Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spring Projects: The Stinky Room

(See some other house upgrades here and here.)

There is a large bedroom in the basement of our house that we have not-so-lovingly referred to since we moved in as 'the stinky room.' This moniker was decided upon based on the following criteria: the room smelled really bad.

Like the rest of the basement, the bedroom was finished, but only sort of. It's a strange hodge-podge of exterior walls (which are not framed or insulated) and interior walls, which don't have sheet rock or proper framing, either. Instead, they're basically made of some wood paneling painted white.

It's incredibly obnoxious that the former owners didn't just do the job right the first go 'round, but since they are deceased now, I'll cut them a break. We aren't interested in gutting the basement to start over at this point, (which is what really needs to happen) but we are interested in making it more livable.

We have never used the stinky room for anything other than storage and a rough sort of office space. MJ and Maddi lived in that room while that side of the family was house hunting/moving, but the broken bed they used has long since been gifted to a couple of newly weds. For a long time, the room looked basically like this (only usually it had a lot more crap in it):

A large space with a big closet, the room definitely had potential for something better, but oh boy, was it rough. That hideous blue cloud carpet was just sort of lying on the ground with a tiny bit of glue to hold it in place. It didn't have a carpet pad beneath it (why you would bother doing it this way is just beyond me) and it smelled like old people. There were random wires sticking out of the walls with old school plugs. It was far from the toy room Paddy and I were envisioning.

Luckily for me, I'm related to a pretty great electrician, and with a few chuckles and head shakes, he took care of the shoddy wiring problems.

I scrubbed out the gross window surrounds, wiped down the walls, and painted the entire room with a fresh coat of paint. (You can't really tell a difference in the color in these photos, but it's no longer stark white, but still light enough to stay bright even with those postage stamp sized windows.)

Paddy contacted a friend of his who has access to carpet remnants so we could change up the flooring without spending a bunch of cash. We didn't have a lot of choices about color since we needed a pretty big remnant, but we weren't picky. We were really happy that we ended up with a really high quality carpet (and pad, like civilized people) in a neutral brownish shade for a great price.

The best part was moving lots of the larger toys the kids got from Christmas out of their bedrooms and down into one organized space.

Turns out that the secret to happiness in family life is a toy room. The kids play in there without bothering me, and when I check on them it melts my heart to find them hiding together in the tent or playing/bossing/being bossed on the proper way to play babies. (I'll let you guess which kid is which in that scenario.) Mister's train set has been spread out on the floor of this room since we finished it, and he LOVES it.

This house is probably not our forever house, and we've found ourselves wondering about where it makes sense to upgrade, how much to spend, and what to leave for the next set of people who love this old mess to fix. Even though this room is still not finished properly, we know we'll use it, and we hope that future buyers will see a functional space that is clean, comfortable, and user-friendly until they decide to demo the entire basement.


Stacey O said...

YAY!! SO glad it's done!! I can't believe it's that big! I've never actually seen this room, but I've heard about it and I always pictured it a whole lot smaller for some reason! That's huge!
Oh. BTW. Scar's with me, and she can't wait to come over and help break it in! She is naming off all the toys and explaining the ways she would play with them, it's absolutely hilarious! Don't be surprised if we show up in the next 20 minutes, she's pretty ready to play with them NOW! ;)

Liv said...

That's so great!! I'm jealous of your toy room.

Samantha Kennicott said...

I agree, a toy room is a must have. I don't know how I lived before we had one, it is a sanity saver! Great job doing an affordable upgrade!