I didn't mention it in the last post I wrote, but over Memorial Day weekend, disaster struck.
A little backstory: we purchased the house we did partially because of the 1970s wood paneling in the basement. My husband grew up with similar stuff and it was a comfortable nostalgia for him. Well, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend said husband stayed up late watching TV in his favorite recliner and slept all night downstairs. We had had an unusual amount of rain in the area and I heard of a few basements flooding around town. But ours had always been dry. HAD. UNTIL NOW.
I woke up the hubs later in the morning by yelling down the stairs. What I got back from him were even more yelps! Standing water nearly everywhere! It took a couple days and ripping up quite a bit of carpet to discover the problem. Prior to us owning the house termite abatement had happened in the basement. This involves drilling holes through the foundation, putting insecticide in, and filling in the holes later. Except our basement had been carpeted before the holes could be plugged.
That's right. The entire perimeter of our basement was perforated, and due to the extreme rain amounts the water table had actually risen. We plugged the holes when the water went back down, but in the mean time all the carpet had to go. One hole had a shop vac on it for 3 days before it stopped burbling water.
It took a while for us to gather ourselves and re-carpet, but I took the opportunity to redecorate my tiny sewing/storage/craft/guest room.
Here is a before, with a wide angle lens:
Since it was just somewhat painted and repaired concrete we'd need an underlayment. The floor isn't super level, so I wasn't going with vinyl flooring. Carpet it would be.
Thanks to a past time of watching home improvement shows I'd heard about this relatively new product designed for basement floors that needed a bit of airflow. It was within budget, barely. But, it was fairly easy to install, and should our floors leak again we might not need to replace the carpet.
Our basement actually felt more insulated and secure with the new subfloor. If it's weren't for the color and plasticky sound when you walked on it, I would have been tempted to stop here.
Next stop on my remodel list: paint. I don't mind painted paneling at all, but as this was a "raw" surface, I went with a primer. Killz instantly came to my mind, but the helpful hardware store gal said Zinsser was better for covering paneling in her experience. It was nice stuff!
It lightened up the room SO MUCH. I used to think my one overhead light was just too dim and it would eventually need replaced, but it was just wall color this whole time!
I was also really pleased with the feel of the room now that I painted the bulkhead at the door white as well. I left most of the corner and edge trim the original color. This trim is plastic, and the paint would not have stuck very well anyway.
The last piece of the remodel journey is carpet! The hubs and I were deep in a long term "discussion" about color for the main part of the basement, but he said I could do what I wanted in my sewing room. Since budget was a definite concern I did my online shopping thoroughly.
At Home Depot (the place with the friendliest shipping policies for us) I found a carpet square product that seemed too good to be true. Apparently large corporations over buy when redecorating several locations or large buildings, and this carpet can't be returned for resale to the manufacturer. Home Depot buys it up at discount, mixes up the colors and styles, and sells squares of the same dimensions in a box. It's professional grade, brand name, but not matching. And all at $0.94 per square foot. I followed advice and over purchased by 30% and was not sorry. I seemed to get more warm tones than cool tones, so here is my crazy quilt of a floor THAT I LOVE.
In all of the basement clean-out we also got rid of a mattress that was easily 20 years old. It was a queen size and took up most of the floor space in the room.
I researched options and came across a tri-fold memory foam mattress on Amazon that was rated fairly well. Combined with a collapsible frame and a topper for those side sleepers to sink into my new fold out bed was just over $300. It's covered with a quilt when not in use. It's not the best couch to sit and sew on as the memory foam sinks weirdly when it's folded up, but it's a very nice bed. Hubs uses it when one or both of us is snoring. ;)
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!