So many projects, and so little time. Each weekend I am trying to tackle something. However, a few must be devoted to seeing family and friends, and the to-do list is longer than ever. About a month ago I had a few days off and used them to work on as many home improvements as possible. The
ugly unfortunate looking finished part of the basement was something I’d really been looking forward to making some changes to. Truly it was the most un-apealling area of our home, and it needed some help.
First of all, it still had a pile of unpacked boxes in the corner (soaking up water too, I found, yuck.) Then there was the tangled nest of cords that irked me. (Right after moving my husband wanted the TV set up, and he did it himself since I was otherwise occupied. He and I have different takes on cable management, so there was a nest of unknown wires clumped behind the console for months until I got around to beautifying the basement.) 😀 Aside from these eyesores close to half of the walls had somewhat white paint that was very dingy and marked up. The remaining majority were vintage wood paneling. The floating floor has a bit of a moisture problem and is bouncy and uneven with rot underneath, and I have plans to eventually rip it out, waterproof, and install tile. The baseboard trim was very beaten up, scratched, and generally looked bad. Some wasn’t even stained, clear coated, or painted at all. It still isn’t, actually. There is a drop ceiling, which I don’t prefer but understand the need for, but it has the big oblong kind of tiles with the institutional worm-eaten finish that just doesn’t scream cosy or anything pleasant. With the moisture and their size they sag unattractively too. My plan is to replace them with square tiles that have a smooth and recessed finish, like this. Oh, and there were dark luan doors with chipped, shiny-brass handles and really old vertical blinds blocking the casement window. Sounds great, right?
Here are my before photos:
Funny how it doesn’t look so bad in photos.
So, I took down the blinds and changed the door knobs to my preferred brushed nickel. Much better! At first I thought that a cheerful yellow would liven up the space and go well with the tone of the Pergo, the panelling, the sofa fabric, and so on in spite of it being out of character and my husband detesting the idea. I tried it anyway, and didn’t like it at all either. Probably I chose the wrong yellow, but I went ahead and wasted a few hours only to decide to repaint immediately. Our favoured grey was yet again the answer, I thought, but it took a moment to settle between the lovely paint, “polished limestone,” from the hallway upstairs and master bath or “silver tinsel” from my sewing room and the flat I lived in before moving into my husband’s. Note: I should come up with something to call him on this blog, because it feels really odd to keep repeating “my husband!”
Afterwards I painted the worn out trim and one of the doors with “coconut ice.” I think it was the biggest and best change. Now I am considering to paint the panelling as well in the grey and the rest of the trim. It could look nice and sort of like the New England seashore, but I’m nervous to make such a permanent alteration. I’ll hold off on that decision a long while.
… and the grey:
Last weekend we were near a Restoration Hardware outlet when visiting family and had a nice time browsing and dreaming. My husband really liked certain heavy and sort of Spanish-medieval styled stuff that I think is a bit much, but we also found some things to agree on. I prefer more simple and rustic things mostly. We are searching for a media console, and I might try to transform a thrifted one if I can, but it was helpful to discuss what we like and don’t like. Besides this he has found that he loves leather chesterfield sofas and ottomans, and we are dreaming of replacing ours. It is all fun to contemplate: the floor tile, furniture options, and such.
I want to mention and link to two wonderful things that we have in the media room. First of all is Litter Robot. It is hands down the most amazing appliance I can think of besides refrigeration. I’ve had cats all of my life, too many cats at once according to most standards, and Litter Robot has been a wonderful change. It is really expensive (Jebus, I think they raised the price a couple hundred too!,) but since it actually works and doesn’t bog down or break like the other automatic litter solutions that I’ve tried I have to recommend it highly. I do save a lot on litter compared to a regular box too. Unfortunately, my husband’s cat never adapted to it, and I need to provide a normal litter too, but my four were much less work thanks to it. I love it.
The next item is a cheaper dehumidifier. I knew we needed one, and when I saw that they generally start at well over a hundred dollars I was annoyed and didn’t know which to choose. I opted to try out this cheaper unit since it was less investment but actually looked nicer than the more expensive ones, and I highly recommend it too. I ended up buying another for the unfinished part of the basement too, and it works just great. Hmm, I should mention that we have a Roomba in the media room too, and even though I don’t consider it a vacuum replacement it does help the tracked litter situation tremendously well. (I would have a litter capturing tray with carpet if the problem-kitty didn’t think it was an extended litter. Those work too otherwise.)
So, there is a post. 😀