details & resources - upper floor

details & resources - basement

sorry for the delay ... i got sidetracked by a little thing called "last day of school." somehow this, back in september ...

became this, a mere nine months later ...

henry grew about 4", got braces, learned some tough lessons about grades and putting in effort, made some great new friends, got some peach fuzz on his upper lip, joined the swim team and is a natural, has gone from "never played a musical instrument in his life" to "exceeds proficiency" on the trombone, became one with sarcasm and smart assery, and is generally turning into a teenager before our very eyes.

harper also grew a few inches, lost four teeth - three of which have grown in (the one she knocked out of her face when she fell off the monkey bars ... not so much), did a great job in first grade, has no patience for learning to read but earned the "best sportsmanship" award (and the "perfect attendance" award, which she received first thing in the morning on the last full day of school, then ten minutes later ended up back at home with strep), learned to ride a two-wheeled bike, made some great new friends, tried soccer, wants desperately to join the swim team in the fall, shows a strong musical inclination, is full of sass and moodiness, and is turning into a big girl before our very eyes.

in september, i had to drive them to school from the old house. last week, they walked out the door to the corner and got on the bus with their friends.

and now that they've been home for five days (two of which were a weekend), i can safely say that i'm eager for september to return.

sooo ... let's finish this house business. here's the basement, which, like the other spaces in the house but to a greater extent, is even less finished and was less staged for photos. unlike the other rooms, i was rather over the taking of photos, so they are a bit less enthusiastic. the basement is also the most ... suburban. it doesn't really have that farmhouseness to it that squeaks into the other areas. give it time ... i'll change things here and there.

most of the basement is painted benjamin moore's classic gray. you can totally see where the white changes to gray at the corner of the stairway. (sarcasm. that's where henry gets it.) lights going down the stairs are the same as the lights going up - barn light electric's atomic cage light. i really need to start hanging some art.

first thing you see at the bottom of the stairs is a door with an unearthly glow coming from under it. open that door, and what should be a boring, cement-floored utility and mechanicals room has been overrun by a rack, servers, lights, noises, and geekery.

and behind that is more geekery, attached to the wall.

so that's awesome.

walking into the main part of the basement, you'll find, basically, the contents of our old house, transplanted. the sectional from the old basement is now the sectional in the new basement. our old dining room table and ceiling light (again, ikea) is now our game table. and the $10 desk i picked up from a yard sale in college is doing inadequate duty as a media console for marc's new tv. we haven't yet figured out what we want for that job, or how to pay for it until the other house sells, so right now "inadequate" is as good as it gets.

we desperately need bookshelves. all those boxes against the wall behind the couch? books. we know we want to build something, and that something will likely involve the reclaimed barn boards that i found on craigslist, but we haven't worked out the details yet. maybe someday.

the game-ish area ... there is also a wet bar, which is sort of funny because we aren't exactly "wet bar" kind of people.

but it was the one "what if we move"/resale scenario we opted to add, because a basement wet bar seems to be the ubiquitous "granite/stainless steel" "house hunters"-like requirement of minnesota.

and if we were going to have a wet bar, it was going to be "us." so ... another stainless steel counter top. our misstep, however, was building it around a small dorm-type fridge, thinking it would hold nothing more than drinks and maybe a hunk of cheese for my pre-bedtime cheese&triscuits ritual. when we moved in, we realized a) how stupid that fridge looks floating in the space left for it, and b) how cheap and noisy the fridge is. luckily, the cabinet guy *was* thinking ahead, and he built the fridge space standard for a wet bar fridge. so at some point, we'll craigslist the fridge (never used ... anyone want it?) and install a wine/beverage cooler. however, the wet bar is a mighty fine place for a coffee maker; lucky thing my mom bought us one as a housewarming gift because she wants to make herself coffee first thing in the morning when she visits without having to go to the kitchen and potentially wake people up. so technically, it's her coffee maker. but i get to use it.

resource-wise: cabinets are knotty alder ... knobs are through the cabinet guy so i don't have a source for those - sorry; they're awesome ... mirror is really old pottery barn ... faucet is danze parma

and did you notice the bare windows of the sliding door? i still haven't found replacement curtains. so the lovely west elm rod remains bare to this day.


anyway, leaving this area, there's a bathroom ...


the one room is the whole house where i've managed to hang art? the basement bathroom. i know.

this room is painted simply white, like the rest of the house. white subway tile and a pretty border with a mix of light blue glass and some white and gray marble 1" x 1" tile. the towel bar/hand towel ring/tp holder in this room as the same as the ones in the main level bathroom ... moen inspirations. i got a serious deal on them through amazon ... they cost us about $30 a room for each set of three pieces. nice. the mirror in this room is from ikea (it's an illness, really), which i painted with silver martha stewart paint from home depot. marc hung it one weekend when i wasn't home ... and it's about 4" too high. never send a 6"4" man to hang a mirror for regular people to use. i'll make him fix it someday. the light in here is quoizel quinton. i'm not in love with it. it doesn't put out enough light, it's too small ... it will be swapped out someday. maybe about the time we move that mirror down a bit.

just past the bathroom is my mom's room the guest room. again - completely furnished with stuff from the old house.

the dresser was in our dining room, and the bed was in our "master" ... my dad made it for us based on the pottery barn stratton bed, and i found baskets at ikea. (shocker.) when we moved into this house and i started planning the guest room, i decided the bed needed a makeover, and painted it charcoaly navy blue - dutch licorice from valspar.

bedding - sheets are from target, quilt is from pottery barn, duvet is old, discontinued restoration hardware (remember when they sold color?), accent pillows are all ikea.

the last room in the basement - and of this tour - is marc's office. one reason that i haven't fretted over much in the basement other than the guest room is that it's pretty much marc's domain. i essentially made him a deal: i would let him make the decisions about his office and the tv room and i wouldn't  say a word. both of those spaces are more for function than anything else, so i let it go. i didn't get involved when he and the wiring guy wired a speaker right next to the window, making it impossible for me to ever hang curtains. i didn't get terribly involved in the wall sconces in that room, though they are another set of lights i would love to remove someday and replace. (i mean seriously, how cool would these be??) i haven't gotten involved with any part of his office, which has turned out to be - as tim gunn would say - a lot of look. but he built it custom for his needs, it works for him and he likes it.

the walls in this room are the most color of anywhere in the house - benjamin moore winter lake. marc is definitely a blue guy, and the smokier, the better. let's see how much ikea we can spot in this room: varde island pilfered away from me? check. varde wall cupboard and it's undermount lighting? check. lockers? check. stainless steel desk tops? check. he built the u-shaped desk himself, with 4x4s and lots of brackets, and the stainless table tops were the perfect size to finish it off. those super cool vent-type lights he picked out and mounted in the corners? not enough light. so lighted shelves from ikea? check. and they are dual purpose: he then has a place to put his collection of how amazingly geeky smart he is, and how good he is at his job.

i'm a really good girl and won't let his styling bother me. it's his space. i won't touch it.

i think that's actually it. we made it through all three floors ... upper and main floors, in case you missed them. if there is anything i didn't hit on that you want to know, please feel free to leave a comment and i'll get back to you.

this whole build was truly a labor of love. mcdonald construction is amazing to work with, we appreciate their flexibility when it came to the things we customized, and if we weren't already in a nearly perfect house we would build again with them in a heartbeat. the architect, teresa, is a genius, and she took my vision and made it come to life better than i ever imagined. diana, our sales agent, is such a wonderful person and was with us every step of the way, and we hate that she's moving to california. tracey at che bella, who helped with some design decisions and totally got me and my vision. everyone we worked with was amazing, and the whole project was near flawless. we love our house, and don't plan to leave for a very long time. unless we win the lottery, then all bets are off.


Ery Kendall

You have a really beautiful home. I love the couch so much!

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