The New Playroom

We have a two level apartment in San Francisco. We are very, very lucky. The only problem is the downstairs had been trashed by floods, toddlers, kids, cats, normal wear and tear and a bit of good old neglect.

The result? No one wanted to be down there, so our family of six was pretty much crunched in our upper level as the downstairs accumulated more junk, more cat problems and more tendency to neglect the area. The worse it got the less I would go down there. It was a vicious cycle.

This is actually after I had paid someone to clean and organize for FIVE HOURS so can you imagine what it looked like?

This is actually after I had paid someone to clean and organize for FIVE HOURS so can you imagine what it looked like?

Something had to be done.

The first step was deciding what type of floor to put in. Steve and I always dreamed of putting hardwood in. I went to Lumber  Liquidators and found a wonderful Strand-Woven Bamboo from their house brand Morning Star. I liked that bamboo is a renewable resource and when you choose strand woven it is incredibly durable.

At least I didn't have 3 kids while shopping for my floor.

At least I didn’t have 3 kids while shopping for my floor.

The downstairs was painted all yellow. Even on the ceiling. It had also been colored on by Ella. (she wrote her name everywhere) I called my brother-in-law, who is a pro-painter, and he agreed to help me paint if I did all the prep. Chloe and I got to work taking everything off the walls and patching all the holes and sanding sections.

We worked for 3 days and got the room fully painted and the carpets all ripped up. My brother-in-law worked a few more finalizing everything to install the floor. I don’t know what I would have done without him.

Prepping

Prepping, notice the wall art? It took Shellack Primer to cover that up. Really expensive, but cheaper than ten million coats of top coat.

My Brother-in-law ripped up the old carpet and then used his nifty power sprayer to do all the walls while I followed with a roller. The prep took forever, but the actual painting was pretty fast.

My Brother-in-law ripped up the old carpet and then used his nifty power sprayer to do all the walls while I followed with a roller. The prep took forever, but the actual painting was pretty fast.

I had to go to Burlingame to pick up the floor. I was really happy all 700 pounds fit in my car. Go Honda CRV!

I had to go to Burlingame to pick up the floor. I was really happy all 700 pounds fit in my car. Go Honda CRV!

I have a friend who is an expert floor guy and he gave us a great deal on laying the new floor. I would never attempt to install this myself. I did padding and an extra waterproof layer since this is  a bottom floor that can be prone to leaks, etc.

I have a friend who is an expert floor guy and he gave us a great deal on laying the new floor. I would never attempt to install this myself. I did padding and an extra waterproof layer since this is a bottom floor that can be prone to leaks, etc.

It took three long weekends, but the space is now complete. It is like a blank slate waiting to get fixed up with better storage solutions, art hung, lighting and a new rug, but I am really liking the results.

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I had wanted to do this for many years, but never was able to take the plunge and commit to the work.

Here are some tips on tackling something like this:

1. Set a deadline

The only way I was able to get Chloe’s room done was because I promised her it would be done by March 30th. I targeted this room to be done by June 3rd and that set the wheels in motion and the project just rolled out from there.

2. Get help in any way you can. (pay for it or ask a friend)

I hired my friend initially to do a major organization of all the stuff that had accumulated. I had friends come over and help me move all the furniture. Steve’s son Erin helped watch the kids and do other random jobs connected with the project. I had Chloe filling nail holes. My brother-in-law went above and beyond on the entire project and my floor guy did an amazing job.

3. Make decisions and stick with them.

So many floor choices, so many paint colors. So many options. You can drive yourself nuts. I found the bamboo and just decided that was the one. I did a little shopping around just to ensure I was getting a good price (3.59 per sq ft, Memorial Day Sale!) and bought it. The paint color was some left over white from another project. I did not put a lot of thought into it. This made it a lot easier for me.

4. When in doubt, throw it out.

We got rid of so much stuff. It is liberating. We did two junk pick ups. Tons and tons of stuff is gone. Ahhhhhhhhh…… Now Erin keeps telling me “the trick to organization is finding a place for everything”. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

 

 

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4 responses

  1. Hooray! I hope you get lots of enjoyment out of your new space.

    If you’re looking to fill it back up after your purge, I like the look of the rugs at Land of Nod but the quality may not be what I’m hoping (ours are still fairly new) and I LOVE my big cubby cabinets from Ikea enough that I have two of the big size.

    • Thanks Heather!

      We got a rug from Ikea … 20 bucks. Can’t beat that, it will be good for a year or two until the kids are older and I can afford the rugs I really want.

      I was scoping out those Ikea cabinets when I was there. What section did you get your’s from? The kids section?

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