Apparently, my DH has home improvement on the brain. But this is one renovation I didn't mind making. Unfortunately, I don't have any after pictures to share, so until I do, I'll just tell you what we did.
Our house is two stories (storeys? Who cares). The first floor is on the street level, with the living room, dining room, kitchen, etc. Then we have a daylight basement, so the second floor is downstairs rather than upstairs. This is great for the summer time, because the downstairs is about 10-15 degrees cooler than the upstairs. The rooms are floored with concrete, and are partway underground, so it stays very cool. Admittedly, it's hard to keep warm in winter. Well, not "hard", just "expensive". LOL
Anyhow, in our downstairs, we have my office/guest room, my eldest daughter's room, the Steamboat Willie bathroom I showed you guys a few blogs ago, our home theater (DH has a 57" TV) and a second kitchen with a second set of washer/dryer hookups. Yes, I have two sets. :P But that's a different story. I guess whoever renovated the daylight basement wanted this house to have two living areas. Because if you put a door at the top of the stairs, you could have a renter downstairs with their own kitchen, w/d, bathroom, and a couple of bedrooms.
Well, we've renovated the theater/kitchen area a while back, now it was time for our great room to get some TLC.
Here are some before pics of this room we took when we were looking at the house, before we bought it. That piano isn't ours.http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimgoings/14972210/in/set-361573/
If you poke around in that picture set, the room we renovated is the one with the hideous checkerboard floor. No, it's not tile, it's paint. And no, it is not "cute", it is HIDEOUS. These people like, never mopped, and so there's these permanent stains and scrapes and scuffs, it's just so horribly ugly. We HATE that floor.
Anyhow, a long time ago, we ripped out that wall with the windows. Inside that wall is our theater, which has pictures here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimgoings/183082474/
All of those DVD's are on the NEW wall we built. Mind you, that wall is a LOAD BEARING wall for the house, and the previous owners took OUT studs to make the "cute" little window wall complete with screen door and screens on the windows. WTF? But I digress.
So, we added the studs back in and put some insulation in this wall and it looks great; from the theater angle. The wall has been unfinished drywall in the great room for a LOOOONG time.
We went online and found our paint color for the great room; Glidden's "Celestial". It is a light sky blue. Why that color? Because we wanted the room to be the kids' schoolroom/play area. Our ultimate goal was for the room to be a soft blue with primary colors here and there as accents. So away we went with the paint.
Mind you, if you've taken a look at all the pics with the checkerboard floor, you'll notice that the icky icky yellow color goes up the staircase and through the small hallway past the bedroom and behind the stairs. Needless to say, we had a shite-load of painting to do. The yellow did not make the room brighter or more homey. It looked nasty, like a dungeon. There's a concrete retaining wall that they'd painted black, and it was just dreary in there.
So, first thing we did was paint the concrete quarter-wall back to white, not black. Took a couple of coats of white primer and a coat of white paint. Then we primed the walls with tinted primer, tinted the same color as our paint. After that, we had to do about three coats of paint. Why so many? Because we were idiots, and our second coat of "paint" was actually a coat of primer. We'd gotten the cans mixed up. So we woke up yesterday, and all sorts of colorful words could be heard echoing in that room when we'd learned of the switcheroo. LOL
This set us back about two hours, as we had to repaint the room with the correct color. And the hallway. Thankfully, the stairs hadn't factored in our paint snafu.
Then we had to sand all the spackle on the unfinished wall and texture it. We had to buy a few cans of "orange peel" texture, and you just spray it on, to make the wall a little rough, not just like "Hello, I'm painting on drywall". LOL Besides, the wall needed to match the other walls. Finally after that was dry, we painted that wall. Yay! After months of unfinished wall, we finally had paint up!
DH had an awesome idea which I was apprehensive of at first, but now I'm so glad we did.
We carpeted the room. Not professionally, but ourselves. We bought cheap, office-grade carpet in a dark blue that looks FABU with the wall color and glued it to the concrete floor with carpet glue. This was basically so we don't have to A.) look at the ass-tastic checkerboard any longer, B.) no more mopping, and C.) it gives the kids a nice play-area, and brings the room together very nicely.
We then bought 12 of those interlocking floor-mats, the soft kind that kids play on, in primary colors and set that up in the middle of the room. We found AWESOME lamps that have six "arms" that you can bend wherever you want light. On the end of each arm is a primary colored cover for the lightbulbs. I don't know what they're called, but it looks awesome. Then we bought some spray paint, because we're going to paint all the light switches and plugs in yellow and red. Against the light blue of the walls, it really stands out. Also, we changed out the one lightbulb fixture on the ceiling into a rectangular florescent light fixture, and it gives the room a "schoolroom" feel.
The room has been TRANSFORMED. It looks bigger, and 100,000,000 times better. I'll try to get some pics of it soon. The only thing that sucks is our ugly folding tables that have to be in there when I do school for the kids. We eventually want to get four individual school desks.
We're not done, as there's still some trim to paint, and shelves to put up for the school books and DH still needs to put up my whiteboard and stuff, but all the major things have been taken care of.
But the important thing is, this room no longer looks like a "basement" room. It just looks like a "room". And getting rid of that damned floor was like the last thing to get rid of the previous owner. Ah... Free at last. LOL