brewster fun floor revisited

i took some new pictures of our lower level (“fun floor / sleeping quarters”) last weekend. it recently got new tile in place of old berber, new bright paint, and some fun art. it is majorly improved. [see before here].


this full-sized bed recently got a little upgrade since we got a king for the master bedroom and cycled the queen mattress down here.IMG_6324

i’m clearly incapable of photographing this lighting scenario, but the whole room has a much brighter and cleaner feel (you’ll have to take my word for it).IMG_6336


IMG_6343so far so good with the new flooring.
IMG_6328i think this area is finally in pretty good shape.

the tile is in!

the much anticipated tile floor was installed in our brewster basement last week. i wrote a lot about the new floor planning process here and a little here. in a nutshell: we had an old berber carpet that was fine – a little musty and worn – but then was completely ruined over the winter when our dehumidifier pump malfunctioned and water soaked the rug and pad to the point of no return. it wouldn’t make sense to put more carpet down there. carpet + rental property = no. we decided on tile. i obsessed over wood-like tile choices for many weeks. we considered options from home depot, lowes, daltile, and a number of boutique tile shops in the cape then quickly narrowed down our choices to the style selections line at lowes (we quickly learned that only lowes and home depot had options we could afford). i also learned that the added labor cost for a herringbone pattern installation is nauseating. my herringbone dreams were crushed as soon as we saw the numbers. the wound is still raw. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.

this is how it looked when we arrived friday. its hard to get a feel for it with no baseboard (which was mike’s weekend project). the tile is . only $2.48 per square foot (not including labor, of course).


here is shakespeare beginning the quality control inspection and a sneak-peak at some new art i splurged on for the new and improved space.IMG_4742

and enough bubble wrap to air-mail our entire house.IMG_4743

or provide 4 minutes of 3-year-old entertainment…


mike worked his tush off and installed all the baseboard himself (a job that our contractor quoted over $2k!).


dane also pulled his weight…IMG_4786

shakey, not so much. just look at those rolls…  its a combination of winter and pregnancy sympathy weight…IMG_4755

we are getting a new door for the utility closet which we had to special-order. patience, patience is so hard.

but definitely looking much better with the new chunky, flat stock trim!IMG_4770

the wall reads yellowy in these pictures, but its white dove.. a soft, creamy white that i’ve been using everywhere (not at all yellowy).


after moving some furniture back into place (as much furniture as one man + one 8-month preggo lady can handle), it looked like this. still some obvious finishing touches needed (vent cover, door, window trim…) but very promising!



its hard to see, but i covered 3/4 of this back wall with bead-board wallpaper. its going to be capped with a piece of trim and have some hooks between the bed and stairs and be awesome. more on that later.



this friday we are headed back to the cape to actually enjoy ourselves and the brewster in bloom weekend festivities. its been a while since we’ve spent time here without an aggressive to-do list. we can’t wait!

do you want to rent this house for memorial day weekend!? leave a comment or get in touch with me!

snowy spring cape cod weekend

we spent the past weekend in brewster… drove down friday night in a snow storm where cars were slipping and sliding on the highway like it was the first storm of the season. it took us longer than expected to get there and we were totally exhausted by the time we unloaded.

the only grand plan i had for the weekend was to paint the fridge with chalkboard paint (yup, i’m going for it) but the tintable kind was sold out when i went on the home depot run thursday night, so that plan was thwarted. we just chipped away at some random odds & ends like replacing some light switches (off-white for white), stripping some more trim in the lower level and clearing it out for the flooring install.

i bundled up and hung some finishing touches in the rejuvenated sunroom during dane’s nap saturday…

but the room is currently a dumping ground for stuff from the downstairs and looks like this… so still no finished product photos available.

speaking of the lower level… there have been some plot twists since my flooring post. turns out the labor cost for the herringbone pattern i had my heart set on is outrageously expensive. like twice as much as the standard “brick lay”. it took me a long time to get over it (i’m still not over it).. but the lowes people quoted us an additional $2k or so and we got two more quotes in the same ballpark. at the end of the day, it was too much money. 
so i solemnly picked up the sample pattern i laid a few weeks before, and we’ll have it installed in the regular, boring way the weekend of april 16th. you may also notice its not the tile i had previously decided on. the more weathered style (“c” if you will) was discontinued and lowes would not install it. i’m actually happy with this change of plans.. it think this “natural timber cinnamon” might actually be the better choice in the end.
in other news… this wall… i was going to paint it an accent color, but now i’m thinking maybe wallpaper!?

dane was a really happy guy all weekend.  he had his little workbench and tools and followed mike around “helping” with all of the “construction”.

he didn’t want to leave sunday. that makes me happy.

it was a good weekend. sometimes it feels like we only go to brewster to bust our butts and try to get stuff done. then there is usually the stressful rushing around on sundays to ensure everything is renter-ready at all times. its kind of nice knowing we will be the only ones back for a month or so… i can leave dane’s mattress on the floor, sheets on the beds and soap in the shower. i feel like this past weekend we were able to get stuff done but also watch a bunch of basketball and relax just enough. i hope as the years go by there will be more of this balance during our brewster visits.

brewster : a new floor

i told you about the ruined floor in the walk-out basement of our cape house. prior to that, i was pretty content with this space. i recently added a little tv on that wicker chest and two comfy chairs (not pictured) to create a cozy spot for kids to hang on a rainy day. but once the carpet and baseboards were torn out, it was obviously time to clean and brighten things up down here.

you have to take a lot of steps backward before moving forward as you can see below! my go-to white,  white dove is going on all the walls. 

the “relax” definition was scraped off (that was my one job). i was a little sad and nostalgic about it since it was one of the first little projects we did here. but it was time.

but the real renovation that is going to be happening down here is the installation of wood-like tile. significantly more expensive than re-carpeting but hopefully a wise long-term investment. we started at home depot… hated the options (that we could see anyway… there weren’t many) and couldn’t, for the life of us, get help from any of their flooring specialists. later, we went to lowes. again we were frustrated by the lack of help available to us but liked their “style selections” brand. after waiting 20 minutes for their guy to come help us, we decided to just buy a box of our 3 favorites and try them out in the room.

that weekend i had planned to visit two local cape cod shops to check out their options and prices. the first was in harwich. they had some lovely tile, however they cost (at least) THREE TIMES per square foot as much as the lowes brand. once i heard the price range i quickly turned around and shuffled dane out of the store.  we didn’t even bother going to the next one on my list. it was really eye-opening to realize how much more affordable these big box stores can be. i love the idea of supporting small business etc etc, and maybe there is a significant difference in “quality” but one thing for sure is that that tile was completely out of my reach… “for rich people” i said as we got in the car. god bless ’em.

any who. i literally had no strong feelings toward one of the three options we brought home from lowes. they were all about $3/square foot (not including installation). i kinda loved them all. so i thought i would take a stab at utilizing the democratic process… the pride of our great country….  an instagram vote.

it was fun to see what everyone thought. but not terribly helpful.. there was no convincing winner.
it sorta reinforced my initial sentiment which was that any of these three would look really great down here and would be a huge improvement. but that didn’t help with the decision.
i ruled out C at one point and was thinking it was down to these two.
after much mulling and obsessing and googling and pinteresting to try to find pictures to help my decision… i settled on… you guessed it… C. rustic, weathered… the least popular option and the least “safe”. but it just feels right. since when have my choices been safe?
internet pictures can be so deceiving. for example, in the picture above from the lowes website, the planks look way wider than the sample we have at home. regardless, it gives a sense of how all the tile looks together (as you can see, the wood pattern/color/etc varies a lot from plank to plank). 
but our pattern will definitely be herringbone:
the guy is coming to measure next saturday, then hopefully we’ll have an idea of when we can make this happen!