One Room Challenge

Before and After: This “Dumping Ground” Basement Becomes a Fully Functional Workshop Space

published Sep 9, 2022
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Before: unorganized workspace in garage with tools everywhere

Overhauling any area in the home can bring joy, whether it’s meticulously alphabetizing and labeling a spice drawer or eking out smart storage solutions in a tiny bathroom. But there’s something full of extra possibility when it comes to redoing areas of the home that aren’t traditional living spaces. 

Revamping these out-of-sight spaces doesn’t merely impose order on a space that becomes chaotic far too easily. (Although there’s a lot to be said for a tidy garage or attic that looks peaceful and allows you to find those party decorations or the rollerblades within minutes.) An orderly space, like a garage or basement, also often carries the hope of being able to finally dive into a passion project or hobby without the mental and physical gymnastics that come with trying to pursue it without a dedicated area.

When Jackie Lindsay (@sewbrightcreations) redid her basement room, which she did as part of the One Room Challenge, she opened up a world of opportunity for herself. “We needed to be able to find tools, spend more time making, less time looking for things and constantly moving stuff,” she says. With $1500 and about eight weeks, Jackie made her dream come to life.

Before the project began, the basement was little more than a neglected space where Jackie and her family tossed items they didn’t want to put away. “Since we don’t have a garage, we used this unfinished room in our basement as a workshop, but truly it was a dumping ground and not a functional space,” she says. “Nothing had a place, it was always a mess and we would spend so much time looking for all the things!”

Jackie changed some of the unfinished walls into faux brick-paneled ones and others into wood-paneled ones. She added several go-to storage solutions, such as shelving on the walls, a rack for supplies, and a place for tools, and installed a large L-shaped workbench, which has storage underneath. Jackie also got rid of unsightly insulation that was hanging where it wasn’t supposed to be. 

When asked what she’s most proud of, Jackie answers: “How I used my creativity to create a lot of different functional storage solutions that cost nothing!”

For anyone considering a similar project, she encourages them to never give up and to “just keep at it.” 

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.

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