From Panic Room to Media Room…..

2013-08-14

When we downsized to this little lake cottage, we knew we were giving up a 1200 square foot finished basement.

Our old basement was half the size of this cottage!!

But, we are a family of three and we did not need a 3600 square foot home with 5 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths.

We made the decision that we would rather have lake front property than the big suburban home…..plus, who wants to clean all that?

Not Me!!

The lake cottage does have a tiny basement…. pretty much a 105 square foot room with a small entry foyer to the home, a garage and a tiny workshop.

So, the question was what do we do with this small 105 square foot room that was dark, dirty and smelled pretty musty?

The room does have a door but is right off the entry foyer to our home.

The old owners used it as a storage room and probably had never vacuumed the musty old Berber carpet that was inside.

For the first year we lived here we did nothing. We had a kitchen to tear out and we had plenty of other projects to make the main spaces livable.

The room inevitably became storage…..and became known as “The Panic Room”.

Why, you ask?

Well, my 6’2″ neighbor decided that is what it should be called because every time he entered, he panicked a bit…..what I haven’t told you yet, is that this room only has 7′ ceilings!!

Yikes!!

What are we ever going to do with this space? It would be a shame not to use it!

So, last spring, after a gathering at a friends home, I was lamenting the fact that we did not have a separate place for my daughter and her friends to play video games or watch movies, like in our old basement.

Perfect!

That is what I would do with The Panic Room!

We need to convert it to a Media Room!

First, I needed a bit of design inspiration.

We would go with a bit of Coastal Chic like the rest of the house, but what would my colors be?

My husband happens to be the worlds largest Chicago Cubs fan and that spring he was mad because he had no place of his own to watch the game….I think my daughter and I had taken over with HGTV again!

Even my husband complaining gives me inspiration sometimes!

We have plenty of Cubs memorabilia left from our old basement and what is more fun for a lake house than Red, White and Blue with the Stars and Stripes?

Lets get Started!!! And we should probably begin with the smell, LOL!

I needed to get rid of that musty carpet….but do I replace it with carpet?

It does stay pretty chilly down there in the winter?

No! We don’t want this old basement to smell like a basement anymore!

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So, off to Lumber Liquidators I went.

I absolutely fell in love with this gray laminate floor!

Why Laminate?

Because it is does very well laid over a concrete basement floor when installed properly over a vapor barrier.

The carpet and pad only soaked up the moisture that come up through the concrete.

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We gutted the ceiling of the room first….hoping maybe it was dropped a bit.

No luck, but we solved the many electrical issues that awaited us.

I swear this house is Pandora’s Box!

Did I mention that in a 7′ room they installed fluorescent flush mount lights with oak trim?

Who had these bright ideas?!?!? (No pun intended)

There is my electrician looking perplexed as usual….

We installed puck lights with MR16 bulbs.

I love the light they cast….yes, I can be a huge lighting nerd but I promise you, it makes a difference.

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Instead of dry-walling the ceiling again, we installed white bead board just like the rest of the house. This, unfortunately, is my only before/in progress photo. I wish I could have bottled the smell so people would understand how gross this room really was!

It looks fantastic now….and even though we were not able to raise the ceiling, the room has the illusion of more height.

The room also had bead board installed a bit higher than chair rail height in about 3/4 of the room but never finished?

We finished it and trimmed it all up, painted it all white, and the Panic Room was finally causing less Panic!

Basement Bedford gray

The drywall in the room needed a bit of color. I took a cue from the driftwood floor and choose a neutral gray called Bedford Gray by Martha Stewart.

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We hung an older spare TV we had on the wall….yes, I know we need a larger one!

How can this be a Media Room with such a small TV?!?!

The 55″ Flat screen will soon move down there when we acquire a new TV for our family room. Our Family room is in the process of a face-lift as we speak!

We had the credenza from our old basement plus the old game board on the wall.

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My mom sent me these antique decoys that she had collected 30 years ago.

They have to be over 100 years old and perfect for my Lake Cottage!

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This one is my favorite!

Thanks Mom!

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The seating in the room is a bright red sofa from Ikea with some patriotic pillows courtesy of Pottery Barn.

I used the basket cubes from my daughters room as a coffee table….they now contain all the Lego’s for she and Daddy to create with!

This room has turned out perfect for Father-Daughter bonding.

What is better than video games, Cubs baseball and Lego’s?

The rug is a soft jute from Rugs USA and completed the look….plus warms up the floor a bit.

The entire room was done with almost all things we had here in the house already!

There is nothing better than shopping in your own house for decor.

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It is now a clean, family space to throw your feet up and watch the game!

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