Layout and design plans to create a cozy finished basement
This reno project has been a long time coming. In fact, I guess you could say nearly 50 years in the making really. I find it so interesting that this old house of ours has been around for 47 years and in that time, not one of its owners has ever felt the need to finish it (keep in mind it’s only really had three owners, including us). When we bought this house 5+ years ago, we had every intention of finishing the basement someday, though it became easy to put off as we made our way through the rest of the house (you can see our entire renovation journey here). But, now that we’ve tackled nearly all of our main living spaces (all that’s really left is our master bathroom, which was renovated just before we moved in – you can check it out in our home tour here), we’re excited to finally be making our way down to the basement.
If you caught this month’s Currently post, you’ll already know that Brady’s been hard at work down here for several weeks now – adding a new structural beam, which allowed us to remove a support post from the middle of the space, framing out each of the different spaces, adding a ton of new lighting, and we’re just now getting up some drywall. Figuring out the layout and details of all of the different walls, electrical, plumbing, etc. takes SO much time, but having a clear and well thought out plan for it all really makes things run smoothly through to the finish and is the best way to avoid any costly mistakes or regrets down the road.
And so, after A LOT of thought + planning, I’m so excited to finally share our design plans to turn this cold, unfinished basement into a cozy finished basement!
This is the current view from what will eventually be our new family room. Straight ahead, you can see the stairs up to our main floor and to the left is the door to our mechanical room and storage space.
I’m picturing a little card table centred in this area and maybe a console table beside the doorway to the mechanical room. I’d love to do something special under the stairs – maybe a little wine cellar (love the look of this one!) or some built in storage like this.
You’ll notice there’s a column framed in on the right wall – our main water line comes through our floor about a foot out from the wall there. Moving this water line would be a TON of work, so rather than dig it out from the cement floor to relocate it somewhere more convenient, we decided to build a frame around it instead. We’re planning a concealed door at the bottom to allow access to the water line when we need and some open shelving above – my intention is for this to look like a built in column/ shelf. It’s not something I would have planned into my design if I hadn’t been forced to work around that water line, but I think in the end, it’ll be a really nice way to separate the different spaces.
From the bottom of the stairs, you’ll see the family room space straight ahead, on the other side of that framed in column. I’m picturing the TV on the left wall and a sofa across from it to divide the family room space from Carson’s play space in behind (to the right of the electrical panel in this photo).
The far side of our basement will act as Carson’s play space over the next few years. Basically this little space will allow us relocate his current playroom from upstairs, freeing up another bedroom space. Eventually we hope to make this a pool table space in a few year’s time, so I don’t plan on doing anything special in terms of decor for this area like we had with his playroom upstairs.
In the back right corner of this space, we’ve framed in a small powder room and beside that we plan to install a little wet bar for easy access to drinks and snacks.
Just off of the playroom/ pool table area is a powder room and wet bar. I haven’t worked out the design details for these areas yet, but I’m picturing some darker cabinets and warm wood tones to really make the space feel warm + cozy.
Though we’re very clear on the layout and purpose of each separate area, including the location of lighting, plumbing and even furniture placement, the actual design details are still a bit fuzzy. I’m leaning towards the same wall and trim colours that we used throughout the rest of our home, but I’m hoping to add in a few darker accents with the cabinetry and other elements. I’d love to have a black metal railing made for our stairway and bring in some darker tones with most of the furniture. We haven’t made a final decision about the ceiling just yet – we’re thinking the bulkhead will likely be drywall and we’re leaning towards a painted tongue and groove ceiling over the rest. With such low ceilings down here, we opted to use some low profile pot lights throughout the entire space, though I plan to layer in some table and floor lamps to make things feel a little cozier. The floors are another design choice that is yet to be determined – we’re leaning towards carpet to keep things cozy, though we’d still like to look into the possibility of vinyl planks and area rugs too.
Once we get the drywall up, we plan to take a little break from the basement to tackle some outdoor projects while we can (our Summers are SO short here in Northern AB!), which will give me a bit more time to figure out all of the design and finishing details for our basement (you can scroll through my inspiration here). I can’t wait to share our plans (and hopefully some progress) soon, but in the mean time, I couldn’t be more excited to finally be taking on some pretty major exterior renovation projects over the next couple of months and of course, I’ll be sure to take you along every step of the way!
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day my friends!