At last, the fun part of the renovation: decorating.
As always, the bathroom is the focus of my attentions – not least because it presented an opportunity to indulge my fetish for art deco lighting.
Above the bathtub: black porcelain sconces with skyscraper shades from Rejuvenation.com.
Flanking the sink are a pair of period sconces with curved chrome bases from Gallerie Decollect in Port Hope.
Love that streamlined curve!
The period sconces were rewired by a gentleman at Romela Antique Lighting who calls himself “The Lamp Doctor” – so the wiring for these fixtures (unlike some of the other vintage pieces in my collection) is all perfectly safe and modern . I’m not taking any chances with bathroom lighting – water and old wiring don’t mix.
And now, the best part of any reno blog: the side-by-side before and after photos! If you don’t recall what our basement looked like before this renovation, you may want to revisit the first post in this blog for the full horrific details – but here are some highlights.
The main area of the basement, before and after
Laundry, before and after
Stairs, before and after
One of the windows, before and after. Yes, that really is the same window.
The basement height, before and after underpinning
It took a year to plan and four months to execute. It cost a bundle of money. There was noise, dirt, clutter, debris, occasional confusion, miscommunications, and stress. But when you look at how dramatic the transformation is, it’s no wonder it wasn’t easy.
No aspect of the renovated basement gives me greater pleasure than the bathroom.
Except for the last few touches (lighting, decoration), the bathroom is complete, and we’ve been using it daily. (The sconce lights on either side of the sink are temporary Home Depot cheapos – more glamorous and decor-appropriate sconces will be replacing them once the electrical inspection is done.)
It’s truly a huge bathroom for a house of this size. I think I was overcompensating for the somewhat narrow and cramped upstairs bathroom.
The Art Deco style of the black and white tile is deeply satisfying. Of course, the reality of having to keep all that tile clean hasn’t sunk in yet. A great deal of black cat hair seems to be accumulating…
Right now, the only accent colour is the paint (Benjamin Moore Spring Mint). I think it needs a touch of something else – maybe in the wall art. Details, details…
I’m not sure what the best part of the bathroom is. The shower? The tub? Or could it be…
… the heated floor?
At long last, the floor in the main area of the basement has been unveiled. It was installed several weeks ago, but it was covered to protect it from paint and the comings and goings of the contractors.
The floor choice was a bit challenging. I hate, hate, hate wall-to-wall carpet (it’s no good for someone with allergies and a cat). Tile is the safest material for a potentially damp area, but it would have been freezing cold to the feet without in-floor heating (which we couldn’t afford for the entire basement). Polished concrete can be very attractive and also damp-proof, but again, it would be cold without in-floor heat, and it’s also a bit too modern/industrial for the style of the house. So we went with an engineered hardwood. It’s officially rated for basement installation, and anyway, the subfloor and dimpled moisture barrier are there to protect the wood from any moisture creeping up through the foundation.
It looks beautiful!
The main area of the basement still looks like it’s under construction:
But this is deceptive – we are so close to being done.
The real progress has been in the bathroom, which has actually become usable. All the fixtures are installed. The shower glass and tub surround are in place.
The heated floor is working very nicely, thank you.
And the bathtub…well, what can I say? It has been officially christened and launched, and found to be sublime.
Drinking champagne (OK, sparkling wine) in the bathtub this weekend, it was easy to forget all the hassles, dirt, expense, and missed deadlines.
We’ve come a long way, baby!
The bathtub is in.
And so is the shower curb.
Still to be done:
- Painting: lots of painting – walls, doors, trim, stairs, railing
- Installing doors
- Installing sink and toilet, plus bathroom accessories (medicine cabinet, towel rack)
- Installing shower glass
- Last bits of electrical work
- Plumbing – something involving the toilet stack
Everything still looks like a construction zone, but the contractor swears we’ll be “99 percent done” by the end of this week.
The flooring has been installed in the main room of the basement – but before I could see it or take a picture, the contractors covered it up to protect it from the ongoing work.
So no beauty shot yet. Everything is wall-to-wall cardboard while the painting gets done.
The painter has been a bit elusive. I’m not sure why he didn’t show up today. Walls, doors, and baseboards are all in progress, but not finished yet.
We’re getting impatient to have everything done!!!