Finished: Basement!

We built our new house knowing we were going to have to finish the walkout basement so The Teenager would have somewhere to live.  DH and I wanted single-floor living, and we got that in 1250+ square feet main floor:  master bedroom suite, his-and-her offices, a guest bathroom, and one continuous space for kitchen, dining room, and living room.  The plan is compact and efficient, and we both like having no hallways.

The basement is pretty much the footprint of the house, minus the crawl space under my office.  We did not finish the basement at the old house because it already had 2000 square feet of living space, and the crappy aluminum windows leaked in big rainstorms.  By the time we built the new house, the city had adopted new building codes that required a comprehensive drainage systems around new constructions.  This is especially important because our new house is about 100 yards from the innocuous-sounding Spring Creek.

Our favorite contractor (who did all our remodels at the old house) finally got going on our basement in mid-February.  Eleven weeks and $32K later, I am declaring the basement DONE!  Well, except for the glass surround for the shower stall, which is being fabricated even as I type . . . .  I hope.

DH's Exercise Room
DH’s Exercise Room

Why yes, those are interlocking play mats from Home Depot 🙂  We had an extra curtain rod, so we are using it to store exercise bands.  The floor here (and everywhere in the basement) is polished and stained concrete.  It turned out beautifully, but had I known about the xylene solvent (“It’s a double benzene ring,” said my brother the chemist) and how toxic-smelling it would be during the first 10 days, I would have had asked for the polish without the stain.

The exercise room is in a Jack-and-Jill setup with The Teenager’s bedroom.  The bathroom is spacious, and is perhaps nicer than our master bathroom:


The Teenager chose the cabinet, in “Purple Gloss,” which looks like a dark eggplant color.  It is indeed very glossy!  It has a solid surface top with integrated sink.  We asked for the extra-large sink, and a good thing because it is the only one in the house large enough for washing sweaters.


The shower base is also solid surface, and because this is a teenager’s shower, the tiles are very large for minimal grout lines.  The decorative strip is made up of glass tiles in shades of pale grey, with blue accent tiles that were left over from her bathroom remodel at the old house.

Storage cubbies!
Storage cubbies!

Our contractor hates wasted space, so he built these cubbies to take advantage of the space under the staircase.  The short side of the space is in The Teenager’s room:


She now has more storage space than she has ever had, but no doubt she will manage to use it all.

Finally, gratuitous pictures of sewing projects:


I sewed the curtains from IKEA linen and the last of my bicycle-themed quilt scraps.  The Teenager chose the fabrics, so I think she actually does like those curtains.

Floor quilt
Floor quilt

This was the third quilt I ever made, and not as successful as I originally envisioned.  I was in my orange phase at the time 🙂  However, it does work well in her room to cut the chill of the concrete floor, so all good!

Final thoughts:

I would not recommend doing this, but because of our timeline, I picked the floor color, the wall paint, and the bathroom colors independent of each other.  It worked out, but while I like the floor color (supposed to be “terra cotta”), I think I could have gone with my original choice of turquoise!

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