Basement renovation: Here's why

So our basement is still one big collection of jackhammers, sawhorses and halogen lamps; we blow dust off of any food we're considering eating before we put it in our mouths, and we have learned to jump into the shower early, before all the work begins each day -- we never know when the water will be available.

But it's so worth it!  Because here is what our basement used to look like:

At some point, some previous owner put up plaid wallpaper that matches nothing. There is no excuse for this except maybe the early enthusiasm in the seventies for all things that could be seen as colonial and bicentennial, but somehow also gave off a "swinger" vibe, which overwhelmed supposedly intelligent people who should know better.  To complement this, navy blue wallpaper was applied to an adjoining wall.  There is so much wrong with this . . . .

Of course, being the procrastinating family, we complained about this ugly wallpaper for eleven years, while yawning and fixing ourselves more coffee.  It began to lose its sticky and peel from the walls before we did one thing about it.  But still.

So this level of our home boasted a bedroom, but no bathroom -- not even the so-called "powder room" so beloved by realtors everywhere.  Some previous homeowner somewhere along the way decided it would be way more fun and useful to require people who used the bedroom to climb two flights of stairs to take a shower; instead of a bathroom they installed a rustic, Daniel Boone-esque wet bar.  There's that navy blue wallpaper in the background.

Actually, after talking to friends we feel kind of lucky.  My Contractor and her husband are the proud owners of a 1970s tiki bar in the basement of their house -- palm frond roof and all.  We merely had to contend with striped wallpaper that was purchased -- on purpose! -- to match the plaid wallpaper used elsewhere in the room; apparently it could have been so much worse.  But still.  The wet bar had to go.  The down side is that the tall boy and his buddies will no longer have a mini-fridge to stash their contraband beer in -- but the tall boy would never do such a thing anyway,  so everybody is happy.

And!  All of the carpeting will be replaced, which is such fabulous news!

 You would be wrong if you thought that the entire family is nostalgic about these stains, which represent the maniacal temper tantrum I had when I discovered, the night before my sister and her family were to arrive for a visit, that the dog pee stains left by Toby, the Round Mound of Hound, may he rest in peace, were impervious to every product I tried.  That's when I dumped straight bleach on the carpet.  Which, in case you were wondering, does a great job on the urine-ish smell -- but is very unpredictable when it comes to knowing what color the carpet will end up.  A little tip from me to you.

Yep -- this basement renovation is a very good thing.