The new house (one week to close!) has an enormous basement. Not a dark, wet, smelly, the-children-are-scared-to-go-down-there basement. Nope, a wonderful, light-filled and open space. And it’s almost as large as the entire main floor of the house.
The space is unfinished, so you see the exposed concrete walls or the plastic coverings of pre-finishing. The heat pump and other equipment is exposed as well.
But it is clean, completely dry and very useable. Oh, and there’s the 10 foot ceilings too. Here’s a few pix. In that last photo, the entire bottom floor (the main floor being where the deck is) is the basement:
We’ve never had a house as big as just the main floor — 2100 sq ft — so the addition of this immense basement is quite a treat.
What to do with all that space?
I’m sure this will be a constantly-changing work in progress, flexing for the needs and preferences of the family.
First of all, our neighborhood is not one where I would send Whingari or Theo out to explore on bikes. The hills are pretty extreme. Even if they didn’t crash, they’d tire out and we’d be lugging their bikes back to the house for them. So, a portion of the basement will be useful for them to ride around. Theo is especially excited to use sidewalk chalk to make race tracks on the basement floor. 😀
Beyond that, I see this basement as being the heart of our homeschool. We’ll put our two large bookcases in a corner and load it with our extensive reference book collection. And on the lower shelves, within Whingari’s reach, I’ll stock all the arts and crafts materials.
Near the bookcases, and at a window (for natural light) I’ll place our preschool table with chairs. This I see becoming the ‘everything place’ including an art studio and a place to do various projects and experiments. I even have a box labeled ‘messy science stuff’ that hasn’t been opened since the last move…because we don’t have a place here for messy science anything. 😉
What else? Of course a space so large is to be used for children to work off extra steam on inclement weather days.
Lastly, I’ve been inspired by various blogs to create a special ‘writing space.’ I’m not sure what that will look like or what materials will be used. I do think it should be not too close to the ‘everything place’ and yet not isolated. There’s another window in the basement. It seems to me that this would be a good place. One can sit there and see nature. One can sit there and sketch or write and be with one’s own thoughts.
Of course there will be many, many spaces on the main floor to be enjoyed. But this downstairs place I see as being where wiggly children can just BE.
Once we get moved in, I’ll need to start stalking craigslist for listings of free furniture (as in old, ugly, but decent couch…since mama will be downstairs with the attachlings ALOT and isn’t inclined to sitting on the concrete floor or a teeny-tiny preschooler chair much…oy! my bones ache thinking about it.)
This space could use one or two pieces of soft furniture…good for cuddling into and reading or being read to. Plus a neat old desk for the writing center.
Upstairs I will be looking for a table and hutch for the dining room. This is to become my crafting room, but these two pieces of furniture could help it be either space without much fuss.
Anyway, I’m excited to create all these different spaces and see what the children create.