Lower Level Living Area Design & DIY Plans

by Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hey, Homies!

We are currently under a full basement and half bathroom renovation. To get you caught up check out the latest #RenovationRealTalk video.

So before we get into the DIYs and design plans let’s talk about how we got to this point. The basement was still very dark, so we took the financial plunge and put in new recessed lighting. Luckily Sirr’s dad had a friend who is an electrician, and he gave us a great deal.  Ignore the unfinished planked ceiling. Well, it was finished, but some of the planks had to be removed to put in the recessed lighting.  That video tutorial is coming soon.

We originally had faux wood paneling on the walls and decided to paint them to save money.  Now honestly I did not want to keep the paneling, not in the slightest, but I figured if they were painted I wouldn’t hate them as much.

So we did just that. We painted it a dark gray color which we loved because it reminded us of the wall color in Sirr’s favorite bar, Ormsby’s.  You can see the walls behind me in the picture below.

After a while, the faux wood walls went unnoticed until we found out the exterior walls were not insulated. Making it very cold down there in the winter.  We planned on spending a majority of our time down there when it was finished so we had two choices.

  1.  Lift up the paneling, insulate and keep walls we really don’t like.
  2. Tear down the paneling, insulate and hang new sheetrock.

I honestly wanted new drywall, but I was too timid to say so because I knew our budget was so tight.  Eventually, Sirr gave the go ahead, and new insulation and sheetrock went up. I am glad we made the decision because, in the end, that is what we wanted. ALL NEW EVERYTHING!


Handy Homegirl Tip:  When remodeling a home don’t keep items that you really don’t want.  You will actually spend more money doing a cosmetic fix to the old material because later you will tear it all down to put up new material. Budget accordingly and go for the finishes you want.

I recently got the go ahead from our contractor (Sirr’s dad) to select and purchase paint, but of course, my designer’s brain wouldn’t allow me to stop at just paint samples. So let’s talk plans!

When Sirr and I first thought about the basement design we were into the rustic industrial design style.  Very similar to the Ormsby’s design style. Here is what it looks like. Great food btw!  But after awhile our basement started to look a little too rustic.  Wood planked ceiling, dark wood textured walls, and wood floors. All I was missing was some taxidermied deer heads and I would have officially been Paul Bunyon’s best friend.

So, I had to rethink the design a bit.  I wanted to stay rustic industrial but brighter and more modern. Now that the wood paneling from the walls and bar front were gone I could start from scratch.

First, I will paint the walls in Behr’s Swiss Coffee. I chose a warm off-white instead of a pure white so the room wouldn’t feel stark and cold.

Then I will prime and paint the existing brick fireplace black.  Painting the fireplace black gives a modern contract.  It will also help separate the dining/conference area from the bar and lounge area by being a focal point for the dining/conference area.  A wood mantle will be the final touch.

Here is a general overview layout of the entire space and how it will be separated.

The bar at first was staying pretty much the same.  It had an outdated stone countertop and wood paneling bar front but again I chose not to settle for what I didn’t want. The bar top will be re-tiled with slate gray tile and I will DIY a hand painted tile stencil for the bar front.

I have two options for lighting over the bar.  Options 1: Spray paint two industrial pendant lights from Ikea with copper paint.  Option 2: Create lantern pendant lights with lanterns from Target.  I haven’t decided on which I love more.

The media console and bookcases will be created using furniture from Ikea.

The very large projector 120′ projector screen is all Sirr.  According to him, “It is a man’s right of passage to have a big @%& TV in his home.” So I let him have it. He doesn’t get much say anywhere else.

So that is pretty much the gist of my design.  I’m sure some things will change along to way but for the better.  Until next time! Peace.


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