Merry Christmas, everyone! We are having the coziest Christmas in our new basement master. Having never slept in a basement before, I am glad to report that I like basement living! The new master is quieter, warmer, and more comfortable. Although bigger, with the furniture placement and blackout blinds, it feels cozier. More importantly, it feels private. Much more than sleeping on the main floor with big windows that seeing into the neighbors’.
The east side: the sleeping quarter
Our king bed is placed directly under the egress window we put in earlier this year. The new window let in bright light during the day, and effectively blocking cold air at night – we do not feel any cold draft during our sleep.
For lazy mornings in bed we installed a blackout blinds on all the windows. I am very impressed with the quality and effectiveness of the these blinds. They are from IKEA and only around $45 a pop, but they are as effective as those $150 Bali blinds in big box stores. You cannot tell day from night when the blinds are closed. My tip is to get blinds a few inches wider than the window opening to reduce the daylight escaping from the side.
Behind the bed we added a pair of velvet darkening curtains on each side of the blinds. I was really going with a grey on grey look and I like how the two colors and textures play with each other.
For bedside tables we used the floating nightstands I built earlier this year. With wall scones above we each have our little corner to recharge, hydrate, and relax before bed.
Here is Slav’s side:
The theater masks were acquired on our recent trip to New Orleans in mid-November.
I joked that it was our “renovation moon” because we took this trip right before the last push of the basement reno. It was after the DIY flooring installation, but before the shower door and the plumbing work in the bathroom, as well as the PAX assembly. It is amazing how long ago that moment felt with all the tasks completed even it was merely 6 weeks ago…
Looking into the bedroom from the bath
This is a view from the bathroom looking into the master. The oil painting features the castle in Slav’s hometown and it is his favorite childhood place.
The small heater I’ve had since 2011. It is one of the first pieces of furniture I bought after moving cross-country and starting my first job. It not only puts out good heat, but also can give out just ambient light that looks like wood burning fire. Roxie loves to sleep in front of the fake fire.
The west side: walk-through closet
Stepping back from the bed is the closet area. We created a walk-through closet with three IKEA PAX wardrobes. They fit the space well and provide generous storage for all of the soft things. With the sliding door they give more of furniture appearance than traditional built-in closets.
Slav and I both love the bamboo sliding doors. Mirrored doors were chosen for the corner closets to lighten up the room as well as to add function.
The bamboo is darker than the color of the flooring, but I think they look great next to each other with the dark frame in between.
For the space under the window we found this perfect little bench. The space between the two wardrobe is 48″ 1/4 wide, and this bench is 48″! It was meant to be.
It functions as a drop zone for coats and bags at the end of the day. Plus we no longer have to perform tree post while putting on socks in the morning.
Tucked away is our new laundry basket near the main door. When looking for a new laundry basket we searched for something narrow for the space and tall for the capacity, which is harder to find then you might think. Fortunately, this one popped out on Amazon.
I liked its organic shape and soft material. After a couple weeks of use I can definitely recommend it. The fabric is thick and the basket holds its shape well. It also conceals a week of laundry without any problem.
Above the laundry basket I hung the first photo Slav and I took together – it was over 10 years ago! We look like babies. Slav took it with a tripod and I think he planned for it. I had no idea what the photo was for – didn’t even bother to take my sunglasses off. Ha!
A look back on the flooring
Living with the NuCore flooring for a while, I can finally give more details about them. Overall we are very satisfied with this floor. It feels supportive and warm under the feet. I can walk on it with bare feet in the middle of the night without feeling cold or harsh, which speaks a lot for its insulation property.
The NuCore is LVP so it is harder than pine flooring. It feels solid – probably because how individual pieces are interconnected. It is quiet to walk on and I do not feel any bounce to it. I also like its texture on my bare skin.
We have not spilled water on it yet so I cannot speak for its waterproofing quality. But I did tip over a big candle and hot wax spilled all over the floor. I cleaned it up with some warm water and a razor – it looks just like new again. Overall I will give it a 4.5 star and definitely use it in the basement again. The reason for the half star off? It is because of the dogs.
When these doggy paws hit the floor it was loud! Our dogs are terrified of clipping nail, so we might have left their nails a bit too long. But it is the reality we live in. Moreover, the texture of the floor gives enough traction for human feet but not enough for doggy paws. I notice that the dogs skid around when running on this floor. Charlie has face-planted a couple times at the bottom of the stair landing due to the speed he carried down from the stairs. It definitely brings some unease to the dogs as well as us.
So here you have it, our new master bed and bath. We still need to work on the doors and add baseboards. But for the holiday season we are grateful to have such a cozy and comfortable space to relax in. I will start working on the doors this week and hope for some good progress. However with old basement and non-standard size doorways it will take some persuasion. Check back in the next post, friends!
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