Monday, July 02, 2012

And then I Imploded the Basement...

About 1/2 of our basement is finished, including a 3/4 bath and two "rooms" that make up our family room area. The larger "room" has our tv, a wall of bookshelves, and a couch that pulls out into a guest bed, but the other room was pretty much consumed by a huge retro wetbar. In theory it was cute, but in practice it was terribly impractical. It was a cute feature for parties:

But the other 364 days a year (and ALL of tem nowadays) it was just a huge dumping ground and a waste of space.  Never did we gather around the bar on a Tuesday night and stare at the blank wall while we sipped a cold one. If we lounged in the basement, we did it sitting on the couch (more comfortable) in front of the TV (more entertaining). Now that The Cupcake is around, space is at a bit more of a premium, and it was time to clean up the hazardous pile that room had become, so after one last look, I decided to remove the bar and turn the area into a playroom:


And I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was getting into. My dad and the husband did all the work while I was out, heavy emphasis on WORK. While I had plans to remove and re-sell the bar to cover the costs of the mini renovation, it soon became clear that would not be happening. It had been assembled piece by piece in place by a mega perfectionist, so it ended up coming out piece by piece with almost nothing salvagable - there is ONE piece left that is more than 2'. And a huge crater left behind:

GROAN. What a mess. I did manage to call the electricians and have them sort out the electrical mess, mostly since I'm terrified of that stuff, but it was an ordeal anyways (MULTIPLE blown appointment times, massive over charges, dealing with that mythical "customer service" element that has gone the way of the Unicorns) so after that trauma, I let it sit like that for quite a while before I started to form any real plan. I figured it was easier to hook the water back up to another sink than to deal with capping it off properly, so my thought was to put back in a modified wet bar against one section of wall as a purely serving/prep area, rather than a seated bar. Something we could stage as sort of a wine bar when we eventually went to sell the house again, so it wouldn't seem terribly out of place. With a SEVERELY limited budget it took me a while to get started, but I was lucky to stumble upon the PERFECT sink cabinet on clearance at Lowes:

It required some creative driving to fit it in their SUV which was about 8" short of what we needed, but apparently my Dad can drive just fine with his knees shoved in the dashboard, and we made it across town just fine.
And then it sat on my porch for 2-3 months before I finally got around to working on it again this week. Partially because it's not possible to paint with tiny hands clamoring at you all the time, but also because (as I now remember) I suck at/seriously detest painting. And because paint is expensive and I didn't really know what I needed. But I'd been watching too much HGTV and thought I'd give it a go. Round 1: Primer:

I'm not a fan of primer. Pretty sure this is first our meeting, but I'm confident we won't be spending a lot of time together. Also I don't want to paint the inside of stuff. Also, HGTV and Pinterest are douche bags acting like painting is so much fun. Painting sucks. It's messy and I'm bad at it. Mostly the latter.

Round 2: first coat of paint:

Sherwin Williams did an AWESOME job matching the paint to a board I ripped off the basement wall (the part that used to hold the bartender "door" up, so it was okay to take down. I'm pretty sure),. The idea is that this will blend right in with the painted paneling on the lower half of the basement walls, and I can use the extra to patch up the mess AND paint the wall behind the TV that the previous owners ignored because the TV stand mostly covered it (but our TV didn't fit inside the hutch, so we took the top off, and thus exposed a huge span of unpainted paneling that looks ridiculous). But I digress.

Round 3: More painting, still not good at it.

Round 4: more painting, enjoying it less and less.

Round 5: It still looks pretty patchy and crappy, but the lighting is terrible downstairs anyways, so I'm calling it good enough.

Next step, sure to be the MOST fun yet, is to carry this sucker down the stairs, navigate it around a post that is conveniently placed at the bottom of the stairway (thank goodness for IKEA furniture or we'd be sitting on air mattresses down there). If I keep going on this project at the same pace, that'll happen sometime in the next 3 years, followed eventually by putting on the countertop and reinstalling the sink.

I'm not even going to acknowledge the flooring until then.

No comments: