Before and After: Basement
Found in (and Tossed From) the Celli Basement1 dead computer hard drive
12 crusty cans of paint
1 hockey trophy from 1996
1 mini trampoline
2 license plates from April’s first car
34 bathroom tiles
2 ancient speakers
1 college trunk
1 never-used panini press
1 lone key hanging from the ceiling
1 hook in the shape of a finger
After: Open Storage, Energized With Color
After tossing broken or useless items, we replaced the wobbly workbench with a durable steel model, pushing it to the back wall to open up the narrow space. Then we carved out zones for tools, bulk supplies, and sports equipment, turning the clutter catchall into a real room.
Bulk items, contained. A glass-front black steel pantry (Edsal freestanding shelving, $624, lowes.com) keeps canned foods, bottled water, and household supplies clean and free of dust. The windowed doors allow April and her husband, Bryan, to see when things like paper goods and lightbulbs are running low.
A warmed-up floor. An indoor-outdoor polypropylene rug ($519 for 8 by 11 feet, Ballard Designs, 800-536-7551) takes the chill off the tile floor, resists mildew, and can be rinsed off on the driveway. A retro stool (Safco Diesel industrial stool, $147, amazon.com) helps turn the chaotic corner into a neat and welcoming spot.
Pretty tools all in a row. The streamlined metal workbench against the back wall (Husky steel bench, $199, homedepot.com) spiffs up a dreary area, especially with its pegboard spray-painted in Krylon Cherry Red ($5.50 at drugstores). Hooks keep tools accessible. Red plastic bins (Unibox red crates, $10 each, containerstore.com) hide supplies.
Deep vertical storage. A tall red metal bookcase (Hancock bookcase, $199, cb2.com) ensures that everything stays off the floor. Woven-nylon bins ($40 each, containerstore.com) hold miscellany organized by category (summer items in one, home repair in another). With sturdy handles, they’re easy to transport.