Monday, April 2, 2012

Thinking About...Using Our Basement

Last week I had posted a question on Facebook about the rooms in your home that are not being used to the fullest potential. Not surprisingly, the dining room was the most popular response.

Quite the contrary for us, we use our dining room every day. For my family, our basement is the space that needs the most help and it is valuable space that we could live in and enjoy (especially because Sheila's toys and books are all over our living room on the main floor so toy storage is a must in the basement). And since we don't know when we'll be moving, we are going to start taking advantage of this valuable living space.

This is Exhibit A and #1 reason why we need to start utilizing the basement. I took this photo yesterday afternoon and this is how our living room typically looks on a given afternoon. Side note, love our rug hate that darn TV stand - need to replace it.

Our basement is long and narrow. It is partially finished. The area to the back is our laundry and storage area. Thankfully there is lots of storage under the steps too, so we've got tons of stuff stored under there.

The main problem is that even though we've got some good storage in the basement. It's not enough. The basement was starting to become the drop box for things that we didn't know where it should go or didn't have a proper place for, so we also secured a storage unit to house all of the extra stuff that we're not using and could be put away.

Here is the to do list:

- Paint paneling and doors (we had this done and I just haven't taken any new photos yet)
- Replace carpeting
- Reconfigure layout (thinking work area and play/hang out area)

And this is our make shift work area. I'm ready for something new. I'm ready to get organized especially with me doing more design work on the desktop computer. And I need some fresh color in this space too. 

We love our house but we are outgrowing it very quickly. By reworking the basement layout and functionality, we're hoping to get more mileage out of our home and enjoy it while we're here.

Do you have a room in your home that is not being used to its fullest potential? What's holding you back?


  1. This will be a fun, think outside the box project Holly! Can't wait to see how you make it inviting for both work (you) and play (Sheila)!!!

  2. You have me so curious as to what you'll choose to do, what a fun project, Holly! I know you'll love having a space to corral the toys!

  3. What a great project -- it looks like a great way to "expand" your house. Our basement looks very similar to yours, maybe a little more unfinished - but we use it all the time. We put our tv down there, which means we use the basement more than our living room. Which makes me a little sad because the living is WAY nicer :)

  4. A basement is a great place for extra living space! That is also the room on our list too. Ours is completely unfinished, so it will take a little saving to get going with it. But in cold weather climates, it's a great way to have a whole extra floor of living space!

  5. I know you can do something incredible down there. Use all the space and make it work for as long as you can:)

  6. Our basement is partially play-area and storage area with attached laundry and now that I am i the throes of getting rid of all our baby yours/books it is in an in-between stage. Our finished attic also is another space which has 2 extra guest beds and all my holiday decor and off-season clothing but it needs a reorganization. I can see the potential in the basement - it is so exciting when a space has good bones and when you see yourself check off tasks on a to-do list.

  7. The biggest thing that holds us back in this house is that it isn't ours. We're leasing, and so any changes we make have to be cost effective and undoable! Or we have to negotiate with the landlord to cover the cost, so you know the scope of change we're talking about here - nothing too big! But even if we did own this home, it would still be one step at a time, and that's because I believe you have to live in it for awhile so you know how you need to change it. And then... change is good!!!

  8. Ha! I love that first photo of your living room, sippy cup included!! Looks just like our family room/kitchen/nursery on any given day:) How fun working on the basement! It'll be great for you guys to get some use out of that space. Our basement is half-finished (the other half is water heater, etc) but right now its full of all crap we don't know what to do with and seasonal decorations, etc. Like there's not even a path to walk through it, its stuffed floor to ceiling. Its on my to do list, yikes!

  9. Ooh Holly you can do so much with a basement, what a fun project. I can't wait to see what you do. We have used every inch we have in our current home, maybe the next one will give us a little more wiggle room. Good luck with your new project, I know it will turn out beautiful.

  10. Love your rug! That's what my house looks like too, there are always toys all over the place! I am sure you will do amazing things with your basement, I'm excited to see what you come up with. We have an unfinished basement that I haven't even dared to tackle. I feel like I can't keep on top of the cleaning as it is!