A Weekend's Worth of Basement Progress
THE RAVENNA HOUSE Last week I asked Garrett how I could help move the basement renovation along and he said, leave town with the baby.
Well it didn't come out quite like that. There was an "I'll really miss you guys" and "it would be really helpful" thrown in there, but that was the gist. He needed us gone. And I tried not to be hurt by it.
Of course he was right. Long are the days when Garrett and I work side by side into the wee hours of the morning. We've got sleep schedules and swim lessons to work around now. And the only way to get this lingering reno done is to dedicate days to it, not just hours snuck in between naps and bedtime.
So I packed up Wilder and headed to gramma's farm in rural Washington. We hiked and fed chickens and enjoyed the sun. My sister came up from Portland with Wilder's cousins and we planted a vegetable garden. It was such a lovely, quiet weekend, that I started to dream of moving to the country.
And when we finally did return to our little house in the crowded city, I found that Garrett and Papa had been busy. They had tiled and grouted, painted and trimmed. They worked late and skipped meals. And they had lots to show for it. Here's what the basement's laundry and bathroom look like now:
The laundry countertop is actually a slate pool table that I found on Craigslist for $100. Garrett cut it to size using a skill saw outfitted with a diamond blade. Next he polished it and smoothed the edges using an angle grinder with various-grit polishing pads. He kept the surface wet during the entire process using a garden hose. It was actually pretty easy, or so I was told, despite the thing weighing a ton. Well maybe not a ton, but Garrett and Papa had to buy a dolly just to get it to our car. Here's a few pictures of the process:
I'm also really impressed with the exposed beam and columns. Garrett and I sanded them down and added polyurethane. I think they add a really nice historic juxtapose to the new finishes in the basement. They help remind you that you're in an old house.
And how great are the floor tiles? I asked that Garrett lay them in a herringbone pattern to mimic the kitchen backsplash. They still need a good scrubbing, but I think they're lovely.
There's still a lot of work to get done in the basement. The vanity needs a coat of paint and a mirror. The lights need to be installed. The shower needs to be tiled and the bathroom door hung. And I want to add shelves on either side of the laundry cabinet and paint everything white. But overall, it's come a long way. Do you remember what this space looked like a few short months ago?
Yeah, a long way!
Anyway, we're trying to finish the basement in time for Wilder's first birthday party in mid-June. It's an aggressive schedule for us part-timers, but I'm really hoping we can pull it off. I may just have to spend another weekend or two in the country!
p.s. All that time in the country has me dreaming of country houses.
p.p.s. Or how about a barn for a country house? Meg Ryan did it.