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Convert Wasted Basement Space Into a Fun Family Retreat

Dawn and Ron John hire organizer Jamie Novak to create an adult space in their cluttered basement.

The impending birth of their second child has Dawn and Ron John motivated to make better use of a cluttered basement. The large space is full of toys and items from the rest of the house that have nowhere else to go — electronic equipment, an unused mattress, old clothing and several large pieces of furniture are just a few examples. Without a designated function, the space is wasted.

Ron, a systems engineer, would like to see some of the space used as an oasis for adults — a place to read, listen to music and relax. Dawn, a campus recruiter, wants an organized play area for their 3-year-old daughter, Chloe, and the new baby. One thing is certain — there's tons of potential here.

Makeover Room Before

This end of the basement is under-used and disorganized. There's a wonderful amount of vertical space that is just dying to be given purpose.

Toys, toys and more toys are scattered throughout the large area and are in desperate need of containment.

Professional organizer Jamie Novak can help. The first step, she says, is to purge the room of unused items, namely the bachelor black leather chair and bulky coffee table. Toys are moved to one side of the room, and grownup toys are gathered on the other side.

She also plans to lighten and brighten the dark space by painting the walls a mustard yellow with a red accent wall, darken the flooring with a honey-colored plank floor, repair the ceiling and add lighting. Let's look at how all that turned out:

Makeover Room After

Upholstered furniture that used to be hidden underneath clutter makes an attractive seating area on the grownup side of the basement. A red accent wall enlivens the area.

A play area is stationed at the opposite end of the room, where all of the toys are now used and stored. A new activity table provides both storage areas and a work surface.

Once a short wall was removed, space was made for this snazzy open shelving that houses memorabilia, books and electronic equipment.

Mission accomplished! Both Dawn and Ron got want they wanted, and they promise to keep it neat and organized.

Makeover Information

Products from The Container Store:

White art table
White chairs
laundry sorter
ironing board
cord-control kits
magnetic wall strip
wall grid
wall grid baskets
photo boxes
flip boxes
laundry storage

Products from Sure Fit:

floor pillows

Product from Smart Furniture:

maple shelving unit

Products from Brookstone:

Dune lamp
Terra lamp
game table
folding chairs
large oak rolling cabinet
multimedia oak storage cabinet
oak bathroom hutch

Products from Lillian Vernon:

storage bench
School Days book and chest

Products from Rubbermaid:

gift-wrap organizer
clear boxes

Sherwin-Williams paint colors used:

Ceremonial Gold (eggshell) SW6382
Red Tomato (eggshell) SW 6607
tinted red primer
tinted gold primer

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