Basement Ideas for Fun and Pleasure.

My basement escape today.

Soviet basement


Throughout my life I lived in different houses, mostly apartment buildings. In Kazakhstan (one of the 15 republics of the former Soviet Union), when I was a child I lived with my mother in a two story brick house that had two entrances, with eight apartments in every entrance. Four were on a ground floor (that was called first floor) and four on the upper floor. We lived in a one bedroom apartment (it was called a flat in our corner of the world) on the first floor. Our building didn't have a basement. Actually there was basement, of course, but it was a closed one, without any access. But the same house opposite had a basement with an entrance and the basement there was all divided into small (if not tiny) cages that belonged to apartments of both buildings. People kept old junk, bicycles, and fire wood there.

Flashback # 1

Fire wood was used for water boilers. Water boiler was called "titan" (I have no idea why but possibly because it was made from titan). "Titan" was placed in a bathroom, next to a bathtub and was heated by wood. I had to draw an image of that old "tian", as it was impossible to find a picture of this relict.

Well, back to the old basement. The basement under apartment building was long, dusty and dark. Electric bulbs didn't stay for long there, having been stolen on a constant basis. People were going to the basement with flash lights. It was strictly forbidden for us, children to go there, but it goes without doubt that the basement pulled us as a magnet. It was scary, mysterious and full of possibilities. Perfect place for "cops and thieves" games. I have to write a separate story about my soviet childhood.

Israel basement

My life in Israel introduced to me quite a different usage of under-buildings basements. Basements in Israel are bomb shelters. People on the south (town of Sderot for example) have 15 seconds to run to the shelter when a siren "Color Red" pops up. "Color Red" means that Kasam rocket was fired towards Israel from Gaza strip by Hamas terrorists.

My first wall art

my first wall picture reproduced by memory 45 years later
my first wall picture reproduced by memory 45 years later

Flashback # 2 inspired by my present basement


America's homes have totally different basements. In some homes it is a part of a house where one can even live. In my house the basement is a lasting creativity source.

Flashback- since I was a child I loved to draw on walls. My first wall art was made on a freshly painted wall of my bedroom. It featured a house with a high roof, a window and a fence. On the roof there was a chimney which was put perpendicular to the roof side, like this:

I was about 5 years old and when my mother saw a new wall décor she looked at me so "loudly" without saying a word, that I immediately put the blame on my cousin (a usual trick of mine). "Ilya drew this". My mother was skeptical though and said, "Only you draw chimneys like this". "Well, chimney is mine, but Ilya drew the house" was my answer.

Later my mother gave up to my passion and even allocated for this the back wall of the bedroom where my cousin Ilya and I exercised our fantasy. Later (in another house) I was putting pictures on my bedroom walls to cover drawbacks, like chipped paint, or greasy spot. Once a neighbor from apartment above flooded us and instead of repainting the whole room I just traces the flood damages and painted bricks on those spots which gave my room an authentic chamber look.

My American basement


Needless to say that when we moved to our present house I put my eye on the basement immediately, anticipating the pleasure of long winter evenings. This is what I have there now and the work is far from being finished! My aim is not to finish decorating the room for the sake of the room. I just enjoy drawing and painting the patterns and I do it from time to time only. I can sketch an image with a white pencil and then leave it alone and paint it with colors weeks after. I also alternate drawing with playing ping-pong, so i never get tired of it. I color my sketches with acrylic paint.

Don't throw away old curtains

The basement ceiling of that room was just an open mess of whatever is there in basement's ceilings. My son and his friend covered it with old window curtains by stapling them to the beams.


Next project on the way


This is just a sketch. It will be traced by black or blue color on the wall of another room in the basement. I hope that when sooner or later I decide to sell my house, the next owner is going to like all this stuff and won't ask me to repaint the basement walls with plain color. Ah, a joke from life just popped in my head: A tenant made some beautiful wall art in his rented apartment. When his lease was over, the owner refused to renew the contract and also demanded from the tenant to repaint the apartment before he goes out as this was the contract deal. Needless to say, the tenant was upset with his master. He read the contract attentively and noticed that color of paint was not specified. So he painted the entire apartment black.

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Comments 20 comments

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

what a wonderful painter you are! It's a really special cellar, you must have a great time there.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA Author

LondonGirl, thank you for stopping by. I do enjoy spending time there, yes:) Your son would like it there. When I have little visitors I usually play a game with them. I ask them to find, say, all the snails. Or count how many sea shells I have there. The most tricky one (don’t know why) is finding a mermaid. People just look at her and don’t see, but when they finally find it, it’s fun how they react, “how I didn't see her!”….

Eddie Perkins 7 years ago

I truly enjoyed this hub.  I came by looking for ideas for grandchildren time and I'm not disappointed.

Thank you. ~ eddie

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 7 years ago from HubPages, FB

One look but don't see it, right?

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA Author

Eddie, thank you for your nice words, I appreciate it much. One of the walls in my basement will be planned for children to draw on it whatever they want (as I remember my childhood still...).

Vladimir, you are right, it happens so often in life too :)

allshookup profile image

allshookup 7 years ago from The South, United States

I love the idea of this. It's so neat! It's beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us. A wondeful hub as always! Great job!!

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA Author

Hello, my friend! I'm happy to see you again. I'm glad you liked my hub, thank you.

Dame Scribe profile image

Dame Scribe 7 years ago from Canada

Beautiful artwork! :)

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, Dame!

foxility profile image

foxility 7 years ago

That's really pretty. Nice job.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I love the art work in your basement and I cannot imagine why someone would want boring walls instead. When I was a child there was a dental office that had beautiful mountain scenes painting onto the walls, which was kind of soothing. I can identify with the story about when you drew your first picture on the wall because I got in trouble for a similar thing. When I was about four we went on a trip to the Grand Canyon and my sister and I got bored coloring in our books. Sometime during the road trip I drew on the white walls inside my dad's Blazer and he about had a fit. I guess he was never to get all the pictures off lol.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA Author

foxility, thank you for visiting and leaving a note.

SweetiePie, nice to hear from you! I loved the story about your first “wall art”. I suppose all kids are the same…..creative. When my son was four, once we were sitting in a clinic, waiting for our appointment. I was reading a magazine and he was playing with the pens on the floor by my feet.  When I look down, I saw that one of my brand new sport shoes was all in pictures- a flower, a bird, a car. My first sensation was that of anger! But my son looked so happy…. And a shoe looked so cute….. So I told him, “Go ahead, decorate another one too.”

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 7 years ago

Your are quite an artist! I remember the basement from the house I grew up in. If yours was anything like it, you've done a lot to brighten it up and make it a pleasant space to enjoy.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA Author

Hi, mulberry! Actually, this last basement was pretty nice. I just painted two corner stone walls and started drawing images.

Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Your basement is so cool. I wish I was little again so I could come play!

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA Author

Dottie, you are welcome to come any time, we'll play and let the people old in their spirits envy.

Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Yes, let them carry the old grudge in their hearts. Will you still have time to edit and call Vera every day? LOL

sjk6101983 profile image

sjk6101983 7 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

Hello again, what you did to the basement was really cool! :) My younger sister did a similar thing to my grandma's downstairs bathroom, except she painted it in a "Little Mermaid" theme. One day, I'll take some pictures and post them up on facebook (since he and I have it) and have your son print them out so you can see them!

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA Author

Hello again, sjk! I have facebook too, send me a link through Reuven's, let's become friends :)

sjk6101983 profile image

sjk6101983 7 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

really? that's cool! one of my friends from high school has it--her mom's on there and her mom wanted to add me, too! okay, I'll add you when I get on there! =)

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