Adding Lots Of Basement Storage

Well, thanks to the generous and wonderful folks at True Value, we now have a totally dry and completely functional basement to use for storage galore (read about how we prepped and waterproofed the former bug graveyard here and here). And thanks to a little road trip to Ikea this weekend, we came home armed with pretty much every item that we planned to snag in this basic mood board of sorts that we shared last week:

  1. Expedit shelf (included in the total Expedit Workstation) -$120
  2. Torsby table (already owned, so it’s free!)
  3. A woven basket or two – $17 each
  4. Two Aneboda wardrobes – $100 a pop
  5. A few white storage boxes – $12 for two
  6. And a few green storage boxes to keep things interesting – $12 for two
  7. Expedit desk (included in the Expedit Workstation) accounted for above

And the room is really coming together. Especially thanks to the floor plan we brainstormed ahead of time to see which items would work where (and which ones would provide the most function without breaking the bank):

Of course we still have a lot more projects to take on (creating a new light fixture, rewrapping the water heater, building a screen to hide the ugly rewrapped water heater, dealing with the windows, DIYing a dehumidifier, etc). But here’s what the basement looks like now thanks to the addition of two Ikea Aneboda Wardrobes along with an Expedit Workstation and a few inexpensive accessories (like some faux plants for a bit of greenery and these storage boxes for even more concealed stashing space). Not to mention the Torsby table and a few extra wooden chairs that we already owned. We also brought down our bikes as planned, but have even more in store when it comes to sprucing up that back wall so stay tuned…

Oh and we still have to paint the built-in cabinet below, so don’t mind the dingy look of it now…

Not bad, eh? Just to refresh your memory, the room looked like this about a month ago:

But thanks to around $350 worth of Ikea furniture (the Expedit Workstation even happened to be on sale!) and around $400 worth of prepping supplies (thanks again True Value!) we were able to take the basement from scary cinder block dungeon to a waterproofed room that’s furniture ready.

Oh and we would show you the insides of those wardrobes but we still have a lot of organizing to do (am I a total nerd for feeling a little bit giddy when I say that?). So next on the agenda is going back to True Value to snag lots of awesome sealed plastic storage bins to stack tons of seasonal decor, sporting equipment and other stuff that we’d rather hide behind closed doors. Then it’s on to lighting, art and hiding that wart of a water heater. Fun, fun, fun.

And speaking of house warts, do you guys have any ugly eyesores (fuse boxes? propane tanks? carpet stains? damaged hardwoods? odd trap doors? ugly outlets?) that you’ve successfully camouflaged? Tell us all about it.

Psst- Here’s how we hid our fuse box in the den, our exterior propane tank, and some pretty gross plugs and outlets above our washer and dryer. Fingers crossed we can make that water heater disappear too…


  1. says

    Wow! It’s so awesome looking I could move down there! If it was temperature controlled and internet accessible it would make a neat office. On that note our office is moving to a groovy new space, and I you introduced me to the Expedit line at Ikea, and I think we are going with it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Denise says

    WOW! The basement looks amazing, I could only dream ours looked that good. At the moment it looks like something exploded down there, boxes, extra furniture (we moved furniture from Floria and Canada to Colorado) The house in Florida was 3500 square feet, the house here is 1,100 square feet… too much furniture for this house. I’m slowly working at it though and hopefully our basement can look as good as yours. IKEA is 13 hours one way from here, no trip there in the near future for me but next spring, IKEA here I come.

  3. Megan says

    Looks awesome! Our current apartment is brand-spanking new and be-u-ti-ful. My first apartment, however, was the opposite of attractive. The living room wall had an old, boarded-odd AC unit. They just put particle board over it when the building switched to central air. Talk about an eyesore. I bought conduit piping the length of the wall and hugh super cheap beige curtains. Not the prettiest thing in the world, but a huge improvement.

  4. says

    what an amazing transformation! looks awesome! our quarter basement could use this makeover. but, we have some other issues to deal with – like treacherous stairs, bugs galore (we have a raised foundation and this quarter basement gives you access to crawl around under the house- should you be into that sort of thing.) it’s a place i never, ever, ever step foot into. i hate it. i don’t even like the idea of our holiday items being stored there. actually, i am getting the heebie jeebies just talking about it…so i’ll stop now. going back to my happy place!

  5. Donna says

    I gotta ask–how sturdy are those aneboda wardrobes? I’m weighing (mostly ikea) options to use to make a pantry/storage. I like that they are less expensive than other options, but some of Ikea’s quality is questionable. Because it’s a pantry, it will get a lot of use so I wondered how well this particular piece would work.

    • says

      Hey Donna,

      Back in the last basement post when we shared our mood board picks we heard from quite a few Aneboda owners who really loved them- which helped us gain confidence as well. And after putting them together we can tell you that they’re an amazing bargain and they really look great (as you can see). They’re probably not durable thirty year solutions, but for stashing seasonal stuff (or food in your case) they totally fit the bill without breaking the bank! And the door inserts can be covered in fabric, paper or paint to spruce them up even further, so that’s always fun. Hope it helps!


  6. Heather M says

    Woo-hoo! It looks awesome! What a great use of space and you’re going to have so much more storage room too. I look forward to seeing the finishing touches. Great work, treat yourself to dinner or something, you deserve it (after all the cardboard assembly)

  7. Jennifer S. says

    Looks great! I really like it so far! Can’t wait to see the wall behind the bikes.

    What’s the story behind the two chairs at the desk? Did you purchase them? Also, do you ever actually see yourself sitting at the desk in your unheated basement? What would you do there?

    • says

      Hey Jennifer S,

      Good question! The two chairs are actually just being stored in the basement, but we thought they looked cute tucked under the desk. They’re actually leftover from our dining table since we switched them out a while back for a leather bench seat just to keep things interesting. We probably won’t sit down there much (unless we’re tirelessly digging through boxes in search of something and want to take a load off while we’re at it). But it’s great to be able to put things like extra furnishings in the basement- especially when we can work them in seamlessly like we did with the chairs. Hope it helps!


  8. Alicia says

    Nice job…I’ve been anxiously awaiting the next basement reveal and it looks better than I anticipated! To answer your question about things we’ve successfully camouflaged…we’ll I’m almost embarrassed to admit I hide a carpet stain in my son’s room the other day with a round red rug…not very creative but I instantly felt better the next time I walked into his room!!

  9. Renae says

    You guys have more energy and can-do-attitude than anyone I know (virtually or otherwise). Can I ask about the faux greens? Do you have one particular source you use for these? We have a strangely oriented home in that it’s kind of kitty-corner on our lot and doesn’t get a lot of good light so plants are sadly few and far between at our house. I don’t like too many of the silks out there so I thought i’d pick your brains for the ones you’re using!

    Everything looks FANTASTIC!!

    • says

      Renae- We actually grabbed the faux-plants from Ikea and popped them into two baskets we already had for a cute dash of greenery in an otherwise lifeless room. There were some really good fakes there so just check them out and grab the ones that look the best to you (sticking them on top of things so they’re not as close-up also helps them to look more convincing).

      Jennifer- Good question! We definitely have thought about adding a rug to bring in some warmth and texture. We still have a few more pressing projects on the agenda, but you bet if we find something that fits the budget we’ll be bringing it home in a heartbeat!

      Sarah- We have actually thought about that! It would be a great future space for messy finger-painting and kids projects down the line. So glad to hear that you think it has potential to work that way as well!


  10. says

    Nice job, It looks fabulous! You guys have inspired me to finish up a few home improvements of my own. Thanks for all the fantastic ideas!

    P.S. Have you thought of adding a rug to your basement floor? I think a natural jute or seagrass rug would look awesome against the brown floors & the crisp white storage units. Just a thought. :)

  11. kristin says

    out of the ballpark youngsters, I love it!!!

    I have a large basement utility room and your project gives me inspiration that my functional room can be lovely to look at too.

    IKEA, come to Denver. now. seriously.

  12. says

    It looks great! I don’t know if you have been asked this yet, but after seeing the workstation there it made me think of a play/craft room. Once you have kids do you think you will consider making the basement a playroom? What are your plans for that or have you not put any thought into that yet?

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