Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Basement Overhaul.

If you remember back, Jeff and I have been all over the board as to what to do with our basement. We did work on our upper level last year upon closing on the house (refinished woodwork and wood floors, painted all the walls and ceilings, tiled the bathroom, updated the hardware and closets, installed a runner on the stairway, etc). Having just completed our main level remodel, the basement was looking a tad neglected.

Like I have mentioned previously, our initial plan was to do a complete basement renovation which would have included the addition of a 3rd bathroom with large shower and vanity for the kids to use as their primary bathroom. We do not have a master bathroom and this seemed like a good solution for creating additional 'getting ready' space in the house. However, the more we thought about it, the more we decided that, while the remodel would function great for us, in terms of resale value, our money would be better spent putting a master bathroom in. We have a large master bedroom for a Minneapolis house of our size. There's a chance we could squeeze a modest master bath in our existing bedroom, or perhaps by steeling a portion of our office (we have 4 bedrooms on our upper level). After more thought than I care to admit, we decided to do neither project. We have put the kybash on any more major renovations for this house and instead, are working with what we have.

What this meant for the basement is that nothing major was going to change. We would keep the knotty pine paneling that is already existing in the space and paint it. We kept the closets that were already built out in the basement and would attempt to give them a bit of pizaaz. We would leave the tiled floor that's already down and cover it with a plush layer of new carpeting. We would leave the tiled ceiling and give it a little sparkle with two new light fixtures. Overall, the goal was to turn the basement into space we could actually use vs having it remain a dark dungeon we all avoid. I think we are off to a great start.

We started by having the painters sand the paneling and apply a hefty coat of primer as to not allow the stain in the wood to blend with the new, lighter paint color. It has to be a heavy duty stain protecting primer to get the best results. Next, they applied two coats of Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray that is a nice transition from the kitchen and mudroom to the basement stairway and play room. We also had new base molding installed to add another element repeated on the upper two levels which we hoped would dress it up a bit. The trim all went our same trim color as the upper two levels - Benjamin Moore White Dove. For fun, the insides of the closets (where toys and dress up clothes will be stored) went Benjamin Moore St. Lucia Teal. We are in the process of replacing the electrical outlets to fresh polished white ones, a new baseboard register will also help give the basement a low budget facelift. We had a new railing installed which we stained to match the floors and railings upstairs - all in all, the transformation has proved to be rewarding! Shall we take a look at the before and afters so far? We shall...

The final piece is the carpet we have picked out seen below.

My parents did a similar carpet in their cabin and the subtle stripe really helps to expand the space. We chose the color most similar to the walls as to keep the contrast low and the space feeling continuous. By the way, the reason the floors look lighter in the 'after' photos above is only because they are covered in paint. The walls were sprayed vs brushed/rolled and because its extra labor for the painters to cover the floors (aka extra $$$), I skipped that step knowing we would be covering it with a mildew resistant pad and plush layer of carpet anyway.

All in all, I think it will be a great place for the kids to run wild in. The best part about the basement is that the side door is no longer in the stairway. Remember this door that nearly plummeted me to my death on multiple occasions?

Well, the door has been laid to rest and was swapped out for a charming little window to brighten the space.

What a difference!!!

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