Posts Tagged ‘Interior’

We introduced our plans for the basement bathroom here. After actually tearing the walls out, we found out that Plan A will not work :/ We were planning on having a doorless shower.Like the image below,you would walk past the glass panel to enter the shower from the left.

Shower Layout

After demo, we found that the entire width of the bathroom will be 7 ft, not wide enough for the glass and an entrance.

One to plan Beta.

We considered a two person shower the full width of the room. The door would have this layout.

Custom_Two_Panel_and_Frameless_Glass_Shower_Door_2009_051but the glass estimates (had to be custom at that width) were $1800 to $2100… our entire budget.

We also considered make the bathroom narrower. 5 by 8  is a very standard bathroom size, and that makes the bedroom 12 feet wide. Our new layout for the basement would be this:

Basement layout

But that would make the den cramped,and it’s the most-used room down there.

We decided to frame-in a standard 5 ft shower and leave the 20 inches to the right (next to the toilet) as a small storage area.

Basement bathroom layout

I’d like the storage to look as much like this as possible.

Bathroom Storage

After demo and modifying our plan, it’s time for procurement.

We got the floor tile, shower drain, and grout from the Tile Shop (40% off black Friday sale, yay)  The tile is porcelain 12 x 24  ‘Burma Negro’ at $3.89 a square foot. It was over budget,but it is super awesome. We spent $945 on the tile materials for both the bathroom and mudroom. 1/3 of that will be used in the bathroom. This picture is from the tile installed in a  mudroom at Fat Hydrangea blog with London Fog grout.Burma Negro Tile

We grabbed this sink (complete with faucet) off Craigslist for $100.

Kohler Sink

The mirrors (KOLJA,$20), lighting (BASISK, $20), and glass shelves (BAREN, $30) were picked up at IKEA.basisk-ceiling-track--spotlights__0138856_PE298668_S4

A rain shower head came from a local Homegoods-style store ($30):


And the ceiling light/vent  (Hunter/Ventura Exhaust Bathroom Fan) was $54 from


The shower door was our big-ticket item. We wanted a frameless pivot-door shower. The Dreamline SHDR-20597210S was $776.

Shower Door

Option B (Dreamline SHDR-21587610) was $542 after a handy 10% discount.


We chose the second, which was $542 beans at . We went about 10% over budget for the shower door, but we’re still doing great overall.

We still need the wall tile, shower pan materials, and miscellaneous hooks, plumbing, electrical outlets, etc. The shower pan materials will be at least a hundred dollars over budget, but that’s what that $345 buffer is for 🙂

Item budget spent
shower door 475 542
floor tile 320 285
sink 100 100
plumbing 100 35
ceiling vent 55 55
glass shelves 50 30
Mirrors 45 20
vanity light 30 20
Total 1175 1087
shower surround tile 500
tile materials 155
wall hooks,etc. 50
outlets, light switches, etc. 25
buffer 345
Total 2250

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We dumped our furniture into the Master bedroom over two years ago, and it hasn’t moved since. We also never hung our pictures 🙂Original Layout

The only thing that bothered me with the layout was the reading chair. There was no where to put my drink, a blanket, Emma’s chew toy when she won’t stop giving it to me, nothing. Plus it’s right next to the bathroom.


And so: Kapow, new layout.


Now I can put my drink on the dresser while reading, and there’s even a table to use  for charging phones (no more windowsill, yay).


I like it.P1050504

We still had the giant blank wall above the bed, though. P1050503We decided to flagrantly steal this blogger’s idea and create a headboard out of 1 by 6s.

We trimmed, sanded, and stained 4 poplar 1x6s with Miniwax Early American stain. Instead of the original blogger’s Command strips, we decided to use a router and a keyhole bit to save about $15. P1050519

Since we didn’t use the Command strips, we had to place all 8 keyholes perfectly,hit studs perfectly, and mount the screws perfectly. As you can guess, it was finicky. I would go with the Command strips next time 🙂 $48 of poplar later, we had this:


My favorite change is moving the bed, we actually notice the view much more now.P1050542

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Our basement is officially gutted.

We’re finishing this floor before we start on the kitchen and the bedrooms upstairs. This way, we can escape the remodel disaster zones and maintain slightly more sanity.

Here is the current layout:

basement layout current

And the intended layout:

New Basement Layout

We’re making some large changes, but we have our reasons 🙂

Reasons 1 & 2: Bedroom-caves

The two rooms down here are pretty useless. They need an egress window to be a legal bedroom.

Bedroom of Cave-ness

The plan is to combine the two rooms into one legal bedroom with a gigantic storage closet. Since we’re turning an upstairs bedroom into the master bath, this will keep our bedroom count at 4.

Reason 3: Terrible bathroom

As we talked about in this post, the bathroom has a terrible layout. Actually, the only thing I like about it is the adorably ugly sink.

Mini Sink

We’ll be removing the space-eating linen closet, and redoing the resulting 7.5 by 8 foot bathroom.

Reason 4: Utility looking room

We’ve introduced this project, also.

Utility Room

We’ll be covering the pipes and wires when possible, and upgrading the floor.

Reason 5: Wandering layout

The basement is currently split with this short hallway.Maze of Doors We’ll be opening the wall up to make the basement feel less cramped and reduce the likelihood of someone getting lost in the maze.

Reason 6: It isn’t pretty

Spider Room

Brick linoleum and paneling is not my idea of a good time.

We started demo in the laundry room. Then we scratched our heads a bit about whether we were starting on the laundry room, the bathroom, or the entire basement. The only thing we used on this floor was our 35 year old dryer and it’s slightly younger pal. We decided to gut the whole floor, and hook the new washer and dryer up in their sad little concrete room full of pipes. At this point, that laundry room is frightful looking.Somehow, it looks worse

After making a mess with the laundry room, we realized that step 1 should have been removing all of our stuff. Whoops 🙂 A ton of it is being sold or donated, and we moved everything else upstairs into a spare bedroom. Just emptying out our junk took most of one day. Note to self: have less stuff .

Then we removed bits of the building 🙂  We listed the paneling, carpet, media cabinet and interior doors on Craigslist for free, and it was gone in a weekend. Someone actually paid us $50 for the carpet… even though it was free.

Less basement

Electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures were donated, and we knocked down the hallway wall and  linen closet. The only trash was the carpet pad, some linoleum, broken trim, and the shower.

Voila! Empty(ish) floor.

Empty Basement

After Demo came Discover. The best thing was this linoleum hiding coyly under the bathroom floor.Beatiful vintage find

I think I may keep it.

We also found 29 mice skeletons in one wall. That’s not an exaggeration; we counted. They had a lizard buddy hanging out too.

The less fun discoveries include water :{ Water seeps between the floor & concrete block in the laundry room.  That seam is easily fixed, but both corners of the basement  have seepage through the wall. Shucks

The adhesive on the floor looks like a puddle in that pic, but only the concrete bricks are damp. Coincidentally, that’s exactly where the gutters drain to. Our plan is to improve the gutter drainage, which should fix it. We’ll waterproof the interior corners as a back-up.

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New Toys!

Evidently January was our appliance month. We were on the hunt for a new washer and dryer. Our 35 year old dryer has a place in our hearts…

Washer Dryer Wall

But no longer in the laundry room. We started at Best Buy hoping to take advantage of a relative’s discount. We glanced over the laundry appliances… but they were twice as much as like-new Craigslist sets after the discount.  A new washer and dryer wasn’t worth that much to us, but I kept being drawn to one of  these pretty things next to the entrance.

French Door Pretty

You’ll notice it does not do laundry. It was, however, a perfect condition floor model at half price. The plan was to find this exact type of fridge used on Craigslist and buy it for about $1000… Eventually.  This fridge was 1.) Not on Craigslist and 2.) $1300… making it  more than my budget :{

But we splurged and bought it anyway. Eventually we’ll move it to the ‘breakfast nook’ wall, surround it with cabinets, and get rid of the peninsula. But we can’t put it there since there isn’t a water connection for it yet 😦

We sold the old fridge on Craigslist for $200,

Ye Old Fridge

removed the upper cabinet, displaying the lovely vintage wallpaper,

Snazy Wallpaper

and then the behemoth slid into her temporary purple cubby hole.

Our Fridge

So far I’m still disproportionally excited that I can adjust the temperature of our ice cream from -2 F to -3 F. Plus, the freezer  drawers on the bottom are more functional for us. The most random feature I like is that there isn’t a tray in the bottom of the ice dispenser. No tray means nothing to turn yellow and gross like this:


After our washing machine shopping resulted in a refrigerator, I resumed stalking Craigslist. We found our new set. They were the Samsung 328 series, white, and about 5 years old. They were being sold by a grumpy guy an hour away, who wouldn’t drop the $750 price lower than 675. We planned to wait a week, call him, and try $600 again.

Grumpy Guy's washer

During our wait, a gray 2 year old LG set was listed for $25 more than the Grumpy Guy’s set. This set was closer, prettier, and I  prefer the LG brand to Samsung. Hence: more new appliances. Well, these new would have cost $2150… new to us for $700 is more our style 🙂Our new Washer & Dryer

Our old washer and dryer sold for $200 in Craigslist for-sale land.

So there are our 3 appliances for the month . Maybe next January we’ll find our oven and dishwasher and be done 🙂

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Utility Room

We have an awesome laundry room. It’s huge, has a great sink, and tons of storage.

Laundry Room

Plus this nifty light.

Clothespin Light

But it also has exposed utility-ness. Everywhere. PS: that dryer works perfectly… and it’s 35 years old.

Washer Dryer Wall

Our goal is to make it look less utility cave, and more like this ridiculously beautiful room. Minus 90% of the budget that I’m sure this thing involved.

Luckily for the budget, we already purchased tile for this room and the basement bathroom, and the cabinets and sink will work just fine.

Priority #1 is to cover this wall. We’re going to frame it out about 4 inches and install drywall. That will make Things 1 and 3 flush with the wall (less wire art, yay). Plus, things 5-8 and thing 9 will be hidden. Thing 4 is getting removed; it’s an incorrectly installed inlet for a backup generator.

Wall of Things

Even after bumping the wall out 4 inches, Thing # 2 (The water pressure regulator) will stick out 4 or 5 inches. The water main shut-off requires access, so it will have a door. We’re planning to build the wall out a total of 12 inches there. It will be as wide as the counter.

Currently, a mess of pipes are hidden behind the washer and dryer Those pipes are priority #2 in operation cover-up.

The pipes are alive

Here’s a sketch from Floorplanner with our goal.

3D Sketch

In front of the pipe shenanigans, we will frame in a front-loading washer & dryer with a counter on top. We’ll put built-in storage ( possibly just two Ikea shelves) on the wall behind them. That will both cover the pipe explosion and give us more storage.

Luckily, we have a 4 ft bi-fold closet doors upstairs that we can use to block that lovely view into the utility closet.Cave of Darkness

Then I get to paint. Any room that I get the brown out of feels like victory 🙂

We already have the tile, the cabinets, and the bi-fold door. Here’s the rest of the budget:

2×4 Expedit Shelves for Built-in (2) 180
Counter tops 130
New cabinet pulls 50
Framing & drywall materials: 50
Paint 30
False cabinet for W/D 30
Plumbing/dryer vent/electrical 25
Overage 55
Total  $  550

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It’s official: The garage is the prettiest room in our house.

Garage Finished

Here’s Cinderella before her beauty makeover in July.

Current Work Bench

We removed the creepy upside-down insulation, doubled the lighting, swapped out the exterior door, painted the ceiling and walls, installed baseboards, and used a Rustoleam Floor Coating on the old stained concrete. We also installed flashing between the garage and 2nd floor (try leaking now, silly garage).


You can see detail of all that mess in Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4.

Since then, we got to do all the fun stuff. First, Michael built a long, narrow workbench with scrap wood and a 2×10 top.

Workbench pt 1

Workbench Done

Then it was storage time. Michael found a rolling drawer tool cabinet for $140 on Craigslist  and we built everything else out of scrap wood. The cabinet isn’t super special, but since I’m an Industrial Engineer and a big nerd, we made everything as visible and easy to grab as possible, like storing the bit-cases open (no more opening a drawer and then still needing to open a case.)

Lean Drawer

All the original pegboards were moved to above the bench, with room for large things and scrap wood under.

Peg Board

A $15 kit from Lowe’s kept the brooms off the floor.

Off the floor!

Michael turned this into a table-saw stand. He also made a stand for his miter saw.

Only MichaelThe shelves that used to crowd the side of the garage walls were painted and moved to the back wall.

The Back Wall

The stands for the table and miter saws have handy-dandy storage (cause Michael’s awesome, and also OCD.) We spent about $15 on each for the casters, but everything else is scrap wood.

Storage yay

We swapped parking spots so that we could store things on the far wall. The shelf on the far right was original, but the plywood storage is new (and very needed). The plywood is resting on two $3 hooks from Lowe’s and roped to the wall.Side Wall

There are shelves behind the canvas drop cloth. Those shelves are hidden to protect things from sawdust and also because, well, who would want to look at all that mess?
Hidey Shelves

We spent $60 on the floor epoxy, another $60 on paint, about $40 on lighting, $30 on baseboards, and $50 on hooks and misc. storage. Less than $250 later it looks significantly better than the cave it was before 🙂

Cave of Darkness

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We have a dining room table! Woot  🙂
Table with Chairs
It started out looking like so:Our Table!

We used the free furniture plan from Ana-White which was based on the $1000 table from Pottery Barn.

We followed the plan almost as-is. The frame went together very quickly. She's got Legs Table Frame

The only modification we made was on the very edge of the frame. The plan called for a 2×2 screwed in through the end-grain… but I didn’t want to even imagine someone sitting on the end of the table if that’s all there was to it. So we used a notched 2×8.Modified End Support

Emma supervised throughout the project 😀Emma always helps

To cover all the fastener holes, we made wood putty out of sawdust (we had plenty), some Elmer’s glue, and the stain that we used for the table. It worked excellently.Homemade wood putty

We  sanded the table surface to death, hoping to get it as seamless as possible. It is not perfect, but it’ll definitely do.Sanding

We pretreated the wood to get a smoother finish, and then used a rag to apply three coats of Minwax ‘Early American’ stain.First coat of stain First coat done!

The first coat turned out terrible. It was very, very blotchy on the Apsen top. The frame and legs were pine, and they turned out great, but the aspen was terrible.Very blotchy finish

The finish improved after the  second and third coats. We finished with three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane.

Second Coat

In the end, the table top finish looks okay. The table overall looks awesome, and I’m very glad we did it. We spent $175, which got us the lumber and iron pipe from Lowe’s, square washers from McMaster-Carr (Part No. 91128a140) and the polyurethane to finish the table.Our new table

For the chairs, we grabbed 6 Anna Slipcover Chairs with linen slipcovers from World Market. We abused a 25% off coupon, and got them for $107 per chair.

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