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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a basement that I've been trying to make into something workable since we bought this house! The total space is around 1000 sqft. Of that, 400 sqft is finished. There's wood paneling and a drop ceiling. The rest is concrete, except for an old coal room that's probably 10' X 10' in one corner.<br><br>
We took up the carpeting in the finished part, so now we have no real flooring. I did buy two huge area rugs, but we'll need to put something else down there. We cleaned out the coal room. Right now it's storage for things that are too small for the kids.<br><br>
I need to figure out something I can do with both spaces that are super-cheap and pretty quick to do. We're good with DIY projects, but I need this space to be usable. I feel it's just too much to go wasted.
 

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That sounds like my house. Our basement is L-shaped. DH's office is in the little part of the L but we need to put up a wall, door and closet to convert it into a bedroom. Although there's no window in that area so we'd want install one. DH gutted out most of the room because we've had insulation and other issues down there and he just left it like that because he got overwhelmed but he wants to work on it again. Our plan is to put a family room so that we can spend time down there while he's working in the evenings in his office.<br><br>
What are your needs? Do you need a computer room, a craft area or playroom? Can you put up shelving for storing off-season bins of clothes or guest bedding? Do you have guest from out of town visit? You could get a futon or inflatable matresses for them to stay there. If it's not too scary.
 

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For unfinished walls, my sister got some colored paint in the clearance section of the hardware store, and let her kiddos go to town. It actually looked really neat, and brightened it up a ton!<br><br>
For flooring, area rugs or off cuts from end of the roll type places work well, or painting the cement with that cement paint with the sprinkles? (Did that make any sense? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)<br><br>
I would make the basement the playroom, personally. I would go to the thrift store and pick up some big giant cushions, and set up all of the toys, make sure it's bright down there.<br><br>
It just depends what you need/want to do with the space.
 

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Personally, I'm a fan of "partially" finished basements. Basements that have some paint on the floor, and paint on the walls, but that aren't hiding anything that can lead to water or mold problems down the line. Those foam tiles or area rugs are the way to go, IMO. That and some paint on the walls can go a long way!<br><br>
I would like to make our basement more useable. It's a weird layout with awkwardly positioned washer and dryer and furnace, so it will take some work to arrange the space so it can be used for SOMETHING!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lil_earthmomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14677688"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It just depends what you need/want to do with the space.</div>
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That's what I'm still trying to figure out! I've never had a basement. No one had them where I grew up, so I'm not sure how other people use theirs. The part that's finished has a doorway that separates it from the rest of the basement. The room is rectangular except for the area where the stairs come down into the room.<br><br>
Right now we have DH's computer down here, and the arts & craft stuff is scattered everywhere. It's become a sort of dump spot for things we don't have a place for or projects that need to be finished.<br><br>
The biggest problem is the lighting. There are 4 lights recessed into the ceiling with a translucent panel over them. I don't know how difficult/expensive it would be to replace those. My only other ideas were to buy cheap lamps and run them around the room. (The problem is too many cords.) Or I thought of getting LED lanterns that are already strung together. The panel is very dark (cherry), and I think painting it probably is the first thing to do.<br><br>
I've thought of painting the ceiling tiles like a sky just for something fun.<br><br>
I like the idea of big pillows. I think that would brighten up the space a lot for cheap. I can get clearance fabric and make pillows for $5 or so. We could use arts space, and I could use an office, which is what I'm thinking of doing with the coal room in the other part of the basement.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BrandiRhoades</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14677996"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've thought of painting the ceiling tiles like a sky just for something fun.<br>
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Love the idea, but in reality (and in my experience) anything other than white makes a basement ceiling feel lower and the space more cramped. You don't really want to draw the eye to the ceiling you want to make it disapear and feel non-existant.<br><br>
I think lots of vertical storage is great for a basement- it gets things off the floor and still gives you a space to store off-season things.
 

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Our basement is a little less than 1000 s.f., and the previous owners roughed out two separate rooms off the main part of the basement. They are our "guest room" and office -- both have concrete floors and unfinished ceilings, but we put large area rugs in both & they aren't too bad. The main part of the basement is all storage. We have rubbermaid tubs on shelves for out-of-season clothing....a freezer & pantry...gun safe, etc. All the stuff I don't need upstairs!<br><br>
We did make the rest of the basement a playroom. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> We bought a large carpet remnant and put shelves, etc., in there for the kids' toys. It is really nice having a separate area for the kids to leave out the Thomas track for a few days.<br><br>
We had a coal room in our last house; I used it for storage & stacked all my rubbermaids in there. HTH.
 

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What about just using it as storage? My basement is divided into four areas, and only one room is finished, that's my husbands 'mancave.' The other area is my pantry (all the rooms are about 1/4 of the basement in a rectangle shape), anothr is the laundry area with a folding table, sewing center, etc. and then the last spot is my husbands tool area, we also have the furnace/water heater and a bike hung there. Btween the laundry and tool area we have a bathroom, and next to th washer area I have large shelves to hold all of our cleaning supplies so they are out of reach of the kids.<br><br>
My pantry stores not only all of our pantry type food items, but all of our appliances I don't use on a regular basis so my kitchen is clutter free. The space under the stairs is used for a "real" pantry on my side (no windows, lots of shelves, completely filled with this seasons canning), and a closet for the mancave on the other side. All of our clothing is hung on the basment (kids clothes are hung under the table used for folding laundry which is a long table that runs almost the length of the room, custom built right in, adult clothes are hung on another rod across the room). I've never had an issue with odor in the clothes or anything from being stored in the basement, as our basement has no odor.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StormySar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14679162"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My pantry stores not only all of our pantry type food items, but all of our appliances I don't use on a regular basis so my kitchen is clutter free.</div>
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Mine, too. I love it.
 

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Some inspiration for you from one of my favourite blogs:<br><a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/" target="_blank">http://www.younghouselove.com/</a> (check out the previous chapers of their basement re-do too)
 

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My father-in-law turned his basement into a family room. There's a mini kitchen and couches down there plus a bunch of board games and a Wii. When my brother-in-law (15) has his friends over they all stay down there and hang out.
 
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