Welcome to our basement family room. When we first bought this house it was about a year old, so that meant I didn’t get to pick any of the finishes. When we decided to finish our basement a few years ago, I was excited about getting to do whatever I wanted. It is pretty beige, like the rest of the house, but the thing is with neutrals that you can switch it around whenever you want to. I usually have turquoise accents down here, but for fall I decided to go with the traditional orange and brown palette -nice and cozy.
When we decided to finish the basement we only did half of it. The other half is devoted to storage, and when you’re a DIY blogger you really do need space for all your candles, ribbons, decorations, scrapbook paper, vases, and everything else. This has worked out really well. Down the road we might add in another full bathroom and bedroom, but for right now, storage works out great. I have shared some of the basement before, but maybe not too much of the toy room. The back of the basement is devoted to toys…and one rarely used treadmill.
I found the IKEA shelving on kijiji, and that’s one of my little tips for a playroom. I knew I wanted this shelving to use all the little cubbies for toy storage, but I also realized it would likely get scratched up by all the playing. Since IKEA items are so common, they’re easy to find on second hand sites, and usually cheaper than new -perfect for the kids to use, without you worrying about the furniture getting ruined.
Here’s the view from the other direction, and those little brown chairs are perfect for when you have to join a tea party, or watch a Barbie fashion show. Here’s one other “pin-able” little Mommy Tip -cut up the packaging from your children’s new toys to create labels for storage bins. Even pre-readers recognize a “Barbie” or “Little People” trademark symbol -which makes clean-up time better for all involved.
It really is nice to have a space for larger toys in the basement. In the future, I have plans to add doors to the shelves and put craft and office supplies inside, and a big rectangular table behind the couch for homework, computer work and crafting. That’s the plan for down the road, when we get past the toy stage, in the mean time, this is a great spot to play.
The other side of the room is perfect for movie night with a big bowl of popcorn.
The sectional had to be totally taken apart to fit down the stairs, but it was worth it, it’s perfect for us all to curl up on.
Right now it’s decked out with pretty fall pillows I made last year. The covers are made from inexpensive fabrics on clearance, and fit over the pillows I already had. Easy storage too. See how I made them here. When we were working on this room, wallpaper wasn’t as popular or easily accessible as it is now just a few years later. I fell in love with a designer wallpaper, but couldn’t afford the $250 per roll, even as just an accent wall. I found this birch mural on-line. The birch trees come in individual sections that you match up to create any pattern you like. It went up really easy, and I still really love it.
The light was a garage sale find. It was in someone’s driveway, and I thought it would look great down here. For $20 you can’t really go wrong -can you. The problem was it wouldn’t fit in my little car. The seller had a truck and offered to deliver it to me. When I got home later that afternoon it was in my driveway waiting for me.
The fireplace was built by my awesome brother-in-law Shaun. I told him I wanted something with concrete and wood, and this is what we came up with. He used melamine forms to create smooth slabs of concrete, which were glued onto a wood frame. Here’s a detail shot to explain it better.
The wood is wood veneer with a dark stain. I have some fun white pieces here right now, they really pop against the dark background and my copper pumpkins made from pot scrubbers -see how here. We incorporated a built in entertainment unit in section too, including a cabinet to house the tv components.
The tv is mounted on a swing arm, so it’s easy to view from the couch. On the mantel for fall I have my Fall Subway Art -a fun project from last year. The branches with the leaves are from this post, and the lantern was one my Grandma used to use to go to the barn at night for chores. I love the mix of the modern concrete fireplace with a few rustic touches.
I absolutely love how the whole fireplace unit turned out -kind of wish it was upstairs. The little coffee tables are also IKEA and also found on kijiji. I have my pretty glittered acorns on them, along with a pumpkin scented candle which I slipped the lid off of and it made the whole basement smell amazing while I was down there taking these shots.
The final piece to share, and actually one of the final pieces I added is the chair. It’s also from kijiji. We blew the budget on the leather couch, so I spent weeks checking a few times a day on kijiji for a great chair. I wanted something with squar-ish arms to go with the couch. As soon as I found it, I went that day to look at it and buy it. That’s my big kijiji tip -if you want it get there quick cause it’s going to go to the first one there with the money in their hand. There was an ottoman too, totally wish I’d picked it up as well.
So this is my basement, which has been a great family space for us to enjoy. Finishing it really felt like adding valuable living space to the house, while still keeping some of the other very valuable storage space too.
With a cozy basement like this to relax in, life really is a party!
Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I hope to share some of my family feast with you then. Wednesday it will be time for the Master Bedroom mini makeover reveal. Meanwhile, follow along with my weekend progress and adventures on facebook.