For a month all my creative energy went into designing our unfinished basement with a budget of $300.
I’ve always wanted an all fabric room, and I had the perfect opportunity to make it happen. My motivation was to have an event space for my daughter Adrianna’s 2nd birthday party.
It was the interior design challenge of my life and I had so much fun! I was so happy Adrianna could watch me in action, working hard to make something better than it was.
I had 4 priorities intermingled with my forever developing values.
☑️Everything I bought needed to be second hand from the thrift store or Facebook marketplace and as eco-friendly and high quality as possible; real wood, cotton/linen fabric, wool rugs and leather couches. Demanding new things all the time on a planet with limited resources is detrimental. Many new products are made with more chemicals and low quality man-made material that don’t last very long and end up in landfills a few years later. It’s a waste of energy and resources. I believe we need to use what has already been made and cherish the pieces made from animals that have been sacrificed. We already have enough, reuse it.
☑️Budget of $300; that includes everything, furniture, decorations, rugs, etc. you’d be surprised how many free high quality furniture is listed everyday because someone had to move and needed to get rid of it ASAP. I used facebook marketplace and thrift stores as my main source of materials.
☑️Everything had to be removable/temporary because it’s a rental house.
☑️The space needed to feel magical and be functional. There’s the craft table area, projector room for movies and video games, dance space for the aerial hammock and pole, and I think I might use that other area as a sewing nook.
The fabric was hung by a staple gun and hot glue where there was no wood, like around the support beams. If the walls hadn’t already been framed I would have used the floor joists for the wall fabric.
I started with the walls and then did the ceiling last. The process was, staple one joist width of fabric to the joist, and then wrap it around to the next joist, staple again, and repeat.
Contact Paper Stairs
I did the stairs last because I just couldn’t decide how to do them. I looked at all the proper ways to cover stairs with caps or treads but they were not temporary and they were expensive. I thought about finding more free carpet for my husband to install…carpet tiles, no, fabric, no…I thought of every way. But the quickest, easiest, cheapest and most temporary way was to use faux wood grain contact paper delivered to my door from Amazon. And for basement stairs, I’m very happy with the results.
Covering the stairs with contact paper was extremely easy. Just cut to size, stick and smooth. Just like you would with a cabinet or drawer. All it took was $40 worth of contact paper, some fabric, craft burlap for the trim, and carpet scrap for the landing.
When I finished the stairs, every time we’d walk up and down my daughter would point to the stairs and say “wooow momma” and I’d say “yeah momma made the stairs look good didn’t she?” And she’d say “yeaaah” ☺️
Here’s the contact paper I used.
Perhaps this project directly contradicted my value of minimalism but it’s always in the back of my head, “do I really need this?” Most of the time it’s a no, but at this moment in our life, we are homebodies and need lots of space to learn, play and do all the things we love to do.
Hope this gave you a little inspiration. Let your creativity soar!