A Look at Last Year

2016 was another busy year for us, chock full of projects.  As usual, some are bigger than others, but much of this year included tearing our basement down to the studs for a complete rebuild.  What started as a paper plan and vision in our heads, along with a lot of physical labor, has become five freshly finished and functional rooms.

The Mud Nook:

Previously this was an unfinished, under stair storage area with a door at the end.


To eliminate an annoying door swing and give the garage entrance storage, we took 18 inches from the stair storage to put in a bench, shoe cubbies, and tons of hooks.  It has come in so handy over this snowy winter, allowing all the snow pants, coats, hats, gloves, and boots to dry while keeping them off the floor.


The Laundry Room:

Before remodeling, the laundry room worked, and had a good amount of storage, but didn’t completely suit our needs.

To pack as much function into this 8 by 9 room as possible, we stacked the washer and dryer, added an upright freezer, a kitchen sink, and open shelving.  And that’s just the left side!  Across, we added two drawer stacks, including pull out drying racks, a folding counter and cabinets above, as well as a tall cabinet to hold the ironing board and vacuum.


Along with taking 18 inches from the under stair storage, we also straightened out the angled doorway, gaining a longer mud nook.  By doing so, we created a deep closet with shelves at the back and hanging rods toward the front.  There’s still access under the stairs through the closet, which is a hidden play space for our boys.

Theater Room:

Though technically considered a bedroom, the larger of the two spaces is being used as a theater room.  In the second and  third photos below, the painted door was a small closet.

In order to access this room, we removed the small closet to connect it to the hallway on the other side.  At the back of the long room, we added a wall to create a closet behind, hence the door to the right of the tv.  Oh, we also have blackout curtains now to get the room really dark.

Basement Bathroom:

The 70’s called, and they wanted the bathroom back, so we happily gave up the yellow fixtures and orange countertops.  And the glue covered floors, which had stinky pet stained carpet before.


We ripped out the narrow shower stall, replacing it with a wider marble clad enclosure, slate floors, and a custom vanity.

Horizontal Stair Railing and Slate Floor:

While the basement ceiling was open and we had access to the stair railing, we jumped at the chance to swap out the very traditional, orange oak rail and banister.


The simple railing blends in nicely with the tongue and groove wall and is a neutral background for the living room.  Slate floors finally replace the super traditional stained cream marble with inlaid tile rug.

Deck Makeover:

Technically, we finished the deck the summer of 2015, but it wasn’t until May of 2016 that we actually found furniture for it and started getting use out of it.  This was a complete tear down, resulting in months of working on digging post holes, setting posts, building a roof, laying new deck boards, attaching a modern rail, and staining.

We now have a cozy place to enjoy our view, grill, and relax.

Garden Update:

Yet again, the majority of work here had been done before 2016, but as the plants continue to grow, it’s fun to look back at the beginning stages of creating our backdoor oasis.


Seeing these pictures really make me miss all of the life and color that are outside, but I’m so excited to get back out there come spring.


To see more of the progress we’ve made since buying this house, check out our Four Year Home Tour, parts one, two, and three.

We’ve already started on one of this year’s big projects, and I can’t wait to share more soon!

5 thoughts on “A Look at Last Year

  1. I found your blog last year and I’ve really enjoyed it. Y’all got a lot done last year! It’s looking so good.

  2. You have done so much to make this place your home. I love the basement mud room! Hoping the pool room is on the list for this year.

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