Surprise! Holland Avenue Home is…

Hi, everyone! I haven’t been blogging as frequently in the last few weeks, but I promise I have a good reason.

I won’t waste any time telling you our big news.

WE’RE MOVING!

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Flooring, Trim, and Furniture: One Room Challenge Week Five

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

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For this round of the One Room Challenge, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a cozy family game room. You can catch up on my design plan through the link below!

Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One

Basement Demo and Waterproofing with Drylok: One Room Challenge Week 2

Catch-up and Ketchup: One Room Challenge Week Three

The Power of Paint: One Room Challenge Week Four

Week Five: You are here!

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We are almost finished. I can’t believe I’m able to say that, but in just one short week I will be sharing the final reveal of our finished basement! This week, we finished painting, installed flooring, trim, the minibar, and built almost all of the furniture. I will give you a few photos of the finished, empty room, but I’m saving all of the furniture reveals for next week!

I hadn’t finished the paint touchups when I took these photos, but the trim looks even BETTER now that I’ve touched up the wall and trim paint. Ben’s brother-in-law, Kirk, is a trim wizard. He came to stay with us on Friday and Saturday to do the trim. I intended to help and learn how to install it, but we ended up needing more trim than I initially estimated so I spent most of the day sanding and painting trim. Kirk did an impeccable job installing all of the trim, which we created from dimensional pine lumber (more on that later).

Here’s a reminder of where we started only four weeks ago, and a glimpse of the completely finished space!

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Like I said before, the edges look a little messy here because I hadn’t painted over the caulk yet. But can you believe the difference between these photos? I am completely overwhelmed by the finished result, and feel so undeserving of this space. We wanted to finish the basement so that we could have a large hosting space, and we aren’t wasting any time putting it to use. Ben is currently hosting a friend for games as I write this post! We will have an open house for our church members to come and hang out next weekend. (We live in a parsonage, which is a home that our church owns and maintains for the pastor and his family.)

Flooring

The flooring adds so much warmth to the room, and was incredibly easy to install. It is a loose-lay vinyl flooring that was generously sponsored by Iowa Floor Covering in Bondurant, Iowa.

Our exact flooring was recently discontinued, but there are many other options available from the manufacturer, Engineered Floors.

Why Loose-Lay Vinyl flooring?

Loose-lay vinyl is a floating floor that can be installed directly over concrete floors. Unlike vinyl plank flooring, loose-lay does not lock together. This allows for the product to adapt to a base floor that is not perfectly level. Our basement floors are not perfectly level, but the loose-lay is bendy and can compensate for this imperfection. The flooring does not need to be glued down, and can be removed if there were ever serious moisture issues in the basement.

How do you install loose-lay vinyl?

While it is not 100% necessary, you can secure the perimeter of the flooring with a pressure-sensitive vinyl flooring adhesive. This is a semi-permanent glue that holds the flooring in place, but could be removed later if you needed to. We used a small plastic trowel to apply a border of the adhesive around the perimeter of the room. The adhesive is fairly runny, and will be wet when you apply it. Wait until the glue is tacky and has changed color. When it is tacky, you can lay down your first strip of flooring. Some people recommend starting in the very center of the room with a pre-drawn straight line to ensure that your flooring is level. We were confident in the level-ness of our walls, so we used a chalk line to snap a guide onto the floor for our first row. Lay the planks snug against your guideline, and continue laying planks until you reach the wall. Measure the length you will need to fill the space.

Make sure to pull your planks from three different boxes while installing so that there is more variation in the woodgrain pattern on the planks.

We were able to cut the planks by scoring with a knife. Use a level and square to mark your line, and then score the plank with the knife. Once you’ve cut your end piece, you can lay it down with the factory edge against your previous plank (placing the scored edge against the wall where it will be covered by trim). You can use the remainder of your cut piece to start your next row.

It won’t hurt to use adhesive throughout your whole room, but it isn’t necessary. Loose-lay vinyl is designed to fit and lay snug without any adhesive. We were skeptical about this, but ended up being very surprised and pleased with the result! You just lay one plank next to the previous plank, and give it a little push to make sure it is as snug as possible. If your first row is level, you shouldn’t have any problem keeping the rows nice and snug.

If you come across an area that is not level enough for the plank to lay flat, you can use more adhesive to secure the ends of the plank. We had to do this over an old drain that is not necessary for the space. The floor just barely angles down toward the drain. We applied adhesive around the drain, and floored directly over it. We held these planks down with heavy objects until the adhesive cured completely.

The flooring we used is bendy, but very sturdy. It is a commercial loose-lay vinyl that is used in highly trafficked areas. We have no doubts about the longevity and durability of this product.

Ben and I had two friends helping us with the installation, but we could’ve handled it by ourselves if we had to. It took about four hours from start to finish to install the 400 square foot room, and a lot of that time was just sitting around waiting for the adhesive to become tacky. We had a cocktail break in the middle of this time lapse video while waiting for adhesive to dry around the drain. 🙂

How much does the flooring cost?

The retail price of this specific product is around $3 a square foot. It is a commercial grade product (nicer than residential grade), and does not require any underlayment to install. The flooring adhesive was around $20, and we did not use the whole container.

Trim

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To save money in the budget, we decided to use precut pine lumber for our trim. We sourced all of our drywall and trim from a local lumberyard. They offered free delivery, which was excellent! Kirk wanted to have some extra lumber on hand so we didn’t run out, so we decided to take a quick trip to the lumberyard before they closed on Saturday morning. When we pulled up to get the 16ft boards, the employee said, “You’re gonna put it in that thing?” We said, “No! We’re gonna put it on top!” (People hire Kirk to do trim work in their homes, and he has done this many times with his CRV! It was strapped down very securely and we only had a very short, rural drive home.)

How did you prepare the lumber?

Before installing the trim, I sanded and painted every piece in my driveway. I first sanded with 80 grit sandpaper using an electric sander. Then, I painted one coat of Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior Latex in Alabaster with a satin finish. After the first coat dried, I sanded with a fine sanding block. This step was sooo worth it, and helped me achieve a really smooth paint job. I gave each piece a second coat, and then they were ready to be installed!

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What size boards did you use?

Baseboards: 1×6

Doors: 1×4

Windows: 1×3

I ordered the largest lengths for each of my walls so that there would be minimal splicing of multiple boards. For example, I ordered two, 16 ft baseboards for our 28 ft wall. I ordered one 14 ft baseboard for each of our 13 ft walls.

The Minibar

Kirk and I also built a countertop surround for the DIY minibar. I found a cabinet at our thrift store for $5, and got lucky enough to find a mini fridge on Facebook Marketplace for $30 that is exactly the same height! We built this counter surround out of one 4×8 sheet of 3/4″ thick MDF.

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Here are the cabinet and mini fridge, painted with Sherwin Williams Waterloo. I will paint the counter surround the same color, and will cover the counter with marble contact paper. Kirk built the floating shelves out of plywood, and I will finish them with a light stain and clear coat.

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I prepped the mini fridge for paint by cleaning with mineral spirits to remove any grease and oil, then primed with Rustoleum Self-Etching primer. This was very easy to apply, and had a great coverage. You apply 2-3 thin coats, allowing 2 minutes in between coats for dry time. I used a small foam roller to apply two coats of paint to the cabinet and fridge.

Here is one sneak peek of furniture in the space! This is the sitting area in the game room, next to the mini bar.

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Before the big reveal next week, I still have quite a few projects to complete. However, I am completely confident that we will finish with plenty of time for me to style, shoot, and edit my photos!

Week Six To-Do’s:

  • Paint stairs
  • Paint door leading to storage room
  • Touch up paint on minibar backsplash
  • Install marble contact paper on minibar
  • Finish floating shelves with stain and clear coat
  • Paint game table
  • Hang artwork
  • Sew pillow covers
  • Stock minibar
  • Style, shoot, and edit photos

You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog next Wednesday. Head to the One Room Challenge blog to check out the other Guest Participants’ and Featured Designers’ posts for Week Five!

Don’t forget to check back next week for the big reveal!

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Catch-up and Ketchup: One Room Challenge Week Three

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

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For this round of the One Room Challenge, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a cozy family game room. You can catch up on my design plan through the link below!

Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One

Basement Demo and Waterproofing with Drylok: One Room Challenge Week 2

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Week Three is finished and we are still making great progress! This week involved a whole lot of catch-up and a little bit of ketchup (keep reading to see both). My progress photos from this week may not look like much happened, but we are light years ahead of where we were at the end of week two. I’ll give you an update on what we did this week, and then a share a bunch of photos I took throughout the week.

Here’s a list of all of the things that happened (with the help of Denny and Don, two members of our church who each worked multiple afternoons or all day):

  • Finished hanging drywall on all four walls
  • Finished mudding on all four walls
  • Don finished wiring the sconces, all of the outlets, and even installed outlets in our sunroom living room (which previously only had one). This had to be done before we drywall the ceiling, because he had to wire through the basement ceiling up to the living room on the main floor. Having a second outlet in the living room is a game changer! #oldhouse
  • I scraped all of the old carpet gunk off of the stairs, removed all carpet nails, filled nail holes with wood filler, sanded stairs, and got the first coat of paint on the risers. This took an entire day’s worth of work!
  • I painted the stairway walls and trim with two coats of Sherwin Williams Alabaster
  • Denny and I hung the new glass paneled door at the top of the stairs. It needed to be trimmed, chiseled, and have the hinges moved in order to fit in the door opening
  • I polished antique brass hardware by using ketchup and a brush. It worked great!
  • Denny and I stripped the glass paneled door of its old stain and varnish (this took hours of gross, goopy work to scrape multiple coats of paint stripper to remove every last bit of finish on the door)
  • I sanded the glass paneled door, and got the first coat of paint (Sherwin Williams Waterloo) on the side that will face the basement. I will stain the side that is in the mudroom to match the other oak doors and trim
  • Don finished wiring and installing all of the recessed lighting boxes
  • Denny, Dan (another church member who is also our neighbor), and Ben hung three sheets of drywall on the ceiling!
  • I swept the floors like ten times and you wouldn’t even know but I KNOW

We are so much closer to being finished with the drywall even though we still only have three sheets on the ceiling. We’ve been waiting on the wiring to be finished on the ceiling, which we have not wanted to rush. Don, the church member who is doing all of the wiring, is a retired electrician. He has had TWO knee replacement surgeries this year, and the most recent one was only about two months ago! He is a machine! He’s had physical therapy most mornings and comes to work on the wiring after therapy. We are so grateful for him and his expertise. Wiring is no joke, and it takes specialized knowledge to do it right. He has gotten so much accomplished in such a short amount of time! Now that he’s only one step away from being totally finished, we can fly with the ceiling drywall! After the ceiling is installed and mudded, we will sand all of the drywall. After that, we just need to prime, paint, and install flooring and trim. I say “just” as if those are small and easy tasks, but they will take a few days minimum to complete. Next week, I hope to be able to show you painted drywall (if not the start of flooring!)

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Here’s a “before” of the stairs to refresh your memory.

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And here they are today, with a fresh coat of Sherwin Williams Alabaster on the walls. I scraped off all of that gunk and removed one million carpet nails. That meant there were one million holes to fill and sand. Then the risers got one coat of Alabaster. I’ll wait to do the second coat until we’re closer to being finished with construction. The treads will be painted with Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor Enamel in Rock Bottom.

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This $30 Facebook Marketplace door needed to be trimmed a few inches and chiseled in a few spots in order to fit perfectly. The door frame isn’t perfectly square, and the floors aren’t perfectly level. Denny was able to make the door fit perfectly in the frame by trimming the top and bottom on a slight angle.

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We took this brass hardware off of an extra door in the basement. It had seen better days.

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You can obviously use brass polish, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used ketchup instead! The vinegar and acidity of ketchup are effective brass polishers. I covered the plates in a coat of ketchup and let them sit for about 15 minutes.

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This is the result after rinsing off the ketchup and scrubbing the grime off with a bristle brush.

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Ta-dah! In the words of an Instagram follower, “I am shooketh”. This is the beauty of antique materials like brass and real wood. They can be restored!

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I didn’t take any photos of the door stripping process because it was very messy. We used Citrustrip to strip all of the previous varnish and stain off of one side of the door so that I can restain it to match the other doors in the mudroom. The other side, which I’m painting, just needed to be sanded in order to get rid of the “shine” of the varnish.

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After one coat of Sherwin Williams Waterloo.

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At the very end of the day (Day 7 of Week two), these guys were able to put up three sheets of drywall on the ceiling! They were the most difficult ceiling sheets to install because they had to cut around the radiator pipes, which go up in the ceiling to the dining room radiator. The rest of the ceiling should go much more quickly this week once Don finishes the wiring tomorrow morning.

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I’ve never been so excited about a piece of drywall!!! It’s happening!!!

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I’ll leave you with this incredibly hopeful photo of a drywalled corner and ceiling. Hopefully next week, this same view will have beautiful green paint and maybe even the start of flooring!

While it may not look like a ton of progress, it’s important for me to remember where we started only three weeks ago. This is that same corner pictured above. We now have one less wall than when we started, clean and mold free cinderblock that has been waterproofed with Drylok, drywall on the walls, new wired outlets, almost wired ceiling lighting, a painted stairway, a mostly refinished glass paneled door, and a good start to drywall on the ceiling. We are flying! It feels crazy to think that we only have three weeks left, but when I think about the progress we’ve made in the last three weeks I am confident that we are close to a beautiful finished basement!

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Thank you so much for your excitement and support of this project. I am very thankful for all of the encouragement and cheerleading you have offered to me during this project that has the potential to be stressful and overwhelming! We are having fun and learning a ton of new things every day, and I’m happy that I get to share the process with you.

You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog each Wednesday.

You can head to the One Room Challenge blog to check out the other Guest Participants’ and Featured Designers’ posts for Week Three!

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Thanks for reading!

-Avery

 


Basement Demo and Waterproofing with Drylok: One Room Challenge Week 2

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

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For this round of the One Room Challenge, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a cozy family game room. You can catch up on my design plan through the link below!

Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One


Week two is finished and I am so proud of the progress we have made so far. It never felt like we were making much progress this week because we didn’t start drywall until today. But when I look at the progress photos and think about how much we’ve already done, it makes sense that I am so, so tired. Finishing a basement is no joke, and it takes an incredible amount of preparation to ensure that your work will stand the test of time.

Before I walk you through the progress we made this week, here is a reminder of where we started.

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And here is that same view today!

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Here is the “before” of the other direction.

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And a view of that same corner from today!

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The pictures tell the truth: we accomplished a lot this week. We started by tearing down the wall that separated the two rooms, and removed the drop ceiling that was in half of the space. All of my HGTV-Chip-Gaines-Demo-Day dreams came true.

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Here is a time lapse for part of the wall removal! Hauling the debris to the dump trailer took longer than actually ripping it all out. We started by whacking it with a sledgehammer, then ripped out all of the drywall and insulation. The insulation is itchy, so make sure to wear long sleeves. To remove the framing, we used a Sawsall to cut the lumber in half. After it was cut down the middle, we had leverage to pull out the frame.

Because I know you’ll probably ask, this was not a load bearing wall. Our church bought this house in 1990, and the wall was installed sometime since then. I don’t know how to find out if a wall in your home is load bearing, but do some investigating before destroying it with a sledgehammer!

Knocking out the wall was way more fun, way more messy, and way more impactful than I expected.

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After we cleaned up the mess from demo, we were ready to make a different mess. (I’m convinced that renovating is just cleaning up one mess so that you can make a different one.)

The next step was to prepare our cinderblock walls for drywall by waterproofing with Drylok Extreme Latex Masonry Waterproofer. This product is created by United Gilsonite Laboratories, and is GUARANTEED to stop water. According to the product description, “Unlike ordinary paint that simply adheres to a surface and can be forced off by incoming water pressure, DRYLOK Extreme Masonry Waterproofer actually penetrates the pores in that surface, bonding to the masonry and creating an impenetrable barrier.”

In all of the research I did before starting this project, this is the product that people recommend over and over to waterproof cinderblock walls. While we’ve never had standing water in the basement, there was clearly a moisture problem due to the condition of the cinderblock.

Before using Drylok, it is vitally important that you prep your walls by removing any failing paint. If you have unpainted cinderblock, you should be good to go. Our walls were covered in multiple layers of old paint, which was chipping and peeling off in most places. We tediously scraped off all of the peeling paint, which took a long time but was absolutely necessary to ensure the quality of the application.

Before scraping, Ben cleaned off all of the spots that appeared to be covered in mold and mildew. If you need to clean mold off of your basement walls, be sure to have the proper safety equipment consisting of a respirator mask, eye glasses, and rubber gloves. People disagree on whether or not to use bleach to kill mold. After doing our own research, we used both diluted bleach in a spray bottle and a special mold cleaner that I found at Ace Hardware. Do your own research and choose the products that you feel the most comfortable using.

After cleaning the mold, we scrubbed all of the walls with a rigid bristle brush and a spray bottle of water to remove the chalky layer of dust. Then we were ready to scrape the failing paint.

Here is where we started before prepping the cinderblock. See the multiple layers of paint and grime?

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It looks worse in a way, but this is what our walls looked like after we thoroughly prepped them. After scrubbing the walls with water and scraping the paint, we allowed them to dry overnight.

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It is recommended that you apply Drylok with a 3/4″ nap roller. I found that this worked great on the flat parts of the cinderblock, but the cracks required application with a brush. Drylok makes their own brush that is available for $11 on Amazon, and it will make your application a lot more thorough than just using a roller. This is not a detailed job, so using their giant brush will make the process a lot faster.

For the first wall, I ended up using the brush by itself. This short time lapse video represents an hour and a half of work! This was not the best way to do this job.

After trying out a few techniques, I finally found one that allowed me to work quickly yet thoroughly. I found that it was easiest to brush all of the vertical seams, then all of the horizontal seams so that I worked in an even pattern. After that, I used the 3/4″ nap roller to cover the flat cinderblocks.

Drylok recommends applying two coats to cinderblock, and the time in between coats is three hours minimum. Here is what our space looked like after two coats!

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Can you believe that this is the same corner?!?! Drylok comes in bright white, but it is also tintable. If you don’t want to completely finish your basement, but want to protect it from moisture and make it look less like a crime scene and more like a clean part of your home, then Drylok-ing the walls is an easy way to do both!

Application is straightforward, but I wouldn’t call it easy. While it only requires the basic skills of brushing and rolling, it took a lot longer to apply than we expected. Overall, I spent almost two full days working on our three walls. Expect to get elbow cramps from pushing the brush and roller into the cinderblock for hours at a time! (And then apply ice and elevate your arm! #iwouldknow)

Overall, I am super happy with the Drylok and I trust that it will do the job of keeping our basement dry and protected.

After we finished the Drylok (around 11pm last night), we woke up today with a blank slate! We decided to install drywall over the walls and ceiling. I won’t go into a thorough explanation of how to install drywall, but I’ll share a brain dump of some basic tips from a beginner’s perspective.

Before I share everything I currently know about drywall, I have a disclaimer. To prepare for this project, I’ve had three different knowledgeable people that I’ve consulted. Sometimes, I’ve gotten three different answers to the same question. Home improvement and construction have some rules that are universal, but a lot of it is based on personal opinion and preference. Do your own research, consult multiple sources, and make the decisions that work for you. (Within reason, obviously.) Don’t ignore what someone says because it may be harder. Get opinions and advice from people you trust to do a good job, and then make the decisions that work for your space.

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Drywall typically comes in 4×8 sheets. They are heavy. You typically use 1/2″ thick sheets for walls, and 5/8″ thick sheets for the ceiling. We decided to use 1/2″ sheets for both. In order to install the drywall to the cinderblock, we first had to install furring strips. We used 1×3 lumber for our strips. These strips must be 16″ apart (measuring from the center of the strips) so that four strips can be covered by one sheet of drywall. To attach the strips to the cinderblock, we used a hammer drill with 1 1/4″ Tapcon masonry screws. They are blue, and they are expensive. Each furring strip needs about four screws throughout the length of the strip. Drywall and framing should not sit directly on basement floors, so we used half inch wood spacers during installation to create a gap between the strips and the floor.

It takes two people to install the strips. One person holds the strip in place while the other person drills a hole. After you drill your hole with the hammer drill, you can insert your screw using a normal drill. Here is a time lapse video of Ben and our friend Jimmy installing some strips. (P.S. Thanks for your help, Jimmy! Jimmy is one of our college friends who grew up in this area. He just moved back with his wife, Sara, who is one of my best friends from college! He has construction experience, and taught us all of this stuff today about installing drywall.)

After your furring strips are installed, you can start to hang your sheets of drywall. For this part, you need drywall screws. If you’re using 1x3s and 1/2″ drywall, you’ll want 1 1/4″ drywall screws. Before you begin to hang the drywall, make marks on the floor with a sharpie to remind you where the strips are so that you don’t have to guess (incorrectly) with your drill (Ask me how I know that).

When you screw the drywall into the furring strips, go slowly. You want the screw to JUST BARELY indent into the paper of the drywall. Keyword here is JUST BARELY. I definitely sank more than one screw by going too quickly. “Code” is to attach the drywall in six places on each strip. After you’ve done that, pat yourself on the back because you just hung a sheet of drywall! Now you’ve got the “hang” of it! 😉

If you are installing outlets, you’ll need to attach your outlet boxes and wire to the furring strips before hanging the drywall.

I think that’s everything I know about drywall so far. We finished about half of the installation today, and will finish the rest tomorrow. After that, we will figure out how to put it on the ceiling. And after that, I have to learn all about this mud/tape/sand business. I am the definition of a beginner, and am learning all of these skills as I go.

Readers have asked how I’m learning to do all of these things, and the number one answer is, “Annoying my friends”. Seriously. The internet is great, but if you can get an experienced friend in your basement to show you how to do it, you’ll be in much better shape. No matter what home improvement skill you’re trying to learn, you probably have an acquaintance or friend who knows how to do it. Ask them one million questions, and reward their patience with treats and coffee. If they are willing to help you, feed them and give them coffee. When the job is finished, feed them and give them more coffee. (Are you sensing a pattern here?)

I currently have one day of drywalling experience, but that is 100% more than I had yesterday. If there is a project that you want to tackle in your home but you don’t know how, you can probably learn how to do it. But you won’t learn if you’re too scared to start. Ask around, recruit some help, and just try it.

I don’t know how to do all of the projects that will be necessary to finish our basement, but day by day I intend to learn and grow. Five weeks from now, I WILL know how to drywall and install new flooring and trim. When planning future projects, “I don’t know how” is not a limitation for me. If I don’t know how to do something, I have the internet, books, and talented friends who do. That excuse isn’t good enough anymore! I think it is totally okay to be afraid of learning and trying new things, but don’t allow your fear to keep you from growing.

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That’s all of the progress we have for this week, and I feel like we’re in good shape to keep moving. After we finish hanging the drywall, we will be ready to mud, tape, and sand. I will feel really, really good when that is finished.

Here’s our list of things to accomplish this week:

  • Finish hanging drywall on walls
  • Have electrician install wiring for recessed lights
  • Hang drywall on ceiling
  • Mud, tape, sand x3
  • Pick up paint from Sherwin Williams
  • Prime fresh drywall
  • Paint, paint, paint

I hope to share a freshly painted space with you next Wednesday, but that is dependent on how quickly we can finish up this drywall and lighting installation!

Thank you, United Gilsonite Laboratories, for sponsoring this post!

You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog each Wednesday.

Check out the other Guest Participants’ and Featured Designers’ posts for Week Two of the One Room Challenge!

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Thanks for reading!

-Avery

 

 


Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

 

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Now that we’ve been introduced, let’s get on with the One Room Challenge!

For this round, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a warm and inviting family room and game room. My husband is a pastor, and we live in the church’s parsonage, which is a home that the church owns and maintains. It is a two story Craftsman home built in 1910 (with as much charm as there is woodwork). Though the house is quite large, the rooms themselves are not. The current living room is small and has challenging layout obstacles, and is separated from the dining room by large oak built-ins.

The unfinished basement presents an opportunity to create 420 square feet of livable hosting space (compared to our current 100 square foot living room). The only problem? It looks like a crime scene. We’re talking “opening scene of CSI” material. I’m not mad about it. It is a basement, and basements are creepy. It’s just a fact.

I bet you might have a creepy basement of your own. During the next five weeks, I hope to give you confidence to transform your creepy basement into a cozy and inviting living space through attainable, low budget DIY projects. I’ve never taken on a “renovation” like this, and I’ll be learning countless new skills along the way. Some of those new skills scare me a bit (like installing drywall and using a hammer drill), but I am determined to do it scared and encourage you to do the same. If I can do this, you can do this. (Now let’s just hope that I can do this 🙂 )

Before I share my design plan, allow me to give you a tour of the aforementioned creepy basement. Would you believe me if I told you that this is better than it used to look? Last year, I painted one cinderblock wall and gave the white wall a fresh coat of white. I began painting the paneling down the stairway, and removed peeling wallpaper that was covered in mold. These photos represent an improvement.

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Here’s an Iphone photo I found from before I painted the charcoal wall and moved all of our junk.

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In the words of an Instagram follower, “This is a really good ‘before’!” (I know it was a compliment but it also felt like an insult to the basement. Don’t worry though, the basement didn’t take it personally. I think if it could express human emotions, it would even laugh… and then cry, because it is really, really ugly.)

Let’s walk through my game plan for the next five weeks.

Step one was to knock out the wall that separates the two large rooms. Ben and I started that process last night (Tuesday of Week One) and will finish that tomorrow. We will also knock out the drop ceiling, leaving the entire ceiling exposed. We will use a sprayer to paint the ceiling white. Then, I will Drylok the cinderblock walls to prevent moisture from coming through before we drywall the entire room. After that, we will install vinyl flooring, new lighting, trim, and paint the entire space.

The 420 square foot space will consist of a living room setup, a dining table and chairs for playing board games, board game storage, and my desk. Here’s a look at my digital moodboard, and a photo of some decorative elements I plan on using to style the space.

Final Basement Moodboard

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I am going for a warm, masculine, kind of moody vibe with this space.

Stay tuned over the next five weeks to see my design vision come to life! You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog each Thursday.

Check out the other Guest Participants’ posts for Week One of the One Room Challenge!

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Thanks for reading!

-Avery

 


Ikea Dresser Makeover: One Room Challenge Week 5

Hi, everyone! I’m back for WEEK FIVE of the One Room Challenge.

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in rural Iowa with my husband. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen. My design style is cozy, whimsical, and collected. I’ll be sharing my One Room Challenge progress on my Holland Avenue Home Instagram. Thanks for following along!

Here’s a recap of my posts for the One Room Challenge so far.

Week 1: Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Design Plan

Week 2: Moody Accent Wall

Week 3: DIY Throw Pillows and Vintage Artwork

Week 4: Hand-Painted Modern Chinoiserie Mural

And here’s a reminder of my vision for our colorful, cozy, eclectic Master Bedroom Update.

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We’ve been out of town since last Thursday, so my progress this week is not very monumental! We went to Ikea in Kansas City on our way to visit our friends, and picked up their classic Tarva dresser. We wanted some extra drawer storage in our bedroom for sweaters and winter items that need to be folded and take up a lot of space.

We looked at all of the dresser options, and finally decided on the Tarva. It matches our Tarva nightstands, which Ben really liked!

We planned to buy the three drawer dresser since we don’t need a ton of extra space, but when we got to the warehouse, it was out of stock!

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This is the dresser we ended up purchasing. It was $30 more than the one we planned to buy, but we figured that the extra $30 meant we now have a second full size dresser that we could use in another bedroom down the road. I’ll use the top drawer for jewelry storage, and we can give our sweaters plenty of breathing room in the other four drawers!

 

We are staining the dresser with Minwax Dark Walnut stain, and replacing the standard Ikea knobs with black hardware from Hobby Lobby. I plan to hang our gold Target mirror above this dresser, and store my every day jewelry on top.

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Between today and next Wednesday, I have to paint the entire mural and finish up the sunroom. As long as I don’t get sick again, I should be able to do that no problem! I can’t believe that the 6 weeks is almost over!


That’s all for this week! Be sure to check out all of the other Guest Participants in the One Room Challenge to follow along with their progress!

I’ll share behind the scenes sneak peeks on my Instagram Stories this week, so follow along there if you want the inside scoop on mural painting before next Wednesday! If you’d like to be reminded when new posts go live, enter your email in the “Brighten my Inbox” tab on the right side of your screen. 

Thanks for following along with me here on Holland Avenue Home, and don’t forget to follow along with the rest of the One Room Challenge Blog to see all of the Featured and Guest Designers!

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(UPDATE: Don’t miss the final reveal in my Week 6 post below!)

Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Before & After: One Room Challenge Week 6

 


Diy Painted Gingham Pumpkins

Is there any thing cuter than a gingham painted pumpkin?

I couldn’t say no to these little white pumpkins at the grocery store yesterday, and when I got home they were practically BEGGING for me to paint them. It was more time consuming than I expected, but painting is very therapeutic for me so I enjoyed every minute!

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I thought these would be pretty cute, but I am AMAZED at just how adorable they turned out!

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You only need two colors of acrylic paint if you’re using a white pumpkin. I’d recommend looking for pumpkins with very defined vertical lines, and an even number of sections. That will make painting the vertical lines much easier.

Here is a step-by-step photo timeline for how to paint a gingham pumpkin of your own!

Supplies

  • White pumpkin
  • Small, round tip paintbrush
  • 2 colors of acrylic paint (Black and white can mix to become your gray for a black and white gingham pattern. You can also use a color, like the sage, and add a little bit of black to make your darker color)
  • 2 paper plates (one for paint and one for pumpkin)

Step 1: Paint vertical stripes around your pumpkin with your lighter color (For a black and white gingham pattern, use gray for steps one and two). If your pumpkin has defined vertical lines and an even number of “sections”, just follow those lines. You need an even number of vertical stripes for the white/grey pattern to continue appropriately. If your pumpkin doesn’t have well defined lines, just draw your own. The thicker the stripe, the larger your gingham pattern will be. Don’t worry about having perfectly straight lines- the curvature of the pumpkin makes it difficult to achieve perfection here.

Step 2: Begin painting horizontal stripes that are the same width as your vertical stripes. For a medium size pumpkin, I had three horizontal stripes.

Step 3: Where the lighter colored stripes overlap, paint the intersection with your darker color. (Black if you’re doing a black and white gingham).

You might want to use a small paintbrush to paint the outlines of your stripes, and then fill in with a larger brush. I started off with a larger flat tip brush, and switched to a round tip brush because it was easier to get a clean line. I’d recommend using a small, round tip brush for everything.

Step 4: Admire your adorable pumpkin!

Step 5: Share this photo below on Pinterest or Facebook!

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