Thursday, January 28, 2010

Basement Remodel Part 3

A final few details for the basement project:

[Check out how dusty those doors are! Ick!]

In addition to switching out the baseboard (which I really hope happens!), I want to paint the closet doors white. I'm not going to worry about the other doors in the basement, because they'll eventually be replaced.

I'm also going to paint the inside of the closet, which I'm not sure has ever been painted. It's a gigantic storage space and I'm not looking forward to removing all of our neatly packed belongings, but it will look so much better with a coat of paint. Everything looks better with a new coat of paint!

Speaking of paint, I recently discovered that the Glidden website has an online tool to help you visualize color. Check it out, and let me know if you see colors you'd recommend for our basement. I'm still leaning towards "whispering wheat," but I think most neutral colors would work well in our basement.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Basement Remodel Part 2

When you reach the bottom of the steps leading to the basement, you end up in this area (note: all of the furniture in these pictures is from the previous owner):

To be honest with you, it's a very awkward space. I'm not even sure how we should make this a functional space. Maybe I'll be more inspired when it's painted a shade similar to Whispering Wheat (click the second box down in the fourth column, and then the second box down in the third column). A new coat of paint will totally change the feel of the basement. I cannot wait.

Our couch sits in the same spot, right beneath that awesome egress window. It lets so much light into the basement. I love it. I'm going to love it even more when it's surrounded by a honey wheat color. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Basement Remodel Part 1

We're saving our pennies for our bigger remodeling projects [in this order, we think: spare bedroom in basement, upstairs bathroom, kitchen, downstairs bathroom], but that's not going to stop us from making progress on the less involved, less expensive projects that can breathe new life into our little home.

We're going to start with the basement. As a whole, the basement needs a lot of work. There's an entire unfinished room that we want to convert into a guestroom/office and the bathroom needs a makeover. A big one. The family room is a manageable project that shouldn't involve considerable time or investment, so we'll get that project taken care first. I'm going to breakdown our renovation projects into multiple posts so I have something to write about later in the week...

Here's what we have in mind the stairwell:

Looks kind of blah, eh?

The upper part of the stairwell leading to our basement is currently a very scuffed up grayish white. I think we're going to paint it something similar to "toasted oatmeal" (click on the upper right box and then choose the fourth one down in the second column; if you click on the paint chip it will expand to cover your entire screen). It looks a bit darker on the screen than it does on the walls, but it works nicely with the color I think we'll use in the rest of the basement.

G really likes white woodwork, and I think we're going to replace the painted baseboards in the basement (at least we've talked about it) with something like this. Doing so will probably mean that we'll need to replace or paint the handrail leading to the basement. Either way, it needs updated hardware.

I'm not sure what to do about the moulding that separates the wood paneling from the upper part of the wall. We can either paint over it, or remove it and use new primed moulding. Opinions?

How do you paint stairwells? I'm looking at the edge between the ceiling and the wall and wondering if it's paint a clean line (if you look closely at the picture it should be apparent this was an issue for the previous homeowners). Tips? Pretty please?

*G has agreed to most of these changes, but some of them (the handrail) didn't occur to me until I was writing this post. I'm sure he'll agree as long as it's within budget. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Things I Like: Chocolate Brown Bedding

Our heating bill doubled last month. I'll be the first to admit I'm probably at fault for the spike. I could be wearing thermal underwear and a snowmobile suit and I'd still feel cold when the temp is set at 70. I'd rather suffer and be cold than open high utility bills, though, so I'm trying to make some modifications to our daily routines.

The last few nights have been especially cold - especially by the window in our bedroom, which is exactly where I sleep. When we moved into our new home, I packed away the duvet cover we'd used at the apartment because it was too warm to use the duvet and the cover looked horrendous with the room's paint color (which we liked). We've been using a thinner blanket from P*ttery B*rn because it's white and looks good with the egg shell blue walls.

Last night, as the winds ripped against the south side of our house (where our bedroom is), I decided I need to bring out the duvet for the remainder of the winter.

I think I need this to cover it:

Don't you?

Chocolate brown and egg shell blue go nicely together. And frankly, I think the price of the bedding is pretty attractive. Now if I could just convince my husband that we need it (some help on this front would be appreciated, VK).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Living Room Updates

My life right now.

Last October I tested three paint colors on the walls of our living room. You might remember this, because I wrote about it here. After three months (!) of contemplating goldish-tinted hues, I marched through the doors at our local Hirshfield's armed with fabric swatches from our furniture and demanded that one of their color consultants pick the color for us. I'm not sure why I didn't try that approach earlier. I left the store with giant paint cards in "abbey stone" and some shade of blue that looked okay in the store, but horrendous in our living room. "Abbey stone," however, appeared to be a good match.

I purchased paint and supplies, prepped the room and walls, and got to work. Wanna know what really sucks about painting? The touch-up work on the walls that takes place before you even open the paint can. I spent a couple of hours spackling, trying to remove hardware and nails from the walls, sanding paint drips and taping. Trust me when I say there are few things more frustrating than rolling your paint brush down the wall and noticing paint drips that you missed.

I found lots of them.

C'est la vie.

I finished my painting job late Thursday afternoon. The husband and I then decided we should update all of the electrical switches and outlets since the original, almond-colored switches and plates were decorated with several colors of paint from many, many years ago. We spent Saturday afternoon and part of Sunday disconnecting and reconnecting wires and screwing in new plate covers. As part of that process, we learned that three-way switches function much differently than regular switches. I'm glad G had the smarts to navigate our way through that process, because I don't think I could have ever figured it out. In addition to requiring a completely different switch, our wires weren't marked correctly so it took some serious thinking combined with a bit of trial and error problem solving to get the switches to work. It's amazing what that update did for that room.

We also removed the paint covered, dated heat registers and installed new ones. One of the covers was an irregular size and replacing it turned out to be a bit of a headache, but as of last night our new one was in place and looked okay. We'll see what our parents think about that particular piece of handy work...

Next up, we need to install the hardware for our curtains. I tried last night, but I don't have the muscle to get the screw into the wall. G is going to try tonight. I'm anxious to attach the hardware so we can clean up the mess/drop cloths, wash the floor, and move our furniture back into the room.

In related news, I just submitted an application for a kitchen renovation television show. Who knows what will come out of it, but I think our kitchen is a good candidate for a full renovation. We'll see what happens!