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Convert Your Basement Into a Functional Environment

A pro organizer clears out and organizes a family's basement.

Jenny and J.B. Howard need help getting their basement in order. The room, which has been split into a 29 x 14-foot play area and 14 x 14-foot office area, is littered with magazines, videos and tons of toys.

They enlist the help of organizer Amy Rehkemper to return their basement to the functional space it was intended to be. She begins by asking the Howards to sort through everything in the room and decide what should stay and what should go. She wants the room cleared to give her a clean slate for implementing her plan.

Rehkemper's objective is to turn the larger play area into a grownup space that includes built-in shelving, plenty of seating and an entertainment center. The rest of the room is to be a child-safe playroom with bright, cheery colors and lots of low storage units for the children's things. .

Entertainment Area

Before: Toys and other miscellaneous items were piled on the furniture and surrounded the floor in front of the television. There was no place to sit and watch, even if anyone actually ventured into the room.

After: Now there is an entertainment area for the grownups to enjoy, complete with new furniture pieces that double as storage units as well as plush new couches, accessories and TV set.

Play Area

Before: The play area was pretty much the whole room. Toys would simply be cleared away to make a spot on the floor for the kids.

After: Now it's a playroom paradise that features a baby safe zone with low storage for the 1-year old and a castle play loft for the older child.

Before: The Howards had good intentions with this shelving unit, but it eventually became a catchall for games and toys, just like the rest of the room.

After: The new, larger L-shaped unit serves as a divider between the entertainment and play areas and houses clear, labeled baskets for all those toys. The newly designed space is an overwhelming success. Not only is there plenty of storage for all the toys, books and videos, but it also functions as a parent's paradise with plenty of room to read, exercise and relax. The castle play loft makes this room a favorite for the kids, too.

Products from Lumber Liquidators:

Dream Home-Utopia, oak laminate flooring, roughly 170 square feet

Products from Rugs Direct:

Manufacturer: Balta, Collection: Tradewinds, Style: 8682 Area Rug 100% Olefin 7'10" x 11'1", Ferns and Pineapple design

Products from Home Decorators:

Mission-style cocktail table with drawers, Natural Cherry finish, (18h x 44w x 20.5d)
two twig wall sconces, Vintage Bronze, 15"h x 14" w x 7"
boy's desk with multicolored drawers and birch desktop 30.25"h x 52"w

Products from The Container Store:

bamboo lattice storage stool, 15 x 15
two bamboo lattice vanity caddies
bamboo lattice vanity box
bamboo tissue holder, Natural
10 media storage racks
three large lined Makati baskets, Sage
four small lined Makati baskets, Sage
10 medium folding mesh cube, Orange, 12" square
animal 12.7 qt. swing-lid can, tiger
animal 12.7 qt. swing-lid can, panda
six small stacking drawers, Green 8-3/4" x 15-3/8" x 5-3/4" h
Techno pneumatic lift chair, Orange, 17" x 19" x 34" h
small magnetic wipe-off board, Orange, 9-7/8" square
small magnetic wipe-off board, Blue 9-7/8" square
magnetic wipe-off board, Green 9-7/8" square
six Mighty Magnetic Strip, Green, 28" x 2-1/2" h
10 Our deep sweater box, 15-5/8" x 13-1/8" x 13-1/4" h
14 Our sweater box, 15-5/8" x 13-1/8" x 6-3/4" h
12 Our Men's shoebox, 14-3/4" x 10-1/8" x 5-5/8" h
six small stacking drawers, Blue, 8-3/4" x 15-3/8" x 5-3/4" h

Products from Stack and Stacks:

four bar stools, high back, Silver (height adjustable from 22 to 30")
toy storage, Chain Gang, White (6' long)
four shelf baskets, set of three, Willow Collection's Honey/Natural
toy storage hammock 34"w x 34"d x 45"l

Products from Lillian Vernon:

zebra beanbag chair, not personalized
two leopard print pillows
three zebra lamps
six pivoting light bars

Painting services for mural:

Alana McFall

Product from Ebbe:

castle bed

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