Wednesday, January 15, 2014

R & R

This personal renovation project certainly did not have us doing a lot of rest and relaxation as this title suggests, but it was a fun tongue in cheek suggestion as my children's names are Ruby and Reid, plus we can all use a little sarcasm right? Our 1920's colonial home always had this fairly unfinished basement since we moved in more than 6 years ago, but it was begging for a transformation as we used this space daily and it had become our front door as we entered our home from the driveway. Coats, mittens and shoes were strewn all over the space and it was dark and dingy. 

My vision for the space was to have it provide a few functions in only about 400 square feet of space (the balance of the basement is a tool and storage room). The primary inspiration was our children and to give them an art studio space that they could enjoy, pin up their work and also just have fun in. We also had to solve a few other functions that were necessary, like the 'mudroom' and related storage, the washer/dryer area that needed an update, the need for more storage and a pantry and we needed to update the stair to the main level of the house and a small powder room was part of the scope too. The ceilings are quite low at just after 8 feet, so we exposed the rafters and cleaned up the electrical to visually give us that extra space. All of the walls and ceilings were painted white to make the space feel larger than it actually is and a practical luxury vinyl plank tile is what I selected for the floors which is a great solution to keep the space dry. We do however run a dehumidifier constantly to keep the moisture out of the space, especially during the summer months.

Take a peek at the images below that the fabulous Jessica Delaney did, and gain a little more insight into the details and other project features.

Natural light helps make this studio space
bright and cheerful during the day and industrial
pendant lamps with warm LED lamps keep it
well lit and full of style at night

The silhouettes were enlarged from smaller ones and continue to
pay homage to my children and make the space theirs. The pantry
hidden storage can be seen beyond the accent wallpaper wall.

The entry door to the left is the main entrance into the space. Simple
Ikea storage units for coats etc is upgraded with a custom bench seat
cushion. All of us have our own drawers for mittens and shoes etc, so 
it is a breeze keeping things orderly, finally!

The tones from the flooring is repeated in this rustic small tray
that houses some of the kids art supplies. 

Behind the R&R is a future cable outlet, which
we will potentially upgrade to a flat screen tv 
when the kids outgrow this art space. A great
tip is to always think of the future when planning
kids spaces as their needs change constantly!

I love natural textures and they make this black and
white scheme very welcoming and interesting. The mirror 
is an ancient one that I've had forever from S. Africa and I added a
Martha Stewart glaze with bronze highlights that I added now make it
a fun antique looking piece mixed in with the more contemporary furniture, 
lighting and rug pieces.

Every woman's dream, at least mine: An organized,
neat and clean washer/dryer area! To the right of that
is the teeny powder room and some recycling storage.
You can also see the fridge that is recessed in to the left,
and the storage baskets for sporting gear.

Organization: As a mother of two having a well 
organized home is the only way that I can manage 
and juggle all of the craziness that is involved with 
having my own business and a family and home
to look after. Little prize details like their backpacks
with perfect little hooks keep my kids organized and 
me completely sane (on most days)!

Want to see what we transformed?
The new pantry area and we closed in the stair to give its that great
accent wall!

I enclosed all of the lolly columns which helped create fun wall
spaces actually and added to the otherwise simple space

Yes it was that bad

I hid these lolly columns too with the new design

The old stair pantry is no more!

Amazing what a good clean up and proper storage and 
organization can do, right?


  1. Excellent daughter ! Love the brightness that you have created. Cannot believe that it is the same old space. WELL DONE ! what a special place for R & R - I envisage many many happy times there for them xxx

  2. Excellent Justine ! What a wonderful space you have created for R & R. Complete change from the dark space.

    1. It is just perfect and feels nothing like a basement with it being so bright and airy. Thanks!

  3. it's hard to believe it the same space!!! what a beautiful job you did!

  4. Wow that transformation is incredible! I love that you kept the colors neutral so the colors from the art pop.

  5. Looks great! I have a similar space that I am currently fixing up to be a playroom. Can you give your sources for the flooring and lights? Thanks!

    1. Hi! Here is the info that you asked for, please sign in next time with your name. Always great to know who is reading the blog, thanks! The flooring is Shaw Quiet Walk luxury vinyl plank flooring. Not sure if you're local but this is from Bradford Carpet on Route 1 (near Melrose, MA where I live). The pendant lights are from Ikea and it comes in two sizes, I used the smaller one. I also bought the Ikea LED bulbs. They are $30 each as an initial outlay, but will keep the energy costs down in the long term, and save the planet :-) These LED's give off a really warm light and they are the dimmable ones, which is a real bonus. I tend to overnight spaces as i love them bright and use dimmers to adjust for different mood settings. Good luck with your project!

    2. Oh and the flooring color name is: 00540 Urban Ash