Freshening a Finished Basement: Before

It was muggy, and late in the afternoon last summer when my husband and I saw a tornado warning flash across the screen of our local TV news station. Because of the rare tornado that, just a year prior, tore through the area taking lives, destroying property and altering entire town landscapes, we were taking this warning seriously.

We briskly moved around our house collecting items: diapers for baby, toys for toddler, clothes, water, food, flashlights, wine. You know, anything we could think of that we might need in case we had to stay down in the basement for an extended length of time. I remember that night so well not only because we were legitimately a bit scared that another tornado might touch down. But also because we had just bought and moved into our first home, and hadn’t yet touched the “finished” basement. Everything about it smelled and felt musty. Dingy Carpet? Check. Low, man-cave ceiling? Stark, dusty, white walls? Check and check. To give you an idea, the below grainy pictures show the scene before we bought the house (photos courtesy of one of the real estate agencies).


Former Man Cave, now Family/Play Room

Basement Before1

Former Man Cave, now Family/Play Room


Guest Room/Office

And since the square footage of our main level is rather limited, it was important that we make this basement space into something not only functional but enjoyable to spend time/tornado warnings in.

Flash forward to today. We’ve done a good amount of work to it. And when I say we I mean my husband and the best father inlaw ever, who flies in from Sweden and stays for a month to work on it. But listen guys, I like to roll my sleeves up too. I do. No. Seriously. But someone’s got to occupy our two toddler boys, far far away from the “instruction site,” to borrow a term from my three-year-old. Because you know nothing’s getting done with them around. So without my DIY help, and over the course of the past year, ugly ceiling panels came down, exposed joists were painted white, dated carpet and laminate flooring was removed, windows were framed, baseboards were added, and walls and doors were painted in light blue and grey.

But when all that was done, it was my turn to help out. I volunteered to pick fabric and make panels to cover the closet nooks that are in each basement room. How’d that go? Well, after weeks months of not picking fabric and not sewing said fabric, I’ve finally chosen the material. For the Family/Play room space I chose P/K Lifestyles Cross Section Charcoal Fabric.


And for the Office/Guest Room I chose Waverly Felicite Indigo Fabric.


Now to tackled the second task. Told you I’d get that sewing machine humming again, didn’t I?