It has been said that the cobblers kids never have any shoes. Or something like that.
The point being, customers of Eco Chic always say “I bet your house looks amazing.” The truth be told, that up until recently, a good part of my house looked like my hair did back in 1987. Big, Dark and OUT OF CONTROL!
Since it is just Tate, myself and that crazy dog we never really use the entire lower level of our house. We have everything we need upstairs and the basement has been completely neglected. Besides if I redecorate it then I will have to clean it and NOBODY needs more house to clean. Can I get an Amen.
Maybe its because I’m turning 40, maybe its because Tate is watching UFC on the upstairs Tv and not Junk Gypsies and I need a little “space” for watching shows without people hitting each other, maybe it is because hunter green hasn’t been in style since Aqua Net was my choice of hair spray and we don’t need to discuss how long ago that was.
Either way it was time to update the basement living room and I knew just the girl to do it. Last year I met Colleen with 58 Water Street and quickly came to love her style, kindness and personality. So with my love of a paint brush and her eye for design we set off to freshen up my basement.
This is what she had to work with.
Do not look directly at the photo. It will blind you.
The basement had become a catch-all for boxes and sometimes a temporary painting area. The only “new” piece in the place was the creatively placed B on the fireplace. Doesn’t it look awesome? (insert sarcastic smile here)
If you are wondering about the mattress. (Don’t all basement living rooms have a mattress?) This was the residual affect of a Pink Concert back in January. I needed room for seven delightful and pink streaked haired women to sleep.
I decided to leave it there because Jules liked to take naps on it when we aren’t home and I’m nothing if not a good mother.
First to go was the wall color.
Jules wanted to get in on the action. Doesn’t she look excited?
We decided to go with a gray color for the walls (I have forgotten the name). I wanted a base color that looked good with blue and yellow because those colors are really speaking to me lately. Along with other voices but we don’t need to discuss those right now.
We first primed over the green to obtain a neutral base color. The new paint would stick but I didn’t want to upset the new paint color and end with a mixture of gray and green instead of a true top color.
Wall Painting Tip: Your base color can affect you top color. Remember that the paint chip you look at in the store is over a white base. If you paint gray over green you will end up with a slightly different color that what you were hoping. The bottom color will seep into your top color. Always start with a white base if you are really concerned about the actual final color.
Next came the fireplace. This project was so fun! Since of course we retail Chalk Paint® in the store I absolutely used it for this project. It was so nice to be able to just paint without having the mess and work of sanding and priming. Also since it is water washable and No Voc it was safe and clean to use.
I chose Pure White because we were looking to make the room as fresh and bright as possible.
The above photo was after two coats of Pure White. It was fun to just do half of it to begin with, so the side by side comparison could really show off the transformation in progress. The entire process was simple and really quick. I did have to put on four coats because the contrast was great and the wood was really dry from the heat of the fireplace so it sucked up lots of paint. But because the paint dries so fast it was still quick to get done.
Next was the wall above and around the fireplace. The previous owner had done this kraft paper bag wall that I absolutely loved when we moved in. It kind of made the wall look like leather. But because of this finish I also knew that just painting the wall would leave a texture and outline that I didn’t want. So Colleen and I decided to do a faux planked wall. She insisted we could tackle this ourselves and I’m so glad she did. It was a really fun project to test our skills and prove that we could do it.
Colleen had Lowes cut thin mdf boards into planks for us. This was a real timesaver. Well until we got to the plank around the actual mantel. This one board took about two hours for me to cut with a jigsaw. I made a tape pattern and although the final pattern wasn’t the greatest it got us close enough that Colleen could putty the gap and after sanding and painting it looked amazing.
We painted the first coat of paint on the boards before we hung them and then later went back after putty, sanding and trim was done to finalize the paint.
I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.
Here is Colleen showing of her nail gun balancing skills. Girl is Talented!!
I’m sure there is a better way to make a pattern but this got us through this day. The next time I might the tear the mantel off. Don’t think it didn’t cross my mind.
But gosh it was so worth it. LOOK at the transformation.
The walls and fireplace really took the majority of the time to complete. Once that was done it was on to curtains, pillows and accessories. Colleen sewed all the pillows and curtains. Her talents just never end.
LOOK at the after pictures. I could just die. (ok. Not Really. But you get it. Right?)
The tv stand was a craigslist purchase for $70. I painted her Pure White as well. Isn’t she amazing.
Yes mom there is a photo of a naked lady in my living room. The cows don’t seem to mind. Just look away and pretend it never happened. I promise to take it down before you all visit for Christmas.
I wanted to be certain that Tate still felt at home in the basement and since I’ve lately fallen in love with stag heads I thought it would be the perfect way to mesh our two styles.
I just LOVE all the little details and how it pulls the room together. There is still the back sitting area to feature but we will show that once the chair covers arrive.
Another feature we never liked in the basement was the lights (which we forgot to take a before photo of), but we replaced them with these flush mounted gold trimmed lights picked out by Colleen. I think they look amazing.
So lets take another look at where we started.
And just how far we have come. Isn’t the after just amazing. Doesn’t it just scream fresh, bright and 2014! Nothing against the days of Dark, Big and Out of Control. Because let’s admit the 80’s were a great decade. Top Gun, Dirty Dancing and Whitesnake. I still like to visit them. I just don’t want to live there.
Welcome to the 21st Century,