Obviously, the ultimate goal of a new home is to have it all in pretty/sparkly/brand-spankin’-new condition, with as many bells and whistles as your little heart desires (or wallet can afford).
We have the same dream for our home. We’ve already batted around about a dozen different unfinished basement ideas, ways we’d love to remodel the huge blank slate that is our basement. Obvious considerations include a wet bar, a movie room, a man cave, and a playroom.
Here is a shot of one corner of our basement, taken when we were still in the midst of closing.
The wood beam to the right of the photo is the wall of the stairs leading up to the main level. Behind the photographer runs the long end of the basement, all wide open. We got to keep the freezer in the corner over there as well.
Once we closed, there was really not much left in the basement. Such wide open space seemed so wasted; we didn’t really have much to store down there at first, and even so, it runs the FULL length of the house. LOTS of room.
I really wanted a place for the kids to run and play on cold or rainy days. The unfinished aspect actually lends itself to the perfect chance to ride bikes and things indoors. I mean, what are they going to hurt?? I also thought maybe the dog would love to run and chase tennis balls down there, but he has yet to set foot on a single stair heading south. I guess it is a thing, dogs not liking basements. Weird.
Anyhoo, I decided to start creating a comfortable space for the kids in the basement corner. I wanted to make certain there was no issue of them hitting heads on exposed pipes and things, or breaking faces (or other body parts) on the hard concrete floor. A little padding was in order!
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The first thing I did was grab some of those foam alphabet mats – well, actually, a few of them. I ordered them off of Amazon, as well as hitting up a few online yard sales to get them a little cheaper.
To help block some of the low pipes, I strategically placed furniture, including J’s pop up Cars tent, wooden table, and play kitchen. We picked up a free TV stand and a yard sale TV to keep down there, and lucked into a clearance leather couch for cheap. When our friends moved, they donated their old canvas cloth from their unfinished basement to ours.
We had a few little pop up tents and things of J’s to use to block off one corner of the room. A section of the Play Yard served to block off another low pipe, and we placed his little wooden table and chairs in front of it to further deter exploration. The foam mats do an awesome job of cushioning the hard floor.
J’s train table (still housing his Cars GeoTrack like it did in his old Cars room), fits beautifully in the space, right in front of our clearance sofa. Spiderman was a gift from J’s uncle at his Avengers Birthday Party, and found a new home in the playroom. If you think I’ve never had a total freak out forgetting he’s down there, you’d be wrong. Those eyes….
The canvas cloth from our friends worked perfectly to sort of separate the space. We hung it along one side to cut off the playroom space from the rest of that side of the basement, where our second fridge and freezer live, alongside a bunch of boxes and storage.
The walls got a little more interesting by hanging up paper party decorations leftover from J’s birthday, and one wooden art board I created out of a bit of trim wood and some over sized wooden clothespins from Michaels. I used Liquid Nails to adhere it to the concrete wall, and we love to display J’s latest artwork.
It may not be the Hilton, and it certainly isn’t the space I envision for the long haul, but it functions perfectly in the interim. It really is awesome to have a space for the kids to go when our friends come over, a place they can have “semi” privacy and we can hear ourselves think! Of all the unfinished basement ideas I could have come up with, this one is working for me.
What would you do (or have you done) with an unfinished basement?
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