Basement Renovation

OK, so it rained all day yesterday, and it looks like more to come today.  I still enjoyed my pedicure, design magazines, and our meal was delicious.  But, no swimming or golf to be had.  We really needed the rain, so no complaints here.  It's gloomy, but only as far as the weather goes - I have a few finds to share with you today!

I'm working on a basement renovation for my sister-in-law who lives out of town.  We've been working via email for most of the selections; but I actually got to see the space this past Saturday.  We are very close to the finish line.   We started by selecting a light creamy wall color and new tiles for the floor (originally, it was a commercial grade flooring).  We have added a new stairwell railing and newell post along with some amazing built ins for storage.  They are also reusing most of the furnishings they already had in the space.

Now, I am sourcing artwork.  This space will be used mainly as a playroom for their children and hang out space for movie/football game watching for a the entire family.  So, it has to be "kid friendly with a grown-up feel."  Lastly, the final touches must be budget friendly.  The space is huge and the tile job alone really took up the majority of our budget.  

So, tall order - right?!  Well, here are a few ideas I have found to give them maximum impact on a budget.  

I would use the Ribba IKEA frames at $9.99 each and get those six kiddos busy on creating some masterpieces.

Then as the children grow and the space becomes more grown up, they can switch out the artwork for sample patterns of wallpaper, or handmade paper for this look.

This is another clever idea since you can easily change out the artwork as the children grow.  Just go out and find some vintage frames, paint them all the same color and you're set.  It looks like the art is attached to the wall with those clips you get at an office supply store.

This is also an affordable IKEA find.  These work wonderfully. 

Most of you know that I am not a huge fan of wall decals, but I have to make an exception for this one.  What a great way to fill a large wall in a playroom and make it easy to switch out your children's artwork.  

When you have lots of kids, you have lots of books.  Look at this clever affordable idea.  These are metal gutters!  Who knew?! 

This is a similar idea, but just using molding to create a book ledge.  This would be a wonderful way to fill up a large wall without taking up any space (depth wise).  Super clever. 

Look at this one!  Again, nice, affordable way to fill up a large wall and easy access to change the artwork when you get something new to display.  

Here's a more sophisticated take on of the same idea.

Another one!  This could make an awesome chore list for all those kiddos. 

These are those old fashion wooden pant hangers!  Talk about a clever idea.  I just love how the look of the space is totally different depending on the artwork you are displaying.   Also, notice the funky tray on the table - it's a mirror with the frame painted a bright color. 

How about a magnetic wall, just paint it on and bring on the magnets. Super easy. 

Another example of a magnetic wall - you can make this look as uniformed or messy as you like.  And, again, the room can evolve as the children grow.  You could start with crayon drawings and end up with maps of places visited! 

And of course I had to include it!  The chalkboard painted wall.  What I think is great about this idea in my specific project is the room layout calls for a sitting/TV watching area and a separate pool table/gaming area.  I would love to see this in the gaming area as a neat place to keep score, talk smack, etc.   

And this one is both - a magnetic chalkboard!  clever, clever.  Also notice the measurements on the corner for memorializing the grow of your kids.  too cute. 

OK, I have to be honest here.  This is just too much for my Type A personality to handle.  It would undo me, but for many this is a mecca of organized clutter and to do's.  It really all depends on your personality and what works for you family!  My sister-in-law is way more laid back, so this may be the perfect solution for her. 

So, I have to ask, which one (or more) would choose for an expanse of wall in a basement area!  I know my sister-in-law would love your opinions.  I think I've given her too many options! M. 


  1. I love the contrast of messy kid art in ordered, graphic frames. Such a great collection of ideas here. Do you ever sleep?!?

  2. Wow-- what great ideas! I really like the 1st one with the Ikea frames that you can switch from kids art to wallpaper (or more grown up art) when the children start to grow up...but would have never thought of metal gutters-- what a great idea! Take care, Caroline

  3. Wow! So many great ideas! I really like the classic frames (IKEA ribba). Some of the other options might end up looking a bit kid-cluttery (just made up that term) for those times when adults will be enjoying the space. Although, I do like the magnetic chalkboard idea. So, maybe in one area of the room? And I love the ledges for books. Very unobtrusive and space-saving. Great post!

  4. This post is FANTASTIC! You rocked it! :-)

    So many great tips, I will save it!


    Luciane at

  5. This post is FANTASTIC! You rocked it! :-)

    So many great tips, I will save it!


    Luciane at

  6. So many fabulous ideas. Always loved a big giant wall of bookshelves and that magnetic wall is such a great idea. Amazing what a great imagination can do!

  7. Okay, so I really like all the options, but if you are going to make me pick...I'd choose the blackboard painted wall. Fun for young and old alike. Plus, the dark wall would look really dramatic.


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.