When we bought our new house, the basement was... weird. (Disclaimer: My photos are not great because there's no natural light down there and because I'm not a great photographer. Also, nothing is styled blogger-style or styled at all, really. This is just how we live, folks. Keep your judgment to yourself. Except the before pictures are not really how we live because they were taken in process of rearranging and putting together bookcases, so just slightly crazier than usual.)
Okay. When we first bought the house, we walked down the basement stairs into a shag carpeted, wood-paneled, drop-ceiling room. The room was long, narrow, and dark (because of all the wood paneling and because the walls that weren't paneled were painted a super ugly beige).
|It looks crazy because we were putting together the white bookcases, but you get the idea of the paneling here.|
|Looking back toward the stairs from the alcove where my desk is situated. Ugh, my poor books lived in boxes for far too long.|
Putting a coat of white on the walls instantly opened up the basement and made it feel SO MUCH bigger and brighter. It's an amazing difference. I even feel different when I walk down the stairs and it doesn't feel like I'm going down into a dark cave.
Zuzu's toys are shoved in one corner, and down the line I think I'd like to set up a little coloring station and put an easel down here. This may also be where she gets a play kitchen, or could be where we put a train table or a dollhouse, depending what her interests are.
After we built the bookshelves in the living room upstairs, it became clear that there still wasn't enough room for our library on the three bookcases down here, especially once David moved our upstairs TV down to the basement. So we ordered two more bookcases to really finish off the basement. You know I love it.
We finally donated the super ugly chair left behind by the former owners (barely visible in the first picture in this post). I'd had vague plans to reupholster it, but it wasn't comfortable and the legs were ugly and I decided I'd rather scope out thrift stores and try to find something else that would work down there than put the money and effort into reupholstering something we wouldn't really love anyway. So I'm keeping an eye out for a chair that would fit in well down there. I'm imagining something bright with a fun pattern.
The futon is still hanging out, having served us well from the time David was in college. I keep thinking maybe grown-ups aren't supposed to have futons anymore? And also it's ugly. But it really is nice to have an extra bed in a pinch. I'd like to stain it a darker color, which I think would make it look less... country? But that is not a pressing desire at this point.
So, for now the futon fits perfectly in this little space, and is easy enough to move twice a year to get out and put away the Christmas tree, which gets stored in the little closet under the stairs. The door to the closet looks like it's a different color than the walls, but it's just the funky lighting and my inability to use (slash lack of interest in) the white-balance function on my camera.
|Desk space needs some art on the walls and an organization system! All in good time.|
|Also there's a rowing machine leaning against the wall. Le sigh.|
|Hello, please look at my toilet.|
|This is where David gets nekkid. TMI? Sorry.|
|Sink and medicine cabinet. Difficult to photograph.|
In the next phase of the basement makeover, the plan is to replace the shaggy carpet with dark cork flooring. I am super excited about this, but not ready to pull the trigger on such a big non-essential expense. It may have to wait until we're no longer paying daycare tuition for at least one little Duck. Still, the changes we've made are already a tremendous improvement. The basement has shifted already from a place I entered by necessity--to switch the laundry--to a place I actually enjoy spending time in. If only I could keep Zuzu from climbing the bookcases.