From storage space to finished basement

September 24, 2012

As many of you know, we finally finished our basement this year. I say finally because we’ve lived her for 8.5 years and every four months or so of the past five we’ve said, “now we’re going to finish it!” And never did. :)

I thought it would be fun to show you some before, before pics of the basement, back when it was truly storage and a DUMP, and then show it now. Just because before and afters are my favorite. :)

I’ll start with the grody stairs:

When we decided to start using the space (years ago), even while it was unfinished, my first goal was to make those steps safe for my boy, who was just a wee one back then. We had cheap carpet installed and a I painted the walls, which helped a ton.

But now it’s even prettier with new (nice) carpet, new paint and light. Oh and a wood wall:

DIY wood planked wall dark stain

Like I said, for years the basement was purely storage. Storage for the insane amount of crap I didn’t need:

I organized that area and made it into my craft room:

messy basement

But you can tell by that pic that it rarely stayed organized. I had a STUFF problem. :)

Now, that spot looks like this:

Mohawk carpet honored tradition

Hallloooo…so. much. better!

Here’s where the real scariness began:

Told you. :)

And here is that same area now:

basement carpet

It actually looks even better now, cause we got furniture! WHOO! It’s made a HUGE difference down there. Can’t wait to show you.

And the amazing amount of stuff continued around the corner:

I have to tell you – I have gotten rid of an INSANE amount of clutter over this process. It has been a true eye-opening experience for me. For years I would purge the basement, and then it would become a pit of despair again…and I would do it all over. It made me aware of just how much stuff I don’t need – I don’t miss much of it. If any.

Now that spot looks like this:

basement blue gray walls

Well, it did a few weeks ago. I’ll show you the new furniture soon. :)

Here’s another before shot looking back into the space:

And here it is when it was finished:

Mohawk carpet honored tradition

(Can you find the little photo bomber?)

I say “finished” lightly – still so many things to do. The bathroom is still only about a third done. I’m getting anxious to get that moving – I’d love to have it done for the winter movie nights we plan to have down here. :)

We LOVE this space and I have so many plans for decorating it! I’m trying to force myself to get the bathroom done before I start on more fun stuff. :)

You can see more of our basement over the years and the finishing process here. And you can see more of our loft, (including the book nook!) which used to be the playroom, here.

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  1. Looks great! I posted the before pictures of our basement...we just moved in our place a week and a half ago! :)

  2. Your basement really came out great. What a wonderful place to relax together. Our house is 100 years old, so our basement has a stone foundation and low ceilings, so forgive me while I get a tiny bit jealous. :D

    Have a great week Sarah!

  3. This is so inpsiring. Our basement looks just like your before pics. Although it's a finished space, it's still used as a storage (dumping) area. I've got to show this to my hubs. Maybe he'll be inspired to help clean it up! Thanks for sharing the reality pics. ~ Angie

  4. Your basement looks awesome! Great transformation! A family can get so much use of a finished basement. Enjoy.

  5. Don't you love having it finished?! It looks so great! I love that planked wall! Thanks for the party - I love snooping around other peoples homes ;)

  6. This looks great. I have the same issues however I don't have a basement. Can you please share your paint color?

  7. Looks grrrreat
    You don't wanna see mine! Upstairs looks great but that is my um catch all zone!!

  8. it's not a basement when we put this much time and money into it is it? call it a terrace level instead! :)

  9. So jealous. We just moved and ours looks like your before. I need to get it organized before winter sets in!! Maybe today is a good day to start the purge!

  10. My play/computer/ guest/ craft room is beginning to look a lot like your 'before' basement since I've started doing more crafts and I hate to put it all away in the middle of a craft! There is room to get to the computer and you can kinda get to the twin bed if someone actually spends the night! Anway, you have given me the 'get it done' bug! Hope I can before Christmas!

    By the way, your new basement looks great!

  11. thanks for hosting this! linked up the first "real" post about my basement close. sooo close!

    i've told you before, your stairway wall rocks!

  12. What a change! Our basement is VERY similar -- it's been a work in progress since we bought the house 3 years ago. Currently we have drywall up in the main room, started mudding, and doors on the other rooms... I'd always said I wanted it done before my oldest daughter started crawling -- she's now 2 1/2. :-P

  13. Great job! I bet that was a lot of work!



  14. I love the color in your basement. Do you happen to remember the name?

  15. Love it. Looking at your pics I am regretting there is not basement in my house... :(

  16. Love your basement! Must have been some work getting it to the point it is now. Not too many basements here in TX, especially here in Austin - limestone under the topsoil makes it too expensive to chisel through, but I'd love to have that extra space.

  17. Your basement looks great and the color is perfect. It really looks like a great place to hang out! Thanks for hosting!

  18. love them all and when living in Midwest yeap basements but in Texas few,either a custom home or some times a older home

  19. Sarah, I think your basement looks great! Your story reminds me of when we lived in Michigan. Our basement was a pretty scary place--red shag carpet and 1970's paneling. In a 1918 Dutch Colonial house. But we needed that space for playing, especially in the winter!! So one of the first things we did was to rip up the red shag carpeting. We couldn't afford new carpet at the time, so my husband painted the floor with grey porch paint--and then he painted on stripes like an airport runway. The boys were just little tikes then, and they absolutely loved it!

    Our rec room (I still like that term, too) space is now our bonus room, which I have FINALLY gotten around to actually decorating. It's not exactly haute couture, but I like it! And it's no big deal if teenage boys mess it up. :)

    Have a great week!

  20. Wow! These are some awesome spaces! Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Beautiful basement...You did such a fantastic job...I just love the color scheme!!

  22. Wow.. Really looks cool now! When I am seeing the past and present pictures, I was blown away! Really awesome transformation.

  23. I love it! What color paint is on the walls?
    Thanks for sharing!

  24. GREAT JOB! Holy cow I can understand the clutter issue! I don't have a basement but I have had storage spaces in the past that looked just like that. I love in a town house now and I remember that purge, rinse, repeat process.. icky to say the lease. Congrats on your BEAUTIFUL newly finished space. I can just feel the gratification you must feel! :)

    - Jessanne

    PS - I seriously love your blog, thanks for writing to us!


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