Basement Guest Bedroom Makeover-The Why's and The Inspiration

I'm going to show you some pretty inspiration then I will share the 'before' pictures. Trust me it is kinder this way.

So this would be like take two, or maybe take eleven three in the whole basement guest bedroom makeover. Our basement was originally finished in 1999/2000 when we first bought our home by my brothers, brothers-in-law and a nephew, as a suite for my parents. One thing about our basement is that it is super dry and warm. The guys outdid themselves on making sure it was properly insulated for our cold winters and added tons of extra vents (even moving duct work to bring all the cold air, heat and a/c returns from the ceiling to floor level.) Our basement is the one floor in our home that is the perfect temperature, no matter the season. Mom and Dad had to finally move to assisted living (my Mom has since passed away.) Then my brother's family of four stayed with us between homes for several months. Finally we rented to a single teacher for one term. And my explanation is very wordy but helps to explain why it has taken me so long to make progress.

 I have tried to decorate our basement guest bedroom several times, but kept hitting roadblocks. Does that ever happen to you? Some of the issues were...
  • a small budget 
  • furniture and accessories I didn't like or love
  • did I say a very small budget?
  • an exercise area with big black equipment we never used
  • a huge drum set that our youngest seldom plays
  • trying to work around a mistint colour of blue I had painted the walls 
  • worrying that my younger sister people would think I was crazy to repaint again, and I really didn't want to spend time and money repainting it
  • a 'Northwoods' or 'cabin' or maybe a 'lakeside beach' theme and all the accompanying accessories
  • our guest room is way down in the back of the basement and I can easily close the bedroom door
  • making a gazillion excuses that I have other rooms that need attention (okay I still have those rooms)
  • a ridiculously long and narrow room, two basement tiny windows and one large egress window, and a closet door that opens into the room, that make bed placement very difficult
So, I put a lot of thought into it, deciding what my vision (still on a tight budget) was for this room and I think I have a pretty good idea where to start now. I need to start fresh. Start with an empty room. Not an original idea, but it finally dawned on me that I wouldn't be happy until I took everything out and started with the 'blank slate'. No, I can't buy all new stuff, but I started by getting rid of or selling the items I don't like or love any more. That left me with a double bed. I had to tell myself that it was okay to get rid of the theme items, and the three mismatched twin beds, and that I didn't have to use curtains I already have just because at one time the fabric was really expensive. That it was okay for my style to change and evolve and that the room could be a bit bare until I found the pieces I wanted and we could afford. You get the idea. 

So the blank slate helped, but my plan really took shape when I was actually sitting in the room over the holidays and noticed a bunch of chips in the paint and so many greasy fingerprints and smears. When we have family occasions my kids and their little cousins and great cousins or friends would inevitably end up in the basement bouncing off the walls and banging on the drums. My clue to the dirty walls should have been the times I found more than one paper plate with a pre-schoolers bbq dinner after parties. We need to paint.

I'm prepping the walls and will be buying paint this week. So enough about the why's, here are my inspiration ideas. 

Note: While I love the look of the plank walls in the following inspiration photos, I will not be adding it to the walls in this room. Our perfectly good drywall will be painted white instead (resale plus our family worked so hard on those smooth walls.) I plan to incorporate some plank personality in a different way.

This Pottery Barn photo and some of the features I highlighted that I really like

A long time favourite inspiration picture (tearout from Country Home Magazine)

And now several years of BEFORE photos...

What is staying? The comfy double bed and the grey wall to wall carpeting. I am still undecided on the headboard and two little end tables I am painting. Oh, and the suspended tile ceiling and florescent light ceiling panel have to stay (I can't even begin to think about that so I will be thankful that the ceiling is not bare and pretend the ceiling is beautiful tongue and groove.)

I will be sharing as our guest room evolves, and lots of little projects along the way. It won't happen overnight, but the walls should be white in a few days. And I have new white sheets in case we have guests. Now to pick a white for trim and walls. With grey carpet and being a basement, would you pick a warm white or a cool white? I'd love to hear your ideas.

I was inspired to get my before photos in order and my ideas written down so I could join in with Donna and Funky Junk Interiors' Picture Perfect -a completed room for 2012. And now it is 5:30 am and I'm going to bed. Good thing I'm still on holidays for one more week and my young teens will sleep in ;)

I'm sharing this with Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style, a party not to miss!


  1. It's hard to tell, but it looks like your gray carpet has warm tones, so I'd go with a slightly warm or even neutral white. Just be careful not to go too warm or it will end up looking beige in a basement room. I love your inspiration photo and will be looking forward to seeing your results. Good luck!

  2. Paint if you want to paint, don't worry about what anyone else thinks. My mother in law who is very sweet always says how pretty my house looks when she visits, she also says what's new, what's changed? And always gets a good laugh that I've moved a table or pictures are different, or I have a new pillow. I always try to down play it, because for some reason it made me feel a little embarrassed. And now I've just sort of realized that's who I am. I do something and then I undo it, I change stuff, move stuff, repaint. And that's ok, I love it. Do what makes you happy in this room. And don't give yourself trouble for taking your time, it's good to wait for the right inspiration, it means when you do it, you will truly love it!

  3. I agree with aloha cowgirl above in that the white (warm or cool) needs to "go with" the carpeting....

    If you're keeping the bed you could think of reworking that headboard... perhaps paint and something on the inset panels? Old tin ceiling tile, or a replica of it that they make now at of plastic for back splashes and ceilings, on the insets would look good... or wallpaper, fabric or stencils? You could even cut out the inset panels and use some sort of metal inserts... All these ideas would be like what people do to kitchen cabinet doors to update them....

    I too am looking forward to redoing a room since my son just bought a house and will be moving out... already have lots of ideas on what to do ;)

    Good luck with all of it and most of all HAVE FUN!


  4. 5:30 am!! Did you stay up all night working?

    Can't wait to see what your after looks like. I know it will be comfy, cozy and pretty.

  5. Can't wait to see what you come up with. I'd love to have a clean slate to work with. We have so much 'stuff' that it's hard to even consider a 'redo'.

  6. I can see where you're going with this room and it is going to be soooo pretty! I love the inspiration photos.

  7. I would pick a warm white, mainly because I need warm colors around me. And being in the basement, which is usually cooler than the main floor, it will need the "feeling" of warmth, I think.
    Hugs, cindy

  8. What a fun room to work on! I'd lean towards a warm white as well. I just painted my photo studio white right out of the can and felt 'chilled'. I went back and had the paintstore add two drops of their dark brown mix. It's still white but now it doesn't glare at you. :) That technique may be still too white for your room but it was a great call nonetheless.

    Your inspiration room is gorgeous! Can't wait to watch this room transform!


  9. I will enjoy watching this transformation Elizabeth. I know it will be beautiful!

  10. Oooh, lovely, lovely, lovely!

    I love the inpsiration- and your 'after' photos are great. It all looks so cosy and warm. I could move right in!


  11. I love all your inspiration photos.I know it will turn out beautiful.Looking forward to the reveal.


  12. Oh I love your ideas! I think this will be one sweet room when you are all done. Can't wait to see when you finish~ Happy New Year!

  13. This sounds like an awesome makeover in the making and I can't wait to see the end result. I must check on Donna's blog for the Picture Perfect room makeover for 2012. Have fun!

  14. Beautiful photos..

  15. Oh my gosh, I think I have that same blue in my basement, well half anyway. I had to paint over it, much to my husbands disapproval, why paint over something that is fine. I DO NOT LIKE THE COLOR BLUE. I can not wait to see how your basement bedroom turns out because I am currently in the planning stages of redoing our basement. Good luck, I love your inspiration picture.

  16. I will be fun to see how your rooms develops!
    Thank you for sharing and linking to Potpourri Friday!

  17. Hi Elizabeth,
    I love your inspiration shot!!
    Your so lucky to have a guest bedroom. I like it that you have the two twin beds, great idea!
    All the Best,

  18. 5:30AM and you're going to bed, girl??? Did you stay up all night blogging or what? lol! Well, your space certainly has potential. I would go with a warm white. That in itself is going to make a huge difference in your room! Then it's just fluffing with new linens! :) Looking forward to your transformation, Elizabeth!

    xoxo laurie

  19. Lost my first comment...ugh!
    I think your inspiration photos are wonderful, Elizabeth.
    I'm sure whatever you do with the room, it will turn out beautiful. You are good at pulling rooms together.

  20. OK Elizabeth, here we go Yours seems to be a bit bigger than mine.. I think it will be beautiful when you get done good luck and can't wait to see what all you do.


  21. I love the inspiration photo! You could totally make it happen in that room...can't wait to see how it turns out!

  22. Elizabeth, I am so excited to see this room progress! You have such a nice space to work with and I LOVE your two inspiration photos.....all that white with blue accents and wood tones!! Thanks so much for linking up to Before & After....looking forward to seeing your "after" of this one :)

  23. This room has great bones and you have a lot to work with. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Have a wonderful weekend!

  24. Elizabeth, you are going
    to have FUN sinking your
    teeth into this project!
    Don't you love how "putting
    it out there" helps to move
    the ball up the field on
    these goals?? Popping over
    from Lisa's Before party.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    xx Suzanne

  25. This is the perfect before and after! I want to invite you to stop by my blog and participate in the "impossibility" challenge I am hosting with six other bloggers!


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