Project Down Under: Bathroom Process

I really stink at the bits and pieces posts, but oh well.  We are down to the 10-15% of the basement — that portion that seems to take a REALLY long time.   I need to break out the big girl camera and take some shots!

The one room I haven’t mentioned yet is the full bath.  We wanted to put a full bathroom in for guests that may camp out in the basement.   It turned out to be a REALLY large room so there is plenty of space to toss an air mattress down in the corner for those last minute guests.

Here is a really bad sneak peak at the floor and vanity.  It is really hard to get a decent photo with the lack of light in the back hallway.  I did turn on my (favorite) sconces, but they were too bright.  I will figure this out!

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One of the hardest decisions was the sink/vanity.  I wanted a pedestal sink, but the husband wanted a vanity for storage (we have a giant space off to the left that will either be a closet or cabinets and shelves).  As you can see, he won.  There weren’t a lot of choices out there that I liked and that were under $1.5 million and I had to be reminded again (“it’s our basement”).

So, for the bathroom, we still need:

  • Working faucet
  • Shower walls
  • Finish caulking around the shower
  • Shower head and dial installed
  • Towel hardware
  • Decor!

Stay tuned.

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Project Down Under: Kitchenette Cabinets

We are making a lot of progress on the basement.  She is  slooow but steady.  I can’t wait for the FUN part of actually decorating this place.

Here is the kitchenette from a few weeks ago — I need to update it with my favorite new lighting over the sink.  I’ll tease you along and make you wait for more.

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Due to Uncle Sam and his greedy taxes, we may have to do a Phase 2 for the appliances.  #highwayrobbery

Also, I am PROUD to say I finished the whole30 program today and I feel pretty damn good.  30 days without peanut butter is a sacrifice but I did it.  I am 10# down and haven’t had a stomachache in… guess.  Yep, 30 days.  I am actually going to do a semi-Whole 45 and introduce a little PB back into my life and see what happens.

PS, does anyone even READ this blog anymore?  Sometimes I feel like I am talking to myself.  Give a lady a shout-out if you read this post.  :)

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Project Down Under: The Beginning.

I am going completely out of order on the basement blog posts, but OH WELL.    That’s what happens when you remember you have a blog about décor/design/DIY midway through a décor/design/DIY project.

When we started planning the basement, my husband and I both agreed we wanted to employ an architect.  We wanted to make the space functional while eking out as much useable space as possible.  And since I walk around various houses thinking, “god, didn’t this builder use an architect?!”  (sometimes I just think there is the goofiest mis-use of space or a randomly placed window/door, etc.)   I thought I would practice what I preach.

Our architect took our vision and just sort of tweaked it and made a few recommendations. (by the way, if you are local, I highly recommend our architect!  You can find her here.)

Here is the original plan:

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However, when we moved a bunch of giant piles of crap, our contractor noticed a few pipes and made a recommendation to flip the kitchenette and TV zone to save us money on plumbing.  I think it all worked out for the best.

On one side, we have the “entertainment zone” that will someday house my husband’s 10000000” flat screen TV.    There will be cabinets on either side with shelving on top

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The plan is to remove the front panels on the cabinet doors and install screening such as this so that the electronics can “breath.”

The cabinet on the right hand side will actually be modified a bit to house our sump pump.  Speaking of that, we also installed a back-up system after a near disaster after the great thaw of 2014.  We will still add the screen to the front, but NOT remove the panel so that it will muffle the noise.

On the other side we have the kitchenette .

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We opted out of the typical stand-behind bar set-up as we didn’t want anything so permanent and wanted some flexibility with the space.    This is where I feel very self-indulgent when I start describing our plan.  First, I need a double oven.  That “need” may only happen 3-4 times a year, but I still “need” it.  We could have modified our kitchen to include the second oven, but thought it would be easier to add it to the basement as we were starting from scratch.  Above the oven will go a microwave that we already own.   The original plan was to add a dishwasher drawer instead of a full sized dishwasher.  But, this would increase the cost of the cabinets since they would need to be custom.

Fortunately, we have a very nice stainless steel fridge in the garage that we can move downstairs…otherwise, I’m almost penniless with the construction and other appliances!

That’s it for now.  More to come!

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Project Down Under: Paint

The perils of picking paint!!

I always (strongly) suggest my clients get a few paint samples and do large (e.g., 3′ x 4′) swatches either on the wall or a piece of poster board.  You really need the size to judge the color.  The teensy paint chip won’t cut it.   Plus, you always need to try it IN THE space with all the variability of lighting that takes place.  It’s amazing how the actual space and lighting can impact the color.  Otherwise, you will be out $40/gallon and your time… that is, unless you have a professional paint it.  Then, take that amount and multiply it by a million.  #commoncore

Did you know Home Depot sells this nifty little post-it type thing (called the “Sure Swatch“) to paint on and THEN you stick up on the wall!  For only $.98 apiece you can more successfully choose your paint color.

My first issue with the basement paint color is I was limited by my husband’s need to save money and go with Behr paint.  I was already aware of two popular gray colors I could choose, Dolphin Fin and Silver Drop.   I dutifully used the post-it method and we chose Silver Drop.  However, as you can see in the photo below, it looked REALLY beige – not the direction I wanted to go in (the largest swatch on the left).   So, at 10:00 pm, 8 hours before the painters came, I threw up as many gray samples as I had on hand and went crazy.  DECISIONS!

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We ended up going with Dolphin Fin after all.  On the swatch, it looked like it had a lot of green undertones, but it looks fine on the wall!  It might be the second or third one on the left… I can’t even remember.  Photo coming soon!

For the bathroom and the workout room, I had Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl matched in Behr paint.  It went on swimmingly.  Much darker than normal, but those rooms don’t have any natural light.  Photos coming soon!

 

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The Project Down Under

Once again, I am almost at that 6-month mark between posts.

I know I have explained that my creative mojo has dwindled… but somehow in the mix, I forgot I had a BIG new project in the works…. my basement!

We have waited over 5 years for this project to start and desperately need the space (sleepovers, entertaining, March madness addictions..). The absolutely BEST part is my WORKOUT ROOM! WOOHOO.
I really hope this will instantly allow me to shed 25+ pounds.

Here are a few photos to gaze upon (iPhone photos, sorry):

Looking into my WORKOUT ROOM!  The open space in the back is the crawl space.  We are going to have the access on the other side of the basement and build cabinets back into this space.  I can’t stand the giant wasted space of a crawl space…

If you want to see some ideas for the workout room, you can check out my pins here. 

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This is the view as of yesterday.  When you walk down the stairs, there will be a kitchenette to the left (with plenty of cocktails) and the entertainment zone to the right. Having the drywall up gives you a true sense of how big/small the rooms are but the dust is making me cranky and stabby!

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From a design perspective, I really am trying to make it a part of our overall house — to make it flow.  Keep it consistent.  But I am battling with a very persnickety client who wants a man cave.  I DON’T want this. Not judging… just not me.  I will however, carefully curate the sports paraphernalia and work it into the scheme!   If you want to see some of my basement ideas, check out my board here.

I still need to do a couple of design boards, but I have ONE done for the bathroom.  What do you think?

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Hopefully I will have more time and energy to keep these posts going!

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My Christmas Home Tour…

…basically starts and stops here.

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I did manage to empty a box or two.

Technically, I do have the tree up. And the nativity scene. And cookie crumbs. And the world’s laziest elf.   But that’s it.  And I canceled my yearly cookie exchange.  What’s wrong with me?!

This post validated me.

Merry Christmas!

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Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

I seem to be on a 6-month posting schedule here. It’s to the point that I almost forgot my username and password. I am slowly starting to get out of my decor/project slump but I am still struggling.  Am I the only one who goes through this? Seriously, I want to know.

I’m still incredibly busy at my corporate job. And, still trying to manage life as a soccer/swim mom. (Side note, my kids did swim team for the first time this year and NAILED it). The DIVA was her normal competitive self and ended up moving up heats at every meet and went to the Championships on a freestyle relay. Grand Slam did pretty well. That kid has so much natural ability but lacks a little of that competitive sprit! #supercompetitiveproudmama.

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Summer has flown by, too.  Swimming, beloved family visits, 21st bday party for my baby-niece (see the AWESOME cake below expertly crafted by my sister…SHE IS MARTHA).   It makes me tired but happy…

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Anyhoo, I have a few things I need to finish around the house. Perhaps if I list them here, I may have some sense of accountability! Here goes:

1. Finish Curtains in Diva’s room. I need to buy the hardware and sew the pom-pom trim on the panels. PLEASE LET ME FINISH THIS BY DECEMBER 31st!  Here is a sneak peak at her gallery wall:

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2. Paint the son’s desk and chair. I need to decide on the paint — I’m tempted to get another quart ($$$$) of the Annie Sloan Chalk paint
3. Repaint my kitchen table.  This sorta stresses me out since it needs to LOOK good and not get all mucked up.  It’s a Crate and Barrel pedestal table and it did not stand the test of time.  It’s almost like C&B didn’t think any food or drink would be placed atop.
4. Prepare for the great basement redo! I am currently rounding up all my options on pinterest so go take a look if you fancy!

I am also itching to start some other projects (paint the dining room) but I am telling myself I can’t start anything until I get the other nagging projects done.

I promise to try and write more in the upcoming months.  That is, if there is still that one special reader left?!

Stay gold,

SNM

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I won a Liebster Award!

 

liebsterawardI won a blog award!  I go away for 6 months and lo and behold…an award bestowed upon me from a dear reader, Jane!   There was a list of questions I had to consider and reflect upon.  3 weeks later, I have answers.

If you were stranded on an island and could bring only three things, what would they be? (You can be as practical or impractical as you like):

  • Umm, lip balm.  Black Chapstick brand.  It’s my crack.
  • My iPhone with unlimited battery and Wi-Fi
  • Brita water filter

What is a habit or quirk that you have that people close to you have pointed out?

  • Well, if you are a blood relative, there are probably 1.3 trillion quirks you would post here.  So I don’t know where to start.  I have been told that I hold my beer bottle like a sailor.   And, I tend to be slightly overdramatic (I have a degree in Theatre… just getting a little return on my investment).

What fictional character from a movie/TV show/book do you most relate to? (or are similar to?)

  • I used to be 1 part Felix Unger (The Odd Couple) with 1 part Monica Geller(Friends).  However these days, I feel like Frankie Heck (The Middle).felix__1236003120_0507

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What is one lesson learned from this year that you would like to share with us?

  • To forgive others before it’s too late.  Just do it.

Thanks again, Jane!!

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Gulp.

Yup. Sniff.

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Serena and Lilly Pondicherry Headboard

Remember our DIY headboard?

It was modeled after this hefty lover. She ain’t cheap.

However, according to one of my FAVORITE blog-broads, here is an alternative for those who don’t want to get their hands dirty bloody!

Go!  Buy!

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