Basement Reno Home Stretch

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now that week 15 of our renovation is over, we are in the home stretch. It has taken much, much longer than planned, but the cost hasn't changed, and we are very happy with the quality. The guys that work in our basement are considerate and polite, so it isn't a hardship to have them here. I could do without the mess, but they really haven't been too disruptive. The main inconveniences are the boxes in the spare room and living room, the chest freezer in the kitchen (which is also handy sometimes), and the garage full of stuff that belongs in the basement storage room. Shot with my 50 mm lens so I couldn't get the whole back wall in the photo!
Our cabinetry was delivered and installed last week. We got maple cabinets, with a dark brown stain installed in our bar. To break up the expanse of cabinetry on the back wall, and to save a few dollars, we installed IKEA's Utby shelving unit between two maple cabinets. Black granite countertops from Peribonka, Quebec will be installed in a few weeks. They've really thought of everything as they installed an outlet for the fridge and also an outlet at the end of the bar (for blenders, I presume!) We're getting a round, undermount, stainless steel sink, and a stainless steel faucet. We have no upper cabinets. I have a really cool idea for art for over the bar. Stay tuned for that.

Below is the armoire we had built to cover up the entrance to the crawl space and the drain vent for the plumbing in the mud room. We have removeable panel in the middle in case we ever need to access the crawl space. DH and I have big plans to put some really big art in that niche. One day.

The armoire will anchor the 'games' area of the basement. We have a games table that DH's late, carpenter grandfather built. We may get that reinforced or put on a pedestal so we can use it for playing cards, doing puzzles, or playing board games.
The armoire's top portion fits board games perfectly, and we have an enormous collection. The bottom cabinets and the drawers (with lovely slow-close hinges! I heart slow-close hinges) will probably end up housing toys for the next few years.

In the foreground, you can make out the cork flooring. It is from Portugal, which goes against the 100-mile basement rule which we have been following for the most part, but it is a sustainable, reneweable choice, hypoallergenic, soft on the feet and attractive to look at.

On one side of the bar is a half wall, which it will share with a large sectional, which we'll be able to afford in about a million years. DH even ran speaker wires, cable, etc. so we won't have any wires sticking out anywhere. We'll have a little TV area there.

The tinted primer on the walls doesn't show the final colour choice. Once I saw the tinted primer, I got cold feet on the colours we had picked in the designer's office. Now that the pot lights are working, I'm even more convinced that changing the colour was a good idea. We've changed the main living area to Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. The bedroom will be Hemp Seed. The bathroom will remain a sea foam green by SICO called Shark Fin. We couldn't afford the back painted glass tiles on all of the powder room walls, so this paint colour is the next best thing.

There is a large bedroom downstairs too, but there really wasn't anything to photograph. It fits a queen-sized bed perfectly, and has a rather large closet. We put one pot light over each bed-side table, and I think it will be a great guest room until Mr. Boy decides he would like to sleep as far away from his parents as possible.

I would show you a picture of our powder room and custom vanity too, but due to a communications problem, the vanity we received will have to be redone and we won't get to see it for a few weeks. I think I will be suggesting to the contractor that clients should have the opportunity to talk directly to the cabinet maker. We had a very good idea of what we wanted, and even had a picture of one which only needed a slight modification. We gave this information to the designer, down the direction of grain we wanted. Unfortunately, this information didn't make it to the cabinet maker. What he made is beautiful and the quality is great, but it isn't what we wanted. He felt bad and we felt bad, but the contractor is taking care of it. I can't tell you how many times they have said things like "we just want you to be happy." And we are!

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