We’ve cleaned out the cobwebs, removed the wallpaper (and put some up!), ripped out the carpet, and made multiple trips to Ikea. We’ve painted, cut, screwed, scraped, stretched, hammered, and stapled … and now it’s done. An entire floor of our house has been renovated and it looks awesome!
We mostly stuck to The Plan, but a few things changed along the way. The wood paneling ended up getting painted grey instead of white in order to tone down the blue which looked much bluer than anticipated. I actually love how it turned out … a bit of a twist on the traditional colour pairing. As always, the paint is from Dulux; Clear Sailing and Frost Grey.
The floor was a great deal from Lowes; a Special Buy 12 mm click-laminate by Mohawk Floors that cost us 99¢ /sq foot. I originally wanted a much lighter grey-wash, but the hubby talked me into this more natural looking one with just an hint of grey. Given what we ended up painting the walls, I’m very happy I listened to him. The floor went down fairly easily, thanks to help from my mom & dad, and was a hugely rewarding 1 day DIY project.
The bar was a point of contention for a while. We first painted the paneling grey just like the walls and Liam thought it looked good enough. I felt that it was awkwardly blending into the background and wanted to add tiles or stone veneer. We compromised on a wallpaper option from Bouclair. The irony of first taking down wallpaper from the walls to just put some up on the bar was not lost on us, but I’m happy in the end. Sure, we aren’t fooling anyone with stone wall paper, but the image of piled slate brings all the colours of the room together and the darkness of the stained “classic black” wood creates a grounding focal point to the space.
We actually already had the bar stools, shelves, and glasses for this area, all hand-me-downs (like everything else we own). But it all looks so much better in a space that has been dressed up to match it! Who knows, we might even hang out down here now.
Not wanting to deal with installing laminate flooring on the stairs, we lucked out that this Ikea runner was EXACTLY the same width as our staircase. Leaving the foam and tack strips from the old carpet, we stapled in the runners, making sure the connections happened under the stair nosing. The result is wall-to-wall carpeting in an indoor/outdoor material that should wear really well and didn’t break the bank.
We did end up going with the Ikea Borgsjo system; two shelf units with doors and one TV bench. It makes more sense to have a media center in the basement rather than a set of wardrobes, and gives me enough storage for extra kitcheny stuff.
The fireplace was a great Costco grab. Not only does it look down right cool with its colour changing LED back-lights and crystal flames, but it also puts out a decent amount of heat in a chilly basement.
I accessorized the room as planned; with pictures from our trip to Cape Cod, and small objects we brought back from there. My favourites are the old glass fishing-net floats on the window; they are so pretty when they catch the light. The drift wood is actually from the lake at our cottage … I’ll keep my eyes out this summer for a second piece for the other unit.
With two sitting rooms upstairs, we have no need to furnish the basement any more than it is. At least now its a welcoming part of the house, ready for use when needed. Maybe for at-home yoga sessions, a game room for hubby’s poker nights, a play room when the nieces & nephews visit, or just straight-up overflow room during parties.
Although all the work we did down here was “easy” (wall paper removal, painting, laying floor, etc.), scale-wise it was by far the largest project we have yet tackled. It was a tremendous amount of work sacrificing many evenings and weekends, but we have a huge sense of accomplishment now that and entire floor of our house is completely done …which is good, because we still haven’t finished with the kitchen!