About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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Before & After

The Pearl St Project: Our New Floors

Pearl St.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over six (!!) months since we completed our spring One Room Challenge & finished renovations on our Pearl St. Project living & dining rooms.  If you missed our progress posts, you can catch up on the whole transformation here.

One of the biggest parts of our transformation was installing new floors over the original hardwoods in both the living & dining rooms.  We were sad to see the originals go, but we didn’t really have an option in this case. They were too thin to refinish & were in pretty bad shape from previous water damage, pets, and who knows what else over the 100+ years they’ve been there.

Mohawk was one of the generous sponsors for the spring One Room Challenge, so we were excited to work with them on our flooring.  In choosing new floors, we were looking for something that was durable, low-maintenance, and fit with the character of the home. Metropolitan Chic from their TecWood engineered hardwood line fit the bill, perfectly!

This was our first time using engineered hardwood flooring, so we made sure to do lots of research to make sure they were right for us.  Here’s what we found:

  • Engineered hardwood floors are constructed to resist expansion and contraction from humidity changes.  We have a LOT of this in Ohio, so this is a big plus for us.
  • TecWood floors come with a 50-year warranty and are enhanced with TruFinish, a finish that emulates the beauty of an oil-finished floor without the maintenance.
  • TruFinish also helps mask dirt, dust and small scratches, so if we ever decide to make this home a rental down the line, we won’t have to worry about visible wear & tear.
  • Engineered hardwood floors cannot be sanded down and refinished, but because of Mohawk’s warranty and low-maintenance TecWood technology, we felt confident choosing them for our home.

We decided on the Midtown Oak color because it matched really well with the other flooring we already had in the house, and opted for nail-down installation because it tends to feel the most solid over a wood subfloor.  We DIY’d the install in about two days!

The floors completely transformed the space and made it feel finished (finally!)  Here’s what the living room looks like now, with our new floors installed. (Click here to see where it started)

And the dining room!

We love the tone of the flooring we chose — it’s super close to Provincial or Dark Walnut stain that’s on most of the other flooring in the home, so it fits in perfectly.  The floors have been super low maintenance so far (we don’t do much more than the occasional Bona wash to make them look new again) and do a great job at hiding dirt.

We’re so grateful to have this opportunity to participate in the One Room Challenge and partner with Mohawk on this project!  If anyone would like more information about our TecWood floors, you can find it here.  You can also browse local retailers here.

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  1. Dave says:

    Again, very Impressed! Awesome work. Can’t wait to see what you accomplish next

  2. Alexis says:

    I’m looking into installing this same brand of flooring. How has it held up?

    • Catherine says:

      We’ve had ours at our Airbnb rental for about a year now, and they’ve held up great. We even had a few pretty big leaks, and the floors didn’t buckle. We’ve been happy with them!

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Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.



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I grew up in New Jersey and always had a dream of living in New York.  There was something about the energy of the city that drew me inOur journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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