My house was built around 1902. I bought it in July 2007. Lets just say a lot of things must have happened in 105 years. When I bought the house I inherited a super creepy basement. Seriously. You feel like you are being watched, there is hideous green muppet carpeting, flourescent lighting, spiders and a bathtub in the washroom that goes straight into a drain... Saw 3 style. My dog refuses to go down there, even when I try to lure her with food (and she usually will go anywhere for food.)
Aside from the cobwebs, my crippling fear of mold and the Amityville Horror feelings, I finally got the guts to clean it up and paint it. Its surprising what a difference paint can make. I chose complimentary color samples that raised some eyebrows at the paint desk, but they are BEAUTIFUL! For the craft room I picked a warm yellow peach color called Summer. In the laundry I chose a calm blue shade called Sea Glass, both in semi-gloss for the wipe-ability factor. To get over the fear of mold I wiped mixture of water with bleach over the walls the night before and set a couple of fans down there to dry it out.
As for the flourescent lighting- I learned that a good shock can get rid of a headache somehow (do NOT try this at home it is terrible for you and NOT recommended.) I would however, recommend cutting ALL power to the house before doing electrical work, not just the breaker that shuts off the lights AROUND the light you are working on. Finally I was able to safley pry the horrid flickering painted-on flourescent monstrosity from its mount and replace it with some nice track lighting. I love modern track lighting because it gives the room a little more depth and warmth,you can creat focus points on your work areas and wall art and the halogen bulbs are said to last for 2 years- which is super. I have here some before and after photos of my craft room and laundry room. Hopefully soon I will be able to get enough courage to actually do some crafts down there. Don't rush me. I'll go when I'm ready.
My Craft Room:
My Laundry Room: