The Basement Three Years Later {Before & After}

It’s amazing how things can change so much with the littles in the course of three too-fast years.  The littles have gone from playing side by side either with Mommy or within sight of Mommy on the main level to playing together and running hog wild just far enough away from Mommy in the basement.  And, now that they are bringing home more and more schoolwork, with an increasing need for the computer (math games, spelling city, research projects, blog assignments and more) and there is a definite need for a dedicated quiet space, we’re turning our playroom into a family office and trading out some of our adult space in the basement for a growing boy cave.  I’ve shared our progress on the family office, but I haven’t yet shared how our basement has changed as part of the trickle down effect.  In fact, I don’t believe I’ve shared anything about our basement since we first made it over three years ago!  As a little refresher, here is the awful space we started with…


It was dark, damp, dirty and had mold lurking behind the walls.  Hence what necessitated the total DIY overhaul (after professional mold remediation and water sealing, of course).  You can go back to my original reveal for all of the sources, details and progress reports. 

Stairway / Gallery
We’ve added a few new pictures to the mix, but overall it’s very much the same.
July 2011 151
basement 8 

TV Room
Big Joe made his way down here sometime over the last few months, we’ve added an xbox and we’ve taken out the two ikea coffee tables.  (The legs broke off of one and the other was just always in the way.)  It’s a rare day that the cushions are actually ON the sofa.  They are generally employed as the walls of some sort of fort or hideout.

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The Bar
We still use the wine fridge, but we’ve stored all the bar ware down under the sink, moved the liquor to a cabinet upstairs and now use the shelving to display Georgia Tech memorabilia and the littles’ growing trophy collection.  The timing just seemed right to get rid of all the bar stuff, not to mention it was only a matter of time before a stray nurf dart or mini basketball broke the lot of it to smithereens.  The sink has remained great for washing out paint brushes and cleaning up dirty hands, and I love having the dishwasher down here when entertaining.  We still display our collection Georgia Tech football programs in every free square inch.
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Buffet and Dining/Crafting/Gaming Area
The dining table has been usurped as a stand in ping pong table and the littles’ (and Honey) are cooking up a way to fit a foosball table down here come Christmas (apparently all three are ONLY going to put a foosball table on their Christmas lists…talking about ganging up on someone).  The mini fridge is stocked with kid friendly, self serve beverages and we use all of those cabinets to store games, puzzles and art supplies (and a few serving pieces/dishes). 

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may 2011 024 (2) copy

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Pool Table / Toy Storage
This side of the room hasn’t changed in a very obvious way.  Mainly, we’ve finally moved all of the toys down here into what was mostly empty baskets.  The wii is hooked up to this TV and the littles sit ON the pool table to play.  (Don’t ask…Honey approves of this.)

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Honey and the boys have even drilled these nurf baseketball goals into the walls and scooted the “ping pong” table out of the way in order to fit in a mini basketball court.  I obviously picked up the smattering of hot wheels tracks, forts, super hero battle arenas and lego structures that are usually littered about.   It’s almost always a mess, but I call it a happy mess :-)

April 2014 314 copy 
This will hardly the the last evolution of the space (I’m already tired of the yellow, although it is pretty necessary in a GT room :-)  ), but it’s in a great place now for two young boys and their lot of scurvy friends :-)  Just having all the toys and games downstairs has helped immensely with distractions during homework and reading times.  And the added bonus is that I just pull the door at the top of the stairs closed at the end of the day and forget it even exists.

24 thoughts on “The Basement Three Years Later {Before & After}

  1. So awesome to have a space for the boys to call their "own" – we are working toward that now, but our room is at the TOP of the stairs (our overly large finished bonus + bath) instead of the bottom. I envy you being able to shut it all away!

    Hope your foot is better – have a great week! xo

  2. We just turned part of our Carolina room into a homework station for our 6, 8 and. 10 year old daughters. It's the one area of the house I stress them keeping organized and they love it!

  3. Perfect timing, Amanda! We're in the middle of finishing our own basement!! I love all the great ideas, but I am most excited about banishing toys down there- 'happy mess' indeed!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Such a perfect space for the boys! I agree, it's so nice to be able to keep the toys in one area and shut the door when you need to hide the mess. When our playroom was upstairs, the toys would always make their way to other part of the the house a lot easier!

  5. Looks big enough for a blog readers' party to me! ;)
    It's smashing! I love it, especially the chevron painted wall, behind the bar.

    Jane, SD

  6. I envy you being able to condense the toys down to one bookshelf…we are still at the stage of ride on & toy kitchens. All in due time though. And yes, shutting the door to it all is priceless.


  7. We call our basement "the toy pit" since most of the kiddos toys are down there. I totally agree with you that it helps the first floor be distraction free. Well almost ;)

  8. Love your basement When my children were babies, my husband finished our basement(let's just say I should have called on my engineer friends rather than letting my lawyer husband do it) and we moved all the toys there from our living room. It was great, like you say, to just be able to shut the door on the mess. They are both in college now and while I have gotten rid of most of the toys, I haven't really reclaimed the space as they still use it for friends when they come home from college. It's nice to be the house the kids come to!

  9. I was wondering what you painted your basement stairs with? Also, how have they held up?


  10. I was wondering what you finished your painted stairs with? Also, how have they held up?


  11. Cami – we used an oil based paint and they have held up remarkably well. The stairs going up to our top floor are also painted in black oil based and, they could use some touching up now after 5 years of heavy use. Amanda

  12. Do you remember where you purchased the ceiling tiles? I hate that I have to use them in our basement but it does make getting to all the inner workings of our home much easier. I absolutely love the tiles you used.

  13. Lisa – They are from ceilume. We have had more than one instance of being SO glad we kept the drop ceiling. I also hated the thought of it but now it doesn't bother me at all! Amanda

  14. I know it's a long shot, since yellow will always represent GA Tech, but if you ever get permanently tired of those yellow lamps, please let me know. They are exactly what I need for my son's room, and I'd be happy to buy them!

  15. I love this space. It seems to be a perfect space for the boys. Also I agree with you that it helps the first floor be distraction free.

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