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Basement Living Room Makeover

We moved into this home in August of 2020 and haven’t touched the basement – until now! If I’m being honest, our basement is kind of funky with a strange layout, but we do have one room that’s intended to be a second living space that I’ve been dying to get my hands on. 

There weren’t too many design hurdles in this space. It’s main issue is being very boring and very basic. My goal was change that by added statement furniture and molding wall detail. 

Here’s a look at the before of the space…

Basement living room before

It was a catch-all-the-stuff-we-didn’t-know-where-it-should-go-after-the-move room, but I did manage to hang up that copper ship art I got from my grandparent’s house.

Our whole house was painted in what I like to call “paper bag brown.” So, I knew right away that I was going to need to paint. I painted the upper walls in “Swiss Coffee” by Benjamin Moore (which is what most of our upstairs is painted). 

As a 2000-something builder-grade home it lacks a lot of details and character. In this basement living room there was a ledge below the wall of windows. I decided to continue that ledge trim all the way around the room to add some much needed character. This wall molding was incredible easy to install and completely transformed the look of the space!

I was originally going to do a moody dark black navy color for the lower paneling details after seeing this inspiration photo, but something about it just didn’t feel right. I pulled out my trusty Farrow & Ball paint swatches and found the perfect warm gray-green color called “Old White.” It felt cozy and layered nicely with the olive green of the most amazing Kova L-shaped sectional gifted from Albany Park.

Basement living room makeover

Next, I added some table top surfaces around the sectional. Since it’s a large piece I made sure add plenty of places for people to set down a drink or snack without having to get out of their seat. I grounded the front of the sectional with a large oak coffee table and added miss matched side tables to either end of the sectional. 

Basement living room makeover Albany Park

Like I mentioned, the Kova Sectional is large and needed something visually large above it. I didn’t want to add a large piece of artwork above as it would’ve felt too boxy and clunky. Instead I added a gallery wall of photos from our trips, some of my artwork and some thrifted art. A good rule of thumb with gallery walls above a sofa is to have the gallery wall span 2/3 width of the sofa. This will create balance and proper scale. I like for my gallery walls to have two colors of frames – more than that and it starts to feel too busy for me. 

Few things I have left to finish in this space is find a media cabinet for below the TV. It’s 60-something inch TV and needs a cabinet that’s ideally 80″ wide, but I just haven’t found one I love yet. Also after getting the sofa in place I think we could use a pair leggy chairs off to the left side. I’m keeping my eye out for a vintage pair on facebook marketplace. Other than that, it’s wonderful to have created this cozy space we think of as our movie room or game day space!

Room Sources:

Paint Colors:

  • Upper walls “Swiss Coffee” by Benjamin Moore in Eggshell finish
  • Lower walls “Old White” by Farrow & Ball (color matched at Sherwin Williams) in Satin finish
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