When we bought our home one of the things we had to do to pass inspection was to make some repairs in the basement walls. It was disgusting down there! The previous owner had huge dogs, or some similar stinky creature and it was dusty and nasty! They painted the outside of the house (with a broom I think) so the door looked so lovely when you opened it, I'm sure I was not supposed to notice anything else!
Before we moved in:
We made the repairs and my husband suggested we paint the plaster walls to make the place more decent. We had gallons of paint around so we mixed it all together and got huge brushes and painted. After a few feet he remarked that it was like painting the moon. I bet the moon is cleaner!
While we worked hard for 10ish years to make the places we actually used daily inside the house better, the basement became the "catch all" for all of our tools and supplies. I did venture there regularly since the washer and dryer are down there and after some time my husband moved his musical stuff there and it became a place to practice. We bought a better washer and dryer and the band added a drummer and I swept and cleaned, but the basement remained a disaster area. The band guys didn't seem to mind, but I did. When we put in a new back door with beautiful open window panes and the lovely southern sun began to stream inside I could take it no longer and it was time to fix up the moon!
The mess of 10 years:
It was gross. We had taken all the carpet and rugs that were in the rest of the house to put down on the cold cement floors. I cut them up and hauled them out. It was grosser than gross. Then I cleared out everything and scrubbed the floors... a lot. Then I scrubbed them again. Now it was time to paint the moon... again. I had just been to a coffee club that had painted their walls in chalkboard paint and I loved the dull black. When I priced chalkboard paint I went with the next choice I could afford. Deep charcoal. It didn't cover perfectly, leaving some white spots I could not get paint into, but it was such a huge improvement I kept at it. It was so worth it! Then I painted the floor.
I bought two pieces of indoor/outdoor carpet and painted an old bureau and filled it with tools. Anything I didn't want to see and didn't toss I put behind curtains in two places. By the tool bureau, in the little room are my holiday and seasonal decorations and my cleaning supplies. Next to the AC unit are all of the table saws and large tools. All hidden!
Air hockey table on painted floors after painting the walls:
The new laundry area, tool bureau and carpet. I put a skirt around the basin that hides bug sprays and rose food and stuff. On the bureau are my laundry supplies:
I took an old bureau from the guest room and put the TV and stereo on top. All the curtains are the cheapest muslin I could find ripped and then sewn only for the casing to put on the curtain rods:
I had these neat window clings that looked good nowhere else in the house, but looked great on the old basement windows. Magical!
In the main area I got a cheap futon then I gathered up a bunch of picture frames and printed out our favorite musical artists. I couldn't nail into the crazy walls so I stapled gross grain ribbon to the back top of the frame and then stapled the other end of the ribbon to the rafters in the ceiling and the pictures hang down. The little black cabinet on the left has now been replaced with a tiny black refrigerator:
The Original Basement Door:
The New Door:
It was a huge job, I did alone, but it was worth every minute and all the aches and pains. When I walk in and out of that door from the yard on a lovely summer day I still, after two years, cannot get over how much I now love my basement!