8.11.2011

Renovated Garden Level Tour: Part 1

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Where is the summer going? All of a sudden it's August and mere days away from mid-August. Can someone please just order a slow down of time?

Despite being mid-August, we still don't have a fully finished basement renovation. The delay is 100% our fault at this point. First our contractor was on vacation and we wanted to wait 'til he was home, then S was flying and as we expected, the project can't be fully completed until September at least. No worries though, it's just the bathroom that needs a little finish work and the messy part is over, so we've been able to begin living in our new garden level. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I can't believe this is ours, I can't believe we own this. We such...adults. When on earth did that happen?

Let's take a tour of the new garden level, starting from the dining room entrance. The railing, stairs and trim are all entirely new. The stairs were taken from S's parents' house in the spring when they replaced their pine stairs with oak. We tried to stain them to match our oak floors as best we could and they turned out only a tad darker than the floors in the rest of the house.
I really love how the ends of the top railing angle back toward the wall:
And we love the trim all along the stairs and along the wall where two original depths of plaster meet. We didn't want to rip off the wall and re-plaster it above grade and think this actually looks nicer than if we had one smooth continuous wall. We even added white risers on the new stairs like I had painted on the old stairs last winter, just now with evenly spaced treads and shiny stain they look much better than the ones before!
At the base of the stairs there's a pocket door that leads to my beloved pantry. And up on the ceiling you can see one of the twenty some-odd recessed lights that are scattered throughout the basement. They put out a surprising amount of light for such tiny little things; the two in the pantry alone make it like high noon in there. No hiding dust bunnies behind the garbanzo beans anymore.
Check out the stairway railing - it matches the one upstairs exactly!

The pantry is full already, of course:
As you turn at the bottom of the stairs you enter our new den. The man room turned sewing room turned family room. One of my favorite views of the room is looking back at the stairs, which are now open to the room where they once were closed of with a faux wood paneled wall.
As I mentioned earlier S is giving up his desk in trade for a spot in the new bedroom closet for his office goods. For now his desk is living here while we search for a new home on Craig's List. It's also serving as a good spot for me to hide my staging bins - one for stuff that needs to go to the shed, one full of clothes that need to find a home inside and one for stuff that needs to be put away upstairs. It saves me trips up and down the stairs, but would be much more effective if I'd actually take the stuff from the bins and put it where it belongs at the end of the day. Minor details.

As much as I want to show off the new fabulous den and the awesome storage closet and laundry nook right now, someone is at my feet telling me it's time to go our and no, he will not wait twenty more minutes...so the tour will be continued....

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