Basement Progress: Man Cave

When we posted about our basement living room aka the Man Cave, we were just getting the trim on the walls.  Well, we’re back to show the recent changes we’ve made to Ben’s favorite room in the house. 

After filling and sanding 1 million and 1 holes, taping and masking off areas, we were ready to start priming the walls, ceiling and trim.  We opted to use a paint sprayer to apply the primer because we had so much area and detail to cover.  After about four hours, we had the entire basement primed, looking like this:

This shot shows the small hallway and stairs. 

We waited 24 hours for the primer to dry and began spraying the ceiling with Glidden’s Bird Song.  Pass another 24 hour, then we taped the ceiling off to use the sprayer and painted our trim Behr’s Vermont Cream.  We removed the tape and HATED the ceiling color.  We decided to paint the ceiling Vermont Cream, too.  After three coats of white paint on the ceiling, crown mouldings, and trim, we were ready to add some color to the walls. 

I had planned to paint the basement living room Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage, which is one shade lighter than our guest bedroom color.  We had the swatch color matched at Wal-Mart to order 5 gallons.  We started painting shortly upon returning home, but we had major clumps on in our paint.  It turns out, the bucket had been on the shelf past it’s prime, leaving a semi-dry paint clump in the bottom of our bucket.  We returned the paint and got individual gallons.  The paint assistant converted the 5 gallon formula to 1 gallon formula wrong, so the new paint color is in between Silver Sage and Sea Green. 

We were on a huge time crunch, with one week to finish before my due date, so we unpacked our rug and sectional.  This is what our Man Cave looks like today:

The sectional is so comfortable and it can seat a ton of guests.  We still need artwork, cabinet doors and storage, but it’s usable now.

Our 42 inch Insignia TV, which hails from Best Buy was a great buy-on sale because it is last year’s model.  Ben did some internet searching to find the star of the room, his Onkyo 9100 sound system.  He got a great deal because there is a small chip on the back of the subwoofer.  It still works perfectly, shaking the couch during loud action scenes of movies.  Of course, Ben loves it and shows it off to almost every visitor we have. 

We have some finishing to do, like build, prime and paint our sliding entertainment center doors to hide the ugly toys, add shelving and make some pretty storage for DVDs, but all in good time. 

I’m curious to know if we’re the only ones to tackle a project with a short deadline.  Tell me your project and what your deadline was.   The arrival of a guest?  Selling your home?  Or were you having a baby, like we were?

This Thing Sucks: Vacuums

A few years ago, we installed a central vacuüm system.  If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one upIt is so choice.  We upgraded from a canister vacuüm, you know, the kind you drag around behind you, smashing into all of your walls on the way?  Yea, we hated it.  And it didn’t clean very well because it was old.  Ben researched central vac systems and decided he could install one in our house.  I was definitely on board.  Anything to make cleaning easier and more enjoyable, right?

Back then, our basement was unfinished, so installing the PVC piping was relatively easy.  Ben ran the ‘plumbing’ and wiring from our predetermined outlets to the vacuüm itself, which is located in our attached garage, cutting down on the noise significantly.

Our central vacuüm system consists of four outlets, one vacuüm, one 30 foot hose, and attachment heads.  We opted not to install dustpan receptacles in our kitchen because we just get the vacuüm hose out and clean the whole house at once.

We have one centrally located vacuüm hook up on each level.

You can see an extra outlet at the end of the hall, to the left of the door.

The central outlet in the basement is hidden in the toe kick of our entertainment center:

Our 30 foot hose reaches most areas, but not quite all, so we installed one additional outlet at the south end of each level.

The vacuüm hose package we purchased includes the hose, a rug cleaning head, a hardwood cleaning head, and several small brushes and crevice tools.  This vacuüm makes cleaning the miles of trim a breeze because of the reach of the hose.  Vacuuming the stairs has never been easier, either thanks to the light weight hose.  No more lugging a heavy vacuüm up and down the stairs.  No more changing bags, just dumping the 12 gallon canister occasionally.  And, it is easily stored in a small hall closet with other cleaning supplies.

Helpful Hint:  To help decide the length of hose you need, keep your furniture placement in mind.  That will shorten the reach of your hose.

Our Future Projects

So, I’ve shared the list of things we’ve changed in Our Humble A{Bowe}d, but we’re not done working, yet.  Here are some of our major future projects:

1.  Remodel our kitchen.

2.  Pour a new concrete patio.

3.  Refinish our hardwood floors.

4.  Finish part of our laundry and close the ugly out.

5.  Complete our steam room/shower.

6.  Clean and stain our fence.  Build gates.

And some of our smaller projects:

1.  Repaint our interior doors and replace hardware.

2.  New dining table and chairs.

3.  Update bedroom and hall light fixtures.

4.  Finish drawers and doors for basement office, entertainment center and bathroom.

5.  Touch up paint throughout the house, fill any cracks with caulking and maybe repaint our living room, hall and dining room.

6.  Spray paint our end tables and create new tops.

7.  Fill in areas with landscape rock.

8.  Grout our bathroom seam to prevent leaking.

9.  Paint front door outside trim white.

10.  Install a master bathroom fan.

I have some items that I want to replace or find, too, preferably at a great price.

1.  Brushed nickel double curtain rods.

2.  Curtain rods for the basement bedroom.

The list is never-ending.  Maybe we’ll check a few off our list over the summer…  What about you-do you have any lingering projects to finish?

Our Past Four Years…

We have done quite a bit to our humble rancher since Ben bought it back in 2004.  Most you can see, like paint and trim, but others are a little more difficult to notice-if you can see them at all.  So, here’s a little recap of things Ben did before we were married:

  1. Cut out and installed egress windows in basement bedrooms and the office.
  2. Drilled a well.
  3. Installed wood burning fireplace.
  4. Removed siding to add insulation all around the house.
  5. Replaced all upper level windows, enlarging the bedroom windows by one foot.
  6. Replaced the kitchen linoleum with tile.
  7. Knocked down the kitchen wall to create a half wall: 

8.  Closed ½ bath and created ¾ master bathroom.

Changes we’ve made since we’ve been married:

  1. Added trim to the 3rd bedroom and repainted.
  2. Added trim to the guest bedroom and repainted.
  3. Repainted living room and built an entertainment center.
  4. Gutted and refinished main bathroom.
  5. Added oak floors and trim to master bedroom.  Repainted.
  6. Installed a new glass back door.
  7. Finished 1st basement bedroom.
  8. Installed a central vacuum system.
  9. Added trim to the dining room and repainted.
  10. Removed the chain link fence and built a new painted white fence.
  11. Planted 17 fruit trees, boxwood, roses, peonies, lilies, and other flowers.
  12. Installed a larger electric panel and moved it to the laundry room.
  13. Built and hung new shutters and window boxes.
  14. Dug a trench to install the geothermal system:

15.  Gutted and unfinished master bathroom.

16.  Installed a new front door.

17.  Finished office, including built-in bookshelves and cabinets. 

18.  Finished basement living room with painted trim and built-in entertainment center.

19.  Finished basement bedroom with trim.

20.  Finished basement bathroom, complete with 6 foot jetted tub, open vanity and soon to be steam room.

Of course there are several smaller projects we’ve finished, too.

Things I Love About Our House

I’m sure most homeowners at least like their houses.  We love our house, especially some of the features and details.  Here are some of our favorites:

Our deep windowsills:

Our master bath window sill is marble clad:

The pantry above our stairs is great, too, although the doors could use a little love. 

It is huge and holds almost all of our non-perishable food items, paper towels and larger dishes. 

We have added white trim to almost every room in our house.  It seems obvious that we love it, so here are some detail shots:

I love the crown moldings above the doors and windows in our master bedroom.  It is convenient to have the hidden lighting, too. 

The guest bedroom trim is simple, but definitely adds character to the room.

Here’s the plate rack we added to our dining room.  Capped off crown molding and quarter round trim provide storage for large platters, but serves as artwork, too. 

White trim in a basement bedroom brightens up the space and adds interest. 

Our basement bathroom is outfitted with simple trim topped by a shelf, providing a display area and small storage.

What do you love about your house?  Maybe some architectural details?  Lighting?  The layout?