Archive for the ‘basement’ Category

Peace Out, Irene!


Posted by Rebecca, August 29th, 2011

We made it through our first hurricane and let me tell you, it was not fun. We were in the family room Saturday night and around 9, we decided to head up to bed and bring the cats with us (meaning, lock them in the bedroom for the night). As we gave Darwin his fluids for the night (which we now do while he’s eating), the lights began to flicker. We grabbed everything we would need for the night and climbed in bed, only to have the lights go out minutes later. We were congratulating ourselves for our timing and our decision to confine the cats to one area. We had the cat carriers in our closet incase we had to make a run for it in the middle of the night.

Turns out, hurricanes are not very fun on the second level of your house. I wouldn’t know this since a) I grew up in a one story house and b) I have never experienced strong winds. The sounds were awful and we learned via iPad news streams that we were issued a tornado warning. I knew that was fairly common for hurricanes, but it made me nervous about being on the second floor. A little bit after the power went out, a generator must have blown or something because the sky was lighting up all sorts of colors. Have I ever told you about my extreme fear of fire? I am terrified. I have 3 cats, we are only 2 people. I know that if a fire broke out, it would not be good for us.

Cue the panic. It’s now raining sideways, things are blowing up nearby and I am on the second floor of my house during a tornado warning. Oh, and my only fear initially was that one of the trees in the backyard would hit the house. So add that in too! I had a good few minutes where my teeth were literally chattering because I was scared…. and I am NOT easily scared. I couldn’t fathom how people in the south do this several times a year.

Then Mike asked if we should move to the office. We had thought about this before, as it’s low, away from the back of the house to avoid trees and it’s about as close to the interior as the 5 of us can get together, but we really didn’t think we’d have to do it. There were way too many risks (and 6 windows not counting the bathroom/closet), so we decided to move our troops.

Two adults, three cats and a litter box in this space…

But you know what? It worked. After that we didn’t hear/feel a thing. The cats were fine, in fact, Macky was snoring at one point in the middle of the night. We hardly slept (though Mike tells me I slept through some really strong gusts), but my blanket and pillow did just fine on the floor. We moved the chairs out of the way, of course, so we both fit quite comfortably.

Our families did fine as well, despite the fact that my parents live close to the shore and were concerned about some trees in their area. In fact, we may have ended up the worst, considering we woke up to this in our basement…

Those are just wires that Mike ran for the network, don’t mind those 😉

While our basement has never been flooded, us rookies never realized that if the power went out, our sump pump would stop working. We have now learned our lesson and will no longer decline that option on our homeowners’ insurance…

Thankfully, Mike’s dad, brother and his friend Chris came by with a back up generator and emptied our basement rather quickly. We’re very fortunate that our basement is not finished and there’s not too much down there. It may be a blessing in disguise as we’ll now have to go through whatever the heck is in that cardboard box up there 🙂

Many of our neighbors were not as lucky as I saw houses and houses with furniture and carpet at the curb today. Another thing I didn’t know is that you can’t just clean up a flooded basement. I thought you can just shampoo those carpets and go about your day, but apparently not when 6 inches of water sits down there for 24 hours. I will be keeping that in mind when we finish ours…

Our power didn’t go back on until late last night, so late that we were in bed and Mike happened to see the street lights kick on. For those more than 24 hours without power, we showered at Mike’s parents’ place and had a few things that made life easier.

First, this USB charger than runs off of a battery, genius for keeping phones charged…

Then, the classic cooler…


There’s milk down there too… somewhere. Glad we have our priorities in order.

All in all, we’re glad everything worked out as well as it did. The only thing in our yard was someone’s plastic flower pot and some leaves. Which is quite amazing, considering even 12 hours after the worst of the storm had passed, we were still experiencing 30 mph winds…

Now you know why my initial fear was that tree falling into my family room windows 🙂

ps- Lana from Making a House a Home posted some more pictures from the Emily Henderson event, since I literally took just one. I am the one with the… creepily red eyes.

Basement Inspiration


Posted by Rebecca, April 14th, 2011

Since Mike has finally introduced the basement, I figured I’d show you a little of our plans for it. We just started to actually have a clue of what we want it to be (other than AWESOME). It started with this floorplan.

Mike doodled this one Saturday night when we were out to eat. I carry around a little pocket sized notebook to jot down blog ideas and whatnot. So when I wasn’t understanding Mike’s idea, he drew this.

I often say how I completely trust Mike’s ideas and well, his sense of style. I would seriously trust him to go to the mall and pick out an outfit for me right this second. I don’t take his suggestions lightly, in fact, I take most of his suggestions very seriously. Though when the situation is reversed, I usually have to talk him into things 🙂

So Mike came up with this floor plan that I probably wouldn’t have thought of and now I had basement on the brain. Sometimes it just takes that one little aspect to come together to finally be able to visualize a space that you have been completely idealess about. Since most of my inspiration comes from HGTV, it’s no surprise that the Dream Home episode brought about another revelation.

Light walls and light floors. Two different concepts for me 🙂

I am also in love with the open shelving in this mini-kitchen/bar area.

All Mike and I really knew about the basement, besides what we wanted to use it for, was that we didn’t want it to look like a basement. I also don’t want it to be dark (besides our theater area). We’re fortunate to have large windows and high ceilings throughout most of our basement and I don’t want to ruin that. The light floor concept came into play when we decided that we’d like to move our litter boxes down there. We use the all-natural (and wonderful!) Feline Pine litter. It is literally finely ground wood chips, which cause me to vacuum our current dark floors at least once a day. It’s very light in weight, and color, and tracks everywhere. It is still much better than that clay stuff that got dust on my floors, in my lungs and stunk horribly! ps- did you know that clay litter supposedly has carcinogens in it? No bueno.

Back to the basement! This week, while we are on a basement kick, Mike sent me a link to none other than and a gallery of basements by Candice Olson. Can this woman ever do wrong? Every time she does a room, even if I hate the color and the furniture, it looks wonderful. Her basements are no exception, so here’s some eye candy.

They are all completely different but share that put togetherness. They all have classy elements (light fixtures, curtains, built-ins, french doors) that most people wouldn’t bother putting in a basement. We don’t have an exact plan yet, since we’re nowhere near ready to start this project, but we know that we want a similar vibe. We have dreams of french doors, bookcases, back splashes and open shelving. And once we put the pool table in place on Saturday? It was another turning point in the visualization of the basement. Finally, something that will be staying down there, that we can physically walk around and get a feel of the size of the space.

But for now, we’ll just keep dreaming up ideas.

The Basement


Posted by Michael, April 11th, 2011

We haven’t really shown the basement since it is completely unfinished.  We only use it for storage.  However, we did have a nice delivery made on Saturday which happened to make the basement its new home!  But still, the basement remains dark and cold.  We do have plans to one day finish it; I’d say in the next 12 months we’ll start this basement project.

Until then, here are some pictures for everyone to get an idea of what we’re working with!

Here is the view coming down the basement stairs.  Nothing special as you can either go left or go right.  If you go right, you’ll hit mainly our ‘utility’ room with our hot water heater and the like.  We plan on making a portion of this space into a half bathroom.  For our tour, we’ll go left down the stairs.

And this is the view as soon as you turn left.  A decent sized area we hope to close-in with some french doors.  We have an english basement which allows us to have relatively big windows which means plenty of light in this thing.

A better view of those windows!

Here is the view looking down the basement — really really long. This picture doesn’t really do any justice.

And here is the same view just looking back the other way.  On your right hand side, you can just barely see the hot water heater around the corner; this area will eventually be the half bathroom and unfinished storage space.

You’re looking at the space that will become The Theater.

Since this ‘cove’ doesn’t have windows (and thus naturally dark), it’s only fitting that this area become a theater.  I haven’t decided if I’ll go LCD/LED/Plasma or go all out with a projector.  But either way, we’re really looking forward to this area.  We hope to do a nice sectional couch and some other unique seating options.

Oh, hey, look… stunt photoshop walls and screen.  I couldn’t resist.  Unfortunately, we’ll have to put a small door towards the right of the screen for access to the sump pump.  Not looking forward to it.

And that is all I have for everyone!  A totally unfinished basement, ta-da!

Oh wait!  There’s more… If you haven’t already figured it out, we received a free pool table over the weekend courtesy of some friends of the family.

No, guys… that doesn’t mean it fell off the back of a truck.  I promise.

All we had to do was pay someone to move it about 50 miles for us!  Totally stoked to put a ping pong table on top of this bad boy, too!  We hope to eventually re-finish the wood, maybe a darker stain, and put on some new felt.  It is going to be a great addition to the basement — as long as Macky doesn’t shred the thing to pieces.

Copyright 2010 - 2011. The Lil House That Could. All rights reserved.