Thursday, February 25, 2010

Basement: Before & After

Thank you all for the well wishes.  After a great night's sleep and a wonderful three hour nap today, we're ALL feeling much better. 

Since things haven't progressed much around here, I thought I'd take a minute to show you one of my favorite DIY/Before and Afters projects.   

This is what our basement looked like when we bought Seaborn in June 2005.  It was a far cry from the cozy, basement family room that I envisioned. 

Here was my initial assessment of the space...


Wood paneling
Concrete floor
Tiled walls
Exposed water meter and plumbing
Old ceiling tiles


Fireplace {not pictured}

Out with the Old

Shortly after starting the demo process, we realized the former owner mastered the theory of reduce, re-use and recycle.  This space was definately his workshop.    

Divided into several small spaces, most of the walls were constructed of scrap wood. Interestingly enough, we found a piece of old wood gutter used to shimmy up the ceiling tile.  We also found a couple old tv cabinets re-purposed into wall cabinets. 

As you can see, all of that resourcefulness amounted to mounds and mounds of nail-ridden debris.  OUCH!!!!

Within days we rented and filled the largest roll-off dumpster we could find. 

In with the New

I'm sorry I don't have more pictures of the construction process.  But let's be honest, the after is all you really want to see.   

There's Hubby constructing a wall to put in the same
 location of the wall we tore down.  Oh the irony...

The basement is one of my favorite before and after projects in the house.  It has become our guest room, family room, playspace, and home theater. 

Yep, home theater.  Our home theater is the easiest and best DIY project.  It's the scene for many family get togethers. 

Knowing how much we love going to the movies, my mom gave us the best Christmas gift ever when she gifted us a digital projector. 

We experienced a little sticker shock when we started pricing projector screens.  So Hubby set about to build us an affordable alternative. Wanna see it?

The picture quality of the projector is better than this.
 It's the photographer's fault this picture is so blurry. 

The screen measures 4' H by 8' W.  Here's another picture where you can see the prominence of the screen within the room.  The wall has been painted black and the screen now covers the ugly exposed plumbing.

Affordable velvet curtains found at Ikea flank the movie screen {and hide additional storage}. 

We added a couple sconces {on a dimmer} to give the room a theater-like feel.  The ceiling has also been painted black. 

We saved money by doing all the demolition, electric and construction ourselves.  Approximate costs are as follows:

Construction materials        $850
Carpet installation                800
Movie screen                        100

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoy this space! 

Sincerely, Lisa

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville
Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick
DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm


  1. Oh. My. Goodness! This room turned out to be fantastic. You guys did such a great job! Now it makes me wish we had a basement I could turn into a theater... :-(

  2. Lisa, that is wicked cool! You did that for a grand? I have seen media rooms on HGTV that cost 50 to 75 grand, and yours looks just as good!

  3. Lisa,
    I'm moving in! I about spit my mouth full of cereal across the room at your funny description of the former owner! The room turned out fantastic! What did your hubby use for build his screen?
    Dee Dee

  4. Oh my Lisa, I think I'm married to a distant relative of the original owner. My hubby saves everything. We have a two car garage but the car has not seen the inside for....oh I'm not sure how long ago. I'll be right over and I like my popcorn with lots of butter and salt! Great job and lots of hard work. Jude

  5. Thanks for the kudos, we love our home theater! Dee Dee, I'll try to post how Hubby built the was very simple.
    LOL Jude...Is microwave popcorn okay?

  6. Fantastic...I can taste the popcorn! I see why it's your favorite DIY. I am so impressed. We have a really ugly basement. You've given me hope girl!

  7. This is freak'n amazing!! WOW! I am so coming for a visit...I can see us now: popcorn (w/ lots of butter), milk duds, soda & a good chick flick. What's your favorite? Mine is Hopes Float.


  8. Aww...I love chick flicks! Hope Floats is good! I also like confessions of shopaholic, he's not that into you, knocked up, the hangover, and really any movie that makes me laugh:)


  9. What a great room makeover. I love the wall with the big screen and velvet curtains! I think I need a trip to Ikea, haven't been in a while. I'm sure you're enjoying the heck out of this room!

  10. What an amazing job you did on your home theater! How fun it must be to watch movies in there now. Awesome!

  11. Lisa,
    This is a great redo. You and your husband have really done a wonderful job with updating your home. I'm sure this is one of your favorite rooms in the house.

  12. Your handy "Andy" is a jewel without question. The basement is the family favorite for many reasons!

  13. He did a great job. We just finished ours, but the house is only 9 yrs old and we started from scratch..
    Where in Ohio are you? I went to college there.
    Great metamorph!

  14. Amazing remodel!! I'm sure that it's a fun place to retreat to now, pop some popcorn and enjoy a movie.

    I love the scrap wood walls. Creative Everett!

  15. HOLY MOLY! How awesome & all that hard work paid off!! Well done! Jen-SheEndeavors

  16. Great job on the remodeling. The hard work paid off for the entire family.

  17. What time is the movie showing tonight? I'll bring the popcorn! Oh my...that is awesome! I can't wait to show Tony.
    Excited to become a follower :)

  18. Great job. The after is well worth the elbow grease!
    Paula Grace ~

  19. What a did an awesome job on this looks outstanding! Thanks for linking upto my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS party...I hope to see you here again:)


  20. Oh my golly! This is a great redo! Good for you!
    Mary Lou

  21. That is one mountain-moving redo! Wowowowow. But best of all you and your family use it. Just love that inspiration and thanks for stopping by my blog. --Jane F

  22. Wow, what a transformation! My husband would love to have a media room with a projection system! Great job!

    Kat :)

  23. What a wonderful transformation - WOW.. Great Job..I know your family must be thrilled to have such a great place to be together!!

  24. totally awsome! Fab job you two!
    smiles, alice

  25. Tray SHEEK! :) Love your make over!


  26. OMOMOMOMO!!!GOODNESS!!! Amazing you saw the potential in this space and look what you now have. Funny demo story, very creative, the prevous owner! ENJOY! Janell

  27. WOW! WOW! You never would have known from the Before that it could look so incredible AFTER! Great job.

  28. Wow! What an amazing transformation. I am sure your family love your cozy retreat now! Amazing how much money you can save by doing it yourself!

    Hugs ~ Angie

  29. Great job! I'm going to keep this in mind if our new house has a basement!

  30. I am hiding this post from my hubby FOREVER! LOL Amazing job!

  31. Hey that looks really nice. I like that you did it in such a cost effective way. There are lots of other DIY projects you could add to it when you get a chance. Such as this!

  32. Get outta here!!! Movie night at your house every Saturday...gotta love the handy hubby. That alone is enough to keep'em around ;-)