Eech! There’s Carpet in My Basement (and Paint too)


The basement family room is done.  Done.  Done.  Done!  Okay, not exactly 100% done, but somewhere around 98% done.  And I’d say that’s close enough.

We wanted to finish it in time for Wilder’s first birthday party, and it was a mad dash to the end.  We painted earlier in the month and carpet came last week.  Between a trip to Chicago and an impromptu offer on a house (yes, we are crazy; no, we didn’t get the house), we were scrambling to get the handrail up, the lighting installed, and the doors hung in time for Wilder’s first guests to arrive.  But we got it done.  We even got the essentials moved down there: a couch, the kegerator, and lots of toys.

Here’s a look around the basement family room the day after Wilder’s party:

Basement Paint and CarpetBasement Paint and Carpet View 1Basement Carpet and Paint - Balloons and Exposed BeamBasement Paint and CarpetBasement Paint and Carpet - StairwellStairwell

There’s lots to chat about in this room – the exposed beam, the stairwell, the polished concrete wall, the millwork – but I want to talk about the most exciting thing first, so let’s talk carpet.  Carpet!  I know, I can hardly believe it either!  This is the first time Garrett and I have had carpet.  I mean besides the nasty shag stuff we found covering the original hardwood floors at the Wallingford House (aka the carpet you avoid touching for fear of hepatitis).  And we love it!  It’s cozy and comfortable and beautiful.  We picked out the cheapest, berber-weave carpet that Home Depot had to offer.  It rang in at $2.30/sf, including the pad and installation.  

And before we had the carpet installed, we painted.  So let’s go back to where I left off in the basement last week(ish).  The paint was up and the masking was just about to come down…and then we flew to Chicago for a little family celebration (more on that trip here).

Well, we made it back home and that masking came off in short order.  Turns out it’s approximately one million times faster to take masking down then it is to put it up.  Who would of guessed?

We went with light colors to help the space feel bigger and brighter.  It’s a basement (obviously), so has a couple things working against it.  Mainly that it’s below grade so the windows are short and the ceilings are only 7′ tall.  So to avoid it feeling like a dark cave, we picked out the following colors:

  • Ceiling, trim and staircase walls: BM’s Simply White
  • All other walls: Sherwin Williams’ White Duck

I originally bought the White Duck paint 3 months ago, planning to use it upstairs.  But Garrett hated it.  Somehow it seems to work in the basement.  Could be the different lighting.  Or perhaps the price tag was just too good to pass up, especially at the end of a renovation – what’s better than free when you’re strapped for cash?!

Anyway, the whole job took us 18 gallons of paint/primer.  Basically a shit ton and our basement is only 600sf.  At $37 to $56 per gallon (including a 30% off coupon from Sherwin Williams),  this little basement paint job of our’s cost us north of $800.  And that doesn’t even count the paint sprayer, brushes, and masking supplies.

Basement Laundry Room - PaintedBasement Paint and Carpet and Kegerator

Our family is enjoying the heck out of the family room.  Wilder has been walking around and around the basement in search of doors to open and balloons to pop.  Bubba has rolled all over that carpet and claimed the third bedroom as his.  It’s amazing to have this space done!  And it turns out that carpet – the non-hepatitis kind – is pretty damn nice!

Here’s a quick look back to what the family room looked like a few months ago.  I don’t have a true “before picture”, but this one is an early progress shot:

Ravenna House Basement Bathroom Photo 1 1-31-14

Now, time to turn our efforts outside…


p.s. My sister and brother-in-law recently inherited the family cabin.  It’s in need of a little refresh, and these wood ceilings are the perfect inspiration.

p.p.s. Glad I’m not the only one with a massive backyard project this summer!  If only I could work this wrap-around porch into the patio design…

p.p.s.  I’m really obsessed with the salvaged door we put in the bathroom.  It came out of the creepy black-room in our basement pre-renovation.  I’ll share some more pics of the bathrooms soon as we wrap it up, but here’s a sneak peak of that door for all those salvage-enthusiasts like me:

Bathroom Door - Salvaged Wood with Glass

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  1. I love that bathroom door, and the herringbone tile is gorgeous!!

    • Thanks so much Sarah! I checked out your blog (a 1902 foursquare in the south…is there anything better?!) and I love the custom cabinet in your master bath. Can’t wait to see how that room turns out!

  2. Hi! I stumbled across your blog and I’ve been pouring over the Ravenna house renos for the past little while–it’s gorgeous! I’m a classic, old-house, subway tile sorta girl myself. So why did I move from a 1923 craftsman-style home to a 1969 no-personality colonial?!? Well, space. But there’s more to that story.

    Anyway, I love the glass top door you put in your basement bathroom, and I, too, found a beautiful old door that I want to install at the top of my basement stairs (visible from the kitchen). When I spoke to a contractor-friend of ours about refinishing it he warned me against it saying it’s not tempered glass and really isn’t to code. What?!? So, the question is, should I be worried about this? Are you concerned about it at all? I LOVE this door, but it is a high-traffic area used by a lot of kids. I’d really appreciate your thoughts.

    • Thanks for the kind words Amy – the Ravenna House and I appreciate it! Regarding the door: it sounds beautiful and I would definitely use it!!! I’m not one to shy away from using original materials (or period-appropriate salvaged ones), code and high-traffic areas be damned. If you’re worried worried about the glass breaking, perhaps some transparent contact film could increase the durability and minimize the danger of shattering glass. Good luck!

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