Basement Reveal(ish)

Hey there. So where have I been? If you've made the assumption that I've been off painting and raising children, then you are correct. As always. 

Summer is in full swing but before I even comment on that, let's talk about the basement. People have been stopping me in the street, demanding to know which color I chose for the ceiling. Forks drop at restaurants when I walk in and the mob swarms 'round me, insisting I show them photos of the pocket doors. It's just hard being a little-known blogger in the midwest, you know.

So let me put the basement fever to rest and get to it.

When we purchased the house, the basement was a tragic mess of mold and general filth.  It wasn't really the selling point of the home, but it makes for a good story. 

We drew out plans for the basement using mad design skills and construction began. The basement plan is pretty simple: a family room, playroom, laundry room and storage room. We also decided to leave the ceiling exposed to save money and headroom. 

There are several unavoidable quirks about our basement, but the one that kept me up a night was the giant sewer pipe in front of the fireplace. There's just no hiding it.

The pipe got a fresh coat of matte black spray paint and I hoped for the best.

I also saved some cash (and added some awesome) by reusing some original doors to the house. They turned out so lovely.

I stressed and second-guessed and ulcered over the paint color for the basement ceiling. I wanted to keep it bright, but the color had to be an appropriately-aged white (after all, this is a 90 year old home) without going too gray or too cream. 

And I nailed  it. (For once).

The ceiling color is Seapearl and the walls are Gray Mist, both by Benjamin Moore.

For maximum headroom and to keep the tracks off the ceiling pipes, I decided to mount the tracks to the side of the joist. I felt a little nervous about the decision because I didn't know if this would create dark spots in the room, but it looks amazing and functions perfectly. I also retrofitted all the track lights with LED bulbs instead of the halogen bulbs they came with.

There was some unused space under the stairs that I claimed for a playhouse for the girls. Luckily, I have a giant stockpile of gray-blue paints to choose from and painted it one of those colors.

 My father-in-law attached the plywood planks to the playhouse and it looks amazing!

Down the road, I'd like to add an awning and door, but for now, it's just plain great. I also plan to refinish the steps coming down to the basement. Someday. When I get a second (fifth?) wind.

We repeated the plank wall just to make the pipe appear slightly cool and totally there on purpose.

This door was a Restore find that I painted black and had installed as a pocket door. On the other side of the window, you can see a peek of the laundry room, which isn't finished yet but is fully functional.

We kept the original fireplace as is for now, except for the brick in front. We replaced that with fabulous patterned tile.

And the pocket doors. There are just not enough words to describe how cool they make the room.


Old doors just make a room better.

Having the basement finished has changed the way we live. We now spend most of our time here. The girls have already had too many dance and dress-up parties to count. As I type this, I am sitting on a plush couch where there once was mold and funky-funk that typically only lives in petrie dishes at the CDC. 

It's unbelievable. We love having this space. Thanks for following our basement journey. But stop stopping me in the street already. I already have to deal with the paparazzi. 
post signature



  1. How did you paint the ceiling? Professional painter with a paint gun?

  2. I hired a pro who used a paint sprayer.

  3. Congratulations for finishing your basement renovation, Laura. It absolutely looks wonderful and comfy. I also love the lights that you used, for they really go along with the color combinations of the place. The place certainly looks classy, and I wouldn't even imagine that it's a basement. Good job! :-)

    Gregg Hogan @ American Basement Solutions

  4. I am in the planning phase of finishing our basement, and wondered where the best place was to buy materials and supplies. I'm asking more about drywall, lumber, screws, etc. since this will be the most expensive part of the first phase. Are the Big Box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) the most cost effective choice, or is there a more cost effective alternative?
    basement remodeling marietta ga