Vintage carnival playroom

When we were looking for our new house, one of our "musts" was either a finished basement or a lower price tag that would allow us to finish the basement in the new house. We ended up with the latter.
 coming down the stairs
bottom of the stairs, looking towards the kid's side

Finding someone to do the work was a lot harder than we expected. The bids were either out of our price range or the contractors did not want to do the project because it was too small of a job. We finally had a choice to make: Wait until we had more money after tax time or turn to Craigslist. If you know us, we don't "wait" well. So, Craiglist it was.

2 months later, it is finished. There were definitely several bumps along the way and a lot of the work was not up to our expectations, but we decided to just pay the man the (very low) price and send him on his way before he "completed" anything else. Along with Matt's dad, we finished the rest ourselves.

You know I love to decorate and having a coherent room theme helps me pull it all together. I wanted a gender-neutral scheme that was inspired by one of Larkyn's very favorite things: carousels. I branched out, including all kinds of carnival elements.

Like the rest of the house, I either ordered all items from Etsy or bought them at Michael's. There is a lot of blank space, leaving room for a lot more toys, more framed art (I have several photos of her on a carousel), a TV, maybe a small sofa, and a fun little space under the stairs. But for now, the kids are having fun on the carpet and playing with toys they haven't seen in a long time.

 After: Standing at the bottom of the stairs. The & sign is where the kitchen pipe was showing. The paint color is Copen Blue from Sherwin Williams (which I love).

 I put a tension rod for Larkyn's dress-up clothes (Santa is bringing more). Matt and Grandpa are going to build built-in shelving above the rod.

 Now I am standing by the dress-up clothes looking toward the area where you saw the furnace in the first photo. The door will be painted white. And to the far left, you see the area under the stairs. Right now, it is going to house toy rotation bins, but I want to make it a reading spot or playhouse.

 My two favorite items: The Vintage Carnival bunting is from Sugar Owl design on etsy. The ampersand sign is from Michael's and is battery powered. We know a TV will go on the wall one day, so we have an outlet ready.

 I made this sign with a white opaque marker on black foam board.

 Finally, a place for Larkyn's art!  I just strung a piece of twine onto the nails under each frame. The prints are from PaperPatchPrints.

 We reused this cube storage unit from our living room at the old house, replacing the black bins with muted yellow ones from Target (Circo). The carousel photo is from Libertad Leal.

 These are the craziest sized prints. I had my choice of 8x10 or 8x12 (true digital size). When I sized up for free, I didn't know 8x12 frames are about 3x more expensive than standard. Eventually, I'll Mod Podge them onto 2 canvases. I still love them though, from Carolyn Cochrane on etsy.

 Above the little table are 5x7 prints from The Vintage Remix. They are sold as tags, but she sized them up for me and I printed at Office Depot for about a dollar!  I email them my files and then just go pick them convenient.

The other side of the basement is Matt's mancave. It is not quite photo-ready, but with the playroom, adds 1/3 more living space to our house. I am so happy with the way it all turned out!

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