Basement Project #2: The Best of Intentions

Hang-Out Space

When we moved into our house 9 years ago we had the best of intentions for the basement. Our last child had just graduated from high school and still needed a place to hang with friends. I figured the basement would be perfect for that. And I already had the furniture. We had recently purchased a very comfortable and expensive-enough couch with a matching chair and ottoman for the family room in our old house. The only complication was getting the 7-foot long couch into the basement of our new house.

That challenge was resolved quickly—by our extensive kitchen remodeling project. Until the kitchen walls were framed out, our basement was temporarily accessible to a 7-foot couch. We knew that once in the basement it wouldn’t come out again in one piece. But in the mean time we would get great use from it. What I didn’t count on, was all the other home projects that always seemed more pressing than fixing up a hang-out space in the basement, and nine years later the couch was still wrapped in the same plastic that the movers wrapped it in. What a waste of a good couch! It’s time to reclaim it.

Plant and Dog Grooming Room

The basement space has been useful over the years – just not as accommodating as we need it to be. For instance, there is a great plant room. Every fall I bring my tropical plants inside that have been outside in the garden all summer. I hang lights from the plant room rafters to sustain the plants throughout the winter. I don’t have to worry about water overflowing onto the concrete floor because there is a floor drain in the room. The room isn’t heated, so it’s perfect for overwintering. With a few more amenities this area will continue to function well as a plant room. And with the added benefit of a new sink it will also be a place where I can bathe my dog at home rather than pay to have her groomed elsewhere.

Workout Area

The basement is also the logical space to locate our treadmill and recumbent bike. When working out we have relied on a monster of an old TV that requires us to crank up the sound in order to hear it over the noise of the treadmill. Because the ceiling wasn’t finished the noise from the TV could be heard even in the second floor bedrooms! So a feature of the new basement must include a flat screen TV that we can use with earphones. The ceiling will also have to muffle some (preferably most) of the sound emanating from the basement.

I just hope the reclaimed couch is not so comfortable that I neglect plants, dog and working out. All the more incentive to make all the renewed basement spaces equally inviting!


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