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In My Home Tour

Basement makeover

Before having Oscar, I intended the basement to have one purpose – to be my office / studio. However over the years, many things changed – I had a child, my business grew, my business changed, and slowly we realized we needed two defined areas of the basement. A family area, and, a well designed office for me.

Working with one major open space is pretty tricky, so over the last few years we’ve contemplated how to make it work. We lived with a transition of styles – I think it’s a fairly common problem in households. You decorate as you have the budget and needs and uses of rooms change. The end result, at least in this situation, is that a room starts to feel like a hodge-podge of styles. Fast forward to today, and even though our lives are still changing – I felt comfortable enough in how we as a family use the space, to invest some time and money in making the basement done. Here is the progression of our basement from one open area to two defined spaces – without adding any walls up. Ps., You can see all blog posts about the basement and changes here. 




We bought the largest couch we could fit downstairs – and it also happens to be a pullout couch! A QUEEN! Small spaces don’t mean you need small furniture. Having a pullout couch means that this space doubles as a guest room now – without having to sacrifice a bedroom (which we don’t have). [The couch is the WILLOW couch from Crate and Barrel)

The white couch gets rotating pops of colour as my mood strikes. I found this Trina Turk pillow at HomeSense. I did a flip when I found it. (I love Trina Turk) but then I did another flip when I realized what I paid for it (I didn’t look at the price tag, and was talking with my Mom during the checkout) but by the time I got it home and put it on the couch, I had bonded with it. So it has stayed. (Moral of the story – just because it’s at HomeSense doesn’t mean it’s $29.95)

Aubrey and I have been searching for the perfect couch for our basement for a few years now. I did a ton of research and fell madly in love with the Crate & Barrel Willow Couch with the pullout bed function. The pullout bed feature makes this small space usable as a spare bedroom, if someone wants to crash. Since my office is now separate using a room divider (more on that below) I don’t feel as though I need to clean / organize or put major things away if someone comes unexpectedly.

The cabinet that I scored out in cottage country got a coat of white paint and new hardware from The Home Depot to bring it to life. We store our toys in here and are accesible to Oscar at any time.



My new desk (see this post) brightens up the office. I hung a gallery wall of my Penny Paper Co. prints and left the wall above my computer blank – as I found too much hanging in front of me while I worked tended to be distracting.

Instead I hung inspirational images by my computer using the glorious washi tape. It doesn’t leave residue on my walls and yet allows me to hold up pages that inspire. I prefer this look to a structured bulletin board, which I moved into the “family” area of the basement.

On this side of the office, I have my “work” desk where I work on products, paint, package orders, or sketch up new lines.

A vintage chair I found at Value Village is softened up with this geometric pillow I found at HomeSense. Beside the chair you can see that I have my much used graphic tablet tucked into a lucite box, for easy grabbing when I need to draw, but it doesn’t clutter my desk.

My favourite candle, vintage stamp dispenser via ETSY, and samples of the Fall 2015 Penny Paper Co. stationery line My favourite candle, vintage stamp dispenser via ETSY, and samples of the Fall 2015 Penny Paper Co. stationery line Prints are organized, ready at hand to ship. Samples of my Fall 2015 wrapping paper line is being tested. (Eeeeee!) Prints are organized, ready at hand to ship. Samples of my Fall 2015 wrapping paper line is being tested. (Eeeeee!) From where I sit at my desk I can watch Oscar play in the From where I sit at my desk I can watch Oscar play in the “family” area of the basement. Toys naturally stay in that area, and Oscar will wander between the areas, to come visit me while I’m responding to e-mails. He’ll sometimes hop up ONTO my desk and sit with me while I work.

It’s important for me to address this storage / bookshelf that I’ve shown above. It’s actually NOT permanet. It’s a bookshelf from Ikea, put ontop of a base cabinet (again, Ikea) and we’ve built a false wall around it that is temporary. From the other side it looks like a wall (we’ve painted plyboard the same wall colour) and attached it all together to make it look like it is a wall. But infact, it’s not. Instead of building the “wall” to the ceiling, I’ve instead left some relief so that light comes in and doesn’t make either room feel small. It is exactly the same height as the cottage cabinet we purchased, so it looks like it was all planned as such. Little details do make the difference!

My paint brushes are held in a vintage crown jar.  My paint brushes are held in a vintage crown jar.

That’s it! The basement isn’t styled, so you may see toys, or a random piece of paper floating about. Cords are everywhere, but I have tried to tidy up for the photos as much as possible. But when you’re running a busy household nothing stays like anything for long. Now we have two distinct areas of the basement – one for work, one for play, and yet I don’t feel closed off from either area. Oscar is free to walk into my office whenever he so chooses (no door!) and magically respects that the two areas are indeed two different spaces. He comes in sometimes to get printer paper to draw with, or to hop up on my desk while I’m working. It’s really a lovely space that I feel so fortunate have. I hope you maybe find some inspiration from this long winded post, for something for your home. Whether you have a bachelor apartment and now have a vision to how to divide a space without needing walls – or perhaps you were looking for a sleeper couch (GET THE WILLOW COUCH!) I leave you with the shopping list below. Enjoy!


Sleeper Couch ……………….. Crate & Barrel, Willow Couch 
Rug ………………….. Remnant left over from our living room custom rug
White Cabinet ………………. Cottage Country Find
Yellow Pillow ………………. Trina Turk Pillow, HomeSense

Candle ……………….. Anthropologie (Although I purchased mine at Indigo, but they haven’t had stock forever. So sad)
Desktop …………….. The Home Depot, Silestone Yukon (See Blog Post) See this blog post
DIY Base …………. See blog post
Wall Art .……………. The Penny Paper Co.
Brass Postage Dispenser ………….. Etsy 
Chair …………….. Value Village
Pillow in the Chair ………………… HomeSense
Light on the two desks …………………….. Target
Acrylic Office Organization ………………… Russel and Hazel

In Renovations

Before + After: Basement Bathroom

basement bathroom renovation
You’ve seen bits and pieces of it coming together. But since the inspector just signed off on it (I know it took us awhile…only because it took us awhile to remember to call him!) it seems fitting to do the reveal. We did everything ourselves, except for the plumbing + drywall. Sources are listed at the bottom of this post. This is what we started with as we rebuilt the bathroom. This photo is actually a few steps into the process, having replaced the plumbing under the house, new concrete floor, new walls, insulating etc. etc. But it’s a starting off point…

And this is what we created…..

basement bathroom renovation 2basement bathroom renovation 3 basement bathroom renovation 6 basement bathroom renovation 5 basement bathroom renovation 4

One major choice was the pocket door. I highly recommend this, as it is the best thing for a small space. The other major element is the stand up shower. I love, love the shower. Eventually we’ll put in a glass wall but it’s not an issue right now, and not much water spray happens. The shower set it Moen, and I adore having the toe kick. (See this post on the shower) For those unaware of the toe kick, it means I can test the water temperature with my foot, prior to getting sprayed.  We created a DIY pivoting mirror after falling for one at Pottery Barn, but not falling for the price. (See this post on how we did it)  Since the bathroom is in my workspace (the basement is my studio/office) it seemed fitting to offset the formality of the finishes with some cheekyness. I created this art. One of the neat elements is this pivoting toilet paper holder. Honestly people, this is the best invention. No springs flying everywhere!

basement bathroom renovation 7

And there you have it. Our basement bathroom. 🙂 Amazing to see the progression of how it all came to be. (See all of the posts here) I’m kind of uber impressed at my husband. 🙂 Next up…Master Bath! 😉 (Kidding…kind of)

Source Guide for the Basement Bathroom
Big Deal Art Print: My shop.
London Gaurd Art: DIY, See post on how to do it here
Mini Cooper replica Car: Mini Downtown
Vanity: Kohler Memoirs
Faucet: Delta Dryden Set
Toilet: Kohler Memoirs
Tiles: The Tile Store
Shower Head + Toe Kick Set: Moen from Home Depot
Window Tint: Peel & Stick frosting via Home Depot
Moen Pivoting Toilet Paper HolderHome Depot
Wall Colour: Paper White by Benjamin Moore OC-55
Pocket Door: Similar ones are available at Home Depot.

In Renovations

Basement Bathroom Shower

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We finally got around to installing the shower set in our bathroom! Oscar wasn’t feeling well this week and just wanted to be in my arms, so Aubrey took the time to install the shower set in the bathroom as Oscar and I watched. To see water coming out was so exciting. The little things are sometimes soooo awesome.

We installed a Moen Set purchased at Home Depot.We felt slightly rushed picking the set as our Plumber told us the day before he came that we needed to go out and find a style we wanted so he could rough it in. I was under the impression that a rough in could be a standard thing ….. and you pick the set later. But I was corrected. (Although I would still like to research this more) Regardless, I’m happy with the look.

Next up we have to seal the tiles! We’d love to add in a glass partition wall but sadly it is out of the budget right now. But the shower can be used if we install a tension rod & shower curtain. More reveals of it coming soon!

Tip: What I did know is that I wanted a toe kick part for the shower stall. Why? I though if we, or the next owners of our house have 4 legged friend you could wash their feet in here. If Oscar gets muddy boots, I could wash it here, or fill up a tub of water using the toe kick part without getting sprayed by the shower head.