Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Basement Renovations: Part II

I was just looking through my previous post about basement renovations. I had almost forgotten how ugly our basement used to be and how far we've come.  If you haven't seen that post (or want to refresh your memory), check that out and then come back to read this post.

Last I left off, we had these items to complete:

- paint the walls (including a feature wall or two)
- paint the baseboards and install new quarter-round
- switch out the light fixtures
- decorate (I'd love to put shelving around the fireplace -- not that I have any carpentry skill, mind you)
- figure out what to do for window coverings

Kudos goes to R for doing all of the painting.  A huge thank you also goes to Akheela from Create with Mom.  I was luck enough to win some Shur-line painting supplies on a giveaway she hosted (here). Photo credit also goes to Akheela.  These products definitely came in handy during painting.  Particularly the one-step extension rod that allows you to smoothly extend when you're painting higher walls.

Even though all of the paint we buy is Natura brand, which has no VOCs, I was exempted from painting because of being pregnant.  So, while I was on a solo trip to Toronto, R spent the weekend painting.

Here's the feature wall.  I expected more of a green tone.  But, it came out looking like a dark chocolate brown, which I am happy with.

As you can see, we still had the quarter rounds to do.  Thankfully, our friend had a scissor-like contraption (used to make 45 degree cuts in the quarter round) and a nail gun to lend us.  So, we were able to get the quarter rounds done ourselves.  Once we got going (and visited our handy neighbour to show up how to properly load nails in the nail gun...yes we're that green), it was fairly easy.  Of course, it took us way longer than it should reasonably take a person to get the job done.  But, like most things, you forget the pain once it's over.  

We disliked the colour we originally painted the den (when we moved in about 3 years ago).  Pretty much immediately after the paint dried, we felt that it was too bright for a den.  We also used this colour in one of our bedrooms upstairs, which is currently used as an office space, and I think it works much better in there.  

I much prefer the new colour.  It looked a bit prison-cell greyish when wet.  But, it's a really nice blue-grey.  It's hard to capture the true colour in a picture, but this one is pretty close:

Next on the list....light fixtures.  We don't have overhead lighting in the main area of the basement.  I'm not sure why builders do (or did) this.  But, since we didn't plan to do any hardwiring (and I'm not crazy about the lights that were there, shown below), we decided to switch out our fixtures for some track lighting that would help to bring more light into the space.  


We picked up some simple track lights from Ikea and sold the 2 older fixtures (as shown, above) on Kijiji.  

Can I just take a moment to say how much I love Kijiji?  I've had such great experiences with the website.  In addition to selling these fixtures on there, we've purchased kitchen stools, dining room chairs and a glider on there (all in new or good quality condition).  The trick is to be patient, but check back regularly (daily or more frequently if there is a lot of activity/demand for the item).  We've also put up a few things for free on there (I was just happy to have someone pick up the items and have them be put to good use).  This resulted in an on slot of e-mails.  Of course, I'm a bit paranoid about having people come to my house (or going to theirs) for the actual exchange of money and merchandise.  So, I make sure that R always accompanies me.  

Next up is window coverings.  This was a whole learning curve for me.  I started at Fabricland.  Maybe your local Fabricland works for you, but every time I go there, I leave in a bad mood.  I feel overwhelmed by the rolls of fabric and underwhelmed by the "service."  I know I'm not alone in my experiences there.

Next we went to Rockland Textiles.  R get major props for this because there was a hockey playoff game that night.  I remember this because he reminded me several times while we were looking at fabric.  The service, in store, was good.  But the follow-through wasn't.  My fabric was supposed to arrive later in the week.  It was postponed about 5-6 times.  After a couple of months of this 
(and customer service that was tantamount to someone shrugging their shoulders as if to say, "oh well, we're not responsible for this"), I decided to just cancel my order.  

Finally we had success at C&M Textiles.  I found them to be very helpful every time we went in (about 6-8 different visits).  You get individualized customer service (someone actually helps vet the options for you) and the timing on their products is reliable.  Since I was planning to make my own curtains, they were really helpful in explaining the options and how to actually make the drapes.  

After some time researching online, I decided to go with a double pleat.  Now, I'm no sewing/curtain making expert.  But my mom did send me to sewing classes when I was about 12.  So, I have some basic recall of how to sew.  Really, the job wouldn't have gotten done with my stepmom's helps.  She's a quilter, who used to sew her own clothes.  I'm sure she didn't exactly loved spending most of her time visiting me in Ottawa cutting and pinning fabric.  But, it was all couched in the context of having a long "to do" list before the baby arrived.  

Anyway - 11 yards of fabric (plus lining) later...

Aside from being time consuming, the hardest part was figuring out the math on how thick each pleat (and space between the pleat) needed to be in order to end up with a panel that was appropriate to the width of the window.  Overall, I'm happy with how the drapes turned out.  But, I'm hoping that the pattern grows on me a bit more.  Maybe when the room is complete.

Last item on the (previous) list is to furnish/decorate.  That's a work in progress.  Here's where we're currently at: 

I like the look of layering pictures.  The large picture in the middle is one that we took while in Melbourne.  I got it printed on canvas through canvaspop.  I'm going to switch out the photos in the left frame for photos of Ms. E.  Eventually, I will nail some frames to the wall. 

and the den...

So..both, still a work in progress.  But, it's getting there.

Also to be completed is our laundry area.  It started out pretty miserably:  

The laundry machines were old, inefficient and didn't really clean the clothes very well.  The tile you see to the right of the washing machine was sticky tile that had lost its stick and was then nailed to the wall by the previous owner. 

So far, we've removed the tile and patched these kinds of holes in the wall....

We also replaced the curtain, purchased new high efficiency front-loading machines, and painted the room.  The washer and dryer turned out to be larger than I expected, so the space is really tight.

So, next we'll be stacking the dryer on the washer. 

We'll also finish the tiling on the floor (it's not looking great at the moment - see photo below) and then putting quarter round in this room.  I'd also like to figure out a shelving solution (or perhaps a small laundry folding area, where the dryer currently is, with some storage) and perhaps update the lighting fixture (unlike the previous owners, I'm not a fan of gold finishes).

Lastly, I'd like to figure out some options (tile?) for around the sink area.  Since we use this sink to clean off paint brushes, the wall often gets splattered with paint.  I'd like something that will allow for easy removal of paint.  Any suggestions????

If you've made it this far in the post, kudos to you!  Sorry if it's too detailed.  A lot of my motivation behind the post is selfish -- I just want a reminder of where we've come from and all of the work we did in the house.


Torviewtoronto said...

beautiful and colourful choice of colours and decor lovely post thank you for sharing :) Akheela

That Girl said...

It turned out so well!

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