More Basement Rambling and A Terrier

We spent much of the weekend cleaning out the future movie/game room and working on the floors, and I will show the finished floor to you later this week. Along with an exciting story about an encounter with wildlife. Teaser!

But for now what I have is pictures of our new foster dog and more rambling about basement plans.

So here’s our new foster boy:


The name he came with is Brunonia, which, according our research, is a wildflower in Australia. We’re calling him Bruno. We’re fostering him for a group called Road Trip Home. They pull dogs from shelters here and then transport them to shelters in Massachusetts, Maine, and New York where there are stricter spay/neuter laws and thus more demand for adoptable dogs in shelters.

This is our first time fostering with them. I liked the idea, since we have so much going on these days, of a definite end date for fostering (he’s leaving on his transport in the middle of October) and not having to work on finding him a home myself–especially the spending lots of time at adoption events part. Our weekends are pretty packed lately and for the foreseeable future. I’m a little nervous about the part where he’s just going to LEAVE, though, and I won’t necessarily ever find out where he winds up (I gather that sometimes you get an update and sometimes you don’t). But he’s a great little dog, and I’m sure he’ll find a wonderful home. And I’m glad he gets to spend a month with us instead of cooped up being boarded.

Now basement. Last week I talked about our plans to turn part of our unfinished basement into the funnest movie/game room ever. This week I made some fancy pictures to give you a little bit better idea of what I’m talking about. Like here’s a very not to scale basement layout:


The basement is completely unfinished, but, at the same time, there are signs everywhere of strange, aborted attempts at finishing it that must have happened at some point in the past. Like how it’s divided into 4 room (in some places by drywall; in others just by open framing). In the storage area right at the bottom of the stairs, someone painted the floor at some point, but everywhere else it’s bare concrete. The walls are painted blue in the back two rooms. The storage room in the back has a drop ceiling, and the future movie room has the TRACK for a drop ceiling, but not the actual panels. As with everything else in this house, it’s difficult to figure out what the previous owners were thinking. But we spend a lot of time trying anyway.

We considered every one of these rooms except the cat room (where we keep the litterboxes; it’s also lined with built in shelves already) as a candidate for turning into the movie room. For a long time, we were planning to use the room right at the bottom of the stairs, for reasons I no longer remember. I guess maybe because it’s the room without windows, so it seemed good for a movie room (and a tornado shelter, which is the main reason we go in the basement right now). Also then you wouldn’t have to walk through unfinished parts of the basement to get to the finished part. But the main problems with it (aside from no windows, which is really more of a disadvantage than an advantage, since we can easily get blackout curtains to block the light from the windows when we’re watching movies) are that there are a ton of wires all over the place that we don’t know what to do with and will need an electrician to help with and this is the room where the hot water heater and furnace are, so they use up quite a bit of real estate. We were having trouble making the layout work in our heads, so, long story short, we moved on to the back room, which, at around 13 by 24 feet, is the biggest room in the basement (and one of the biggest in the house).

Here’s the furniture layout we’re thinking of:


Oh, that foosball part? I bought a foosball table at the thrift store last week. Extra fun! It was marked $40, and it was a little beat up, with a lot of the laminate peeling off. I had Milo and Gus with me, and they were pretty excited about it, but I was hemming and hawing, worried they’d get tired of it after a week. Then one of the women who works there noticed my indecision and told me she’d take $5 off. Sold! I said. Or something to that effect. A minute later she said, “I’ll give it to you for $30. For the KIDS!” And I was like, “I already said I’d pay $35; you are a terrible negotiator, lady.” So, anyway, for $30, they’re allowed to get tired of it if they must. But maybe they won’t.

Reminder about how crappy this room looked just a few days ago:


We were planning out a schedule for getting as close to finished as possible in six weeks, and we made an executive decision to pretty much pretend nothing above the weird drop ceiling track exists for now. So see where the blue shifts to bare drywall? That’s where the track is. And then above that there’s an area with just exposed studs and insulation that we were thinking we’d attempt to drywall over. But. Drywalling is a pain, especially when there are tons of wires and pipes to deal with. And we don’t know yet what our final ceiling solution is going to be. It’s entirely possible we’ll decide to put a drop ceiling in ourselves, and then we’ll feel so silly for having wasted time dry walling something no one’s every going to see. This decision has made us feel happy. And I can crop the final photos very craftily so you don’t even SEE that part. Although I’m telling you all about it, so there’s really no point. I hope that we’ll have time to deal with the ceiling over Dave’s Christmas break, and that it won’t be a thing that drags on FOREVER. But I know there’s no way it’s getting done by November, so there’s no sense pretending.

Okay, so there you go! Back later this week with an actual progress update and beautiful, or at least less hideous, floors!


More Basement Rambling and A Terrier — 24 Comments

  1. i can’t wait to see it all come together! bruno is adorable! and i have made no progress on my playroom but have some plans today. of course nothing that was in my original plan but that’s ok. 🙂

  2. Please don’t drywall your basement ceiling! You need access to wires and whatnot! especially in a room with a projector in the ceiling, you are going to want to tweak angles and speaker locations and whatnot. And you never know when a leak in the floor above will destroy the ceiling below!

    • I think I need to edit to make things more clear! Or put in better pictures….what I was talking about drywalling is a small section of the walls–there’s a one footish section right next to the ceiling that’s not dry walled. We have no intention of dry walling the ceiling–if for no other reason than because we don’t want to do it ourselves and have no budget to pay someone to do it. So we don’t even need to decide whether it’s a good idea or not 😉

      • AHA! I see it now. Looks like an opportunity for a cool light box around the room. Tray ceiling with a light recessed in it would be a cool way to light the room without ruining the screening.

  3. People say ^ that a lot. And while in theory sure, it’s nice to have access to any pipe that I want to look at, I might as well have open ceilings on any of the floors in my house. There are pipes all over this house! But I don’t, I have drywall on all ceilings except the basement. In the bathroom, in the garage, both of which have had ceiling leaks. It’s just part of having a house, IMO. When I drywall my basement ceiling, if it ever gets damaged, I’ll fix it. I’ll leave an access point for the water shut off and that’s it. Of course, I am kind of pathological in how much I would not want a drop ceiling in my house (not yours, you do what you want!) 🙂
    I think your movie room sounds awesome! Exciting!!

    • My unclear description has caused a heated debate! I’m not drywalling the ceiling, though I fully support others if they decide to do so ;). I was talking about a little strip of wall right next to the ceiling that we were going to drywall but then decided to ignore for now.

  4. Hot drywall debate here on Boxy Colonial today.

    Sounds like you have quite the game plan going. I just mainly plan on putting all of the clothes from my laundry back into my closet. Bam. Room makeover! 😉

    And let’s talk about Bruno. That is one cute dog. I kept thinking I wanted a second. Until we started dog sitting a family member’s dog. Ike has made it pretty clear that this is a one dog household. I hope he finds a loving home on his journey!

    • This is the most excitement I’ve ever seen in my comments section, and it’s all about drywall. Who knew? Rory doesn’t like it when other dogs show up here, either, but we make him suck it up ;). Of course, Bruno’s leaving in a few weeks, so he really just needs to chill out about it.

  5. I am really liking that plan and I think your floor plan is awesome. Can’t wait to see what you are doing with the floors. Of course I am feverishly looking for a gummy bear lamp in that floor plan, but I guess I will just have to be surprised!! 🙂

  6. First it kills me that you have a cat room. Also foosball table!!! Jealous!! I was planning on just pretending the ceiling was done in here, so I’ll just continue in that line of thought!

    • I am so in awe of people who manage without basements. How do you keep your houses from looking like Hoarders episodes all the time!?

    • He’ll probably go to a shelter from here, but the idea is he’ll get adopted very quickly (they say on their site that sometimes there are people lined up waiting to see the dogs when they get there with a transport), so it shouldn’t be for long! And they’re nice, private shelters that the dogs go to; not the low on funds, overcrowded county shelters like they pull them from here.

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