fancifying our basement

Sometime around Christmas last year, we decided that our fully-finished basement (complete with a bedroom, full bath, living room/bar area, built-in desk and bookshelves, and a huge storage room) wasn’t completely cutting it for entertaining. We love having friends over to watch football games, for New Year’s Eve, various wedding showers, etc. The room was a decent size with a great bar area, but it was pretty tight for a group of more than 6-8 people due to a wall that jutted out from one side to create a built-in desk. So we decided on a plan to knock out that wall to open up the living room area. Easy enough, right?

In the spring, we had a contractor come in to check out the space and tell us what we needed to do/what would look best/what would be safest. With removing one whole wall, we’d need to add in a support beam so that our living room floor wouldn’t one day come crashing through the ceiling. So right before Easter weekend, Craig got the itch to do some demo work and took a sledgehammer to said wall. One of my many favorite things about him is that he’s so handy and can figure out a way to fix almost anything (just like my dad and his dad). I couldn’t have married a man who didn’t know how to use a drill.

Craig did all the demo work himself to save us some cost on the remodel. Once the wall was removed, though, we realized that a portion of the carpet would have to be replaced, because there wasn’t any carpet under that wall. We were probably never going to find an exact match to the 10-year-old carpet currently in the basement, so we begrudgingly expanded our budget and started the carpet search. After a few weeks of some very frustrating calls/visits with Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Empire Today, we ended up choosing a company called Restor-It (a receommendation from our friend Renee) that had a great price for carpet, pad, and installation and caused us the least annoyance.

Oh yeah, and on top of all of this, we decided we needed to re-paint the entire living area, the staircase area, and the bathroom! So much fun. We painted the bathroom the same navy blue that we used in our main floor 1/2 bath, and I love it. It was solid white and so boring before.  (This was our second try on that bathroom. The first time around, we tried a minty green, and it was rather unsightly in such a small space with very bright lighting.) We chose a light grey for the rest of the space and Restor-It ended up being able to paint a good portion of that (once we got tired of painting and gave up) AND the ceiling, too. So worth the extra cost, because nobody likes painting ceilings.

So now the carpet has been replaced, the walls and ceiling have been painted, and the furniture has been moved out of our storage room and back into place. After about 6 months, it’s finally a useable space again! We still have to hang all of Craig’s Auburn/Tennessee/Titans football paraphanelia on the walls and get somet more furniture, but it’s 100% better with this change. Also, we’re in need of a big sectional counch to fill up the larger living room we now have… so if anyone wants to donate, feel free to do so.

Now on to the next project… Craig wants to redo the bar. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t take another 6 months for that!

BEFORE — boring white walls, old carpet, not enough entertaining space::

PROGRESS — no more wall, half-painted room, some holes in the carpet::

AFTER — pretty painted walls and ceiling, nice new carpet, and a much more open space::

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