With a Bang, not a Whimper…

by Kristin on January 3, 2012

in The Story of a House,This and That


My December turned out to be oh so exciting.  So, in my last post, I told you that my basement flooded.  Then, I broke my hand 4 days before we were expecting 70 people for a Christmas party.  Of course, I managed to break my hand in a way that only professional baseball players typically do.  Of course!! I love to be original. Hence the title of this post- I closed out the old year with a bang rather than a whimper!  Typing is a bit of a challenge, so I will be self-editing as my hand gets tired.

My basement flood has turned into a design opportunity.  At least that is how I am choosing to see the fact that my limestone floor was ruined, travertine fireplace hearth stained, walls, mouldings, furniture, all damaged or a total loss.  Even my wonderful clamshell that I had stored there temporarily for Christmas got stained – permanently.  Who knew that something that lived in water for so long could get water stained!   Any way, this is what my basement looks like now.  Sorry it’s so blurry – I took it with my phone on low res.  But you get the idea.

What a girl to do?  Create the ultimate man-cave, that’s what!  Starting from the entry, here is my plan.  I am placing this fabulous vintage sofa that I just had refinished at the base of the stairs.  John’s African prints will hang above it.  The flooring will be Champagne Peacock Pavers in a herringbone pattern.

In the main room, Champagne Peacock Pavers will be installed in a running bond pattern.  The walls will be painted a warm, deep grey-brown.  This is counterintuitive in a dark basement, I know, but since I cannot fake natural light and this IS a man-cave, I am going with it.

Our mantel will be replaced with this one, from American Masonry Supply.

I put together a mood board for the room so you can see what I am thinking.  Lots of Restoration Hardware pieces,  a Mitchell Gold sectional, Wisteria bookcase, a Timothy Oulton pillow or two – do you see a theme here?

These are all retail sources.  I am trying to get this room put together in a matter of weeks, rather than months, and so I am using what is readily available to me.  I really don’t feel I am making a compromise though – these are all great designs and in the colors that I want to use.  Plus, my teenage boys are not likely to appreciate, not to mention properly care for, custom upholstery!! I have a fabulous antique pool table, and I am accessorizing with some great vintage finds from Uncommon Market, one of my favorite stores in Dallas.  By the time that I am finished, I expect the room to have a unique feel, even though I am using lots of readily available pieces.  Here are a few of the one of a kind things I am considering to give the room a distinctive feel.

Vintage military flags.

I love the grey and honey tones of this one.

Apologies for the blur factor, but you get the idea….Would love to see the mannequin swathed in vintage rep ( striped )  ties – loads of them. I bet ebay would have a great selection.

I also am going to check out another favorite source, The White Elephant, to see what goodies they might have in store for me.  I am sorely tempted to use a London tube sign as it’s actually meaningful to the boys – witness the Union Jack and the pillow with the British stamp motif.  But it’s so trendy right now that I am not sure whether I will do it or not.

We are also remodeling the space a bit.  We are adding a powder bath and what I am calling a snack station.  Basically, I am specifying shelves and cubbies, with room for a built-in microwave and a mini-frig.  The snack station will not have a sink or ice maker, as I just don’t think they will get used often.  To save some money, I am going to use a remnant slab from my fabricator for the cabinetry and extend a section of about 18 inches to create an eating bar.  Add some industrial stools and vintage looking sconces and it should be really fun and functional, especially since it will wrap the pool table.

I have decided to divide the large space in front of the fireplace with a linen curtain which will hang from the ceiling behind the sectional.  Behind that curtain will be the ping pong table and the foosball table – if it can be repaired from the water damage.  I hate looking at the ping pong table and the room divider will make it less visible.  I am hoping to hang the linen curtain from industrial track lighting from Pottery Barn with small gauge chain.

I will be sure to update you as we make progress.  In the meantime, I have some finished projects to show you in the coming days.   Should be fun!

I wish all of you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!!



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