, by the way!). The heart pine floors are original to the house, which means they are really creaky (but beautiful!). I don’t mind it. It makes sense that something old would be creaky, and I don’t think new floors would feel right in this old house.

  443. My in laws had their three youngest share a big CA King when they were little and they loved it! They were all girls, but they still talk about how much they loved sharing the bed!

  444. Love the character of the house, Emily! I’d keep the original floors and fix the creaks, trim the tree, make a spot for your current fig somewhere in the new house, and for sure, each child needs their own bedroom. You can all be cozy in your big bed in your bedroom…..since the ‘new’ house has so much history and charm, I’d keep as many things ‘original’ as possible. Is the woodwork around the doors and windows original? DON’T PAINT IT!!! Keep the bookshelves by the fireplace, and I really like the idea of tiling it. And, can’t wait to see what you do with the kitchen………..Have fun, and huge congrats on your ‘new’ old house!!!

  445. 1) I have old oak in my 1940’s house…and I’m pretty sure it’s been neglected 70, of it’s 76 years. When I first moved in, the creaking got on my nerves. The (ex) husband wanted to rip it out. I wanted to keep it. I was determined to rehab it. I’m happy to say that after a few repairs, some sanding, and lots (LOTS) of oil treatments, I’m so thankful I kept it!
    2) You’ve gotta keep the tree! *Maybe* trim it, but most definitely keep it. Shade, beauty, fort and play ability (I’ll spare you the gushy stories of my childhood spent under a giant pear tree…but they’re awesome)…and maybe some day, climbing and exploring (I know not all trees can take it).
    3) Shared room, until they’re older. My brother and sister are about two years apart, and they shared a room until they were 8 and 6. Sure, there were moments that weren’t the best, but there were also great ones, like forts and late night stories. And if you ask them now as adults, they wouldn’t have had it any other way.
    Excited to see what you have in store for your new beauty!

  446. All good comments so far. The first two questions have been answered with great suggestions, so I’ll skip those and go onto three. I have four children, and my 9 year old son shared a room with the baby, who was a year old at the time. When she would wake up in the night, she would stand there and scream at him, like “Hey you! I know you are there, come and get me out of here!” He would hide under his covers, but she new he was there and would not stop until she woke the entire house up. So, right now, the older three share a room, and she has her own. They have a bunk bed with my son on the top twin, and my two daughters sharing the bottom full. Sometimes it is great, but when my 3 year old has an accident at night, or one of them gets sick, it is really inconvenient. You have to wake the other one up just to get the bed cleaned up. Also, we are in the terrible threes and when my daughter is having her “psychotic episodes”, everyone pays. Not fun.

  447. “I’m not a parent, but…”

    “I’m not a designer, but…”

    “I’m not a certified tree expert but…”

    Do you ever regret asking people for their opinions? More and more I’m finding myself appreciating bloggers who don’t even have open comment sections. Not everything has to be a dialog, does it?? Especially when all of the “expert” feedback affects the direction of the blog. And yes, I know I can just avoid the comments, which I generally do, but then the blogs end up addressing all of the comments and suddenly comments are in your life even when you’ve sworn them off for all of eternity as a reader. If a poll was conducted, I’ll bet the vast majority of blog readers would say that they read blog posts for fab content, not because they care one bit about what other readers think about this or that. But this is just one reader’s opinion (winky wink).

  448. Our floors are super creaky. My sister always says, “You’ll hate them when your kids are babies and love them when they’re teenagers.”

  449. Regarding the floors–I would replace them once and never have to think of it again. We have lived in an old home (70 yrs old) and the floors were in wonderful shape and while I always felt the minor creaks were so cozy–I do know that older homes always need some sort of constant love and as a mom with two young ones–the hassle of replacing down the line just feels like a huge headache. Life function always wins.
    2. The tree: don’t decide now. You love the shade–your kids won’t be able to play independently without any supervision for awhile. Enjoy it for now!
    3. Shared rooms: I have 3.5 yr old boy/girl twins. They shared a room since day one and I didn’t see the need to separate them until they were ready for it/told me. Well…then we transitioned them to toddler beds and bedtime turned into a frat party…so, we split them up. They had a blast, but no one was getting any sleep for a good two hours post bedtime. To this day, they still aren’t old enough to share a room/queen bed when we travel because shenanigans ensue. Why not have a sleepover spot for each kiddo in each other’s room? I will say–separating them was much harder on me than them!
    Good luck!

  450. Based on my experiences:
    I live on the safest street in America, at the end of a culdesac, with a fenced small yard. And I really only started letting my kids play outside alone when they were 3.5 and 6, and that was ONLY because the 6 year old is super responsible. I think you’re a few years away from the idea that your kids will roam about in the yard while you’re inside making dinner. Why don’t you put off the decision about the tree until then?

    Also, my kids share a room by choice (2 girls, 3.5 years apart). They each have their own room, but have preferred to sleep together for years. The older one used to sneak into her baby sister’s crib to sleep with her there. We have twin beds in one room, which they slept in for a while, but I kept finding them snuggled up into a single twin in the morning so I bought a queen bed for the other room when we got rid of the toddler bed. They sleep together in the queen bed 80% of the time, and in the twin beds the other 20%. I will say the queen is awesome for snuggling. I get in the middle with a girl snuggled up on each side to read books every night. Sometimes, I see my older daughter reading books to the little one after I think they’ve gone to sleep for the night. They have such a great sibling bond and are each other’s best friend. I don’t know if room sharing helps create that, or they share the room because they have such a close bond. Probably a little of both. The downside to sharing a room is that sometimes they get pretty riled up and keep each other awake at night. I think it completely depends on the personalities of the kids, though.

  451. I have 2 and 4 year old boys and they’ve shared a queen sized bed for the past year. They love it so much. (They’re both cuddlers.) A couple months ago we tried to put them into their own beds, (because twin beds in a shared room are so cute!) but my four year old would always end up crawling into his brother’s bed in the middle of the night so we just switched them back to a shared queen.
    Keep the tree!!!
    And this might be really naive, but is there any way to get rid of the creaks and still keep the original floor?

  452. I usd to live in a 100 year old rental with super creaky floors. Every one loved it because it gave the apartment so much character! However, we were the tenants on the top floor, so the tenants below us might beg to differ.

    Also, it really depends if the creaking from you moving around can wake up the kids. That’s no fun, doing am obstacle course around creaking floorboards every morning, night and naptime.

    To question no. 2: I wouldn’t cut it down right away either. It is quickly cut down, but would take decades to regrow if you realized you did prefer the shade afterall.

  453. Hi! I live in a 103 year old house that we remodeled and added onto about 10 years ago. Here are my thoughts:
    1: We had to remove the existing floor in the old part of the house when we remodeled because we “ran out of wood” and had to replace the wood. I was sad…However, the house still creaks which I love! I especially liked it when I had teenagers in the house. I always knew where everyone was by their walks.
    2: My two kids (a boy and girl) are 2 years apart and and they shared a room until they were 6 and 8. They loved it.
    3: Living in Pasadena we LOVE our big trees to keep the house cool. Hopefully the arborist will be able to cut enough for you to see and still give you some shade.

  454. hi emily : congrats on your new house, it is so pretty!

    the floors: we live in an old house with super creaky floors in the hallway by the kids’ rooms, one kid always woke up with every creak – super frustrating – and the second one would always sleep through every creak and crack. So, maybe wait to see if it will be a problem before committing time and money.

    keep the tree if possible. The shade, the money you will save in AC costs, the prettiness: these cannot be beat. Maybe it can just be thinned out enough so you can get peeks through the branches. I bet thinning it out would work for your purposes.

    room sharing: sure why not? they/you can always change down the road as needed. I probably would keep them in separate rooms for now though unless they both sleep through the night really well. Gut feeling is two twin beds.

    good luck xo

  455. My two cents’ worth:

    #1 – I live in an old house where many of the original floorboards have been lifted up and replaced. So long as you’re sympathetic to the age of the house and retain the character of the house by replacing the floors with genuine hardwoods, I’d say go for it. If you plan on replacing them with inferior materials, you lose the feel of your character home.

    #2 – You can’t wrap kids in cotton wool. Hard knocks are an important part of the growing process. Without some knocks in life, they will never cope with the curve balls! A sense of ‘freedom’ builds stability, confidence and trust. By giving them the space and freedom to explore their own backyard environment, you’re signalling your trust in them and allowing them to develop and grow their imagination. Just let them know their boundaries, and provide them with a safe environment.

    The fig tree offers the best shade in the yard. You live in CA – it gets HOT! If it’s landscaping that you’re really chasing here, then sadly the fig will have to go if you want to open up the space. to improve the overall aspect of the backyard. If you’re worried about visibility, kids will find all sorts of nooks and crannies if they want to, so one tree won’t change that fact. Other places will be found. Trees provide shade, homes for insects and birds and give a sense of beauty and life to our homes, as well as privacy. This tree looks to be an evergreen, but you could consider replacing it with a deciduous tree which offers shelter during summer, and light during winter. There are lots of deciduous beauties out there such as the Japanese maple, magnolia or Japanese cherry. If you’re following the principles of Feng Shui, consider the spirit energy in trees. The unnecessary removal of trees is considered bad feng shui, but going about it the right way, can achieve balance and harmony in the home and garden. An interesting read: https://fengshuithis.wordpress.com/2008/05/28/spirit-energy-in-trees/

    Personally-speaking, I’d keep this beautiful tree. The shade it provides is a blessing.

    #3 – Let the kids share a room for as long as they’re happy to do so. It worked long before it became ‘trendy’ for each kid to have its own bedroom! Just be aware of the cut-off age of sharing where mixed gender siblings are concerned! Red tape aside, kids love sharing rooms and enjoy the whole bonding experience. In many respects they feel more secure when their ‘bestie’ is camped out nearby. Twin beds definitely! Even a kid needs a bolthole and a defining space to call their own! I’d say, go for it.

    #4 – Lounge room. This is a tricky one. Initially I was thinking black trim, but the more I looked at the picture, the more it felt like it should be white and neutral. I think this is primarily because there is a tendency for the room to feel overwhelmed, closed-in, and too “Tudorish” with too much black trim! I’d go white on the walls, doors and windows, but maybe balance this with dark on the beams? This way you retain the beauty of the beams and make them complement the fireplace in this space. Not sure about those shelves. If you’re trying to achieve a lived-in, comfortable ‘library’ type lounge room, then extend up and across, but leave the fireplace feature free to shine. Personally-speaking, I’d lose the shelves altogether. Why not create the library feel in your ‘sitting room’ instead? Plenty of scope there for shelves, etc. Artwork and wall sconces on either side of the fireplace will have more of a standout effect on this space. I’d cover in the recesses so that the fireplace can speak and not compete!

    This is a happy home. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just love it and nurture it.
    ~ heather xo

  456. 1.) Floors: I’m a proponent of keeping original charm, but man – the balancing act of design/function can be brutal! I think you mentioned you’re renovating before you move in, so I guess you can’t see how you feel once you’re living on them. Can you approach this room by room or do you have to eat the whole enchilada? That could be a big chunk out of the budget, on a not-so-fun thing to spend $$ on.

    2.) Keep. The. Trees. Cutting down trees breaks my heart. We’re having solar put on our roof and have a beautiful, delicate willow-like tree that sweeps across the front yard and over part of the roof. I’m willing to our solar panels generate slightly less power b/c I insist we keep the tree. Def talk to a tree guy, maybe you can just “lace it” (which I learned it what they call it when they trim some of the bottom). Also, fig trees have gorgeous leaves, and totally fit into your fairytale like house!

    3.) My girls (ages 3 and 4) want bunk beds, and we promised them for our new house. When we took the girls to our new house for the first time, my youngest Annette marched through every bedroom, looking for the bunk beds. She asked about them about 10 times that day. As she fell asleep that night, she said “Well, I guess I’ll sleep with my pillow on the floor at the new house since we don’t have bunk beds!”. HA! What a stinker. I’ve added bunk beds to our reno list.

  457. What about cement tiles in a lot of areas where traffic is greater and were you need it to be quieter?

  458. Your new house is so beautiful, and has so much potential!
    We recently upgraded from our 70-80 year old house (nobody knew how old it was!), and I have some opinions…
    1. Squeaky floors seem charming until you live there. Our old floors were so bad, my kiddos got splinters! It’s easier to replace now, and if you’re going to sell eventually, you’ll want pretty floors eventually, so why not replace it now, so you get to live with the benefits!
    2. Plant another fig tree (or two)! in a more convenient spot. When it reaches maturity, then cut down the current tree.
    3. With kids sharing rooms or beds, it totally depends on their personalities. If one is an introvert, they need their own space, whether it’s a bed or a corner or a room or a closet. If they’re both introverts, or both extroverts, it will work. One introvert and one extrovert will not! (Probably. Kids will constantly surprise you!)
    Good luck on whatever you decide!

  459. We’re currently renting a 95 year old house, and the floors creak…BADLY. I would say that if you have the option to replace them, go for it. The most annoying thing is that the bedrooms upstairs (as well as the stairs) creak and have been known to wake sleeping children. Granted, we’re in a pretty small house…so maybe that wouldn’t matter as much if the rooms were more spread out.

  460. Hi,

    Re: the tree. The two major considerations are:
    1)How close to the house is it & what are the roots doing? We had a large Maple type and the roots damaged the underground sewage pipes. Generally the roots are at least as big as the canopy (but out of sight).
    2)If you took it down, what damage would the sun do? Heat/ fading/ damage to windows. We’re in rainy UK but when we removed a huge (by UK standards!) pine our south facing double glazing ‘popped’ (the seal perished and got condensation between the two panes of glass – impossible to remove/ clean/ wipe). This meant that you couldn’t see out! Replacements are then needed much more frequently (every few years – ouch!££$$)

    I live in the UK so you’ll need to adapt this for Californian lifestyle/ heat but.. it’s way hotter there and this affected us, so…

    Good luck

  461. My 2 cents 😉 :

    1– Flooring is very important & obviously foundational, so whatever method you feel is best for the house is the best way to go.

    2– Please, please, please do NOT remove a gorgeous mature tree!! I am truly biased here because we have literally ZERO mature trees in our whole neighborhood & I miss trees like crazy, so the thought of intentionally removing one almost rips out my heart. Trees have grown for decades to get to that maturity & it’s so, so, so sad to see them removed for a temporary problem.

    3– As much as I’m sure you’re theories of bonding from sharing a room delight you, I’m in favor of separate rooms. This is primarily because there are very few individuals in the world who have the privilege of living in a space you designed, and I think your children are so incredibly fortunate to have their very own spaces designed by you just for them!! I’m sure they would have their own special areas within the shared room, but it won’t be the same as the amazingness of Elliot’s nursery, or Charlie’s big boy room.

    I echo the theory that you can create usable spaces within each child’s room where they can both spend time together whenever they desire. Also, there is absolutely no reason that 2 twins can’t be used in a room that isn’t shared. Some of my friends had that set up in their rooms when I was young & the rooms were adorable & so easy for sleepovers!

    Also, over the years we’ve frequently had family ‘slumber parties’ in the living room, where everyone stayed together & watched movies, and crashed on the couch/floor/pillows/sleeping bag/etc., and it has been such an amazing activity that allows everyone to always have their own permanent personal space, but also allows for closeness & attachment & wonderful memories of fun.

    Obviously, it’s your decision & I think you should do only what is best for your family. <3 I love your new home & I'm sure you'll find what works ideally for you soon.

  462. I tried to put my two girls (2 1/2 years apart) in the same room and it lasted a week! They kept each other up at night, argued, stayed up and played when they should had been sleeping and if one is sick… It wasn’t a good experience for us. I quickly separated them for the sake of everyone.

    Fix the floors now. They will drive you crazy once you are living there!

  463. Creaky floors might really limit your ability to shoot video in your house (for blog content or whatnot). Our upstairs floor is quite loud – I recently filmed something and the mic picked up every creak and squeak. Just something to think about given your house’s role in your job!

    Love the new house, by the way – looking forward to following along.

  464. Ah – the tree! Living in a climate similar to yours (Queensland Aus) I would say live with the tree as is for a while before making any decisions. Shade in summer is can make so much difference to the mood of the garden as well as the rooms it affects. My kids are all grown up and its up to parents how they bring up their kids but I almost despair at the lack of freedom kids have these days. If the garden is enclosed let them be. They learn sooo much by themselves.

  465. Kids sharing rooms is great up until mid school -age. They will most likely enjoy it, feel safe and be adorable in the am and maybe less adorable when attempting to get them to sleep-let them interact and be together. Assumption is crying/ or sick child goes into family bed to allow the remaining child to sleep.

    Trees that are healthy can be trimmed but not taken down unless there is structural risk- strike a middle ground between keeping and getting rid of the tree completely.

    Floors if they are structurally sound and can be sanded and stained one more time, save the money and replace later. The fireplace room floor is yelling for a gorgeous rug. Dark black/brown stain on wood. I cannot invasion the fireplace … but tile but I think it is they way to go on the fireplace- but modern/clean tile or modern bohemian tile . Could the bookcase go up more and have half circle tops to mimic fireplace and stained wood shelves against light paint?

    I have been living in a 1904 Minneapolis home raising 6 kids for 15 years with little money- sharing rooms, creaky floors and tall blue spruce tress and all. It’s a wonderful life

  466. My 2 daughters, ages 8 and 6, have shared a room (by choice!) for years. We gave them two twin beds. In a matter of weeks, they pushed the beds together and now they sleep together in one huge bed. I like that we have the flexibility to separate the beds when we need to… but, for now, it’s so sweet!

  467. I have a big tree in front of my house, providing shade for half the rooms on that side. I cannot begin to tell you how much cooler those rooms are in summer. The living room has no shade and half the time we have the curtains shut for relief. Trees provide shade on the deck too and if it didn’t, being in the deck would be unbearable. Live with the tree first. Once it’s gone, that’s it.

    If you can make it downstairs without waking napping children, floors are fine.

  468. Hi Emily,
    Regarding flooring, I have a suggestion..In the event you decide to change your flooring, do check out these guys I came across recently on Pinterest –

    I loved their designs(wood flooring with marble like effect), but not going to change my floors for a while. Since, you on the verge of taking that decision, I thought of sharing, do let me know if you like their concept!! 🙂

    x Germarie

  469. 1. The floor is a tough call and hard to answer without looking at them in person. We have an old farm house built around 1910 and the original hard wood floors were covered with newer hardwood floors. I would try to pick something that would look original to the house if you put new ones in.

    2. I would just trim the tree for now. Don’t rush into taking it down. live in the house a while and see how you like or don’t like the tree. I would not put the tree at the top of your to-do list.

    3. You could do either but its easier for them to share a room when they are little. So maybe let them share a room for now and make the other room a play room. Then they can have their own room when they are older.

    4. I would not paint the molding white. I would paint it black or stain them. I love old homes so I would try to keep the bones/architecture of the house as original as possible. Just my two cents.

  470. Re-do the floors.

    KEEP the tree!

    Share the room—–twin beds ARE wonderful in appearance.

  471. Hi Emily! You probably don’t need anymore light in the living room, and I’m not sure this is even something you could do, but what about windows instead of shelves on either side of the fireplace? I saw this picture on pinterest and it made me think of you. Obviously not the furniture selection, just the fireplace and windows.
    Love your blog and am so happy you exist!

  472. We have just moved to our 10th home in 17 years of marriage with 3 kids. I might have experienced anything you will come across.

    1. Three homes ago we renovated (to period) a 1926 home in Coral Gables, FL. We refinished the original narrow plank oak floors and even threaded new planks into them in our kitchen remodel. The new wood was never as strong or dent resistant. Everyone told me I was crazy BUT I WASN’T! We’ve since moved, unfortunately, but I’m so proud we maintained the integrity of the old house. It feels noble and historic to make that kind of decision. Hopefully the new owners will see its beauty and not be tempted to TILE!

    2. Natural light is my #1 requirement in a home, but not at the expense of ambience. You can get a lot of natural light in a Target parking lot, but who would want to live there? Prune and then decide about chopping. You’re not going to feel comfortable letting your kids run loose for more than 5 minutes tops without checking on them anyway.

    3. Our last rent house before finding “the one” we just moved into was a 1952 3/2 ranch with 1700 square feet. I gave birth to my third in that home and needed my 7-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl to share a 10×11 room with their twin beds from their previous separate rooms. I thought my son was going to balk but I think he secretly loved it. They both felt secure having a buddy at night. Nightmares decreased and no complaining at bedtime. I would agree though that 2 twins over 1 queen are better in cases of restless sleepers, early risers and occasional pukers.

    Good luck, Emily! If there’s anything I learned it’s that no situation or house is forever, even if you romantically want it to be. And even if it ends up being your forever house, there’s no design decision you make today that you can’t retrofit for your changing family in the future.

    1. I forgot to mention that you MUST have a Dohm noise machine going while the kids sleep anyway. They won’t hear floor creaks, dishes, movies, whatever…


  473. Love the house and am so eager to see what you do with it. I vote to keep the floors. We just refinished our 60 year old red and white oak floors (2″, nothing special, but original) and I’ve never regretted it. Sure, they creak, but it’s part of the charm of our old house. (And reduce, reuse, recycle, right?) Lose the tree. Kids also need space to run around and be crazy and fall down, right? And ground is all lumpy and bumpy and hard underneath trees. And finally, separate rooms. Eventually you’ll have to go that route anyway, right? So if they share even temporarily, and one of them is sick or cranky, the other one will be up as well. I’m sure whatever you decide, it will be great. But thanks for asking! It was fun to participate.

  474. I grew up sharing a queen size bed with my sister 🙂 Later, my littler brother shared a room (by choice!!) with two other sisters until he was nearly eight…he had his own room but chose to sleep on a trundle bed every night in their room. I think it’s perfectly ok for little kids to share a room though I think separate beds might be a good choice depending on each individual child’s sleeping habits (kicking in sleep or whatnot).

  475. I vote replace floors.
    I’d rather have the view of a tree than a lawn, and enjoy the shade. If it’s trimmed and healthy, enjoy it. The kids would be in earshot anyway, wouldn’t they? It’s good for kids to feel like they’re not being supervised all the time (even if they are).
    My kids (6 and 3) share a twin bed by choice. Isn’t that why twin beds are named that, because it was made for 2 children? Children used to always share a bed. So a queen would be lovely for 2. But two twin beds are always cute, too.
    Eventually, I suspect my daughter (6) will want her own room. They’ve mostly always shared a room and waking each other wasn’t an issue. By the time they were 1 and 4, they had the same bedtime, and bedtime in one room all together was easier and cozier. I do look forward to designing/decorating separate bedrooms, though.

  476. Re 1 and 2: I would replace the floor since it will definitely be better and now is the time to do it while the house is empty and trim the tree first as you can always cut it down later

    Re 3: My two kids shared a room (two twin beds) until they were 8 and 6 and then we moved to a house with 4 bedrooms. That was a really special time for us and for them – doing the bedtime thing together as well as all the playing that they did together. They may not remember this time when you were all together but you will. Believe it or not one thing I would do differently if I could would be to have had a king size bed in our room so we could all pile in comfortably! Even now ten years later my kids sometimes choose to sleep in the same room (one has two beds) – it’s a treat for them.

  477. 1) replace the hardwoods
    2) prune the tree, figs are super hardy, we have one and trim the crap out of it every year. Plus figs, cream and brown sugar is the bomb
    3) I’m about the put kids in the same bedroom, 5 year old girl and 2 year old boy. Nervous about them adjusting but I know it will be great in the long run….bunk bed.

  478. Keep the floors. They’re so pretty. I wish my home had floors like your.

  479. About room sharing: best thing EVER that our kids shared a room for awhile. They bonded. They learned to be flexible. They can sleep anywhere with others (in a hotel room, for ex when you are traveling). They bonded. Did I say that already? I did. Because it’s the best reason to share a room. I think it’s one of the biggest things we can give our kids–the ability to coexist with others and share. I had roommates in college who HAD to have their own room bc they never had to do it before. So yeah, I’m all about letting kids share a room for awhile. When they are little they don’t know anything different and they love to be with each other. As they grow older and they search for more independence and autonomy and places where they can be by themselves, then separate rooms makes sense.
    About the tree: I’m a tree hugger. So that pretty much sums that up. But also, practically speaking–if you are planning on staying in that house for awhile just envision sitting on that patio when you are older and your kids are much older, wine glass in your hand, telling your dinner guests that, “yeah, we used to have a BEAUTIFUL tree right here that made this patio so peaceful and lovely but we took it down so we could see our little (now grown) kids in the yard.” If that would make your older self lament that you plucked out the tree, then don’t do it cause chopping it down is a permanent solution for temporary problem. Know what I mean?

  480. My two cents on the room- bed-sharing thing: my kiddos (aged 6 and 9) have always shared a room, but never a bed. Not because I’m opposed to their sharing a bed, but because they sleep so DIFFERENTLY. My daughter doesn’t move a muscle once she’s conked out, but my son, well, we call him Spiderman when he sleeps – jerking, rolling, turning upside down in the bed, etc. I’m sure he’d wake my daughter if they slept in the same bed. And NO ONE wants a child woken in the middle of the night, right?

  481. 1)Paint the moldings and the walls in a soft antique white
    2)Make the beams and other woods pale
    3)Replace the floors — keep them pale
    4)Expand and deepen the shelving spaces and add lighting
    5)Do not tile the fireplace — too limiting over time — add a large old mantel
    5)Check with arborist — and check out the root system of the tree!
    6)Create two kids rooms which will allow OPTIONS for the future — one room will have two twin beds (which COULD be pushed together) — and other will have a single twin bed ….. which means the kids can room together OR be separate OR have a together-sleeping space as well as a play space. Having a choice is a lovely option!

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