28 October 2013

The plan

I think I've come up with a downstairs floor plan that I'm happy with. The room to the right in the drawing will serve as a family room or den for a while. However, we are planning for the possibility of having to care for Tom's parents in the coming years, and the room will be easily converted into an in-law suite. It has direct outdoor access, as well as a bathroom and its own washer/dryer. Even if we never have to take care of Tom's parents in our home, having this conversion possibility is a good idea for aging in place. We are planning for the bathroom to be as ADA-compliant as is reasonable, which is why it is a bit bigger than a typical 3/4 bath, and also why I put in pocket doors where possible.


I've been doing some preparations downstairs for serious work, namely cleaning out the back portion of the house. This is what we started with:

Years worth of scrap construction stuff thrown haphazardly back there to be dealt with "later." Well, it's later. Here's the same space now:

I hope you kept your expectations sufficiently low. Most of the stuff was just moved elsewhere on the first floor, but we did get rid of a fair amount of junk, too. The plan is to get the back room framed and install flooring (to free up some room in the front of the house), then keep working our way forward to the front of the house. I think we've already exhausted plans A through Z, so I guess we're far enough removed from the original to just call this plan A again.

08 October 2013

My first Ikea hack

I've been working on a wall of built-ins for the girls' room. Their toy box died tragically, and we needed storage stat. Rather than spend a hundred bucks on another toy box they'd outgrow in a few years, I decided to build storage that would grow with them. I still need to sew a cushion for the top (probably using that peacock blue fabric on one of the upper shelves), but the construction is complete. I used two Billy bookcases and two over-the-fridge kitchen cabinets outfitted with drawers. The rest of the project was just finishing touches that make it look more custom, less Ikea. I might eventually write a tutorial about it, but for now I'm happy that this project is done!