Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's a start ...

Little by little our 86-year-old basement is becoming useful. A year-long effort has produced a home office for Mike. What started on December 27, 2009 as B.G. Al's "let's insulate that outside wall so it isn't so drafty down here" type of project became a whole room. Evenutally. Feast your eyes on this.

We made a hallway! It's way more welcoming than what you previously saw when walking into the basement. The picture on the left shows the beginning stages. Note Mike's hardhat. He had a hammer incident involving his head. The hardhat was the result. The blank walls will soon have my Find Harry prints I received from mom and dad for my birthday last year. You know I'll post about them here.

On the left is what the space looked like before there was a hallway and a room. On the right is a view from the hallway at the bottom of the basement steps into the office.

Check out the difference the ceiling makes! We decided to keep as much height as possible and not put up a true ceiling. This part of the basement didn't have many wires or pipes hanging in it. I had read about a basement redo in Martha Stewart Living where the home owners simply painted the floor joists. That's just what we did. Two coats of primer and two or three coats of Killz white paint later, we have a much brighter room. Thanks to MIL Marie for helping on that. We both had sore necks/arms for days.

Mike now has a wall of storage and shelving. There will be a nice TV in the middle soon so he can run Bill Stewart's press conferences down there while writing his articles. Mike picked out the room's paint colors. Isn't that orange fabulous?!

This comparison amazes me the most. It's hard to believe our basement looked like that!

This is a pretty amazing transition for this corner of the room. There was a shower where you see the chair in the pic on the right! Unfortunately I can't find a picture of it. This is the first wall we worked on. It now has caulking, moisture block, insulation and the beadboard you see in the picture on the right. How 'bout that door? That was leaning against the wall in our basement. Score! We think it may have previously been a door between our kitchen and living room. We sanded it a little and whitewashed it. B.G. Al cut it down to fit the space and voila! An 86-year old solid wood door that is just beautiful. The shelves you see outside the door are along the basement steps. B.G. Al added them to use as a pantry space.

Here's the back wall of the room. The trim is actually tongue and groove flooring. Mike and his dad discovered it would be a cheap alternative to actual trim when they replaced a few boards on the front porch (see The Porch Post). We had some leftovers. It works. The carpet came from Lowe's. It is a commercial grade that came with padding on it. It worked perfectly on our imperfect concrete floor (thanks to Jay for helping this girl put it down as a surprise for Mike). The pictures are old ones Mike already had of Doubleday Field at Cooperstown, NY and Jacobs Field (now Progressive Park) in Cleveland. I popped them into matching frames for the wall.

We aren't sure where this sign came from. It was in Chris and Melissa's basement when they moved in. None of us can find a street in Morgantown called Cleveland Avenue. Melissa graciously offered it up as a surprise for Mike in honor of his love of Cleveland.
UPDATE: There is a Cleveland Ave in Westover, across the river from Morgantown. I wonder if the sign came from there.

Did I mention how much I love storage? These cabinets are 30 years old and came from dad's print shop. He wasn't making use of them so he brought them to us. We used some boards to space them out and painted them white. All they need now are some pulls. Mike will fill these up with media guides.

So now we're ready to find some furniture and get Mike set up in his new and improved work space. It's a start because, well, there's the rest of the basement to think about. Plans to spruce up the storage area and the laundry area are under way. We may have it all set in about five or so years.


  1. Wow, what a transformation! Way to go, guys!--Christie

  2. holy cow, am i jealous. you guys did some wonderful work. it's making me think even our abused basement can be redeemed. i hope this leads to some home improvement inspiration.

  3. You can do it!!! (You just need my dad).