Friday, May 18, 2012

Our year later.

About a year ago at this time, our basement was a very different place. With much of the dry wall torn out, exposed wiring in new walls, and plumbers digging a hole under the subfloor to rough in plumbing, it was not exactly inhabitable. I whipped it back into shape before we had visitors in mid-July, but it wasn't completely done until this month.

Now it is done. D-O-N-E, done. Almost.

Okay, it's just the hallway that still needs to be finished. The suite itself is complete.

Here is what you see when you walk in.

The sofa is a pullout from Ikea, purchased at a discount because it was a floor model in the "as is" section of the store. The chest that we are using as a coffee table is an old Lane one passed down from my mom. I re-covered the top with an Ikea curtain, also found in the "as is" area. I used the same curtain above the sofa to cover a built-in bookcase. Our foundation wall tops out at the bottom of the bookcase, so as long as the studs were exposed, it seemed like a good idea to make that space into something useful.

The area rug is a 100% wool rug from Pottery Barn. I picked it up there about 5 years ago as a floor model and really love the muted olive greens, aquas, and khaki colors in it.

The wall color is Restoration Hardware's Latte, matched in Sherwin Williams zero-VOC Harmony line, and the floor is actually painted underlayment which I glued and nailed to the plywood subfloor and then filled the seams with wood filler and caulk. At only $10 per 4x8 sheet, plus the cost of paint, it was a cheap way to go for a floor. The floor is painted Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage, matched in Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor paint. The painted floor is meant to be a temporary solution while we figure out what we really want and can afford on the floor down there, but I have a feeling it won't be getting replaced any time soon.

These are the built-ins that I whined about being unfinished back in November. If there is anything about me that has remained consistent throughout my life, it is this: I am slow. Projects take me a long time. I can be meticulous about details and indecisive, too. Not a great combo, right? Anyway, these built-ins are finally finished. The base cabinets came from the ReStore. I removed the doors and have been (slowly) repurposing them, then built new doors and painted the cabinets Martha Stewart Milk Glass matched in Sherwin-Williams Pro-Classic semi-gloss. That is my go-to furniture white paint and I always have some around and ready to lend new life to an old piece.

This is the view from the sofa. Yeah, that is one big tv, which we hung with a DIY french cleat in this post. Scott installed a surround sound system using the three wall speakers around the TV, the sub-woofer to the left of the dresser, and two more speakers in the walls on either side of the sofa. When we don't have guests, this is where we go to watch movies. Scott retro-fitted the top right drawer of the dresser to hold the receiver and DVD player so that all the cords and ugly technology are hidden out of sight.

The dresser is one of the first pieces of furniture that Scott and I bought together. It came from Pier One Imports about twelve years ago. We still love its rustic look and how solid it is.

This is the view of the bathroom that you get when you first walk into the basement. I meticulously planned the placement of the pocket door and plumbing so that the vanity would be in full view when the door is opened. I am thrilled with how it turned out. More on how I built the vanity in this post.

The pocket doors (to the bathroom and to the closet) both came from the ReStore which saved us a lot of money. They are quiet, they are easy to open and close, and they don't take up any valuable real estate in the bathroom or bedroom. Working on this space turned me into a strong proponent of pocket doors!

Here is the bathroom itself. The shower curtain was another as-is Ikea find. I sewed a liner onto the inside of the curtain before hanging it. I love how fresh and clean it looks, and I especially love that it goes from the floor to the ceiling. The exhaust fan that is installed in the shower is super-efficient and allows almost no steam to accumulate in the bathroom. It's a Broan one like this, from Lowe's. It might the the only item in the bathroom that wasn't used or discounted when we bought it, and it was worth every penny.

This showerhead from Overstock is by far the most luxurious thing in our entire house. Coupled with a thermostatic control valve (which keeps the temperature from changing when other faucets in the house are in use), a shower in this bathroom is heavenly.

The tile in here is the same as what we have in our kitchen, Daltile Rittenhouse Square 3"x6" tiles in matte Arctic White. I found a few boxes of it at the ReStore for $1/sq ft and then had to order the rest from Lowe's at $2/sq ft. For the shower niche, I ordered this insert from Lowe's for about $60 and installed it between the studs before putting up the backerboard and tile. It was a challenge to tile (getting the cuts right was the hardest part), but I think it was easier than we expected. We almost psyched ourselves out but ended up getting through it okay.

The tub itself was from Craigslist and required a drive to Denver to pick it up, but it was new and in great shape. It is not a standard tub -- standard length is 5', but our space is only 4 1/2' long, so finding an inexpensive tub was a challenge that required hours of scouring Craigslist. In the end, we found what we needed for half the cost of buying from a retailer.

The toilet is another ReStore find, which we retrofitted with a dual-flush system to reduce water use. We also added a new toilet seat and lid.

The bathroom floor is always a big hit with fact, more than one woman has threatened to lie down on it and take a nap. It is penny tile in light green from Overstock. It is beautiful and smooth and cool to the touch. I did somehow manage to buy the wrong color grout (we used up all the right grout on the shower and when I went back to get more, I accidentally bought a different color...and definitely not a color I would have chosen). But the tile is so gorgeous most people wouldn't even notice the grout.

Here is a shot of the custom medicine cabinet that I built. You can read more about it here

And the super cheap bathroom lighting, which you can read about here.

When my dad stayed in the basement suite for the first time, he requested a desk. Because, know how retired men are. Apparently they still need a place to work. So, I ran out to the garage, edge-joined a few beat up boards, stained them, added a hinge, and attached them to the wall for a folding desk. Scott installed an outlet under the desk to make it easy to keep a laptop charged. Here is the desk in its usual state:

And what it looks like when the room is ready for my dad to visit. He bought himself the little lamp, so we keep it in the closet for him when he's not here. The chair was a sidewalk find that Brynn asked me to pick up and then helped me refinish.

No bedroom is complete (technically) without a closet. So, of course, ours includes a little closet.

I guess I'm not totally done...we clearly need baseboards in the closet. But it is functional. The closet system came from Ikea and was very easy to install. It offers plenty of space for long-term visitors or for hiding Christmas and birthday presents. :)

I've got a couple more small details to show you, like the side table I built from fence wood and the sink cutout from the granite slab in the bathroom. And maybe I'll even show you how Scott retrofitted the dresser to accommodate the receiver and blue ray player. More to come soon!

Psst...check out this post to see why I remodeled the basement. One thing leads to another...


  1. is beautiful! We're wanting to redo our bathrooms and will be looking more closely at the info. you have posted.

    1. Thank you! I'm planning to post a budget breakdown in the near future, so that might help, too. :)

  2. Looks amazing. But, where'd Steve Young go?

    1. Haha! He's in the garage with Jeff Gordon. I think he's hiding behind some plywood right now but I'll be sure to find him a home out in the open before you come visit. :)

  3. Looks gorgeous. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Do you have the name of the Sherwin Williams wall paint color that you matched to Restorations' Latte?

    1. We had it custom matched to Latte in the Harmony line of SW paint. I just took my Latte paint chip in with me to SW and they matched it. :)

  5. Wow! It looks so amazing, you have done really brilliant job...

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Thanks for reading! I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say.