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Multifunctional Basement

The Bradburys retake their cluttered basement and create clearly defined areas for work and play.

Before: Overrun with Clutter
Holly and Bob Bradbury have a large, 21' x 21' basement — big enough to accommodate their activities and those of their three active children — but the room has no clearly defined areas.

When they first moved into their home, they envisioned the basement as a great office and recreation room. Instead the space is overrun with clutter. The space has been taken over with toys, sports equipment, drums and a bookcase holding old toys that are being saved for future generations. The TV area is cluttered with stored games and sports equipment.

Holly has a sad little corner desk that she never uses because things are so messy all around it. The cluttered office is crammed underneath the stairs, making the desk awkward to use.

Professional organizer Liz Witts has a plan for the family that creates five usage zones that are equipped with the appropriate containers and furniture to keep clutter at bay.

After: Organized Zones
To start, the room gets a fresh coat of yellow paint, with one wall painted blue as the focal point. Then, treasured — but unused — toys are moved into long-term storage to make room for things that are used every day.

The end result is a workout zone with storage for weights and sports equipment, an entertainment area with comfortable seating, a smaller bookcase with plenty of floor space for toys, a more functional office, and a craft corner for Holly.

The new workout area uses a wall rack to hold sports equipment, and exercise machines hide behind room screens when not in use.

Holly's tiny craft corner consisted of a small desk topped with a broken sewing machine. Supplies were scattered about in stacked boxes, making them hard to find. That disorganized corner now has a rolling file, wall sconces for crafting supplies, a larger work surface and a sewing machine that actually works!

A smaller bookcase holds all the children's toys in neat baskets. The brown room screens separate the play area from the workout area.

A new desk in the office zone fits more comfortably without that slanted ceiling above it. File cabinets contain the clutter and keep everything organized. Now everyone has an area in which to play or work.

Products from Stacks and Stacks:

Cathy Chair, Butter
wicker wall baskets, Natural
Everything Rack, Gray
SportsRack, black steel
wall hooks, silver

Products from Bellacor:

Regency wall clock
glass shade desk lamp, brushed steel
Connection floor lamp, chrome

Products from Storage Decor:

OFCB Summer Stripe stacking box set

Products from Lillian Vernon:

fabric-lined baskets

Products from The Container Store:

lined Makati baskets, Natural
Pandan storage stool, Natural
Cucina rolling bins
five-section MDF vertical file, Walnut
Skandia Storage Credenza
MDF monthly bill organizer, Walnut
Techno Pneumatic Lift Chair, Clear
Elfa desk top, Platinum
Elfa desk top, White
desk leg, White
Velcro Heavy Duty Hold Down Kit
Pneumatic Lift Desk Chair, Black
Bisley two-drawer file cabinet, Silver

Products from Textile Shop:

decorative denim pillows, Mirror Work and Golden Tape

Products from Sure Fit:

floral embroidered denim pillows
23" floor pillow, Red
embroidered suede throw, Latte

Products from Brookstone:

wide folding shelves, Walnut
large rolling storage cabinet, Walnut
rolling drawer cart, Oak
boot bench with lift top, Oak
entertainment armoire, Oak
Kids' Stackable Cubby, White
Kids Stackable Shelves, White
top and base for playroom storage components, White

Sherwin-Williams paint colors used:

Jonquil SW 667, eggshell finish
Low Luster Jacaranda SW 6802, eggshell finish
Low Luster Pure White SW 7005 semigloss finish
Low Luster Pure White SW 7005, eggshell finish


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