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?

Master Bathroom Reno, Take 2

After we replaced the old furnace with our new geothermal heating and cooling unit, we were able to remove the ductwork raceway in our master bathroom. 

Without the wall for the ductwork, we had enough room to move our toilet and add a 5 foot bathtub/shower.

With a new floor plan, we started to re-remodel our master bathroom. 

The first item to go was the small shower stall.  You can see into our kitchen through that vertical hole.

The toilet and vanity soon followed.  Ben moved the toilet plumbing and we got to work rebuilding.  We had some sheet rock to patch after tearing down the wall, so that was the first change.  Then Ben installed our new bathtub and we built a wall at the end.

We decided to make the end wall a 3/4 tall wall to keep the shower light and bright.

Once our wall was built, we installed out 12 inch square white marble surround.  This is a square lay pattern with glass tile accents.  I love that the marble extends to the ceiling. 

More marble and grainte soon followed.  Ben did a wonderful job installing our absolute black granite and white marble checker board floor.  It definitely makes a statement while being classic.

We let the tile set before grouting with an unsanded white grout.  Sanded grout would have scratched the marble.  To keep with the rest of the house, we installed the same trim pattern we used in our master bedroom.  Unfortunately, we could not completely install the trim at this point becuase we had to move our electrical panel first. 

Here’s a shot of the vanity Ben built.  He even cut and polished the granite! 

I filled and sanded about 1,000,000 holes.  A lot of primer, paint, sweat, blood and tears later, we had a new bathroom!

Master Bathroom Reno, Take 1

Our master bathroom was awkward, to say the least.  Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of it, but here’s a layout:

As you can see, there was a lot of wasted space and even more doors.  The master bathroom, and therefor, the master bedroom, were connected to our kitchen!

Ben closed the door way to the kitchen and added a shower stall in place of the small closet.  The wall on the other side of the shower had to stay because the furnace duct work ran through it and out the roof.  Notice the electrical panel:

Ben ripped up the linoleum floor, replaced it with ceramic tile and installed trim.  Not great, but better than the walk through. 

The original vanity and toilet stayed, too.  Not pretty!

So, after two years of living with this, we decided to take the plunge and renovate the master bathroom…

Office Progress

I’m back to show off more of my almost finished office! 

I was using the children’s desk we have in our living room to run my stationery shop, Customized Stationary.  A little more than a year and a lot of complaining later, I am using my new office!  Ben still has some building to do, but I’m happy as a clam to have more space. 

Before we go into the present day office, lets take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

This is what the office space looked like before.  Then Ben worked his magic.  Summer rolled around and we got busy with outdoor projects and life, so my office was on hold.  Winter came and we started working again, but now we had a deadline.  We were going to have a baby around the end of March 2010.  Time to go into over drive.  We had an entire basement to finish, including my office.  So, 15 gallons of white paint later, we have arrived at our destination.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, MY OFFICE

Once the office is complete, I will have a stack of four drawers on the left side of the desk and four cabinet doors to cover the right side.  I will also have adjustable shelving in the cabinet that houses my computer tower and printer. 

Here is a look at the other side:

 Ben is building the cabinet doors to cover the right sides.

Here we have a door waiting to be filled, sanded, primed and painted. 

Ben is pretty smart and had a few ideas to improve the function of the space.  One idea was under cabinet lighting.  The other brilliant idea was a magnetic backsplash to serve as my inspiration/work board.  (I was planning on using a framed metal board, but this is so much better AND it allows artwork on the left wall).  The original plan was to install painted steel, but we didn’t know how we would keep it in place without ruining the walls and making it obvious. 

Then, my dad suggested using magnetic primer.  Brilliant!  A quart costs between $20.00 and $25.00, but we covered my entire backsplash 6 times (the can suggests a minimum of three thin coats) with one can.  Once the primer has dried, you just paint over it with your wall color and voilà!  Instant magnet board.  The magnetic primer can’t hold heavy items, but it’s perfect for my papers. 

The left side holds three IKEA containers with paperclips, rubber bands and small clips. 


The longer right side is my working order side and it extends around the corner to the bookshelf.  Notice the under cabinet lighting, too. 

Ben is definitely a keeper!  I’m so lucky to have such a talented man in my life.

Bathroom Pinks and Blues

Our main bathroom was an eye sore to say the least.  It was almost completely mauve.  2 inch square tiles covered the floor and countertop.  Pink metallic wallpaper covered all the walls.  Almond (read nicotine-stained) 4 inch square tiles were in the shower and went up to the ceiling cabinet?!  Yes, we had a totally unusable cabinet above our shower.  Here’s our starting point

After using the bathroom as it was for one year, we decided it was time to start over.  The process began by pulling out the awkward cabinet.  Someone seems pretty happy about it.

The next item to go was the tub, tile and sheet rock behind.

Pretty, huh?

Then Ben unhooked the sink and pulled out the vanity. 

After the vanity, Ben pulled up all the pink floor tile.  Then we spent HOURS removing the wallpaper.  We didn’t get very far and scraped up the walls along the way.  Time for plan B.