Friday, February 8, 2013

The Playroom - Before and Our Plans

 Still taking a short break from the condo tour to share a little more of the new house with you. Alright, prepare yourselves for some more "before" pictures, just in case yesterday's post didn't scare you enough...  
Today' we'll be taking a closer look at the basement playroom.
Let me tell you all about the basement first. One of the things we absolutely loved about our new house was that there was a lot of space in the basement. The basement consists of a main rec room (which is fairly small as far as rec rooms go, but perfect for a couch, TV and some storage), a scary laundry/furnace room, a big storage room, a teeny bathroom, and three additional rooms. 

Anyway, as I said, the basement could be great, but it didn't show very well. I think the photos might look nicer than it felt in person. Let's get looking...

Okay, start by coming down the stairs (ignore the previous owner's belongings). The carpet is staying, for now (we figure it is safe for kids, and we won't mind if the little ones are rough with it for the next few years. Oh, and we don't have the money to change it, ha ha). The wall colour is not staying.
Okay, now that we're down here let me show you the little playroom. 
 Listed as a bedroom, the previous owners seemed to use it to store bed parts. And to bounce on their mini trampoline.
The room also featured double connecting closets! The downside of course being that they are under the stairs and so tiny that you couldn't actually use them to store clothes. But these closets are why this room was chosen by us as the playroom. Though useless for storage, this feature is fantastic as a crawl space for a Benjamin. I have plans for this little nook under the stairs! 
Did I mention the crawl space/closets have one other odd feature? Inside is a power outlet with lots of loose wires hanging out, which the previous owners had simply covered with masking tape. A quick test revealed that they are in fact live wires, just hanging out of the wall, threatening to shock you or set the house on fire. Obviously, this was on the top of our to do list and has already been taken care of. Phew. 
Next up - this big exposed beam in person looked like there was something seriously wrong with the house's structure. A thorough home inspection revealed that there is no problem with it, just that it was an odd choice not to drywall it (or even paint it). We are currently having it drywalled over so the room will look totally finished. 
 Oh, and we are replacing the door. All of the basement doors, actually. 

A great feature of this room is the big, bright window. It looks into the backyard. This window, along with all of the windows in the house, is actually brand new. High quality new windows were a big selling point for us. 
 At first we thought we'd keep the light fixture, but two of the lights are broken/not easily fixed, so it is getting the heave ho.
 And that brings me to the carpet. Unlike other spaces down here, this room is fully carpeted in soft carpet. However, said carpet has served as a litter box for a cat or two for some time. As I'm writing this, the carpet is already gone and new laminate floors (which we'll run throughout the basement) await installation.
And finally, the walls. The walls are, with the exception of the big beam, all nicely drywalled - including the ceiling. We can't say that about the basement office, laundry room, storage room, or guest room -- so this is a major plus for the playroom. But the wall finish has taken abuse and needs a good coat or two of primer and paint to really look its best. Here's an up close of how the walls look, as it is hard to see in the other photos. 
Very soon, I'll post progress photos of how this room is coming along. Exciting!
And here's what we have in mind for putting the room together for Ben and his new sibling.

We don't have especially grand plans for the room, but I can show you a few things we've decided on. In addition to changes in flooring, window treatments, and the drywalling I mentioned, we are also repainting. The whole basement is going to be done in Benjamin Moore's White Down. It is a creamy, antique white with the subtlest yellow undertones. In a basement I think it tricks you into thinking there is more natural light. The trim will all be Benjamin Moore Dune White. 
The old broken light fixture is going to be replaced with a simple, inexpensive one from Ikea (the large Alang fixture)
For loads of storage, we're again hitting up ikea, this time for a big Expedit shelving unit. We haven't bought this yet as I'm stalking craigslist and kijiji in the hopes of finding a used one for less money.
We also got some of these fun baskets from 3 Sprouts Organics, which we bought when they were 35% off on Boxing Day from The boxes fit right into the expedit cubbies. We got some toy baskets too to stand on the floor and corral stuffed animals and whatnot. Here's a few of them. You might remember we had a little mouse caddy by this company in his old room (here). It will wind up in the playroom as well. Anyway here's a few of the storage bins:
We also have a small storage white bench originally from Pottery Barn Kids that used to belong to my sister Alicia when she was small (she is nearly 18!). 

Here is what we're on the hunt for to eventually finish off this space:
1. Play table (round) and 2-4 play chairs. We are searching for a thrift store coffee table that we can paint and turn into a play table, but no luck so far...
2. A rug
3. Window Treatments (probably a roman shade, or a DIY faux roman shade)
4. Artwork -- though we are going to go through everything we have before buying new. Hoping something from Ben's old room will work! And maybe even framing a few of Ben's scribbly drawings that I love so much.

And that should do it!

Can't wait for this space to come together. A dedicated space for toys and play means that my living room stands a chance of not being overrun by Benny's little friends. Hoorah!

Have a lovely weekend,
Love Jenny xo


  1. all I can say is that basements seem scary at times! I hope you get your basement looking less scary soon, lol.

  2. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you're working with? I'm planning to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely unique.
    P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had
    to ask!

    Also visit my web page quantrim truth
    my page :: where to buy quantrim

  3. Can't wait to see all the after projects.

  4. I love a basement playroom. Can't wait to see your transformation! Such a great space to have. Thanks for sharing, liz

  5. Those baskets for the expedit shelves are great! especially the peacock. And tunnel fun!

  6. I found you from Sugar Bee Crafts! I'm your newest follower via GFC. I host Fluster Creative Muster Party on Wednesdays and I would love it if you would come by and party with us. Hope to see you there!

    Hugs, Smiles, and Blessings,

    Fluster Buster


Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you and read each and every message :)