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Bargain Basement Tour: How To Update A Room

October 03, 2014

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How To Update A Room On A Budget

It doesn't always take a lot of work and money to totally transform a space. Sometimes replacing a few key pieces is all you need to update a room. My basement is one such example.

Here is the before:

Basement Makeover 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.

How to makeover your basement on a budget

Step #1: I spent a little time interviewing the family to find out how they envisioned the room, thought about what I wanted and needed from the space, evaluated the current furniture and decided on a budget.

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.

Step #4: Stick to the budget ~ It pays to shop around.

The Home Depot electric fireplace piece was a real find (not sponsored- I'm just sharing). I had seen one in a high end furniture store for about $3000.00. It was very pretty, I loved it and I knew that a fireplace was just what the room needed, but I was not paying three grand for it.

In my kitchen maybe (did I mention I am getting a fireplace in there? Don't tell my husband.), but not for a bunch of teens to ignore while they watch Netflix.

So I started shopping online and came across this little beauty for $399. It has over 200 four to five star reviews going back to 2012 and it was the perfect size and color. Much better.

Of course, it was a box full of hardware and matchsticks that had to be assembled, but that's ok. You get what you pay for and I wasn't really willing to pay an extra $2600 for assembly.

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.

How To Skirt A Table To Create Storage

Step #6: Add accessories.

Lastly, I added a few new bargain pillows and curtains and I grabbed some pieces from around the house and voilà ~ bargain basement redo.

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.

Hey, before you go, if you're interested, you can check out my new craft space in detail and the super easy projects that transformed by basement. They pack a powerful decorating punch and both are no sew.

Creating Room To Craft In A Small House

How To Add Fabric To Glass Doors

Kim Signature

Post a Comment | 42 Comments

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  1. Hi Kim, your basement looks so pretty and perfect for all your craft projects! Have a nice weekend.

  2. Thanks Julie! I really do like it...a lot! May have to kick those kids out some days! ;) Happy weekend!

  3. Really nice Kim! How on earth did you score that fireplace for $300??? Must be a God-thing! And I see where you did the table skirt thing again, as you alluded to on another post. I'm going to go down to Lowe's (cuz they're closer than HD) and pick up some clip rings for a few projects. It seems I have some somewhere already. . .
    Oh, the discouragement of having tons of 'stuff' and no organization! That is changing slowly but surely. It's not that I'm getting rid of the 'stuff' so much as that P is using DT shoeboxes to separate all the little handy-to-have-around pieces of hardware. Some day. . . I will have my house(s) as clean and organized as your pictures. (and I like the before picture of the desk! Makes me feel normal!)
    Have a great day! See ya on your next post!

  4. What a great update to your basement! This makes me miss having a basement. We had a big basement that we finished ourselves in GA then moved to TX and no basements to be found here. It really cuts down on the stuff you keep - we have attics but its a pain to get in and out of there a lot. I really like the fireplace you got and what you did with it to conceal the items you store. Currently I am having hardwood floor put in my dining room and adjoining living room and it is not all going according to plan - was suppose to be done a couple of days ago but there were some issues and there are here working and hopefully finishing today. Found your post on Say G'Day link up.

  5. Thanks Barbara! It was a long time coming! :) Thanks so much for popping by and taking the time to comment!

  6. Ha! Give it time Nancy and I am sure the desk will be looking "normal" again very soon. Stuff has a way of making its way back into the house. ;)

  7. Kimberlee, thanks so much for the nice comment! I don't know what I would do without a basement. We live in a tiny cottage, so it's great to have that extra space, especially for the kids and their friends. Hardwood floors sound great. We have renovated so many times and nothing ever went according to plan, I feel your frustration! I hope it gets wrapped up today! :)

  8. Good morning, Kim! I just love a transformation, and I love your thinking.

    For 18 years, we've been living in this house and we too had to make decisions on a budget and it was so worth it. Your careful planning and sticking to your budget resulted in a great change for this basement space. I LOVE that fireplace! We found a composite marble mantle at a consignment shop a few years ago and it's now in my studio, and it just so happens that the vent from the heater is in the wall where we placed the mantle. I have an antique metal fireplace box (where wood was placed) and I simply have some flickering lights in there. Voilà!

    I hope you are having a real fall day; it is windy, cool and colorful here. PERFECT!

  9. Kim, I enjoyed this post. There's no reason why every room in the house can't be beautiful as well as functional. Even the basement deserves to look good. I love the transformation of yours, and the fact that you did it frugally is inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to your follow-up posts. xxx ~ Nancy

  10. Anita, we have been budget decorating forever, as well. I don't mind it! It's what puts the thrill in the hunt! How low can I go? ;) Your fireplace space sounds dreamy, yet another feature of your home I must see! We have a gas fireplace in our living room and I adore it, but real or faux a little flicker is all you need! Happy fall to you my friend! :)

  11. Thank you Nancy, you are always so kind. I really love the space now. I am especially happy about the crafting area...the fireplace doesn't hurt either! Thanks for popping by, hope it's a great weekend! xo

  12. Hi Kim! I really want to get some photos of my house to post soon! Today we spent a good amount of time outside and by the time I came in, the sun was strong enough for me to get good lighting. But yes, we too couldn't be happier than having been on a budget all these years. It's taught us to be really creative!

    Enjoy a cozy evening by your gas fireplace! Anita

  13. Ah ... this just feels so good. Love the harvest blocks, the ducks and the rusts and fall green colors. What is pictured in the artwork? Can't tell in the photo. Nice how that picture and the cork board balance on each side of the window. All the wood colors blend so well too. Like the light color of the chair with everything.

  14. Thanks Cheryl! It's always nice to get the stamp of approval from a pro!:) The picture is actually a large painting on tin of a misty forest scene. I found it at Marshall's years ago. It's really neat in person, I just had to have it!

  15. Thanks Anita...and I'm keeping my eyes peeled for those pics! :)

  16. hi Kim,

    The basement looks like a fabulous space and know exactly what you are saying about the kids on the sofas etc. The fireplace must make it nice and cozy in winter.
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend

  17. Wow, love it, looks so cozy and welcoming!!

  18. Wow this is Exquisitely REmarkable :) I already knew about the craft cabinet and that was great but this was fun to view and read about. And thank GOODNESS you made that table skirt so that those Calico Critters got to stay ! :)

    When I was a new grandma, everytime I was in Toys R Us the Calico Critters would call out to me " take me home / you never had anything this cute when you were a little girl...use the grandkids as an excuse"

    After about two years I finally did bring some home :)

  19. Good for you Deb! Why should the kids have all the fun, they truly are darling!I have to admit that I think I like them more than they do! ;)

  20. Hello Tracy and thanks for the comment! I'm glad you like my new basement. I'm almost ready to kick the kids out and settle in myself! ;)

  21. It's so funny, Carolyn, they always say, "We should get a leather sectional down here to really make the place look nice." Then they show my husband and I funny videos they make with their friends and I am always horrified by what I see! So yeah, a new couch is not in the plan quite yet! ;) Thanks for popping by!

  22. First let me say I'm so jealous of your basement! No basements here in our part of the country. I love what you did with the space. It's so organized and pretty..your touches definitely show. That fireplace was a great choice to make! I never in a million years would have thought of that. It really adds to the ambiance, doesn't it? Love the skirt on the table too.

  23. Thanks Stacey! I have to say that I did not come up with the fireplace on my own. I saw one in a furniture store catalog and was smitten. I guess junk mail can be inspirational after all!! ;)

  24. Aw shucks, Jen, thanks! Just don't look too close, I'm a good enough kind of decorator! ;)

  25. Wow! You rocked this makeover for sure, Kim! What a great space! If I were a kid, I'd want to be down there too!! Regarding the pine...I heard somewhere it's coming back. ;) You know the saying....

    Thanks for sharing your makeover with us at Project Inspire{d}!

  26. Thanks so much, Diane! I like the space a lot now, too...and your design news would be music to my ears! It is the original pine, from the 1920' I guess it's about time to be fashionable again! ;)

  27. What a wonderful transformation, Kim! you did a great job of solving some major issues and doing it economically.That is so great that you have such a nice space for your kiddos & friends to hang out.

  28. It really is a lifesaver, Carol. We live in a tiny bungalow, so the basement is prime real estate! Thanks for the comment!

  29. I love it, such an inviting space and I am sure the whole family enjoys it. Great makeover. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  30. Marty, thanks for the kind words! The kids totally love it now...but I'm sure they're still walking on the couch! ;)

  31. This is a really lovely room. I'm in the process of getting my house ready to sell. It's great to come see these blogs and all the lovely comments. I've learned so much about what will help me to sell my house. I agree with you about those old armoires. I have one and love it so much. The storage space inside seems to never end.

  32. Julie, I am so glad you popped by. Thanks for the comment. There really are so many very talented bloggers out there, sharing some truly gorgeous spaces and great DIY ideas. I hope you sell your house quickly and so you can move on to feathering a new nest! :)

  33. Hi Kim, it's amazing how little things like pillows and adding a ruffle can really help to make a room feel more cozy. The armoire and fireplace are great additions that not only are functional, but beautiful to look at as well! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  34. That fireplace is growing on me...who would've guessed I'd be so fond of a lightbulb? ;)

  35. Great space! Wonderful tips! So delighted that you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,

  36. Thanks Kathy! It's always fun to party! :) Thanks for popping by!

  37. Wow, what an update Kim!!!! I love the fireplace you added and that craft armoire?! Just can't believe you updated this entire space on a budget! It looks great! Now I know your whole family is enjoying and proud of this space!

  38. Thanks Vel! I really love the space, for too long, it was just a messy playroom! You're right, now it works for everyone! :)

  39. Kim, that's now a stunning and family friendly room. I love the little nook with the desk and chair. It looks amazing, and comfortable, and I love way you've done it.


    1. Thank you, Jen! It was a real mess for a long time…toddler toys and primary colors all over the place. I am happy with it now, too…

  40. What great ideas you have for being frugal and functional!!! So nice too that the kids want to hang out down there with their friends! Nancy

    1. Thank you, Nancy! I’m super happy that the kids still want to hang out at home. :) Thanks for the visit!