Downsize – that’s the “mot just” for millennials and we got the opportunity to design, renovate and move into an apartment so we could do just that: simplify our life and try to get back to the basics. We had a very tight budget to rip out and overhaul the entire basement (~1200 sq. ft.) but luckily for us much of the bare bones had been roughed in some 20+ years earlier. While this brought the cost down we still had to make some decisions to remain under budget. This presented us some unique opportunities that forced a certain functionality to inform the aesthetic.
What does that mean? Well, a huge expense would have been flooring but we decided to go with the bare concrete. That required some sweat equity to peel up the disgusting old carpet and linoleum but the result was a mottled look that once sealed provided an easily cleanable floor and a great base to design our look (just watch out for dropping dishes!).
From there we took into consideration that it was a north facing basement walk out with little light so we kept everything bright white with lots of can lighting for gloomy days. This allowed us to buy industrial paint to keep the cost down but also allowed for a great backdrop to colorful rugs and our custom furniture from steel and reclaimed wood. Although the ceilings aren’t low, the bulkheads that hide the ductwork lower it in spots and we decided for built ins on a couple key walls along with the white paint to help bolster the height.
Finally, we needed to find an affordable way to make our kitchen (the centerpiece of the apartment) countertops durable and eye catching. We decided to edge join nominal pine lumber and finish it with a non yellowing shellac. Finish pictures coming soon!