• Tell Your Friends

My older sister September (yes, that’s her name despite the fact that she was born in January, long story but the gist of it is that my parents are nuts) has five amazing, albeit a bit rambunctious kids and a house that is holding on by a thread. Her husband is a principal at a local middle school, and because she has chosen to stay at home to raise the kids they’ve had to budget here and there where they can in terms of home improvement. Meaning, the cabinet doors in the kitchen are falling off, but at least the water heater is working!

Several weeks ago I stopped by her house to see how their basement renovation was coming along, and I’ll be honest. My first thought was, oh dear. This is going to take you guys ten years to finish. Because her husband was doing every single thing himself: from painting, to patching, to laying down every piece of tile:

before1

And when I saw the arrangement of the tile my right eyebrow started to twitch and I began itching my neck uncontrollably. I mean, look at it. LOOK AT IT. That right there is a violation of every law of thermodynamics, am I right? No? I should up my meds? Point taken.

I guess everything I have ever learned from years and years of watching HGTV caused my nostrils to flare in agitation. I could see what an amazing space this could be and that it was headed in the opposite direction. So I said, Tember (that’s what we call her, you’re welcome to call her that, too), I’m going to take over and save you ten years of your life. In return, I only ask that you bow every time I enter the room. Fair trade.

And so began My Sister’s Basement Renovation. I asked around for recommendations on a contractor, and within a few days I had a tile guy staring at that tile with me in that basement, and I’m not even kidding, HIS RIGHT EYEBROW STARTED TO TWITCH. And then he started to point at some cracks in the concrete, and then the slope of the floor, and there goes my original budget!

before2

Thankfully, we both agreed on a couple of design decisions 1) the tile needed to be bigger, and 2) it needed to be laid on the diagonal. HAHA! Look at me with the lingo! You know what that is? YEARS AND YEARS of worshipping Candice Olson.

What does that mean, on the diagonal? There is probably an official definition somewhere, but if I were explaining it to someone like me or my sister, I would simply say: think diamonds, not squares. Like this:

iStock_000004640240Small

First, it’s a more interesting design, plain and simple. And second, I think it leads the eye more fluidly and elegantly than tiles laid in a square pattern. It immediately looks more intricate and expensive. Such a simple way to put a little dazzle into a design for no extra cost.

We also chose a bigger tile, mainly because we were going to be covering over 220 square feet of floor: one long hallway, one short hallway, the area in front of the wet bar, and a small bathroom. So I had my brother-in-law take back the stack of 12 X 12 inch porcelain tiles he’d purchased for the project and exchange them for a stack of ones that measured 18 X 18 inches. A bigger tile over that amount of square footage wouldn’t look nearly as crowded or bunched as something smaller.

You guys, look at me acting as if I have any idea what I’m talking about!

Seven days later the tile was in place and waiting to be grouted:

after1

after2

after3A few things:

1) Oh yes indeed, I had them remove that horrifying wet bar. I was not going to allow my sister to live with that atrocity any longer.

2) It’s still a work-in-progress, and all the trim work and errant holes and patches of paint will be fixed along the way.

Next up? Carpet. And a couch that seats a family of seven. Oh, and that one tiny request that my sister made before the whole thing began: a wall dedicated to BYU football. TALK ABOUT DESIGN DILEMMA. You can bet that it is going to be the best looking football wall in the history of football walls.

FILED UNDER:

Design Inspiration

71 Responses

  1. badness jones says:

    I love tile on the diagonal, but after tiling the kitchen in our last house my husband has refused to ever do it again. I guess there's more cutting involved? Anyway – it looks great, and I want to put down hardwood when we renovate the kitchen in this house so I don't have to worry about hiring a contractor behind hubbie's back to come and lay tile on the diagonal while he's at work. What a relief!

  2. 1eyedmonkee says:

    Yes, please DO share when you find that couch and tell us all the details…we need one that I'm comfortable on when it's 2 a.m. and I can't sleep, big enough for the grown up kids and their spouses when they are here and wash 'n wear enough to not be screaming at the grandson or the 100 lb. Bernese Mountain dog. Come on Heather – we are expecting miracles from you!

  3. yhwebcn says:

    Watch is an accessory, only one person should not be:
    50 Fathoms WatchesBreguet Classique Tourbillon Watchesthe pursuit of quality of life of people now have become a mainstream, Bell & Ross Watches Accessories BR 01 – Instrument 46mm Watches from the exterior to the movement of people everywhere to work are moving fine.so more and more customers will buy a few watches to match different to clothing differently occasions,BR 02 – Instrument 44mm Watches such as have to watch while swimming at a business dinner to watch and definitely not one to wear light-colored shirt and suit T shirt to watch the same can not, therefore, essentially, the watch is a work of art,BR 03 – Instrument 42mm WatchesBreitling Accessories Watches

  4. Guardian Basement says:

    Great blog post. It really helps figure out what people need to make home improvement easier. Be sure to take a look at my website http://www.guardiandry.com/ and let me know what comes to mind. Take care

  5. minkiehuoise says:

    how do you get a shower and toilet water to go up hill in a basement bathroom

  6. John Paulson says:

    The East Caribbean dollar (sign: $; code: XCD) is the currency of eight of the nine members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (the one exception being the British Virgin Islands). It has existed since 1965, being the successor to the British West Indies dollar, and it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $ or, alternatively, EC$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies.

  7. Many hedge funds have as an objective consistency of returns and capital preservation rather than magnitude of returns.

  8. I uncovered it worth it to read. I read your mostly all of the posts. Nice posts, thank you so much for sharing the posts effortlessly.

  9. YkVGFmchdQ says:

    Cheap Jordans For Sale .[url =http://www.gammablue11forsale.com/136064120-jordan-3-fire-red-retro-2013-p-139.html]Retro Jordans Retro Wholesale 2014 Jordan 3 Fire Red Retro 2013[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5sjordan.com/656503720-air-jordan-future-voltwhite-p-54.html]Air Jordan Future Volt White Girl Air Jordans Kids[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5jordans.com/307546-101-air-jordan-19-white-varsity-red-p-325.html]Cheap Authentic Air Jordan Size 11.5 Mens Air Jordan 19 White Varsity Red[/url]

    [url =http://www.gammablue11forsale.com/305381-102-nike-air-jordan-8-viii-retrowhite-orange-blaze-p-238.html]Original Jordan 23 Size 11.5 Mens Nike Air Jordan 8 VIII Retro White Orange Blaze[/url]

    [url =http://www.gammablue12jordans.com/nike-air-jordan-6-vi-retroolympic-whitegreen-yellow-p-213.html]Wholesale Jordans Size 13 Nike Air Jordan 6 VI Retro Olympic White Green Yellow[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5jordans.com/136064406-air-jordan-3-powder-blue-dark-powder-blueblackwolf-greywhite-p-127.html]Cheap Webiste To Sale Jordan Shoes Retail Price Air Jordan 3 Powder Blue Dark Powder Blue Black Wolf Grey White[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5jordans.com/305381093-air-jordan-viii-retro-playoffs-8s-2013-p-242.html]Authentic 100% Jordans Retro New Release Dates Air Jordan VIII Retro Playoffs 8s 2013[/url]

    [url =http://www.oreo5sjordan.com/487471102-men-size-jordan-14-retro-black-toe-p-301.html]Where Can I Buy Jordan 23 Size 9 Women Men Size Jordan 14 Retro Black Toe[/url]

    [url =http://www.gammablue11jordans.com/642849100-nike-lebron-11-low-easter-whitelight-lucid-greenlucid-greenmetallic-p-2.html]Real Air Jordan In Stock Nike Lebron 11 Low Easter White Light Lucid Green Lucid Green Metallic[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5jordans.com/305381103-air-jordan-8-bugs-bunny-retro-2013-p-240.html]Women Jordan Shoes Online Sale Air Jordan 8 Bugs Bunny Retro 2013[/url]

    [url =http://www.gammablue11forsale.com/air-jordan-dmp-c-36.html]Air Jordan DMP Cheap Jordans Retro Cheap Online[/url]

    [url =http://www.jordanpowderblues.com/555088023-air-jordan-3lab5-blackmetallic-silver-p-163.html]Air Jordan 3Lab5 Black Metallic Silver Girl Jordan Shoes Size 10 Womens[/url]

    [url =http://www.raptor7s.com/616175005-nike-lebron-11-terracotta-warrior-mine-greyelectro-purplemercury-greynewsprint-p-4.html]Cheap Webiste To Sale Jordans Pre Order Online Nike Lebron 11 Terracotta Warrior Mine Grey Electro Purple Mercury Grey Newsprint[/url]

    [url =http://www.cavs4jordans.com/air-jordan-fusion-5-c-30.html]Air Jordan Fusion 5 Cheap Jordans Retro 2014[/url]

    [url =http://www.infrared62014.com/323943993-air-jordan-221-countdown-package-p-366.html]Air Jordan 2 21 Countdown Package Womens Air Jordans Buy Online[/url]

    [url =http://www.raptor7s2014.com/535357935-air-jordan-6-7-gold-medal-pack-p-231.html]100% Authentic Jordans Retro Wholesale 2014 Air Jordan 6 7 Gold Medal Pack[/url]

    [url =http://www.laney5jordans.com/436771-501-air-jordan-2011-black-dark-charcoal-p-365.html]Where Can I Buy Jordan Shoes Size 9 Womens Air Jordan 2011 Black Dark Charcoal[/url]

    [url =http://www.taxi12-2013.com/130690125-kids-size-air-jordan-12-retro-taxi-2013-p-282.html]Kids Size Air Jordan 12 Retro Taxi 2013 Cheapest Jordans Size 10[/url]

    [url =http://www.oreo5sjordans.com/nike-air-jordan-shoes-6-vi-retro-darknavy-p-210.html]How Much Do Jordans Kids Nike Air Jordan Shoes 6 VI Retro Dark Navy[/url]

    [url =http://www.firered-4s.com/136085-106-air-jordan-1-retro-white-black-red-p-98.html]Air Jordan 1 Retro White Black Red Where Can I Order Jordans Retro Retail Price[/url]

    [url =http://www.jordanpowderblues.com/305381041-nike-air-jordan-8-aqua-retro-p-235.html]Nike Air Jordan 8 Aqua Retro Mens Air Jordan 2013[/url]

    [url =http://www.jordanpowderblue3s.com/378037010-air-jordan-11-bred-blackvarsity-red-p-90.html]Air Jordan 11 Bred Black Varsity Red Sites For Air Jordans Size 10[/url]

    [url =http://www.raptor7s.com/717302600-air-jordan-6-slam-dunk-varsity-redwhitevarsity-red-p-189.html]Sites For Air Jordans For Real Air Jordan 6 Slam Dunk Varsity Red White Varsity Red[/url]

    [url =http://www.oreo5jordan.com/jordan-pro-strong-c-38.html]Jordan Pro Strong Cheap Jordans Retro Pre Order Online[/url]

    [url =http://www.laney5jordans.com/nike-air-jordan-6-vi-retroolympic-whitegrey-red-p-212.html]Cheap But Real Jordan 23 Size 10.5 Womens Nike Air Jordan 6 VI Retro Olympic White Grey Red[/url]

    [url =http://www.raptor7s2014.com/nike-lebron-12-tealorangeblack-p-17.html]Where Can I Find Jordans Retro Size 7 Men Nike Lebron 12 Teal Orange Black[/url]

    [url =http://www.infrared62014.com/nike-lebron-12-tealorangeblack-p-17.html]Nike Lebron 12 Teal Orange Black Original Quality Air Jordan 2014 Kid Size[/url]

    [url =http://www.jordanpowderblues.com/136064004-women-size-air-jordan-3-retro-wolf-grey-p-75.html]Women Size Air Jordan 3 Retro Wolf Grey Real Jordans Retro Wholesale 2014[/url]

    [url =http://www.gammablue11jordans.com/air-jordan-9-s-c-17.html]Air Jordan 9 S Cheap Jordans Retro Size 13[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5jordan.com/303891-101-air-jordan-17-low-white-lightning-p-319.html]Cheap Price Jordan Shoes Wholesale 2014 Air Jordan 17 Low White Lightning[/url]

    [url =http://www.taxi12-2013.com/aj-ix-retro-black-citrus-white-p-253.html]AJ IX Retro Black Citrus White Mens Jordan 23 Size 6 Women[/url]

    [url =http://www.oreo5jordan.com/487214107-air-jordan-10-retro-txt-white-old-royal-p-268.html]Women Jordan Shoes Size 8 Women Air Jordan 10 Retro TXT White Old Royal[/url]

    [url =http://www.gammablue11.com/air-jordan-11-s-c-8.html]Air Jordan 11 S Cheap Jordans Retro Size 6[/url]

    [url =http://www.carmine6jordan.com/310805023-air-jordan-10-infrared-2014-cool-greyinfraredblack-p-269.html]Air Jordan 10 Infrared 2014 Cool Grey Infrared Black Kid Air Jordan Size 11 Women[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5jordans.com/543390439-air-jordan-6-game-royal-2014-women-size-p-69.html]Cheap Jordans Retro Shop Air Jordan 6 Game Royal 2014 Women Size[/url]

    [url =http://www.oreo5sjordan.com/310805023-air-jordan-10-infrared-2014-cool-greyinfraredblack-p-269.html]OG Jordans Retro Size 9.5 Air Jordan 10 Infrared 2014 Cool Grey Infrared Black[/url]

    [url =http://www.jordanpowderblue3s.com/303891-101-air-jordan-17-low-white-lightning-p-319.html]Air Jordan 17 Low White Lightning Buy Jordans Retro Retail Price[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5jordan.com/384664623-women-size-air-jordan-6-toro-infrared-23blackinfrared-23-p-63.html]Original Jordan Shoes Size 12 Women Size Air Jordan 6 Toro Infrared 23 Black Infrared 23[/url]

    [url =http://www.jordancoolgrey10.com/717302600-men-size-air-jordan-6-retro-slam-dunk-p-220.html]Men Size Air Jordan 6 Retro Slam Dunk New Cheap Air Jordans Real 2014[/url]

    [url =http://www.oreo5jordan.com/323939991-nike-air-jordan-6-vi-retrocdp-countdown-package-617-p-208.html]Low Price Jordan Shoes Size 9.5 Mens Nike Air Jordan 6 VI Retro CDP Countdown Package 6 17[/url]

    [url =http://www.belair5jordans.com/487471102-men-size-jordan-14-retro-black-toe-p-301.html]Authentic 100% Jordan 23 Size 10 Men Size Jordan 14 Retro Black Toe[/url]

    [url =http://www.coolgrey10s.com/579748607-air-jordan-1-mid-premium-gs-valentine-day-p-64.html]Air Jordan 1 Mid Premium GS Valentine Day Sites For Jordan 23 Real 2014[/url]

    [url =http://www.cavs4jordans.com/air-jordan-16-s-c-23.html]Air Jordan 16 S Cheap Jordans Retro 2014[/url]

    [url =http://www.laney5jordans.com/616175001-nike-lebron-11-away-blackmetallic-silveruniversity-red-p-5.html]Big Size Jordan Shoes Size 11.5 Nike Lebron 11 Away Black Metallic Silver University Red[/url]

    [url =http://www.cavs4sjordan.com/air-jordan-17-s-c-24.html]Air Jordan 17 S Cheap Jordans Retro Free Shipping[/url]

    [url =http://www.oreo5sjordan.com/322992-162-air-jordan-6-rings-portland-trailblazers-p-351.html]Men Air Jordan Size 10 Womens Air Jordan 6 Rings Portland Trailblazers[/url]

    [url =http://www.gammablue11.com]jordan 11[/url]

    [url =http://www.oreo5jordan.com/322992-151-air-jordan-6-rings-white-black-concord-p-346.html]Wholesale Jordans Retro Size 9.5 Womens Air Jordan 6 Rings White Black Concord[/url]

    [url =http://www.infrared6-jordans.com/new-with-box-air-jordan-23-unc-black-university-blue-white-p-347.html]Air Jordan 6 Rings Laser White Black Cheapest Jordan 23 Coming Out[/url]

    [url =http://www.jordanpowderblue3.com/air-jordan-6-s-c-14.html]Air Jordan 6 S Cheap Air Jordans Size 9 Mens[/url]

    [url =http://tomsoutlet.iscookin.com/]cheap toms[/url]

    [url =http://www.ultimategiftofflight11s.com/][b]Ultimate Gift Of Flight 11s[/b][/url]

    [url =http://www.airjordanultimategiftofflight.com/][b]Air Jordan Ultimate Gift Of Flight[/b][/url]

    [url =http://www.ultimategiftofflight.com/][b]Ultimate Gift Of Flight[/b][/url]

    [url =http://www.jordanultimategiftofflightpack.com/][b]Jordan Ultimate Gift Of Flight Pack[/b][/url]

    [url

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • Your Super Bowl Party Menu Planner

  • New Ways to Decorate With Blue Paisley

  • Bored on a Snow Day? Here's Your Snowed-In Survival Guide

  • Turn an Old Cookie Sheet Into A Metallic Boot Tray. Details