Our Basement Renovation Progress

I'm so excited to finally share an update on our basement renovation! 

We bought the house with it partially unfinished, but it had a good start with concrete floors, drywall in most spaces and a finished bathroom. It's a HUGE amount of space (about 1000 square feet including the storage / maintenance closet, bathroom, living area and laundry area) but about 750 of it will be open living space. This is a huge upgrade for us, since our main level is only 1400 square feet. While we're not adding any bedrooms down here (there are no windows, so adding a room wouldn't count as a bedroom), we did do a ton of work to make it a cozy, livable space for us!

First, let's look back on how it looked before:


+ framing in the laundry area to create a laundry room with a barn door (though it won't look rustic) Still need to build the door!

+ fixing some aspects to the bathroom (flooring, adding mirror, fixing light, etc.)

+ carpeting the main living space

+ adding a bar with a sink, mini fridge and possibly an additional actual bar area with 2 stools. We decided not to do the bar with stools-- felt too closed in and wanted to keep it open!

+ adding flooring under the kitchen / bar area. 

+ changing the placement of the electrical in the ceiling. There are barely any lights down there now, so McCann is redoing it all and adding about 8 can lights so we make sure it's nice and bright, since there are no windows. Ended up adding 12 lights and a sconce above the bar sink!

+ fresh, light paint throughout and paint the ceilings black in order for the exposed beams to count as a ceiling (this is accepted by appraisers in our state). This will also make the ceiling stuff "disappear" to the eye and hopefully make the ceiling look taller. I know it won't be my favorite, but it'll be an improvement from what we have now ;) I was skeptical about the black ceiling, but I LOVE THEM! So glad we went with this choice. The ceilings really do disappear now. 

This list really just scratched the surface of all the projects that went into this space. We also had to do a ton of caulking (my job!), replacing baseboards, paint and install the bar area with shiplap, install the fridge, the countertop, the hardware, moved outlets, and got the sofas down here (that was a whole Friends PIVOT moment and we almost didn't think it'd fit-- but my husband and neighbor did it!!) It's taken us months to get to this point, so we are extremely relieved and so happy to have this extra space to entertain and just a different spot to watch tv / movies. McCann did all this work himself or with a little help from a friend, other than laying the carpet. I'm SO proud of him!!

Lincoln also LOVES running around down there; it's adorable!

Alright, so knowing that it's not 100% finished yet, here's where we are at today!
It is hard to capture, because there are no windows and it's been so cloudy / snowy here, but you'll get the idea!

I love our vinyl planks for the bar area! We did a vertical shiplap as a backsplash as a way to draw our eyes up and make the 7' ceilings look taller. It really, really helped. Never underestimate the power of visual tricks ;)

I also originally planned to do a deep navy color on the cabinets, but after seeing how dark the ceiling was, the navy just read black in here, so I switched it up and went with a light blue. It's Blue Smoke by Benjamin Moore. Our hardware are these pretties from Pottery Barn, but the large size is sold out. This is similar. 

Over in the tv area, we got a new tv and mounted it on the wall, then set up our leather recliner sofas (my husbands' dream--ha! These aren't my style, but I'm so happy he loves them!) I got two side tables, then a small accent table

This space behind the TV area is huge and, well...it's empty! We don't have a use for it yet, so it's Lincoln's running zone ;) But eventually it will McCann's desk area and maybe even a play area for future family members. One thing I love that we did was create this closet at the end of the laundry room. Other than our huge storage space down here, we don't have other storage. Since this basement area might house guests on a blow up mattress some time, I wanted to have a closet to store linens, their clothes if needed, games, a filing cabinet for his office stuff, etc. It's going to be so handy!

I love this comparison shot!

BEFORE: laundry was out in the open, no bar, concrete floors.

AFTER: laundry room framed in and dry walled, cute bar area, cozy carpet.

The next things on our list are just finishing touches, really:

+ barn door made & installed
+ Art or shelves above bar 
+ Art / decor for tv area and other walls
+ move our upstairs console down here under the TV (this one is a stand-in for now that we had laying around)

We're so close!! And we're so excited that it's added immense value to our home!

Thanks for following along with this labor of love! I'll be sure to give a better video tour on instagram today.


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