Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I love when people ask me what our next project is! We are having a great time turning this small house into a great home that feels more like "us". Your interest and comments are very much appreciated.

 Thanks for reading our little blog!

We have a few things planned for the spring - Hello brown and beige trim/siding/gutters outside! - but for now we are getting to a few things that won't break our bank.

First up is our basement.

Once the stairs got their beauty treatment, the rest of the basement was looking and feeling a little drab and unloved. 

Yep. Drab and unloved. 

We have cleaned and straightened and organized it a few times since the great move in dump, but it is needing some real attention now.

The first thing that needed to be undrabbed, was the corner fireplace.

We debated for a while what to do with it - white wash the brick, paint the brick a fun color, paint the mantle and upper wall a fun color.... You get the idea.

We did not love this color at all. 

We wanted to make the basement as light as possible. As is the case with most basements, we have only a few small windows for natural light. The bricks were light sucking. 

That revelation helped us decide that we wanted to cover them completely.

So out came the Kilz. It is recommended to use primer first if there is any staining from soot. We didn't want anything messing up our lovely paint job, least of all show-through black soot.

It covered like a champ. Yay!

But man was this stuff stinky! It is hard to ventilate in a basement. Even though this is a product for indoor use, it is potent. We had the little tiny window open with fans going and we still could smell it for a few days after. Fortunately one coat was enough.

Oh - So much better looking already!

The whole space feels lighter already.

After the primer dried for a week, we were so ready to get the rest of the basement brightened up. 

Part of brightening up the place, Hero tackled an unexpected (on my part) job with the existing lighting. 

For whatever reason, there was a recessed light in a super awkward spot right in front of the fireplace wall. Not only was it thisclose to the TV, but it looked like a 6 1/2 watt bulb, it was so hidden up in the ceiling. (Take my word for it.) So Hero moved it to a better location and replaced it (and it's brother) with a much more efficient recessed light. Sorry, no photo of those.  But they are just like the ones in our kitchen.)

The problem I was in charge of fixing is how to patch the hole. 


I'm not a huge fan of the textured ceiling, but it is what we were working with. It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Once I gave up on the idea that it would match perfectly, I was free to be creative with the plaster patch stuff. 

It actually didn't turn out too bad. 

Good. Moving on.

See the gray spot on the ceiling just above Hero's right hand? That is the patched area. Once everything was painted it blended in just fine.

We decided to paint the entire place the same color. The fireplace, the ceiling, the walls and the trim. It is Bistro White (Valspar) and is the same color as the trim and ceilings in the rest of the house. 

We did flat for the ceiling, satin for the walls and fireplace and semi-gloss for the trim.

(You can see the old color on the right of the fireplace. Not the worst ever, but compared to the clean white, so drab. Not sure why we waited until actually painting that wall to take the clock down though.)

Between Hero and I, we had two trays going at all times. He usually does ceiling and I usually do trim. And we share the walls. We just kept rotating what we were doing and switching up trays, rollers and brushes. Amazingly we did not get anything mixed up.

We love it! It all looks so clean and bright. With everything the same color, the space really opens up. We needed that since there are so many different things going on - three slightly different ceiling heights, corner fireplace and a post right in the middle of the room.

After we got done painting, I swept and mopped and dusted. I washed the slipcovers on the couches. I sewed a few new pillow covers. I edited out some things and accessorized. We actually have stuff up on the walls, too, to make it feel much more "Murphy". 

Not too much stuff though.


And after.

We spend a lot more time down here now. It is so cozy with the fireplace - Hero hooked up the gas and it warms up so nice. And the couches are so comfy for snuggling and taking little naps.

For the cost of some paint and a few lights, we are really happy with the way our basement got a new look.

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