I’ve looked and looked, and I can’t find any “before” shots of this area. I’m not sure why I didn’t take one before I started on it, except that I guess I was just too excited and in a hurry to get going.
The stairway to the boys’ room, formerly known as the basement, was a big mess. Well, the steps themselves were fine – Glenn just built them a few months ago and I painted them a pretty gray. It was the area to the right of the steps that I’m referring to – the little “storage area” under the stairs. It was dark and dirty, and full of tools with power cords trailing everywhere, stray screws, light bulbs, paint cans, etc. It had become our catch-all for all the stuff we wanted nearby while we were renovating the other areas, but didn’t have any way to arrange. (not to mention the time to care about arranging it).
Finally, I could stand it no more! The boys didn’t seem to mind much, but I did. Every time I went to their room, I had to go by all of it and look at it. And it wasn’t pretty – or even rustically-appealing. It was just junky.
There are two huge hand-hewn beams that are the support for the house, that are visible as you go downstairs. I knew the boys didn’t want me to paint those – actually, I think they are kind of neat as is, myself. But everything else was fair game.
I brought everything – everything – out of the storage area and put it all on the floor in the coat hallway for Glenn to look over. Then I vacuumed, and washed, and primed, and painted the whole area. I found 2 long ex-closet shelves and painted those as well, intending to have a double wide shelf. Unfortunately, when Glenn was drilling the support wood in for the shelf, he discovered that the storage area didn’t have any 2x4’s behind the drywall. He found this out because he drilled right through our electric line. I saw a puff of smoke on the upstairs landing and we lost power in the family room and entry. Glenn was fine! But he had to cut out a niche of drywall and reattach the wiring.
Did I mention how handy he is?
Finally we got it all configured – power was restored and we used a few of the storage bins to support the double wide shelf on one end. Problem solved.
Here is a look at things now down the stairs from the boys’ doorway.
If you’ve been here, you know this is a drastic difference!
I found a spare tension rod in the schoolroom closet, and made a little curtain out of my drop cloth. I am whittling away at that drop cloth, piece by piece, but I still have 2 large sections left for some other project! This view is from the boys’ room, looking up toward the storage area. Because the wall is angled just to the right of the stud, I could only curtain off that one section. But it was enough for me – I’m happy.
The area without the curtain looks better too, thanks to these apple bushel baskets I found at Hobby Lobby. The 2 big ones were about half the cost of woven baskets! The little one was just cute. It has a wooden handle.
The light fixture over the landing was just a bare twisty bulb, with drywall plaster sticking out all around the base. It was raw and ugly. But Glenn and I were at Lowe’s just a few days before, and I found the perfect light fixture! It was at the end of an aisle with a lot of other miscellaneous clearance items and was marked half off! Isn’t it neat?! It looks old-fashioned to me.
I hemmed and hawed over what to put on the wall for decoration after all that. Finally, I went down to the boys’ room and there was this really neat framed map that Luke had been holding onto for some time, leaning against the wall. I had tried to get rid of it a few times, because it didn’t seem to go anywhere. Good thing, he had resisted my de-cluttering attempts! It went perfectly on the wall – and Luke was really pleased that I finally put it up somewhere that he could enjoy it.
We still have some trim to do on the stairs and landing, but overall things are much improved! I know it has to feel more welcoming to the boys. And I think it has a cleaner look – and more like it’s all been put there on purpose, as opposed to being tossed in a hole.
You might find this next part hard to believe… then again, maybe you won’t if you know me at all. I even washed the hand-hewn wood beams with soapy water to clean the dust off them. Ahhh…feels so good.