Let's talk about my basement.
Our basement is partially finished. When you go down the stairs, there is a large carpeted, wood-paneled room. There is a nice (newly added) full bathroom off of that room. There's also an unfinished laundry area and storage area. Off the laundry room is a good-sized guest bedroom. (Pictures of those rooms will be posted later when the tour continues...)
The extra space is great. The layout is a little awkward because you have to go through the unfinished laundry room to get to the guest room. However, it all has lots of potential to be a fabulous space--you know, when we have the time and money to fix it up the way we want to. For now, I'm sharing it as-is.
Here's what it looked like a few
And a bunch of other stuff.
Eventually things got slightly more organized, but the books weren't going anywhere. So we ordered bookcases.
(Thank you Target.com for your back to school sale, free shipping, and 5% Redcard discount.)
|The door just visible behind David and to the left leads into the laundry room and then into the guest room.|
And finally the basement looked a little less like an episode of Hoarders: The Book Lovers Edition. You can see way back into the alcove beyond the bookshelves--that's where my desk is sitting. That area has been cleaned up and organized since this photo was taken, but it still has a ways to go. I just can't get really motivated while the walls are still knotty pine and the parts that aren't knotty pine are an unpleasant fleshy beige.
|The beige is actually more offensive than it appears in this photo.|
Functionally, it's working okay for now. We don't spend a lot of time down there, but it's a great little "guest suite" for when my parents are in town.
Eventually, though, I want to make some big changes. Because we have the family room on the main floor, I don't expect that we'll put a television in downstairs, although it's wired so we could do so if we wanted. I'd rather see that space used as more of a play room / game room / reading room / craft room, especially once we get the laundry area a bit more finished.
Some of the books will go upstairs once we build in bookcases in the front room on the main floor. However, the bookcases in the basement will not be abandoned! I still have plenty of books in boxes that can fill their places and I'm always happy to invest in more! (#crazybooklady) And I like the idea of having coloring books and crayons and other art supplies for Zuzu stored on bookcases for easy access.
My plan for the basement renovation includes painting the knotty pine white. I have contemplated leaving it because it is original to the house when it was built in 1946 and was evidently quite stylin'. But you guys. Stained wood trim is one thing. The oppression of knotty pine on all sides is quite a different matter. I cannot handle it. It makes the basement dark and claustrophobic and I do not like it. I don't think it's a selling point and I am ready to cover it up. I have considered whitewashing it so some of the knottiness can show through, but whitewashed wood is kind of rustic, which isn't exactly the vibe I'm going for down there. It's also more work than just painting it. So my plan is to paint it a nice, bright, clean white. Sherwin Williams Dover White, to be specific.
I'm also eager to pull out that semi-shag carpet, which enjoyed some popularity the last few years (I have friends who have good taste who chose to have something similar put in their homes and all I can say is diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks). It's not like it's heinous. The color is a perfectly normal neutral, but I just don't care for the shaggy texture. And for the basement? I don't want carpet at all. I want to pull it out and put down cork flooring. From what I've read, cork flooring is warm and cushiony but it also has the clean look of hardwood floors, which I love. I want to do it throughout the entire basement, including the laundry area and the guest room.
But even though I can't WAIT to do it, that is a long-term project which requires more time and money than I currently have allotted to the basement. It just isn't super high on my priorities list at the moment because there are too many other things I want to do in the main living areas of the house.
Still, I absolutely love the idea of dark cork flooring and crisp white walls. Something like this, only obviously not so formal:
|image from here|
I'm inspired by rooms like this, and this, and this.
Don't kill my dream with your talk of reality and kids and messes and picking up after myself.
Anyway, the basement may look like nothing special now, but I have big plans for it! So... thoughts on this? Anyone have experience with cork flooring? Anyone want to make a case for saving the knotty pine? Anyone?