This is what one-half of our walk-out BASEMENT looked like BEFORE.
Before & After: Hello Lovely’s BASEMENT RENOVATION
In a word: gnarly. (Gnarly in a bad way, not bitchen like rad surfers we like totally love when we’re on vacation.) I can’t stand venturing down here. Just the narstiest.
The other half (which I refuse to reveal) is an unfinished space male teens hang and rehearse with their screamo band. It has only slightly less gnarl.
We aim to change this.
We’ve begun tackling the first half…800 square feet will become a sort of suite with a bath.
I’m designing, and the studly husband (we’ll call him The Norwegian) is executing. We’re a great team and love such projects. (Full disclosure: we are giddy during the process.)
Workout equipment to be craigslisted. Future bedroom where enormous Belgian sideboard now resides (lower cupboards can accommodate children and of course, they have).
Can you spy The Norwegian?
Ugly. Raw. Gnarlia.
View towards back of the space where bath will be.
INSPIRATION Guiding Us
Exciting news!! We are 90% sure we’re going with white painted horizontal 8″ tongue and groove pine panels for walls, maybe like this:
Not only will this save my husband a TON of mudding and taping, it will cost only $600 extra (for the 800 square feet). We think this will give the space more architectural interest and charm as well as make it more teenager friendly.
These images of London’s Anabel House never fail to get my heart racing…
above images – 1st Option
Update No. 1: the space has been insulated and partially framed!
Update No. 2: Things are looking a bit less gnarly! Framing is almost done for this 800 square foot suite to transform a nasty dungeon into a lovelier space for our sons (19 and 16) to spend time.
This bathroom will serve the two bedrooms. Why pocket doors? We have learned they’re a wise way to capture maximum natural light and conserve space. Since the bath has no window, the pocket door serving bedroom #1 will frequently remain open, allowing in light from the bedroom’s window.
The property is 1.5 acres on the edge of a preserve. When they’re not drawn like magnets to my SUV, deer, woodland creatures (even foxes!), and turkey peek into our windows. Tis a lovely view out there even now when all is bare and wheat-colored.
Remember the raw basement (above)?
Skeletons of the rooms are emerging! I’m already charmed by this smaller bedroom #2. It’s an interior room with no window, but my guys actually prefer living as vampires and TV watching without the glare so it’s all good.
Bella Luna will be covered with sawdust a few more weekends.
A couple inspiring images with details which may become incorporated into the project:
This door! And I am realllly hoping we can do those tongue and groove on the walls!
Update No. 3: Maybe this gothic pattern in one of the bedrooms? But more importantly…
E L E C T R I C A L. Time to mark where i want outlets and light fixtures to go…don’t get me wrong. Things are still pretty dang gnarly around here.
Update No. 4: Recessed lights? CHECK.
Update No. 5: Flooring
A peek at the flooring: a distressed maple wood clone. Ya, that means it’s not hardwood, but you’re sooooo not gonna go around shouting our secret and contacting the tabloids, right?
Cuz i have a nail gun, and i’m not afraid to use it.
i have no idea how to use it.
Update No. 6: More insulation has gone everywhere.
Also, I have requested lots of dimmer switches.
Boxing in duct work is not the most fun.
We’re thrilled at how much light streams down the stairs now that the wall has been cut. The other side will soon get knocked down too.
Update No. 7: Just a small portion of the pine which will cover the walls and be painted by moi. No, don’t cry for me. I luuuuuuuhhhhhhhhzzzz to paint. Gonna give these flabby upper arms a workout.
Update No. 8: Bathroom materials. What we’re thinking for the floor in the bath (above): polished Venetino marble in a basketweave pattern.
We’re also going with a Kohler Memoirs sink. The mirror above will be a coat of arms Venetian style we already own. And the shower will be marble in a subway pattern.
Update No. 9: So proud of my husband’s work…this man is an attorney by day!
Update No. 10: F R E N C H D O O R S !!!!!
Bonjour! So happy these were added to the design. They lead to what will be our college son’s room, and though he really wanted a secret bookcase entry, these allow light from the bedroom window to spill into this sitting room/studio/dance floor.
Despite golf-friendly weather, my husband has been hard at work on our half-basement re-do.
Very pleased he opted to steal square footage from the big bedroom in order to eliminate a “claustrophobic hallway” effect next to the stairs. Instead, the space feels connected to the sitting area.
Update No. 11: I hesitate to share the built-in corner cupboard at this juncture since it’s not a certainty yet…but this was one of my recycle ideas.
This monstrous corner cabinet we’ve had for years will be incorporated into the bath’s design in lieu of a tiny boring linen closet. Fingers crossed it will look like a charming built-in when the dust settles.
Update No. 12: The little bedroom is so dang cute, I can’t even tell you. My in-laws did a whole bunch of work down here.
Update No. 13: My husband’s buddies have begun helping him with the drywalled ceiling. It’s more of a challenge getting the sheets of drywall up than in other basements we’ve finished because when we built the house we had them dig 6″ deeper to get higher (8’6″) ceilings.
It’s coming together, and my husband agrees the space is calling out for a dance floor so…SHAZAM!
Disco ball is on its way. You may remember it’s been on my list for some time. Oh yes, there will be shaking of groove things and money makers when this gnarly project wraps.
Update No. 14: Hello Lovely’s man is a L.O.V.E.L.Y. S.U.P.E.R.S.T.A.R. Believe it! Smell the pine. Gaze at the French doors. Sit your booty down on a new window seat.
That man has worked so hard on carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and more on the weekends!
He’s mine, all mine.
Update No. 15: The shower begins to emerge.
Nice and roomy 5′ x 6′ shower with body sprays. Stone will be installed in a simple pattern.
Mortar is mixed in the tub above for the LABOR INTENSIVE task of raising the level of the floor for the shower drain. Also, the bathroom floor will be heated!
Update No. 16: We are an ordinary couple…not fabulous but muddling through, clinging to each other, laughing, finding beauty where we can, and spending time together in a former dungeon known as the basement…because of a creative interest we share.
It may not appear close, but this is actually what the home stretch looks like!
Update No. 17: We’ve almost got the flooring complete. And when I say ‘we’ I do mean my husband. Painting is about all I can be trusted with.
A few months prior, we had this:
I painted most of the walls white but decided to let some of the wood walls breathe without any treatment at all.
So no paint on the walls of our college son’s new room–he cannot wait to visit home and check it out.
I’m leaving the closet walls ‘sauna like’ for fun. I can always change my mind.
The bathroom has since been painted, but this gives you an idea of where it is headed and how the venatino marble mosaic floor looks (the shower is the same stone in basic squares–I wanted very very simple and low cost).
Not sure if this is pre-grout or not cuz we opted for a grey grout. I sealed everything a couple of times.
I couldn’t believe how many options there were for body spray installation. In the end, my husband and sons just decided on what made sense to them (they are all the same height).
Door on right is pocket door.
Even my childhood piano which I have played (badly) for as long as my memory goes back got an update–layers of paint then a soap treatment finish.
800 square feet almost finished, and just 800 more on the other side to finish.
BTW. DIY is highly overrated. We used to go to movies. And cook on the weekends.
It took much longer than expected, but except for some closet organizers in the larger bedroom, the basement renovation project is complete!
We’re calling this space ‘the studio’ for now. There is always lots of music making happening.
This is the little bedroom.
We went with honed carrera marble throughout (mosaic for the bathroom floor, 12×12 marble tiles for the shower walls) to keep things from becoming a slippery mess.
The built-in corner cabinet in the bathroom has a history. It’s actually a monstrous computer armoire the kids used for years. It became obsolete and was just the right size to use for storage instead of the expected linen closet in the new space.
Painting the cabinet inside and out took FORever, and we included an outlet inside so you can charge your phone or plug in a hair dryer and keep all clutter out of sight.
No one will ever feel claustrophobic in the huge shower. Remember the before?
Two pocket doors lead to each bedroom.
We don’t want things to feel decorated. Our son Luke’s favorite color is lime green, so we started with curtain panels (color is called citrus) by Annie Selke of Pine Cone Hill.
The pattern is ‘scramble’ and was spotted in an incredible beach house featured in House Beautiful a few years ago.
We have since moved a 9-foot long antique Belgian sideboard and a king-sized bed in hereso it no longer feels as roomy as these photos suggest!
The wood on the walls was kept natural in this big bedroom, so it has a very cozy lovely feel.
We’ve come a long way, baby. Here’s the bedrooms, bath, and studio before:
Instead of seeing the ductwork as an obstacle, my husband did a fabulous job using it as an opportunity to create architectural interest.
Things were certainly a dusty mess down here for 9 months. Dust also found a way to penetrate the upstairs rooms.
My favorite shot along the renovation path: the 16-yea-old helping Dad with the flooring.
As far as decor, we like unfussy spaces that don’t feel contrived. We’re trying out furniture/decor we already own and living with it to see what works and what we need to make/buy.
The space has become functional and comfortable! Can you believe we are such insane frugal stubborn DIYers, we didn’t hire anyone for any part of this project???
SO HAPPY WE’RE DONE!
Peace to you right where you are.