Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Basement: Let there be light!

All of our new light fixtures are in! Along with the switches and outlets! WOO! The electricians came in and finished up everything in one day. While it's exciting to have the fixtures up, it's more exciting to finally have light in a few areas. The bedroom/office had nothing going on, as well as what we're calling the utility room. We (us, contractor, electricians) didn't even notice at first that there were zero lights in the windowless utility room. Oops. Besides getting everything else finished up, they added lights in there. Nothing fancy.

You can get all the details on picking these light fixtures here.

I had the highest hopes for the back entry way light. I am not disappointed. I LOVE IT! I wish it could be in my life more...


That is only ugly door...

The laundry room turned out as expected. Like, but not love. It does really help having more light already and I think it makes me like the paint color more.

I'm hoping that it will work great when everything is situated and I can aim the lighting to where it is needed.

Nothing crazy going on in the main room. They put on the covers...? frames...? I don't know what they are but they look finished now. They also swapped out the miscellaneous assortment of bulbs for ones that are all the same. It is nice and bright. The bulbs they did put in do put off a little bit of warmth, but I think it will be ok because it is fairly cool down there. 

The bedroom fixture was a challenge to capture with it on...

The height of it is perfect. No one will be banging heads on it unless they're jumping on something or they're an NBA basketball player... 

I had been a little worried about the edge of the shade. It was described as string and that's what it is. I actually like it though. This is the only fixture where we didn't stick with a brushed chrome, which I was a little concerned about as well. I think it will work great with the room and as of now, I like it.

You can tell in a couple of the pics that HVAC popped in for the last time too. They installed the weird white covers in the ceiling for the vents and the cold air intake ones elsewhere. They also hooked up and turned on this pump that we now have that pumps the water run off from running the furnace and air conditioner through the ceiling and walls into the fancy new drain for the washing machine.

It's very exciting watching this all come together. It already is crazy that this semi-finished space is in my house! Big things left on the list at this point are paint, flooring, doors, and then just small odds and ends.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Basement: Laundry Room Cabinets

The purpose of actually finishing the laundry room was to make more practical storage for our home. Well, then there is the fact that I am the one that does the laundry and I really just wanted a nice, clean space that I could sort of enjoy while doing the laundry.

Our main storage issues on the main floor of our home are in the kitchen and our bedroom closet. We have exactly 4 cabinets in our kitchen, one that we've added and does not match the others at all. So, we have no real home for things like crock pots and mixers, things that I could probably live without but want and use a fair amount, just not every day. I mostly wanted one big cabinet that I could keep all the things we don't use almost daily.

On the bedroom closet front, our bedroom closet is tiny. We have two bars for hanging, one high and one low. Bill and I both get one and they're both backed full. So, the laundry room tends to be our overflow and the spot that houses the long things that don't fit in our closet because of the double bar situation. I really wanted a big sort of built in wardrobe or cabinet that I could hang up those few dresses I have, Bill's suits, and even our off season coats.

Let's just say, we came up with about 20 different layouts for cabinets and/or wardrobes in the laundry room. Things kept changing in that room, so I kept changing my layout to accommodate what was happening. We decided that Ikea was the way to go in this department. There were lots of options available for us to make things work for us. We could also save money by putting together and installing ourselves. I originally wanted lower cabinets that would accommodate the utility sink and then a big Pax wardrobe for hanging stuff, thinking that shoes could reside in the bottom as well.

To make this already long story that is in reality much, much longer, I'm going to cut to it. Everything was thrown out the window and are down to just focusing on the one wall with the sink for now. We had exactly 6 feet to work with, so we were able to get the 24" wide sink cabinet and the 36" regular cabinet with the high gloss gray Abstrakt doors.

Ikea ended up being really easy, but a pain at the same time. We went on a Saturday and it was crazy busy. The doors for the 36" wide cabinet were out of stock, set to arrive on Monday or Tuesday. We ordered everything else we needed, paid, and went to go pick it up from that area of the store. When we got down there they told us that the counter we had purchased was not available, as in sort of out of stock. They didn't have any in that area, but there were more upstairs, but they couldn't be taken out of that area until that evening when there were no customers in the store. So, we essentially returned the counter top knowing we had to come back for the doors anyway.

That night we put together the cabinets. It was actually really easy, probably more so than some of the other Ikea items we've put together in the past. We did have an issue with the door hinges at first because the directions weren't super clear, but a quick YouTube video search had us all sorted out in about 60 seconds.

We decided to go ahead and hit Ikea when they opened the next morning to grab the counter and miss the crowd. While there was less crowd overall, the kitchen ordering crowd was heavier than the day before. We had to wait awhile to "order" the counter again. We also went ahead and did the toe kick board for below the cabinets (had sort of forgotten about that the day before).

We wanted to make sure we weren't holding anything up and we were hoping that the plumber would be out to put in the sink and finish up in the laundry room on that Monday or Tuesday. Well, we had everything that was absolutely needed ready to go, but let's just say the plumber didn't show up for almost a week.

On Monday morning our contractor actually attached the cabinets to the wall and each others, made sure they were level, and cut & installed the counter top for us. He even had the toe kick board cut to size and snapped on for us. On Bill's lunch break that day, we quickly ran over to Ikea and grabbed those doors that had come in. Poor dude went to Ikea 3 days in a row... It is always insane there, so it's always a slightly stressful trip, even if you're just going to browse.

I'm leaving the film on for now, so they hopefully don't get damaged at all while other things are still happening. I can't wait for everything in this room to come together and hopefully I can figure out the wall opposite of this...

Next up tiling the floor...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Garage Service Door Hardware.

I mentioned awhile ago when I was talking about new door handles and locks that we purchased similar ones to swap out the handle and deadbolt on the garage service door. It would have been that one spot of shiny brass that kept yelling at me to fix it until I did. So, we bought replacements when we bought the others and waited until it was warm enough to not lose any fingers from the cold while trying to install it.

On a recent Sunday, we hit 60°F! HEAT WAVE!

We definitely have some cleaning up to do... Yikes. That door needs a good scrub... And then there is the construction debris floating around along with leaves and pine needles. Then there is that blue pipe that needs to be painted... Let's just say there will be a lot of painting outside this summer.

While they were still in pretty good shape and not all that horrible looking, it was the last shiny brass knob and deadbolt around and it would have bugged me to leave it.

I think it looks much better. Now to just take care of the yard... yikes!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Basement: New Windows & Paint on the walls.

At last, every single window in this house is new and air leak free! Horay!

They put in the new basement windows and started painting the same day. They got a first coat on almost everything, just not the stairway and part of the family room.

I just flew through quick when I was on my way out the door, so I only got a few shots worth showing...

I went over choosing colors in this recent post.

Up first is the Spearmint Stick in the laundry room. I like, but I'm not sure...

Here is the family room with one of the new windows. The wall straight ahead and to the left have the White Clay color on them. The walls on the left are white primer. I'm hoping that once there is trim up with a stark white that it will show better. I may not every be able to capture it well on camera though.

Here is that window close up. I'm not sure why the walls ended up looking orange... But we have three of these. Two in the family room (one at each end) and one in the laundry room. They are a few inches taller then the previous windows. And the one shown above, we will for sure need to add a window well once it warms up. Below you can see some dirt and snow just outside of it.

 Finally the bedroom/office. The window makes such a huge difference. The image without the egress window shows the room with just primer and the left shows the Silver Drop gray I went with with the egress window. Again, the color is hard to show at the moment, there is also no light fixture, so I had to work with the natural light that was there.

It's not the best view, but that extra light is great!

Up next will probably be trim and things like touch ups before the carpet arrives. Bill and I plan to tile the laundry room ourselves, so we need to squeeze that in somewhere too. We're also going to put in some cabinetry, so we have to get that purchased, assembled, and installed as well.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Junk Bonanza - Spring 2014

Over the weekend, my sister and I hit up the Spring Junk Bonanza! This is the third one we've been to. It was almost the 4th, but with my new nephew and my mom's wedding, we couldn't get to the one in the fall.

While my sister has no problem finding things that fit her style and going for it, I am usually more reserved. So, this was the first time that I ever purchased anything.

Bill and I saw this chemistry set box a couple months ago at one of our favorite vintage shops, but it was $75. I spotted this one, which was a little more beat up for only $23. I knew Bill would be excited to own it, partially because it's awesome and partially because we also found out that Bill's dad also had this as a kid.

For now, this it is sitting on top of the hutch in the living room. It may or may not move once our house is back to a state of normal. 

Sorry this one is a little blurry... but I also snagged this clock. My thoughts are for the kitchen above the stove where there is a plugin for such a clock already. I think everything is original. The lady I purchased it from did say she stripped the paint off the frame portion and it looks really good in person. I even got her to go down a bit on her price.

I should have some more updates on the basement later this week. It's been really stressful... and we've been really busy with everything going on. I think once this is all done, I will have a "I wish I would have known" or "what I would have done differently" post.