One the other side, the basement is slowly taking shape. We don't have the funds to remodel it at the moment and likely won't for a long time. But, to make it nicer I painted all of the walls a soft blue that is both reminiscent of a backdrop and just happens to be more pleasing than concrete gray. To provide adequate lighting (and fix the problem with having to pull 6 different light cords or plug in various extension cords) a good friend and I installed 12 fluorescent light fixtures and tied them to one switch accessed at the top of the stairs. Very helpful! There is plenty of room for my many books, boxes of research files, and modeling supplies. You can even see part of my two old N scale layouts off to the side, though for right now I am not planning on working on them much.
The ceiling rafters have been slowly dropping dirt as we walk around upstairs, which is a big problem and I am still hoping to cover the ceiling with plastic sheets to contain the dust.
I purchased a desk (actually two... don't ask!) to use as a work bench and I whipped up a quick tool organizer made of wood that clamps to the back. In the process of rerouting all of the cable television wires in our basement rafters I installed a drop to the workbench and bought a cheap television off of Craigslist, so now I can watch football while working. And, a radio let's me listen to games not shown. It should be a pleasant place to work in the winter, and finally I will be able to have a project or two in progress and not need to clean off the kitchen table at the end of the night so we can eat!
I apportioned off a quarter of the basement to devote to non-train stuff, and it houses the washer/dryer, etc. When we remodel the basement I will have these relocated to give me a larger layout area. As it is, I am planning on it taking up one quarter of the basement. It will stand away from two walls by a foot, and be exposed/open on the other two sides. Backdrops will run around the entire outside, so the ideal viewing location will be inside the layout. A portion will be removable for access.
Until recently I struggled with conceptualizing how I would fit my D&H Layout Design Elements (LDEs) into the space, but after fussing a while I think I have a good arrangement. For some areas I have clear ideas of what I want to model and the space it will take (Colonie Liquor, Keis/Norlite), and for other areas (Mohawk Paper, Cokoes) I haven't worked it out yet. One area will require more research to see if I even want to add it (Watervliet Wye) but the location I planned is good because I can extend the wye in or out for scenic or operational interest. And, I can build a staging yard along the wall (lower left in the diagram below) and tie it into the layout easily. The North Albany Yard will be where the lift section is, so I might just make it a generic scene and leave off building a yard being demolished for now.
Of course, once the benchwork is up I may need to shift things around, or shorten/lengthen them to fit into the sections that I can move if necessary. I want each area to be its own benchwork section, which means all four corners will be separate.