Return to the dungeon

I mentioned last week how grateful I am not to be renovating a basement this summer for the first time in three years. You’re all familiar with last year’s long running reno. I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the first basement that Matt and I tackled together. This was at our first house about six months before we sold it.

Our first house was a little one and half story. It was a former rental property and hadn’t been very well maintained (are you sensing a pattern here?). Before we even moved in, we had done a lot of work to make it a home for us, and we continued to work on it for the next five years that we lived there. However, all of our renovations had stopped at the top of the basement staircase.

We didn’t usually let people go down there. It was not a very good reflection of our style.

At the bottom of the stairs, there was a makeshift built-in shelving area complete with a heat register and electrical outlet. Please note how the trim is falling off and the drywall (and shelving) stops halfway down the concrete pillar.

Ugly basement

There were two bedrooms where people actually slept before we moved in. One we called the blue room. It was covered in fake wood paneling that had been painted an eye searing shade of blue. We had added the shelving under the stairs to give us some temporary storage. The “closet” on the right wasn’t deep enough to hang a hanger.

Basement room painted blue

A view of the other side of the blue room. The hot water tank is behind this wall. Accessing it required unscrewing a section of the patchwork paneling. Note the uneven ceiling tiles, the ugly fluorescent light and the bath towels used as curtains (okay, those were our special touch).

Ugly basement

The other bedroom we termed the yellow room. This one was actually drywalled, but then painted an even worse shade than the blue room. Special features to note in this room, aside from the colour and the actual curtains, are the two heat registers within one foot of each other and the half carpet-half concrete floor.

Ugly basement painted yellow

Homey, no? Don’t you want to just move right in?

We were actively looking for our forever farm at this point, so we knew we had to do something about the basement before we could even think about listing our house for sale.

In the next post, I’ll show you exactly what we did.

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