Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Real Life Decorating: Progress in our Basement

You know what the internet is awesome for? Discovering the work of new-to-you designers, gleaning inspiration from projects posted from around the world, and brainstorming new solutions to your problems based on the genius of others.

You know what the internet sucks for? Making you feel like your projects will never be as great as ones you see on your favorite blogs, making you wonder how others have the resources, finances, and time to create these dream homes seemingly in days, and creating a vicious cycle of little green monsters.

So I think it's time that I post on progress to my house, so I can keep things in perspective for myself. Although it seems like we're progressing at a turtle's pace on the projects we'd like to accomplish, when I look back at pictures I can appreciate how far we've come.

Here are some shots from our basement today:

Basement Progress, May 21, 2013

Yes, there are lots of projects left to do (no curtains or art, for one), but when I look back at where we started, I'm really proud of our progress:

Entry to Basement Progress:
Progress: Stairwall hallay

The entryway to the basement has become so much more welcoming with the addition of new floors, doors enclosing the laundry area, and a fun dresser and pretty artwork.

Future plans for this area:

  • Add trim to floorboards
  • Replace dresser with a more functional/less broken piece 
  • Add tray to top of dresser to corral small items
  • Replace closet curtain with real door
  • Add curtain to the window (not seen, but to the left directly across from dresser)

Fireplace Progress:

Basement Fireplace Progress

Our fireplace has seen the most dramatic change of the whole room. It started out lopsided, with more space to the left than to the right of the fireplace. It was wallpapered (??!) with an ugly brown faux-wood print, and the fireplace surround was a sooty, faux-marble mess. All that got ripped out and replaced with a cleaner, symmetrical drywall and paint job plus some pretty fireplace tile. We added a TV over the fireplace and fixed the janky ceiling.

Future plans:

  • Add a built-in bookcase to the right of the fireplace (hard to tell, but the right side is much deeper than the left).
  • Add a console table and artwork to the left of the fireplace
  • Finish the tile job (it has no caulk) and add a simple floating wood mantle
  • Add a slate or other stone slab to the hearth; cement the sides
  • Add a door to the side of the fireplace (where the hole currently is)
  • Add trim to the floor

Miscellaneous Progress:

Progress: Misc shots

Side note: I love how you can see how long it's been between the top right two photos because our puppy is so much larger now!

As you can see, we painted the entire room and fireplace. I wish the grey walls were a little warmer and less cement-y, but what're you gonna do. We finished the floors in a nice laminate, fixed the ceiling, and brought in our furniture.

Future plans:

  • Add artwork!
  • Add a top to the desk 
  • Get side tables for the sofa, or add a console table behind it
  • Add lamps to the sofa and a floor lamp for the chair
  • Add curtains to the window
  • Get an appropriately-sized rug
  • Replace the awful overhead lighting either with can lighting or just more lamps
So, although this is far, far from being published in any magazine or top design blog, I think it's important to take time to recognize the design for the average person does not happen overnight, and to acknowledge your own successes. I'd encourage you to photograph your own places periodically, because I really was shocked in looking back at these photos how much we HAVE accomplished. 

Now, tell me: most of our furniture in the basement consists of beige hand-me-downs that are much-appreciated and very comfortable. I love our sofa but hate its color. Would you pay to have it reupholstered, or work with it for now and just add color elsewhere?  And for the love of all that is holy, someone find me the perfect rug for this space. I'm so tired of trolling the interwebs....HELP!

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