A lot of girls just want flowers and candy for Valentine’s Day – I just want a new basement.  We have lived in our house for over 12 years now, and the basement is the last area that we haven’t worked on. It is a typical 1950’s era basement with ugly flooring, bare concrete walls, and not enough light or outlets.  It has served us well as a man-cave, exercise area, laundry room, and craft workshop, but we have finally found someone to help us renovate it.  My vision is a retro/industrial space with 1950’s style furniture.  We’ll still use the space for the same activities, but it will be far more inviting.  Below you can see what we are starting with as well as some of my ideas for the new space.

This is the main man-cave/TV watching area (if you look closely, there is some Semper Stylish furniture waiting to be painted in the foreground).


A long bar area (below) separates the man-cave/TV side from the exercise area.
bf_main3before.jpgOne side of the exercise area (right side of picture below) will be framed off as a closet with mirrored doors.  Part of the under-stair area will be framed in for a small storage area and the rest will be left open for a bar/wine storage.  The HVAC venting will be enclosed in a plywood bulkhead.  We plan to paint the ceiling black to maintain the height.

This is the original asbestos tile.  It was ugly but indestructable.

The floors will be replaced with black vinyl commercial grade tiles found for an amazing 51 cents/sqft on sale at Home Depot.  I’ve been warned that black floors show dust, but I think it will look awesome with Benjamin Moore Owl Gray walls and a black ceiling.

The far end of my basement is the laundry room, craft area, and Greg’s workshop.  This is what the area looks like now (horrifying, I know!!).
bf_craft1before bf_craft2before bf_laundry2before.jpg

Under the stained glass window in my craft area, cabinets and a formica top will be added along the wall.  Best of all, the contractor is going to make a 4′ x 4′ rolling table on wheels – perfect for Semper Stylish painting and repurposing projects!

The door leading to the outside…

… is going to be replaced with a full glass door to bring in more light-

I am very happy with the crew.  When I asked how they were going to make a door for the understair storage area, the framing guy said he was going to cut down and repurpose another old door we were going to throw away.  Now that’s the kind of answer I like – always repurpose when possible!

Another item I plan to reuse is my old concrete laundry tub.  It is stained, cracked, worn down, and weighs a ton, but I LOVE it.  It has a wide zinc strip around the edge and is totally indestructable.  They are going to move it around the corner for me, build a new base to replace the rusted iron one, and add new faucets.

I have been checking Pinterest for some decorating ideas for my new basement:

Repurposing an old bookcase and adding shuttered doors:
add shutters to bookcase

Adding a shelf in the laundry area from reclaimed wood:
Great laundry room with antique sign decor and burlap skirted plank shelf...'

Rolling wine cart for under stairs (Okay – I know mine won’t turn out this cute, but you get the idea):
Love! Get this casual loft look starting with a salvage-inspired cart balanced by fun accents like the bright wall art, contemporary wine rack, and bottle-glass vase. Top off with just a few accessories--gathering tray, beer glasses, nut and pretzel dishes, a party tub--and let the good times roll.

I am also hoping to win this picture at the Alexandria Art League Patron’s Show next weekend (more on that in a future post).  The photograph is called ‘ICU’.  Wouldn’t it look great hanging over the fireplace?  Hopefully my decorator will be able to stylize around it.

Please check back to see how the renovation is progressing.  Once my basement is done, the same contractor will be adding a new sunroom to Janice’s house.