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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Basement Refinish Design Inspiration and Materials

It's been seven months since our basement flooded when the sump pump went out back in March. Outside of installing a new mother of all sump pumps shortly after, we sat on the renovation until Zach was out of school for the summer and had more time. While we did get some insurance money for the repairs (so glad we had that sewer backup policy!) most of it went to the water mitigation and tear-out. So rather than a quick fix hired job, we've been trying to DIY as much as possible to save on costs. But it's meant we're getting this done when we have extra time. Which who has a lot of extra these days?

It wasn't too big of a problem having the basement out of commission over the spring and summer. We spend most of our free time outside, and honestly didn't want to spend too much time inside our first summer with the pool, but with winter nearing, we're kicking the renovation into overdrive as we start to spend more time indoors. We've made some big progress over the last month which we'll share soon, but in the meantime we thought we'd show you some of the vision for what's to come, including our different inspiration, mood boards and materials we're working with.

Basement Living Room/ Man Cave Design Plan

The heart of the basement is Zach's "man cave" in the living room where he gets free rein to decorate and display all his sports antiques and collectibles. While ultimately all surfaces will be covered in sports stuff, we're rebuilding the bones of the basement to flow well with the changes we're making on the main level. Creamy white, black and neutrals lead the way. serving as a clean backdrop for all the sports stuff. The kids playroom was a small offshoot of the living room. We're still contemplating how that room will be used, but know we're going to try to better bridge the two together to make one cohesive space. Little more man cave, little less kids zone. I found these inspiration photos on Pinterest - particularly loved the black/white bar and the stone fireplace.

Living Room Pinterest Inspiration
Living Room Pinterest Inspiration

From inspiration to reality, we're bringing our upstairs paint color, White Flour from Sherwin Williams, down through the entire basement open area for both the walls and trim like we do upstiars. We're doing the black cabinets for the cabinets and bar with a white quartz top with a little grey veining. I'm most excited about adding a small little island outside the existing bar footprint for extra storage and counter space. This was only possible because we were able to remove the wall we showed you in our last basement update. We want carpet throughout, except for between the bar and island, we'll do luxury vinyl plank (LVP). We're updating the doors from a traditional 6-panel to a little more modern 2-panel. We'll be reusing hardware since those weren't damaged in the flood. And the stone veneer we found for the fireplace we will also put on the wall behind the bar.

Living Room Inspo and Materials
Living Room Design Inspo and Materials

Basement Workout Room Design Plan

Our home gym/ workout room was a pretty low-key room to start with, primarily used for bouncing and hitting balls indoors in our batting/tennis net and doing video workouts. Zach put a foam puzzle floor down to make it a very kid friendly space that we didn't have to worry about. I really don't see us needing it for anything else right now so we're keeping things simple. Instead of the blue/red/grey look like we had before though, I wanted to update the look and feel to be more polished and flow better with the rest of the basement. While it's a small room without a lot of light, I think deep black walls would make this room look cool and also potentially allow us to hide any marks and dings that happen in here. Pinterest inspiration:

Home Gym Pinterest Inspiration
Home Gym Pinterest Inspiration

Materials needed in here are minimal thank goodness. We chose Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black for the walls. It's the deepest, most true black. We'll paint the trim White Flour to match the rest of the basement, and think the pop of white will be a good break between the walls and floor. While we considered putting down an LVP in here too, ultimately, we liked the idea of the foam floor still for ease, flexibility, kid friendliness and above all, price. We found a wood look floor mat so we're going to see how that will work to get us started.

Workout Room Design  Inspo and Materials
Workout Room Inspo and Materials

Basement Bathroom Design Plan

The bathroom really didn't get its own inspiration board. We had to pick out the new vanity early before we started re-plumbing so that kicked off our design decisions. We're going with a natural wood look vanity with white and black accents to feel complementary but little different from the main living room materials. The floor will be tile looking LVP, and same paint palette throughout. Shower and toilet are just your basic white.

Bathroom Design Matrials
Bathroom Design Matrials

We're really hoping to have most of the basement done before the holidays are here and Iowa becomes a frozen tundra for winter. Say some prayers for us as we head into basement finish sprint mode!

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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