Basement Remodel: Walls, Doors and Floor
Before the holidays, we left you with a sneak peek of the start of our movie room remodel. Probably not the ideal time to dive into a remodel, but we made it work! We’re now pleased to say we’re nearly finished and have been fully enjoying the new space. Where we left off, we showed you the barn door addition. That was really our launching off point into this room. From there, we tackled the walls and the floor. I’ll walk you through some of our design choices and the whole DIY process.
Choosing a Paint Color
Luckily there weren’t any walls to knock down this time around, so this room felt like a breeze. Only one patch on the wall and we were ready to start painting. We chose this color called Subtle Blue from Pittsburgh Paints. I knew I wanted this room to be briiiight. Bright was my #1 priority. This is a basement, but I wanted it to feel light and airy; anything but what you’d expect a room to feel like when you say basement. So I went to work looking at paint colors. I didn’t want to paint the walls an outright white, so we tinted it with this faint light blue to give it a crispness and cool undertone. But still very neutral and versatile.
We think it plays well with the door.
I had less than a day to pick out a paint color. Joe randomly decided one day we were free to paint, so I was initially a little panicked. But that’s how it always goes. These are our stages of painting:
- Make a relatively fast gut decision
- Paint the entire room
- Panic that it’s too light, dark, fill in the blank
- Let it dry
- Fall madly in love
It looks stark white against the former beige. I bet you’re feeling a little worried yourself right now.
I realize this dive right in approach isn’t for the faint of heart. But for us, after thinking for so long about what we want, we can usually be pretty decisive when it’s time to make the big choices such as paint color. For others, these apps might be a good way to visualize before painting. BEHR, Pittsburgh and I’m sure others have apps where you can try on colors before painting.
We were messing around with the phone app. It blew my mind that you could hold up your phone camera and see what color the walls would be. In the end, I’m not sure how accurately that works. And honestly, it was a little glitchy. Try a swatch of wall with a test pot of paint if you’re a little hesitant. Nothing beats seeing a paint color on the wall, in person, with natural light to really get the look and feel.
Installing Laminate Flooring
After painting, we decided to roll up the old carpeting in favor of hardwood floors. We didn’t find any existing hardwood floors underneath, although that would have been our first choice and a great surprise. So instead, we decided to invest in a laminate faux-wood flooring.
Ripping out the old carpet.
Originally, I wanted this style. A whitewashed look to go with the door and the fireplace. But I got it home and it fell totally flat. It just looked depressing.
Luckily we found this gem.
We loooove this flooring. And it was a better deal than the gray one above. It’s varied and has both warm and cool tones that give it a lot of depth. It has great character and brings out all the different wood and colors in the room. It really ties everything together.
We honestly could not be happier with this flooring. Laminate is easy to install, super affordable, easy to clean, durable and really beautiful too.
This piece was probably the trickiest to install. It’s just a divider piece for where the laminate meets the carpet. For the rest, it’s all tongue-and-groove which means you can snap each piece together. Then, use a rubber mallet to make sure they’re all snug as you go along.
Trim and Doors
We also put in all new trim work. I wanted a super chunky baseboard all the way around. We ended up going with this medium height trim board. I think it was 2.5″. We bought the “pro pack” of trim that comes in bulk that contractors normally buy, for maximum savings. We felt pretty pro that day I must say.
It was really nice that it was all pre-primed bright white. So we only needed to measure, cut and install with a nail gun.
You can really see a contrast now. This door also needed a fresh coat of bright white paint.
So those are the three new elements: Walls, floor, and trim. Well, four if you count the barn door. In person, I actually think the blue walls are a lot more subtle – you’d almost mistake them for white. If it wasn’t for our bright white trim! That really makes a huge difference, believe it or not.
You can start to see how these layers are playing off one another. The bright and clean contrasting with the warm and natural. This sets the stage for the next phases of the room.