For those who may not know this, I currently live in the house in which I grew up. My family bought this century-old farmhouse in rural Quebec when I was a baby. I grew up, moved away, then in my mid-30’s, I moved back in.
This old house has one of those creepy good-enough-to-be-in-a-horror movie kind of basements: thick stone walls, partially cement and partially earthen floor, cobwebs hanging from immense beams lining the ceiling. During the summer, the basement got a serious facelift. 40+ years worth of junk that had been piled throughout the immense, dingy space was pitched and new cement was poured, making the entire space a lot more useable.
There is one area of this long neglected level that I like the most. At the back of the basement is an old cistern. It was once an enclosed area approximately 4′ x 10′ (and I truly mean approximately – I’m terrible with estimating measurements) with cement walls and cement floor, which held water. It has long since had a door-sized hole punched out of it and in my lifetime it housed many dusty shelves and sometimes preserves and cider.
When the renovations began, I solicited the help of my dad and my son who got to tear apart all of those shelves which lined 3 of the 4 walls. There was more shelf space than walking space in there! The two boys happily removed all of those shelves, after which I swept the cobweb-covered walls and filthy floor. I shrieked more than once after having come face-to-face with more than one creepy arachnid. *shudder*
Now came the fun part: Painting what has now become a new room in the house. Perfectly empty and even clean, it now held all kinds of potential. I already know, however, that I want to use it to store wine and preserves again, though this time I will use removable plastic shelves that can easily be cleaned. But first: something must be done with the cement walls.
One afternoon my friend Lianna, my son and I popped open a half-used can of cream-coloured paint and slapped it on the walls. It was a good start.
Then my son and I took that a step further. We painted the floor relatively the same colour (give or take a few shades of white) and then let loose with all kinds of other paints we had lying around:
Another step further still, on the day of my birthday party, I invited folks to decorate the walls. The room now looks a tad chaotic but in a very artsy and lovely kind of way. I moved my wine rack in and this is the final result:
How often do you get to let loose with paint on a room? First time for me. So awesome!