Doing Something about those Basement Blues... {Home}

This is our retro basement. It hasn't changed since we moved in four years ago.


It's actually a great space for our family of four. However, it leaves much to be desired aesthetically and according to my handyman, it's in dire need electrically-speaking. Since we moved in to our home in the spring of 2010, we looked forward to doing a full scale basement reno. But other renovations always jumped the line leaving our basement.. well... like this.



Still, our budget and time won't allow for a big renovation (you can find us pouting in the corner.. and our apologies to disappoint anyone who may have thought we were headed in that direction). But enter two children in September, and we realized we need to at the very least whip this space into a more child/family-friendly living area/play room... where children don't feel it's a punishment when we request they play downstairs for a bit. In fact, it would be great if it could be a space where they want to hang out. 

I'm calling this project Phase 1 - with a possible Phase 2 (full renovation with dry wall dust everywhere) down the road. We just can't wait that long. And being that this is simply a "phase 1" we also want to spend as little dollars as reasonably possible. 

So, we're beginning with paint we already have on hand - Bleached Linen by Behr which we used for our bathroom renovation (you can see this white paint peeking out in this post). Here's a sneak peek at my progress (often limited to a 3-year-old's quiet time).

Before:


After:


Admittedly, we're a little nervous about an all white space. But I'm quite confident it will brighten up our basement and be a nice back drop to toys and chaos. 

In addition to painting everything that is yellow, Phase 1 also involves:
  • Removing almost all of the furniture. We find it very furniture heavy leaving little room for play. The couches will go, as well as the buffets and storage units. We're unsure as to whether or not the Foosball table will stay. I should clarify that we aren't selling our TV and we may keep the white coffee table and use it below the TV. Kijiji may be my new best friend over the next few weeks. 
  • Purchase a small sectional that fits right along that painted area, and perhaps a separate cozy chair.
  • Mount the TV on the wall across from the sectional.
  • Purchase some kid-friendly toy storage. I'm thinking something like this from Ikea. 
  • And install shelves, maybe like this
  • Bring home some cozy rugs.
  • Hang art and photos. 
  • Bring in some house plants.
  • Make another homemade table for kids crafts. We already have an old, flat door that could work as the surface. 
  • Paint the stairs and add a runner.
  • Possibly paint the floor a deep gray. 
I threw together this rough sketch of ideas/plans. 


You may be able to see how we're planning for the sectional on the left, along with the tv, and the play area to the right (where the couches and tv are currently). It would be great to have a zone for crafts, dress up, pretend kitchen play, reading, playing darts (for adults). I'm hoping this space will be inspiring for kids, educational too, and comfortable for adults.

The sectional will be our greatest expense. So excluding the sectional we may be looking at a $500 renovation, which is small potatoes compared to a $5-7,000 basement renovation. 

Any other basement renovations happening? Or any tips for arranging a play area for kids?