Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Project 1: Basement

Certain events happened this weekend that set the basement "renovation" into full swing.  
We have decided that it makes sense to take this year -  one project and one month at a time.  So January's project will be the basement.  [Sorry bathroom, you've been pushed back until at least February].  Fortunately I put the word renovation in quotes, because the work to be done in the basement is fairly minimal with a fairly large impact.

So what set this spruce up into motion?  Our Living Room Television is old.  An old, large tube television - still works fairly well, still has a great picture.  However, recently, if it's on for more than a couple hours, 90% of the time it starts making this really obnoxious high pitched squeal.  So the TV is not trash, it just can't be the main TV that could be on for 3-4 hours in the evening . This old guy needed to be relegated to a less used area. 

So we decided to make a new TV our one big Christmas present purchase for the year.  We purchased the new TV yesterday, and moved the old one to the basement - ergo, setting the finalizing of the basement project into motion.

We have already really cleaned up the space.  Things are organized in boxes and on the shelves.  There are a few miscellaneous things hanging around to sort out, but for the most part, the room is looking much better.  Here is a reminder of what our plan is for the room:

Personal Sketch
So the TV in the sketch is a little more sleek, no worries.  The room will still look great.

As of today, the floor is clean, the boxes are organized, the trunk is front and center, acting as a coffee table, so what's next:  The Curtains.

The plan was to string them all the way across so that if need be, all of the shelving could be hidden - as drawn in the sketch... however it needs to travel over 13'-0", and in reality, if people are down there, the odds are that they will be using the television in some respect.  And if not, keeping that shelf exposed is not terribly awful.  So now I am considering a second option: mounting traditional curtain rods to the ceiling in front of the other two shelving units.  The reality is that this is not meant to be an expensive project, and this room will not get a ton of use, so why put up an expensive curtain rod & pricey curtains?  It just doesn't make sense.

The plan is now to find two, inexpensive drapery rods that will extend about 5' each.  These will be centered over to two "storage" shelving units & will have our hand made drapes hanging from them.  The finished picture will look like the image above, with the drapes open in front of the television, still hiding the storage units on either side.  I would assume that I could hunt down to simple rods for around $50 for the pair.  Maybe a system that looks something like this:

Photo: Bed Bath & Beyond
Now for the drapes themselves - at first I had envisioned light, flowing white drapes - but lets be honest, this is a basement.  It's not the cleanest area in the house, the floor can get damp after a really awful rain, and I don't know that flowing white drapes are the best idea here.  So I have decided to make the drapes out of drop cloths!  I saw this idea on-line and fell in love.  Check out a couple pictures:

Photo Credit: Link

Photo Credit: Link

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy
Are you kidding me, these look great in people's living rooms!  I'm definitely going to be able to make them work for a basement!  And I love some of the treatments, like adding a contrasting color at the bottom, to freshen them up a bit, amazing.  This is the plan.
A 6'x9' drop cloth at Lowe's is $ 9.17. 

Photo: Lowes

I would use one panel on each side, so the total for the drapes would be $18.34 plus tax.  Our basement ceiling is only about 7'-0" tall, so I will have plenty of room to make a rod pocket and hem the bottom.  If i decide to make the drapes look a little fuller, I'll buy an extra panel for each side.  This would make the total $36.68.

We still have a gallon of yellow paint from our kitchen that will make this room much brighter, however, we will probably wait until the spring to paint.  All that should be required here is a gallon of primer, and maybe a small quart of paint.  Maximum cost $35.  [ps, this will probably be our project for May!  We can't have something big going on every month!]

Add these two items to the $50 for the curtain rods & $37 drapes, and you have a totally different basement for less than $125.  I may decide to put a couple throw pillows on the couch, and hang some artwork on the wall over the couch, but this fix up seems to be a pretty affordable one.  Perfect for the month after Christmas!

What do you guys think?  Does this seem like a plan?  I'm ready to get started right away - I'm dying for a project.  I will be starting with one curtain panel on each side - if I think it looks like it needs some more bulk, I'll add the second panel.  I'll keep you all updated on the progress!


  1. I feel like what you sketched sells at ikea with little binder-clip looking clips to hold the fabric panels...have you seen them? I have to believe they'd be cheaper than curtain rods, but ikea has been known to surprise me in price too.
    Good luck! You inspire me to re-do my 12x12 space lol

  2. You are so funny! I will check out IKEA right now. Sometimes they are cheaper, and your right, randomly they will surprise you. Thanks for the heads up! I still want to see pics of your place. Do you have them up anywhere?