Life Love Larson: Finishing the Basement - Part 1


Friday, July 15, 2016

Finishing the Basement - Part 1

Well, we all made it to Friday! The sun is shining and Steve and the kids are in Chicago, so I have a feeling it's going to be a wonderful, relaxing weekend for momma! :) Our basement project is in full swing and I wanted to post about the progress so far. Our contractor and his crew are just working like crazy and moving so fast, I'm just amazed. Every night when we go scope it out, so many things are different and new. Here is a little snippet of the bar and where they left off last night...

Drew will be 9 y/o next month (gasp!) and Kate will be 8 y/o in the fall. We knew we would eventually finish the basement, but weren't sure we were quite ready. Ultimately we decided to just do it and enjoy it rather than waiting 5 more years when the kids would be a lot older. We certainly don't need more "space", but having an extra "lounge" space will be so great for this sports loving family. We hope to entertain more and all that good stuff! I can't wait until it's finished!

We are finishing off about 1100 sq. ft. of basement which will include a TV/lounge space, a bar, a 3/4 bath, and a bedroom (which we will use for a playroom). We also have room for storage. They built wood shelves for all of our bins and we also have a big closet in the back bedroom. Before we decided to finish the basement, this space was a concrete jungle and a dumping ground for our stuff and kid toys. We had carpet remnants laid out, a TV for playing video games, and the kids enjoyed skated and playing basketball and hockey on the concrete floors. Needless to say, we had A LOT of stuff to get rid of!

It is so freeing to toss and donate things. I've said many times that I am not a saver and "things" don't hold a lot of value for me. I'm training my kids to be tossers as well. Kate is much more of a hoarder than any of us! Still working on her! We donated most of our stuff to Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity Restore. Habitat came to our house and hauled off large items which was a win win for everyone! We usually move every 2-3 years which forces us to get rid of things. Now that we have been in this house for 4.5 years and we know we are staying, it was time for us to purge. Who has 3 rugs and 2 doors in their basement anyway?! And the dust on that coffee table should tell you a little something about the basement!

We decided on our contractor through word of mouth and recommendation. Our friends and neighbors used this same contractor to finish off their basement last year and had great things to say and came highly recommended. We felt he would make our vision come to life and have been pleased so far. They are also doing a neighbor's kitchen down the street, so they are busy in our neighborhood! They had our basement framed in a day!

Then lights and insulation...we put in a lot of overhead lights. We have no natural light in the basement (aside from 1 egress window in the back bedroom) and I want the space to feel light and bright. All lights are being put on dimmers so I won't have to mess with floor lamps in the space. I'll go into more details about all of this in another post.

Then drywall and sanding and mudding...

And starting to paint...

The noise! The dust! The footprints! It's all a part of the process, so I'll just look the other way. :) And during the construction process, we have been making decisions, scouring Pinterest, testing paint colors, choosing grout and tile and carpet and stair carpet, making last minute decisions and purchases, sending endless texts to my mom and sister, and tweaking design decisions. This is the fun part for me!

As you can see, we are going neutral with gray, black, and white. The bar cabinets and island and small bathroom are being painted black! And that glossy beveled subway tile gives me all the happy design feelings. I'm obsessed!

Because basements are pretty basic, we wanted to add a little detail to the walls of the lounge area, so we are having some custom trim work done. I'm loving it!

I'm also FINALLY replacing the ugliest vanity known to man in our upstairs bathroom! Our contractor had his cabinet guy custom make this piece. It will be painted white and have brass pulls on the drawers. Today, I'm going to choose a top for it. Hoping I can find a remnant of Carrera marble that won't break the bank!

Between our week at the lake and company being here and this basement project, our summer is absolutely flying by. Only a few more weeks until school starts around here so we intend to make the most of it! xo

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