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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Basement Reveal: the Under Stairs Play House

We are tying up the loosest of loose ends in our basement reconstruction after the flood so get ready for a basement series with all the big reveals! Though this first reveal might technically be the smallest, and was only something that happened because of the question "do you want a light in the closet?"

The closet under our staircase was a sad dark place that housed all of my photography props and gear. You can see how it was boxed into a little dark hallway made of the wall and doorway to the main living space in this picture (didn't plan a before and after in here so this is as good as we've got for the before!)

Zach standing in old doorway of basement

It was finished and carpeted, and suffered the same water damage as the rest of the basement in the flood.

Closet space with fans during water mitigation

The wall that created the original doorway to the living space housed the light switches for the room, so my uncle helped reroute those to the wall along the stairwell. Because of that, we had easy access to some new electrical so he said, "do you want a light bulb in the closet?" Uh YEAH. Let there be light!

Under stairs closet unfinished

He set up a simple little light box with a cord pull like I asked for. It was a closet after all so why would we need anything else? Down and dirty was just fine.

Gary installing light switch in closet

But after thinking about it for a bit and seeing the light (see what I did there?) I thought it was a shame to use this space as a storage space for stuff I rarely use anymore and thought it could solve one of the problems we were searching for... how to give Abbey a place for some of her packed-away playroom toys while also further extending and evolving the original playroom area for Hank and Zach's man cave. Once the carpet was in, Gary added a light switch to make the room more kid accessible and we decided to surprise Abbey with her own space to play.

Under stairs closet with carpet and light

But (drywall) safety first! Just in case she got too excited opening the door, we installed a door stopper so she didn't put a hole in the adjacent wall with the door knob. My dad graciously helped us knock out a bunch of odd jobs as we were nearing the end of the big stuff so we put him on this task! Thanks papa!

Papa installing door stopper


Here's Our Sweet Little Under the Stairs Play House

Since our entire playroom had been boxed up for 8 months, it gave us a good opportunity to clean out and curate what the kids really thought they wanted to play with as we started trying to figure out what kind of storage furniture we need to buy (all the previous soaked up too much water and had to be tossed). We donated boxes of toys and books. Much of which were going unused and taking up precious space. This also helped me figure out just what this little area could become: a play house for Abbey's kitchen, babies, etc.

Under stairs doll play house with kitchen

Abbey had a lot of her baby stuff and this little cube storage shelf up in her room so we pulled all of that down to make a proper "house." Everything house and doll related has a spot now.

Under stairs doll play house

She was so surprised and happy to see her new play space all decked out with her old boxed up toys, very own art and...

Abbey smilimg  in her play house under stairs

...her kitchen that had been in storage since March! Of course we had to dust off all of my grandma's old kitchen goodies Abbey picked out. My grandma loved to hang out "down basement" so this totally fits.

Play kitchen in under stairs play house

It's a cozy little spot that I confidently can say does NOT stay this clean. Especially post Christmas now that she's added a doll RV. But to have a, what I fear final, space just for this type of imaginative play - with a door to hide the mess - has been a wonderful unplanned addition to our basement. I'm sure as she grows it'll continue to evolve, but for now it's a sweet little place to play.

Under stairs doll playhouse

Stay tuned friends - the basement reveals (or at least the square feet of them) are going to get bigger from here!


Need a playhouse fix? Here's what she's got:

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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