Wednesday, December 7, 2011

House Tour, Basement (and the importance of a before photo)

Our basement was partially finished when we moved in and partially finished is used loosely here.  Someone did a DIY basement rec room in 1957 and then time froze until we entered.  The space was totally useable but it was an assault on the eyes.  The only picture we could find was from the real estate listing of the house and it was a poor quality print out.  So,  I scanned the picture and it isn't the best quality but you can get the idea of what we had to work with.   I went through every picture taken since we moved in but regardless of the fact that I, my husband and my mother all swear we took a picture of the basement I've come up with nada.  So a word to the wise, take photos of every room when you move in because it is so nice to look back and see how far you've come and if you think you already took a picture go back and take another : )
the before
The photo shows your view as you walk down the basement steps and look to your right.  A black and gold tile floor.  A half wall of paneling painted in a complimentary gold tone.  An off white wall above with three sconces.  The shades on the sconces had a gold tone as well.  There was a nice built in bench for extra storage that you see to your left.  Perhaps the most amazing part and the part I regret not having a photo of the most you can just make out in the photo on the wall to the right.  There was a glass window in the wall and behind the finished area in the workroom there was a shelf where you could place your television.  There were even little holes for the knobs to fit through.  I guess the idea was the kids could play and there would be no worries of damaging the tv?  Very strange and sort of ingenious!

We really wanted to make this a play area/family room/ area for my husband to have a desk and since the basics were already there we just had to do lots of sprucing up.  We painted, oh did we paint.  Many, many coats on nearly every surface  you can see.  We had carpet installed and placed some furniture to separate the spaces, accessorized and here it is:
the after

 We chose to paint the paneling white to keep it bright and light.  The top is a grey which adds just enough warmth.  We were lucky enough to be given this amazing sectional which has a pretty neutral blue and tan pattern.  Since we were gravitating toward a nautical feel I decided to pick a large tan and white stripe fabric which is actually an outdoor canvas material.  It brought out the tan in the couch and helped the blue to recede a bit.  My Mom/seamstress made the pillows and I did some no sew curtains with fabric bond and curtain clips.  My Mom is going to make a cushion for the large storage bench.  I painted the off white part of the sconces black and replaced the shades with rectangular target shades that match the one I put on the rope lamp you previously met in my lamp makeover

There was already a little nook area that could perfectly house an office for my husband.  We just picked up the chair at a garage sale but we're hoping to upgrade the desk and shelf with a little furniture shuffle soon.
that black thing on the ottoman is not a strange throw pillow, it is our dog
the little guy's play table
play table and storage bench awaiting its striped cushion
much improved sconce
We are really happy with the outcome and it has become a favorite hang out of our son and our dog.  It still needs a little final finessing but it feels like a totally different space, a space you want to be in and for fairly little money and only roughly 400 hours of painting : )  I think we have success!


  1. what a beautiful space. I love the pops of yellow in there too!

  2. What an incredible transformation! I would kill for extra space like this!


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