We are trying to go out to dinner once a month as a couple but our one rule is that we don’t go to chain restaurants, just local, regional or mom and pop restaurants. It is so much fun and such a nice way to explore your area on a budget.
Also this weekend, I went running.
No, I wasn’t being chased!
Here are the details from our recent basement renovation on a budget. This was no easy task for me because I hate spending any more money than I have to on home improvements especially since my home (like many of yours) is not worth a hill of beans right now. But I am assured by many sources that making little improvements like these to our home does indeed make a big impact even in the worst of economies. Also, we live in our home and want to enjoy it to the fullest so I never really felt guilty making these improvements.
So let’s see what we did, how we did it and how much money we spent:
First of all the paint color is called Haystack by Martha Stewart. We did not buy Martha Stewart paint, however. It was $49.99 a gallon and we were informed by our local Home Depot associate that the MS line is going away. Hmmm, at $49.99 a gallon, I wonder why? We got Glidden for $21.99 a gallon. If I had it to do all over again, I would have paid the five dollars extra per gallon and bought the Behr. We ended up using four gallons of paint + primer for the entire basement and still have some touch up to do here and there.
We got the beadboard for our hallway/stairwell to the basement at Home Depot and they cut it down to size for us. The molding we had left in our garage from when the previous owners initially remodeled the basement. We also got what is called MDF (short for medium-density fiberboard) at Home Depot to make a shelf in that awful hallway and the associate cut that down to size for us as well. We didn’t use all of it though so we have lots of leftovers in the garage for future projects.
I can hear my husband sighing right about……now.
Bad hallway picture.
But you get the idea.
There is some touch up to be done above the MDF shelf but that is coming soon.
I am also going to re-paint the MDF and molding once this wall is settled.
Here it is all finished:
The mirror on the opposite wall is our old bathroom mirror if you can believe it. The cool black artwork is from The Container Store, $9.99 for all four panels
I love how this little reading corner turned out.
No money was spent on this section because I had every single item except for the body pillow cover which we got at Target for $5 on clearance.
And this bench has a history.
The white fixture the games are on?
A tall IKEA bookcase turned on its side.
See the cool dots on the wall? They are chalkboard/dry erase dots. I got them at Target a few weeks ago for $3.50 on clearance.
The white dots are dry erase and the black dots are chalkboard, which is kind of cool.
Peel and stick too so it can come off when we get tired of them.
See this cool storage solution?
Maybe this isn’t anything special to you, but for years my children have had their pretend food in this little three drawer storage unit I got at Target when my oldest was really little.
It was great and lasted for years but the wheels started falling off.
One by one.
Until it was tilted so bad, we had to put pretend food under the space where the wheel used to be just so the thing wouldn’t fall over.
I got the above at The Container Store for under 18 bucks total.
I love how it is open so it makes it easier to clean up at the end of the day.
Just throw it in instead of making sure it gets in the drawer and that the drawer can even close.
I am hoping this will help with the cleanup effort.
I know, long shot but worth the try.
Since we are in the toy room, I wanted to show you this:
I got the above storage at The Container Store as well but it was actually in the laundry section.
I thought it would be perfect to hold all of the dress-up clothes.
It was $19.99 and came in different colors and patterns.
But I wanted just plain because none of what they offered went with this yellow.
Then Rebecca said she could add some embellishment to this for me.
And here is what she did:
Isn’t it cute?
She sewed these colorful felt circles onto the sides.
I love this so much and now it makes this storage solution so much more special.
The EAT sign I
destroyed created when the girls were little and felt like it was kind of perfect above the play kitchen.
So I needed some curtains in the basement.
We had these cheap black short ones in the old office but didn’t want to do black since we were getting away from the whole iwannajumpoffabridge theme down there.
I was at Goodwill with Rebecca last week and lo and behold found this panel for $1.50.
That is Michael Jordan and my husband in the picture above the television.
My husband is over six feet tall and looks like a preschooler next to him.
He was Michael’s caddy at the golf course he worked at all through college here in Chicago.
This picture is a huge conversation piece in our home.
See the little details above the bookshelves?
The mason jars I already had.
The baskets were $2.50 each on clearance at Target.
One of the last touches to the basement I want to talk about is this throw.
Rebecca and I found this at Marshall’s and we both fell in love with it.
It is so cozy soft.
I walked around the store with this thing for a while before giving in.
It was $19.99 but it is so cold in our basement so I know we will use it.
At least that was Rebecca’s argument for buying it.
2020 update- we still have it. Rebecca is always right.
Supplies (extra paint rollers, brushes, contractor’s adhesive…for beadboard, etc..)- 21.00
Decorative touches- 81.97
For a grand total of $242.31
My original budget was $150 but I was told by my brother that a basement re-do for under $250 is pretty amazing.
That is also including paint for the entire finished part of the basement and the kind with paint + primer in one.
So I was $100 off in my budget but I would do it all again.
And now we have added so much more living space to our home, our oldest has her own space to hang out with her friends, her little sister has her own space to throw toys aimlessly with her friends.
And my husband and I can sit in peace and quiet one floor away.