Over the past 27 months we have gone from digging a plumbing trench, to sound insulating, drywalling, painting, flooring and furniture buying etc. It's been a labour of love but it was all worth it because now we have the space that we dreamed of. We opted to do a lot of the work on our own (because we like DIY and saving money). But, we're also wiser now that we're firmly in our 40's. We know what we're good at, what we aren't and when to hire professional help. I'm talking about skilled tradesmen like drywallers, fine carpenters etc. They have some seriously mad skills.
Door Frames, Doors and Trim
In this last push to finish the basement we brought in a local family-owned company to complete the baseboards and door casings, install the barn doors, install the tile backsplash in the bar and the stone around the fireplace.
We were asked by some why we didn't just buy ready made doors and frames from Home Depot and hang them ourselves. Two reasons: A) since we went with the thicker 5/8-inch drywall we couldn't order standard door frames and B) we didn't want to. Brad has been working 80+ hours/week for months and I didn't want him installing door frames instead of spending time relaxing or with the family. So, we had our fine carpenter, Rich, custom make our door jambs and they look fab-u-lous! Who knew doors and door frames could make a girl swoon?
I'm also happy that I pushed for the five paneled doors. They are definitely more expensive than the typical builder six panel doors but they make a much bigger statement in the rooms and fit with the Craftsman style we were going for. We decided on simple black knobs and hinges that mimic the barn door hardware and the knobs on all the custom cabinetry for a nice cohesive look. With the addition of the simple and taller Craftsman-style baseboard I think the trim, doors and hardware really add to the style of the overall space.
Rich the Carpenter also hung our barn doors into the Den - see below. We - meaning moi - will need to paint the wooden board behind the track when we (again, I) paint the trim. We love these doors and are happy we had the space to use them. All of the doors will be painted in the Spring when Brad can use our paint sprayer to paint those bad boys in the garage.
Here's a look into the Den. It's a big room but furniture-wise it's a mish-mash of old IKEA office furniture and an old, nasty loveseat. Not the look we're eventually going for but for now it works. I love the look of the double closet doors at the end of the room as well as all of the extra storage these closets provide. The next step will be to get a new desk (and get rid of that old love seat). Brad and I have plans for a double T-shaped desk for the den. I have a few ideas up my sleeve so we may DIY it - stay tuned.
We love our new bar as a place to hang out, use for extra storage and house our extra fridge. We didn't go with a sit up bar due to the amount of floor space they take up and the fact that guests would have their back to the main area. Instead, we opted to build a wet bar and buy a rustic looking sofa table and a few bar stools. We have two wooden stools with comfy padding and backs on them ...
as well as two stackable, metal, industrial-looking stools we can pull out for extra people since the table can seat four comfortably.
The table has a rustic, thick wooden top and metal 'X' legs for that industrial feel we like. We use this table all ... the ... time. We love that it faces the TV and we still have lots of room to walk around it in the bar area.
The Bar Backsplash
To add some finishing touches to the bar I went with a simple white subway tile (with no bevel) and a medium gray grout. Brad was ready to lose his mind if I reminded him one more time to tell the contractor that I didn't want a beveled edge on the tile. I'm not fond of a beveled edge on tile.
I think the white tile brightens up and finishes off the space but the gray gives the tile a bit of pop too. The last step will be to put one (possibly two) rustic wooden shelves above the sink area to display a few bar items that I will neglect to dust regularly.
The Fireplace Stonework
Last but certainly not least we added stone to the front of our fireplace. Not one, not two but at least three people assumed that the stone board that we had on the fireplace for the past year was the finish we were going for. Um, no. Just no! It had gaps and screws in it, people! We are slow and picky, not lacking in style!
Ok, so admittedly it took us a loooong time to find stone that we liked. Some were too dark, others were too sparkly and many just didn't wow me. We had this unfinished fireplace for over a year. Maybe that's why they assumed it was the style we were going for. Yikes.
I knew I wanted a stone with lighter background with bits of gray and hints of browns in it. And we finally found it!
The tradesmen who installed it did a fantastic job and ended up cutting every piece except for one due to the shape of the space. We appreciate their hard work and know it would have taken us many more hours and possibly the cost of a divorce lawyer. Now that it's finished it's become a great focal point of the room. Sometimes it pays to be patient ... and picky.
A little bit of stone, a little wood, a little white, a little dark. It all works well together.
So that's where we stand with the final steps for our basement transformation. In my final basement renovation post I'll be showing you before and after pictures of the entire space. Such a transformation - from dark basement to a fabulous, cozy family space.