Dueling rooms {basement}

Folks, I feel like I need to give you a big, fat apology in advance. For the most part we try to present you with pretty pictures of rooms and inspiration for your own home projects. Sure sometimes we give you a room that looks like this (my room, not Tricia’s) but we try to balance out by showing you rooms like this, this, and this. Today we are pulling up the 3rd string team and showing you our basements. It feels almost cathartic to let the cat out of the bag and show you the most neglected areas of our homes. It’s just so darn hard to decorate around a train table, a tent, dollhouses and play kitchens. If only my kids would cooperate like those Restoration Hardware robot kids and keep our play area looking like this:restoration playroom


Instead, mine looks like this:

{Erin’s Basement}

basement_2 basement


And yes, these photos were taken while my kids were gone and the cleaning people had just been here. It NEVER looks like this!! There are always toys everywhere and I’ve given up on fighting it. My time is better spent watching real problems play out on television, like Joyce from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills thinking that another housewife has put a spell on her (I can’t even make this shizz up!). I think there is hope for the toy situation though for two reasons:

1. My kids will all be out of the house this Thursday afternoon which makes it a prime time to pretend like a robber broke into the house and stole a bunch of their toys.

2. There is a great recessed area along one wall of the play area that is screaming for some built-in toy storage. The plans for this are on hold until I can figure out what 6 year olds need in terms of desk/Lego building table/craft table over the next few years. Any insight on what items you have in your play room that have been useful over a wide age range would be greatly appreciated. Or if any of you have figured out the secret to Lego storage and organization then I will not only pay you ten thousand dollars but I will also name my next dog after you :). Now for the tv area of the basement:

basement_3Apologies for the picture which really gives you no idea of what this room really is. What it is is a hot mess. Chairs that need to be recovered, random toy pianos waiting to be played by Lenny Kravitz, and a treadmill that never gets taken out of the stored up position. Here’s what I’ve got planned for this space:

basement_to-do's1. Reupholster these chairs. I picked up these midcentury chairs for nothing and loved the simple lines of them. But the fabric has got to be changed up to bring them into the late century.

2. Carpet in basements- yuck! Especially when your dogs pee on it. TMI? I’ll let you in on a secret, this carpet is gone already thanks to the Colorado floods in September.

3. This chair is one of the most comfortable pieces of furniture we own. And it should be given its massive and overstuffed size. If it were up to me this thing would be listed on Craig’s List right now but my husband just can’t part with it. I’m trying to figure out a way to make it into a passenger seat in his car just to get it out of the house.

4. That recessed area is already wired for surround sound and a tv. So why not pretty up that tv area with some built in shelving and perhaps sconces?

5. New couch. ‘Nuff said.

6. My dream is to have a fireplace installed on this wall. Not sure that will happen but something better than a too small picture needs to happen.

{Tricia’s basement}

Welcome to the basement!

stairs to finished basement ~ Suburban Bitches

I have to confess, after spending two days getting all the naked dolls, the half demolished lego projects & the circus tent out, the basement isn’t bothering me that much anymore.  Of course, what do you think the chances are that it’ll stay that way for longer than a day?

There is one huge thing that I still want to get rid of.  Can you guess what it is…

kids' play area ~ Suburban Bitches

Uh, maybe the ginormous air hockey table?  In anticipation of this post I finally persuaded  Mr. Man to fix  the damn thing after it’s been broken for a year and a half.  Funny how legos crammed into the goal slots will do that.  The plan was to give it away. Yeah, now that it’s fixed he’s decided that we should hold on to it for a while. I think it’s going to be like the jumbo chair in Erin’s basement and I’m going to be living with that thing for a long, long time to come.

Aqua basement bar and play area ~ Suburban Bitches

We finished the basement a few months after moving into the house.  I had a feeling that if I didn’t get my husband to jump right on the finish project before #3 was born it would never happen. We started a month before the baby was born & finished 3 months later. If you look very closely at the photo below you can see something squiggly hanging from the ceiling above the tv.  Those would be the wires for the surround sound.  That would be the one thing my guy got me to hold off on.  Here we are three years later and I’m STILL waiting for him to figure out what kind of system he wants. And so for three years we’ve had white wormy things hanging from the ceiling.  I think that might be his birthday present this year.  Shhhh.

aqua and grey basement media area with built ins ~ Suburban Bitches

In our last house I painted the basement a light tan.  It was a daylight basement and fairly bright, but the tan left me feeling depressed every time I went down there. In this basement I knew I wanted something lighter and more uplifting — thus the aqua.  The other thing I didn’t like in the last basement was how cold is was. Here, I definitely prioritized putting in a cozy fireplace. I love hanging on the big comfy couch (Crate and Barrel) with a magazine and a fire going.  It’s the perfect way to kick back and relax.  However, this is a tale of knowing your measurements.  This couch is never ever leaving this basement.  I bought it as a floor model (bargain!) but then it sat on it’s side in my living room for weeks until I could get a carpenter out to remove the frame from the basement door.  If it had been a hair wider it would not have been getting through that space.

As you can see the shelves on either side of the tv are in desperate need of some styling.  That’s decidedly at the top of the basement to do list.

aqua and grey basement & media area ~ Suburban Bitches

Erin & I did a post on chevron walls a while back & there you can see how I did my basement wall.

While we were fulfilling our basement wish list we decided why not a bar as well? Somehow though our parties never really seem to filter down to here (other than the 3-10 year old crowd).  I think that needs fixing soon!

aqua and grey basement and bar ~ Suburban Bitches

You might remember the craft room in the background here.  You can see more of it in this post.

kids' craft area and basement bar ~ Suburban Bitches

I’ve tried to discreetly avoid showing too much of the granite counter top and the cork flooring that’s because, to put it bluntly, I screwed it up.  The two together are much too busy.  For the most part I give myself a pass on this decorating faux pas.  Picking out granite to go with a cork flooring (without a sample) 9 hours before a scheduled c-section is not a good idea.  One day I’ll remedy this but this one’s pretty far down on  the to do list.

Vintage postcard print ~ Suburban Bitches

Hanging above my daughter’s little art station is the blow up of a love letter to my grandmother from my grandfather sent during World War I.  It makes me happy every time I see it.

burlap photo backdrop ~ Suburban Bitches

All the photos here are from a shoot with Harper Point Studios done when our little one was brand new.  I always mean to redo the photo wall and never quite get around to it.  The little inset at the bottom of the stairs felt so lonely with only the marquis “C” and the family canvas.  I fixed that by wallpapering it with some burlap and trimming it out with a tan seam binding.

On the other side of the staircase is a small work area with a desk that’s been in our family forever and a chair made by my great grandfather.

basement staircase ~ Suburban Bitches

To the left of the desk is the storage room and to the right a guest room.  Sorry, but the guest room is a disaster of hodge podge furniture and randomness and I’m not opening the door. I’m planning on joining in Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge again this April and then I’m going to have throw open the door onto this room.

desk and shelves in basement ~ Suburban Bitches

I haven’t figured out what I want to do with the wall under the scone so for now, I created this little instagram display.

photo decor ideas ~ Suburban Bitches

A little washi tape and some postalpix and there you have it!

Instagram photo display ~ Suburban Bitches

The last door opposite the staircase is a full bath.  The Restoration Hardware near us closed when we were starting on the basement.  I got the mirror and the hardware at a huge discount. I love the ceramic tiles in the bathroom that resemble wood planks.

Bath with restoration hardware mirror and marble counter ~ Suburban Bitches

That’s my basement.  On the next update you’ll see some changes that hopefully don’t include more toys scattered everywhere:

  • more artwork
  • at least something on the walls in the bathroom
  • bye-bye to the air hockey table & replacing it with a long table for artwork and legos (the round table is only a temporary solution)
  • better storage for the toys that are currently housed in the storage room
  • fun pillows for the couch
  • styled bookshelves
  • new wall scones (they were just because I needed to pick something out)
  • and most of all getting the guest room in order

Related posts:

One Room Challenge {Week One of Boring beige laundry room}
A Year of Change Challenge {May project}
Kitchen designs and questions
Styling a modern glam sofa
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11 Responses to Dueling rooms {basement}

  1. Amy Ehmann says:

    Beautiful basements!! I love the washi tape gallery wall! Pinned it! 😉

  2. Rosa says:

    I actually kinda like the flamestitch fabric on the vintage overstuffed armchairs! Just sayin’ 🙂

    • Erin says:

      It is kind of cool Rosa. Actually on-trend right now. But unfortunately it is really faded in places. And I think the chairs might have to find a new home anyways because they aren’t working in any of my spaces right now 🙁

  3. Love this!!! The basement looks fantastic and has me wishing mine was complete already!

  4. Meg says:

    I wish I had a basement now!

  5. Kathy Canonico says:

    Once again, I love it!! Stunning!

  6. amy says:

    Love these rooms and your plans for them! I always think it’s a challenge when a large space like this has so many multi-purpose needs. Can’t wait to see what you do! Also, what is the blue paint in your basement Tricia? I love it and am looking for a soft but not too pale blue!!!???

  7. JillGG says:

    Basements are so hard to figure out! I am trying right now to put together a plan and the space seems so dark and drab – blah! I love that you shared your spaces… mine always has toys and kid crap everywhere too. Glad I am not alone!

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