Sunday, April 24, 2011


Making real progress, and it's been cheap! Our goal for the cellar is our usual budget of $0, so we've been trying to use minimal materials, free stuff, and cheap used materials. So far, doing OK.

Our latest project has been the ceiling in the basement bedroom. It has a horrible dropped paper tile ceiling - which we immediately removed. And then a zillion nails, screws, staples, etc. Also gone.

The goal was to not reduce the total height of the room any more than necessary, because it's only about 6'6" from the floor to the bottom of the joists anyways. So, we decided not to add a ceiling but to create one by cleaning the joists and whitewashing the underside of the subfloor.

Love that vintage wiring job, eh?

Cleaning: $0. Whitewashing: $0 (we had leftover off-white paint from an upstairs project and just added water!). Beams: we bit the bullet and bought Minwax's water based Polycrylic. First time using it and I loved it. Not for floors, but this is a ceiling, so hey! They also had a rebate this week, so we saved a little dough.

And the 70¢ item - we ended up with these awkward places at the top of the walls, where the joists punch through onto the sill but where there's no wall framing. Kind of little bumpouts. After insulating, we weren't quite sure what to do about them - then - eureka! - we should make it look like another beam! So, off to the local ReStore to get a vintage couple of joists. They gave us a couple of great ones for 70¢ (they are moving - closer to us! - and want to clear inventory). Yesterday we cut them to length, installed, and Polycrylic-ed - and the ceiling is officially done!

Next - walls. Getting there! It's so nice to see a finished surface!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lest you think we're slacking...

We've actually got almost the entire bathroom and bedroom (2 of 4 planned basement rooms) ready for stuff like floor covering, wall JC, tile, and wall covering. Somehow, this is all coming together quickly, despite our having really limited time due to crazy work schedules.

Oh, I remember - it's that it was basic gutted space, and we don't need to work around zillions of bits of historic trim, etc.

Here's where we are:

View of one bedroom wall, looking into bath. The dryer vent was a real pain to install. Especially since we don't use the dryer! But, have to have it for future owners. The opening at the top left will have glass blocks. We're trying to maximize light throughout the space.

Looking into the 'laundry nook' in the bathroom, glass block area at the top right.

Inside the bathroom, where the old sink and truncated wall used to be. See that old work table? Stay tuned for next post - it's been turned into a cool modern vanity.

From the bathroom, looking out toward the bedroom.

A built-in shelf unit (no shelves yet) that uses the brick chimney as the back wall. We are using the exposed brick when we can - love that loft look!

We've done lots of other things as well - look for more updates soon.