Anne Ulku


Scrap City

We’re in the middle of (...ok, kind of just at the beginning of) a big basement remodel. We had a ton of water damage from last year (the Minnehaha Creek is in our backyard) which has enabled, and sped up the process, of redoing the basement into an ideal space (future large work space, bedroom, bathroom, large laundry room, storage, etc).

It was a pretty much finished basement, but we’ve now gutted the entire thing—tearing down walls, ripping out flooring, redoing electrical, heating, plumbing and everything else. It’s fun! No really, it is though. My role (I'm hardly any help in the demoing/electric/plumb areas) has been planning for the space—finishes, furniture, arranging the space, placing walls, lighting, etc—pretty much everything to make it a place, more than a space. Lots more on this basement as we continue to work on it. 

My carpenter-handyman Grandpa and my lovely Grandma volunteered to come over and help us get things moving a bit faster. One of their first concerns were the stairs going down to the basement. The house was built in the 50s and at that time there was no code for stairs or measurements. So they had pretty short treads, which could make it a tad dangerous when hauling large things up and down. They were about 8”, where as code for stairs these days are 10” minimum. (Image above, left: old short stairs)

So, what was not even in our original plan, has been the first to become of the space—new stairs. New, more comfortable treads to make it easy to go up and down. Hooray! They are almost finished. My Grandpa is working on it—as I type this.


My whole point for this blog post was that after cutting the stairs, there were a ton of little triangles hanging around. And I thought, woah, I love scrap wood, I wish I had more of it—I will do something with this! I have one large idea for most of them. Think: modular wall pieces above our fireplace. (Image above of a very rough formation I was experimenting with—with the help of Jax.) More on that sometime soon, I am sure.

But the more I played with the wood scraps, the more they became little building blocks and a city scape. So, I sanded them, and painted them. That is my whole point for this post. Enjoy!