Decor Allure and the Basement PlayWorld

Do you have a finished game room/entertaining basement/man cave/kids’ playroom?  If it’s something in your DIY future, be prepared to be inspired.  Erin from Decor Allure just finished her basement makeover and it is a beautiful bright space that no one is ever gonna wanna leave!  1000 square feet of something-fun-for-everyone!  Grab a napkin, you’re going to drool!
Here are some highlights from her reveal but visit her “basement is finished” post to see the full details!

As you open the door to the basement this is what you see:

(No, the “no food” sign the kids made is not staying!  It was just up for our annual New Year’s Eve Family Party.  We had over 100 people and needed to keep the food to one level.)

The landing half-way down:

The vintage roller coaster poster I mod-podged onto a cheap canvas and the old wood tickets sign I made earlier (details here.)

Are you asking about that Ladder about now?  That ladder leads to my husband’s pet project and favorite part of the basement finishing.  It leads to a tube slide down!  Cool, huh?

My determined engineer husband twisted the top section and added an extension piece and made what I call “the death drop slide.” It’s very steep at the start, making it fast (perfect for our kids!) It does a zig-zag and comes out gently downstairs (you’ll see in a minute.)

As you turn the corner of this landing, you can see down the next set of stairs to the actual basement.

Straight ahead it the bathroom, to the left are the two bedrooms and to your right the main room.
If you turn to your right, this is what you see:

 We had a pipe that had to be soffited along this wall, so it made a perfect place for built-ins.  I pulled out a bunch of pictures of what I thought would work and my husband built it!

We found some lovely, wide crown moulding and some fluted trim at Habitat REstore.

Here you can see the almost-complete exit for the slide.  We still have a bit of mudding to the trim area and touch up to complete that.  We slanted the wall leading into the mai
n room to make a nice, wide entrance to the room.  The door lends access to the slide and should someone want to remove the slide, it would be easily done and leave a nice storage closet behind.


We threw down some furniture we had and I’ve since found the perfect smaller-sized sectional. I plan on slipcovering it and those red chairs with dropcloth.

The kids also love the swing from Ikea.  We reinforced some boards between beams and marked the spot before we drywalled the ceiling.  The air hockey table was a $60 score at a garage sale a few years ago and the $10 foosball wasn’t out of reach either!

I pulled together a collection of posters, maps and prints from a few places we’ve traveled to. My handy-dandy mat cutter made it easy to use some old frames from Goodwill and a few standard, cheap frames to frame the artwork.

Here’s a close-up of the moulding treatment we chose.

Alright, this is heading back towards the stairs and the rooms.

This is heading into the bathroom:

We chose to lay the typical square 12″ tiles off-set from each other instead of square to add more interest.  We really like how it turned out.

Now, we’ll head into the first of the bedrooms.  My oldest wanted an Asian feel to the room. This was her inspiration picture that we were going for:

And here’s ours so far.  We need some more accessories and such, but it’s off to a good start:

I made the upholstered headboard with nailhead trim (I’ll try to do a tutorial on it later) and made the bedspread.  We already had the artwork by VanGogh and just repainted a second-hand frame.

I found a very long $2 frame at a garage sale, cut a piece of thin plywood for the backing.  After painting it, I screwed on a kitchen drawer pull and hung a Japanese Obi we had from our stay in Tokyo.  It makes a fun art piece, yet does something much more practical; it hides the ugly electrical box that had to stay situated in the bedroom.  It’s on hooks for quick removal should we need access to the circuits.

Some wonderfully talented friends came over and painted these branches for us in a nice metallic paint.

On either side of the closet we placed some old Chinese screen panels:

 We’re on the lookout for a fun desk for her room, but it’s coming along.

Next door is our other daughter’s room.  She’s been warned that she’s the first to get kicked out when guests visit since we put a queen size bed in.

The headboard was found at a garage sale for $20, repainted the famous “Heirloom White” (we left off the footboard so it wouldn’t close in the room as much.)  It’s positioned in a bow in the foundation since this room sits right under the den in the front of the house, which has a bow window.

We already had these mini chandeliers from the girls’ old rooms.  They have very dim bulbs so they can be used as reading lights.  They’re connected together and put on a button switch attached low on the bed frame for easy on and off.  This very old, delightfully rough frame was found for a $1 and the bird print in the center was found at Goodwill.

On either side of the bed are these great old window frames I found on Craigslist.  We painted them gray and distressed them a bit.  We’re patiently waiting for some free mirror on craigslist or Habitat REStore to turn them into mirrors.  It’ll help reflect more light into the room.

To the right of the bed is a sleeping beauty print we had in
their old room.  The frame is a fun antique find for $5.

We’re moving in a slant-front desk and need to make some curtains, as well as look out for a few other accessories.
More pictures and details at her original post along with the paint colors she chose.  
Erin – it is fabulous!  What a beautiful and fun entertaining space!  The bathroom is gorgeous – love the tile and fixtures.  Lucky girls – such stunning rooms!   I see lots of fun family and friend get-togethers at your house!  Thanks for sharing all of your hard work.  Super job!

Involving Color

Jena from Involving Color has some amazing before and after transformations to show off…

January seems to be a month for focusing on organization and that’s exactly what Jena’s done with her shoe closet.  What a lucky girl – an entire closet dedicated to shoes!  Here is the before:

And here it is now – all organized!

To see the entire transformation click HERE.

Makes you want to see more, doesn’t it?  Well…we’re in luck.  Her half bath got a makeover too.  Here is it is before:

Here is what she did:

  • Remove wallpaper.
  • Repair walls, prime, and paint.
  • Install plantation shutters
  • Install new toilet paper holder and towel bar
  • Install pedestal sink and faucet
  • DIY artwork

  • Ta-da! Hard to believe it’s the same room!

    Half Bath After Sherwin Williams Sea Salt

    Half Bathroom After Sherwin Williams Sea Salt

    And my most favorite of all?  Her backyard.  It makes me long for summer parties, sunshine and warmth!  Amazing! (Full backyard transformation details.)

    Backyard Before
    Back Yard Before
    To this:
    flagstone patio
    Patio After
    Backyard Before
    Back Yard Before
    To this:
    flagstone patio
    Patio After

    There’s something else I’d love to show off about Involving Color.  The Involving Color Image Gallery allows you to search rooms by paint color, by room or by painted furniture!   So cool and lots of inspiration!

    Thanks, Jena for sharing your projects.  Every single thing is awesome – so beautiful!

    Inspired to Organize – edited to add reading nook.

    “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”  ~ A. A. Milne 

    With the new year, the buzz is all about organization.  After taking down holiday decor, everything feels so de-cluttered so it’s only natural that motivation to get everything organized hits you like a contagious disease but it’s energizing instead.  As you know we finally organized our coat and shoe closet recently.  It was a chaotic mess with no purpose. Now coats, boots, shoes, scarves and hats have a place to call home.  Do shoes and coats and junk piling by the entryway get you stressed?  Maybe not in a ‘the world is coming to an end’ sort of way but it is stressful when things aren’t put away in their proper place or there isn’t a place for things to be assigned.  

    Getting started is the hardest part but in no time, I was cleaning our and de-cluttering the rest of our back entry way and was done in less than an hour.  Tell yourself you’ll just do one small drawer.  Empty it, sort and start putting things where they belong.  Before you know it, you’ll have three drawers done instead of one.  I always trick myself with making a small goal. The trick is getting yourself to “START”.  Instead of looking at the BIG overwhelming picture of organizing your entire home or even a whole room, start small and say “I’m just going to clean up this little area.”  Once you get started, you’ll want results and do more than just that one small task.
    Keys, change, cell phones have a designated and assigned area near the door with this organizer I made a couple of years ago (yes – we still use it!).  Key Keeper Tutorial

    We chose furniture that allowed for extra storage.  I love decorating the console table but it’s the drawers and shelf that allow us to know where certain things are.  The top drawer holds take out menus, batteries, spare change, etc. 
    The faux-apothecary chest is a great place for my summer shoes (my boots are in the coat/shoe closet).  
    The drawers up top serve as a place for gloves and extra sets of keys.  Sometimes I’ll use a drawer to hide a few odds and ends during a ‘quick clean’ to corral little stuff until I have time to sort it.  Wooden boxes under a bench provide more storage and the bench is the perfect place to sit and pull on shoes.
    Do you have an organized entry area in your home?  We actual enter through the door in the kitchen right now as it’s closest to our parked cars but I’m still able to redirect coats and shoes to be put away instead of piling near the door.  No mess. No stress.  🙂
    Have a clean up/organization post to show off?  Link up and share!  

    I’m joining the party at

    Organize and Decorate Everything

    I’m back!  THIS is why it takes me longer than usual to organize:

    I start out small.  “Just sort and put things away” I tell myself (you know you talk to yourself too, right?!).  Then I get carried away with the need to freshen things up, redecorate, rearrange and move things from room to room and before I know it, I have a new reading nook!  Let the above pictures serve as the before.  This is my after:

    It’s sort of a reward for being motivated to clean up.  😉  However…warning:  This means you’ll mess up the adjoining room in an effort to redecorate and have to start all over again in there. 


    Stuff and Nonsense

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens 
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens 
    A Before and After home tour

    Creative DIY and inspiration and more…

    Just a few of my favorite things and Alison from Stuff and Nonsense has some amazing makeovers in her home to share with you today.  Please click the link to see the original post.

    Kitchen before:

    She is still working on a few things but here is her beautifully changed Kitchen now:

    (click the link above to see her fun dining room wall)

    Dining room before (except for the gorgeous chandelier)…

    Delicious Dining Room now:

    Living room before (in process of removing carpet)…

    Much better now…

    I spy antiques and I likey!  Thanks so much for sharing your makeovers, Alison.  You’ve done a great job at brightening things up!  🙂

    Stuff and Nonsense


    You’re invited!

    The DIY Club Monthly Contest is g
    oing on now!
    Click HERE to see the rules and qualify to win the fabulous prize package!
    Your DIY projects might even already qualify and you don’t even know it!  Check it out!
    DIY Club

    DIY Rope Shelf

    Such a cute idea – reminds me of childhood tree swings and what a cute place to decorate and display favorite accents. Denise from Pink Post Card built this beautiful rope shelf:

    Materials:  two 4 feet x 12″ wide boards, 20 feet of rope, some plant hooks, and a 3/8″ dowel.

    Drilling holes in the boards for the rope to go through.  She used a 7/8″ bit, and drilled 1 1/2″ from the edges.

    She sanded down the edges and around the holes, and then painted the boards.  She chose a pretty bold orange…

    Then like most of us, she changed her mind and decided to do a white wash and added in a tiny bit of black paint to give it that touch of gray.  A little more beachy and you can see the knots and wood grain. 

    Measure, check to make sure the length of the ropes would be stopping where she wanted and installed the plant brackets.     At this point there was a lot of back and forth of holding up the shelves, looping some of the rope around the brackets.

    Once the hooks were installed, she began threading the rope through the holes and figuring out how far apart the top shelf would be from the bottom.  She found it was easiest to do this with the shelves on their side, on the floor.  There’s quite a bit of adjusting and it’s not easy to do when you have it hanging.
    Next, cut the 3/8″ dowel into two inch pieces. These will become the supports for the upper shelf.
    For easier threading, tape the ends of the rope.
    Put a knot in the end of the rope leaving about 6 inches of “tail” for fraying the ends. She then measured 12″ between the boards and used the cut dowel pieces, pushing the dowel through the twists of the rope. Again, not hard, it just takes a few adjustments here and there. She also cut the rope into it’s two final pieces- a length for each side.  At this point she recommends  hanging it up, see what adjustments need to be made to the knots under the bottom shelf or the dowel supports, and take it back down to work on it on the floor (so the rope isn’t tight and hard to maneuver.)
    Put the rope shelf up using a  level to do the final bit of adjusting, and it’s done!
    The last bit is to unwind the ends of the rope for the frayed edge:
    Here are the shelves finished and installed:
    Denise is working on an office makeover.  Here is the rope shelf area before:
    and the after:
    Cost break down:
    rope: 63 cents a foot (I bought 20 feet) $12.60
    plant brackets: $3.83 each
    pre cut pine boards: $6.48 each
    dowel: 60 cents
    Leftover  flat white interior paint on hand.
    Just under $34 for the project!
    To see the entire office remodel and more, follow Denise at
    Thank you for sharing your cool rope shelf tutorial, Denise!  Love it!

    First Class Fireplace Makeover

    Long slow whistle.  This fireplace transformation is smokin’!  DIY, creative and the best results ever.  Kasey from Beautiful Mess has an amazing transformation to show off!

    Here is the fireplace before.  Pretty enough – just having a fireplace is special…

    Kasey always wanted shelves on either side so during a two week break, her husband, his brother and dad got to work.
    1st day. They had to build a fake wall. He also had to chisel out the crown molding and remove the mantel which was one big piece of slate.

    2nd day. Beadboard and more electrical work. 
    3rd day.  4 – 42 inch cabinets are used on the bottom for hiding the DVD, Wii and game storage and shelving is built from MDF board. 

    4th day. The dry wall is hung between the shelves. They also used dry wall to frame in the fireplace. The mantel is made out of 2×4’s and MDF board. 

    The result:

    They removed the face plate and spray painted the inside of the fire place black. It isn’t in working order currently, so now it serves as great toy storage.  With all of the books in one spot, the kids request more story time!
    Isn’t it gorgeous?  I love the built in shelving and storage.  The tv looks like it belongs there – perfectly framed and I love how the brick work stands out more.  What a beautiful job!  Thank you so much for sharing all of the hard work and steps it took to make a regular fireplace into to a beautiful entertainment and storage wall!
    See more at Beautiful Mess!

    Lori's Laundry Room

    Having a pretty laundry room must make doing laundry a little more fun. Organization and lack of clutter must feel so fresh!  I wouldn’t know but after looking at the area that Lori from Deming Design Studio attends to her laundry chores, I’m even more impatient to get busy on ours!  See her glazing process below.  Beautiful!

    Here is a before picture of the cabinets:

    First coat of paint:

    She used a paint called Caramel Colors and says it is fabulous to work with. It is a very thick textured paint that covers everything! You don’t have to sand or prime the surface–just start painting. She chose a color called Cobblestone. It is a green color but has some gray in it. Her inspiration was her Anthropolgie tablecloth that she turned into a curtain for under the counter.

    Side by side you can see where she added toner to the left cabinets and no toner on the right. She recommends watering down the toner a bit to give it a smoother finish and doing one or two coats and sanding lightly before adding the toner. 

    You can see how much more depth is created with the toner.

    Creative idea for using a tablecloth turned curtain to hide the dog cave! It’s like a secret hide out for her furbaby!

    She plans to get or DIY (my vote) a drying rack but for now I love her shelves, accents and decorating!

    So pretty!

    What do you guys think?  Is your laundry room a beautifully inspired space in your home?
    Thank you so much for sharing your process and beautiful laundry room, Lori!  The cabinet looks beautiful with your ‘curtain’ and all of your organization. Love it!

    Creative Kitchen Decorating on a Budget

    Bonnie from Creative Decorating on a Budget made a HUGE change in her kitchen with paint and thrift store finds.  It’s amazing the difference fresh paint can make and she has some great thrifted treasures too.  See the original post with all of the details at Creative Decorating on a Budget.

    Take a look at this AFTER!!!

    Painted countertops, plainted cabinets.  You name it, she painted it!
    Love the faux copper backsplash too!

    Painted hardware!

    d chairs.

    Pretty unbelievable, isn’t it?  Paint.  That inexpensive. That simple.  Big change, pretty improvement!

    Thank you so much for sharing your hard work, Bonnie!  The difference is night and day.  You did a fantastic job!  


    Woo hoo! Showing Off the Show Off!

    I’m the one usually featuring your amazing creativity when you let me so when the tables are turned, I’m so grateful. I’m ecstatic to be recognized. It feels so good.  It even feels like I’m famous for a day!  But, I’m also shy.  I’m blushing and humbled but jumping up and down with excitement, shouting it out to Russ who shares my joy even if he rolls his eyes at my reaction. I can get a little crazy about it.  
    I’m honored to be guest blogging for Cassie at Hi SugarPlum today in her Best of the Best series.  So fun!  Pop over to check it out (please!) and the other talented bloggers featured in her holiday series.  You’ll also want to take a peek (okay – it’ll be more than a peek since there are so many amazing ideas) at her project gallery too!  She has a gorgeous home!

    And I’m twice blessed today!  **SMILE!**  My easy DIY wire hurricanes are being featured today at

    Thank you so much, Cassity!  I’m new to Polly Want a Crafter, a site dedicated to fun and inspiring crafts, hosted by Cassity from Remodelaholic (who I have had the pleasure of  ‘knowing’ for a while).  I can’t wait to catch up on all of the awesome features and look forward to seeing more creativity in the future!

    Also…just messing around trying to maybe give the header a fresh look for 2011. What do you think of my first attempt?  (Full size at the bottom of the page.)  I’d like to incorporate my current button/feel too so I need to swap out some of the light colors for red. Still working on it but have I mentioned how technically challenged I am or that my extra cash goes into this old farmhouse and DIY while the blog is maintained by my little knowledge and zero talent with html coding skills?  Anyway, DIY (very amateur) photo blog header.  Yay or Nay?
    Now, back to work so I have something more to show off soon! 🙂  Thanks for letting me show off!  Enjoy the day!

    Transformations at Grace Infusion

    If there was ever any doubt that white cabinets brighten up a kitchen, check out the transformation at Grace Infusion. Here is her kitchen before:

    And now along with new pretty tile backsplash…wow!

    Amazing! See more of the details of her beautiful kitchen transformation at Grace Infusion

    Her home office…

    became a little boy’s fun Dr. Seuss themed room!

    Details here and here.

    Super cute!

    Thank you so much for sharing your makeovers, Jolene!  Awesome job!


    I’m trying to move my blog up at Picket Fence blogs and need your help.

    Click the button below to vote for the DIY Show Off.

    Thanks in advance!  🙂  

    Two More Old Window Ideas

    Old windows are such a great material for DIY decor.  Here are two more fabulous ideas…

    See how Lisa at Serendipity Chic Design made this unique one-of-a-kind window wall art using an old window. So creative and beautiful:

    Texas Crafter frosted an old window.  A pretty and private solution.

    Window before…

    Window after:

    This fabulous vintage window message center is a creative idea from FrouFrugal

    Check out her message center tutorial!




    All of those fun message center details ALL in ONE space/one message center!  Awesome!

    Click below to see TONS of  DIY decorating ideas for old windows!

    All DIY Old Window Decor Projects


    I’m trying to move my blog up at Picket Fence blogs and need your help.
    Click the button below to vote for the DIY Show Off.
    Thanks in advance!  🙂  

    Madigan Made

    I love chalkboard walls and memo centers and Madigan’s framed chalkboard is such a cute idea.  She changes the quote and swaps the decor to decorate for the appropriate season.  Perfectly Madigan Made.  

    This was her wall before:

    Here are a few pictures of her gorgeous framed chalkboard after…

    See Madigan’s quote for January and perfect wintery decor at
     madigan avatar
    And This is one of my favorite pages at Madigan Made – all of her creativity linked in one place.  Genius idea.  January is the perfect time for re-organization.  I’m inspired to start with my blog and project files!  
    Thanks for sharing your creativity, Madigan!  I LOVE how simple yet perfectly seasonal you decorate around your chalkboard frame!

    DIY Project Parade

    Happy New Year, fellow DIY’ers!  I’m anticipating 2011 to be the best creative DIY year here at the DIY Show Off.  That’s my goal.  🙂

     The DIY Show Off

    With the holidays, I don’t have anything to show off myself this week (the break was nice!) although I’m painting cabinets part 956 today…soon I’ll have something to share but for now, here are our goals for 2011:

    • Finish the kitchen remodel – we’ve been living without cabinet doors for over a month, blue laminate countertops and linoleum floors for 3 years – time to have our dream kitchen!
    • Move craft room to upstairs – I can’t stand the clutter anymore!  Organized wall to wall shelves and a table for projects.  Although a dressing room is also a temptation.  I’m still going back and forth. 
    • Move guest bedroom down stairs (this will still be my office) – pretty room should be the one guests see, not the cluttered craft room. We have a BIG bed in a little room upstairs now that no one sees.  Moving it downstairs will be awesome – I might even be my own guest once in a while. 😉 
    • Laundry Room – a walk through closet when we moved in.  It’s now our laundry room but there aren’t any doors and it’s a disorganized mess.  Sometimes clothes don’t even make it upstairs.  Time for a change!
    • Lots of DIY decorating, thrifty finds and re-purposing. So excited to see yours too!
    • 2011 is also the year I will face an empty nest.  I’m not sure how I feel about that quite yet.  I’m not thinking that far ahead.  I became a mother at young age and never really had just me to think about.  I know one thing, I want to experience more.  I look forward to the opportunities 2011 brings my way! 
    How about you? Big, small, little, lots of 2011 DIY goals?
     If you have a Best DIY of 2010 post, please link up to this party…(or head over to check out what we accomplished in 2010!)
     The DIY Show Off
    If you have a DIY project to share – please show off!  I love seeing your creativity linked up.  🙂
    The DIY Show Off
    If you’d like to link YOUR DIY project post to The DIY Show Off Project Parade:
    1.You must use the button above and link to this post to share the linky love.
    2.Include your name or blog name and project title. Add your permalink (not your blog url, but your DIY project post url). Feel fr
    ee to link a Past Post, just invite your readers in a current post with a quick note.
    3.Or email your link to and I will add it for you.
    4.If you notice your link has disappeared -please add the link back to The DIY Show Off to your post today, a button or a quick note to your readers about the party and try again! I love when everyone participates and readers check out everyone’s links, but I think the return favor of linking back is the nice thing to do so everyone plays fair and enjoys all of the projects and links. Also – this blog party is for DIY projects only. Links not related to DIY will be deleted.

    If you have a second, I’d love your vote, by clicking below! 🙂 Thanks in advance!