unfinished basement playroom

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so, our basement is unfinished, but we gutted it back to the bricks a few years ago and now use it like finished space. the floor is poured cement in most places, the ceiling rafters are exposed and the electrical is somewhat questionable, but it’s pretty serviceable as far as unfinished basements go.

when i was 40 weeks pregnant, bored out of my skull and desperate for my baby to make her appearance, i drove to ikea and bought a cabinet, used my giant baby belly to leverage the 50 lb box into my backseat and put a basement playroom together for frankie rose beside the furnace. fast forward eight months and we actually spend a fair bit of time downstairs on said playroom rug. frankie isn’t crawling yet, but she still manages to use a fair bit of space when she’s awake — rolling, turning 360° on her belly, chucking her toys. i still stand by my claim that her 54 sq. ft. nursery works, but it is handy to have a larger open space for her as she develops her gross motor skills.

unfortunately, hanging out next to the furnace, in front of a cement wall and underneath the ductwork sucks and it’s not even winter yet. so i decided to execute a big swap last week and move her play area to the most finished part of our basement and move my sewing/office area next to the furnace. last summer, the twins framed, drywalled and trimmed out an 80 sq. ft. section of our basement at our request. in retrospect, i wish we’d had them drywall more of the basement, because it makes a huge difference, but it didn’t really cost us anything since the trades were here anyways, working on our mudroom.

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this is the new play area — it’s got insulation, drywall, a window and electrical outlets, so it’s way better. the floor is still poured concrete (painted with garage floor paint), but i have some big puzzle mat pieces, rug pad and wool rug on top, so it’s actually pretty soft underfoot and warm.

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i hung the second reclaimed wood shelf on this wall (we adapted the other for her room a few weeks ago) and now she has a good selection of toys on both floors. in keeping with the illustrated theme of her nursery, i used two (non-original) children’s book prints that i didn’t have room for in her bedroom above the shelf.

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i mounted the ribba picture ledge that we used to have hanging above our bed next to the toy shelf. i cannot wait for her to be able to crawl over to these shelves and select a toy or book, but she is taking her sweet time getting mobile.

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the cabinet contains all my extra children’s books, fabric remnants and craft supplies, some of which are toxic, so it’s great to be able to lock them up. and, obviously, frankie’s not using crayons or markers anytime soon… these are mine, for now.

anyways, we haven’t spent too much time down here over the last few days because the weather has meant we can soak up a few more days in the backyard, but i anticipate being down here (with a crawler, hopefully) a lot this winter!

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