Basements are still a relatively new thing to me. In Florida, at least as far as I know, basements do not exist. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the high water table right underneath the soil but don’t hold me to it! Anyways, since moving to Maryland, I’ve found it’s actually more uncommon to not have a basement.
To dig even more into the weeds, most renovated homes (like ours) have a completely finished basement to add value to the home. For us, literally half the square footage of our house is in our basement. So naturally I was trying to come up with ways to use the basement, but also use furniture I already had.
When I first moved to Portland, I lived in an open concept apartment that had a big open space in the kitchen. As counter space was limited, I bought an island from World Market. While it had great use in Portland, there was no use for it in the townhouse Lauren and I lived at in Maryland so it just sat in our basement. I didn’t want to have it just waste away in our house this time.
Since we had a ton of wine glasses from visiting wineries and leftover alcohol from our wedding that might never be drank, I thought converting the island into a bar was perfect! So I went to work with measuring everything out and seeing how I wanted to make it look. My mom actually just had renovated her kitchen a couple of years ago and had this area that had different colored reclaimed boards (see below) that looked awesome, so I wanted to semi-copy it.
While I didn’t get reclaimed boards, I did something similar. I just bought some 1/4″ thick poplar and cut it to different sizes and stained them a few different stains. I love how it turned out! Unfortunately this was before I started documenting every little detail but to build the shelves, I lucked out that there was a bar that I could rest everything on. I just had to measure correctly and find wood that was wide enough to work. I had debated on making my own hanging shelves for wine glasses, but decided to just buy some from Amazon and I’m glad I did.
So for you out there, if there is a piece of furniture that is “wasting away”, try to see if you can find a different use for it. For us, an island that had no use anymore is now the first thing you notice when walking into our basement. Oh and it hides all of our extra glasses and liquor!