This is the side of my decorating personality I have shown you till now…

christmas around the house 002

When it boils down to it, I am a pretty traditional girl, with some vintage and rustic elements thrown in. Subtle colors, except for the Reds of Christmas.

Two summers ago we were able to finish our basement. The best part of it was that it was found space for us. In the past, we have had flooding in our basement on several occasions. We never thought it would be an option. With some advice from my Dad and some expertise of a good friend of ours, we were able to fix the water issue.

This area also gave us a haven when the rest of our house was being renovated. I promise, after the Holidays are over, I will show all the before and afters of our home.

So, back to the basement. I have a love of barn wood, rough hewn lumber and rustic elements mixed with modern accents. That is the approach I took in our basement. However, I also kept in mind that this needed to be a fun space that my kids would really enjoy. In the shifting of the uses of rooms in our house, this became their play and craft space.

So here is our basement all decked out for Christmas…

When you first go down the stairs, we have an art gallery of our girl’s artwork.

basement and nativity 029

This is on the shelf on the bottom of the stairs. I gave more information on this maple bucket here.

basement and nativity 024

At the bottom of the stairs is the Ballard Inspired ornament tree I told about here.

basement and nativity 028

And then we have our fun white and colorful tree that I posted about here.


This is a bigger view of the room. The TV cabinet and white shelves are from Ikea. All of the throw pillows are from Etsy. The orange chair is vintage and the bench is from a yard sale.

basement and nativity 039

The railing going down the stairs is made from rough hewn lumber and LOTS of coats of wax. I absolutely love how the wax brings out the saw marks on the wood.

railing collage

This is the view looking into the room, towards the more adult side, the bar.

basement and nativity 052

Along the side wall are some beautiful photographs also purchased through this shop on Etsy.

basement and nativity 056

Another maple bucket and all of the canning jars are vintage Lighting jars with the Putnam stamp on the bottom.

basement and nativity 061

Speaking of the bar, I LOVE our bar. The wood is so beautiful! It is the same rough hewn lumber that was used on the railing. Our contractor did build the bar, but based on our design. The top finish, we did, and it was a TON of work. If we had decided before the boards were put on that we were going to do a pour on resin finish, we would have had the boards glued down. Instead, the resin kept running through the cracks making it a million times more challenging. The finish is not perfect, there are a few cracks, but we love it, especially because you can still see the texture of the wood through it. Can you tell that I LOVE this wood!


I found these fun stockings at the Christmas Tree Shop and they were exactly what I was looking for, I was so happy when I found them.

basement and nativity 063

We used reclaimed barn wood to cover the beams. We also have a pink chalkboard area on the way here. Inside that closet are their toys.

basement and nativity 071

This is the “kid” area. The white cabinet on the right is their craft stuff, the white cabinet on the left is my crafts. My crafts, however, have outgrown that cabinet and now are in my workroom. The door on the right is to the workroom.

basement and nativity 074

This is over their desk and is two crates from a local orchard. For the record, I did this before Pottery Barn came out with their version.

basement and nativity 076

This cabinet use to be in our dining room. When we redid it, there really wasn’t a place for it and I was trying to figure out where to put it. While we were doing renovations, we put it down here. Now, I really like it there and think it is just quirky enough to fit in.

The orange and green painting of Bailey was done by our friend’s very talented daughter.

basement and nativity 078

The group of three prints are from this Etsy shop.


Here are a few more shots of the rest of the room..

basement and nativity 084

The NH Maple Syrup sign my dear friend Kathy found at Brimfield for me. My husband grew up on a New Hampshire dairy farm. Growing up and still today, his family made maple syrup so she knew it would be perfect for us.

Please ignore the wire coming out of the window, long story.

basement and nativity 091

These beautiful photographs are from my talented cousin, Greg Amend. You can find his paintings and photographs here.

basement and nativity 102

basement and nativity 092

Normally when I “stage” a room, as we all do, we move the kid stuff out of the picture. You may have noticed that Rudolph was hanging out in some of the pictures. This has been around forever and I have banished him to the basement, because honestly, I am not a fan. My daughter E set him up at the table. When I came down the next day, she had provided all the essentials a reindeer needs. How can you not love that?


I hope you all have a fa la la la fabulous night.

I will be sharing at some of the parties in my sidebar. Go and check out what everyone else is doing, or share your own project!

December 13, 2010 — Laura Putnam