Spring 2020 ORC Week 7: Sprinting to the Finish Line

Whether you’re new around here or a long-time reader, welcome! My husband Josh and I have been renovating our 1952 home for the past 4 years, almost entirely on our own. We’re tackling the entire basement for this spring’s One Room Challenge (ORC), and it’s the final project we need to complete to call our home renovation completely finished! Over the next 8 weeks, I’ll be sharing the progress of our basement remodel on my Instagram and here on the blog as part of the ORC, a nation-wide event involving hundreds of other designers and home renovators. Be sure to check in on the ORC’s blog page to follow along with all of the other projects going on!

Get caught up:





Week 6: Tile and Lights and Drywall, Oh My!

Disclaimer: I received discounted and/or sponsored materials from The Tile Shop, Build.com, and Sherwin Williams in exchange for this and other posts. All thoughts, design plans, and opinions are my own.

This week’s update is gonna be a little short! Josh was on a 5 day camping trip up in northern MN, and unfortunately I’m not quite as handy with power tools as he is, so we didn’t make a ton of progress. We’re frantically trying to get things finished up in time for the reveal, but at this point I can guarantee it’s not going to happen next Thursday. However, we’re going to come pretty darn close! Thankfully, week 8 technically goes through July 5, according the ORC guidelines, so I’m 99% sure we’ll be done by then!

I know I promised a post on installing tile but honestly I’ve been a little busy! I will add that to my lengthy to-do list for the coming weeks… maybe when the basement is finished I can get caught up with the “how to” posts 🙂

Here were our goals for week 7:

  • finish mudding and sanding, and paint the laundry room- DONE
  • hook up the washer and dryer again- DONE
  • finish installing, grout, and seal the bathtub surround – DONE
  • seal the bathroom floor tile/grout – DONE
  • clean up and seal the fireplace tile – DONE
  • buy trim and closet doors – not yet
  • schedule carpet install (week of June 22) – not yet

In addition to all of that, I also cleaned up the basement a bit to prepare for carpet going in soon, as well as started prepping the built in cabinetry for painting.

Laundry Room

The laundry room is so much brighter and feels cleaner with a coat of white paint on the walls. Instead of installing a vinyl floor, we decided to paint the concrete for an affordable and quick but clean finish. We will put baseboards around the bottom of the room as well for a bit more finished look and cover the crawl space window with a cabinet door.

We had decided against painting the ceiling because there are SO many wires and pipes that we thought there was just no way it would end up looking nice. We’re also going to hold off on building the storage units right now because it’s not really going to affect the resale value of the home with or without them, and it will just add time and money on our end. Don’t worry though, we will replace the dingy utility sink!

Here’s the “before” from the laundry room… yikes, right?! As you can see, we moved the washer and dryer from that wall to the long wall. That was actually the second time we moved it, because we had to move it to the basement from the kitchen area when we bought the house!


The bathroom tile is all finished, and I’m so happy with all of it! I love the matte marble wall tile against the white tub, and the penny tile helps to provide some depth to the space since the walls and ceiling will be white. I grouted, cleaned, and sealed it all this week. I can’t wait to get fixtures installed and start getting it all put together!

Living Room

The fireplace tile also turned out great, and the project manager from our drywall/paint company came over to repaint the fireplace surround. It looks seamless, and you can’t even tell that it was ever scuffed up. We still have to build and install the wood mantel surround for it, and I can’t wait to see it come together. And I am in love with our sconces– I think they really pull this wall together and will be even more beautiful when everything else is in place.

This weekend I have to work, so Josh will be alone in working down there. However, I’m off next Monday and Wednesday so between the two of us, I think we’ll be able to make some great progress.

Here are our goals for week 8:

  • prime, paint, and install base cabinetry and countertops
  • install beverage fridge
  • buy the closet doors, all trim, and shelving
  • paint all doors, trim, and shelving
  • install shower fixtures
  • install bathroom ceiling
  • paint laundry room floor
  • install carpet

That’s a pretty big list of stuff, but I’m fairly confident we can handle it all. In week 8, we’ll be putting in all the finishing touches like hardware, trim, doors, vanity/toilet, shelves, and more. Here’s to a productive week!

Author: Laura Sima

Hey there, I'm Laura- creator of Sima Spaces. I'm a home renovator, designer, and blogger based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. When I'm not designing or renovating homes, you can find me working as a pediatric ICU RN, snuggling my dog or cat, skiing in CO, soaking up the sun on our boat, or enjoying a glass of wine on our patio!

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