Finishing touches: Art Deco lighting

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.

Black and white art deco bathroomAbove the bathtub: black porcelain sconces with skyscraper shades from

Art deco skyscraper wall sconceFlanking the sink are a pair of period sconces with curved chrome bases from Gallerie Decollect in Port Hope.

art deco bathroom vanityLove that streamlined curve!

Art deco streamline chrome sconceThe 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.

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Before and After

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.

Basement before and after underpinning

The main area of the basement, before and after

Laundry room before and after renovation

Laundry, before and after

Stairs before and after

Stairs, before and after

Window before and after

One of the windows, before and after. Yes, that really is the same window.

Basement height before and after underpinning

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.

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The bathroom in (almost) all its glory

No aspect of the renovated basement gives me greater pleasure than the bathroom.

Bathroom sinkExcept 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.)

ShowerIt’s truly a huge bathroom for a house of this size. I think I was overcompensating for the somewhat narrow and cramped upstairs bathroom.

BathtubThe 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…

ToiletRight 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…

Heated tile floor… the heated floor?

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Floor, revealed

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.

Engineered hardwood floor in basementThe 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.

Engineered hardwood floor in basementIt looks beautiful!

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99 percent

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.

Cat on heated bathroom floorAnd the bathtub…well, what can I say? It has been officially christened and launched, and found to be sublime.

BathtubDrinking champagne (OK, sparkling wine) in the bathtub this weekend, it was easy to forget all the hassles, dirt, expense, and missed deadlines.

BubblyWe’ve come a long way, baby!

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Approaching the finish line

The bathtub is in.

And so is the shower curb.

shower curbStill 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.

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Floor – a teaser

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!!!

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