Two kids — one in a tuque — watching TV


Moving the TV to the Basement was One of the Best Decisions We’ve Made

Dec 9, 2020

In the middle of the pandemic, my husband and I decided to trade our spacious townhouse condominium for a smaller freehold bungalow.

Our 1,280 square-foot townhouse (plus finished basement) was a great starter home, but with a huge condo fee, a tiny outdated kitchen and no property, it wasn’t an ideal home to raise our growing family.

With a limited budget we knew that we’d need to make some sacrifices, especially in this hot real estate market. After losing out on two houses, we finally found a place that we could see ourselves settling in long-term. The 1,020 square-foot bungalow was fully renovated on the main floor, had a large fenced in yard and a massive partially finished basement of equal square footage with lots of potential.

Joseph Wilson is unafraid of putting his daughters to work, even with home renovation projects. Read his story here.

But there was also one major downside: our main floor living room would shrink — by a lot. We figured we’d adjust to the new layout of our home over time, but I found myself particularly struggling with the tiny living space, and knew that we needed a change.

In the past, we had three floors to spread out on. But now our children were constantly in my open-concept space, blaring their obnoxious YouTube shows while I attempted to cook dinner with no walls to separate the noise.

I knew that no matter what, my kids would gravitate towards the television — wherever it was. I had already attempted to create a cozy playroom in our basement, but they rarely went down there, preferring to cram into one small room instead.

"Our main floor living area is now reserved for relaxation and calm."

We decided that we’d take our only TV and move it into the basement. Surprisingly, my kids were excited about the idea, and eagerly helped me set up a new living room in the basement by moving furniture and tidying the area to make it a cozy den. With low-drop ceilings and reduced lighting, it wasn’t my favourite place to hang out, but my kids loved the space we created.

Our main floor living area is now reserved for relaxation and calm. I put up pretty plants in our bay window, and bought more comfortable furnishings for reading, relaxing and chatting. When my kids hang out upstairs now it’s because they’re doing a craft at the kitchen table, grabbing a snack, or reading or playing a game in the living room. It almost feels like good old-fashioned fun, having no TV to distract us from each other.

Brianna Bell fully admits that unlimited screen time for her kids is helping her cope during the pandemic. Read her POV here.

When the kids want to watch television, usually on lazy weekend mornings or after school, they’ll head to the basement where they can watch their shows and I can peacefully enjoy my new house and freedom.

Moving our TV has also taught our kids about flexibility, and learning to create a haven out of any space. The once neglected basement is now a well-used area where they can play with their toys, watch shows and have a hangout without parents around the corner.

After the kids are in bed, my husband and I head to the basement with a bowl of popcorn and enjoy our own Netflix or Apple TV+ time.

Article Author Brianna Bell
Brianna Bell

Read more from Brianna here.

Brianna Bell is a writer and journalist based in Guelph, Ontario. She has written for many online and print publications, including Scary Mommy, The Penny Hoarder, and The Globe and Mail.

Brianna's budget-savvy ways have attracted media attention and led to newspaper coverage in The Globe and Mail and The Guelph Mercury.

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