We had six weeks to finish a room in our basement as part of the Fall In Love series with 17 other bloggers….and the big reveal day is finally here!
Room makeover deadlines are funny things. It became clear pretty quickly that there was no way we’d really be able to finish finish the basement room, so it was more a matter of figuring out where the best places to devote our very limited time and money were. It’d be nice, of course, if I could declare this room completely finished, but I’m happy with the progress we did make: we have a functional room that Ari can sleep in when we have guests over Thanksgiving, and one corner of it is finished enough to take pictures of.
This is what we started with:
The most finished side of the room is not the same one I have the before picture of, sadly. Poor planning on my part. So, before I show you the after picture, here’s a shot of that side of the room after we cleaned it out and painted the floor, but before we did anything else:
And here it is now:
Not finished yet, but a pretty big difference. (Don’t look up!)
So the idea in here was to come up with a fun and functional space that could serve as a place for watching movies and playing games and also as an extra place to sleep since we don’t have an extra bedroom for guests these days. It’s nominally the older kids’ space, but I’m sure we’ll spend a good bit of time down here, too, so I wanted the decor to be appealing to kids without being too juvenile. You know, like if I put a big red dinosaur in there, that might be a little immature. Oh, wait–I happen to love big red dinosaurs and I DID put one in there!
One nice thing about having a deadline and rushing to get things done at the last minute is that I didn’t have time to show every little step of the process along the way like I usually do. So the reveal is actually a REVEAL instead of all the stuff you saw last week plus a new lamp and a source list.
Anyway! Here’s what we did in here to take the room from totally unfinished basement to semi-finished awesome big kid hang out space:
Then the structural stuff was out of the way (well, clearly there’s not a finished ceiling yet, but I always knew we wouldn’t get to that by now. We’ll probably go with a drop ceiling sooner or later) and it was time to start in on the fun stuff.
Well, the painting wasn’t fun. We had to do all the trim, and it took FOREVER. But now it’s done! We decided to paint both the trim and the walls Benjamin Moore’s Newburg Green, the same color we’ve used before in our master bedroom and in Abe’s nursery. I wasn’t planning to use the same color in yet another room, but then I realized that all the colors I was considering looked an awful lot like Newburg Green anyway, and I might as well go with something I know is a winner. I’ve joked before that I love Newburg Green so much I want to pretend it’s a neutral and put it in every room in the house. Maybe I wasn’t really joking. My original plan was white walls and fun colored doors and maybe trim….but then I read a lot about how white in a basement will just look dingy, so I figured I’d do color on the walls and white trim. But I was never really excited about it. So we opted for fun color on the walls AND trim…all the same fun color. Someday we’ll have baseboards, and they’ll be the same color, too.
The seating area is the only part that’s really finished at all right now. We’ve had the futon for probably ten years now, and it’s been sitting in our basement most of the time we’ve lived in this house. It might be nice to have a sleeper sofa in here eventually, but for now it will do nicely as seating that converts to a bed. I’d originally planned to get this futon cover from Tonic Living (the old one was a bit of a disaster in all sorts of ways):
…but it was out of stock when I went to order it (it’s back in stock now). So I wound up with this plain, “natural” color cotton cover instead (affiliate link)….and I’m kind of glad it worked out that way. For one thing, the cover I bought was $33 instead of $120. Plus having no pattern on the futon cover made it easier to play around with pattern elsewhere. The cover is nice for the price….it’s a little thinner than what we had before, so time will tell how it holds up to all the kids.
The pillows on there are all from Ikea. I have red and yellow in my head as the main accent colors in here, but there’s not really a whole lot of yellow yet. There’s a tiny bit on that speedometer pillow, though. I bought the Doctor Who throw on Zulily (I don’t think it’s available any more). It was the biggest splurge in the room, and I’m not so happy about getting it, in retrospect. I kind of thought it was going to be big enough to cover up the whole futon and stay on there to protect the zippered cover. But it’s a pretty standard sized throw. So I have a cool throw. But normally I would never pay $50 for a throw. It’s possible we’ll stretch it out and use it as a wall hanging somewhere instead, because it is pretty cool and covered with Daleks and stuff.
We picked up a bunch of throws at Ikea, too (and the basket is from Goodwill). There’s no central heat (or air) down here, so cozy throws when watching movies seemed sensible. Although it was very cold here last weekend, and things stayed reasonable in the basement. We have a space heater to use when we need it:
Those black chairs came from the same Ikea trip (you’ll sense a trend here; we’re not done yet!). They were only $40 each, and really seemed like the best option for comfortable extra movie seating that fit in with the modern vibe of the room and didn’t cost a fortune.
The rug is actually two rugs, and also from Ikea. I liked the idea of something shaggy and thick to go on top of the cold concrete floor. We might actually go back and get two more so that they cover up pretty much this whole half of the room:
The movie posters are orginal lobby posters from my movie theater working days. I’ve been hauling them around from house to house for forever. So I had a very limited selection of movies released around 1996-97 to choose from, and I realized after I’d made my selections that they’re all R rated movies that my kids can’t even watch yet. Oops. But they were the BEST ONES. Ari could probably watch Romy and Michelle…it’s fairly tame, if I recall correctly. And, really, Fargo, while disturbing, is a great morality tale, right? Super wholesome. Also Jerry Maguire. Lots of important messages about the meaning of life and meditations on class and all that. I got nothing with Grosse Pointe Blank, Comedies about hit men maybe best left until the kids are older. It’s funny, though!
I was a little worried about the stark white plank wall against all that Newburg Green at first, but once we got the posters up I fell in love with it again (which is good, since that’s the name of what I’m supposed to be doing with this room!). The frames were on some kind of super sale at Michaels….I’ll talk more about what everything cost in here later, but they were well over half off the original price.
Final Ikea purchase for in here was this little chair for Abe. It was on sale for $20 (usually $30), and he looked cute in it, so we had to get it:
We’ve had this mdf t-rex for years; my Dad made it for us one year for Christmas (I don’t remember the whole story of HOW he made it. I mean, I don’t think he designed it or anything, but he had the machine that would cut it out). I thought he’d be a fun thing to add in here, so I spray painted him red the other day. He likes movies, too.
So that pretty much covers THAT half of the room. In the short term, we still need to make the projector screen and get the projector set up, and get some curtains for the windows (something with black out fabric for daytime movie watching). Long term, we have plans to build some shelves in the little nook area by the Grosse Pointe Blank poster and, as mentioned, finish the ceiling.
Not much has happened yet on the other side of the room. There’s a foosball table:
The eventual (soon?) plan is to build a table in here for games and add a bunch of shelving along that back wall to store games and whatever else. I’m not sure there’s room for all of that plus the foosball table, but we’ll see.
Phew! So there you have it. I’ve loved having this collaboration to push us into getting this done(ish) so quickly, and I’ve also adored seeing the great rooms everyone else has been working on. Make sure to go check them all out; it’s well worth your time!