Monday, May 13, 2013

making a house a home: before & after - downstairs


You've seen the upstairs renovation before and after pictures, now it's time for some peeks of the downstairs! As before, these pictures (except the last one) were taken before we moved any of our belongings inside. I am looking forward to the day I can show you these rooms lived in and decorated, but that is happening veeeery slowly. I am working on it :)

The downstairs of our home doesn't have any original mid-century charm going for it other than an awesome brick wall with a wood burning fireplace. The rest of the basement was 'finished' poorly much later on and painted horribly in dark colors so it felt like a cave. Now it is much brighter and more open! Let's take a look...


We ripped up the old dirty carpet on the stairs and originally wanted to keep them wooden, but after some thought we ended up carpeting them. It made our budget happy and made us feel a little better about any kids taking potential tumbles down them (and, yes, Lark has fallen down the stairs once and I was so glad the carpet helped cushion her fall). Also, the way the stairs are positioned you don't see them unless you are walking on them, so aesthetically the wooden stairs wouldn't have made a big difference.


The stairs lead you to the downstairs family room with the brick wall and fireplace. That door is a second entrance to the garage.



This is the view of the same room from the other side. You can see we ripped out the lovely red metal roofing acting as wainscoting, built a half wall railing, and carpeted. We also put drywall up over the wood paneling which was painted in stripes. They used the wrong kind of paint so you could peel big pieces of it right off. Instead of trying to sand and paint over that nightmare we just covered it up.

The peek you see of that dark room is where we have the TV set up. It has no windows and the very first time we saw the house Husband claimed it as the 'theater room'. I have to say it is nice to have the TV tucked away with a door to close on it, and it is also nice to have a cool, dark relaxing room to watch movies in at night :)


There was a laundry closet in the upstairs hallway but we decided to convert it into a pantry for more storage space and build a new laundry room downstairs. This room had a laundry hook up but was totally unfinished. After knocking out a wall we were able to create a nice sized laundry room that is very functional. Not pictured are some cabinets and a hanging rod around the corner of the door. This room also has a not so nice story of a homemade non-functioning ejector pump in the floor that I will spare you the gory details of... I am happy to say we got a professional plumber to put a proper pump in and now all smells well :) 


 The playroom was the darkest corner of the basement and in my opinion one of the biggest changes. This carpet was a compromise between Husband and I. I wanted to lacquer the concrete with a fun aqua color so the kids could easily push ride-on toys and even roller skate like I did in my basement growing up. Husband thought it would be too cold on little feet and once again there was the carpet provides cushion for falls argument. We settled on getting a colorful carpet with a low pile so ride-on toys and trains could still easily be pushed around on it, but I was never certain of that choice.

At first I thought we made a horrible decision. It was the only change we made that I wasn't completely happy with when I saw it. It took me a while to get used to the color which was not exactly what I was expecting, but now I think it is fun - it is a playroom after all! I know I will like it better once it is decorated and all put together. All of the toys are still pretty much where they were placed when we moved everything in and just plopped them down. I have big plans for this space being more functional, organized, and fun!

So now you've seen most of the house. I didn't have good before and after pictures of every space, but it gives you a good idea of the work we were doing for all of those months. It was a lot!

See all of our house renovation posts here.

1 comment:

  1. Very Impressive! It looks great! I know carpeting isn't the most beautiful, but it sure makes a basement comfy and livable. We're working on finishing ours (for the first time in it's 50-odd years)...once the doors are on (someday), I'll declare it complete.

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