How I Designed the Basement (With No Training or Skills!): Part 1

Let's begin by showing you my basement. Keep in mind that as horrible as these photos are, the basement used to be much, much worse.

No judging allowed in these pictures. I'm keeping it real here. 

You may have noticed that my basement has a serious pipe issue. I have lost a lot of sleep over what to do with the ridiculous amount of pipes.

When I was working out the design, I spent a lot of time walking around the basement. It's a huge open space which is great, but the pipes are in very unfortunate places & groupings, some of which are not hooked up to anything on either end. There's a giant pipe almost directly in front of the fireplace which happens to be the sewer pipe. 

Would you like to come over to my house, kick your feet up next to a toasty fire, and sit next to the sewer main? Nice. 

But there's no relocating of the sewer main because it's a huge hassle and I am not made of money. So I turned to Pinterest, my counselor, and asked it what to do with the giant pipe. Pinterest says this:

"Turn it into an H!"

"Spend the rest of your life painting it!"

"Learn to knit. And then knit a cover for it!"

"Turn it into a birch tree!"

You know what, Pinterest? I appreciate your enthusiasm but I don't even know why we're friends. Your ideas can be really lame.
I decided to embrace the giant pipe in front of the fireplace (to the best of my ability). I plan to spray paint it a matte black so that with the exposed ceiling and black track lighting, it will actually fit with the whole rustic/industrial vibe which is popular right now.
I plan to leave the ceiling exposed because it's already low (and a drop ceiling adds $8K to the project). I may either paint the whole thing or will just paint the pipe a matte charcoal.
Step 1: Pipe Problem resolved(ish).
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