Our house sits atop a basement...or rather a cellar. It is not at all the sort that you could finish or make pretty. It's a cellar - plain and simple. The problem is that our washer and dryer are housed in the basement with no other place to go. And I do a lot of laundry. And no one (or at least me) wants to spend parts of their day in a gloomy, yucky area.
Thus for four years we've wondered if we should try to "finish" just a small area to make a laundry area. We eventually came to the realization that it would just be a waste of money, time and materials to make the space something that it really is not meant to be. However, we did decide to spruce up the area to make it a space that is a little more pleasant to be in. I couldn't be happier with the results! I've been amazed at what a difference it has made to my mental state regarding laundry!
We started in the spring (seriously, this project has taken a long time to see to completion) by cleaning out and painting the stairwell to the basement. (This is also where the cats' litter is - there's just room enough under the stairwell on the landing.) The stairwell was in really rough shape. A long time ago linoleum squares had been put down on the stairs and they were peeling up in spots. But of course they didn't peel off cleanly and lots of glue residue was left that was a real bear to get up. Fortunately, we had a good helper...
I decided that I wanted the paint color to be bright and cheerful and since no one besides ourselves ever go to the basement I figured I could pretty much do whatever made me happy. So, this meant painting everything in sight bright green. Seriously. Everything in sight. It sort of looks like Kermit exploded. But I LOVE it! I also saved money because I only had to buy one can of paint! The stairwell already had some pretty neat bead-board so we stuck with that and made improvements where we could.
In this area we had to put up some bead-board to cover an unfinished area. It doesn't quite match but you can't really tell. We put up a cork board to be able to post information about the kittens and our town information. The space under the board is a nook where the liter box fits perfectly. Bryce also put in an outlet so that we could add a little nightlight and hang the vacuum - which really comes in handy!
I love the stairwell because every single inch that can be used is! In this corner we hung hooks for jackets (that are seldom used but needed nonetheless) and the children's snow bibs. The kittens' food and water is also kept here. We replaced the lights in the stairwell with fixtures that we bought for the house renovation but never used.
Bryce seriously considered replacing the stairs because it was so difficult to get up the glue that was holding the linoleum down. However, we both love that the stairs are worn in the middle- reminding us that we (and the people before us) are really only keepers of the house.