The Basement

Friday, January 1, 2010

We're finished with our end of the year basement redo project. Here's a whole slew of before and after photos of the project. We are so happy with how things turned out and have been spending lots of time in the basement relaxing in the spruced up space.

We have been wanting to update the basement for a while now and finally took the plunge and finished it all within the span of one week. Our main expenses for the update were fabric for wall panels, paint (10 gallons for the whole basement!) and high tech light switches and bulbs (to reduce buzzing noises). We had everything else on hand or was donated from friends and family.

The Laundry "Room"



Here's the laundry room side of the basement. The biggest eye sore of the basement was this nasty wall cupboard. I have no idea what it is supposed to be used for, but we store paint and painting supplies, toilet paper and paper towel and our Christmas tree in it. We painted everything on this side of the basement white (including the massively heavy utility sink).




The TV "Room"


 Here is our TV room area. It houses our massive sectional that has to
have been our #1 regretted purchase ever. It is good for neither form
nor function. You'd think it would be a really comfortable place to
relax, but after about 15 minutes on this thing, it starts creating
backaches and is so uncomfortable. We're going to be house-sitting a
couch and chair this year, so we're selling this sectional on
Craigslist soon.


We took down the crappy posters that have fallen off the wall one too
many times and we knocked the window surrounds off.


Jon updated our instead of turning on a surge protector to turn on our paper lanterns, we can use this high tech dimmer switch to adjust lighting. And, the switch is now installed on the stairway down to the basement, so we don't trip around in the dark while trying to find the switch. Jon also added another circuit breaker and four outlet electrical outlet to the tv area.



The nastiest part of the whole project was painting the basement ceiling. We covered everything in plastic.


Jon used Kilz to prime the ceiling with a spray gun painter.


And then he applied two coats of black paint to mask all of the duct
work and joists. It sure beats the patchwork paint colors on the
ceiling, doesn't it?

Jon installed real canister
lights instead of plug in paper lanterns. Now we have a real light switch instead of a serge protector attached to the ceiling.

We finished off the tv area by painting all of the walls a light tan color. The birch tree artwork is a shower curtain from Urban Outfitters stretched over canvas stretcher bars and stapled to the back.


I sewed 8 black fabric panels and we hung them from the joists in the
ceiling with drapery rings. We hung the drapes throughout the basement
to block off separate rooms.

We didn't want to spend too much money on this project, so I painted the
bookshelf the same color as the wall to help it blend into things.

The Storage "Room"



We cleared out some of our stuff and covered the rest with black fabric panels. Now the litter box and our junk is behind the curtain and out of sight.



Now we don't have to look at our stuff while we're watching tv anymore. You can see the fabric panels behind the tv, to the right of the sitting area, lining the stairs and covering the storage area (in the background).

So, here's our "finished" basement. I think we will be refraining from house projects for at least another year after finishing all of this. I definitely don't want to paint anymore for quite a while.


  1. You guys did a superb job. It really looks cozy and welcoming now.

  2. What a great job! I love the shower curtain wall hanging thing.

  3. Looks awesome! Love the black drapes hanging, great solution for blocking off the space. We are going to be trying out the fabric over stretcher bars for our family room. It's such a great idea!

  4. It looks great! What an amazing amount of work to undertake in a week! Great job! :)

  5. oh wow!! it looks fantastic! you guys did a great job!!
    i love the show curtain turned wall hanging - such a clever idea and it looks fantastic!
    happy new year to you!

  6. great job! you made an incredible change spending less!! we also made some changes in our laundry room (who is in the same place as my sewing room) and really is exciting once you finish all the (dusty) process!!

  7. Your basement (before) looks like my basement (now). I even have the same cement laundry tub that I painted white last summer. I have been thinking for a while how to redo it, without actually remodeling! So this is perfect inspiration for me! I love the idea of painting the ceiling instead up putting up a drop ceiling and using curtains to partition the space. Brilliant! Maybe this would be a good project for the summer! Thanks, and happy new year!

  8. The basement looks fantastic! You did such a great job and it is so innovative. You should send this on to Design Sponge to show off your before and after shots. It is really inspiring. Happy New Year!

  9. It looks great! What an innovative way to make such a huge transformation.

  10. That'a amazing! I love what you guys did with it... I'm trying to talk myself into finally painting our bedroom, but everytime I think about moving furniture I change my mind lol

  11. This is FABULOUS!!!!!!!! I had a friend who spray painted the entire basement ceiling black, he said it made the ceiling just disappear - I never did get to see it, as he sold it right after, but now I understand - what an amazing transformation! You guys did a wonderful job, it's such a grown-up, clean space now. I LOVE it!

  12. You guys did an amazing job! Wow, I can't believe the transformation! I am jealous of all the extra space you have.

  13. This is a great make over...~ painting is always painful... :p but the result is superb! Happy new year to you & your family!

  14. Wow, what an undertaking! It looks fantastic. You guys really spruced it up nicely. How nice for you to enjoy it now.

  15. Great job! I can appreciate all the sweat (and tears) that probably went into this! We hired professionals a few years back to re-do half of our basement. The other half is what I've been cleaning and sprucing up. More for storage, ironing, and projects than for relaxing in. I'm getting ready for my big unveil too. You're an inspiration. And isn't picture-taking a pain in the dark?

  16. excellent makeover! It definitely looks more cozy now. Congratulations on a job well DONE!

  17. looks great! I hope you two enjoy using it!

  18. It looks fantastic! It also looks like a lot of hard work. I really love the tree fabric that you turned into a canvas. Love it! Enjoy your new space.

  19. wow- what a transformation!!!
    it looks incredible! i love the tree fabric canvas idea- brilliant!

  20. Nice, I love it! And one of my fav things is the shower curtain art, lol :)

  21. Hi, I'm new to reading your blog. It showed up on my Google Reader Recommendations page! I have enjoyed reading about your projects and tidbits of your life. You so remind me of myself, my bf, and our one cat. The basement looks great!

  22. Great job! It looks like a ton of work!
    And that little closet? My parents have one that's almost identical -- it's a fruit cellar! That's where you're supposed to store all your canning -- in case you're ever inspired do any...

  23. wow, rebekah. an amazing transformation. i've wanted to do that ceiling think in the basement of the townhome...never did. i'll bet that was loads of work.

  24. You guys are so amazing! It looks great!

  25. Your ceiling is sweet. I plan on painting mine black too. Did you use a primer or a thinner in your paint. Thanks

  26. This looks awesome!! I'm so psyched to get started on my basement that looks exactly like your "before" pics. I couldn't figure out how I was going to inexpensively do the ceiling. Great Job!


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