I want you to meet Dayle. She recently transformed her cluttered, overlooked basement workout space into what she calls her “Yoga Cellar.” How fun is that?!
I asked Dayle to share the story of her basement transformation because I think it’s one we can all relate to. We don’t always see the potential that’s right in front of us in our homes. Dayle’s story shows that if we can open ourselves up to see the potential in our homes, we can create spaces that make us happy.
Here’s Dayle to tell you in her own words how she discovered the potential for this space and turned it into an inspiring space she wants to spend more time in.
First, let’s learn more about Dayle’s home and her decorating journey up to this point…
We moved into our current home in 2011, and for the first few years I didn’t realize that it wasn’t even my style at all! Even though I love fashion, I didn’t really know you could have a personal style in your home! When we moved in to this house it very much had a “modern country” feel, which is so not me. Sometime in 2013-2014 I began talking a lot about home styling with a friend who was working on her space and I began to take a real interest, watching home improvement shows and whatnot, and spending way too much time on pinterest, which was fun but also overwhelming. I got caught up in these cute mood boards, and a lot of them were created by you, Jackie. That led me to your free videos, and the way you were able to break down home decorating into more of a science really spoke to me – finally someone was speaking my language!
I joined Décorography in the Fall of 2014. It is sort of funny to me that I have accomplished so much since then. There are still things to be done but I am really proud of what I have accomplished up to now. I’ve been able to redecorate my bedroom, living room, home office/jewelry gallery, and our basement (which I now like to call our “yoga cellar”). But I’ve also been able to make minor improvements to our dining room and guest room, little things that help make these spaces feel closer to how I want them to be, until I can find the time and money to make the bigger changes I would like.
With so much home improvement in a few short years it’s no wonder Dayle hadn’t gotten to the basement yet. But that’s not the real reason…
Our basement always *was* a fitness room. It was just an incredibly boring and uninspired one- oftentimes they are! I didn’t consider that it needed to be any different. But soon enough it began to accumulate more and more “stuff”, storage stuff, and it just felt crowded and claustrophobic.
Around the same time, my husband and I both got into yoga much more seriously. I had bought this beautiful new yoga mat from Free Thirty Three that I fell in love with over and over again when I stepped on it each day, and one day it just spoke to me to build a room around it.
Before starting this project, we hadn’t changed the paint or flooring from the previous owners so the walls and support beam were this purple-undertone brown. We just figured it didn’t matter what it looked like in there,until that moment on my mat when I realized it really did.
If someone had told me I was going to makeover the basement before the kitchen or bathroom I would have thought they were being ridiculous! I never really thought a basement mattered. But now I was spending all this time in there and I loved looking at my mat but hated looking up at the room.
It is very cold for much of the year in Newfoundland, where I live, so doing yoga in the outdoors is not possible a lot of the time. I knew I needed a beautiful space that made me feel inspired and motivated to practice. I wanted my surroundings to match how I feel when I do yoga.
I think the first struggle in this space was just realizing the potential of the room. Just because it is a simple basement doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. In fact, it’s the perfect blank canvas!
Secondly, there was the storage issue. We had to take some time and really clean out our small storage room so that we could eliminate junk and clear out the main basement space.
I was also very worried when I put on the first coat of paint to cover up that purple-brown. Between the trim and the carpet everything just looked awful and I was afraid my best laid plans were about to fail. The carpet is not something I love, that is for certain. But it is amazing what freshly painted trim can do. I think because the walls are white, and there are pops of colour higher on the walls and the contrast of the black beam, it pulls the eye up and away from the carpet so it was less of a challenge than I worried it might be.
For the colors of the room, I was originally inspired by the idea of watercolours, but I also wanted fresh white walls for a very clean and modern aesthetic. I knew that the room would have very little furniture, and I love the look of exposed beams in a room, so I thought that painting the support beam black would give the room an anchor and the contrast I felt it needed. I wasn’t scared to make such a bold choice because I knew it would be an easy fix if it didn’t work out. It turns out to be one of my favourite features of the space!
There’s so many beautiful elements of this room, I asked Dayle to share her favorite element…
I could say the gallery wall, because I really do love it, but what really makes my heart sing is seeing my yoga mat in the centre of it all; seeing my little muse and how the room came together the way I envisioned it. (Did I mention how much I love that yoga mat?!😂😂😂)
I realized as I was working on this room that it had so much more potential than just a yoga space! My husband really fell in love with the room, and he is a musician. For my birthday he gave me a turntable and some records, so I set up a little space for all of that, and also decorated with some of the mandolins he crafted by hand. Now we can do yoga to vinyl… but we also like to head down there some evenings with a glass of wine and just hang out like a couple of kids with our records.
One other little touch that makes the space special is the tapestry we put on the ceiling. I found one that looks like you are gazing up through trees.
Because we have to do yoga indoors for much of the year, I thought it would be a fun addition to the ceiling. I didn’t realize how helpful it would be for the lighting in the room. At the end of yoga practice you spend a good deal of time on your back in savasana. Harsh lighting overhead can be a problem. The tapestry not only dims the lighting, but it also appears like sunlight or moonlight shining down through the trees!
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the wall decor project because I’d been so intimidated by gallery walls for so long! I’d been following other Décorography members working on their gallery walls in the Facebook group for awhile and that helped so much!
Watching as other people learn and get feedback is an amazing experience. It helps you develop that critical eye and gives you the type of experiential learning you get from actually working on something. So when it came time for me to work on mine, I knew that the community was there to help and I knew that they would provide amazing and helpful feedback!
So many of the Décorography classes helped in this space. I learned so much particularly from Shelve It: How To Style Bookshelves and Seven Simple Styling Secrets classes in particular! I was always thinking about how to “triangulate” the elements going into the gallery wall. Also the Free Decorating class helped me to shop from items I already had in my home and create a curated look.
It feels so good to do yoga in this space now. Not only is it a beautiful, inspired and inspiring space, it also makes me feel proud because I know I made it happen, and it reminds me constantly how amazing life can be and how grateful I am for what I have.
I asked Dayle what advice she would give to someone else looking to make over an underutilized space in their home. Here’s what she said…
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to make a space both more beautiful and more functional! By far the smartest money I’ve spent on my home was investing in Décorography. Now I don’t waste money on remodeling and restyling. I am so confident in my vision now and I know how to make it work even when my budget is tight.
With this space I started with one beautiful item as my muse, and a clear idea of what I wanted the space to be used for. Add to that a fresh paint job, a couple of new, yet inexpensive chairs, a few new inexpensive decor items (like the tapestry, which was under twenty dollars) and some items I already had elsewhere in my home, and my redecorating project took shape! Once you have the skills, you will be amazed how you can transform a room into a space that you absolutely love to spend time in.
If you want to learn more about choosing a color palette for your space, hanging wall decor, and how to personalize your space (and more!) then check out Décorography. You’ll be amazed at the transformations you can make in your home once you learn the secret science behind the art of decorating.
Thank you Dayle for sharing this inspiring makeover!