I went back and forth about whether or not to continue blogging in the new year…while I have always done it first and foremost for my own record keeping, there’s always a pressure to “keep it up”. TBD on that decision, but in the meantime, a little life update:
While I’m no longer at my day job (big life change #1), my side hustle kept me quite busy all through the fall and into December. The change in seasons also brought a big career move for Page (big life change #2). Now that the holidays are behind us and the winter lull is starting to set in…it’s only a couple short months until life’s pace picks up yet again…this time, with the arrival of a fourth family member (do you see a pattern here??).
photo credit: April + August Photography
April will bring a baby sister to round out our clan, followed soon after by another milestone change when Crew climbs on a big yellow bus and starts kindergarten (what?!) this fall. It’s an exciting time in our family life that seems to be both much of the same day to day, but also busily speeds forward the moment we blink.
So please excuse the infrequency of the posts here while I figure out if blogging makes the priority list this year, but know you can find more regularly shared bite-sized updates over on Instagram. I’ll leave you with a couple more shots of the (very much in progress!) room updates for our little lady. Happy new year, friends!
When we built our home four years ago, we had an idea of what we wanted to do with our basement level, but we weren’t in a huge hurry with so many above-ground decisions to make in the meantime. Page drew out a rough idea and our builder framed it for us, and stocked it with drywall. And that was how it sat for a year or so. Slowly, we’ve been moving it forward over the last couple of years.
We’ve been using this lower level so much now that it’s complete, starting with our living room. The leather couches moved down here (finally!) and they are perfect for family movie nights. I love that we kept it light and neutral down here (paint is Sherwin Williams “City Loft”, trim is SW “Extra White”) since our only natural light comes down the stairwell from a window, and from the two egress panes on one end of the house.
The play area is as getting as much use as ever (and the Ikea Algot toy closet has paid for itself in spades!). You can see more of the toy closet and the inside of the playhouse here.
Crew’s under-the-stairs playhouse is one of my favorite projects to date!
We tried to maximize the daylight by going with glass doors to the gym. Page picked this wall color (SW Oceanside) and I admit I was skeptical at first, but I love the change of energy and mood when you walk in here (which I need to do more often than I am right now. Ha!)
This black metal plaque from Magnolia is my favorite detail in here.
The last pieces of the puzzle were the bar and golf simulator. We bought stock cabinets which I painted (SW “Cascade”) and we built the counter from butcher block stained Carbon Gray by Varathane. We debated adding a dishwasher down here but after so much up-and-down in our last basement bar with dirty glasses and snack bowls, we opted to include one this time around. We did vinyl flooring because of the nature of basements -it’s from Home Depot and the color is Weathered Wood.
Page used remnant pieces from the counters to create floating shelves and found the hardware on eBay. The faucet and cabinet hardware all came from Amazon.
The golf simulator is by SkyTrak and Page installed it himself. We had to walk on many, many 1-foot squares of turf before he found “The One” 🙂
I love how all the textures and tones came together in this area. The stone isn’t the exact material we have upstairs, but it’s so darn close and carries the vibe from upstairs down to this lower level.
And I’d be remiss in not pointing out the barn door we had built as a solution to the noise of both the simulator and if we want to watch a movie down here after Crew goes to bed. It’s hard to convey in photos but this thing is massive. You have to love a talented trim carpeter – this is perfectly cut at the bottom to hug up and around the skirt trim that comes down our stairs for a sealed closure.
Another favorite little detail is the angled corner step down into the simulator. I will never forget showing up late ONE TIME to our builder meeting and noticing they had marked a sunken foundation. I knew exactly what had been decided without me – ha!
Thanks for following along. I’m so happy to have this big project checked off our list, and we’re finding so much validation in how frequently we are using the space!
In case you missed it, Life in Yellow is now 29th and Delight and I’m jumping right back in with a tour of our updated main living area! After finishing our lower level, we moved the existing furniture downstairs to make way for some furniture we scored on Black Friday. I love the way this space has come together over the last year and we’ve spent a lot of family time in here playing games on the coffee table and snuggling on the sofa.
This room has been painted, with a door, and a bed for quite some time. But when we learned we’d be hosting company last week, we kicked it into high gear to finish out some of the details.
While Page worked in the bathroom next door, I did my best to pull together some little details to make this room comfortable for our guests (and yes…maybe benefit us long after they leave when one of us is sick or snoring – the other often ends up down here!) 😉
I scored a dresser at our local HomeGoods for a song, and we added a spare TV from storage, connected our Hulu to it, and framed all the passwords for our guests. 🙂
I’d like to find a prettier standing mirror eventually, but for the time being we hung a smaller one behind the door for getting dressed.
There’s nothing worse than being too hot or cold — this room runs particularly cold in the basement, but I made sure a spare blanket was easy to find if needed.
I’m so pleased with how light and airy this space feels for being a basement room with only an egress window to provide light.
When Crew was over his sound machine from babyhood, it made sense to keep it down here for those who like white noise. (Dohm makes the BEST sound machines, if you’re in the market!) I also added a wall USB/iphone charger because I am the POSTER girl for traveling and forgetting a charger cable.
One of my favorite details in the room is the “Hotel” print — and the colors work so perfectly on the wall color.
Much of what we used in this room was repurposed from elsewhere in the house and no longer available to link online (sheets are Garnet Hill, and the duvet, bedside table, and lamp are all IKEA, if you can luck out in store), but sharing what I can!
The guest bathroom in our basement level is completed! Do you hear the angels singing?!
Some out of town friends coming to visit was just the push we needed to pony up the last dollars and burst of energy needed to bring this three-quarter bath to completion.
We are thrilled with the result and I’m swooning in bathroom heaven. Per usual, Page whipped out his mad DIY skills to build the vanity to scale. He did all of his own plumbing work (seriously…I did not even know this about him when I married him…score!) hooking up our shower and sink and toilet and installing all the plumbing fixtures.
I don’t like when things get too “matchy” so combining fixtures in both shiny chrome (already in our door handles) and matte black (to echo the dark floor tile and shower grout) struck the right note for me.
My very favorite part is thinking through all the little details — spare (stylish) toothbrushes, the cutest little overpriced travel toothpaste I’d never splurge on for myself, soaps, lotions, and everything else someone away from home might need.
The beauty of a bathroom that isn’t heavily used on a regular basis is that you don’t end up with all the “stuff” of a daily use bathroom. All we needed in here were a couple of towels and a bath mat stashed under the sink with a basket for extra toilet paper, and a quick spray paint “first aid” box project to hold some basics for our guests.
Thanks for peeking in! And if you need me I’ll just be over here tile-gazing and soaking in the success of (finally) checking this project off the list!
I last posted some updates about our basement bar/living room here, and the guest bedroom / bathroom here, earlier this winter.
Since then, it’s been flooring glory!
Beginning in the bar, we put down a “luxury vinyl” (that term kills me) at the recommendation of a couple different flooring experts, because of the fact this is basement level. It’s still dusty in this pic, but we love the variation in the color, and the texture that looks like real scraped wood.
I’m totally psyched about how the cabinet color turned out (“Cascade” by Sherwin William), and it was all in all a piece-of-cake job. The bar will have some copper accents, including this cabinet hardware. After weighing a TON of counter options, we’ve decided to stain some butcher block for the counters to match tones in the floor, and keep some woodsy depth going — it was starting to feel like a light of “light” between the carpet, paint color, and white trim.
In the bathroom, we went several rounds of plumbing WTF moments — the super short version of a very long story is that our basement was originally plumbed for a tub/shower combo — not what we wanted. And because the builder had already been in here once to jack up our foundation and move the pipe once before (it was originally placed in our storage closet on the other side of the wall — face palm), we didn’t want to do that yet again. So we settled for an above rough-in “special” (read: expensive and must be custom ordered — budget increase/timeline delay GRR!) shower pan insert. To make it feel as little contractor grade as possible, we opted to surround it with subway tile up to the ceiling, and hopefully draw eyes away from it altogether. I love the contrast of the dark grout on the white tile, and grounding it all with the dark floor tile and light grout that makes it pop.
A standard shower door won’t fit the space and while we looked at some alternative options, we are MORE than happy to put in one of the many cool rod options I’ve seen popping up, along with an extra long curtain and call it a day down here. This portion of the project ended up way over budget, both in time and money, and I’m okay that a curtain tucked to the side still shows off the tile. A toilet, some trim, and a vanity that Page would like to build himself will finish up this bad boy.
The basement is just one of many projects in the works right now, but as soon as there’s more to show (hopefully just a final “DONE” tour!), I’ll be back!
Excuse any gushing that follows (mirror or man related!) but I had no idea how handy the guy I married ten years ago would turn out to be — and more recently, he’s evolved from handy to downright artist.
I mentioned to Page before the holidays that while we were making a few little decor updates in our master, I would love to get rid of the awkward jewelry armoire that stood right inside our bedroom door, and swap it for something more low-profile in the floor space — specifically, a giant floor length mirror.
I had pinned a few inspiration mirrors (West Elm and others), but nothing was quite right. I knew I wanted the clean modern lines, but not too minimal — I still wanted some “chunkiness” and it needed to be large in scale with our high ceilings and not be totally dwarfed by the extra-tall wardrobes on the opposite wall.
This guy can read me like a book. He took my inspo pins, and concocted a design all his own. He even chose the wood — maple — to tie in some of the lighter tones I’ve been using in this room in the form of baskets and jute bins.
I didn’t know or see ANYTHING until it was 95% done!
I’m in love with the legs on this mirror and I would have never come up with these on my own. I wouldn’t have necessarily thought to add legs, period, and I certainly wouldn’t have thought outside the box to angle them the way he did. They remind me a bit of an art easel, and I love that they’re the only white element, tying it all back into our trim and doors and wardrobes.
(For the handy ones interested, they are 2.25” square legs made from three pieces of wood laminated together. He routed them with a roundover bit to then cut them at 15 degree angles at both ends.)
Because you truly do see the mirror from the side first walking into our room, I love the chunky profile he gave to it. The glass sits halfway back in the frame, so from the front it doesn’t feel as deep, making the side that much more “wow” factor.
Even with its simple lines, the details are still there. To fit the mirror inside, Page routed a groove inside each side, then added the little square filler notch in a contrasting piece of oak to plug the routed grooves so they wouldn’t show from the outside.
Love. Love. Love. Happy birthday to me! (And yes, the builder and his faithful project manager both “signed” it for me!)
Following up on last week’s post on our “kid corner” — the understairs play space and our toy closet — I’m sharing more progress today in our basement, as we make our way to the final stages of our basement finish. Today I’m sharing the guest room (well on its way to completed) and our bathroom (nowhere near…but happening very soon!).
Since I last shared any photos of this room, we’ve checked a few items off the list, both big and small — it’s validating sometimes to see just how much it takes to bring a space to fruition (and a good reminder to me to be patient with the progress). Walls have been painted, carpet installed, curtains and light fixtures installed, closet system installed, door handles on all the doors, vent covers reattached to the vents, and we moved in a bed and a couple little decor items. I still love this paint color (although damn if that blush color isn’t suddenly EVERYwhere!). I’m on the hunt for an upcycled mid-century dresser to put opposite the bed, both for storage and to hold a television. I feel like I need that in place first before deciding on whether or not to add a chair or bench in here, and the walls are mostly still bare, but this room is officially functional!
In sharp contrast, I give you the bathroom, right next door! We’ve hit a plumbing snag in here that may change the approach we take to this shower, but either way, the lighting is installed and the tile has been purchased and is stacked just outside the shot you see here, waiting for our contractor to work his magic, hopefully starting yet this week. If I had to narrow it to one guiding inspiration room, it’s this one:
You can see more of our inspiration for this bathroom in this post, and since then, we’ve more or less stuck to the plan. We went with a black slate floor tile, white subway tile in the shower, and contrasting grout for both. The light fixtures are in, and we’re in the process of picking out black plumbing hardware. Page plans to make our vanity similar to how we approached the bathroom in our last basement in our first home.
That’s where we are today in these two spaces, hoping to share more on them very soon. In the meantime, I’m working my way through the rest of the basement, with more basement updates to come. Happy Monday!