Friday, January 6, 2012

You better like this or else.

For a DIYer like me, there's a certain amount of payoff I get with the finished product...and people's reaction to it. This year, we decided to finally wrap up the basement project, literally--not only were we done with the drama of the moldy ceiling, we decided to make the basement functional as the main family Christmas present. Thankfully, the kids thought it was an awesome Christmas gift! So, while there are one or two details to finish up, I guess you could call this the official "After" post of what is now probably the most dramatic DIY project I've ever done. And you better think its as awesome as I do.

The Before:
(See what they taught me in design school?)
I don't have a proper before shot, but picture a windowless basement, two rooms separated by French doors. White walls in the main space, weird lime green in the other. About 1/3 as many lights as you'd expect in the space. And no staircase railing, since the previous owners broke it on their way out. Zero functional space (but a decent size).

The Middle:
Last June our ceiling in the smaller green room came down thanks to some water damage. Lovely drywall ground into the carpet, exposed pipes and electrical, and mold.
We kept the electrical work all in the family. Grandpa Green was in town to help, and Daddy's taught the girls, and my sister, Dana, who was visiting at the time, a bit about wiring.

And Now:

The main room is for toys, the kids' computer, and gaming.
We used this post from Infarrantly Creative as inspiration to make these framed game boards, which just might be the coolest addition. We stayed up until 3 am on Christmas Eve Eve (or Christmas Adam, as some say, since Adam came before Eve). We plan on collected older versions of the games, and using higher quality wood next time.

Instead of doing major electrical work, we're supplementing the light in the main room with these friendly tree-lamps.
Still to do--replace the bannister! And notice the white spot on the walls? We still have some touch-ups to do. The last owners had a wet bar here. Took the bar, left the water pipe sticking out of the wall. Thanks.

Thanks, Martha Stewart via Home Depot, for useful toy storage.
The furniture is all a collection of stuff we already had and stuff we've been given through the years. The little game table is a hand me down from my friend, Jessica, and the maps were purchased and laminated a few years ago to track Chrisian's business trip through Asia.

We're calling this room the bean bag room. Grandpa Green helped us fix up the lighting during his visit in September. We later installed a dimmer switch. We removed the french doors to open up the space. Plus, the doors swung the wrong way, making the light switch useless. We plan on purchasing a new tv and a few more extra-large bean bags as time goes on. They're super comfortable!

This picture clip hanger is something I picked up from Ikea last summer--wish I had bought a few more. Its awesome! I have another one we used in our last kitchen, but I haven't found it since the move. It will go in the big room, above the kids' toys.

The color is Autumn Haze, ripped off from The House of Smiths' house color pallete. I love it. I think having the right color on the wall made almost as much difference as the improved lighting!

I think I'm so impressed with this renovation because it took a completely useless, stupid space and made it completely function and inviting. Its really a fun place to be. Plus, we did it for relatively little money. Only a few repairs (some DIY, so hired out), paint, and a few pieces of decor!


Jennie and Adam said...

Wow! That was a lot of work with a totally awesome result! I'm with you on the paint color--it makes all the difference. I need some of those picture wires for kids' work. Great job!

Kasey said...

Looks great Robyn! Love the bean bags!

Jess said...

I want those hangers too... It is totally awesome! I am so glad that it worked out, so much better than before. When can we come and visit?

Robyn said...


Nancy said...

Wow! Amazing! It looks like a totally different space. Kudos on the computer generated computer blueprints--you go girl! One more thing, do you remember that your cousin Benjamin sells bean bag chairs and would probably give you an amazing deal for high quality product. Just saying . . .

Katie said...

It IS cool! Good work!!

Natalie said...

I'm glad we got to see the finished product so close to the unveiling. :) The big question is how long will you stay to enjoy it?

The Casa Hunt said...

It looks awesome!

Leslie said...

Wow! It looks really awesome. What a great Christmas gift. I wish we were as brave as you. We have hardly touched anything in our house since we moved in 4 years ago. Way to go Greens!