Our Basement Renovation:: from bad to glad

sofa from Value City–not my first choice in style, but y’all it was less than $500! Check the clearance area! Ottoman from HomeGoods, rug from At Home

It’s not done yet, but if I waited until a room was finished before I shared it, I’d have one post a year here. If I’m lucky.

Our basement has been patiently waiting to be renovated since we moved into this fixer-upper almost 5 years ago.

There’s about 500 square feet of space that’s already heated and cooled (unlike our second story with our boy’s two bedrooms that has no heat or air). It’s a walkout basement that leads to our underporch out into the backyard. We also have a space under the stairs where one day we hope to put a bathroom.

Here’s the same wall 5 years ago when we moved in.

And the rest of the basement when we moved in. We donated that bar to our boy’s high school along with a huge fish tank that happens to fit on it perfectly–such a happy ending for a huge, ugly 1980’s bar, right?!

Drop ceiling, florescent lights, part carpet, part tile–the works!

Our basement had cinder block walls with thin paneling over it.

The ceilings are able to be about 7.5 feet high, and we covered every wall and the ceiling with luan, just like we did to our ceilings and to our bathroom walls.

Sean had to bring the ceiling down a little lower in the front of the room because of our huge stove hood exhaust pipes. But when you cover everything with paneling and wood trim, it ends up looking fine in the end.

This area in the photo above ends up becoming my office. You can see our furnace there, we couldn’t move it so that’s why my office is L shaped, so we could put walls around the furnace and not have to look at it. Plus, we had two load bearing columns that couldn’t move–they are hidden in the wall behind that black trash bag above.

Luan and can lights are up, the old tile is gone. Sean did most of the work for us, #thanktheLort

The floor tile is from Lowe’s Home Improvement. We used the same floors on our back porch, and bathrooms. Plus the basement opens up to our underporch and backyard and we have some slate and stone out there that works well with this tile.

Floors are down and still wet from being mopped!

Like every room in our house, my goal was to first prep the canvas so my house would look good naked, or empty. I’ve learned the hard way, that once I like the bones of the spaces in my house, the pressure is off a little from finding the perfect furniture. If I like the room itself, I usually like almost anything I furnish it with!

Forgive all the crooked lines, if I don’t hold my camera just right, it looks like one of those optical illusion fun houses.

Anyway, that’s my little office back there. Tomorrow, I’ll give you a tour of my almost finished office space. It’s not got any windows but, right across from this entrance door is our double glass doors to the outside and lucky for me they are south-facing so even though it’s not ideal, it does get a surprising amount of light.


Here’s a little sneak peek while I was setting up my office. To see the full reveal click here. The chair is from At Home, the desk is Ikea, the laurel wreath is from HomeGoods and I spray painted it black. All the clipboards on the left each hold chapter ideas for my next book (not the one that comes out this fall, but book number THREE, oh my gosh!).


the chair

View to the underporch, backyard and pool…

Cray, cray right now, but still, you get the idea…

do you see Francie Cat up there?

Deciding what kind of bed to put here for guests–bunks? Full size frame for this mattress? Twin over full bunk bed (Edie calls those ‘mullet-beds’ đŸ˜‚). Also, I’ll be painting the piano–I’m thinking black.

Click here to see the basement office reveal.

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