Here is the before:
There's nothing really wrong with the space, I mean, it's a basement. It's basically a room where the kids and their friends hang out. While a complete and total revamp sounds nice, it's just not all that practical. They're teens, they spill things, regularly step on and climb over the sofa with their shoes on ~ they all deny it, but I have video proof ~ and frankly, it's not a room I ever entertain in. However, it was stuck somewhere between playroom and hang out and it bothered me enormously. It didn't function well, had little to no storage and was always a giant mess. The situation needed to be remedied.
The paint was freshened up about a year ago, I can't (well, I'm not going to) change the original pine paneling. The couch and carpet have been around for about a decade, but they are still in really good condition despite the aforementioned "stepping and spilling". I wanted furniture to store my supplies and the kids' games and create an area for some crafting. Above all, I wanted to warm up the room, get rid of all the hand me downs that no longer worked and decorate in a more cohesive fashion.
Step #2: Simplify. It's been my goal for the year and it makes a huge difference in every room. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to manage. I have said it over and over again. We all made some tough choices in this room. There were a ton of memories lurking down here in the form of baby toys and puzzles, books, old DVD favorites and games. We sorted and only kept what we really needed or loved.
Step #3: I started shopping. I found the craft armoire at the thrift store for $98. This one piece of furniture has changed so many other rooms in my house. Boxes and bags of supplies have been moved down here, organized and neat, and I can craft without worrying about cleaning it all away mid-project. It's awesome. Plus it anchors the space with its dark color and height. Perfect in so many ways.
It's a great piece, as it offers warmth and storage, but I don't like what I have to store. None of it goes with the décor, so I added some fabric to the glass doors and bye, bye junk.
Step #5: Get creative with what you already have. I needed to attend to the desk area. The table was an Ikea find from years ago. We stained it green and it has served various functions over the years, most recently, junk collection. That needed to change. The kids occasionally pretend to do homework downstairs and I actually do craft here, but the table was ugly and the space underneath (hiding toys no one is yet willing to part with) is unsightly. I had some fabric I picked up for $10 on the clearance table and I made a skirt to add some charm and hide the Calico Critters and old Barbies. I made this one on rings for easy access.
I love the results. I can craft in style and the kids are absolutely thrilled with their new hangout. They have been "doing their homework" down there with friends much more often lately. I think it's great, I love having a houseful of kids....and I really don't mind the spills, as long as they leave their shoes upstairs.
Next week I'll post a quick tutorial on the table skirt with rings and the glass cabinet fabric. They're super easy projects, pack a powerful decorating punch and both are no sew. Remember to check back if you're interested.
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