Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Friday, March 9, 2012

Basement Dweller DIY

I miss the sunshine.

One of the main reasons we bought our darling little house was the basement, and since it is the most comfortable place for the kids (carpet, baby swing, TV, giant "spill whatever you want on it because it's temporary" Craigslist couch), it is where I spend most of my time. It's a lifesaver, but the windows are small and I always have the TV on for additional wattage and companionship. That sounds sadder than it is, but is in no way ideal.

Before Aidan was born we started to update it, but then life got all out of hand. Even if Gabe hadn't been laid up by his surgery, DIY projects with a toddler in the house are a joke.

So now I sit in the little dungeon every day and dream of renovation projects. And watch other people fulfill renovation projects on HGTV. And read about one couple's fabulous ongoing renovation project at the popular YoungHouseLove blog. And pin renovation ideas to my Virtual Decorator board. And pine for a more visually inspiring underground life.

But yesterday we ordered a new computer. Our 6-year-old desktop served us well, but he's ready to retire. The new computer is beautiful. I shall call him Hewey in honor of his creators, and Hewey deserves a beautiful place to live. He arrives in a week.


Gabe despises anything that requires a paintbrush, but due to the gourmet dinners I have been creating on a regular basis it is easier to talk him into things. (Thank you, food.) Bring on the To Do list!

Here is where we stand:
1. The basement walls are a mushroom color that I like. It looks spectacular next to a bright white trim...but we haven't finished the trim. We also haven't yet edged around the door frames or windows. And maybe I want to switch from mushroom to my favorite wall color ever, True Value's "Boulder," but don't tell my husband (who hates to paint) or my dad (who so wonderfully painted the basement its current color while Gabe and I were in LA on vacation).

2. We really need baseboards. Or maybe beadboard. I don't want to call attention to our low ceilings with crown moulding, but we need something. More art would also help.

3. Once the kids are older, this space begs for a darker carpet (note the stains). And a couch that doesn't produce the super blah brown-on-brown effect that makes professional decorators want to kill themselves. But that's at least a year out.

4. I really want to refinish the Green Monster. It's a great old sideboard that we found, but it desperately needs to be brought into the current decade. I think this will be a great place to try out Annie Sloan's chalk paint. Unfamiliar with chalk paint? You can check out a spectacular chair project here and a mirror update here. Love.

5. De-clutter. Organize. Create a before-and-after worthy of a magazine article.

We'll begin with the built-in desk/bookcase/office section of the dungeon that is currently a super-cluttered playroom. I am going to reclaim it. Well, not fully. We still need a place to put boardgames and toys and piles of miscellaneous grown-up paperwork that need to be filed. But this will be Hewey's home and I want it to be worthy.

That's enough to get us started again, right? I feel pumped. And prematurely exhausted.

Aidan and I are going to pop over for paint samples this afternoon while Jude's at preschool (we need an accent color), and then I need to make Gabe his favorite old-school Sloppy Joes for dinner. He's going to have an aneurism when he reads this post...

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