My husband and I are obsessed with having a fantabulous basement. We consider the lower level another area of our home. It’s an additional space for entertaining, gaming, hanging out, exercising, watching movies and just enjoying our home, friends, and family. The lower level of our home is just as important to us as the upper levels.
If you’re keeping up with my blog, you know we have renovated many rooms in our basement already, but the main area was a big job. This space was in dire need of a major update.
These are the before pictures showing the basement area before our renovation.
Heavy valances hung on the windows, made worse by the mauve carpet.
In a prior post, I discussed our media room renovation, the doors pictured below were relocated, and a hallway was added. You can read that post (HERE)
The bar area was also updated with exotic granite, new cabinet doors and stacked stone, read that post (HERE).
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The wood stairs and railings leading down to the basement were completely re-stained, and the risers were painted white. You can read that post (HERE).The main area of the basement is a really wonderful space. Considering all the changes we had already made in the basement – I thought this area would be fairly easy to update. Anyone can follow these 5 steps to transform any room from ordinary to extraordinary!
This is what we chose to do with our space.
1)Window treatments…gone. Take a good look at your windows, are they lacking or maybe overdone. By replacing, adding or even removing window treatments, you completely transform the look of your room. Simple sheer curtains or drapes can have a dramatic effect on a space.
In our renovation, we removed the heavy valances that were on top of the planation shutters. Plantation shutters are beautiful on their own, they don’t need to be dressed up anymore. For additional ideas on how to dress up your windows and doors, check out this post (HERE).
2) Carpet…gone. Carpet is a very common addition to most lower levels, mainly to add warmth since basements are generally thought of as dark and cold. Personally, in basements, I prefer to have a hard flooring with area rugs instead of wall to wall carpet. A beautiful choice for basements is engineered hardwood, or tile. Laminate flooring has come a long way over the past decades, no longer thought of as a cheap substitute for tile. There are so many options on the market these days, I encourage you to look at many different options if you’re thinking about updating your basement.
Being a walk out, our basement gets a lot of natural sunlight. We wanted a bright and open space. We eliminated the carpet and chose natural stone, travertine with a chiseled edge. The chiseled edge gives the stone a more rustic appearance. We installed the stones using the Versailles pattern. The stones come in various sizes and are installed in a specific pattern illustrated in the picture below.
Natural stones are beautiful, and durable..but they must be sealed after installation! You can read more about a sealing mishap I had (HERE).
Travertine natural stone comes in many finishes. It is important to understand the difference when selecting your stone choice, based on where the stone will be used in your home.
- Polished – The travertine is smoothed and polished to a shiny, reflective surface similar to marble. This finish is most common in commercial spaces.
- Honed – A honed finish is flat and satiny smooth with a low-shine matte finish. Honed travertine is the most popular choice for home use.
- Brushed – Brushed travertine has a slightly rough texture and a matte finish. More antique and is less slippery compared to honed or polished finish
- Saw Cut – A flat, very matte finish with no honing or polish. No further finishing done after being cut with the wet saw.
- Tumbled – Tumbled travertine is the most natural finish, resulting in a highly textured finish with no shine and edges that are rounded with a worn appearance that resembles ancient stone. Tumbled travertine is most often found in outdoor installations, such as around a swimming pool.
We selected brushed travertine for our project. This type of polish tends to be less slippery and thought it was a good choice for wet feet coming inside from the pool.
3) Ceiling fan…gone. Aesthetically, I’m not a “fan” of ceiling fans (no pun intended) in a room. They serve a practical purpose, but unless I really need circulating air in the space, I would much rather have a beautiful chandelier or pendant instead of a ceiling fan. You can read a prior post about lighting (HERE). I can’t stress enough how important lighting is to a home, it can make or break a space.
I added a pendant similar to this Pendant to the main area of the room and it cast the perfect light. The room has several recessed flood lights, so adding the pendant was more for soft romantic lighting.
4) Fireplace mantel…gone. To update the space, we removed the mantel and added stacked stone to the wall. Stacked stone is awesome! It adds so much dimension and interest to a space. It is also easy to install, no grout needed! The stones comes in 6″ x 24″ pieces and stack nicely on a wall. We used stones with colors of gray, beige, gold and rust, (HERE). The combination of stacked stone and chiseled travertine gives the space a warm cozy contemporary feel.
Another feature we added during our renovation of the fireplace surround, was to cut out the exact space needed to insert a TV into the wall, instead of having it sit on top of the stone. The TV sits flush on the wall and is perfect to house our 70″ TV (HERE). Televisions are getting cheaper and cheaper, making us more likely to buy bigger and bigger ones, and with the 4K option, it makes movie watching a whole new experience. In terms of which brand to buy when it comes to larger TV’s? We recommend Samsung or VIZIO. VIZIO’s gives you a great bang for your buck and are reasonably priced. We have owned several of each and have had a good experience with these brands. We DO NOT recommend SHARP TV’s in the larger sizes, we have had several SHARP TV’s fail on us.
5) Lastly, never underestimate what a can of paint can do to completely transform a space. We painted our basement using the color “Lambswool” by Pratt and Lambert, a beautiful beige with a hint of gray.
The space feels so warm and comfortable. We added deep leather seating and a coffee table similar to this Coffee Cart Table.
For the area next to the bar, we purchased a fantastic rustic pub table, similar to the this Pub Table. It’s a great hang out area and feels really comfortable and quaint.
We are so incredibly happy with the transformation of the space. By changing window treatments, flooring, lighting, fireplace and paint we completely updated the space from bad to fab!