Something out of nothing: the cozy hangout room
Like most families, we've spent a LOT of time together over the last year. Our house is not huge (it's a three-bedroom ranch), which is fine for our smallish clan. However, there aren't a lot of options for space when one of us wants to watch a show that no one else likes or when my husband wants to play some dumb game on his PS4. I have an office, but I work from home and spend 50ish hours a week in there already. In other words, not where I want to hang out on a Friday night. The three of us end up competing for the living room. When my daughter and her boyfriend were still together, they'd often watch a movie in the living room and the mister and I would have nowhere to go. We'd usually just watch TV in our bedroom. One time, I stayed in the living room and watched a movie with them, which wouldn't be noteworthy except that there was a prolonged sex scene and A's boyfriend looked like he was hoping the couch would swallow him whole. "Not in front of my girlfriend's mother!" he lamented.
A few weeks ago, my daughter mentioned that she would love to be able to hang out in the basement. I jumped on the idea; I'd had similar thoughts over the years. Sure, it can be chilly in the basement, but not so cold as to exclude it as a hangout location. Almost immediately, I dug in. I love a good project. I used painter's tape and blocked off a section of the basement. I spent a day just clearing it out, shoving bookcases into new spots and finding new winter homes for our bikes. From there, the kid and I set up a Pinterest board and started sharing ideas. She chose a color palette and I ran with it. She wanted a cozy environment so I bought fuzzy rugs, pillows, blankets, and chairs. I picked up an over-sized bean bag chair. We added some fun decorations, too.
All told, the project took just over two weeks. We painted, we shopped, we made it awesome. If my husband asks you how much it cost, just say . . . I don't know . . . $7.00 or whatever.