New plans for the basement

When I showed you a few updates from our massive pre-Open House cleaning spree, I neglected to shoot the basement thanks to a burnt out light. It’s all good though, because you deserve a proper update on our nether regions (not THOSE nether regions…)

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The basement isn’t looking too bad. Nearly all of the tools and construction equipment that was residing in the living room made its way downstairs.

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It certainly isn’t perfect down here, but I don’t have to walk by it every day. So there’s that.

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We put up some shelves in the corner by the water heater. They are holding miscellaneous photography business stuff, Christmas decorations and boxes of childhood memories that our parents forced upon us when we bought our first house. Apparently, they were done fondly remembering the years of our youth and wanted to make better use of their space…

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Aaron also installed our new chest freezer!

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And apparently the sump pump is collecting yard tools.

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The real story down here is that we inadvertently lied to you. After we sealed the basement, I said “guess what’s coming next guys?!?!” and tossed down this not so subtle clue.

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Even in our 6 month update, I perpetuated the now discarded layout.

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So maybe “lying” is a bit harsh. There was no malicious intent. The notion of living in a space before you make changes is certainly a wise one. Things are a changing down here:

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Still the same basic functions (workshop, wine cellar, and storage) but in a new and improved configuration. It might make more sense if we take a bird’s eye view.

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The focus of the original plan was to send people straight into the heart of the wine cellar. Basically, everything else was secondary. And we even had a big chunk of space that was just going the be open. (Yeah, I’m confused looking at this too.) A few things prompted the layout change:

  • The wine cellar square footage really started to shrink once Aaron thought about how much clearance he would need for tools and furniture to come in out and out of the basement. Walking things straight in and out is a much easier path.
  • Moving the workshop also allowed for access to the two windows. These will provide much needed ventilation and some natural light. As part of the wine cellar they would stay boarded over and Aaron’s respiratory system could be in serious danger in the other corner of the room.
  • The arrangement actually allowed us to expand the footprints of the workshop and the wine cellar, which I’m sure we’ll put to good use.
  • The storage space is filling in the cracks a bit. The storage between the two will be narrow, but we’ll utilize all the space by building shelves between the pillars. Larger items can go near the water heater.

Still with all those changes we worried that we were losing some of the elegance of the original design. We really wanted to be able to send guests down to the wine cellar and not “past the workshop and around the water heater to the door with the wine behind it.” We settled on a longer path to the wine cellar, but one that was a bit more finished feeling. So the white space in the layout will be semi-finished with walls and doors covering all of the useful bits. It will make a bit more sense once we can implement some of our design aesthetic… which seems to be our mantra here. “Just wait. It will make sense… and then totally blow your mind.”

So that’s what’s going on in our down under. It took a little more thinking to get to a design that really maximizes the space. What’s your M.O. for tackling renovations? Do you dive right in or make a plan and let “living in the space” tweak it to perfection?

10 comments

  1. Mom

    We will always remember your youth fondly, just didn’t need the boxes around for that. By the way, I still have some stuff here that one day you guys will have to go through. Love ya m

  2. Kati from so happy home

    First, your mom is too cute. (Hi, Heather’s Mom!) Second, I love the new plan! Smart, and it gives you the chance to make your wine cellar area more cave-like (which your guests will no doubt enjoy). Plus, you can’t live your life for the 8 times a year you’ll have someone in your basement.

    I always prefer to live with things to get a better sense of what does work v what won’t work for much longer. Gives a greater sense of priorities, even if you can clearly see space plans right away. Ensures you won’t have renovators’ remorse, you know?

    • Heather

      She’s hilarious 🙂

      Good point on the 8x per year thing. Overall this is definitely a better layout. Hello space for more wine!

      I know exactly what you mean. We’ve had a lot of vision for all of our spaces, but I’m glad we didn’t (really, we couldn’t) tackle it all at once. The tweaks we’re making are going to ensure we make the right choices. Living in an apartment do you miss the option to renovate? Perhaps your design work is filling that need?

      • Kati from so happy home

        I completely miss the opportunity to morph my world to suit my needs, but luckily our landlord has been pretty ok with us adding shelves, painting, hanging art and lights. We go to open houses and my problem-solving brain goes bonkers trying to fix whatever is not quite right with each apartment… I need a new project, mine or otherwise, to help fill that void. 😉

  3. Susan

    You might be in trouble. Your other mother hasn’t started passing things your way yet but it is coming. (Set in some doom and gloom music). Bummbummbumbum. Maybe she’ll be gentle.

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