If you happened to catch my last post (which also happened to be my first of 2014), then you know that I swung into the new year like this…

wrecking ball#

Yep, practically-almost-kind of EXACTLY like that!  Well, minus the Doc Martins… I was wearing my cute pink steel toes!

On January 2nd, we kick started our looooooong awaited #BasementRenoBonanza!!!!

*Release confetti canons*

Hubs and I have been in our 1980’s home for nearly 9 years now, but I’ll never forget when we were house hunting and first stepped through the front door together…our eyes locked and we had one of those telepathic conversations without saying a word…

Hubs: “WOW” *insert grin*

Me: “WOW good or WOW bad?”… “Cuz I kinda love it, but I don’t want to be the one to say it first” *smirk*

Hubs: “WOW…I love it” *insert double eyebrow raise* “I think it’s our forever house…well, unless of course we win the lottery”

Me: “It does need a LOT of work, but we have TONS free time!  We can totally tackle all of the renovations ourselves…you know, when we’re not out having a quiet romantic dinner, catching a late night R-rated movie, and spending Saturday mornings in bed until noon” *insert naïve smile* 

Oh…you’ve gotta love the blind ambition of a young, newlywed couple.

Annnnnnnd then two kidlets came along!

Annnnnnnd then the ambitious renovation plans slowed to a snails pace!!

We have successfully chipped away at some of our initial reno wish list… new roof, bathrooms, laundry room, exterior façade, windows, flooring…yadda, yadda, yadda!

But there has been one project, ONE massive overhaul that I have been dreaming about since we moved in… and that day, my friends, is here!

You should know a few more quick tidbits before I dive in too deep here and show you the GAWD AWFUL basement before photos…

We bought our home from a lovely couple who happened to fashion themselves as handy dandy renovators.  The hubby worked shifts and often had stretches of 3 or more days off to hammer away… need I say more!  Although they had “finished” the basement, there were a few head scratching design (and safety) abominations…

Are you ready for this???  (And I should note that our before photos were already partially demoed). Before family room

Fun things to note about the family room…

The corner gas fireplace was (likely) self-installed and genius-ly vented out of an exterior window well… Oh, and sealed with concrete!  Yep, the previous homeowners had opted not to place the fireplace in the obvious niche (near the garbage bin) and instead eliminated any form of natural light by attaching a shite flexible tube to the window.  What a crap-tastrophe!!!

Our plan:  Bye-bye nasty corner fireplace…Hello sleek, modern gas fireplace built into niche!

Inspiration a la Houzz:

And then there’s the bathroom…

Before bathroom

Let’s first discuss the awesome electrical panel BETWEEN the bathtub and toilet.  OY!!

And I should also note that the previous homeowner was very proud to share with us that he purchased the tub “second hand” when he was renovating the bathroom.  Needless to say, I REFUSED to use it, and it has been a giant storage bin for us since we moved in.

Our Plan: tub is getting tossed in a dumpster, we’re enclosing the electrical panel into a separate storage room, and including a new stand-up shower and vanity.

Inspiration a la Pinterest



Now for the playroom and “games room” (where no fun and games were happening)…

Before games room playroom

We did a minor redo of few years back of what used to be a woodworking shop in the basement, and turned it into a bright blue play room for our boys.  It was 100% a bandaid solution and never really “done”, if you know what I mean.

The games room was a hawt mess and giant waste-o-space since day one, and through the demo process, we’ve discovered that the huge drop bulkhead where the billiards light was hanging from was completely unnecessary.

Our Plan: We’re going to be able to smooth out the ceiling to full height capacity (yay) and divide the space into two rooms; a new playroom and a double office for both hubby and I to share.  Oh, and au revoir to the pool table and bar!

Office inspiration a la Pinterest



Finally, I wanted to include some before pics of the basement entrance… Before stairs hallway As you entered into the basement before, you were met with an uber exciting hallway of doors (…can you sense the sarcasm).  Five doors to be exact, and all different heights and widths…fun!

Our Plan: open up the main wall connecting the previous playroom and family room, and create a kick-ace entertaining mecca.  After the renos are complete, the first thing you will see at the bottom of the stairs will be a fab 5 seater bar with fridge, sink and dishwasher.  Can you say “HOUSE PAR-TAY”?!

Inspiration a la Houzz

Here’s a plan view of the changes to give you a better idea of where we’re headed…

Basement Before revised bathroom

Just looking at the after drawing makes me do an awkward happy dance!!  I cannot wait to unlock the true potential of the space to better suit our daily lifestyle!!!

As you can imagine, I’ll be writing a bunch in the coming months about our reno project here, so stop by again soon to see the progress, or follow along on Instagram by searching #basementrenobonanza

Now, I’m off to look at flooring samples, and quite possibly lick a hammer…




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2 Responses to Basement Reno BONANZA: The “Befores”

  1. Danica says:

    That first picture is hilarious!!! FYI on that stone on the fireplace, we found it cheapest at Home Depot but many boxes come with broken pieces. It is very very easy to apply!

    • admin says:

      Oooh, great tip! Thanks Danica!! We are likely going with stone from Home Depot, so I’m glad to hear it’s easy to install :)

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