I realized the other day that while I've shared photos of several parts of our home, but not many of the basement, which is undoubtedly the most transformed space in the house!
When we bought our home, transforming the basement into a playroom for the boys was at the top of the priority list. It was very much an unfinished basement, and we wanted to make it into a bright, warm, and cozy place to play without messing with drywall or carpet.
The first thing we decided to tackle was the "bright" part, which started at top and worked it's way down. After weighing a bunch of options, we decided to paint the ceiling. I like the "industrial" look of a painted ceiling, but most that I've seen are painted black. That look was just too dark for my taste. Instead, we settled on painting the ceiling with a very light gray primer; primer because we were hoping it would stick to all of the different surfaces in the ceiling, which it did beautifully! We invested in a paint sprayer for the job - the Graco Truecoat Plus - which we love. The light gray brightened up the room so well, and Brian added a few more lights down there to help even more.
Next job was to get the insulation secured and the walls framed in. At this point we still weren't sure what kind of walls we were going to put up, but we knew it was going to be something, so Brian busted this job out really quickly.
Next, the floor. I really didn't want to put any kind of actual flooring down, so I started to research painting the concrete. It was cheap, easy, and durable, which is all I was after at the time! The prep includes sanding. Lots of sanding. Then cleaning. Then? Painting. If you've never painted a floor, you're missing out. Seriously. It's.SO.MUCH.FUN. You literally just dump some paint on the floor and push it around with the roller on a pole. Floor painting is the best kind of painting ever!! We decided to use the same light gray primer as we did for the ceiling. Don't do this. Use porch and floor paint. Ours is already chipping :( It's only chipping in spots that had some standing water after the Raining in the Basement debacle of 2014, so maybe it would have chipped even if we had used porch and floor paint, but I've heard that that stuff is pretty durable. Who knows!
So while the primer was drying, I was brainstorming designs. I knew I wanted to paint the floor a light color, but I wanted it to be kinda fun. So while browsing Pinterest I landed on this pin (which apparently leads to some weird link now and Pinterest is blocking it, but you can still see the photo). Sold. I knew the boys would love "driving" their cars on it and I chose to paint over the gray with white paint to further brighten the space. The taping process took a reallllllllllllllllly long time. But it's worth it cuz it's super freakin' cool. When the paint was dry, I sealed it with this wet look concrete sealer from Sherwin-Williams.
After the floor was done, we moved onto the walls. We both loved the idea of a pallet wall, so Brian split some pallets and assembled this gorgeous wall. Keeping with a rustic-industrial look, and avoid the pain-in-the-bum of drywall, we decided to try a faux-brick wall like the lovely Katie did over on Bower Power.
Once the faux brick panels were up, I got to work white-washing them. I did mine a bit differently than Katie did her wall, but the basics were the same. Mix paint with some water (I did roughly a 1:1 ratio), paint it on the brick, let it set for a minute or 2, and then wipe it off. Repeat as needed until you get the finish you're aiming for.
Eventually, we caulked the seams in the brick, but they're fairly conspicuous. And the white-wash finish furthers the "bright", the "warm", and the "cozy" that I was aiming for. Since this was going to be the boys' play space, we also needed toy storage. Industrial pipe shelving is very popular in blogland lately, my 2 favorites being the pantry shelves over at DIY Showoff and the boys' room shelves over at Beneath My Heart. To keep costs down, we used pvc pipe that we spray painted withe some ORB spray paint. For the shelves, Brian ripped a few sheets of plywood and stained it a pretty, dark brown.
So for approximately 20 minutes we had a beautiful basement. And then, the toys moved in. We didn't organize the toys right away, instead focusing on the rest of the house. For a little less than a year, it has just been a pit of scattered toys, occasionally getting picked up, only to be trashed again. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided that I'd had enough and started the organization process.
If you're waiting for beautiful photos of a perfectly organized space, don't hold your breath :) My kids are insanely spoiled (not by their parents!) and have about a million toys. The organization process is happening, but it's happening slowly. My goal is to have it all finished by next week and have beautiful photos to show you!