April 10, 2012
We did it! One day before our house was populated by some German visitors we officially finished the new guest bedroom in the basement and I have to say that it turned out great. We have been working on this for approximately six weeks and it was a real joint effort in the Tran house. Without my handyman I – the surface pretty maker – could not have done such serious handy work as installing lights and new drywall. Looking back, we actually accomplished a lot more than I dared to hope for in my original post about the basement plan. Here is the gist of it.
Just a reminder – this was the colorful craziness we had bought into a year ago:
And this is the new toned down guest oasis:
On our way to the final result we encountered many tedious tasks, such as removing wall paper with lots of water, vinegar, and persistant scraping.
Priming the walls with No-VOC primer because there is not much opportunity for ventilation down there and we did not quite want the baby to be born a natural paint addict.
Splitting the room’s lighting from the overall basement circuit and installing two new recessed lights instead of the one dim boob light.
For the sake of installing the new light switch in the room we also decided to take down the bead board paneling on one of the walls which we had never quite understood why it was there.
After taking it down we realized why it was there: Because the previous owners installed the wall framing flush with an existing corner and putting up drywall would have made for an ugly overlapping edge.
Which left us with the exact same problem – how were we gonna accomplish a smooth wall with drywall. Our solution: Using extra thin drywall and extend it to the part around the door over the existing drywall. Not exactly the Holmes-on-Homes way to do it, but good enough.
The trim and doors in this room were wearing many different shades of yellowed old white, so they got a fresh white coat as well .
I didn’t even have to bother with taping off the door hardware because on my mission to de-brassify this house and bringing it entirely to the 20th century I also switched out all the door knobs and hinges for brushed nickel ones.
On the final stretch I got sick and my awesome hubby had to paint the room all by himself with the perfect shade of light grey that I had found on the oops-paint rack at Lowes for $5 (and even No-VOC!). It’s amazing what a difference No-VOC paint makes. It might take an additional coat, but the smell during application is minimal and the next day the room is absolutely smell free.
It is actually a little lighter than shown in this photo (more like what you see next to the door above):
We are gonna hang some more framed postcards to fill the back wall, add a bookshelf and wall art to the reading corner, and eventually also have to find a prettier solution for the electric box and modem corner:
But so far it is the most finished bedroom in our house and I am seriously worried that I won’t ever see my husband in our own bedroom again.
July 15, 2011
Before we get into the part of this post where all the action happens, let me just start off by telling you a little bit about arguments in our house. Or the lack thereof. As you all know, Lincoln and I are pretty peaceful and quiet people. We are probably a little addicted to harmony and some might say to an extend that is not normal. But it works for us. When there is something that we disagree on, we usually just
1. voice our opposite opinions
2. go to separate parts of the house still grumbling over the fact that the other one doesn’t agree
3. tend separately to whatever makes each of us feel better while still thinking about what the other one said and starting to see the other side of the coin. Then about half an hour later:
4. come back together silently admitting that we understand the other position and find a compromise for this particular problem.
And there you go – crisis averted. Considering that this strategy has worked for some pretty big topics in the past (getting married, where to live, when to have kids), it was quite surprising that we clashed over something as small as a shelf in Milo’s room last week. (more…)
June 25, 2011
Finally, our kitchen renovation is done. But let’s start from the beginning. Here is what our kitchen looked like when we first met it:
Absolutely hideous, right? In retrospect I can’t believe we even bought the house. This awful combination of early nineties wallpaper with all white cabinets, counters, and wooden country touch to it would surely kill any appetite if I had to live in it. (more…)
August 4, 2008
So acupuncturists, please help me out: Is this the damp season or what? From my non-tai-perspective it definitely looks like it. Or why does all that water enter our room right now? Okay, the complete story from the beginning: (more…)