Thursday, September 29, 2011

24 You Asked: Going from Negative to Positive

I received a really great question from a reader when I solicited questions for the recent video blog.

Kerrie asked, "What is the best thing to have come out of the lower level flood?"

First.  The cheesy answer.

The best thing was the reminder not to take advantage of the people and items we have in our life.  It was a decent wake up call. 

We tend to live each and every day with little thought about what would happen if we were to lose the things we surround ourselves with.  When our lower level flooded, we instantly lost furniture, flooring, trim and doors in half of our home.  That meant that we lost half of our home's living space, taking us from 2400 square feet to 1200 square feet.  That is a LOT of space when you have a family of five and a pooch.  And then when we were told our insurance wouldn't be helping us out, it makes it that much harder.  But on that dreadful day, we had a slew of friends and family in our home, helping us try and save as much as possible, ripping and taking out the bad and even bringing our laundry to do in their own homes.  The feeling of love was an overwhelming one.  One that I will never forget.  It didn't matter what we were losing, we still felt fulfilled.

Because I could tell my husband was taking it a little harder than I, I felt the need to be his cheerleader.  That helped me as well.  I talked about how it would be a good experience for us to share a single level together while we refinished the basement.  We would all have to be closer, which was not a bad thing.  I reminded him that things could have been so much worse. 

Now.  The fun answer.  We get to do projects!!!  My favorite!

I have always heard that if you can, you should live in a short term home before building your dreamy forever home.  In the short term home, you realize all of the things that you would love to have in the long term home.  Storage, layouts and preferred finishes.

Well, the way I try to look at it is, when we first finished our lower level, it was our "short term home".  Sure, it wasn't intentional, but this time around we feel like we have the "one up" on making the lower level what it really needs to be to last and to suite our needs. 

Because we lived with a space and learned it's faults, this time around we can make better choices.  First, we put in a long lasting battery powered back-up sump pump.  Then we had our backyard graded to slope away from our home, creating a valley of sorts to collect and drain the water.


This time around, we are using waterproof flooring, vinyl trim and looking for ways to seal our doors.  When we first finished our lower level, we didn't think about the needs for water resistant materials.  Now, it is a MUST!

We also took the opportunity to evaluate closely what we loved about our lower level, and where we could make an improvement or two while things were tore apart.  We decided that most walls would stay, with the exception of the one dividing a sitting room and walk in closet, off of our original master bedroom.

We tore out the dividing wall, taking two spaces and making one large space which will be our future exercise/dressing room:



We gave the laundry room a bit of a facelift as well, just by adding shelving we already had in our previous office with some new cheapo corbels, a $35 rug and a fresh coat of paint!





You have been following along as we transform our old play area into my new studio office...



And for the big reveal many of you have been asking for... "Where will the kid's new playroom go since you are making a studio out of their old one?"

We had a very underutilized area in our lower level which was basically a lounge chair, table and miscellaneous storage.  We called it our "Game Room".



One day very soon hopefully, we will call it our new PLAYROOM!!




Some of the original playroom furniture warped and had to be discarded and some of it was moved to other spaces in our home.  So we are sort of starting from scratch with this space.  The blue on the walls is the same color that is in the studio {Behr's Prelude}, it all flows together {house plan coming soon}. 


The chairs are ones I stole from around the house and the entertainment center was a $100 Craigslist find that will be getting a giant makeover.  The boxes are for future LEGO storage. 

I think the before and after pictures are able to show the positive from a negative.  It's already been over a year and sure, it's been hard.  But I am a believer that everything happens for a reason.  And we are making lemonade from those lemons and adding bits of sugar here and there to make it even sweeter.

Plus, think of how many new projects I have to blog about!  The list is never ending!!

So thank you Kerrie for your very great question!

I would love to know, what negative has happened in your life, that you were able to turn into a positive?  Let's get cheesy with one another!

24 comments:

  1. I just found your blog via pinterest and I know follow you! I am so EXCITED to start digging in to all your archives...what an inspiartion you are! You are beautiful and your home looks amazing! :) Can't wait to see what I find here!

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  2. Totally a great question -- and a GREAT answer! =) I have always admired your positivity and it shines through your blog so marvelously -- its truly a happy place to visit and I'm so so so excited that you were able to turn the negatives into so many wonderful positives for your family =) It can always be worse, and only we can make it BETTER! <3 love ya girl!

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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  3. I am obsessed with the rug in your laundry room!Where did you find it!!??

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  4. I think it is so important to focus on the positives, we all have hard times, but we weather through them and come out stronger in the end. My husband lost his job 1.5 years ago and we now live across the country and he is working at a completely different job. I never would have guessed that would have happened even 6 months ago, but life surprises you sometimes. I figure what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I believe that there is a reason for things, God has a plan for all of us, and just take things day by day, focusing on what is most important=family. You do a great job of that, keep it up!

    Toni

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  5. I love your attitude in regards to your basement...and honestly how fun to have the opportunity to redo the rooms right?! :) This post couldn't have come at a better time because we are right in the middle of what some might think of as a "negative" since we are looking at having to short sale our first home. We love this place, but honestly I find it to be such a positive...its what our family needs right now and we definitely know what we will be looking for the next time we buy a home! Positive attitudes are the only way to go! Your basement is looking great!

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  6. I love your positive attitude, and I adore all the changes you've made!

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  7. I love your blog and all the helpful ideas! Seriously I am now a faithful follower! Would you mind doing a post on how you store legos or any ideas on how to? Also maybe a way to store projects that they don't want get destroyed?

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  8. I love how the basement has transformed this far, I am just curious and this might an obvious answer that I just wasn't paying attention for, but is there still going to be a master bed down there??

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  9. @Gina, yep, the master is actually right off of the playroom. It's just full of building equipment at the moment while we work to finish installing trim and doors and put the finishing touches on all of the rooms. :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  10. We all have two choices when something like that happens, seeing the positive however is the only way to move forward. I love what you have done so far!!

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  11. I was introduced to your blog by my best friend Ashely. She follows you. I thought there was NO other person as organized as myself!!! Your eyes work just like mine. Your photography does too. I LOVED how, in this post, you planted a bowl of popcorn and two fizzy drinks on the game table. I was sad to see your gorgeous play room was taken over by a new office space, but I bet your children are slowly growing out of the need for a playroom. If your children are ANYTHING like mine, they have a gorgeous finished basement the size of 3 bedrooms to play in and they only desire to be wherever I am. LOL! I enjoy following your blog because if I didn't know better, I am following my own blog :) Do you work? How often do you revamp a room? We just did a FUN home project last weekend. In our LARGE basement, we only have windows on ONE side of the basement. MOST people LOVE our basement, but I felt it was toooo dark and dreary. SO, we made a MOCK window on a very large wall of ours using mirrors, a curtain rod, and curtains. Home projects are so exciting.

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  12. I see my comment is not listed, and I also notice that the sponser is not posted this morning either. THANK YOU!!!!! I so love your blog, now my son can look on and I don't have to look away.

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  13. It's nice that you're seeing the positive, and not just the negative. You'll love the basement changes you're making. I know they'll look amazing. Well, they already do!

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  14. Hi Jen,

    I LOVE those pillows you have on the white couch seats in the *new* playroom! I have been looking for ones like those FOREVER - ok, at least a couple of months :). Can I ask where you found them?!

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  15. We're having water issues with our basement, too, so I loved seeing this post! It reminded me to be excited about the changes we *get* to make instead of being negative about the problems we're having! I'd love to hear more about the waterproof flooring you chose. It looks beautiful!

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  16. I'm so sorry to hear your home was flooded. But I am glad that you are making the best of it! Your home is looking beautiful. I'd love it if you had some time to stop by my blog and check out the giveaway I'm having for a Dremel Saw Max! I think it would come in handy for any upcoming projects you have! ;)

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  17. I just recently found your blog,and I love it. currently we are renting but if things go according to plan ,we should be in our own place next summer.I am just curious what kind of flooring and trim you used that is waterproof? Thanks.

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  18. Not really related to this post, except that I am TRYING to deculutter my basement ... When we bought our home 6 years ago, we had a storage room full of shelves and only a few things to put on each shelf. Now that room is overflowing and at least a third of it is groceries. We have a nice sized pantry in our newly renovated kitchen, but I "stock up" on too many things that are on sale. My question is, do you overbuy when things are on sale, or do you meal plan around what is on sale?

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  19. Hi friends!

    The floors are from Home Depot, and they are a rubber composite snap together floor: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202352552/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    It does get a little cold on the feet, but it was something that we decided was worth living with since we don't want to have to replace our flooring ever again. :)

    @Anonymous, we do purchase in bulk sometimes, however, only if it is something we use frequently {we aren't crazy couponers that overstock everything}, and we do try to meal plan around sales. I only purchase what I have room to store however.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  20. Your house is amazing!!! Do you ever give any decorating advice? Decorating is not my forte. ;) I want to put some hardware on all of my kitchen cabinets b/c I'm tired of breaking my nails off trying to open drawers. However, I have no idea where to even begin choosing something that matches well. If I was to send you a few pics of the colors, cabinets, countertops, would you be able to help me find hardware? Thanks so much!

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  21. @Cyndie, feel free to pop over some pics! xoxo!

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  22. My husband and I lived in a rental house for 5 years while we planned and designed our dream home. Many of our friends and family started doubting if we'd ever actually build because we talked about building for so long. I am so glad we waited because we finally built our dream home last year and it is so right for us. It is the little details that really make it perfect for us and make is stand out. We jokingly call the house "over-engineered" (both my hubby and I are engineers) but it is this extra thought and attention to details that makes it work.

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  23. Awesome! Thank you so much! Where can I send the pics too?

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  24. Thanks for this great post! You have a great attitude. I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I remember being so upset for you when your basement flooded. I've had a rocky year and a half myself, struggling with infertility that resulted in an official diagnosis last winter. It gave me a chance to look at my health and make adjustments to diet and exercise, and about four months later my husband and I conceived and now I just started my third trimester. So, like you I had to take a big negative and turn it into a positive. Thanks for this reminder!

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