Our kitchen is finally done! It has been a long road through the biggest renovation of our lives. It wasn’t easy — especially at dinnertime — but the final product is well worth all of the work. In fact, our new kitchen is even better than we could have dreamed of, thanks to AyA Kitchens and Baths.
See below for photos of the new space. Plus, tour our kitchen in an episode of H&H Online TV.
We are thrilled with how open our kitchen is now. Our son has been running laps around the island and is enjoying all of the freedom this new space provides. (And I like being able to keep an eye on him while I’m making dinner.)
The cabinets are what really pulls this whole space together. The dark grey colour is exactly what we were looking for, and I love how they stand out against the white walls and accessories.
Remember how cluttered our old kitchen was? (Read about it here.)
We now have tons of storage space, including a few lift-up features to hide some of our smaller appliances.
Above is the first appliance lift-up cabinetry that hides the microwave. A few years down the road, if we no longer need our microwave, we can still utilize this space for additional storage.
Here is our second lift-up that houses the toaster and blender. Both of these small appliances used to be eyesores on our counter, taking up valuable preparation space. Now they are tucked away and ready for use whenever we need them.
Our AyA designer, Sandra, was so helpful throughout the entire process, especially when it came to space planning and flow. As you can see, we also have a lot more usable counter space. The island alone provides us with more counter space than we ever had before. I love how much built-in storage we have now.
Last, but not least, is the banquette. The handsome drawers below the seat cushions look so sleek — you’d never know that they’re housing small appliances, linens and other kitchen items. And because I love to bake, I now have plenty of specialty pans and tools that are easy to reach.
Our kitchen was once a cluttered space that wasn’t functional for our busy family. Now, we have a beautiful kitchen that we can’t wait to use. We couldn’t be happier!
The day has finally come! A big truck from AyA Kitchens and Baths arrived earlier this week and dropped off dozens of boxes containing the components for our new kitchen. Seeing all those boxes makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning (except this time, I know exactly what these pretty packages contain: our dream kitchen!). Take a look.
After some major unwrapping, the installation commenced. In renovations past, my husband has always been the one to take on installations — he is incredibly handy and loves DIY projects. But for a renovation of this magnitude, we opted to have AyA’s team of installation professionals do the work. And with all the tasks still ahead — installing every cabinet, fixture, shelf and design detail — it was money well spent.
Pictured above is the wall where our fridge and stove will go. We opted to leave the upper wall completely open, except for any cabinets that are above the counter — those will now go to the ceiling. Although it might not look like it just yet, we are going to have a lot more storage than we did in our old kitchen.
This is my first view of the banquette and it looks amazing so far! It feels so much bigger than what I expected. Plus, all of those boxes beneath the bench contain drawers for even more storage: I plan to keep platters, linens and small appliances I don’t use everyday in here.
While the AyA team tackles the installation, there are still plenty of details for us to sort out, such as ordering countertops, backsplash and hardware, and choosing a few other design details. We chose Caesarstone’s Frosty Carinna for the counterops. It's the shade closest to the marble I had originally loved, and has beautiful grey veining that works well with the dark grey anthracite cabinets. Our designer, Sandra, coordinated this part of the renovation, receiving the quote and organizing the date to have our countertops templated and installed.
Next on my shopping list was the backsplash. Since we have very few cabinets above the counter, I decided that the backsplash would go as far up the wall as possible on the oven and sink walls. As I mentioned in my last post, I love the look of marble, mosaics and solid slabs. The final choice, however, ended up being something I hadn’t even considered: a 2” x 2” milk glass tile that will be installed in a diamond pattern. Here is a shot of what we selected:
I think the white shade will keep the space feeling open, and it's something different than subway tiles, which we already have in our laundry room and bathroom.
As for the hardware, I knew we wanted to go with brass. The only decision to be made was whether to choose something rough and antique looking, or something shiny. Here are the two options we considered. The antique-style is shown above.
And this is the shiny style. We ended up going with the antique-look fixtures (we liked that they didn’t have visible screws) in a polished brass finish, to add a hit of glamour to our kitchen.
To replicate the cosy banquette inspiration shot I had in my initial plans, I had a custom cushion and back made to run the full length of the bench. I am already envisioning the late-night coffees or Sunday brunches we’ll have in this fun space. To make it more visually interesting and comfortable, I also had throw pillows made in complementary colours. We opted for outdoor fabric, since it will be more durable over the long run. (In other words, it will hold up better against grimy kids’ hands and inevitable spills.)
After browsing through hundreds of samples, this grouping stood out as the clear winner for our kitchen. I love the combination of yellow and grey.
Now that our dream AyA kitchen is almost complete, I’m excited to put together all the finishing touches. I can hardly wait to see the big reveal!
1-4,7. Jennifer Mader
Last week was a big week in our kitchen renovation journey. After a few months of gathering inspiration, it was finally time to take action.
While we knew the demolition would be a swift process, it still came as a surprise when we came home after work one day to this bare space, below:
Believe it or not, this is my new kitchen. The far wall that housed my fridge, stove and sink is now stripped bare. And remember that wall with the cut-out to the dining room? It’s gone!
The view in the photo above is from the other side of the room. Amazing! It’s not even done and it already feels so open. It was definitely the right choice to take down that dividing wall.
There is no looking back once you are down to the studs. (The photos don’t quite do it justice — we’re literally walking on plywood in here!) Even with all the drastic change, it’s hard to believe this raw space will one day be our dream kitchen.
My husband and I are trying not to let this quick progress fool us, however. It’s overwhelming to think of all the work that stands between us and our brand new AyA kitchen.
There are still so many design decisions to be made. Having already selected our cabinetry, I can now move on to the many other steps in this makeover process. In addition to making some tweaks to our kitchen design, the next round of decisions includes sourcing new flooring, countertops and backsplash tiles.
Here are some examples of floors I love:
I adore a herringbone floor. I am also leaning towards light floors — I think they will add a fantastic contrast to the dark cabinetry and hold up well with the wear and tear of a young family.
I also love the look of wide-plank flooring. The floor shown above is made up of reclaimed wood. Not only does it bring a rustic feel to the room, it’s also an environmentally-friendly option, which my husband and I both love.
When it comes to countertops, I’ve been dreaming of marble. Most of the inspiration shots I have collected are marble, marble, and more marble. However, our AyA designer recently introduced us to quartz. Because quartz is harder and less porous than marble, it’s more resistant to spills over the years. (In other words, it’s the perfect countertop option for a young family like us.)
Here are some of the quartz samples we’re considering:
We really like the natural look of these two samples. Plus, they are similar to the many marble samples I’ve been admiring throughout the planning process.
As for the backsplash, I am having a hard time deciding. (It’s a big commitment!)
Here are some backsplash ideas I’ve collected so far:
Did I mention I love herringbone? If we don’t go with herringbone flooring, I think this tilework (above) would look fantastic going all the way up the walls.
Throughout the process of shopping for all of these finishes, we’re collecting samples wherever possible. By taking home our various options, we can go home and play with each combination and see what they will look like in the true light of our space.
Now that our space has been opened up and we’re well on our way to selecting our finishes, all we need is an actual kitchen. Let the building begin!
Click here to read Jen's previous blog post.
Last week, my husband and I went to AyA Kitchens & Baths for our kitchen consultation. We got to see our professional design layout — after weeks of gathering inspiration to prepare for our kitchen project, it was exciting to see it all come to life at the showroom.
Before our appointment started, I walked around the showroom and was able to get up close to see the kitchens they had on display. It was also great to see exactly which finishes we could consider, and what kind of gadgets we could build in. (I was excited when I saw the Franke apron sink on display, which is exactly like the style I’ve been eying online!)
Like many families, kitchen space is an ongoing issue for us; we loved to see that there were so many space-conscious designs to choose from. Although I love going online for inspiration, nothing compares to seeing something in person.
Here are some pictures I took from our visit:
I love the moss green cabinets and brass hardware in this kitchen. It looks fantastic alongside the rustic tractor stools.
The brass faucet is gorgeous, and definitely something I want to add to my wish list.
This kitchen is more contemporary than I would like, but I want to keep this countertop and ceiling-height marble backsplash in mind for my own design.
This is the Franke sink I have been eyeing for our space. It’s nice and big — perfect for a busy family.
Our design consultation with Sandra at AyA allowed us to review our wish list and go over the photos we brought in. She encouraged us to think about our kitchen even more thoroughly than we had been: Would we like a preparation sink? What about storage beside the banquette to maximize that wall space?
Sandra made it clear to us from the start that there are no stupid questions and no limit to the number of tweaks we can make when it comes to getting our dream kitchen. Best of all, we trust that she’ll steer us in the right direction if we are making a mistake.
Here are some of the functional elements she recommended, all of which we decided to add in:
Built-in garbage to free up floor space. This will make a big difference in our small space, both aesthetically and functionally.
This brilliant feature is called a “magic corner.” My husband loved this one. By having the pull-out, we can actually see what is in the back of the cupboard and utilize all of the space.
I didn’t think I would want a built-in dishwasher, but once I saw them in the showroom, it was quickly added to the wish list!
After going over — and adding to — our wish list with us, Sandra walked us through the cabinet styles that best fit our shaker-style vision.
There were so many options to choose from!
Much to our delight, choosing the cabinet colour was easy; we fell in love with a rich grey called Anthracite. Not only do we think it will add handsome character to the room, it also looks like it will hold up against the wear and tear in our busy space.
After looking at cabinet colours, we couldn’t help but jump ahead to countertops as well.
There was a much bigger selection in the showroom than I had anticipated. In fact, they have an entire room dedicated to counter top choices:
They have everything from quartz to granite, and Corian to marble. And so many shades to choose from.
The design recommendations we received from our consultation with AyA Kitchens & Baths has maximized our space more than we ever thought possible. My husband and I have gone through every inch to make sure we have a place for everything. We’ve even made large-scale printouts of the plans and hand-wrote what will go where, cross-checking the design against our notes and list of needs.
The final verdict? We love it! Now, armed with our detailed design plan, we’re ready to move forward with our renovation.
Next stop: demolition time!
Click here to read Jennifer's first renovation blog post.
Photos: Jennifer Mader
When my husband and I bought our very first house, we knew we’d have some renovations ahead of us. Five years later, we’re ready to tackle the most overwhelming project we’ve ever embarked upon: renovating our kitchen.
From day one, we kept track of our kitchen problems, writing things down as they happened. Things like, “can’t find spices at the back of the cupboard,” or, “fighting over counter space while making breakfast.” And everything in between. While making these fix-up notes seemed tedious at first, they are really helping to have now that we’re moving ahead with the renovations. In fact, as we start this daunting process, our wish-list of fixes has actually kept us on track.
Here are some before shots of the space. (Another note on our fix list: Where do we put all of these appliances that are taking up our entire counter?)
For us, lack of storage has always been a problem; we usually end up piling things on top of the cupboards when we can’t find a home for them.
Like many old homes, our kitchen is small and separate from the dining area, making it next to impossible to carry on a conversation while entertaining—even with the cut-out in the wall. (It is also next to impossible to keep track of where our 18 month old son is running to while we’re trying to prepare meals!)
Of course, we also have an aesthetic wish list. While this part is definitely more fun to compile, it’s also overwhelming. There are so many customizable options—like materials, styles, colours, etc.—and countless directions in which you can go. The kitchen in particular feels like such a big commitment, as it really is the heart of our home—and we want to put our personal stamp on it.
For the past few months, I have been gathering ideas and inspiration to figure out the general look I want. The specifics will come later, of course.
Here are some of my favourite kitchen inspiration shots:
I love the idea of a built-in banquette. I feel like this would really help maximize our space.
I really like the combination of light and dark elements in this kitchen. It looks very open and functional.
The pendants, open shelving and tall storage up to the ceiling really stand out in this kitchen. This does not look like a huge space, and yet there is a place for everything. I can only hope to achieve the same with our kitchen!
Now that we’re armed with our lists of fixes and inspiration, our next move is to meet with our designer at AyA Kitchens & Baths to discuss our design. I am excited to sit down with a professional and hash through our wish lists and see what we come up with.
While my husband and I think we have a pretty good sense of what our kitchen needs, we love the security of knowing that a team of professionals will be with us along the way to make sure we end up with the kitchen of our dreams.
Stay tuned for Jen’s next blog post, when she reveals the outcome of the kitchen consultation. Find out which cabinets she chose, plus get a glimpse of the colour scheme and overall design.
1-4: Jennifer Mader
5: Mark Burstyn
The best day of our basement renovation was when Ikea delivered all of the components for the built-ins and the kitchen. It all fit in the newly opened up front room so the installation team could work in the other half of the space comfortably. You've got to love the flat pack!
They were meticulous about making sure everything was perfectly aligned, and in a house that's over 150 years old, this can be tough.
We opted for wood cabinet interiors. I like seeing a wood finish when you open a cupboard door, it just feels more polished.
The outside of the cabinets is a white painted finish. We designed the upper cabinets to tuck in neatly under the newly moved heating vents and included a surrounding fridge that sits just a bit proud from the cabinets — a simple detail that added a custom feel to the kitchen. It's actually great to have a second kitchen downstairs for caterers when we host parties and for storing extra bottles of wine.
Here Ikea's Staron counter is being installed. Amazingly, they brought most of the counters — which were each about 12 feet long — down in single pieces and they went in perfectly! In fact, I had no idea that they had been there that morning — that is how quietly they went in and out.
There were a few seams to blend but they were so meticulous that you can't see a single line.
We tried out a few faucets before committing to the Hovskär by Ikea. The black finish is sharp and modern, and ties in with the other black accents that will be included in the decor.
Here are the work stations with the Staron counters and custom powder-coated metal legs just after they were installed. They effectively hide the basement foundation walls out of sight.
Check out the finished basement in H&H's December 2013 issue, plus an Online TV tour in November.
1-9. Arriz Hassam
And so our basement renovation moves along! (If you missed my previous posts, click here.)
After the drywall went up, it was finally bright and fresh, but a bit on the dull side. Although after all that construction mess, I was happy to see the space this clean.
This is what I call the "sauna" phase, when our 4"-wide panelling from Brenlo went up on most of the walls. This is pre-paint, and it felt like a true '70s basement for a moment. Even unpainted, you can see how much character the panelling added.
Going down the back stairs felt like you were entering a sauna, or a Calvin Klein ad from the early '90s.
This is the other staircase at the front of the house that leads to the laundry room. We're packing this space with oodles of Ikea storage for all of our fabric, tile, wood and paint samples. Plus a few laundry supplies.
And here is our new compact but functional laundry area across from the stairs. The stackable Whirlpool machines are brilliant, and I have to say that I prefer moving clothes in and out of the stackables — way less bending involved. I feel like I've stepped into the future with how well they operate, too. (That's our kitchen sink in the box on the left, ready for the next phase of renos in the upstairs kitchen.)
Another exciting day was when the first two boards of Moncer white oak flooring went down. It was wood overload down there for a moment! But I knew the walls were going to be painted out soon. This flooring is such amazing quality to have in basement and will add so much warmth and richness to the space.
At the back door, we recreated the herringbone pattern that was used in a guest bathroom from the Princess Margaret Hospital lottery showhome last year. We used all of the leftover black slate from our cottage shower, which I was thrilled about as I really hate having unused materials after a project. We heated the floors with Nuheat under-floor heating (you can see the coils by the door in this photo). It will come in handy for keeping the floor dry and warm in the winter. I love this hit of pattern right when you walk in.
And here is the bathroom almost finished! The back-mount Duravit sink sits on top of a floating white oak vanity that matches our Moncer flooring perfectly. And the Bestlite sconce that used to be in our bedroom feels right at home here.
And here are the walls with the first coat of Benjamin Moore's Cloud White (CC-40) paint on the panelling — so much brighter! The entire space will be Cloud White (always my go-to white paint). And it's the perfect choice for brightening up a basement.
Check in Friday, July 5th for the photos of the new basement kitchen!
Arriz Hassam & Suzanne Dimma
For those of you who read my blog post way back when about my pending basement reno, you already saw the befores of the former one-bedroom apartment that used to occupy the lower level of our Toronto home. We've decided to turn it into a functional office space instead.
Here's a quick recap of what it used to look like with its crammed corner kitchen, builder-basic bathroom, dark bedroom with rickety shelves and tired wall-to-wall carpet, tiny living room with too many drywalled vents that lowered the ceiling height, a dreary laundry room and the dated entryway.
The demolition process is always a stressful mess, but it's also liberating. There was dust everywhere and it crept up through the floorboards to the rest of our house. But it was exciting to see the whole space transform as the walls came down. We opened up the old kitchen and living area to reveal how big the main room would be (once the furnace was relocated).
I loved how open the area looked when the bathroom walls were out.
We had to break up all of the old 2" white ceramic tile, and here you can see the framing for the new shower.
Garbage bag after garbage bag was filled with the torn-up carpet and old linoleum tile underneath it.
We stored all of our basement stuff under one of the staircases with a bit of plastic on top. Needless to say, it got super dusty too and there were a few times when I needed to dig through the plastic to find something.
Here are the ceiling vents with the drywall removed, right before we shifted them over to the new furnace room. You can see how much headroom they took up right down the middle of the hall.
This was probably the messiest day — when the ceiling was taken down.
Here you can actually see the furnace in its new home next to the hot water tank by the front staircase — so much more efficient to keep all of the hard-working parts together.
The cats were totally confused when we ripped out the closet at the back staircase to open up the basement to the first floor and reveal the stairs hidden underneath.
The laundry room was even off limits so I had to take our laundry to my parent's place for a while.
Stay tuned June 21st for photos of the drywall progress and July 5th for the kitchen installation.
If you read my previous basement blog post, you've already seen the before shots of the basement that used to be an apartment. Now we're renovating it into a proper home office. Things are already underway with gutting the space, but I thought I would show you a few of our inspiration photos for the final look.
To help get you oriented, here is the existing layout:
And here is the new layout that Arriz has been working on:
The basement has pretty decent ceiling height already, but in order to maximize head room as much as possible and to save costs involved in digging down further, we've relocated the furnace and ductwork to the outside walls. You can see how moving the furnace opens up the space. We probably saved about $30,000 in choosing not to dig down — and avoided creating a massive mess in the already landscaped backyard. My plan is to play up the low ceilings and cosiness with plenty of texture.
The thing I am most excited about is our new back entry. This is the floor plan and the elevation of that area. We've mapped out a herringbone-style slate floor, inspired by one of the bathrooms at last year's Princess Margaret Hospital showhome, using some slate that we have leftover from when we built our shower at the cottage, (Browse photos of our cottage here.)
The herringbone will resemble this photo.
I've been inspired by a super simple and clean Scandinavian-modern style for the overall look — think white oak floors, crisp white walls punctuated by black accents and modern iconic furniture. In a basement where light can be scarce, I think it's smart to go for an open, light look. I saved this inspiration photo from the book Timeless Architecture & Interiors (2008 Beta-Plus Publishing).
This is another inspiration shot I pulled — for the white built-ins and freestanding furniture paired with a bit of white oak on the shutters.
To add texture and elevate the look of the basement, we're installing vertical panelling like this on almost every wall and customizing the doors in a similar fashion for a bit of character — so much nicer than basic drywall.
Thom Filicia's American Beauty (2012 Potter Style) was a terrific source of inspiration as he works with panelling quite extensively throughout the book.
When I saw this staircase online (right), I did a double take because it's so similar in layout to our staircase from the back door landing (left). I'm hoping that ours will have a similar feel — including the custom railing.
We've ordered Moncer wide-plank flooring in white oak for the entire basement. It was a bit of a splurge but, with everything else being white, the floor had to be amazing. Plus the space will be taking some wear and tear and we wanted a top quality floor choice that could handle it.
We still want a kitchen in our basement — it's great to have additional storage space. Plus, I think it will add to the value of our house should we ever sell, since the new homeowners would have the flexibility of using the basement as a nanny's suite, a kid's play area, or turning it back into a rental unit.
We've designed the kitchen to run along one wall so it takes up very little visual space and blends neatly into the background. We're going for all-white cabinetry from Ikea. After all, we are going for a Scandi look!
I like the look of Ikea's Akurum horizontal cabinets with the matte finish Applåd doors. The narrow profile is perfect for the basement's lower ceiling and the matte finish has a sophisticated, contemporary look. We aren't installing butcherblock counters like in this photo, but I like the cabinets and seamless cooktop here. For countertops, we chose Ikea's white Staron so everything will blend together. We're also using Staron for all the long desk surfaces. It's a perfect material for a working area as the surface is super smooth and easy to clean.
Because the second phase of the reno involves turning the upstairs den into our principal bedroom, I'm planning on moving the Nelson Saucer Lamp that's there now down to the new mudroom. And I'm going to move the chandelier that's in the kitchen up to the bedroom. I'm actually doing major lamp, hardware, furniture and carpet shifts throughout the house so there isn't any waste on things I've already purchased — so much better to repurpose than discard!
These BestLite BL6 Wall Lamps are moving from our current bedroom (soon to be a walk-in closet!) down to the basement. The general idea is chrome in the basement and gold and brass upstairs.
We copied H&H art director Mandy Milks's bathroom reno with this wall-mounted sink from Duravit and Kohler faucet (but ours will be chrome). Our sink won't be floating, but this is a great trick to open up floor space in a small bathroom. (Take a video tour of Mandy's bathroom here.)
We're going to sit our sink on a floating vanity similar to these.
We're also using the black hex ceramic tile on the bathroom floor as a continuum from our upstairs hall. You may have seen this hall when we shot our house for Christmas a few years back.
In keeping with the overall look, we're going for a Scandi-modern style with our furniture choices. With so many built-ins, we'll need to work in some freestanding character pieces. But again, we are going to try to repurpose things we have. This sofa and chair from our upstairs den (this room has had a few incarnations!) will be moved down to the basement.
This is another incarnation of the same den. The vintage desk and the patterned carpet will also be repurposed in the basement.
I love the modern clock in Sally Armstrong's kitchen and have kept a wall blank to house the same one in our basement.
For the laundry area, we're upgrading to this state-of-the-art set of steam clean precision dispense front-loaders from Whirlpool. I love that they can stack, and then if we relocate or renovate again (god forbid), we have lots of flexibility with how they can be configured.
Stay tuned for my next blog about the demolition! It's hard to believe this space is going to look like the inspiration in this blog.
Don't miss Suzanne's basement before photos.
1-3. Arriz Hassam
4. Pinterest, unknown original source
5. Timeless Architecture & Interiors, Yearbook 2009 (2008 Beta-Plus Publishing)
6. Desire to Inspire, photography by Bieke Claessens
7. Pinterest, unknown original source
8. Thom Filicia's American Beauty (2012 Potter Style)
9a. Suzanne Dimma
9b. Esquisse blog
10. Remodelista, photography by Macdonald Wright Architects
11a. From Scandinavia With Love blog
11b. Akurum cabinets, Ikea
12. Nelson Saucer Lamp, Y Living
13. BestLite BL6 Wall Lamps, Nest
14. House & Home March 2013 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
15a. Metropolitan Home via Plush Palate blog
15b. Timeless Architecture & Interiors, Yearbook 2009 (2008 Beta-Plus Publishing)
16. House & Home November 2010 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
17. House & Home August 2009 issue, photography by Angus Fergusson
18. Houseandhome.com, photography by Michael Alberstat
19a. Charles Eames Style Chair, Chair Outlet
19b. Wegner Easy Chair, Design Within Reach
20. House & Home February 2013 issue, photography by Virginia Macdonald
21. Duet Steam Front Load Washer, Whirlpool
22. Suzanne Dimma
This winter, my husband Arriz (Arriz+co.) and I are diving into our basement renovation. After six years of living with a tenant down there, we decided to take over the space and turn it into a working home office that will also house our laundry and storage rooms. There will still be a 3-piece bathroom and a kitchenette, so that if we ever decide to sell, the space can also work as a nanny suite.
Here is what we're working with:
The entrance to the basement from our backyard. It is so uninspired and the green tumbled slate tiles and pine treads are entirely dated. To the left there will be a new 3-step stair case leading into the home's upper level.
In doing this we'll have to get rid of the built-in cat litter boxes and closet by our back door to create flow between floors. I can't tell you how excited we are to be able to keep the cat litter on the lower level of the house! And we'll finally have a proper mudroom. No more tramping snow and ice onto the hardwood when we come home.
This is the second "secret" staircase that leads to our laundry room at the other end of the basement. It is super narrow so I think we'll only use it on the odd occasion once the reno is complete. Our plan is to open things up in here a bit and get rid of the builder-basic doors and railings.
And this is the old laundry room. Totally boring! Yellowed vinyl tiles, leftover kitchen cabinets and no work surfaces. Not a happy place to do laundry.
My former tenant used this space as a living room. As you can see, it's fairly small and there are some unfortunate vents that make the room low and awkward. A huge portion of our reno involves moving the vents to maximize the ceiling height. The furnace sits behind the futon here and by moving it to an outside wall, this room will double in size.
Here is a shot back into the living room. The wall on the right is the furnace room that will be torn out — along with that old wall to wall carpet!
This tiny corner kitchen will be ripped out and the space will be opened up to the old living room.
There is a long hall (with more vinyl tile) that connects the bedroom to the living room and kitchen. The door on the left is the bathroom but it will have to move locations in the new plan. And as you can see, the basement has low foundation bench walls around the periphery, as it was never fully dug down. But we've decided not to dig down any further. For our needs, the extra cost (about $40,000!) is not worth it. Instead our goal is to move the vents to the side, minimize the foundation benches by hiding them behind built-ins and panelling, and then play up the cosiness and layer in some character.
This is the current bedroom that will also be opened up and all of those bookshelves have to go, not to mention the bad basement window in here.
This is the totally awkward bedroom closet that will be torn out.
The bathroom is a decent size but nondescript — pretty much builder-basic, especially the tub. In the new scheme, there will be a walk-in shower in place of the tub.
Stay tuned for my roundup of inspiration shots for the basement reno, coming soon! Plus, learn tips from H&H editors for renovating basements.