When we bought this house almost six years ago, we did NOT buy it for the basement. Because this home is so old, the basement is pretty cut off and pretty dark. Sure it has those high windows and a a decent sized living area, but it wasn’t anything special.
It didn’t really matter at the time, it was just us and Taya (who was four at this point) so there was more than enough room on the top two floors. It was painted a garish orange and while we liked that it had a three piece bathroom, it ended up being used as nothing more than a big storage area for a few years.
Not a big deal, no one ever went down there anyway. So things stayed that way for about three years, and then I became pregnant with Ella in 2011 and we knew we had a problem. This three bedroom house was about to have five people living in it, and that meant we were short one room. I lost a lot of sleep of this one… should I just have the baby live in our master? Should Taya and Callum share? Should the baby and Callum share? I was so lost. Cal was wasn’t even two at the time and Taya was almost eight… I didn’t seem like a good idea for them to share. But he was FINALLY sleeping like a champ and I hated the thought of putting him in with a baby.
After much discussion and research, we decided to redecorate the basement and give Taya her very own “bachelorette pad”. It was pretty awesome… she would have her privacy, the kids wouldn’t get at her stuff, she’d have her own bathroom and we even agreed to leave the television for her! She was pumped, and I was excited to have a project! My husband added some more pot lights, we repainted all the walls and even ordered some new furniture to really make the room her own.
I got a little carried away and even had a big REVEAL for her when it was done… she hadn’t been allowed to see the progress at ALL.
She was in heaven. I was in heaven! I wanted that room and so did everyone who saw it! LOL… sometimes I think we should have put our master down there and just had all the kids upstairs. But it was amazing and she felt very special and grown up. I tried to use the large space to my advantage and break it into both living and playing areas…
We worked soooooooo hard on this room and seeing as I was pregnant through the entire process (WITH a 20 month old and a six year old) it was exhausting and took over a month to complete. But it was worth it, and for a while things ran very smoothly this way.
But, like always, things would eventually change. I think if we had been in a bungalow it would have been different. Taya really did love having her own floor of the house, but having everyone else not one but TWO floors above her started to cause her stress at night. Being only six years old at that point I couldn’t really blame her… even I would lie in bed and worry about someone breaking in the basement window or coming in the side door. I even used a video baby monitor aimed at her bed so that during the night I knew she was safe, but after about six months she really wasn’t happy and so we moved her back upstairs.
By this point her brother was 2.5 and we figured he was old enough to share with his big sister, so we moved her into his room and they were pretty happy for quite a while!
And I have to admit, since all the grunt work had been done in the basement it wasn’t too big of a job to convert it into a pretty awesome play room! Once the bed was moved out we were able to bring a lot of the kids’ toys down there which cleared out the main floor quite a bit.
So, here is what the basement is looking like these days:
Every room in this house has gone through a serious identity crisis, no joke.
My poor husband is going to lose his mind if I switch things around one more time – as many of you know there have been changes even since then! LOL… the two little ones are now sharing a room, but I’m pretty sure that the moving around is done now. This is the best solution for us until we move – and trust me, I’m going NOWHERE unless the next house has four bedrooms.
All this rearranging is making everyone nuts, so I’ve promised to stop.
For now. hehe. What’s your basement situation? Do you even HAVE one? I know a lot of homes in the US don’t have basements at all, which is so foreign to me! But they can definitely be a great space to have for a large family like ours, and the kids are finally getting old enough to play down there alone… no one is gonna’ hear me complaining about THAT!