Basement Makeover

My basement has been driving me nuts for a long time. It was really messy and full of junk to begin with, and then the whole mess with the flood made it ten times worse. We can’t afford to finish it just yet, but this past week we did some things that dramatically improved its looks. The entire project cost about $100, too, so that’s not too bad!

Taken after the "flood": What a disaster!

When we first moved in, we threw everything in the basement, and then every time we cleaned and unpacked a room upstairs, the excess went in the basement, too. Eric’s “man cave” was starting to look like an episode of Hoarders.

So this week I started off the project by throwing away or giving away a lot of the junk that was cluttering the floor. I put an ad up for the 5 artificial trees in the free section of Craig’s List. I got about twelve responses within the first day, and by the next day, a nice couple hauled them away in their truck. Most of the stuff went to the curb, however. Much of it was stuff that had gotten wet and wasn’t worth replacing.

The next major step in our renovation involved Eric building these awesome shelves from 2x4s and boards. His dad came over to help. I was super impressed with the end result. I didn’t know I was married to such a skilled carpenter! (He is always full of surprises!) After I had cleared out all the junk, I was able to organize what was left on these shelves, which got everything off the floor.

I then bought some white sealer/primer and started painting the concrete walls. I did the first ten feet or so, and then my mom came over to help me finish. (Meaning, she finished it for me! She is wonderful!)

Wonderful Shelves!

It took quite a while to go through everything and organize it. Once that was done, we still had to put things back like rugs and furniture, since it had all been moved around during the restoration and clean up. We divided the basement into different sections: office, exercise equipment, storage, living area, etc.

The "office"

Gaming area (and exercise equipment in the background)

The "Living Room"

The final step, which even my mom has not seen yet, was the result of an impulse decision to paint a mural on one of the walls. I decided the corner behind the TV could use some sprucing up.

See how bare it is?

Ah, much better!

I used plain old acrylics to paint a branch and a red swallow motif. It took me about 2 hours and I had a lot of fun doing it! Here is a better view:

I love it!



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5 responses to “Basement Makeover

  1. Lindsay

    I LOOOOOVE it!!!!!!!!! I think my sister is going to paint a mural on Ava’s wall. You did an awesome job! Your basement looks great!! Want to come do mine next?? 🙂

  2. Oh, you are a woman after my own heart!!! I love doing stuff like that and your painting is adorable :o) But I have to say, my favorite part of your post is that in the first “before” picture, in the middle of the giant mess is the word “LAUGH” on the desk…it’s perfect!

  3. I love it, Kim! Basement organization is on our to-do list too. Brent really wants to use our tax return to finish it, but we’ll see. Want to come over and paint pretty things on my wall???

  4. yeah, you will finish off your basement. I did what you did for a while.

    A few tips
    1) don’t rely on that wall sealer if you have water or moisture issues. They can usually be, and should be, addressed from the outside. There are simple, inexpensive, things you can do for 90% of water issues.

    2) when you do get around to finishing your basement (great space by the way). I recomend trying to make it feel like every other room of your house. Just cause its a basement doesnt mean it needs to look, smell, feel like a basement.

    3) You can check out a series of podcasts we did on basement finishing here

    Good luck – looks great

  5. Kim, It looks like you have been super productive the past few days. Isn’t it nice to finally get an area like that under control? Way to go! It looks awesome! 🙂 Lana

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