Basement Makeover: The Reveal!

Stick a fork in it, friends, the basement is DONE! And I can’t wait to share it with you. This is going to be a Before and After Photos Extravaganza, so get ready! There are too many pieces to this puzzle to explain every project in one post, so I’ll just show you everything and in the next week(s). I’ll do a separate post to go into detail on each part. Sound good?

Let’s dive in!

First, it all started with some No-Sew Ikea tea towel curtains I made for the itty bitty windows we have down here.

DIY no sew curtains

Then came the console table makeover. In case you missed that post, you can check it out here.

console table makeover

Then, the Gallery Wall.

basement gallery wall

And one more basement related post, The Kid Art Gallery Wall.

Kid Art Gallery Wall

But a LOT more has happened friends.

Let’s take a look at what it used to look like:

basement before

And now!

basement makeover


basement makeover

And after:

basement makeover

And yet another before…

basement makeover

And the same view now…

basement makeover


basement makeover

And after:

basement makeover

Before I bombard you anymore, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: The Arcade Machine.

This is my husband’s pride and joy – he rehabbed an old machine, did a whole bunch of stuff I don’t understand to it, and voila, we now have a big neon and black monstrosity in the basement. HOWEVER…would you believe I have this arcade to thank for the whole makeover?!

Let me explain.

So one day my darling husband asked me what I thought of building an arcade for our basement? I could tell he was so excited about this idea, and really, the man doesn’t ask for much. He doesn’t have one vice to speak of – hates bars, doesn’t gamble, works incredibly hard for our family, I mean, how can I say no to this one request? He just wants to unwind and play a game of Golden Tee with the guys once in a while. Though, I gotta say, the thought of this huge eyesore made me cringe at first. Then I got to thinking…

Maybe this could work! Our basement was in TOTAL disarray since the toddler days – we used to have two sections, divided by our sectional. One for the tv viewing/grown up side, one for the toddler-y stuff, like toy kitchens and dollhouses and train tables and easels and libraries and art centers and chalkboards. It was like one side was Designated Preschool, and one was clearly made for a die-hard Ravens’ fan. Our kids have grown up, and really, all their stuff can fit in the walk-in closet down there. So maybe – just maybe – we could finally unify this space as one big ol’ fun family room. Arcade and all. We could have one harmonious area to hang out – play arcade games, darts, board games, watch tv, draw, eat, drink, basically be merry. I threw the idea to my husband and he was 100% on board. I said – no, I even ASKED – if he’d like the Ravens stuff to stay, or should I make it more family room-y? He said, and I quote, “Go ahead and work your magic, babe. Let’s make it look great.” Bless his little heart.

So the wheels started turning, and I chose the paint color. I knew we’d be keeping the couch, because, come on. We have three young kids, and there’s always a basement full of neighbors and friends down there – I really don’t want to worry about a new couch getting ruined. This brown one, while certainly not my favorite choice, would look COMPLETELY different with prettier accent colors than black and purple (sorry Ravens! I still love ya!). And there’s always throw blankets to hide some of it. And it’s a washable slipcover. No brainer, this was staying.

I knew the paint color had to be light. Like, super crazy light. This room is SO dark and gets barely any natural light. I picked up a bunch of light blue samples and tried to pick a favorite. All too dark, even the top of the swatch cards. In the end, I had concocted my own color and had the lovely people at Home Depot mix it up. Here’s the formula, for those who have already asked! I know I promised I’d post it in the reveal;). But a heads up – this formula is for my majorly dark basement – and therefore I went SO light that it will look completely, totally white in the can when they’re mixing it up. It’s crazy. But once it went up on my walls in the dark basement, it’s as blue as blue can be.

custom color

So the walls were done, and I was in love already. It was time to start bringing in some color. I wanted some bright, playful accents, since this room was getting a game-slash-family room vibe. Reds, blues, greens…and since I got rid of the chalkboard wall along the back wall, I had to add another;) You know how I feel about chalkboards.


And let’s chat for a sec about WHY I got rid of this big chalkboard:

basement makeover

This wall, as you can see, is darrrrrkkkkk. The big ol’ arcade in the corner made it even more so. I needed to brighten things up in here, so that’s part of the reason. The other part? Two words: PLANK. WALL.

I’ve been DYING to get one up around here, and this wall was basically screaming at me to do it. (Like I said earlier, I’ll fill you in on all these projects in their own upcoming posts, I promise!)

basement makeover

I’m obsessed. We really want to hardwire some industrial wall lights on here, but that’s another couple hundred bucks, so in the meantime, I added the word HOME. (Which I’ll tell you about in an upcoming post soon, too!)

basement makeover

Oh! Remember in my Shop Your Home post, how I said how much I love the new placement of the DIY Tree Art? Here it is, all perfectly snug in the corner.

But first, a before;)

basement makeover

And now:

basement makeover

(Red round mirror from Marshalls).

basement makeover

I love that I also got to use my ottomans, that old floor lamp, the existing console…this really was a budget makeover. And the coffee table is a yard sale bench find – my mom found it for me (that woman is GOOD!). It’s nice and small, but does the job perfectly.

Another budget friendly project we did was the dartboard. (Again, I’ll go into all the deets in its own post!). But basically, our next door neighbors were moving and getting rid of EVERYTHING (they were major downsizing), and were tossing this old dart board. I scooped it up and my husband made an awesome backing for it. It turned out being the perfect thing for the wall. (And don’t worry, we keep the darts put away in a safe drawer unless we’re down there supervising! It’s more for show, or if the adults are having a game night and no one is in harm’s way;)

basement makeover

The railing and doors got a new look as well – I sanded and stained (in Dark Walnut) the railing, and the doors got a new coat of paint (Sherwin William’s Vanilla Sugar) and black hinges and knobs. You can see the oak railing and white door, with gold hardware in this before shot:

basement makeover

And now:

basement makeover

basement makeover

Crazy what a difference that makes, right?!

And one more before and after, just because…

basement makeover

basement makeover

In case you wondering, yes, we still have the air hockey table – it’s currently in the laundry room because the kids play it about 3 times a year;) But we get it out when friends come over or if they feel like playing. I’m sure it’ll make it’s way back into the mix soon. Down the road, we’d like to replace the round table with a long, thin bar-type table, with stools, and place it along the back of the couch. Perfect for Game Day Viewing. It’ll be a DIY project, I’m sure. It’ll be a smarter way to use our space, and make room for other fun stuff like the hockey table. But for now, this round table has been a godsend. It was a) free (we had it in storage) and b) so awesome when the kids want to draw, do homework, eat breakfast watching cartoons, etc. It’s been great to have.

We had all those pillows that are on the couch, and with the exception of one white cozy one from Marshalls, we had all the throw blankets as well. I can’t wait to go into more detail on all the projects, but as you can see, this one’s getting long enough already! I promise to get those up as soon as I can.

I have to say, this room makes me so happy. Just last night, the five of us were down there – my husband and son were playing Pac-Man, the girls were hopping back and forth from drawing at the table to doodling on the chalkboard, and I was reading a magazine on the couch. My oldest actually said, “I love it when all five of us are down here together.” I mean, there it is. What more could I possibly ask for?

So in a weird way, I guess I should thank my husband for bringing the Arcade Monstrosity into our lives, because it really inspired me to create a fun, family hangout space. Who’da EVER thunk it?!


  1. I think this is my favorite makeover of yours to date. From more of a man-cave (or should I say dungeon) to a fam-cave. This really does have the whole family’s interest at heart. Amazing job as always! My favorite is by far the HOME signage and plank wall. Gorgeous and simple! Would you dare show us how you have the walk-in closet down there organized?

    • Thank you so much, Brandi! I had to laugh at your closet organization question – it’s pretty much a “throw everything in there and shut the door” closet! haha!

  2. So, so great! You have such a good eye. I bet you are loving every minute of it!

    • Thank you Heather! I really am! Funny how one of my least favorite rooms (if not THE least favorite!) has turned into one of my very favorites:)

  3. Sherri S. says:

    Wow!!!! What a make over!!! I absolutely love all you have done with this room.

    Have a lovely night…

  4. This looks fantastic! My basement is currently the same color as your “before” photos…..along with a black tv console AND my mom just gave me her old brown pedestal table which I was wondering how to incorporate into my basement. Needless to say, I cannot wait to start my own makeover thanks to seeing this post! I only hope it turns out as great as yours!! 🙂

  5. I voted for you on Not Just a Housewife! I really hope you win! I also appreciate your makeover even more knowing you didn’t get any sponsored product to make your room beautiful!

  6. stacyrisenmay says:

    Such a beautiful room! It made it into the top 10 on my blog 🙂

  7. Thanks for the inspiration. It looks just like mine. I need that marquee in my basement. Where did you get the white round table? Thanks

    • Thanks so much, Karen! I painted it – it was an old oak round table from my husband’s bachelor pad days;) I did a post on it.

  8. Congrats on the win. The room is amazing. Looks like alot of fun projects, can’t wait to see the details.

  9. Omg. Wow. What an amazing makeover. I have a large family room and I have no idea how to decorate it but you have given me some great ideas. And I just LOOVE how bright it is and so inviting. Best makeover, I absolutely love it!!

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