One of my faithful clients has recently moved into a new home. Their previous home had a large unfinished basement and this new home has an equally large finished basement. In an unfinished basement you care about how things look but let’s face it…you’re looking at studs and insulation all around you. It’s not THAT pretty. But when your space is finished you tend to feel the need to take your room to another level. My client loved this new space but she was feeling overwhelmed trying to rethink how she was going to lay it all out…she had a bad case of the ‘basement blues’. She has three daughters who use this space as their playroom, art and creative space, music practice area and media room. That is a lot of activity in one space. When moving into the home things just got put in the basement without lots of intention for where things were put. It was great that they had a chance to live in the space for a bit before we decided how we wanted to arrange and organize things.
Here are a couple of pictures of the basement area before:
It’s a wide open space with windows along one wall and a set of doors on another wall. We needed to incorporate the piano, an air hockey table, a kids table, toys and an art cabinet in this space…as well as leave some area to actually play on the floor.
We had an adjacent room that is currently being used as a media room with many different shelving and storage options for us to use in the larger rooms configuration. We decided this room would be better off without all the toys so that the family could use this space to play video games, watch movies and we later installed a large bookcase to house their library of books.
Here is our AFTER:
We purchased NOTHING for this project…but used all the items that we had from the previous house project. We used this pair of shelves that had previously been in the family office and stored all of the girls’ arts and crafts supplies in the top of the units and in the bottom cabinets we stored all the board and card games. We moved the toy shelving units from the media room and slid them into this little nook in the basement room and put them all together to make a larger “unit” of storage. The favorite “Littlest Pet Shop” toys were housed all along the top of the units to make for easy cleanup. We sorted toys into categories and made sure we got rid of anything that was broken, missing parts or not played with.
We created zones for each of the activities that the basement will be used for. There is now plenty of room for an entire gaggle of girls to play in this room for hours! Although you might not have a giant basement like this, I am sure you have rooms in your house that are doing double and triple duty in regards to their function. It’s important to take some time to really evaluate how you are using the space and make sure it’s truly how you want the space to be used. How can you make things flow more smoothly, cause less conflict or disruption and make use of all the space you do have? Be intentional and be willing to think outside the box a bit about your space.