Aug 14 2007

basement decorating #1

Published by at 11:46 pm under amy's head,daily,house,kids,to-do

You thought I was kidding about turning this spot into a design blog.

Well I wasn’t! I’m all a-flurry with ideas and I must get them out somewhere!

Here is the basic dimensions of our big room in the basement. I’ve dropped some furniture in there too, but it’s all up for grabs at this point.

Created with EQ3’s Room Planner:


There are 3 basic areas this room will have. TV viewing/seating area, kids play/toy area, and my sewing area. Right now I think I want 2 to be the toy area, and 3 to be the sewing area.

I’ve been collecting ideas on all three of these areas, but I’m going to try to consolidate all those thoughts right here over the next few weeks.

Starting with the kids’ play area! First off, I’ll be so glad to get their toy/play area out of our front room and downstairs. Of course, after that happens, I’ll need some furniture to GO in that front room, but let’s take this one step at a time, shall we? 🙂

So.. take a look at the #2 area. The door goes into what will someday be the bathroom, but is now just part of the concrete-floored utility room. We also plan on moving that door to the other wall at some point.. but that is in the distant future and I’m not figuring it into our current plans.
The kids need to good bit of toy storage, and what we currently have going is assorted plastic bins of various sizes and colors filled, and sitting on the lower shelves of a normal sized bookshelf. It works, but the bins stick out a bit and it’s just generally not pretty.

I’d like to get a white expedite bookcase, 2×4 cube size, laid on it’s side, with white or colored boxes/bins in each cube for toy storage.

I’d love to do something like this for the surface of the bookcase for the kids to draw and play:

Need to make sure the bookcase on it’s side would be tall enough for them. Could I attach some short legs to it? Interesting idea.

Above the bookcase, I’d like to hang some of the ikea kitchen caddy’s for storing smaller items (crayons, markers, miscelaneous lego dudes, etc.)

And then further up on the wall, some floating white shelves that would be parent-only reachable.

I love these two chairs from Ikea and know the kids would LOVE them:

2 svinga ikea chairs $60/each


2 egg chairs, blue $70/each

I’m not sure how these will work. I would love to incorporate them, but I’m not sure it’s possible in that space… the door is problematic and I wouldn’t want to hang them in front of the back wall.. If you look at the floor plan, you can see how I tried to place them (i used the dimensions for the hanging chairs) on either side of the door. Of course, if I used the egg chairs, the kids could move them all over as needed. I wish that door was gone already. Anyway. Need to think on it.


Little knees on hard floor does not a happy camper make!

3×4 FLOR puzzle rug tiles (would equal approx 5′ x 6.5′ in size)
undecided on color, but probably blue or green
cost: $15.99 / tile = $192

Less fancy FLOR:

I could buy two of these prepackaged dealios from Target ($60/each for a total of $120) for the same size rug (12 tiles). I will miss the puzzle pieces though – I just LOVE THEM!

other rug ideas (cheaper)
sew 2 or 3 of these together:

Barnslig Rand, $20/each ($60 for 3)

And this just struck me… we already have a road playmat rug currently residing right in our front entry, andwhile it is on the small side, we could just put that down there in lieu of something new.. It definitely will need to go somewhere, as it is used heavily! I guess in my head, I figured that it would stay on the main level with a bin of cars. Hmmm.

I’m referencing Ikea a lot aren’t I? What can I say. It’s because it’s cheap. And easy to link. And for kids… Ikea just makes sense. Moving on…

On the back wall, I’d like to paint the bottom half(ish, maybe bottom 1/3) with magnetic black chalkboard paint



and the top half a bright color. I thought at first gray would be cool, but since it’s the toy area, I’m thinking a blue or green. will depend on the other main color of the room.

Oooh, I almost forgot.. I also would like to put ceiling to floor curtains on that back wall – the one with the window (which is one of those tiny, up high basement windows, by the way). They will likely be pulled back at all times, but I think it will make a storybook sort of feel, especially to whatever the kids are drawing on the chalkboard wall. What sort of fabric for that however, I’m clueless on. I love so many fabrics, but at the same time, fabric kind of scares me. More on that later when I expound on my ideas for my crafty sewing corner.

So those are my thoughts for the toy area! Any thoughts? Would love some more ideas. In my mind, it all works together wonderuflly, but working with that floor plan was kind of a eye-opener.. Not sure it would actually work in that space, but I guess we will see. This whole thing is going to be a big work in progress for a while, since it will be put together bit by bit rather than all in one fell swoop.. For example, I think the chairs would be a good christmas present for the kids.


Probably a brown. Not too dark, as this is a basement we’re talking about. Although if I keep the furniture light, a dark espresso might look stunning. Oh decisions! I figure that the main color will go everywhere, with 2 accent walls – The kids chalkboard wall, and the small little wall in my sewing nook. the rest will be the main color.

How beautiful is this gray featured in domino magazine???

I like this light brown – and how cool is that ceiling? I think it works so well here because of those super tall ceilings. I wonder how it would work with normal ceilings. Could use that color for the upper half of the chalkboard wall in the kid’s nook..

Also quite fancy these colors as well:

Mmmmmmm. Yes. I like that. I definitely like that.

I also need to keep in mind the green color that is through the door into james’ office.

And I also need to remember that the color will have to carry up the staircase onto the main level too. Ooooh that gray is looking better and better! I think I need to resist.

Isn’t this fun? I think so. I’m having a ball. Since I’m a decorating clueless person, any thoughts anyone wants to offer me is VERY welcome 🙂

– amy can’t figure out what her style is.

One response so far

One Response to “basement decorating #1”

  1. Heatheron 16 Aug 2007 at 12:22 pm

    The play area seems a little small, I can just picture it spilling out all the way to the couch. I think it would be really cool if you scooted the sideways bookshelf to the left and built a little stage for twirling on (and other dramatic play) in it’s place. Or maybe it would be better on the blank wall just below the play space? Can’t you just picture the curtains and the twirling and the musical performances, what fun!
    I would include a bookshelf or some type of storage for the sewing area also, for patterns, books, fabric, and supplies.
    Looks like a great room, so many possibilities!