Monday, January 13, 2014

Interior Projects and Laundry Room Remodel

Three and a half years ago, we decided the pace of city life was not what we were looking for long term so we relocated.  We lucked into a deal with the builder of our new house as they purchased our old house in order to make the move possible.  The house was new, a block from the lake with private access, and huge! What's not to love really?!  Of course, that doesn't mean that our to do list is any shorter.  As is the case with most, it grows instead of shrinking, but we have crossed some things off of the inside list.

When we moved in there were alcoves on the side of the fireplace that were big and empty.  So, we built some shelves and stained them to match our furniture.  We also added a splash of paint to the insets on the fireplace for character.  I think it dresses it up a lot.

The fireplace at move-in

The fireplace after

There's a picture alcove also in our living room which was painted the same color as the walls (well as with most new houses, everything was the same color) so we added a splash of paint there as well to help the alcove stand out a little.  

The picture alcove on the left of the arches

Picture alcove after
We also replaced a lighting fixture in the dinette area of the kitchen.  It looks much more like our home with the canoe chandelier instead of the stock builder one :)

The dinette area in the kitchen

With new chandelier and barrel table (more on this amazing table to come)
In the master bathroom, there was a large amount of dead space in the toilet room that drove me crazy. There was just no good way to utilize the silly corner space the way it had been built.  So we added in a corner linen closet for storage.  After all, have you ever walked into a house and thought 'now this house has too much storage'?  I sure haven't.  

Hard to see, but the dead space in the master bath

And now with a closet!

Completed closet
The basement is an ongoing project.  It was completely unfinished at move-in other than the stub ins for plumbing in a bathroom someday.  Being unfinished is nice because it means we get to choose exactly how we want to build and purpose this rather large space.  Unfortunately, it is also a slow process as we have to save the money bit by bit to do the construction.  But, luckily we have a friend who is a wonderful contractor and he did a small job for us and helped us get the walls for the future basement all framed up.  Someday it will have a bathroom, walk-in pantry, second kitchen, and a second laundry room.  No more canning in my nice kitchen!  And no more hauling dirty garage towels upstairs and through the whole house!  We have begun collecting appliances from family as they have replaced them to keep the cost of this room down.  So far, we have a washer and dryer, a stove, and a toilet.  We also already had a fridge and freezer for this space as we had purchased them on craigslist when we moved in and wanted some extra food and beverage storage.  Next up in the basement is to work on the wiring and plumbing.  We already have several of the needed supplies to get started on these projects.  The basement currently functions as storage and a game room with the ping pong table and a couple of free couches.  The function won't change terribly much once it's a finished great room!

The basement at move-in

The other side of the basement at move-in

The framed in bathroom, pantry and kitchen area

Future kitchen and through the door is pantry 

Great Room Area

Ping Pong/Great Room Area

Storage/Future Laundry & Utility Room

Upstairs, the laundry room remodel has been the greatest undertaking.  It was perfectly functional when we bought the house, but it was poorly laid out.  The counter-top by the sink was completely useless as soon as the appliances went in and if you were using the sink, you couldn't also have the washer door open.  So, after living with it for awhile and talking to my folks who have loads of remodeling experience we came up with a plan to make it more user friendly.  Really, the layout the builders should have done in the first place.  We began by ripping everything out of the laundry room, deconstruction is my favorite part!  For a couple of weekends we were 'those' people with a washer and dryer on the front porch, but as this project took longer than we thought with family helping from out of town, we moved them back in and used a half put together room for a bit. Next we re-plumbed and wired for the sink and washer and dryer.  Then drywall, texture, and paint.  After that we moved the appliances back and my dad built a storage shelf for the space that was left next to the washer and dryer.  We topped them off with a nice plywood counter-top so there is lots of folding space.  Next we moved the sink back in (thank goodness!  I had been really missing the utility sink) and did the counter-top.  Then my dad tiled, and gave us a lesson in tiling.  I'm sure next time we will tile while he supervises.  Hung the upper cabinet and we were done!  It turned out so well!  Sometime in the future we will add one more upper cabinet by the window for extra storage, but barring that this room is finished!  
The Laundry Room at move-in

The original layout of the Laundry Room

Finished Laundry Room

Finished Laundry Room

Next small project inside: installing automatic fan switches.  

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