When I first came to view the house I was not really sure what to think of the basement. It seemed to be a lot of extra space to clean and I wasn’t really sure we needed it but it has since come to be a key part of the house. It has also caused us quite a few ups and downs!
To reach the basement you turn back on yourself as you enter our kitchen. As you walk down the stairs you are met with a hallway with four doors leading off of it:
- The first leads to a small box cupboard/room underneath the stairs of the front steps. It was really dirty when we moved in but it is one of the only built in cupboards we have in the house so eventually we will use it for storing the ironing board, laundry basket, DIY tools and things like that
- There is then a room of similar size to our living room with three small windows at street level that run along the side of the house
- Next is a slightly smaller room with a large window that looks into the back garden
- Finally there is a small bathroom with a sink, toilet and bath as well as one of my other built in cupboards
We really like the fact that all of the rooms have natural light – I’ve never been a fan of rooms (particularly bathrooms) without windows.
When we first moved in this was our home, the smaller room had the bed and the larger room (which had a built in wardrobe) housed everything else from clothes to books to bits of furniture that had no where else to go. It was fine, it needed a bit of TLC but was right at the bottom of our to-do list as nothing was really ‘wrong’ with it. The only thing we needed to consider was how we could improve the fire exit plan of the larger rooms as building regulations weren’t happy with the three small windows being the only way out.
Then came the great flood of 2014…
I mentioned here the damage that was caused but it was a complete nightmare. None of the other rooms were in a fit state for us to move into and the only rooms that were okay were full of every bit of furniture and possession we owned. Initially we had to move out and stay with some family but we then returned and managed to move things around so we could squeeze into the living room before making it upstairs.
Now, five months on I am able to look back (thanks to the fact I have a functioning bedroom) and see how this may have actually helped us in the long term. The insurance has paid for:
- new tanking and insulation
- new plastering
- new wood work and doors
- new painting
- new bathrooms
It’s not completely finished but the end is definitely in sight. The intention has always been to make the small room (our old bedroom) The Husband’s office as he works from home and needs a space he can shut the door to at the weekend. The other room has always been planned as a TV room/den or ‘man cave’ as The Husband likes to call it. We’ve also been keen to ensure that both have the ability to be guest rooms if needed.
As with the whole house, my priority has been to make sure it is as warm as possible too! We’ve gone for a bright white painted finish with the intention of keeping it simple and then adding colour via photos and pictures. We’re planning on having a light coloured wooden floor but may also go for a brightly coloured carpet for the stairs.
The pictures below show where we have got to. This is the hallway and the door to the room under the front steps:
This is from the bigger room through to the new office. We have taken the opportunity to install doors between the two to meet the request from the building regulations team:
This is the new bathroom which we have tried to style in a similar theme to the main one. The tiles are the same and the rest are the same design but slightly smaller versions to fit the space. We couldn’t match the floor as it would clash with the hallway so we gone for a slate one and we still need to redo the handles on the cupboard that is in there: