Friday, April 18, 2014

Basement Remodel Update - beginning the finishes

Things are still moving along in the basement. It's now been 2 and a half months since we began the project, and we're getting to the good stuff at this point. So I thought it might be time for an update!

The past week and a half has been focused on wood trim. I thought we were saving money by putting up a PVC wainscot option that would replace any paneling, but I guess the paneling was going up, regardless? I dunno. Anyway, all that base wainscoting was put up this week, along with the door frames, and all the floor and ceiling moldings. 

The seating wall has a proper couple of posts on either end of it, now. That's going to be such a great addition to the room!
In the game room area, the base wainscoting looks just awesome...
And don't even get me started on the paneled wall that will be behind our TV. This thing is SO FUCKING COOL!
View of the TV wall from one side of the pony wall...
View of the TV wall from the other side of the pony wall...
The TV wall paneling will be painted in a sort of gray wash, so it doesn't overwhelm with a glaring whiteness, and so the white floating shelves and the entertainment unit won't just all blend in and disappear. I'm so excited to see that when it gets done!

Today, the fireplace is being installed, and then that wall can be completed next week. And painting begins on Wednesday next week. PAINT.

You guys, this sort of shit gets me so ridiculously excited, so expect me to be in a good mood for the next few weeks, dammit.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

What do YOU do with your spare time? Me? I'm into bitchy needlepoint...

Years ago, when I was working in my First Real Office Job after graduating from college, I had to travel a lot for work. I lived in California at the time, and worked in Chicago. (Lincolnshire, to be exact.) So every Sunday, I would drive from Carlsbad to LAX and fly to Chicago (through Denver...we used United, primarily), and then work in the office there from Monday through Thursday, and fly home Thursday afternoon. I would work from home Fridays, and then the whole thing would repeat starting Sunday again.

It was great when it came to collecting miles. 

But the whole sitting-in-an-airport-waiting-for-your-flight thing really sucked sometimes. Especially in winter months. Flying through Denver? Into Chicago? Yeah, not always fun in December, January, and February.

I needed something to do with all that spare time (flight delays were common and not entertaining), and I'm not sure where I got the idea, but I decided to do embroidery. On handkerchiefs, specifically. Little flowers, my initials, that sort of thing. Nothing amazing. In fact, I still have my first handkerchief I did back then (it was 1997) is a favorite because of how long it's lasted, but not because it looks super-pretty. The flowers on it look like a hot mess.

Anyway, I've got a friend that mentioned a while back that she heard Judi Dench had a hobby of making somewhat naughty needlepoint works for her costars when she's on set. Here's a HuffPo article about it

I loved that woman enough already, but that pushed her right over the edge into a favorite part of my heart that will live forever and ever, now. 

And it inspired me to do my own random, "naughty" needlepoint work. 

I don't know what to do with these. Maybe sell them in an Etsy shop, eventually. I dunno. But these specific ones are early samplings that I made that are throw-aways. Just testers of sorts. They're in my standard handwriting, and have little flowery designs on them that are traced from random places, or just freehanded.

It's a fun hobby. And soothing. Everyone should have a nice, soothing hobby that allows them to cuss at people in old-timey kinds of ways...

"I need more money and power...and less shit from you people."

"Reawaken - Rebirth - Renew - Reohshutup"

"Every day, I fall more and more in love with you. Well, not every day. Yesterday you were pretty annoying."

If anyone wants one, let me know. I can get them pretty customized, at this point, and if you have a suggestion for a phrase you think I should put into play, feel free to let me know!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Basement Remodel - Picking Some Details

We're at the stage in the basement remodel where we need to figure out some of the finish details. We figured out the flooring, and hopefully, that choice will stick at this point. We've got the cabinets underway, finally, which is comforting. We really should've gotten those started a couple weeks ago, so hopefully they'll be built swiftly and sturdily!

Things that don't seem like a big deal but kind of really are important are the hardest elements to decide on. Like the paint, and the tile, and the lighting. Yeah, we can always paint again if we don't like the color. And yeah, lights can be returned if they don't work for whatever reason. Even tile isn't permanent, for cryin' out loud. But don't be fooled...choosing paint can be stressful. Picking out tile can be fun at first, but then it just can get crazy with all the possibilities. 

And don't even get me started on lighting. I'm kind of obsessed with 3 things in the decorating world: clocks, mirrors, and lamps/lighting. If I could buy a new lamp every damned day, I would. No kidding.

Anyway, it's little things like that that make these details tough to decide on. 

We've been looking at tile here and there, but hadn't made any real decisions. Leo told me that we had some leftover tile from the bathroom project that was out in the garage, and when he started to bring it in, we realized just how much we had left over. I mean, LOTS. So we figure it only makes sense to use that leftover tile down in the's the practical and thrifty thing to do, dammit! Plus, it's good tile. We'll have to order a little bit to cover the whole space, but we're gonna save a bundle this way. YAY! 

This is a random pattern I pulled together yesterday with some of the tiles, just as an idea of what we could do:
I don't know if we'll stick to anything like that...we might just use the light gray, and then choose a fun glass mosaic tile to put somewhere as an accent. We'll see. But it's a nice start! And I'm super-excited about saving a little cash there. :D

We also went out this past weekend and got a few (um, like 7...) paint samples to slap up on the walls down there. We have a couple of different areas, so we'll be doing a couple of different colors in them. And of course, I like around 5 of the samples we picked, so I'm wondering how we can slap them all up without (a) infuriating our painter and (b) looking like we have a split paint personality issue, or something.

This is what they look like in the area closest to the window:
And this is what they look like over in the TV area, which has less access to natural light:
I just noticed that they don't look all that different in those pictures, based on their location in the room. But in person, they do. The one on the far right in both photos is the one we chose...for now. It's called "gale force", and it's a Sherwin Williams color. It's a dark blue that looks really great in the TV area, so that's where it will go. Here are a couple of shots of it on other walls in the TV area...

I think you can kind of see the difference in the paint, depending on the lighting, in that last photo there.

The other spaces will all be a color called "pencil point", which is a Behr color from Home Depot. It's not the darkest gray we picked out, and it's not the lightest gray we picked's in between. It's pretty dark, but it will look great with the wallpaper going up on one wall, and with the tile choices. In the photo below, it's the color in the top row, in the middle:
It will be the color we repaint the office, too.

Since everything else will be painted white (white cabinets, white shelves, white moldings, white mantle), we're looking at the paint as being a good balance in the space.

New windows tomorrow, and maybe we can start the paint in the next week or so. We'll see!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Basement Remodel Update - WALLS! We have *walls*!

The last few weeks of remodeling have been pretty blah. Lots of waiting to hear back about the things we've chosen (cabinets are a bit over budget, but since we went under budget on the wainscoting, we can make it work; flooring is almost TWICE what we budgeted, so we have to find a new one we like, etc...), and rough-in stuff like plumbing and electrical crap that isn't super-exciting when it comes to photo updates.

But this week, they started the drywall install, since we passed our rough-in and insulation inspection last week. And now we have things like WALLS. ::happy dance::

Things don't look hugely different in the TV area. Here's where we started:

Since our main water supply line/shut-off valve is located in the wall where our TV will be, we needed to box it in with special framing and drywall. You can see the access built in to that shut-off valve in the following two shots:

Not much of a huge change there, but we did get the little pony wall built where we'll have a countertop/bar seating area for additional people watching TV, or for us to eat meals on and stuff. You can see a little bit of that in the photo above.

This is a shot of the new "hallway" entrance to the office and workout room. I would have preferred a curved doorway entrance, but that costs a bundle to do, apparently. So I was reasonable and agreed to the squared-off hallway instead. It's a fun architectural element that adds a little elegance to the space, I think. (I hope!)

Here's an area where there HAS BEEN a bunch of change. The new bar area. This is what it looked like at the end of last week, when all the framing and insulation was complete:

And here's what it looks like now that it's been drywalled:

Those things sticking out of the walls are shelf brackets that will hold our floating upper shelves in the bar area. They attached them to the studs before hanging the drywall, and next, they'll tile around them. 

Here's the full back area, now that it's been drywalled:

The left side of the room up there will be where we put our shuffleboard table. It's the perfect space for it!

One of the biggest changes in the overall space has been the former utility room, a.k.a. "The Man Room." It was a large space, and while Leo used it often for woodworking projects, and we stored a fair amount of stuff in there, it was mostly wasted space. And unsafe for woodworking because of the lack of ventilation. Here's what it used to look like:

We took out that big ol' water heater, and put in a tankless one. (We freaking LOVE those little things!) We also removed the work tables that were in there, and cleaned up all the wires headed to the electrical boards, and then put up new walls. This is the new entrance to the space:
This is what it looks like inside there right now:
Our deep freezer is back in that corner, and it won't be living there full time. The door on the right is one that is being re-used in the space. And all those wires are actually worlds better than the wires that used to be going on up in there!

They're mudding and taping the drywall today. I'm hoping that they will put in the new windows at the end of this week/beginning of next week, and that the primer will go up on the walls soon, too. Since we had a delay on the cabinets, we're a little behind in that regard. That might hold things up for a while, actually, so I'll update again as soon as I can. Keep your fingers crossed that everything continues to go smoothly from here!