Tuesday, November 3, 2009

basement renovation

As I may have mentioned before, our house is on the small side.  I really don't mind it at all-the rooms are nice and cozy, and there are only two of us, so we don't need much space.  There are times, however, when one needs to spread out a bit to do a project or just stretch.  Our basement is just a basement, but it is the largest square footage in the whole house.  I generally do not like basements remodeled into living space because I think it rarely works well.  However, ours was in dire need of some TLC, and I wanted to take advantage of all that extra space.  So, we came up with a compromise-it is still a basement space, but it is fresh, clean, and comfortable for a number of activities. 

I wish that I had the before before photos, but I have lost them in the shuffle somewhere.  Picture a musty, dusty, spider filled basement with 60's paneling dividing it into "rooms", crusty floors and a toilet in the middle of nowhere.  First, we ripped out all the extra paneling, bits of flooring and cabinet odds and ends.  This eliminated most of the musty smell, as smells tend to collect in these types of materials.  We also checked out areas that seemed to have any water damage and graded the ground outside to prevent water from coming into the basement.  Next, I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, oh, and scrubbed.  Walls, floors and ceiling joists all got 2 or 3 go rounds with a bucket of hot soapy water and a little bleach to eliminate any remaining basement odor.  (be sure to do this when you can open windows, and make sure everything gets nice and dry before painting begins).   All of the walls and floors then got a coat of water base sealer and stain killer, then 2 coats of color.  Whew.

I chose a warm neutral for the walls to keep it light and bright, but give it a little warmth. (Benjamin Moore: Alpaca/Classic Colors)  The floors got a little spot of color to really brighten things up. (Ace Floor Paint: Theresa's Tan)

We now have room for all of my extra "studio" gear and a great work table.

Also, an extra desk area.

Clean-lined, open shelving provides a basement pantry, and keeps current projects in view.

A clean, pleasant laundry area is important to me.

The toilet is still there, but I have turned it into a wee "bathroom"  with a curtain, mirror and art gallery.

A basement need not be a dim lit, critter infested spot that you creep reluctantly down to only when laundry calls or a breaker goes out.   With some serious cleaning and a few coats of paint, you can turn that unused space into valuable square footage. 

1 comment:

  1. very inspiring. i tend to forget about that space, and in a smaller house like mine, using it would be a BIG bonus! hmmm...