Tuesday, December 21, 2010

operation wreck room (part 3)

The carpet installers showed up early this afternoon.


Because we have asbestos tile in the basement that we plan to leave in situ, the installers had to put down duct tape prior to placing the tack strips. The thing about asbestos is that it doesn't present a health hazard until it is friable. So, by placing the duct tape over (under? both?! clearly I wasn't paying too close of attention?) the tack strips when nails were pounded in, any microscopic fibers would be trapped before they became airborne.


Down went the padding.


For a few moments, I stood thinking how glad I was that we didn't take William's advice and go for royal blue wall-to-wall carpeting. I fear that prolonged exposure to this color might induce migraines.


In the few blinks of an eye, the guys had rolled out the carpeting.


Then, they proceeded to smack the sugar honey iced tea out of their knees using this tool that helps to "stretch" out the carpet. While I'm surely certain, also rapidly accelerating bone loss.


We really debated the carpet for this space and we finally settled on the color "Spud" from the Martha Stewart Vanderbilt collection. We interviewed five different carpet stores and none could compare with the warranty and price of this particular brand. I absolutely love it. I love the texture, color, pattern and perhaps most of all, the fact that it isn't orange shag with moldy padding.


The kids love it, too.

Very, very, very much. They went to bed two hours past their bedtime because they were having so much fun playing. And well ... Charlie and I were having so much fun unpacking and rejoicing in the warmness of this room, we completely lost track of time. It's amazing. New carpet + new paint = the wreck room has become a rec room with a whole new feel.


I'll post a picture once it's finished but in the meantime ... we're planning to take the 50-year old lights out and install simple track lighting. My question to those who have been trooping through this remodel with us, is whether you'd opt for black or white track lighting?

Here's the white.


If I had more time to spend searching for the black, I'd show you a picture of that, too. But since I need to go help Charlie install glass fireplace doors just imagine that same exact track lighting style...



Whaddya think?


  1. white white white it matches the molding in your room not the furniture. Match the trim not furniture because one day you may decide to change furniture and keep the trim and so forth the same. Classic and fresh black track lighting reminds me of the 80's with splatter painted walls no thanks!! :) BTW LOVE the carpet. Huge difference.

  2. That room is smashing!! I love the colors and especially the white trim. I would go with the white track lights--it seems they would be less noticed on the white ceilings,

    You guys are doing a great job and what a room for the kids to play in. What a lot of hard work with wonderful pay off!!

    Won't it be fun to settle back and enjoy the fruit of your labors with everything put away in its place, and a place for everything??

    What a team!!!!

  3. Since the ceiling is white (or at least not black), I'd go with the white.

    Congrats on all your home improvements!

  4. if the ceiling color is dark go for the black. but probably your ceiling is off-white so go with the white. you don't want the track light to be a focal point of the room or stand out too much.

  5. 1) Love the carpet choice. LOVE.

    2) Black. Definitely!

    3) Sounds like snow headed our way this weekend. WHOOT!

  6. Definitely white. Keep it all bright and clean looking.

  7. One of many cuzzins!12/22/10, 12:11 AM

    You make me S*I*C*K! Who tears up wall to wall carpet, paints furniture and thinks about asbestos 3 days before Christmas Eve? Can you PA-LEEZE get on the same page as the rest of us and be in a frenzied panic about Christmas shopping and wrapping and cards and baking and decking the halls and Rudolph's runny nose and the partridge who won't come out of the tree and poor little Baby Jesus needing a warm place to sleep??? Good golly, there is no one else I know that would be thinking about lighting fixture selections at a time like this! It's Christmas...sit down in front of that gorgeous fire place, tip back a glass of eggnog, preferably spiked, and take in the merriment of the season. Let me hear it now..."Ho-Ho-Ho Merry Christmas"!

    Love ya!

  8. Definitely white. The room looks fabulous so far, can't wait to see it all furnished.

  9. Jenn, your basement looks amazing! Congrats on the new carpet. One thing.... can I please, please, please buy those 50 yr old light fixtures from you??? No kidding!! If not, do try to find someone to buy them/take them. All of the fixtures (bathroom, lights, etc) are prized by us crazy mid-century enthusiasts.

    And Merry Christmas!

  10. is there a stainless steel option? ;) otherwise def white! your trim is white and so is the fireplace... plus the ceiling. i feel as though the black would be too stark. Enjoy the room!!!

  11. white, no question....and I love the carpet too!

  12. It's looking fantastic! As for the track lighting, I wouldn't opt for track lighting at all in that space. It's going to lower your ceiling height considerably in those areas and will more than likely be hit multiple times. If your ceiling is drywall, I would consider canned lights with led that run cool and cheap. That keeps your ceiling height the same and gives the same effect. Whatever you choose will look great, I'm sure!

  13. White definitely. Love the new carpeting -- the room looks totally different -- and huge!!! Enjoy :)

  14. Regina: But ... but ... Santa has to have a sanitary place to drop off the new toys he is bringing. We needed to get this space finished almost more than I need oxygen to breathe. I've been hanging on to my sanity by a mere thread. We are way behind on our Christmas cards this year since I haven't even thought about them, yet. Our annual letter might be geared more towards Martin Luther King Day. Or maybe Valentine's.

    Anon - we contemplated recessed canned lights, but there are several joists that run across the ceiling and the cost for cutting through those to run electric for the # of lights that we'd want was too high. We actually put in a number of canned lights, elsewhere in the house. I'll post pics of those soon - because they make such a HUGE difference.

    KateO - we're trying to salvage as much as we can since one of our neighbors has told us they collect lighting from the 60's. But, maybe you might like our oven or cooktop?! Wait 'till I show pictures of the kitchen...

  15. Loving the room and it brings back fond memories of our basement reno. My husband and I just sat on the floor watching as the kids ran and rolled around wrestling for hours after it was carpeted. I know exactly what you mean--it's like you don't have any space at all when you are working on it, and then suddenly, your house doubles in size again! Congrats on almost finishing it!

    And I mentioned your Favourite Thing griddle post in mine this week--I bought one soon after reading your rave about it and now I'm bragging about it on our blog! LOVE IT!

  16. Oh, I forgot to mention I like the white lights. Not a huge fan of track lights, but I understand why that's your choice. I think black will draw your eye too much and bring the ceiling down.

  17. There are so many different choice for track lighting.... makes sure to look at them all there are some very cool ones that can add a lot to a room.... It looks great!

  18. Jen it looks AMAZING!


    I got nothing else. I guess white on the trax

  19. The carpet looks awesome! I'm sure your family will be living down in this rec room. Go with the white track lighting for sure! It will blend into the ceiling and disappear.

  20. LOVEEEEEE the new rec room!!! White track lighting will look great w/ the white trim. And blend w/ the ceiling :) Have a GREAT WHITE Christmas :)

  21. In the spirit of Christmas, can we respect your beautiful home and all the original materials. Home is what your family makes it, NOT what your money makes it. Everything that makes it necessary to live evidently still works, and is keeping your family well too. Granted things are old, but someday we will be old too and not want to be thrown out, along with our old possessions.

  22. Kathy in NJ: No, the patio isn't carpeted - that's an outdoor area rug that we brought with us from California.

    Anon @ 12:02: I don't see how replacing moldy carpet that has been in the basement for more than 30, possibly more than 40 years in any way diminishes the Spirit of Christmas we, as a family, are feeling. As if our decision to replace the moldy carpeting requires more of an explanation: The air quality down there was awful and our children were afraid to go downstairs, by themselves, until yesterday. If it took us spending some money so that we could ALL enjoy our new home that much more - so be it.

    As for upgrading things, we're trying to preserve as much of the original style of this house as we can. Hence part of the reason we are keeping the original windows. However, it's only logical that with time, things require replacement, when that time comes, energy efficiency, convenience and SAFETY play in to our decision.

    Consider this: even if you live in an 18th century house, chances are you aren't cooking in your fireplace and using candles to light your living space.

  23. LOVE your rec room!! It really looks awesome and you've done an amazing job.
    I vote for the white on the light question. They'll blend in better.
    Woohoo for having a space your kids are comfortable being in, and you're comfortable having your kids in (mildew and moldy carpets are NOT good!).

  24. Looks great!! I'd go with the white, it matches the trim.

  25. Jen, congratulations on the new rec room and all the fabulous improvements you and Charlie have magically wrought! I love what you have done and more importantly, the kids look positively enchanted with their new playroom. Have the merriest Christmas ever in your new home!

  26. Shame on you Jen for ruining your children's Christmas. They probably won't even believe in Santa Claus anymore now that you have replaced your carpet. That seriously has to be the funniest comment I have ever read, btw!!!

    Love the room and definitely white lighting!

    Kelly (Houston)

  27. I love the carpet - the wreck room reminds me alot of the old wreck room on Walnut st - minus the bat attack on Eileen and I! Good memories!

    I always go with black - I just like it - however; if your house gets dusty - the black shows the dust!

    Merry Christmas to you, Charlie and the kids! Enjoy the experience in VA!

  28. I would go with white, it will be more subtle. I have those exact lights in my kitchen over the island and I love them. The best part is that I don't notice them unless they are on.

  29. White! Defiantly White! It would blend in with the ceiling better. The room looks great by the way.

  30. One of many cuzzins!12/22/10, 11:44 PM

    That Anonymous at 12:02, well she told you! What a laugh out loud fun time at a party that one must be!

    I've gotta be honest...you really do make me sick...but, sick with jealousy. You've done more in a couple of months than I've done in 10 years. You and Charlie are such a great team. I hope you keep on a roll and can stay motivated and keep making people like me and "anon @ 12:02" JEALOUS! Your home is beautiful and congratulations for energizing it with a healthy re-birth. Santa's gonna love it!

    You and your family WILL appreciate the spirit of Christmas in your new home with your new renovations and your new stuff. It all looks great and anyone who faults you for making improvements is a blockhead.

    Merry Christmas.

  31. no vote really on the lights, sorry. But I love the carpet and paint too! :)

    .....my word verification is norot; so I think it's appropriate to celebrate no rot in the carpet padding.

  32. OOOOOOOoooooooohhh. I LOVE it. WOW. I would totally go with white. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that basement with the intensity of a thousand suns. And that is where I would send them during the intensity of a thousand suns, called summer here.

  33. White or find some of those cool ones that you can pick the shade cover for and go with the overall color of the room. The ones I have are white and I put blue shades on them to match the "Sky" ceiling I had faux painted.

    The carpet is beautiful, excellent choice