From a Dungeon to a Dream

Honestly, I don't even no where to begin this blog post... this basement project has literally taken a year + a half so it's hard to even know where to start. When we first came to see this house, we saw endless potential. Our house isn't huge by any means, but it has everything our family could need... it just needed a face lift. And then... we saw the basement. The basement needed a bit more than a facelift... it needed whatever Kylie Jenner got... BUT we saw what it could be; we saw our dream basement! It was such a large area of the house that just wasn't useful. It. was. FILTHY! Coal dust everywhere from what looked like the furnace out of Kevin McCallister's basement, mouse poop from what I imagine the set of Ratatouille would look like, "dirty" magazines hidden in the drop down ceiling circe 1970 😆🙈, a mole... literally a mole, + the nastiest pink carpet that felt more like turf when you walked on it. Now, we can walk comfortably barefoot & have faith we won't be over run by rodents... for now #winterscoming... The before pictures you'll see are from the actual listing of the home when we bought it. And they honestly do not give the full "EW" effect. Let's get into all that it took to turn this dungeon into a dream!


One of hardest parts about this renovation began before we (my husband) ever lifted a finger. We were so torn with what to do with this area. We knew we wanted a playroom for our daughter, we knew we needed the washer/dryer to stay down there, and we dreamed of having an at home gym. But how do we make it all fit & flow well? If you look at the pictures below of the "before" shots, it was all one room kinda sorta separated by the staircase that came down in the middle. The laundry area was directly across from the closet under the stairs. By "laundry area" I mean a cubby with a curtain that separated it from the rest of the basement. So, we talked + talked + talked + talked. Until we finally came up with a game plan. Instead of leaving it all open & dealing with safety issues in the gym with kids, noise issues from the playroom, and kids having total access to the washer/dryer, we decided we'd separate it into three rooms. Gym, laundry, play/family room. BOOM! Plans were ready 🙌  Now, fast forward through all of the demo, cleaning, demo, cleaning, electrical, lights, drywall, flooring, painting, shiplap, more painting, trim, more painting, doors, painting the doors, new stairs, new railing, installing a new wood stove... we FINALLY have... THIS!




I was going to go through the step by step process of the renovation. Then, I realized I'd rather not relive that again 😂 So if there is a part of the reno process you have a question about, please comment below and I will do my best to answer! I will eventually do an entire post on the shiplap process... that was DEFINETLY a learning experience 🙈 Instead, what I'm gonna do is go through and show you most of the products we used to design these areas. I have had so many questions about what products we used, I'm gonna link them all here! Again, if there is something you like that I don't link, ask away! Let's start with the playroom area...


Designing this area was sooo much fun! And it was actually pretty easy. We saw this open back wall and knew we needed storage. Welp, there it is! The bench in the middle was a must. How cute is that? What better area for a bench than one surrounded by books? We purchased these 4 Cube Storage Organizer & 4-Cube Organizer Storage Bench from Walmart. We chose the "weathered" color to pop against all of the white from the glorioussss shiplap 😍 The bench comes with the cushion on top so that was a plus 👍 I looked for a longgg time to find the most "budget friendly" options here. So many people loved the IKEA storage bench, but then I would have had to drive to IKEA (which is no where close to me) AND, they do not come with a seat cushion. Not to mention the weight limit didn't quite work for the people in my life... anyone who knows my family KNOWS I gotta be careful with what I purchase when it comes to weight limit 😆 (I'm a tiny nugget with a family of giants).... The Walmart options were definitely the best fit for us. One thing I will say if you plan on doing something like this, measure, measure, measure. I think that's pretty obvious but can be easily overlooked. It just so happened that the length of our back wall and the length of all 3 of our storage units worked perfectly.


Now, that play table 😍 Again, I was looking for something budget friendly, colorful, and not too bulky. This is where my love for Wayfair begins to shine. I found this GORGEOUS Kids Play Room Table from Wayfair. It was the perfect size & color for our area. I also love that the table is wood. Less noise than something metal (which would have looked super cute here, too).  Next, the area rug. Right now, we only have a daughter but we plan on having more children. So I really wanted to try and keep this area "gender neutral". This 5x7 Area Rug was the best balance of cute & rugid... aka. girl & boy. Wayfair for the win again! When it comes to accent pieces like the lights + the "PLAY" letters, we wanted something that would pop and not be too "in your face". I found these giant Galvanized Letters at Hobby Lobby. That place is a gold mine! I could easily spend my entire bank account in that store. Online these letters don't get very great reviews and I honestly don't know why. A bunch of the reviews are from upset customers because they don't have all 26 letters. Not sure what that has to do with the quality of the actual product but whatevs 😒 They were also 50% in the store at the time I purchased them. These letters matched perfectly with these Farmhouse Sconces we found at Lowe's. They come in so many different colors and now I'm slighhttly tempted to see what another color would look like (Matt would kill me 😅).


One of the most common questions we get is "what kind of floors did you have?" That's a great question! This flooring is throughout our entire house. The previous owners had installed it on the first two floors & we loved it so much we wanted to put it in the basement as well. You can find this exact flooring at Home Depot. This TrafficMASTER Laminate Floor is amazing! It is super affordable + VERY durable. We have a large + crazy german shepherd and he has yet to scratch this stuff. Not to mention it's extremely easy to install. Winner, winner, chicken dinner right here! Oh, and it's also very attractive 😉 Now let's talk about paint colors. Picking paint colors can be so frustrating. So if you're stuck with that, we understand your pain! For the top half, on the drywall, we used Sherwin Williams- Aesthetic White. For the shiplap, we used Benjamin Moore- Simply White. We love both of these colors. At first when we painted the drywall without putting up the shiplap, we were a bit unsure about the Aesthetic White color. It looked more beige than we wanted it to. But we were NOT willing to repaint all of that at this point. Then, we put up the shiplap. Once we added that bright white shiplap, it made the top paint color turn into EXACTLY what we wanted. It made that beige look completely disappear + it turned into a super light grey/almost white. So again, if you're picking a paint color, remember, anything can change the appearance of the color. Lastly for this area, is the TV stand. When I found this Black Locker Style TV Stand from IKEA I feel in love. It was the perfect size & so much cheaper than any other one I found with a similar design. Even cheaper than some from Walmart. But of course, there's no IKEA close to me and shipping on large items is literally $200. What a heartbreaker. But love will find a way, right? Shoutout to my sister-in-law who was going to an IKEA close to her and offered to pick it up for me. The things we do for love 💖 Worth it!


Our couch was a tough decision as well. The common theme for this basement has been cute but affordable. We looked at so. many. different sectionals for the basement. Both online and in stores. But we just weren't willing to spend THAT much money on a couch right now. So, we decided to go with this Wayfair Reversible Sectional. After having it for a few months, we are happy with the quality of the product because of the price. It is comfy, but not one of those couches where you flop down & instantly feel engulfed in a giant sea of pillows. It does move a little when my husband blops down, but I mean, can ya blame it?  So if you're looking for an affordable/cute sectional that's comfy but not too comfy 😆 this one is a winner. One of my ABSOLUTE favorite parts about the basement is our giant photos! How cute are they? I mean besides the adorable kid + gorgeous stud muffin pup, the actual photos are so stinking cute. These Custom Wood Framed Signs are from SmallWoodHomes. We went with the square 25x25 with the almond stain. I highly recommend these!  Again, cute + affordable. I knew really, really wanted a tufted leather ottoman for this area. I struggled to find one that wasn't a ridiculous amount of money until... Target comes through! We got this cute Leather Tufted Ottoman online from Target. It's small and easy to move. It also functions as extra seating if we ever need it so, win win! Lastly, the area rug. I have had a bunch of people ask if this was a Ruggable. It's not (I really wanna give that product a try though). This 8x10 Area Rug is from Wayfair + is actually that same exact rug from the playroom, just with a different color pattern. We loveee this design, obviously 😍


Whew! That was a doozy of a blog post. I'm gonna call it quits there. I will eventually do a separate blog post on the gym side + everything we used over there. And like I mentioned earlier, I'm also going to write a post specifically on the DIY shiplap. There are things we loved + ab.so.lut.ley despised about that process 🙈 So I feel that is worth sharing. If you have any other questions about how, what, when, where, why, comment below & I will do my best to answer any questions. I hope this was helpful in some way. If you have a basement that looks like a scene from a horror film, I urge you to put in the time, even if it takes years, to make that space useful. It is a serious game changer! Enjoy 😘

Laura ❤

Comments

  1. Did you entirely redo the ceiling on your own?? I’m moving into a house that has a basement with the multi-level while-tiled ceiling (similar to your “before” picture by the fireplace/stove) and I think it makes the basement so much darker and feels smaller. How did you go about changing up your ceilings? Amazing work!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sophia! Thanks for the comment. We did do the ceiling on our own. My husband is very tall so we HAD to get rid of that dreaded drop-down ceiling. Luckily we had a lot of space to move wires & such to give us more head room. We even were able to move some piping up even further. After moving things up as high as we could, we decided to just drywall the ceiling to give it the clean finish. We were going back and forth with leaving the ceiling completely expose and just painting it all one color. But we are so happy we went ahead and did the drywall. It just makes everything look so much cleaner and more complete. I hope this helps! Good luck with your renovations!

      Delete
  2. What was the square footage of the basement?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Cody! So sorry for the delay in response. Our basement is around 750-800 sq feet. Hope this helps :)

      Delete
  3. Where did you get your bins for the cube storage? The ones all along the bottom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandy! I apologize for the delay in response. My cube bins are from Walmart! Budget friendly of course! I believe they were the Better Homes & Gardens brand! Good luck!

      Delete
  4. I love this! What flooring did you use, specifically? Where did you get it? We have a very similar layout in our basement, we're redoing it now, and need to choose flooring soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Mae! Our flooring is TrafficMaster Lakeshore Pecan Laminate flooring. I cannot recommend this enough. It is VERY budget friendly + stands up to our kids and dogs! You can find it at Home Depot which makes it even better that it's so easily accessible. Here's the link! Good luck!

      https://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMASTER-Lakeshore-Pecan-7-mm-Thick-x-7-2-3-in-Wide-x-50-5-8-in-Length-Laminate-Flooring-24-17-sq-ft-case-35947/205349795

      Delete
  5. Hi! Can you share more about the stair railing? Is that rope or cable under the handrail? Love the look! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Val! Great question. The railing is metal balusters from Lowe's that we painted black ourselves. Hope this helps!
      Laura

      Delete
  6. Hi! Can you share what color you painted your ceilings? Thanks! Such a beautiful space

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! Good question. For the ceiling we just used Sherwin Williams Ceiling Paint. Here's a link... https://www.lowes.com/pd/HGTV-HOME-by-Sherwin-Williams-Ceiling-Flat-White-Interior-Paint-Actual-Net-Contents-128-fl-oz/1000209047

      Hope that helps! Thank you so much!
      Laura

      Delete
  7. Hi! So glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am actually remodeling my basement now and the layout seems pretty similar to yours. I am interested to see what the other side of your basement looks like. Any chance you have pictures to post or send over? Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kim! So sweet. Thank you so much...

      We do have pictures of that side.. I meant to do a whole other blog post on that side. But then we got pregnant with our second child haha! The other side of the basement is actually a home gym! So amazing... stay tuned and I will try to do a blog post on the other side as well!

      Laura

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I’m interested in the change to the built in shelf next to the wood burning stove. We have almost the exact shelf in our house. Was it difficult to remove the shelving? The lighting looks amazing! The shelf looks deeper. I love everything about it and would love to do something similar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kat!

      Was it difficult to remove the shelving... well, not for me. My husband did all of the demo, Haha! I don't think it was difficult, but like I said, we demo-ed the whole basement so it's not like my husband had to be delicate about it. Just ripped it all out! The shelf is very deep. Currently in the process of trying to figure out what I want to do with that area.. reading nook, art work display, something cute for the kids!

      The lighting truly changed the feel of the basement. Can lights for the win! The more the merrier :)

      Thank you for your kind words!
      Laura

      Delete
  10. Hi! Obsessed with how your basement came out - really inspired me to do something very similar for my daughters play area. Where did you buy the planks for the shiplap? I didnt see it linked - thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts