So… part of the reason this blog has been a little more… “stay-at-home” this winter is that we have been saving all our pennies and working hard for our basement remodel. Before the remodel (no, I don’t really have any good before images — sorry!), we had fake wood paneling, ugly linoleum tile, floral wallpaper borders and a lot of grime. I had several goals in redoing the basement, one being to keep the light from the windows bright (it was one large open area before and then my photo studio off to the side), and to add more definition between rooms. Now we have my lovely photo studio (which I will show you later, once all furniture etc has arrived), a living area (again, you’ll have to wait for furnishings) that includes a full-sized day bed for guests, a separate laundry room and a bathroom with a shower (before it was a half bath).
Above is the floor of the bathroom, including the marble curb that separates the shower from the rest of the room. One note about our new bathroom: Due to pipe/vent placement and the beams that apparently hold up the house, we had to make the room L-shaped. I was super concerned that this would be awkward and not fit with the rest of the house, so I worked really hard to keep the decor classic. So, here we go! Today I’ll show you our new “mudroom alcove” and the bathroom. The rest will come later…
First, as you enter the basement, this is your view. That’s our back door on the right. It’s on the landing on the way down to the basement, and before we had this shiny new alcove, the floor was covered in winter boots, dirt, paw prints and towels for wiping the dogs’ paws. It drove me CRAZY. Especially because if you left your shoes there, you couldn’t get the door open all the way. Which was amazingly annoying when you were trying to come in the house with arms full of groceries.
So! Behind that alcove (which used to be a normal, flat wall) is our entry-way closet from the front door. It was a really deep closet (3.5 feet deep) so I took a foot out of that closet and we* put in this mud-room cubby thing. Now we can hang our coats and put our boots in the cubbies and we’ll have baskets up top for umbrellas, flash lights, dog leashes, poop bags, hats, mittens etc. I LOVE THIS SO HARD.
Ok, now we’re in the basement. SPOILER! We put new floors in the whole basement. And they are in fact vinyl, but they look like wood. The reason we went with the fake stuff was because it would survive water. Our basement doesn’t flood in rain (knock on wood!) but we have had the sewer back up before, and I didn’t want to put in my dream floors to have them ruined a few months later. I don’t foresee this happening, but I like to prepare for the worst. Anyway! Aren’t they pretty?
Ok, now to the bathroom. Obviously, since we’re in a basement, natural light is scarce. One of our windows is in the bathroom, and I didn’t want that room to swallow the light, so I opted for this salvage french door so the light could pass through. We frosted the windows for privacy and kept the amazing, original hardware. I was thrilled to do this because I love the idea of recycling old doors and house stuff, but I’m gonna be honest and tell you I was a bit shocked at the price of creating a new frame etc and it would have been MUCH cheaper to get the doors from Home Depot and re-use the hardware alone. Which is why I did just that for the studio.
I do love this original hardware though….
Ok, so now the door is open and you can see the shower. Obviously, we’re getting a shower curtain (doing that today, in fact), but you get the idea. We chose the white honeycomb tile and then bought one sheet of black and spent a morning figuring out where to set them in. We felt like the “pre-black-and-white” sets had too much black in them, and we wanted ours to be original.
I am also nervous about someone tripping over the shower curb and breaking a toe, so we set it off a little more with the marble.
Also! Up at the shower head we chose to use a diverter where we can attach a hand-held shower. This will now be where we bathe the dogs. WATCH OUT MAGDA.
Oh! And you can’t see it, but the wall runs parallel to the shower curb — so that’s how the bathroom is L-shaped.
If you stand in the shower and face away from the shower head (when there is no shower curtain, obviously) this is the view of the toilet and the sink.
We saved a ton of money by getting the vanity online, but I am slightly disappointed in the top of the vanity, which is cream instead of white. I knew this would be the case when we ordered it, and since it’s the “basement bathroom” we opted to go with it to save money. In my dream world it would be a marble top. Just fyi.
Ok, let’s talk about that mirror. It is WAY too small! I don’t know what I was thinking! I love the design of it, and I really, really love my light fixtures, but I’m thinking we’ll have to change that down the line to match the proportions. Or maybe a small glass shelf above the sink to put cotton balls and Q-tips would make it feel better? What do you guys think?
When we redid our upstairs bathroom last year, I just re-used the light fixtures that I had paid a bunch of money for when we first moved in. I think it was from Restoration Hardware… But this time around I was thrilled to see that the big box hardware stores have really upped the quality of their products to include more “antique” looking stuff. I got these at Home Depot and I love ’em.
Ok! I think that’s it… Please tell me your ideas and thoughts in the comments. Obviously we’re buying towel hooks and a shower curtain today, but I think you get the idea :)
For today’s internet share, I thought I’d send you to a favorite blog of mine and her recent recap of the makeovers in her own house the last four years. Enjoy!
*I want to be clear that whenever I say “we” in terms of work done in our basement that our work included the choices and design. Jamie and I ABSOLUTELY SUCK at home improvement work and we hire it out to our amazing team of contractors/handymen/superheroes at Strait Edge. These guys come in on budget (or give you options and a heads up if something will cost more) and they finish on time. And they show up every day and work for at least 8 hours. They are amazing. You can see the work they did on our main bathroom upstairs last year over here!