Our Ultra-Industrial Basement Apartment

Do you like that fancy title?

You’re probably imaging something like this.  And that would be nice.  But you are absolutely wrong.

Industrial Basement Apartment

If you’re a new reader, here’s the skinny:
We sold our house.  I was really emotional about it being empty (with the help of the Von Trappes).

Then I kindly left you hanging.  For a few weeks, might I add.

I’d be lying if I said this summer hasn’t been a struggle.

Our house sold a great deal faster than we planned.  In one day to be exact.  As a Realtor, I know what a blessing that is.  Many times people are in the opposite situation, and that is incredibly stressful to NEED your house to sell and be stuck waiting.

We anticipated it taking a month- 2 months to sell our house.  But that wasn’t the case, and we needed to adapt.

I helped my brother in law buy a house earlier this year, and he was kind enough to let us stay in his unfinished basement during our provisional homelessness.

It is not ideal, but we are very very grateful to have a place to live right now.  We are making it work the best way we know how.

Unfinished basement Interiors By Kenz

 

I would very much love to argue with anyone who says my life is glamorous.

Unfinished Basement Bedroom

 

I suppose you could call this “revolutionary open concept design.”

Unfinished basement living

Unfinished basement apartment

 

I wouldn’t say I’m a “very organized person” however, clutter makes me itchy.  I need things to have a place, and I need to know where that place is.  Living out of boxes, and having things EVERYWHERE is challenging.  But I try really hard to let my gratitude take the place of my anxiety.

Also, if you look hard enough, you can see a napping baby in that bundle of blankets.

Unfinished Basement Storage

Unfinished basement Nursery

I know it’s only temporary.  I know we are very blessed that my brother in law is willing to let us be here.  And I KNOW that our new house is going to be worth it.  I have a feeling we’ll look back on this time and have a lot of “Remember when we lived in the basement…” stories to tell.

Your DIY Wingback Rocking Chairs

One of my all time favorite projects is my DIY Wingback Rocker.

One year later it’s holding up like a champion of all chairs!  In fact, I’m writing this post sitting in this chair right now.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours rocking precious Evelyn Faye in this chair.

DIY Wingback Rocker

What I didn’t expect was how many people would follow my tutorial and make their own.  Some have blogs, and some don’t.  But the emails have poured in of your beautiful rockers, and I’m going to show them off!

This nursery is from a reader named Daniel.

DIY Rocking Chair

This is Chelsie’s nursery.

DIY Wingback Rocker

DIY Wingback Rocker

Cute mama-to-be!DIY Wingback Rocker

This rocker comes from nursery at The Shaker House.  They used a different chair than the Strandmon, and I think it looks awesome in the Marine Corps inspired room.

DIY Rocker - The Shaker House

DIY Wingback Rocker - The Shaker House

This rocker is from the outdoorsy nursery for Fletcher at 100layercakelet

DIY Rocker - 100layercakelet

DIY Wingback Rocker - 100 layer cakelet

This rocker is in the Modern Marine nursery at Newlyweds North.

DIY Rocker - Newlyweds North

rocker collage

And this last rocker is in the feminine travelesque nursery at Explore Dream Discover.

DIY Rocker - Explore Dream Discover

Nursery5

 

I love that even though these nurseries all have different themes and styles (I hope you clicked the links to check out the full rooms!!!) the rockers all fit in their element perfectly.

(If you pin these images, please click through and pin from the actual source.  Thanks!)

 

 

 

 

Contributor Post- All Things Thrifty!

Friends.  Something wonderful has happened.  I have been picked up as a regular DIY contributor on All Things Thrifty!

Today is my first post, and I’d love it if you stopped over to check it out.

This is what I made:

DIY-Utensil-Holder

 

And if you are a new reader visiting from ATT, howdy!  I’m glad you came over.  Let’s make a beautiful friendship.

Navy Blue Painted Basket

I have a quick little post for you this afternoon.  An afternoon delight, if you will.

We’re a little bit temporarily homeless right now (more on that later).  One of our big problems with that is proximity to a changing table.  I needed a spot to keep changing supplies close by.

A basket seemed like an easy enough solution.  Except, have you priced out baskets lately?!  If you do to those nice home stores, baskets can be $10+

I guess I wouldn’t mind paying that much for a super rad basket, but I’m feeling pretty cheap right now.  So I bought this sucker for $0.99 at the thrift store.

Painted-basket

It wasn’t too bad looking on its own, and to be honest, I could have left it as is.  But I’m feeling really creatively frustrated.  I didn’t realize how not having a house or big projects to work on would make me feel.  I NEEDED to smell some spray paint.  As soon as possible.  So little basket, you’re time has come.

painted-basket-stripe

navy-blue-painted-basket

navy-blue-painted-basket

 

And what makes a cute basket even cuter?  Fill it with Honest Co diapers!

navy-blue-painted-basket

We’re keeping it right by our Luna chairs, and it doesn’t look half bad.

navy-blue-painted-basket

And there you have it, your crafternoon delight.

navy-blue-painted-basket

 

Empty House Tour

Last post I shared with you some details on why we decided to sell our house.  Something I didn’t touch on was how fast everything happened.  I know this is unusual, and we weren’t expecting it ourselves, but we got an offer after only 1 day on the market.

We had to pack and move so fast.

Interiors By Kenz Moves

We had a little goodbye party for our beloved Green Meadow Manor at the end of moving day.  The opposite of a house warming party?  A house cooling party?  That just sounds so heartless.  Sparklers and bonfires were involved.  There is no other way to say a proper goodbye is there?

Goodbye House Party

Goodbye House Party

Goodbye House Party

I decided that a real live moving house tour was finally in order.  I collaborated with The Von Trapp Family Singers for this one.  Enjoy the next 2 mins and 44 seconds of your life, and sing along if you must.  (I’ll even wave to you at 0:46 if you do.  And you’ll probably see a sleeping baby at 0:55 if you don’t blink!)

If you haven’t caught on by now, I am overly sentimental, especially to the close of a chapter.  I let myself feel every emotion.  Aaron and I decided on the day we were locking the door for the final time, we would sit in each room and say our favorite memories and projects we did in that space.  It was actually really fun to remember all the changes and events that took place.  We started in the basement, and worked our way upstairs.

We laughed about Karl’s “chastity bed” in this room…

Workout Room

 

We recalled how this was our very first DIY project and also our very last DIY project in our house.

Basement Family Room

 

I sat in the widow seat and took this picture and thought about every single party and shower that took place here.  Also about how I laid most of this flooring while 5 months pregnant.

Living Room

Living Room

Dining Room Kitchen

 

Together we decided that we’re never go a month without a kitchen sink again.

Kitchen

 

The place where I sat on the floor holding several positive pregnancy tests in shock, horrified and scared out of my mind to walk into the kitchen and tell Aaron that we were actually going to have a baby.

Hall Bathroom

 

Our humble sanctuary.

Master Bedroom

 

But I lost it when we got to the nursery.  I knew I would.  I cried when I was packing up everything from Evelyn’s room.  I cried taking things off the wall.  This is a room I thought I would never get to make, but against all odds, I DID!  Out of everything in our house, I put the most love and thought into this room.  Everything, down to the color selection was symbolic.  (Purple & gold for royalty, fit for the daughter of a King.)

Nursery

 

As much as looking at these pictures hurts my heart, I know that it’s just a room.  I still have my real treasure with me :)  And she really is such a treasure, that Evelyn Faye.

Nursery

 

This house was more than just a house.  We didn’t know that when we moved in.

We bought our house at a time when I didn’t feel like I had a place in the world.  This house gave me something to blog about.  And this blog has given me real life friendships that I cherish more than I have words to describe.  It gave me confidence and allowed me to grow creatively.

All the tears I cried were happy ones.  I feel so much gratitude because I know this house was a blessing in so many ways.

I’m excited thinking about all the new memories and projects and life that will be lived in our new house!

Why We Sold.

This post is a little on the word-heavy side.  So go pop a bag of pop corn, pour a Dr Pepper and get comfy.  You’re about to take a trip inside my head and my heart.

After we announced that our house was for sale we got the same question over and over.  It came from our friends, our family, our neighbors, and random people.  I know most people were thinking “You guys are LOCO CRAZY!”  But they nicely said:

“Why are you selling your house?!  AFTER ALL THE WORK YOU DID ON IT?!”

Living Room Design

Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time we were asked that during our selling process we wouldn’t need a mortgage on our new house.

Our intention was never to flip the house.  We made every upgrade because it was what we wanted.  Although, we were always mindful of resale value.  You HAVE to be when renovating.  We knew it wasn’t our forever home.

A quick little backstory on how we ended up with that house in the first place is an important part of the story.  We had only been married 4 months, when the company I had been working for was bought out and I was laid off.  During that time, I was able to cash out my 401K with no penalty.  I was also given a generous severance package.  As a newly married couple, we had barely any savings.  This was in the summer of 2011, the low of the housing market in Salt Lake City.  I had a very strong gut instinct that we needed to use that money as a down payment on a house.  We stumbled onto the house, and knew it was something we could live in and fix up.  I don’t feel comfortable disclosing the purchase price, but it was less than what you could even buy a condo for now.  We were so grateful to just HAVE a house!  It was surreal to us that we were home owners.  We put our hearts and souls into every little thing we did to our house.

The past 3 years, my day job had been in real estate, and I became a Realtor.  I watched the market very closely, especially in our neighborhood.  After Evelyn was born, I just knew it was time.  We tried to put it off.  But that nagging feeling was there, stronger than ever.

There were things that we compromised on when we bought our house.
-Front porch
(No where to put a swing or rocking chairs- a life long dream of mine!)
Outside of house

-Master bathroom
(Just one bathroom for the whole main level)
Main level bathroom
-Walk-in master closet
(We have shared THIS for 2.5 years… and we’re still happily married.  I know!)

Master Closet
-Formal living room
-2 car garage

Now, I understand that nothing is impossible.  And we actually toyed very seriously with the idea of combining the back two bedrooms to make a master suit.  But when it comes to a renovation, you have to look at the numbers and figures.  The return wasn’t there.  The renovation would make it nice to live in, but we would never get that money back in the sale of the house.

It was time to sell, and capitalize on our investment and find a home with the things we had compromised on.

It was a very emotional decision to make.  I’ve cried more tears than I’d like to admit.  I kept telling myself, “It’s just a house, stop crying.” But to me, those weren’t just walls and a room.  Our house was very much a character in our lives.  Those walls box up the memories of significant events in our lives.

We always knew Green Meadow Manor was a stepping stone.  She made it possible for us to have our dream home.  We were able to more than double our investment, allowing us to have the down payment we need for our next home.

It’s still hard.  It’s not just a money game.  I’ve always been a blue personality, and I definitely felt a lot of raw emotions during the process.  I meant to write this post awhile ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it until now.  And even now, I feel a twinge in my heart.  I miss my house.  I feel very homesick for a place that is no longer mine.  I wonder what the new homeowner is doing to her.

I’ve never done well with big changes.  This was a huge leap of faith for me.  I heard a quote that said, “Making a big life change is scary.  But do you want to know what is even scarier? Regret.”  I knew if we didn’t do this now, we would lose our window, and I would regret it.  Sometimes you just have to hold your head up high, try not to cry, and say goodbye.

As cheesy as it is… they say you never forget your first love… and that’s how I feel about our first house.

first house love.jpg

 

And as a little postscript, I’d like to add this for my blogging friends:
I am SO sorry for how behind I am on reading your blogs!  I promise I do care.  I want to catch up, and I will.  Real life is so busy.  I have a very demanding baby who I love with all my heart and needs my attention.  Selling the house was busy.  Selling other peoples’ houses is busy.  Going to Disneyland is busy :)  My blog isn’t a business.  It’s just a glimpse of my life, my talents, and the things I like to do in my free time.  I love you all, and I love the internet friendships that I have.  Thank you for being patient with me. High fives all around.

 

 

Mini Bar // Big News

If you follow me on Facebook (if you don’t, YOU SHOULD so you don’t get left out!) then you heard the big news.

Interiors By Kenz First House Sold

We sold our house!  It has been an immensely emotional process to close this chapter.  I’m going to write a more detailed post on our selling mind-set and process.  But that’s not this post.  The reason I brought it up, is because selling played a big factor in decisions made about the mini bar project.

When we recently replaced our water heater, we learned that the drain was buried under the carpet, right outside the utility room.  This is majorly against code.  In the event you need to drain the water heater, it’s going to be a problem if the drain is on the other side of the wall.

Water heater drain misplaced

We knew that wether we stayed in our house or sold it, we would need to correct this problem.

Water heater drain misplaced

Built in mini bar

After Aaron extended the utility room to include the drain, we were left with a much smaller “nook” in the wall.  We were faced with a couple of options.  We narrowed it down to a wet bar with a sink, or a mini bar sans sink.  The idea of a sink seemed pretty good, but then we realized with plumbing, we wouldn’t be able to fit a mini fridge below.  We also had to consider resale value.  Since I’m a real estate agent, I’m pretty in-tune with the market surrounding our area.  I knew that we would not get back the money we would invest in having plumbing ran to a sink.  So we settled on making it a dry mini bar.

Built in mini bar

Built in mini bar

I think the new homeowners are going to have some pretty good parties using this area!

DSC_0473

Nook Under The Stairs REVEAL

This post has been over 2 years in the making.

Sometimes you watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition and wonder how the crap they build a house in a week, when it takes over two years to finish taking out a wall.

When we moved into our house, this is what the basement family room looked like.  It was so kind of the Salvation Army to leave their furniture.  (We literally bought our house from The Salvation Army.)

Basement Design

This was our first DIY project in our whole house, ripping down this wall.  I had lofty dreams of exposed stairs and a cozy reading nook under them.

The Nook will go here

The wall was load-bearing, so we put a beam into place to allow for the nook.  During framing we planned out storage for Christmas decorations, storage for blankets and movies, a built-in for the media, wiring for sconces, surround sound, and a projector.

Build A Nook Under Load Bearing Wall Stairs

This was the first time I learned to drywall, mud and tape.  And now I know what is the WORST DIY.

We finished the 2×4′s into wood pillars, where I then had a major staining incident with wood putty.

Carpentry Detail on the Stairs

Exposed Stairs

I built barn doors out of our old fence, and learned how to hang them the hard way.

I made a no-sew cushion.

But I’m excited to tell you, over 2 years later, it’s finally finished.  We finally finished the bead board, trim, paint.

Pictures don’t do the nook justice.  It’s HUGE.  Bigger than a twin sized mattress.

Nook Under The Stairs

 

I sanded the pillars down and re-stained them.  It wasn’t worth its own post, but just know I did :)

I love this room as a whole.  This one wall has gone through a complete transformation.  It’s the most lounge-y family room you have been in.  With the couch and the nook, SO many people can fit in there.  It’s perfect for all sorts of movie parties.

Nook Under The Stairs

 

Even though this project was full of more frustration and re-do’s than I care to admit, I’m really grateful for the lessons learned along the way.  It just goes to show that a person with no real DIY experience CAN have a vision and end up with a beautiful result as long as giving up is not an option.

Nook Under The Stairs

 

Up-Cycled Vanity Light Fixture

If you’re late to the show, I painted my bathroom vanity.  And that made me viciously tear down some wall paper and re-tile my shower.  Natural cause and effect brings us to today.

A new bathroom vanity light fixture.

bathroom vanity light

We have absolutely no natural light in our bathroom.  As ugly as this fixture was, I really liked that it was a 6-bulb.  But new 6-bulbed light fixtures are really expensive.

Good thing the classified ad gods smile upon us.

I was able to pick up this dime for a few dollars.

bathroom vanity light

I liked the shiny chrome and brass look.  HATED the frosted glass.  I splurged by buying new shade covers from Lowe’s.  (I tried to find them on their website so I could share the link, but could not.)  They were around $9 a piece if I remember right.  That makes the whole fixture less than $100, which is a steal, if you ask me.

bathroom vanity light

I’m going to take this moment to toot my own horn.  I wired and hung that light all by myself while Aaron was at work!

bathroom vanity light

I hate this picture because I had to use the flash.  But it was the only way I could really capture the essence of the fixture.

bathroom vanity light

And that, my friends, is how you work the system when you need a newer prettier light fixture.

 

Shower Re-Tile

I bring you the next phase of the bathroom makeover.

On last time’s episode we talked about the ugly spoiled milk colored vanity.

Today we have bigger fish to fry.  Broken tiles in the showpow.

Broken Tile

 

Let’s take a step back.  The tile in the shower was in really rough shape.  There were a few cracked tiles allowing water to sneak through.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

 

There was also a deck which was not sloped properly.  The water would pool and not run off like it should.  The tiles were attached to a soggy moldy piece of rotting drywall.  It was so bad I won’t post the pictures of what was under the tile.  I’ll tell you it was horrific.  Rated R.  And we’ll leave it at that.

Tile Removal

 

Within an hour of getting home from our Easter campout in our stunning Myrtle, we were tearing down tile and wall paper.  Bathroom make overs are serious business.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

This happy wallpaper makes me think of a better time.  It makes me wish I was with Michelle from Decor and the Dog in Hawaii over Easter.  It was pretty hard to take down such a lovely design element… But you know… I can do hard things, so…

HOME_TOUR_BATHROOM

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

 

The backer board got a new coat of waterproofing.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

 

We found a great deal on tile at Home Depot for $1 a square foot.  The entire shower ended up being 60 square feet.  Instead of doing the deck piece with tile, we decided to have a custom cultured marble (marble dust and resin) piece made.

Even though the tiles were square and not rectangle, we decided to lay them in the same pattern as the subway tile to help tie the kitchen and the bathroom together.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

 

The deck piece was a major improvement over the nasty broken moldy tiles.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

 

I love the larger brick pattern of tile.  It looks like a dream.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

 

And suddenly, the light fixture was looking reallllllllly bad.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

 

Next time!