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Long overdue basement updates and what’s coming up next!

Feb 24 2017 -
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I have a way of finishing something and then procrastinating on telling you guys about it because then I get distracted and on to something else. The basement is basically done with just a few more finishing touches that I want to do along the way. I finished covering all of the walls with either old doors, plywood, pallet wood or barn wood. (And anything else that I could find.) From there I told you guys how I finished the bathroom and remain totally stoked about it – though it is still missing an actual toilet. I also told you guys how I finished building my big shelf a while ago and then proceeded to hall all of my tools down there and get them all organized. For the first time in my life when I need a screw driver I know exactly where it is lol.

UPDATE: December 15th, 2017. Joe and I are now divorced. I will not be deleting blog posts like this one as it is still a diary to some extent of my past and that still matters to me. I wish I had been more honest about how things were going to you guys here on the blog… I thought things would get better. There was always something: once this happens then he won’t be so angry… But, eventually, he ran out of excuses and I had to face my reality that I was wrong about Joe in every way possible. Grandma’s house is completely mine so now it can actually become what I dreamed it would be on all those late nights alone when I was renovating it. Happiness does not always come the way we expect it to, sometimes it even takes a broken heart to get us there, and I still believe in happy endings!

Long overdue updates about how we're coming along with finishing my basement wood workshop, second kitchen and tool cave, pallet wood, wood working, diy

The big changes I have pictures of that I haven’t shown you guys yet is of the basement kitchen. The countertop is the same rough cut 2x12s and 2x4s I found in the barn that I also used in the bathroom and then jigged together. (I’ll be posting about how I did that soon.) Then, after I got the sink installed (my goodness that was a pain in the ass for no good reason) I decided to stain them (Minwax Dark Walnut) and put several coats of sealant (Minwax Poly Acyrlic) over them because, it is a working sink.

Long overdue updates about how we're coming along with finishing my basement wood workshop, second kitchen and tool cave, pallet wood, wood working, diy

With my job finished in the kitchen Joe came downstairs with a surprise for me. He purchased some stone just for our basement kitchen backsplash and just for me. I scolded, “Joe this basement was supposed to cost nothing!” And he said, “But it didn’t cost YOU anything!” Touche my love, touche 😉 He is a sweet sweet man and it was fun to watch him work. (I am fully aware my husband is a mason but this was one of the first times I got to really see how talented he is.) He started by covering the sheet rock/prepping for the stone.

Long overdue updates about how we're coming along with finishing my basement wood workshop, second kitchen and tool cave, pallet wood, wood working, diy

From there he started laying stone and it was really cool to watch him pick which ones he wanted and fit the whole mosaic together like a puzzle that he was the only one that could see. It sure did come out cool – I love it!

Long overdue updates about how we're coming along with finishing my basement wood workshop, second kitchen and tool cave, pallet wood, wood working, diy

I had a whole bunch of leftover prints/paintings that my folks bought in Mexico done by street artists with spray paint. They’re amazing, so I hung them all over the place. It has dawned on me that not only is this basement going to be weird it is also going to be a bit of a constantly evolving work in progress. Out in the barn was an old broken coat rack that I added a shelf and knobs to so I had a place to hang all of my towels and old t-shirts/shop rags. The kitchen is a combination of cabinets a friend gave me for free (the lowers) and the cabinets that came out of my grandma’s old kitchen (the uppers). (Check out this picture of Grandma’s old kitchen before we started the renovation, it is the same upper cabinets and stove!!)

Kitchen reveal at the Grandma's House DIY home tour! 15 months of renovation, remodeling a custom country kitchen with a cast iron sink after a full gut.

So I love the cabinets my grandparents’ made fifty years ago because: of course I do. And I absolutely hate the factory cabinets I was given because also: of course I do. So that leads me to what I have left to do in the basement.

  • Because I hate those lower cabinets I am planning on either painting them or sanding them down and staining them. My Grandma’s old upper cabinets need a really good cleaning and I have a feeling I will probably be painting them to match the bottom cabinets and then putting hardware on everything to help get a little bit of cohesiveness between the two different types of cabinets.
  • You can kinda see that there is a gap between the cabinets and the wall above the stove, I plan to put in some shelves there for storage.
  • The bathroom still “needs” a door, I have the plan to put castors on the bottom of an old barn door and make it rolling so it will be out of the way most of the time.
  • I love that the center wall (the load bearing wall of our home) isn’t covered so you can see the rough-sawn and ancient beams but I hate that there is also new wood in there too so I need to either stain it or cover it with something.
  • There is raw sheet rock in a few places that looks like crap beside all the wood I covered the walls with so I really need to figure out what I can do with it. I don’t want to cover it because that would have made the hanging of the sheet rock pointless – so I’m still at the drawing board with this one.
  • I need a work table BADLY! This is high on my priority list, I really need to go grab that huge barn door that I’ve been saving in the barn and build myself the rolling work table/bench of my dreams.

All in, I am SO happy with my new space to be “dirty” in. One of the next projects I’ll be sharing with you guys is how I built Joe a big rack for his ice fishing rods. Mom came over and kept me company while I finished it. When I splashed stain on the floor she laughed and said, “Adding character!” And I said, “Damn right!” I can be dirty down here, I can walk around without worrying about wrecking the floors or messing something up. It is absolutely amazing… and it has a fully stocked beer fridge and a great sound system! It is my happy place 🙂

Long overdue updates about how we're coming along with finishing my basement wood workshop, second kitchen and tool cave, pallet wood, wood working, diy

Oh yeah and btw it is my 31st birthday today! I am looking forward to a day playing hooky with my mom and then dinner with the people I love the most. Even at 31 the tradition of being able to pick whatever we want for dinner for our birthdays is still something I really look forward to. What are we having? My mom’s spectacular tator tot wild rice hot dish – one of my very favorite meals. Yummy. Saturday morning my hubby is taking me somewhere secret, sweeping me away for a day and a night before we return to reality on Sunday. I really just can’t wait 🙂 Have a great weekend guys, see you on Monday!

Long overdue updates about how we're coming along with finishing my basement wood workshop, second kitchen and tool cave, pallet wood, wood working, diy

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  1. February 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Wow, you’ve done a lot with your space! Love the stone backsplash and counter top! Looking forward to seeing your progress!

  2. February 25, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Wow. I can’t wait to see where you take this. This basement reminds me so much of my husband’s grandparents basement where we often had holiday meals because the house was small and the upstairs kitchen and dining room couldn’t accommodate such a large family. I have wonderful memories of family meals there but it was kind of hot mess for style. Enjoying following along and your energy is contagious as we tackle our own projects. It is fun to know we aren’t alone. 😀

    • February 27, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Pamela, thank you so much for sharing such a great memory! Yup, we always ended up with tables in just about every part of my grandma’s house during holidays, such great memories 🙂 Thanks for coming by!

  3. February 27, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Looks great and Happy Birthday!!!

  4. March 1, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Your basement kitchen is looking so good! Stupid question – why do you have a kitchen in your basement? It hadn’t occurred to me before that people had more than one kitchen. But we don’t have basements here in Australia so maybe it’s a basement thing? Someone enlighten me ?

    • March 1, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Kate, yeah so the initial plan was to put in a rental suite down here and that totally fell through but we had already roughed in all of the plumbing and I already had all of the cabinets etc so it was kinda like “well, we might as well finish it!” It is kinda nice to have a sink to wash my paint brushes off in though lol

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