Basement Renovation: The Inspiration

If you’re following us on Pinterest, you’ve probably noticed an influx of basement inspiration photos pinned among the usual collection of delicious recipes. When we met with a contractor two weeks ago to talk about our basement renovation, I pulled up some of the pics to give him an idea of what we’re going for. I’m always drawn to a sort of rustic meets modern meets traditional style (that makes sense, right?) and my inspiration pics are predictably full of natural elements, lots of white and a fairly tailored, yet casual look.

Here’s what’s making my heart skip a beat:

(Image via Houzz)

Because the basement already has a chair rail, we’re planning to have horizontal tongue and groove paneling (yes, I said paneling) installed on the bottom half of the wall to brighten things up and to provide some interest in the large box of a room. I also love the color of the felt on the pool table (having ours re-felted is on the agenda at some point) and the light fixture over the pool table. It makes it look a bit more classy and a bit less… pool hall.

(Image via Houzz)

The basement stairs are nothing to write home about right now, but I love the idea of installing storage in that unused space. There’s currently a tiny door with a few shelves behind it, but we’re going to open that up and have bigger shelves installed. I expect to style them with books, baskets a smattering of photos and, in the future, a place to store toys. The lighting above the shelves is also an awesome touch.

Wet Bar | via S.B. Long Interiors)

Our existing wet bar is one big oak-filled 80’s throwback. And I hate it. So we’re knocking out the big bar (seen here) and moving the wet bar against the wall instead. The mix of modern cabinets, quartz countertops, rustic open shelving and stone work makes me swoon. This is what got the wheels turning for us when we first talked about renovation. I plan on having the cabinets painted ivory with a lighter countertop (keeping with that light and bright concept), but I’d love everything else to look very similar to this. Under the counter, we’ll have a wine fridge, a mini fridge and plenty of storage.

(Image via Houzz)

You can just barely see the ancient (and barely working) white refrigerator peeking out from a nook next to the bar here, but we’re planning to remove it altogether and to something different with that space. Like build a little wine cellar. Um, not sure if you’ve met me, but next to my husband, pugs, and cheese, wine is pretty much my favorite. So this is totally making all of my wine loving dreams come true. Wine we’re ready to drink will be kept in the wine fridge. Wine that we’re cellaring or saving for a special occasion will be kept in the new storage. I picture a mix of cubes and individual cubbies. I like that we’ll be using the empty space in a useful way.

Basement Renovation Inspiration |

(Image via Cindy Ray Interiors)

We currently have built-ins that house a VERY large TV circa 1995. Pretty sure it’s the very first HDTV that was ever created. It’s so massive that the thing is on wheels. We’re 86-ing that bad boy and upgrading to, ya know, something made in the last year. Which means the built-ins need to be reconfigured a bit. And painted. I love how the tongue and groove paneling in the photo above is inset into the built-ins.


(Image via House*Tweaking – one of my fave blogs)

As for paint… I want contrast. With the horizontal paneling and painted built-ins and cabinets, I like the idea of going bolder with color. So something dark. Brian has put his foot down on yet another gray room (whoops!), so maybe something with a hint of color, but still something neutral like what Dana from House*Tweaking did in her all-purpose mudroom/laundry room/dining room.

slipcover-only-for-lounge-93-sofa (1)

I’ve had my eye on Crate & Barrel’s 93″ slipcovered Lounge sofa for ages. And the basement seems like the perfect place for a super deep, comfy and nap-worthy couch. Have I mentioned that slipcovered furniture is my jam? No? Welp, it is. We have Pottery Barn’s PB Classic Roll sofa in our living room and I love being able to basically “wash” the entire thing once a month. For the basement, I’m planning to pair the sofa with a chair and a half (maybe in a coordinating fabric, but not matching) and a big square leather ottoman. I’ve also considered a sectional, but am on the fence. Which do you prefer?

We have yet to get the plans back from the contractor, so all of this is still extremely tentative. As in, it might be absurdly expensive and I’ll have to start cutting out “like-to-haves” so we can complete the must-haves. Like, you know, ceilings. And floors.

Once we begin making progress, I’ll be sharing updates. Stay tuned!