Monday, January 10, 2011

Phase One of basement play area re-do

The basement play area is in need of reorganizing (Project #7 of Projects I'd Like to Tackle in the New Year.)  The kids like to jump off the treadmill, its difficult to keep them off of it, the playhouse blocks the view of the tv, and things were just generally a mess down there.  So we rearranged a bit.

Here are some pictures of the basement before. This is the view from standing by the backdoor:
Most of the toys were kept in the cube unit in the front of the room. You can see that the treadmill is out in the open, although off to the side, which meant that my kids found it a thing of fascinating wonder.
The area between the treadmill and the tv was also a giant mess.  Crap gets hidden behind the chair.  The kids catapult from the treadmill off the chair onto the picnic table and up onto the roof of the playhouse.  This has led me to literally get rid of all child-sized furniture in the room.  If they can move it, they can use to climb onto the playhouse roof.  No mas. 

The back of the room was a catch-all for stuff, like a toddler bed, kitchen table, chairs, two old tvs, a weight bench, and bins of the Mister's out of season clothes.

And now (sorry for the dark pictures, it is a basement):
The tv and the treadmill were moved to the back of the basement.  The elliptical machine from upstairs joined the treadmill in its new home downstairs.
(Ignore the pile of stuff to the left that will be donated to Goodwill.)  

We moved all the cube units and bookshelves to form a half wall separating the play area from the exercise area.  Originally, we considered hanging a curtain to separate it, but we settled on this because it would have been difficult to hang the curtains because of the drop ceiling, and this way doesn't block the light from the door. It also provides a definite line between the exercise space and the play space, so the kids are now very aware that they are not to play behind the shelves in the exercise area. 

 I'm pretty excited that now when we have playdates, both moms have a place to sit, instead of the floor.  The bigger toy items like monster trucks, cardboard blocks and trains have been given homes in large tupperware bins  beside the playhouse.  

There is still a lot of work to do. Phase 2:

1) The walls are really bare, as you can see in the pictures above.  I need ideas for large, inexpensive artwork that would work on those two walls.  The walls were just re-drywalled less than a year ago, and we hope to move within the next two years.  This space will probably stay as a playroom for when we visit (pretty frequently), but I'm hesitant to do a gallery wall or put a zillion nails in the wall.  Also, inexpensive would be good.

Ideas?  I don't have anything in mind.

2) The art area.  At the bottom of the stairs is a large area I plan on making into the art area. I put the unused kitchen table over in this area, and would like to find a cabinet to hold art supplies. 

To get more floorspace, we are getting rid of the easel. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of the chalkboard paint trend, but we need the floor space and this also allows me to make an area where three kids can be on the chalkboard at the same time.

I'm thinking of putting some Nerdy Baby flashcards above the art wall. 

So I'm excited that the basement is now more user-friendly.  Already the kids have learned that the exercise area is off limits, so that has reduced the amount of time spent hollering at the kids to get off the treadmill.  Its also nice having a sitting area where an adult can view the entire play area.  Before, only the gray chair was in the play area and it faced the tv, so it wasn't easy to keep an eye on everyone. 

Now I just have to find some art and an art supply cabinet, and I can cross Project #7 off my list.


  1. It looks awesome, and I love the picture of the kids and Nonno (sp?) with the elliptical. They look so...into it.

  2. Wow - what a drastic change! Sounds like a great project!

  3. Our basement art is cheap posters in cheap frames. easy to change the posters when new movies comes out.Most are Disney posters,Cars.Tinkerbell ect. They are bright and the kids likey.


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