Earlier this summer we cleaned out our basement. It was way overdue! Our Victorian house was built in the late 1800s, with a large walk-in brick and stone basement that is basically dry. It wasn’t until all the junk was removed that we realized what a really great space it was! We had been talking about doing some renovations to the house, taking the washer/dryer out of the basement and bringing it upstairs to eliminate carrying a laundry basket full of clothes down 2 flights of stairs. We needed more storage space, some closets and cubbies for winter clothes, boots, hats, scarves, mittens, a place besides the attic to keep our luggage and Christmas decorations and stuff. So now right in front of us was this huge new open space that had been filled with years of accumulated junk, samples of products, rejected possessions from old college dorm rooms from our three daughters, boxes of old clothing, boxes of unused pots and pans and boxes of who knows what?, etc. One side of the basement was used as a workshop by the Captain and had all his tools along with ban saws, lathes, drills and other shop items for his wooden projects. That room also had become a catchall for things we didn’t need or want anymore. When in doubt, it went down to the basement. All of a sudden there was the very large open space waiting for a little TLC. It was a revelation. Stacks of boxed items had all but hidden the assets of this large area. We had just forgotten what we had since we basically couldn’t see it anymore covered as it was. The beauty of the space was that it also had a door that went directly outside to our driveway, making access so easy to right where we park our cars.
We could redo the door and entry way and make this a new more convenient way to enter the house especially in the snowy winter months, instead of trekking up the back stairs, over the bricked in area and up the stairs to the deck and then into the kitchen. Inspired by all this wonderful new space, we quickly reevaluated what we had been discussing and met with an architect to draw up new plans. She came over with the builder and they immediately saw the potential. Within a week, new plans were drawn up for a great mudroom with tons of storage along with a workshop and office for the Captain and a large storage room to hold our holiday treasures and luggage. I went to work on the outside and redesigned the entry way to the door into the basement, met with a stone mason and came up with a wonderful plan to incorporate the landscaping with a new stone wall and brick path to our new “First Floor” of our home. In about two weeks time we start these renovations which include taking the washer/dryer and bringing it upstairs to the second floor new bathroom which will be part of a small addition that will bump out over our deck. So when I tell you that inspiration is in your everyday life and all around you, I couldn’t think of a better example than what we found in our basement! So go down and take a look in yours. Maybe you have a room or two down there waiting to be discovered!