My family loves basements, which is odd because we didn't have basements for the first fifteen years of married life. Personally, I can take them or leave them. As a matter of fact, our Pittsburgh house only had a basement garage, and I was fine with that. But my husband and boys like a place where they can retreat, and I can see where a basement is a good place for that.
I saw a basement remodel last week from a blogger, and it was stunning. But when the blogger's husband saw the final product, he made the comment "This isn't a Man Cave Basement! This is a Pinterest basement!"
Warning: our basement is not a Pinterest basement!
It is, however, a family fun zone.
I wish I had some REALLY good "before" photos to show you of its formerly sad state. Remember when we started? It was the room that had (and still has) spray painted graffiti in the closet. 'Nuff said. Beige walls, beige carpet, drop ceiling. And it still has all of those things, but they are no longer the overwhelming feature they once were.
We moved in our stuff, and there it sat.
I set up a craft space along the back wall, and I just did not like it there. Visually, it looked like a mess every time we came down to watch a movie.
So instead, I moved the craft area to the other side of the basement, where it has its own little niche, away from the family zone. And here is the family fun zone now:
I began to pull together some decor and artwork, and as I did, a sort of funky Americana theme began to take shape.
The foosball table is now in a much better place. This is where I school my boys with my mad skills.
A teepee in the basement! How fun is that? This teepee was a gift to Sam from our good friend, Lynn, many years ago. We still love it.
The boys want to build a six foot tower out of K'Nex? There's a space for that!
Someone feels compelled to assemble a LEGO soccer stadium? There's space for that!
I think the artwork really speaks to our family and our sense of adventure and love of the outdoors.
And did I mention our love of movies? We picked up some BILLY bookcases from IKEA last weekend, and they work great in the space.
The basement is partially finished, which means that many walls are just painted cinder block with a lot of electrical and mechanical exposed. The tricky part: how to camouflage the not so pretty things, like electrical boxes. Here's my solution:
I suspended these birch tree panels from the drop ceiling, which hides the electrical box in the corner of the room.
These panels are made of lightweight foam board, which made them perfect for this purpose. (One of the perks of working in retail...visual props!)
So there you have it...a funky family fun zone. Not a Pinterest basement, but definitely better than where we started.
We still have more to do in the future. For starters, my husband really wants to get the entire basement drywalled. But whenever he says it, I just hear "$$$$!" I think we could use a fun rug to anchor the seating area, and some new lamps to improve the lighting. Those window wells can use some sort of curtains in the future. I'd really like to add a kitchen-style cabinet and counter top along the back wall where we can house the fridge, set up a microwave, and maybe store our board games.
For now, the family is really enjoying the space...mission accomplished!
Tomorrow, I will show you the other side of the basement...the Mary Rose's Cafe fun zone!