We had some family over recently to visit, and heading downstairs to check out the kids playing in the basement, our niece commented “Oh! You’ve done so much down here since I’ve seen it last!”
It wasn’t until then that I realized she was right – I shared this post when we first finished the space about two years ago.
Since then, I’ve been adding touches here and there, but as with most projects you don’t realize the difference so much when you’re making little tweaks along the way.
So here’s what the basement has been up to lately:
When you last saw it, we were so thrilled to have it COMPLETE that all we wanted to do was watch basketball and revel in the additional space.
I could have covered the entire space with pink, floofy girliness and Mr. V. wouldn’t have batted an eye, as long as the TVs were functional.
Once we settled into the new space, though, he gently asked if the space wasn’t a hair too… girly?
Remember, his idea of “perfection” was something that looked like a Sports Authority explosion.
I conceded he was probably right, and went about finding a middle ground that we could both enjoy.
The compromise: Vintage Sports.
I love sports, but I didn’t want the place covered in Hawkeye Gold from head to toe.
First step was this gallery wall above the sofa.
It’s devoted entirely to our favorite team and my alma mater: the University of Iowa.
The elements have all been collected over time – the postcard with the vintage Herky logo that I got in my campus orientation packet many many moons ago,
A vintage aerial photo of Kinnick Stadium Mr.V. had saved from childhood,
and some of our autographed memorabilia, including one we got as a wedding present
signed by my CoachCrush, Kirk Ferentz.
He’s dreamy. : )
On the wall kitty-corner to the gallery wall, I framed some newspaper covers and special editions I had saved over the years (even before I met Mr. V).
Having something professionally framed is awesome, but ungodly expensive.
Since these weren’t super sentimental to me, we did it quick and dirty (read: cheap).
Here’s the quick way to getting custom-looking art without the custom price tag:
I bought these frames (half-off, natch) from Hobby Lobby, removed the matte they came with. Then I took my newspaper pieces and my frames to Michael’s and had them cut custom mattes.
When I did the math the price of my frames + custom mattes ended up costing exactly 16% of what it would have cost to have them professionally done.
I’d say that’s a win.
On the small wall by the bar, I hung up these awesome vintage baseball bats, that were my Dad’s from when he was a kid.
I call this my “WonderBoy wall”
(anyone else love “The Natural” like I do? : ) )
The frame above it is a classic little league pic from Mr.V’s childhood.
That’s him in the middle… so sweet and nerdy, so serious about baseball.
I love it!
Elsewhere in the room I just added some vintage sports memorabilia here and there
I updated the slipcovers and swapped out the smaller ottoman for this larger, upholstered cocktail ottoman.
It fits the room and how we use it perfectly.