submission to HOARDERS.

Our basement is a hellhole. Really and truly...an episode of Hoarders without exaggeration.

It's that dark space that we try to hide when folks come over. We deny that it's there but they always find it. So, last weekend after nearly a decade of failing to avoid the ugly truth, we put on gloves and hip-waders and literally dug ourselves out. Out of the mind-numbing culmination of 80 years of old trash that consumed our basement: skeletal mice, canisters of hardened cleaners from the Hoover administration...really, too painful to get into much detail here.

The good news? There is a plan!

Inspired by the parred-down simplicity of the staff kitchen in Downton Abbey, the linen room in the White House...oh, wait--our ceiling is only 6'5"...but we can dream.

Wait, back to the gutting: We filled two trailers--brimming to the top. Six city-sized trashbins. Mounds and mounds sent off to donation.
It was truly therapeutic. Except for the back muscles still hurting.

Here is some inspiration for the planned space which is to be a pantry / prep kitchen / kitchen textiles room. It'll have have a sink, fridge, some counterspace...and--be still my heart!--hopefully (God and Craigslist willing), an antique butcher block.

Above: the linen room in the White House, with its long industrial shelves, wood floor and white walls.

CEILING concept: exposed beams painted white.
SHELVING concept: basic wood on Wainscoting walls.

FLOORING concept: slate gray epoxy with vintage area floor covering on top.

PALETTE: white, gray, and weathered wood. 

Oh, the sketching, re-sketching and re-sketching had begun...

Then came the harsh realization that moving plumbing pipes, gas lines and heating ductwork is cost prohibitive to building the space out.

And so the room got smaller...and smaller. And, well, now its 13x10. But still respectible for an extension pantry / prep kitchen!

THIS is the moodboard for the new space, including wainscotting, cast iron and safety lighting. There'll be a place to stash my hoard of vintage dishes and antique restaurant cookware--finally!

HERE ARE SHOTS OF WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE NOW vs. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE IN MY HEAD (check back in a month to see how close we got for our Found Free & Flea budget...):

Anonymous said...

We love projects like this!!!!! We'll have to send you pictures of our shop, playhouse, ..... the dollhouse my dad made for my sisters. Wandawega - what a fun place!!

Mark and Laura - River Falls, WI

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