April 20, 2009

A Basement Renovation

I am a Reluctant Renovator. The gut job and redux of my 130-year-old Victorian row in Toronto’s Little Portugal was featured in the October 2003 issue of House & Home, “Diary of a Mad Renovator", and after that, I swore I would never do it again. Who are those homeowners who finish a house, only to sell it, and buy another dump because they miss having “a project”? I just can’t go there. And so, for a gal who firmly put her reno days behind her, it took something pretty fantastic to get me thinking seriously about the final frontier: renovating the basement.

And it was this:

Believe it or not, this is a basement, and what a beaut — so clean and organized, nice light, very few bulkheads, white and crisp but with dark floors. I was on this shoot with photographer Michael Graydon in the summer of 2007 and during the course of the shooting day, I started dreaming about my own little basement and what it could be.

Of course, I have so much less to work with:


Small space, low ceilings, weird bulkheads, one little window like a pinhole camera letting in a smidge of natural light, you know, pugly, like pretty much everyone else’s basement. But if you dream it, the reno will come — I hope.

Do you think it’s possible to turn this space around?

And without spending a tons of cash?

Photo credits:
1. Michael Graydon
2. Meg Crossley