I can think of many really, really satisfying things in life, but the three that top my list, consistently, are:
1. Putting On Clothes Straight from the Dryer
2. Finding Money You Didn’t Know You Had
3. Witnessing Truly Horrendous “Before” Pictures…
… and then watching the miracle unfold with the “After” reveal. Yes, I may be absolutely obsessed with The Property Brothers for this very reason (notwithstanding the fact that they’re, you know, gorgeous). I mean, who doesn’t love a good before and after? There’s just something so rewarding about witnessing a pumpkin turn into a coach; an ugly duckling turning into a swan… you get my drift.
And in the case of my basement, we’ll be turning our play date dungeon into a dream Man Cave.
Play date dungeon, you ask?
Ah… I don’t even think I can continue. The clutter is just SO embarrassing! Okay, okay, I’ll just get it over with nice and quick, like ripping off a Band-Aid….
Yes, this is the sorry state of our basement. I’d love to say that it is completely strewn with toys because I took the photos after a play date, but the truth is, it pretty much always looks this way. You see, I’ve got two feisty little boys who love to make a mess, and no amount of chastising, lecturing, and good housekeeping advice can prevent them from turning our basement into their personal path of destruction.
Now normally I’d take a deep breath, yell “CLEAN UP!” and get on with my day, but you know what? The mess stops here. It’s time to take back the basement. After all, crazy disorganization aside, my basement has a lot going for it:
1) It is finished with Home Depot Canada materials, which means that we have an incredible, high quality basement which is just screaming for a style intervention. The flooring is Jatoba Hardwood, which “flaunts a rich natural stain that accentuates the lush tones found in this exotic species”. The walls are painted with Behr Premium Chai Latte, a warm, creamy neutral that sets off the hardwood beautifully. So, our foundation is already pretty beautiful – now, we just need to clear the clutter.
2) We are blessed to have higher-than-average head room in our basement: the ceiling is over 7.5 feet high. So, that allows for a wider variety of decor options, as we do not have to accommodate for low bulk heads.
3) Our basement is a completely open concept layout. Great for letting the boys run and exhaust their energy, not so great for cleaning up after they’ve done so. Hence, when overhauling the space for #ProjectManCave, one of our primary goals is to divide the basement into clear “rooms”, or spaces.
Kids Play Area: See the “Ryder” and “Reid” scrolls in the photo below? (Lovingly handmade by a dear friend. We heart you Judy.) Well, that’s their new “area”. They will no longer have free fun of the basement! The space is still large enough to hold their toys and crafts, and they’re just going to have to deal with the fact that mommy and daddy have a claim to the basement as well.
Updated Bar: A Man Cave wouldn’t be complete without some sort of drinks dispenser. We currently have a stainless steel bar which looked great in our loft downtown… not so great among boxes, toys and.. wait… is that a food processor just hanging out on the floor?
Hence, we’ve decided to keep the bar but update the area with some shelving, new bar stools and a few cool accessories. I like that the bar is the first thing you see when you come down the stairs… it alludes to the Man Cave to come. Valpolicella, anyone?
Entertainment Room, The Heart of the Man Cave: Currently, we’ve sectioned off a space for watching movies and playing video games. However, it’s hardly what you’d call posh; just two love seats, a coffee table that has seen better days, and tucked way back in a corner, the ol’ dreadmill that I run on approximately 6 times per
week month year.
As you can see, the entertainment room is part of the open concept basement. While we’ve used one couch as a way to define the area’s borders, the room still manages to bleed into the other spaces in the basement, compounded by the clutter and the fact that the kids have claimed the space as their own with errant toys. Hence, as part of #ProjectManCave, our goal is to visually rope off the area – by using paint, furniture placement and wall accents.
Well, those are the before pictures. While I’m embarrassed by the clutter, I’m not embarrassed about the fact that my boys have had an underground sanctuary for years; delighting in their toys and expending energy running the room. However, as they grow, they are learning boundaries, and in the case of our basement, will learn that they have a specific area that has been allotted for their enjoyment, just like mommy and daddy have their own area. It’s all about compromise.
Special thanks to the Home Depot Canada for collaborating with me on this posh makeover. My readers will love the gorgeous shag rug I picked out, and y’all will adore our new electric fireplace. But that’s it! No more hints. Everyone will just have to wait for the “after” photos.
Tune in over the next few weeks for a room-by-room reveal of our new basement!