Sometimes Green Isn’t Good – Inexpensive Cellarway Revamp (Long Overdue)

Last summer (yes, I realize there’s snow on the ground), I started a project in my cellarway. It started out deep forest green – nearly EVERYthing. Throw in filthy old linoleum and a cheesy little wooden rack with apples on it that couldn’t have supported the weight of my everyday keys and it just seemed like a huge joke of a space. It was dark and cave-like, and with what we’re hoping to do this winter in the basement, it seemed like a horrible first impression to the rest of the cellar. Here’s the proof:

Cubby of Horror

Had to get rid of these puppies. Just too out-dated, and an inexpensive fix.
A Shot Looking Down the Stairway. Yuck.
The carpeting that was on the stairs prior – including Scotch tape “X” (?!)
Sexy brass light…had to go!

After removing everything, including the carpeting.
Disgusting Stairs…
No. Words.
What we had in mind…
(Not the ottoman, though. That’s found a permanent home in the living room.)

With little to spend on the project, I was at first apprehensive to consider the use of stick-on linoleum tiles. But, over 5 months later, they’re holding strong and clean up in a breeze — and can be replaced easily, if need be. (No need for that yet.) We also added the VERY FIRST PURCHASE I ever made for the house (seriously, we hadn’t closed and I bought them at Bargain Outlet while sitting on pins ‘n needles) — carpet treads which, it’s hard to tell here, are actually tones of brown, beige, and gray.

We also invested in the following changes: white semi-gloss for trim and previously unfinished wood shelving and railing (still considering whether the wood door should be painted — the design is so classic, I’m a little scared – but what better place to try it than the basement, right?), a creamy tan to brighten the walls and ceiling, a white shelf with accompanying brushed nickel scroll supports, modern-print storage baskets, silver edging for the stairs and…and, just check out the pictures. 😉

It may still be a little messy, but it’s all
bright white! It helps.

Hmm. To paint (the door and its woodwork)
or not to paint…THAT is the question.
(Oh, and that big rolled-up rug is for our
eventual hang-out space in the basement.)
New beige and crisp white paint, a brushed nickel
sconce (to replace the old, outdated brass one fixture),
and a close-up of the brushed-nickel/espresso wood
hanging system.
Sorry so blurry. Got a couple of storage bins
and a new white shelf with brushed nickel fixtures, now
hiding some random box that was built into the wall
(and is completely unusable, as far as I know).


Like I said, I’m still considering painting the door, but since we’ll be doing plenty of exterior painting when the thaw comes, I figured on finishing that at the same time (if I can work up the guts). The other side of the door needs a painting, as does the threshold (which is still dark green…ick!). The stairs continuing down cellar need their old, dirty carpet treads pulled up, then a good scrubbing and painting, then new treads. Oh, and I’d like to put backs on the stairs if possible since I’d like for Beardslee and Winston to be able to wander and possibly do their bid-niss down there, and they both have a tendency to want to jump through the openings — ack, not safe! (I know; they’re cats, they jump.) Then, it’s the REST of the cleaning, shelf-building, bathrooming, painting, etc etc etc of the basement. Lots to do and can’t WAIT until it’s usable!!!

Oh, and, BTW – we’re pretty cheap. Or, at least, we’re TRYING to be pretty cheap…without putting “crap” into our house. There are times to spend, and this wasn’t really one of them. So, all-in-all, we felt better spending a little bit of money because we knew that, well, a) it would help modernize the house a bit and, hopefully, help with resale value and b) we had some gift cards from our wedding shower that were burning a hole in our pocket — and rather than blow them all on one thing, we’d spend, say, $20 TOWARDS an entire project, making us feel like we got 50% off an item (don’t you love huge sales?! We made sales on our own!) and better that we were left with now gift cards left. The rundown was approximately the following:

– rug treads ~ $4 (yeah, really)
– shelf & scroll holders ~ $22
– storage baskets ~ $17
– paint ~ $12 (already had the white)
– flooring tiles ~ $12 (seriously)
– hook board ~ $21
– sconce ~ $14
(and everything else was elbow grease or something we already had)

So, the total was around $102. But, considering we took about (honestly, possibly MORE than) 50% off of this total, we paid around $51 for our cellarway makeover. Honestly, when we first stepped into the house, this was the entrance that the realtor took us through, so it meant a lot that I could change it and, hopefully, make anyone else’s first impression with the place a lot more cheerful. Here’s hoping your impressions of it are happy ones.