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Project Down Under: Kitchenette Cabinets

We are making a lot of progress on the basement.  She is  slooow but steady.  I can't wait for the FUN part of actually decorating this place. Here is the kitchenette from a few weeks ago -- I need to update it with my favorite new lighting over the sink.  I'll tease you along and make you wait for more.


Due to Uncle Sam and his greedy taxes, we may have to do a Phase 2 for the appliances.  #highwayrobbery

Also, I am PROUD to say I finished the whole30 program today and I feel pretty damn good.  30 days without peanut butter is a sacrifice but I did it.  I am 10# down and haven't had a stomachache in... guess.  Yep, 30 days.  I am actually going to do a semi-Whole 45 and introduce a little PB back into my life and see what happens.

PS, does anyone even READ this blog anymore?  Sometimes I feel like I am talking to myself.  Give a lady a shout-out if you read this post.  :)

Project Down Under: The Beginning.

I am going completely out of order on the basement blog posts, but OH WELL.    That’s what happens when you remember you have a blog about décor/design/DIY midway through a décor/design/DIY project. When we started planning the basement, my husband and I both agreed we wanted to employ an architect.  We wanted to make the space functional while eking out as much useable space as possible.  And since I walk around various houses thinking, “god, didn’t this builder use an architect?!”  (sometimes I just think there is the goofiest mis-use of space or a randomly placed window/door, etc.)   I thought I would practice what I preach.

Our architect took our vision and just sort of tweaked it and made a few recommendations. (by the way, if you are local, I highly recommend our architect!  You can find her here.)

Here is the original plan:


However, when we moved a bunch of giant piles of crap, our contractor noticed a few pipes and made a recommendation to flip the kitchenette and TV zone to save us money on plumbing.  I think it all worked out for the best.

On one side, we have the “entertainment zone” that will someday house my husband’s 10000000” flat screen TV.    There will be cabinets on either side with shelving on top

basement cabs

The plan is to remove the front panels on the cabinet doors and install screening such as this so that the electronics can “breath.”

The cabinet on the right hand side will actually be modified a bit to house our sump pump.  Speaking of that, we also installed a back-up system after a near disaster after the great thaw of 2014.  We will still add the screen to the front, but NOT remove the panel so that it will muffle the noise.

On the other side we have the kitchenette .


We opted out of the typical stand-behind bar set-up as we didn’t want anything so permanent and wanted some flexibility with the space.    This is where I feel very self-indulgent when I start describing our plan.  First, I need a double oven.  That “need” may only happen 3-4 times a year, but I still “need” it.  We could have modified our kitchen to include the second oven, but thought it would be easier to add it to the basement as we were starting from scratch.  Above the oven will go a microwave that we already own.   The original plan was to add a dishwasher drawer instead of a full sized dishwasher.  But, this would increase the cost of the cabinets since they would need to be custom.

Fortunately, we have a very nice stainless steel fridge in the garage that we can move downstairs…otherwise, I’m almost penniless with the construction and other appliances!

That's it for now.  More to come!

Project Down Under: Paint

The perils of picking paint!! I always (strongly) suggest my clients get a few paint samples and do large (e.g., 3' x 4') swatches either on the wall or a piece of poster board.  You really need the size to judge the color.  The teensy paint chip won't cut it.   Plus, you always need to try it IN THE space with all the variability of lighting that takes place.  It's amazing how the actual space and lighting can impact the color.  Otherwise, you will be out $40/gallon and your time... that is, unless you have a professional paint it.  Then, take that amount and multiply it by a million.  #commoncore

Did you know Home Depot sells this nifty little post-it type thing (called the "Sure Swatch") to paint on and THEN you stick up on the wall!  For only $.98 apiece you can more successfully choose your paint color.

My first issue with the basement paint color is I was limited by my husband's need to save money and go with Behr paint.  I was already aware of two popular gray colors I could choose, Dolphin Fin and Silver Drop.   I dutifully used the post-it method and we chose Silver Drop.  However, as you can see in the photo below, it looked REALLY beige - not the direction I wanted to go in (the largest swatch on the left).   So, at 10:00 pm, 8 hours before the painters came, I threw up as many gray samples as I had on hand and went crazy.  DECISIONS!


We ended up going with Dolphin Fin after all.  On the swatch, it looked like it had a lot of green undertones, but it looks fine on the wall!  It might be the second or third one on the left... I can't even remember.  Photo coming soon!

For the bathroom and the workout room, I had Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl matched in Behr paint.  It went on swimmingly.  Much darker than normal, but those rooms don't have any natural light.  Photos coming soon!


The Project Down Under

Once again, I am almost at that 6-month mark between posts. I know I have explained that my creative mojo has dwindled... but somehow in the mix, I forgot I had a BIG new project in the works.... my basement!

We have waited over 5 years for this project to start and desperately need the space (sleepovers, entertaining, March madness addictions..). The absolutely BEST part is my WORKOUT ROOM! WOOHOO. I really hope this will instantly allow me to shed 25+ pounds.

Here are a few photos to gaze upon (iPhone photos, sorry):

Looking into my WORKOUT ROOM!  The open space in the back is the crawl space.  We are going to have the access on the other side of the basement and build cabinets back into this space.  I can't stand the giant wasted space of a crawl space...

If you want to see some ideas for the workout room, you can check out my pins here. 


This is the view as of yesterday.  When you walk down the stairs, there will be a kitchenette to the left (with plenty of cocktails) and the entertainment zone to the right. Having the drywall up gives you a true sense of how big/small the rooms are but the dust is making me cranky and stabby!


From a design perspective, I really am trying to make it a part of our overall house -- to make it flow.  Keep it consistent.  But I am battling with a very persnickety client who wants a man cave.  I DON'T want this. Not judging... just not me.  I will however, carefully curate the sports paraphernalia and work it into the scheme!   If you want to see some of my basement ideas, check out my board here.

I still need to do a couple of design boards, but I have ONE done for the bathroom.  What do you think?

OB-wilson Basement Bath v2jpg

Hopefully I will have more time and energy to keep these posts going!

My Master Bedroom: As finished as possible.

As I type this, I am going on week 4 of chronic pain. What I thought was a sinus infection is actually a tooth/nerve issue from dental work. I had 2 fillings from the early 80's replaced in order to give me a chronic migraine and now a potential root canal. Thanks, Mr. DDS. *sshole. The reason I tell you is to caveat the rest of this post in case words like "*sshole" or "quack" appear suddenly and it appears this was written by an insane person. For those 3 readers that periodically come back to SNM, you know I have been working diligently on the Master bedroom. If I was a good blogger, I would have teased you along with daily snapshots and witty commentary. But now, after maybe 1 tease last summer, I give you: MY BEDROOM.

Full on:

Seating area where I mostly do domestic work like fold laundry:

The bed with my DIY-headboard:

Please don't mention the wrinkles.

Marbled papered prints I bought from here immediately upon seeing them:

Love print by Made By Girl:

Mid Century (free hand-me-down) dresser from the husband's parents:

Lovely antique (?) chest thrifted from a pile of cast-off dorm room furniture:

fun letters:

I'd still like to add some trim to the curtains, add a little more art, and get new nightstands. But for now, this:

is a helluva lot better than this:

or this:

All Photos (except the last 2 really crappy ones) by Rita Finn
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Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Yuletide Fun

I can't get it together to post all my Christmas decor leading up to and/or ON the day of Christmas.   I'm not that kind of girl. But, here are some highlights of the yuletide season.

Found a great tutorial on how to photograph your Christmas tree.  I tried several times -- this is the best I could do:

I have enjoyed, as of late, printing my own crap at home.  Mostly because it is easier for me and I think that it is cheaper (not totaling the complete FLEECING from Dell on printer ink... ).  The "Naughty or Nice" tag from Brooklyn Limestone was by far my favorite and seemed to be a big hit.

You'll also notice I have the cutting skills of a left-handed kindergartener using right-handed scissors.

Grammy bought the kids a gingerbread set from Target.  No baking.  Pure bliss.   Not sure it is edible, but that beyotch looks GREAT.  Fo Rills.

Artsy attempt at Christmas decor:

Reading on Christmas Eve.  No fighting at this exact moment:

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  I am now ready to tear this sh*t down!













The Diva's Lair: Moodboard 2.0

In honor of the Diva hacking into SNM and posting 2 posts/photos (one removed, one here), I thought I would share with you the latest for her room re-do.

Walls were just painted Behr's Silver Drop (LOVE) and are scuff-free...3 days later.

Just painted.  Don't Judge.

Part of the design includes a gallery wall with some original Diva art like the clay bird she made below...

...Along with some great Etsy artwork, such as this:


And this:


Can't wait to finish this project for the 7-year-old who is going on 20.  (And completely OBSESSED with her almost-20 year-old cousin Kate).