Category / Homebuilding

Basement Update: Into the Home Stretch

I last posted some updates about our basement bar/living room here, and the guest bedroom / bathroom here, earlier this winter.

Since then, it’s been flooring glory!

Basement Progress | www.lifeinyellow.com

Beginning in the bar, we put down a “luxury vinyl” (that term kills me) at the recommendation of a couple different flooring experts, because of the fact this is basement level. It’s still dusty in this pic, but we love the variation in the color, and the texture that looks like real scraped wood.

Basement Progress | www.lifeinyellow.com

I’m totally psyched about how the cabinet color turned out (“Cascade” by Sherwin William), and it was all in all a piece-of-cake job. The bar will have some copper accents, including this cabinet hardware. After weighing a TON of counter options, we’ve decided to stain some butcher block for the counters to match tones in the floor, and keep some woodsy depth going — it was starting to feel like a light of “light” between the carpet, paint color, and white trim.

Basement Progress | www.lifeinyellow.com

In the bathroom, we went several rounds of plumbing WTF moments — the super short version of a very long story is that our basement was originally plumbed for a tub/shower combo — not what we wanted. And because the builder had already been in here once to jack up our foundation and move the pipe once before (it was originally placed in our storage closet on the other side of the wall — face palm), we didn’t want to do that yet again. So we settled for an above rough-in “special” (read: expensive and must be custom ordered — budget increase/timeline delay GRR!) shower pan insert. To make it feel as little contractor grade as possible, we opted to surround it with subway tile up to the ceiling, and hopefully draw eyes away from it altogether. I love the contrast of the dark grout on the white tile, and grounding it all with the dark floor tile and light grout that makes it pop.

Basement Progress | www.lifeinyellow.com

A standard shower door won’t fit the space and while we looked at some alternative options, we are MORE than happy to put in one of the many cool rod options I’ve seen popping up, along with an extra long curtain and call it a day down here. This portion of the project ended up way over budget, both in time and money, and I’m okay that a curtain tucked to the side still shows off the tile. A toilet, some trim, and a vanity that Page would like to build himself will finish up this bad boy.

Basement Progress | www.lifeinyellow.com

The basement is just one of many projects in the works right now, but as soon as there’s more to show (hopefully just a final “DONE” tour!), I’ll be back!

The Latest in the Basement: The Living Room, Bar, and Golf Simulator

I’ll let the photos do most of the talking here, but as you can see, more progress has been made (and there is still a lot to do!). I’m LOVING the carpet in our living room area, and while I know it serves a technical purpose, I’m really feeling that black ceiling in the golf simulator area!

Picture turf flooring in that space, and behind it in the bar area, this plank vinyl flooring¬†in “Weathered Wood”.

We are doing a few base cabinets (gray by default, but getting painted our exterior color, Cyberspace)…

(and yes…we will set the trash cabinet right side up) ūüėȬ†

…and we’ll be adding a couple appliances to the arrangement to include a dishwasher and fridge. I’m excited to do black stainless down here to further differentiate the look from our kitchen, upstairs. With the light flooring and walls, I like the deep colors that will fill up this space.

We’re still debating a couple options for the counters in here, one which will run on top of the cabinets, and the other, facing into the simulator, at bar height.

A couple more peeks into the finish living room area, that lacks furniture until the traffic of construction is done, (but Crew is loving the space to run, and it has me thinking twice about adding any!).

The final touches will be stone around the column you see framed at the bottom of the stairs, and wrapped around the back of the bar counter facing the simulator. Then, it’s time to decorate ūüėČ

As for our overall timeline, I mentioned we hit a plumbing snag. We had to custom-order (read: cha-ching and also more waiting) a shower pan around which to tile, and I’m happy to report it was delivered today! I’ll be back with an update after bathroom tiling and bar flooring get checked off the list!

Basement Progress: The Gym

The fan is up, the lights are on, there are handles on the doors and the TV is hung! The gym has come a long way since I last shared about its progress.

We are only waiting on a series of wall mirrors and thanks to my birthday gift (thanks, Mom and Dad!) the ballet barre is ready and waiting to be installed in this far corner. Can you say, “no excuses”?!

More to come, soon!

Basement Progress: Guest Bedroom and Bath

Following up on last week’s post on our “kid corner” — the understairs play space and our toy closet — I’m sharing more progress today in our basement, as we make our way to the final stages of our basement finish. Today I’m sharing the guest room (well on its way to completed) and our bathroom (nowhere near…but happening very soon!).

Since I last shared any photos of this room, we’ve checked a few items off the list, both big and small — it’s validating sometimes to see just how much it takes to bring a space to fruition (and a good reminder to me to be patient with the progress). Walls have been painted, carpet installed, curtains and light fixtures installed, closet system installed, door handles on all the doors, vent covers reattached to the vents, and we moved in a bed and a couple little decor items. I still love this paint color (although damn if that blush color isn’t suddenly EVERYwhere!).¬†I’m on the hunt for an upcycled mid-century dresser to put opposite the bed, both for storage and to hold a television. I feel like I need that in place first before deciding on whether or not to add a chair or bench in here, and the walls are mostly still bare, but this room is officially functional!

In sharp contrast, I give you the bathroom, right next door! We’ve hit a plumbing snag in here that may change the approach we take to this shower, but either way, the lighting is installed and the tile has been purchased and is stacked just outside the shot you see here, waiting for our contractor to work his magic, hopefully starting yet this week. If I had to narrow it to one guiding inspiration room, it’s this one:

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You can see more of our inspiration for this bathroom in this post, and since then, we’ve more or less stuck to the plan. We went with a black slate floor tile, white subway tile in the shower, and contrasting grout for both. The light fixtures are in, and we’re in the process of picking out black plumbing hardware. Page plans to make our vanity similar to how we approached the bathroom in our last basement in our first home.

That’s where we are today in these two spaces, hoping to share more on them very soon. In the meantime, I’m working my way through the rest of the basement, with more basement updates to come. Happy Monday!

Finishing the Basement: the play space

I definitely jinxed myself saying we’d have flooring in for the next post — nope, backordered, then backordered FURTHER, and the latest update is that the mill is now making a whole new run of our carpet, so yes…more waiting.

So I figured in the meantime, I can still share some updated “in progress” pictures — this time, of the play space. This little cove wraps around the bottom half of our stairwell, forming an under-stairs clubhouse spot on the right, and a closet designated solely for toys (and storing baby gear up top) to the left.

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I have since finished arranging all the components just the way I like them (we went with the Ikea “Algot” system, and so far, I’ve been very pleased!). I’ve also been slowly relocating a few toys from upstairs down here — which will be a fun rediscovery for Crew when he can get down here to play in what is (hopefully!) a couple more weeks.
toy closet in progress

We still have some work to do on the clubhouse. Since the first photo above was taken, our electrician installed both a light inside, and the “porch light” on the outside. We’ve purchased some plank style paneling that Page will rip into the shape of a house, and edge with some leftover trim we have on hand. Finally, when he builds a sliding barn door for the bottom of the stairway to help muffle some sound, his plan is to create a mini version to serve as Crew’s front door. I’m thinking a mailbox and/or a flower box of some sort is in order to make it especially homey! ūüôā

PlaySpace

I’m waiting to take pics of the inside until it’s truly finished, but decorating this little spot has been so much fun! We will back soon (fingers crossed!!) with the reveal!

The latest in the basement: our home gym

gym

Paint color is Sherwin Williams “Oceanside”. You can view all our basement paint picks here.

The gym is our basement level is currently the most finished space¬†so far, but still a work in progress. Today I’m sharing the final plan (and inspiration board, above) for this space, along with a couple progress pics!

gym drywalled

The flooring was in before we even drywalled (Page used the horse stall mats similar to what you might see in a CrossFit or other gym). We have since drywalled, trimmed, painted, and added a ceiling fan¬†and TV. The doors that will let the window light through to the main living area are hung as well, just waiting on¬†the door handles. I don’t have a photo that shows the last few details, but here’s a gist picture thus far…

gym painted

The final touches will include a series of full length mirrors on the south wall, and across them a ballet barre (yasssss!!!!) and eventually, a wall of planked wood across the south (window) wall to bring in a little warmth to the space. I’ve already squeezed in a couple workouts down here and am LOVING the space.

We’ll be back with the FINAL reveal, and I’ll have Page chime in on all the equipment (much more his gig than mine) for anyone curious!

Finishing the Basement: The Bathroom

Bathroom Inspiration Board | www.lifeinyellow.com

Mirror | Sconces | Faucet
Paint color pictured is Sherwin Williams “City Loft” — see all of our paint picks here

I’m proud to say we’ve stayed remarkably on budget for this basement project, now that we have drywall, trim, paint, and electrical/fixtures all behind us. But we KNEW when we requested our first flooring/shower estimate that we were asking for all of the¬†“wants” on our wishlist. So somewhat expectedly, the estimate came back¬†and we choked. For the first time, we stopped to reevaluate a bit as to where we wanted to splurge, and save, to keep ourselves in check financially. Much of the estimate (and much of where we could reevaluate and save) was allocated to various elements of the bathroom.

I’ve had to remind myself that while I was living out all my bath tile dreams in the showroom, this is –¬†in fact – just the basement bathroom and the shower will only get used a handful of times a year, if that. It’s a must-have for our guests, but unless I plan on moving down to the basement level and making it my master, I could apply a little “look for less” to the plan. ūüôā #realitycheck

The inspo board above was put together while we were still picking items to estimate, but the overall look/feel will stay very much the same.¬†It was easy to identify the look we were going for in here — Pinterest is a great tool for gathering the styles that grab you time and again! My board quickly showed several trends and elements that needed to be incorporated, blending classic tile with restoration-style light fixtures, a pivot mirror, window pane shower doors,¬†an open-concept vanity with exposed plumbing, and a mix of¬†black and chrome¬†hardware.

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The beauty of going back and swapping out materials is that a) the challenge is kind of fun to see how much you can save for a similar effect, and b) once I settle on the new option, I often forget what I had even planned on doing the first time around. Picking a different but very similar floor tile will save us over 50% of the original estimate, as did shopping around for our subway tile and hiring our own installer. We’ve planned all along to hack our own vanity, similar to what we did in the basement of our first house. In part, this saves us money, and we haven’t found any ready-made options¬†out there that aren’t well into the four digit price tags (keep repeating with me…it’s just the basement bathroom…). ūüôā

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I leave you with the current status of the bathroom –more to come soon!

The latest in the basement: the guest bedroom

Guestroom in progress

Having built two homes, I’m very familiar with picking out elements for my home without being able to actually see/touch/walk through the ACTUAL finished space beforehand. Finishing the basement level is a little bit easier because at least I can reference the room size and take measurements anytime I want (versus trying to do the math off a set of blueprints and “guess” what 4 feet feels like!). Even so, the walls aren’t yet painted (as we speak!) carpet isn’t yet in (although we’ve picked it out — it’s a slightly cooler/lighter color than what’s pictured below, but same pattern) and the lights aren’t yet turned on (fixtures on order!).¬†So, pulling together a couple versions of a quick inspiration¬†board helps me immensely to figure out the vibe I’m going for in a room. I like too many styles¬†and one moment I’m pinning everything “transitional farmhouse”, the next it’s all “rustic/industrial”. Trying to keep a balanced blend that isn’t too pigeonholed is tricky!

Guest Room Planning | www.lifeinyellow.com

Bed | Ceiling Light | Throw Pillows | Artwork | Dresser | Wall Sconce
Carpet pictured is Tuftex Peak Talent in “Misty Dawn” — (ours will be in “Drizzle”)
Paint color pictured is Sherwin Williams “Faint Coral” — see all of our paint picks here

Guestroom Inspiration Board | www.lifeinyellow.com

Alternate Headboard | Alternate Ceiling Light

Over the next couple weeks, I’m excited to share a room-by-room plan for our lower level. Unless our money tree blooms out back overnight, it will certainly take a little¬†time to pull together all the finishing touches, but we feel pretty stoked about the progress that’s coming along and, furnished or not, we hope to have some usable space by summer!

For¬†today, I’m sharing the inspiration for our guest bedroom. The¬†people at Casper¬†and I created a little checklist of the elements needed in this room to make it inviting to future guests!

Guest Room Essentials | www.lifeinyellow.com

Bedding.¬†Coming into the warmer months, I love the idea of keeping it fresh/crisp with bright white sheets, a light down comforter, and a couple light blankets folded at the foot of the bed. But I’m also already thinking ahead to the holidays, and how to bring in some Christmas coziness — flannel sheets and some festive throw pillows.

Artwork.¬†A must for giving¬†your guests¬†a glimpse¬†of your decorating personality! I have a couple little pieces to sprinkle around the room that are specific to where we live and represent Des Moines for the people visiting us here. I also am planning to make an updated version of the¬†art in our upstairs guest room that displays¬†all the deets for accessing our wifi. For a larger, focal piece in the room, I’m loving the colors in this print from Minted.

Pillows.¬†There’s nothing worse than sleeping on a flat/cheap/”extra” pillow when you’re staying over, and I’m all about investing a little in the foundation pieces; a good mattress and quality¬†pillows.¬†You don’t want your guests tossing and turning all night!

Travel Conveniences.¬†As I mentioned, we’ll displaying our wifi in the room, and a TV will have DirecTV for more entertainment. I’ll be adding a little basket in here with everything from some spare toothbrushes and travel-sized bath products, to a small emergency kit (nail clippers, stain pen, etc) and a couple of leisure books and magazines. I want to wait and see how big the room feels after the bed is moved in, but I’m planningon either a bench at¬†the end of the bed, or a luggage rack in the corner to make accessing suitcases easier. When guests actually arrive, I like to add bottled water and a fresh glass on the dresser.

Lighting.¬†The less-than-stellar shot of the room above was taken on my phone, and what you can’t see to the left is the little nook entry from the hall. We need a very flush sconce on that wall to bring in a little light, but still let the door open, left, into the room so that our guests can easily reach the light switches on the right wall. (So many things you have to think about!) Guests aren’t as familiar with the layout of your home as you are, and you want to make it easy so they aren’t bumping around in the dark, fumbling for lamps. Aside from a small bedside lamp, the lighting in here (both the sconce in the entry nook, and the star ceiling light over the bed) will all be tied to a single set of switches. Side note: While I’m always a fan of a ceiling fan in a bedroom, because of the way our soffit bumps into this room, we opted for something smaller on the ceiling, and an oscilating fan on the floor…I’m not going to lie, it’s been fun picking out pretty light fixtures for the ceiling in here, instead of boring old fans!

Storage.¬†We definitely don’t want guests feeling like they unzip their suitcases…and then have¬†nowhere to put anything. My plan is to use a dresser that can double as a TV stand, so there is plenty of places for guests to unpack things if they want to. The closet is generously sized, so I’ll likely use it for some of our own off-season things, but have a section dedicated so guest items can be hung up.

Any must-haves I haven’t thought of??