I Hate Our Basement

When friends come over to our split level house they say, “It must be so nice to have a basement to throw all the toys in so you can have adult space upstairs!” 

Then they go upstairs and they say, “Oh.”

The problem with having a basement stuffed full of toys and trampolines and art supplies and cuddle lounges and a panic room is that the kids want to go down there all the time.  I HATE going to the basement.  It is cold and dingy and I can’t bake cookies in it.

Here are our earliest basement pictures—what we moved into.  As far as basements go, it has some good bones:




Here’s what the basement looks like today (well, technically yesterday):


So what’s your advice: do we stick with the natural wood or go white on the shelving?  I’ve always loved that the wood warms up the look of the basement, but my style is more clean-line and modern.

Should I go for something more like one of these (minus the hardwoods—we can’t do them down there)?



Or should we run with the woody look, pardon my French, and do something more like one of these?



Or do we try to do both, like this?


We’re not going all-out like we did for the bedroom because I want to continue to not care when the carpet gets spilled and/or pooped on and/or lit on fire.  What we are going to do is change the fireplace to gas and retile it (black??), plus get rid of the annoyingly huge TV to go for a flat screen above the mantle.  I don’t love TVs above mantles, but it is just the basement and I don’t think we really have a different choice.  The opposite wall doesn’t work b/c you would need a couch in front of the fireplace to watch it, and the wall to the right doesn’t work because I don’t want to always have a couch dividing the middle of the room, which doubles as a baseball field at times.

The poll lines are open; please call in.

And if any of you want to come stand in my basement and give me opinions, I will cook you any meal you heart desires.  Seriously.

4 thoughts on “I Hate Our Basement

  1. What’s going on here? NONE of the before pictures looks like your basement. Where’s the train set? And the mini trampoline? And hundreds of blocks and Lego pieces strewn over the floor? Not to mention abandoned clothing and random art projects?

  2. 3 words, easy bake oven. But seriously why not put a kitchen downstairs? So when Vincenzo is hiding out in the basement trying to make out with his girlfriend in 10 years you can be ready to interrupt with freshly baked cookies! (I like the woof and stone look)

  3. Hi! I love your master by the way…so I think you are really talented and don’t need my ideas….but I totally know that having other opinions validate yours always makes a big decision easier. I would definitely do the white wood (or off-white). I think it will really lighten up the whole area. Also, if you use oil based paint (ie maybe call in someone to do it or go away for a weekend when it is being done) it will be easier to wipe down and do necessary clean-ups. Also, if you are thinking about a sofa for the space, Ikea has great options with slipcovers.

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