A home gym may seem a decadent use of space, but sometimes you find yourself with an extra room in the house, and then why not? There have been these extra rooms over the years ~ as in the luggage room of an old house, or a curious, little room only accessible through my teenage son’s bedroom, and in our last house the garage beneath the guest house. Before there was an extra room, the ‘gym’ was my husband’s stationary bike, which sat beside the bed, or behind the sofa. When we splurged and added a treadmill, the bike and treadmill shared space with my home office. In this lovely, old home, the basement was an extra room, and the perfect spot for a gym.
Sometimes we carved out spaces for wine cellars. . .
… the first of which occupied an old, British phone booth ~ apropos at the time as my husband was the President of a company that manufactured pay telephones. Our last home had a wine cabinet while the home before boasted a custom, environmentally controlled, 1200-bottle wine-tasting room.
We were smitten with the small, unfinished space underneath this home’s basement stairs as the wine cellar.
Little time was spent discussing the basement’s renovation. The ceramic floor tile was in good shape, which left us to replace the old paneling with drywall, add can lights, and paint. No one even thought of taking pictures of the original space ~ it was just the basement. And then it rained.
With the old paneling removed we could see extensive water damage, which led to the decision to close up the window that sat just above ground level. Then we seriously debated whether we should move the stairwell wall to gain those desperately needed inches in the kitchen above. We moved the wall about 2 inches instead of the full 6 inches we really wanted; 4 more inches meaning we would lose the beautiful handrail, and no amount of space seemed worth sacrificing the last of the basement’s original features.
Two narrow bookcases were discovered in the unfinished side of the basement, and we decided to use one of them at the landing. The brick veneer, listed on Craig’s List by a local design company who was clearing out their warehouse, was one of the first purchases I made for the house. The rest of the gym’s decor really came together by happenstance.
The accessories were “left-overs” from other rooms that I was unwilling to throw out for one reason or another. We found the leather hides in Hickory, N.C. years ago for $10 each, the flag is from the clearance corner of the Pottery Barn outlet, and has spent the past three years on our porch in the mountains. It was truly a mixed bag of decor.
The lowest level of this lovely, old home now provides those things we find absolutely necessary for a healthy, happy life: a good dose of exercise in the morning, and a good dose of wine in the evening. Cheers,