I feel like Mama just got a new apartment. What used to be a cluttered, uninspiring basement (where I painted my furniture projects), has now turned into hundreds of square feet of living space for
my family me. I turned this boring, dreary basement into a pretty and colorful basement home office for my 30-Day “Junk-Free” January Room Makeover Challenge. You said I was biting off more than I could chew, and you know what?
You were right.
But you were also right about the fact that if anyone could do it, it would be me. Here’s what I’ve done so far!
Here goes! (Warning: This is long!) 🙂
In the back section of the basement, to the left, sat our barely-used pool table, just taking up valuable space. We don’t do much entertaining (umm…..maybe because our basement was jacked up!!–ya think??), and I actually considered getting rid of it at the start of this challenge. But then I decided that if we just pulled it out into the main living area, I could use that space for my home office! The color needed to change. It was waaaayyy too dark. I wanted a “she-cave” not a masculine “man-cave“!
AFTER! (In Progress!)
I pulled the pool table out into the main living area, brought down the TV from our bedroom to sit on top of the mid-century modern dresser I found last month at the thrift store. And I added same thrifted lamps, chairs, etc. I got the rug for FREE from Shaw Rugs at a blogging conference I went to last summer. (Ahhh….”free” sounds so good, doesn’t it? A rug like this would cost at least a couple hundred).
As you walk back towards the pool table, you start to see a tiny peek of my home office area! I added a long Ikea Hugad curtain rod and used a couple shower curtains folded in half to frame out the entrance to my office. Later, if I want to get real fancy, I can make real curtains to close it off. But for now, I just wanted to frame it out. I already had them on hand so I didn’t have to buy those.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
When you look head-on into my office, this is what it looks like!
It’s officially my Thrift Diving Headquarters now that I’m a full-time blogger:).
I feel like I suddenly have this little apartment to myself down here (sans bathroom), but hey–who’s complaining??!
And here’s what’s amazing, you guys–it’s quiet!!!
I can escape the ruckus from my three boys, and retreat to total silence to work!
Basement Home Office Makeover Reveal!
Below is how it looked for a majority of the room challenge. I was so unfocused and a bit overwhelmed. I didn’t know which way was UP or DOWN. And I was running out of time. AND PAINT!
FEELING OVERWHELMED AT THIS POINT:
I felt like I was just shifting things from this place to that place, with no real progress. I didn’t know where I wanted to start or what needed to be done when and how.
But I knew the first thing I wanted to do was to stencil my logo on the wall using a projector that I bought from the thrift store (for only $7.00!).
I had decided that the pink and orange from my logo would be my inspiration for the room.
I wanted to keep the middle wall relatively clear from pictures and stuff because this is where I’ll be able to shoot my videos for my YouTube channel (while having the logo in the background). I’ll be able to easily move the card catalog out of the way if necessary.
The left side houses my desk created from thrifted file cabinets and a heavy thrifted top. The whole desk cost a whopping $17.00 :). Because they aren’t the same style and height, I will have to add a piece of wood to the right cabinet to fill in the gap. For now, it works :).
Under the shelf, I added Ikea KLUDD glass noticeboards that a friend gave me a couple years ago. Perfect for taking notes.
As I showed you in more detail in another post, this is how I made a desk from file cabinets and what it looked like before getting my hands on it:
I found the lamp at the thrift store last week (the one sitting on the pink file cabinets) and it was too good to pass up! Apparently, lamps like this cost about $120. Mine?? Oh, just a measly $7.50 :).
I already had the magazine rack. I bought that probably a couple years ago, for $7.00, too! (Everything is $7.00 at my thrift store!).
The colorful small rug is from Home Goods, bought a couple years ago.
Pink DIY Whiteboard
In December, I also made a DIY whiteboard like the one I did for my Mom, and it will be perfect for keeping track of my daily blog and family activities.
On the right side of the room, I really wanted a seating area where I could do crafts and be able to have table top space to film. I also wanted a place for the kids to sit and work on something while I’m working on the computer. Sometimes my 3-year old will sit here and play cars :). (That’s a spoon hanging out of his mouth). LOL
(The stenciled jewelry box tutorial can be found HERE).
To create the pegboard, I found the frame last year on the side of the road and hoarded it in my garage until the perfect time came to use it.
Well, now is the time :). The pegboard I found at a salvage shop for mere pennies, literally.
DIY Chain Wall Art!
I love chains.
For the longest time I wanted to do something with chains. But I wasn’t inspired.
Why not create DIY chain wall art?? This is the perfect way to add some uniqueness to your walls! Home Depot sells chain by the foot, and will cut it for you. I chose 8-foot. (And the best part is that I’ve never seen this done before, so yay!!! Originality is so hard today, isn’t it? LOL).
This space is for one thing: CREATING. So spelling out “Create” was prefect! Although, at times it looks like “Creste” but hey–who’s complaining? I’ll explain in a separate tutorial).
The yellow stool I already owned. I couldn’t decide what color to use. I wanted something to “POP.” I decided to go with bright yellow, inspired by Maria’s Junk-Free challenger’s craft room stool! And since I already had the yellow spray paint on hand, it was perfect!
Do you know how expensive rugs are?? Ohhhh, I’m sure you do. My first attempt at warming up these floors was a total bust (more on that in the follow-up details).
Lesson learned: sometimes you just need to go to Ikea and buy what you need. LOL
And that’s what I did.
I bought 6 of these Ikea Hulsig rugs for $14.99 each and laid them together to create one big almost 12′ x 12′ rug for–miraculously–only about $90. They already had the rubber backing, so no need to lay a no-skid rug pad underneath! They stay together pretty well, with very little maneuvering, and now my feet are shielded from the cold basement floor! I honestly don’t think I could have warmed the floor for any cheaper than that.
Ahhh…. This chair. It’s that same one I found at the thrift store eons ago for $25 and looked like there was a huge maxi pad stain on it. LOL.
I actually planned to strip it down and reupholster it.
….I put the chair in my new home office and was like, “JUST what I needed! A red chair!!!!” I think the color works well with the pink and orange, don’t you think?
The frames I painted pink and didn’t have anything I really wanted to put in them, so I just hung them (from Hobby Lobby; already had on hand).
WITH PILLOWS NOW 🙂
I already owned the lamp (Home Goods). And the pillows came from Paint-a-Pillow, who sent me one of their pillow painting kits to try out, along with an extra pillow. I’ll be posting more info on this later, too. They were super easy and fun to create! My sons even helped….. Ahhh…the joys of unemployment and being home with the kids, huh? 🙂
It’s not the most comfortable chair, but for now, it can just look pretty :).
My Desk Chair!
I should call this chair “The Chair That Drove Me Crazy“! It’s one of the things that held me up in completing the Junk Free January challenge on time. I have done a few reupholster projects, but nothing like this. This thing required cutting out small pieces and then sewing them all together around the curves. I break out in hives just thinking about it. Thank goodness I recently discovered Showtime’s Shameless. It kept my sanity while piecing this together. I was almost ready to smash it up. Or photoshop a finished chair. HA!
My husband actually doesn’t like this chair much. He says my choice of fabric was all wrong. I say he’s wrong! I understand it’s not as luxurious as the “before” fabric, but it’s what I picked out from Online Fabric Store and they were nice enough to send me what I needed (no cost!). I had the fabric and chairs for quite some time, and this project was the perfect time to use it!
My husband also critiqued my decision to use brass-colored furniture tacks.
Okay, yes, shiny silver ones would have been nice, but you know what?? I already had a crap-load left from my thrifted vintage chair makeover from a box of, like, 1000 tacks, and I wanted to put them to good use.
For whatever reason, I didn’t paint the legs white (ran out of time? Forgot? Sheesh, I don’t know. LOL). But I’ll probably do it later. Or just keep them this way. It really doesn’t matter. I like it both ways!
The vintage drafting table is thrifted! I got it a few years ago for–GASP!–$30, and it’s really worth about $300. The other white stool–you guessed it: THRIFTED for $10, and I already owned. I reupholstered it. And the white plant holder I already had ($3) was thrifted, too, and holds cans of pens and markers and stuff.
This is an area I struggled with: what to put over the desk??
I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. And I didn’t have scrap wood around already.
Miraculously, I found what I needed at the ReStore here in Silver Spring. Just my luck, they had three big 6-foot boards for a total of $5.00! WOO HOO! And the brackets were $0.50 each from Ikea. I used three brackets.
Everything you see up there on the shelf (except for the basket) came from the thrift store!
Even the candy machine is thrifted (and great for my late night blogging cravings, which is why I look like I’m pregnant, but that’s a post for another day…..).
I already had everything on hand, though, except the magazine files. (More on those later).
And the black desk lamp was $3.00 (already owned).
The only things not thrifted in this pic above are my Apple iMac (27″ baby….I will spend a lot on computers and gadgets, but never home decor!!!), and my $18 printer from Target (both I already had).
When you look out from my office, you see the pool table:
The movie posters and billiards poster came from an estate sale several years ago; I just had never hung them until now.
You also see the living area from here.
That’s the space I didn’t really get to finish yet (which is why I only have two pictures in the wall collage. LOL.
But considering what it looked like before, it looks freaking AMAZINGLY clean and organized! I can walk through without stumbling over furniture! WOO HOO!
I ran out of time during the challenge. I mean, I was doing TWO spaces, really. So this is part of what I’m focusing on for February for my “Finish It Up” February Challenge.
I had all these frames on hand (all thrifted, thank you very much!). I painted them all black, and started trying to find pictures to put in them. I’m still not sure what I want to fill them with, so this will be done later.
I got the sconces from a seller for $10 each. The pink wall art is just a 2’x2′ piece of dry-wall that I stenciled. I borrowed pillows from another room, too.
The banquet was also thrifted. And get this–BOTH pieces I found on TWO separate shopping trips to the thrift store! If you look closely, you’ll see they don’t exactly match. But who’s looking that hard? (except you now, now that you know they’re mis-matched. LOL).
The table was given to me by an old co-worker. I know the round table doesn’t “work” with the square banquet, but I really wanted to use what I had on hand instead of being wasteful going looking for something else to buy.
I have no plans to paint it. I’ll probably strip it and re-stain it.
I plan to install this Parrot Uncle pendant lamp over the table, but I need to hire an electrician to install it since I don’t have existing wiring in place to do it myself. Parrot Uncle offers large selection of home lighting fixtures that range from floor lamps to chandelier, from bathroom vanity light to LED mobile lamps, from modern design ceiling lighting to handmade wooden lamps. This one struck my fancy:
Do you see the Nerf bullet? 😉
This is the view from the pool table and gives you an idea of how junk-free the space is now!
I still have furniture in this living area to refinish, or to exchange for something else. I have lamps to paint. Shades to decorate. Pillows to reupholster. Lots to do!
Again, everything is thrifted :).
I plan to strip and re-stain this mid-century modern dresser, too. And add some wall art there.
OH! And the stairs–I’ll be finishing those up this month or next. You can see I already started testing paint there. 🙂
Pulling It All Together
Pulling it all together was hard: because it was a big space, and because I didn’t have tons and tons of time that you’d think I’d have working from home now. 😉
My kids have been pretty patient with me. I try to spend the day with them, and then late afternoons and evenings I blog and work on this space.
My 5-year-old got creative and decided that a roll of Home Depot brown paper would be his camp out “tent.” LOL. Sometimes they just had to entertain themselves while Mommy worked. 🙂
And sometimes I had no vision at all for this space. Oh–and at times, I ran out of paint. See the patch of blue hidden behind the table?? Yes, I truly ran out of paint. But guess what I did? I used a white that was a little off and–VOILA!–you can’t even tell it wasn’t the same shade! I saved myself at least $17 by using mis-matched paint! WOO HOO!
Oh Yeah….There’s a Hole! A Few of Them!!
Before you start thinking I’m Superwoman for doing all this, keep in mind that there’s a huge hole in my ceiling by the stairs :). A couple years ago (yes, I said YEARS), the fridge hose busted and guess where the water ended up?
I guess I’ll be needin’ to fix that, eh??
And I’m thinking of turning this wall into a chalkboard area for when the kids want to be down here with me and I need them out of my hair. Maybe practicing letters or something.
And Last But Definitely Not Least…
This is the first thing I wanted people to see when they enter the basement: a statement about who I am and what this space is all about.
It was about a $15 canvas from the thrift store, and although really nice, I didn’t want “Brad and Jessica’s” wedding picture hanging on my basement “she-cave,” especially when they’ve clearly divorced–why else would their marriage pic be all up in the thrift store?? LOL
And suddenly…..they were gone!!
More details coming later on how I created this!
COSTS TO DO THIS ROOM
1. Ikea HUGAD Curtain Rod – $7.41
2. IKEA HUGAD curtain rod wall mounts – (2 ea) – $2.10
3. IKEA curtain clips 9 (1 pack) – $5.29
4. File cabinets from the thrift store – $14.82
5. Desk top from Community Forklift – $1.76
6. American chalky paint from Home Depot – approx. $9.00
7. Magazine holders from thrift store (2) – $2.35
8. Wooden magazine holder from thrift store – $3.17
9. Lamp on pink file cabinet from thrift store – $7.95
10. Scrap wood for desk shelf from the ReStore – $1.59
11. Ikea EKBY brackets for shelf (3 x $0.50 ea) – $1.59
12. Chain for wall art – $10.93
13. Pegboard – $5.30 (for the whole huge piece although I only used a small piece of it)
14. Nails from Home Depot – $3.43
15. Sample pink paint from Sherwin Williams – $5.19
16. Sample oragne paint from Sherwin Williams – $5.19
17. IKEA rugs for floor – $95.34
18. Wall anchors from Home Depot – $5.56
19. Furniture staples – $2.93
20. Photo box – $2.12
21. Canvas from the thrift store – $15.89
22. 1 gallon of semi-gloss Behr (Snow Bound) for walls – approx $35
23. 1 gallon of turquoise semi-gloss Behr (Balmy Seas) – approx. $35
Total Cost for the Basement = $278.91*
*I’m not counting any item I didn’t specifically buy for the 30-Day Junk Free January Challenge, including furniture or crafting supplies I already had on hand. I consider that stuff “FREE,” shopped from my house :).
This Post Is Soooo Long, But I Have to Say THIS…
It doesn’t take is a lot of money to transform a space. Time?? Yes. But not money. 🙂 In Part 2, I’m going to share with you all the “Behind the Scenes” things you didn’t see here that really shaped this room, along with Lessons Learns, and tutorials to help you create a space of your own!
And if you ever doubt you can turn around a space in your house, remember this room. Remember the rooms of all the other 30-Day Challengers. And know that all it takes it getting off your booty and spending time, not a lot of money. 🙂
Now I would LOVE to know what you think of my new space!!!!! Leave a comment below and let me know!!
And if you think you need a swift kick in the pants to transform a messy area in your house, CLICK HERE to sign up for the next 30-Day Room Makeover Challenge!!!