Using Every Inch of Your Home

Just before the holiday, I was contacted by Michaelle Bond, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, who was working on a story about some of the smaller/quicker/less-expensive home improvement projects that can make an outsized difference in a home.   The timing felt appropriate as people continue to spend most of their time at home and may be looking for ways to improve the design of their interior without breaking the bank.   The article, titled “Simple, Inexpensive Home Improvements for Living and Selling” has gone live just in time for the new year, and you can read it here. >

The Inquirer article is a round-up of many budget-friendly, high impact design ideas from me and from other designers and realtors, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

In this blogpost, I’d like to go more in depth on one of the topics that I discussed with Michaelle:   Using and improving underused spaces in your home.  Turning unused spaces into usable spaces has been a big theme of our work during the pandemic.   With so many people working and playing at home, making the most of all the living space has really become a priority for many homeowners.

If you want your kids to have a playplace where they can make noise and NOT disrupt mom or dad as they try to get work done at home, then converting a basement to a kid lounge may be just the thing for you.

Can you envision this unused basement as a kids’ hangout space?

Client Basement Before

A Client’s basement, before. Newtown, PA

New flooring, a sectional, a rug, a media console, a coffee table and a tv create a cozy place for the kids to do their thing.  To add charm to the interior design of this basement lounge space, we used Anewall’s Leo’s Library Wallpaper.

After of Client's Basement Living Room

After photo of the basement space from Down2earth Interior Design’s Instagram account @down2earthdesign

If you’re a renter, or just have PTSD from removing a whole heck of a lot of 70’s wallpaper, you may be hesitant to embrace wallpaper again, but thanks to advances in digital printing and so many methods available for adhering to the walls, wallpaper is definitely back. Anewall has great mural style wallpapers that give a lot of pop to a space, like the one shown above, and they come in multiple styles, including pre-pasted, traditional, and peel and stick for those homeowners looking for something temporary.

D2E Moodboard Proposal

D2E Moodboard Proposal

Another such conversion we did was turning a breakfast nook into a kids’ study (see image above).   We created a space where the kids can do schoolwork, within earshot of a parent but without taking over the dining room table.   And the truth is, now that the kids are back in school part time, Dad uses this space as his study when the kids are gone.  Here’s the design proposal we put together for that space.   I wonder if Dad has fun doodling on the chalkboard mountain as well!


Cover photo courtesy of Anewall.

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