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In Interior Design/ My House/ Renovations

Updating the basement to function better….

It's funny how houses change over time. Or perhaps it's more of a thing with smaller homes, where as family needs shift, kids get bigger, interest change, it's a necessity to find ways to readjust our homes to accommodate the changes. Over the holidays, I managed to keep a pretty good handle on the "stuff" in the house, but even so - it became apparent to me that we could make better use of space in the home in order to function better, have more places to hang out as a family or, when friends were visiting and a place to  store the "stuff" that needs to be here.

I was standing in the basement just before Christmas and wondered why none of us hung out down there. I mean, I didn't even like hanging out down there, even though we had an AMAZING couch (The Willow - I highly recommend it) I knew we were not using the space properly but I could never figure it out, until that day. And I realized in the name of "open concept" for the basement, we had dead space that wasn't being used properly at all and it was actually making the basement feel confused - was it an office or a family area. Take a look through the basement archives, as it may help you understand the layout slightly better.

If you take a look at this picture below taken at one stage of the basement's decorating. My office is at the back, and I put a cabinet to divide the office from a TV room area. To the right of the cabinet was an opening that looked to the staircase...

Now, we rarely sat down here as we looked at these openings to the staircase and it was just awkward. We had a TV on a pullout arm which I wrote about here but to be honest, it was heavy and more of a pain than I had hoped. I decided, a few days before Christmas as family and family hangout time was on my mind, was that what we needed to do was close in this opening and create a wall, for a TV to hang on it, AND, behind it, build a closet, to store our every-growing everyday "stuff". To show you an overview of the basement I did a quick sketchup of the basement. The first picture is what it was, and the lower one is the proposal.

Aubrey was totally on board, and started right away. I'll post more in the upcoming posts but here is Aubrey starting - which I show to give you a sense of the opening size and how it was a wee bit of a lost space in the basement.

More coming soon....

In My House/ shopping

Ikea NYMÅNE lights

I bought some IKEA NYMÅNE lights for the TV Room. They are PERFECT. They blend in, are minimal and they didn’t need to be hardwired. Oh, and they’re under $20 each. My only gripe is that the on/off switch on each cord sits high. I think the only solution (if you find that it bothers you) would be to have them rewired to remove that chunky switch….which I may do, but right now I can live with it.

In Lindsay/ My House

Nest Cameras

A few years ago I installed a Ring video doorbell. I was going to write a long post about it, but I’ll save you the log list of grievances and tell you that it didn’t work for us (one major issue – we had a package stolen from our porch and the video quality was so awful you couldn’t see who it was).  After some research and knowing what I didn’t like about the Ring system, I decided on replacing it with the Nest system. After a few weeks of use, I can happily say, I’m in love.

So what we bought and love….

We put a Nest Cam Outdoor (not the IQ one) at the back of our house where we have a laneway and we park our car occasionally.  This camera is super easy to install, it’s plug in and is made for outdoor use. We had electricity going to our shed, so it was an easy install – we placed the camera facing our parking spot at the back. Plug and go….

The camera detects both movement and, people. It will alert you by saying it see’s either, but it’s helpful that it differentiates between the two for when you’re scrolling through the history of activity. The racoons are our biggest offender back there. We know their whole evening routine.

The front of the house was a little more tricky as the Nest Hello doorbells need to be hardwired. We didn’t have an existing doorbell at the front of our house  (The Ring was a battery system, which was a whole other set of issues) so we ended up hiring an electrician to come to our house to install it for us. (Side note, I found an electrician through the Jiffy app and I was REALLY happy with the service. I’d recommend hiring someone to do this, but it is something you could technically do.

I bought these at Lowes and Amazon separately, based on what pricing worked out to be the best. Lowes had a coupon if you spent over a certain amount. These things aren’t inexpensive, but they are worth it based on me using it the last few weeks. The video quality is AMAZING and I 100% recommend this line.

Learn More via Nest (Shop Online)

Ps., Although I would say this upfront at the beginning of the post (also, not in some clever creative writing way to hide it), this post is not sponsored. I’m not a #Partner and this is not an #ad. xo