I am SO excited to share with you our DIY Basement Renovation! Like most people during quarantine this past spring, we were all sitting at home picking apart our house!
It was the perfect time to give our basement family room area a DIY facelift!
This DIY basement renovation was kind of a “chair that bought the room” kind of project. By that I mean, one project and furniture piece led to another and another and another… you get the picture!
Last year (RIGHT before I had Parker James – which was a SUPER stressful time (read about it here!), our AC drainage hose backed up and flooded a portion of our basement.
At first, it looked like we would have to remove part of our drywall as well as the flooring. Luckily, we only had to rip up the flooring on a small portion as well as a base board or two.
This still left an unfinished looking landing at the bottom of our stairs.
Which, at the time, my brain went back and forth from hating the sight of it and to being so overwhelmed with pregnancy, a traumatic delivery, and a newborn to even care!
We went round and round about how exactly we were going to replace the floors on the landing.
There are family friends of ours who are great with renovation and home projects. We considered going that route as well as just letting the insurance company fix it.
IN WALKED COVID
In the post, I listed a BUNCH of different projects we were trying to accomplish while home.
Of course, pretty high on the list was to fix the dang bottom of the stairs landing! HA!
We didn’t know it would lead to such a “large” DIY basement renovation!
Since we were in the height of social distancing and quarantine, we didn’t really have anyone available to come out and help us repair.
One of the items that was also on our to-do list was to repaint our kitchen cabinets with a more friendly “kitchen cabinet enamel” (they were painted with chalk paint before this).
While my hubby was at the hardware store, he got side tracked (of course) and stumbled across some self stick tile flooring. He brought a pack home to try on our master bathroom.
After successfully installing the bathroom sticky tile, he realized he may be able to find wood laminate flooring that would be easy to install downstairs.
This of course led to us trying our own DIY basement renovation!
BOARD AND BATTEN WALL
While Matt was redoing the floors I saw another project that we could knock out while we were working down there!
For a while, we’d been kicking around the idea of putting up some molding or paneling on our stairs or entry wall.
I realized it would look a little crowded if we put molding or time on one of the walls near the front door. But the bottom of the stairs had this plain empty wall that was PERFECT for a board and batten wall!
While Matt was at the store picking out the flooring for the landing, I realized it would be a great time to put up the board and batten!
So, I quickly measured the wall downstairs and I told Matt to grab a few boards and some white paint while he was at the store!
Step one of our DIY basement renovation was to put down those sticky wood tiles on the landing.
Once he was done laying down the flooring strips, he measured and cut them to fit the wall. Next, we put the baseboard down first so we could put the vertical boards on top of it.
Once the baseboard and the vertical pieces were nailed on, we attached the top horizontal board.
We toyed with just leaving it there, but we wanted to jazz it up just a bit more. So! We added some smaller horizontal pieces in between the vertical boards.
Hurray! We were so excited! The board and batten wall turned out so well!
The next step was to fill in the holes and paint it white! Easy peasy! We did end up having to paint like 4 or 5 coats for a nice solid white as well as caulking a bit too so the lines were clean.
REPLACING ALL THE FLOORS
We were so excited about how the landing and the board and batten wall turned out!
However, after seeing how the rest of the basement looked against the landing’s new floors…. We realized it would probably look best to just rip up the flooring that was in the family room and continue the new flooring for a consistent look.
Our family room was a bit “hodge-podge” when we moved in. The trim and the doors were a weird walnut color (even though the rest of the house had white trim). And the walls were super dingy off white.
To top it all off, the silly floors were an outdated blond stain.
When we first moved in, we painted the walls a mild grey and the doors and trim white to match the rest of the house. But those dang blond floors were such an eyesore!
This was just another reason we were so excited for this DIY basement renovation! It only made sense to rip up the blond floors and replace them with flooring matching the landing.
Once we were done with the landing and the board and batten, we got to work on replacing the entire family room flooring.
A BRAND NEW LOOK
While this was happening, I started to realize the furniture and decor we had going in the family room would need an upgrade as well.
Because the basement looked to “hodge podge” like I said before, we didn’t really put much effort into the furniture or decor situation either.
(See before pictures above.)
We knew we always wanted to find some sort of sectional to put down there for TV and movie nights. Thus started the furniture hunt!
Now, if you know me, you’ll know I hate dumping a ton of money on a something when I know I could have found something just as great somewhere else.
Here’s a pro tip: When searching for new furniture or appliances etc. always put in a zip code on Facebook Marketplace that is in a “swanky neighborhood”.
We have found that people redecorate and end up selling their furniture for way less than it’s actually worth just because they need it gone!
This was the exact strategy we used and let me just say… we hit the JACKPOT for this DIY basement renovation!
We found a tan, linen sectional that was HUGE and the comfiest piece of furniture I have personally ever sat on! Everyone who comes over and sits on the couch just melts into it! It. Is. Awesome. Sauce!
A family with several littles and a big dog decided they (and I quote…) “just couldn’t do light colored furniture in their house.”
So even though the sectional that was worth several thousands was less than 2 years old and had zero stains or damages… they sold it to us for only 15% of the original price! CRAY-ZEE!
We. Were. THRILLED!
Once our beautiful floors were done and we picked up our AMAZING new sectional, we realized there were still a few pieces that needed some love.
For one thing (like I said in my DIY table post), we had gel stained most of our furniture, way back when, to a dramatic black. Which, I guess, worked at the time.
(Notice the black coffee table and black TOTAL hot mess desk.)
Because of this, we had a black gel stained coffee table as well as a $10 craigslist hutch desk (which had been a total eyesore for years!)
We had purchased the desk back in 2012 when we had only been married a year or so. I wanted a cheery place to work at my computer, so my little 22-year-old-self I painted it white with aqua highlights.
It was cute…ish back then. But after the black gel stain on top of that… it was TIME!
For the coffee table, I used a sander and some “good ol’ fashioned elbow grease” to sand down all those layers. Next, I flipped it over and spray painted the bottom and the legs white.
After the paint dried, I flipped it back over and stained the top.
Because the table had been gel stained black, there were some black streaks left in the wood that gave the dark walnut stain an awesome rustic look! It turned out GREAT!
As for the desk, Matt thought it would be nice to have less clutter on top. So he decided to remove the hutch from the desk. Once it was removed, I stained the top and painted the bottom white.
The final product turned out to be a perfect simple desk that was a lot less “junky”!
Once all our furniture pieces were refinished and in place, we added a few finishing touches. A few throw pillows and simple decor pieces later, and we had our BRAND NEW family room!!
We LOVE how our DIY basement renovation turned out! And it honestly cost us under $600! Talk about a budget DIY project!
If you want to see how I made some of my decor items for our family room, check out my Easy DIY Home Decor post!
I’m in the process of crocheting a super cute grid patterned throw blanket to match the rest of the theme. I’ll post about that when I’m finished with it!
We are so thrilled with our DIY basement renovation!
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