Our Basement Renovation Project with Lowes!

When we bought our house we were glad that half of the basement was “finished”.  Well, turns out “finished” was using the term lightly. Not truly habitable, we basically use it as a storage space for our crap.  After we got rid of Andrew’s office to make way for our master bathroom- he had to move his desk down there too.  He works from home, so this kinda sucks for him is BIG way.  So when Lowes wanted to partner up to do a basement makeover with me I jumped at the chance (like, frantically scrambled).  With little Baby Gates on the way and visions of piles of toys in my future, I thought this space could make a great den/playroom and office for Andrew.

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Turns out we have to build out the walls a bit for proper insulation and wiring (the wiring right now is super shifty and exterior) so it will be a little but smaller than this, but here is our overall plan to make the space usable.  A spot for a sofa (sleeper?) and media center, a small bar area for drinks and stuff and an area for a desk.  Obviously when the baby gets bigger and actually plays down here we’ll add some more storage for toys.   To keep things contained (and quiet) I want to use a cool reclaimed wood barn door on a track to close off the door opening to the room.  We also have to add an egress window into the space to make it legal (since we took out the basement door when we did our first renovation upstairs).
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Renovation Planning: The Master Bedroom

We are in the quoting phase of our upcoming addition, which is the least fun part in my opinion.  Spending tens of thousands of dollars on things like insulation, pipes and shingles isn’t as exciting as say, designing your new master bedroom. Not that I’ll have any money left after building this thing and will probably be sleeping on an Aero bed on the floor, but a girl can dream! We all need to have goals, right? :)

I’ve been so drawn to white, neutral and very California feeling bedrooms as of late.  My entire house is more grey, black and white so I kind of want to make this space a little different in my return to TAN and smidge of warmth. I know, tan! I feel like it’s become the forgotten step-sister of the insanely popular grey but I’m thinking it’s time to bring it back into my repertoire.  This room has the feel of what I’m imagining… natural and bright, not too formal but not too casual either….

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My ideal bed would a mix of the one below on my board with a limed wood frame, except with an upholstered headboard in linen or white leather like this one from Bernhardt.  A custom bed isn’t exactly in the cards here, but maybe some manufacturer is reading and will make one like this I can buy!

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Here’s what I’m thinking- light tan/taupe walls, print drapes, lacquer side tables, marble lamps and hints of brass…. oh, and a large print of Paris on lucite panel to wake up to every morning!

 

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1. //  (drapes) 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. Sherwin Williams White Heron // (window seat) 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12. // 13. // 14. pillow made of moroccan wedding blanket // 15.

My two IDEAL drape fabrics would be this Peter Dunham or Christopher Farr Cloth but at $100+ per yard and five widows to dress, that just ain’t happenin’ unless I sell 100,000 copies of my book. So this Lacefield block print may be the answer- a similar look for much less!

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Prep for Spring: My Patio Project

Spring is supposed to begin in a couple of days- it certainly doesn’t feel like it here.  It’s still flipping freezing and hope is waning in these parts.  But as the snow melts (and we pray we don’t get any more) I can start thinking about outdoor living again!!!  In the warmer months I spend as much time as humanely possible outside, it just makes me happier.  So when we bought our house I knew I HAD to get a patio installed sooner rather than later. Luckily, we did to get to design and install a fabulous one last summer thanks to the fine folks at Quikrete ,Pavestone  and Chris Miller Brick Paving.  If you are thinking of adding a patio or re-doing one at your home this spring I thought a little step by step may be helpful!
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We have a long narrow yard, but after living in the city for years it felt like a farm to us. 

1. Product arrives!  Yay!  Site preparation – level patio area and remove any tree roots, stumps, or anything you may find (there’s more on this whole process in my book because it was kind of hilarious/dramatic.)   The fun part of excavating any area new to you is you NEVER know what you might find!

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2. Lay down QUIKRETE HardScapes Base Sand and make it level so the pavers have a level surface to be placed.  Note: slope patio away from any structures for drainage. This protects your basement from water problems which we ALL want to avoid! You’ve seen Property Brothers- wet basements are a HUGE bummer.
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3. Place the pavers on the level surface. I used the Venetian Stone™ Combo 80mm in charcoal and in 4 different sizes to achieve a slightly more “natural stone” look.  The grey color is great and works nicely with the classic New England style of our house.

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4. The pattern, while seemingly random, needed to follow the design so it seemed random.  Follow your plans and the pattern plans to make sure the repeat looks it’s best!  It’s a OCD person’s dream to figure out and perfect this puzzle!

And Here We Go Again….

We have started the process of picking finishes and getting bids on our phase two renovation and addition on our house. This one is gonna be a DOOZY as it’s a big, expensive (to me) job but one that takes this house from being livable to truly functional and enjoyable for us.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore my kitchen and new bathroom but having ONE full bathroom is NOT my idea of awesome. We plan to knock down our garage with it’s bizarre bedroom above (that you access through a teeny Hobbit sized half door) and rebuild a new garage with a master suite above, turning Andrew’s office into the master bathroom AND adding a mudroom, pantry and laundry room off the kitchen. HEAVEN!!!!

But back to the bathroom- I’ve started plotting and planning and am pretty sure I’ve nailed down the look I want. This is a SMALL master, and since we never take baths we’re opting for a big walk in shower instead of a tub/shower combo seeing as our current full bath/ soon to be guest bath has a tub if need be.  I am thinking this time I’ll go with brass.  I just love the richness and warmth and we already have a chrome/Cararra marble bath so why not mix it up a bit?

I have been madly in love with Walker Zanger’s Helsinki floor tile forever. And since it’s a small floor I am hoping I can afford to use this in there. It’s stunning. Pairing it with a grey vanity, white Caesarstone top (no more stains!) and two recessed sinks I think I’ll be a happy gal.  I looooooooove these Restoration brass rivet medicine cabinets, especially when paired with these Crate & Barrel sconces.

The shower will be simple with white beveled subway walls with white grout and white penny tile floor with darker grey grout (hides grime).  AHHHH, I’m getting so damn excited now!

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A close up of the plan….

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The Best Christmas Gift.

Christmas was lovely, but the most exciting gift? Plans my dad did for our new addition and exterior renovation!  Not sure when this will get underway, but it’s so awesome to get to visualize what we can do! A master suite, laundry room, pantry, mudroom and expanded entry! YAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!  Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday!!!!

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