Way back in January, pre-Covid and what feels like a lifetime ago, our basement flooded when our sump pump failed. I was home alone, and on a routine weeknight I had gone down to the basement to fit in an evening workout. It had been raining and at the bottom of the stairs, I was met by almost four inches of standing water. I had no idea how to proceed. Was it a burst pipe? Backed up sewage? Where was the water coming from? Is it getting higher? I was afraid to turn on any light switches in case of electrocution, so I donned some rubber boots and a flashlight and went to investigate. There wasn’t clearly any gushing water coming from anywhere, and the water was not sewage, so after a text to our contractor, he suggested shaking our water-powered sump backup which had somehow gone to sleep and wasn’t running. As soon as I shook it awake, it kicked on and the water started to recede, but the ground water that had been seeping in from the rain had gotten so high we needed professional help.
By the next morning, we had a cleanup crew working and we got in touch with our insurance company to see how to proceed. By the evening, I was scouring my saved pins and had worked out a general design which I wrote about here. I created a checklist and sourced materials ready to hand to our contractor to get started with ordering. While things were drying out over the next week, we hauled most of our stuff out of the basement to assess; we ended up throwing away at least half of what was down there. The silver linings of such a big mess were 1) though it was an inconvenience, nothing truly terrible had happened; 2) we had insurance coverage for making the necessary repairs; 3) we had a little extra money saved that was earmarked for remodeling our master bath (which is a project that has since been sidelined); 4) the basement was probably the last priority on our list of home renovations, but with the help of insurance, we were able to make it nicer than we would probably ever have been able to justify had this not happened; and 5) we simply had too much stuff shoved down there and it was a reminder that owning fewer, better things is so much more freeing than being weighed down by things we’re holding onto for “some day.”
I conveniently have a blog post that I wrote a couple of years ago where you can see all of the before images of how my craft room used to look. Instead of treating each area of our basement (craft room, guest bedroom and bath, and main living space) as separate areas to decorate, I wanted to zoom out to make it all feel more more cohesive and intentional which we did by simply using the same paint and flooring throughout. Here’s the first look at our basement reveal beginning with my craft room.