Same Basement, Only Better: How to Make Over a Cluttered Rec Room

By Kieran Juska

Make over your cluttered basement into an organized family room.

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Basement, Before, Kitchen Area
Aimee Herring

A Craft Room of One's Own: Before

Sometimes, even with the best intentions, our attempts to create an efficient and organized space for our family can go wildly astray. Take this walk-out basement, which was finished to be a rec room several years ago by a family with two teenage daughters. But over the ensuing years, it became home to odds and ends, including an extra set of outdoor furniture, an unused treadmill, and boxes of papers, outgrown clothes, and bric-a-brac. To turn this glorified closet back into something more livable, we redesigned it into distinct zones -- for watching TV, doing crafts, playing games -- and brought it back to life with splashes of fun color.

Before: The shelves, though a smart design feature, were unattractively crammed with knickknacks, and a dining set rescued from the backyard was not an inviting place for family gatherings.


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