Monday, March 17, 2014

Simple Tricks to making a Room Better.

Every winter when we are all stuck inside, projects seem to pop up in the house.

I have hated our basement for a few years now.  It is the first room one generally walks into when arriving at our house, and it has needed renewed attention for some time.

This winter, I noticed a trend going on with the kids:
run into the house, dump the coats, boots, hats, and gloves all across the floor on the way to the wood stove.

I wished for a closet to help coral these things and give them a proper place to disappear to since the over-sized rubber maids I had for them couldn't seem to keep them very well.

I asked my husband to use his talents and build something for me.

He found some doors from somewhere where they were no longer needed, and then purchased some cedar boards off of Craig's List. (He figured the cedar might help prevent the spiders and millipedes from hiding in there so much, since basements seem to be their favorite place to be.)

This little closet has been the best addition for the basement.
(Thank you, Farmer!)
We now have a place for all the shoes/boots/and coats (can't you tell by the boots lying NEXT to the closet? Well, most of the time they make it into the closet; the youngest of us still needs some help remembering sometimes).

I painted a sealer over the outside of the cedar boards and then painted them with paint.

Another thing I did to renew the basement was a new coat of paint on the walls and woodwork.
My daughter and I picked a bold green called Lime Green to color the woodwork,
changed the cream walls to a brighter linen white,
and chose a brown paint that would be great at hiding some of the dirt for the floor.

I also painted up this piece of furniture to hold all of the videos and other supplies that seem to spread around the basement.
(This has been so much better than the open cubby storage unit you can see in the first picture.
Videos sitting around are such an eyesore and tend to grow into teetering towers.)

I had painted the floor when we first moved in ten years ago:
cream flooring in a basement entrance on a farm.
Let's just say it wasn't my brightest idea when it comes to a painting project,
(and this picture is right after I scrubbed it on my hands and knees, changing the bucket several times.)

This dirty floor has been a matter of constant irksomeness right from the start
(I painted the walkway and on into the laundry room with a brick pattern a few years later to try to make the floor bearable.  Athough time-consuming, it did really help, but the rest of the floor just never looked good).

If I had known how easy this method of adding paint chips to a painted floor was going to be,
I would have done it long ago, and I wouldn't have bothered with the 'brick' floor in the laundry room either.
I purchased a good quality cement flooring paint from the hardware store as well as some paint chip sprinkles.

After I painted a 6' x 4' section
(large enough to still reach by tossing the sprinkles, but small enough that the paint was still very wet),
I stood and tossed the paint chip sprinkles into the air.

They fell in random placement.
I kept adding more thrown sprinkles until I got the coverage I wanted.

The flooring looks so much better; I only have half of it done at this point, and can't wait until it is finished.

One other small change to the basement was a simple painting of the woodwork around the windows.

I find that I prefer that woodwork to be the same color as the walls.  This creates a more open look, no division of wall and window.

(Because we have the deep window sills that are more like a shelf, sometimes I also do the sill the color of the walls; but sometimes I like the sill the color of the rest of the trim and woodwork.)

Painting the frame around the window was something I did to all the windows when we first moved here as well, and have slowly changed them over.

Here is the window with the colored wood frame in the green that it was;
(the sill has already been changed to the lime green color).

Here is the difference.

I was thinking about making some curtains but then opted for some simple lace ones I found at a good sale.

Another update to the basement walls is a wall of family photos.
I had a habit of buying frames for a while from yard sales and charity stores and decided to put them to use and make this place (where the kids tend to watch videos) a wall of memories.

The closet got a coat of the lime green paint, and I painted the door a bright, cheerful red.  The floor already looks so much cleaner, the speckles helping to hide the bits of dirt that come in on the previous battle field of  "can't EVER keep that floor clean."

I still need to put a second coat on one of the walls,  finish the other half of the floor, finish framing a few more pictures, a couch redo or replacement, and a couple more touches before the basement is complete, but it is looking so much better already.

I can't wait to be able to post the final results in the coming weeks: I'm determined to have it done before April.

It's always amazing to see the wonders a bit of well-applied paint can do, and learning what one likes over the years can help to turn a cluttered-feel house into a better home.

Thanks for stopping by to hear about my work in progress.


  1. Your basement looks great. I love that flooring treatment.

    1. Thank you! I am hoping it will be an improvement when it is done. :)

  2. Wow, you've been busy! I love your deep window sills! What a great place to decorate. Your window decor looks great!

  3. You've done such a great job!


Thanks for your thoughts! If you have a question, I'll try to answer it.