Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Game Room

Our basement used to be a dungeon. It was dark with low ceilings, cement floors, and a ton of wasted space. There were pipes, wires and ducting laced throughout so you had hold your head in a constant duck. There was water damage and tiny windows which were screwed shut. We haven't solved all of the problems down there, but we have a couple of nice little rooms carved out.

This is the game room. I chose the pink and orange color palet based on the Candy Land board game. It is bright and open--and not basementy.

This wall, in particular, was a mess. There was an ancient workbench with live wires dangling above it. It was all painted a dirty teal and the floor was 100 year old cement. We pushed and pulled and shoved and cried the heavy workbench into the opposite side of the basement and built a wall to seperate the rooms. I re-wired and put in canned lights with an actual wall switch, rather than the several chains that teased you from across the dangerous room.

The built in cabinets were a total surprise. I took "before" pictures, but I can't find them anywhere. I'll try to describe the disaster.

One panel of glass was painted car primer gray, another was covered in press board. On the other cabinet, one panel was broken with shards sticking out (a special treat for my children, I'm sure) and the other had peg board nailed to the front of the cabinet door. The doors were completely painted shut with the same dirty teal and there was a huge, dead fridge parked in front of it all.

You can tell it's getting toward the end of the season because many of my canning jars are empty. (:

When the room was finished, I went to my books and picked out a selection based solely on color.

This is one of my favorite parts about the room. The books were chosen because of their color, but look at what fabulous books are on that shelf! Edgar Allen Poe, Robinson Crusoe, Cheaper By the Dozen, George Bernard Shaw, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Watership Down, Robert Louis Stevenson, A Little Princess, Little House on the Prairie, A Wrinkle in Time and so on. What a wonderful library we are building, if such a criteria as color displays a selection of great works.

I have a little work yet to do, but at least it is a safe, enjoyable room, now. Oh, yeah. . . WITH CARPET! Ahhh, so nice.


  1. Look how well it all turned out!
    Great job! Will you give us a tour the next time book club meets at your house? Awesome!

  2. Wow! This is so beautiful. I still have the before picture in my mind - you have worked hard & done a great job!

  3. There is a story in our shared family history that one of our grandmother's would hide the empty canning jars so that the men would stop bringing home stuff to can. I will have to find it...

  4. I remember the before. Wow Emily- night and day.

    When I came to your house the basement was just food storage-

    I was wondering about your living situation- because you had 4 children in one room last time I was there. Has it changed? I remember feeling bad for complaining about having 2 in a 2 bedroom apartment after visiting your home.

  5. WOW!!!!
    I have seen the actual before basement and I CANNOT believe I am looking at the same room!
    I would be jealous (because of my unfinished basement), but I can only imagine how much hard work went into the transformation, so I have no right to be jealous. You're amazing!

  6. It was not only fun, practical, and beautiful, but it was comfortable, warm and so inviting... It became the guest room while I was there and it could not have been more perfect. Color makes such a difference, the effective lighting, the clean lines and well constructed workmanship all added up to a complete 180 from what it had been. Well done!

  7. Lookin good! I love it. I want mine to be finished, too.

  8. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing it with me this weekend...sorry about your air mattress, costco is delivering a replacement in 7-10 days...Love you!