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October 2, 2014

The Basement Renovation, Part One: The Demolition Begins!

The Basement Renovation, Part One: The Demolition Begins!
Hey ya'll! So, after spending the first 10 months of the year working on the upstairs main level of the house, it's finally time for us to venture downstairs and start renovating the basement level. I know you guys have been so curious about this part of the house, and I'm so excited to finally be able to share it with you. 
By the end of today's post, you'll totally understand why I've never blogged about the basement before, but we're just going to be honest about things and enjoy the journey that is renovating an old 70's house.
I'm feeling excited, terrified, hopeful, and slightly nauseous. 

Since the basement has never been blogged about before, we'll start at the beginning. Our house is a split level, so when you walk in the front door, there are two sets of leading up to the main area (that we've spent the past 10 months renovating) and one leading down. 
Those stairs lead to the basement level which is comprised of three rooms: a living room, a bedroom, and a full bath.

We'll start in the living room. This is a picture of this room when we first moved in. It had the same beige carpet, yellow walls, and dark wood trim that the rest of the house had.
Please note my attempt to lift this room's spirits with sequined pillows.
It obviously did not work.

After a few months of living here and feeling a little overwhelmed by how much this house needed, I tried my best to improve the basement. I painted the walls and trim (my go-to recipe for semi-success when you lack the funds to do much else) and then in my attempts to make Jesse a man cave, I accidentally made another woman cave.
I was working with 100% thrift store stuff and got a little sidetracked by candlesticks and birds. And Jesse pretended to love it, which I don't think I fully appreciated until this very moment. 

 My woah-man cave didn't last very long once we started renovating the upstairs, as it quickly became my dumping ground. For anything and everything.
And then it became the flooring contractor's dumping ground for all of his equipment, so there were months at a time when I never stepped foot down here.

Here's the opposite view...that's Rock Wall Two. He's located directly below Rock Wall One upstairs, which should give you a better idea of the floor plan.

Here's the view of the stairs leading up to the entryway landing. 
I know. That carpet is a little scary. I knew it was getting removed once we were done with the upstairs, so I just kinda went into neglect-mode. 
Basically, pretty upstairs, HOARDERS EPISODE DOWNSTAIRS.

Also, those poor neglected stairs. I was supposed to prime and paint the risers like I did on the upstairs set, and then trim them in around the sides near the wall. 
But, I was a tad overwhelmed at the time. 
So, I'll be adding that to the basement to-do list.
Hold me.

So, this last weekend, we rented a dumpster, and finally began gutting the basement. We started by removing all of the trim and carpet in the living room.

Luckily the carpet wasn't glued down in here, so removing it was fairly easy.

The rest of the basement demo wasn't so easy. 
Here's a pic of the hallway that leads to the bedroom (directly ahead), the bathroom (to the right) and the garage (behind).
This hallway was originally wood paneling, but it was painted before we moved in. I'll be re-painting it and replacing the trim work and doors. 
And probably removing that side-boob light.

Behind that 1970's door is a large bedroom. We used it as a gym for the first couple of years, and then eventually it became the dreaded 'cat room'. Cheese likes to go in there and stink it up, no matter how hard we try to make her litter experience pleasurable.
Tootie is SO horrified by this, and hopes that once there is some new flooring in here, Cheese will get it together.

Here's the view of the opposite way, looking back towards the hallway. All that stuff on the ground is carpet glue, which makes prying carpet off of cement really fun.

Next up is the bathroom. The basement bathroom is pretty spacious, but definitely needs some help. 

My goal from day one was to keep the flooring in the basement consistent throughout, which requires demo-ing the tile in the hallway and bathroom. While we were at it, I decided that I was just going to redo the entire bathroom.
On a budget. 

So, Jesse began disassembling the vanity (which doesn't look all that terrible, but I promise you, up close it was kinda gross).

And piece by piece, he slowly removed the entire thing.
 I always thought this stuff seemed really intimidating before we started renovating this house, but the more we do, the more approachable it seems.
Of course, I was just standing in the corner with a camera, so you should probably negate my opinion.
Also, who noticed the ornament wreath? Let's pretend it was never down here. 

In typical 1970's style, we also found some sassy linoleum underneath the tile.

And after all of the stuff was out of the bathroom, Jesse began the process of chipping up the tile.

After spending about an hour on 3 tiles, we decided to hire out this part of the demo. It cost us about $200, but was worth every penny.
That tile was NOT willing to go without a fight. 

So, yesterday a nice man came and jackhammered my floor for about 6 hours. 
I just can see the original dark wood paneling down by the floor where the trim was pulled up. I've debated pulling this paneling up, too, but I'll probably just replace the trim and repaint the paneling to match the color that I paint the rest of the walls. 
Or I could be non-lazy and remove it. 
Time will tell. :)

Now that we have all of the flooring removed in the entire basement (and a toilet crammed in my shower), we're ready to move on to the next phase. Jesse and I will be doing the flooring installation on our own, beginning this weekend, so my hope is that we survive and that it doesn't take us any longer than we expect.
That's obviously an irrational goal, but reach for the stars, girl.

I'll be back soon to share my flooring choices, my overall plan for the basement, and any other little tidbits or progress that happens along the way. 

In the meantime (before I spend my weekend getting sweaty in the basement), Jesse and I will be celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary. I feel so thankful for the unconditional love this man has shown me over the past 12 years, often despite myself, and I don't know if I would be the woman I am today without his love and encouragement. 

My love for him grows every day...especially when he says things like 'Hey girl, you take a break on this one. I'll rip up that cat-poo carpet for ya.'.

Thanks for being here, ya'll. I appreciate it so.
'Til next time.

The Basement Renovation, Part One: The Demolition Begins!

Are You Ready for Christmas? Here are a few of my LiveLoveDIY Christmas posts:
DIY Ornament Wreath DIY Snowflake Books    Magnolia Leaf Wreath   DIY Christmas Ornaments
Ornament Wreath DIY Snowflake Books Magnolia Leaf Wreath DIY Ornament Ideas

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  1. I'm so excited to see what you do down there! I've been following your blog for awhile now and you're one of my biggest design inspirations. I repainted my entire house in shades of "greige" thanks to your amazing inspiration!

    1. Thank you, Lauren!! That's so awesome. Love it.

  2. Yay Virginia (and Jessie!). Looking forward to seeing how this goes - a huge space that will be exciting!

  3. Such a fun post - when I read your comment about Jesse ripping up the cat poo carpet for you, I thought that this is so something my husband would do for me too. We are lucky ladies! :) Can't wait to see your plans!!

  4. Ohhh sooo excited to follow along on this journey! I can't wait to see how this turns out, no pressure. Really, i'm in for the long haul lol. And Happy Anniversary!! You really are a lucky lady :)


    1. Aw, thank you, Sarah! You're kinda the best. :)

  5. Cograts on your anniversary. May you have many more amazing years. I look forward to following you on your basement journey. I know it is going to look awesome.

  6. You're doing such a great job, Virginia (and your hubby too)! You're one of the people(bloggers) who inspired me to take up arms and do DIYs and all kinds of home projects. I didn't know I have something like that in me. So, THANK YOU! You have a fan here in Hawaii! Aloha!


    1. Aw, thank you, Danielle! That's truly so awesome. I'm so glad you're feeling inspired!! xo

  7. How fun! I really enjoyed this post, and am envious of your energy. You know you're on the right track when the demo pictures look better than the 'before' shots. And I laughed when I read your comment on brightening the room's spirit with sequined pillows :) You guys make it seem very 'do-able' - good luck on the floor! and congrats on your anniversary!!

  8. Hopefully this won't post twice .. never posted a comment before, but felt compelled to do so on this … I really, really enjoy reading about your rehab adventure, and am inspired to update things around my home after seeing how much better your 'in process' photos look compared to the 'before'. And your comment about attempting to brighten up the spirit of the room with sequined pillows made me laugh - thanks for that! Congrats on your anniversary, and I look forward to seeing how the basement comes together!

  9. Congrats on the anniversary! I feel the same about my hubby: I don't know how he deals with this overgrown woman-child sometimes but hell I appreciate the ever-loving heck out of him for it! Can't wait to see the basement progress!

  10. I can't wait to see how it turns out! Happy Anniversary to y'all!

  11. I love watching all your projects. You two have accomplished so much and done such a beautiful job! Your posts always make me smile.

  12. I really appreciate studying about your rehabilitation experience, and am motivated to upgrade factors around my house after seeing how much better your 'in process' images look as opposed to 'before'. And your opinion about trying to enhance the soul of the space with sequined cushions created me have a good laugh - thanks for that! Congratulations on your anniversary

  13. Happy Anniversary to you both! I love your blog and all your renovations you have done while on a budget. And I completely appreciate the fact that you do not pretend your renovations happen in one day. :-) I have been waiting impatiently for this post since my husband and I are also beginning the process of renovating our 1960's burgundy paneled dungeon. I am a little jealous of your "before" pic of the Whoa-Man cave, because it looked pretty good! So I will be looking forward to seeing your progress for inspiration during our reno. We have barely started tearing out walls and I am already terrified, yet encouraged by seeing you guys do it. Keep on "keeping it real" and keeping me laughing!

  14. I love you Blog, it inspires me when I am over painting trim, or weeding the garden, or renovating the next room. we are in perth Australia...we live in the hills so it's pretty and quiet. I love your big American house. I can't wait to see what you do with your basement :) Happy Anniversary!

  15. Ahh this is wonderful! I love seeing what you can do with a budget - gives me inspiration. And congratulations on your anniversary - that's also a hopeful sentiment. :)


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