Where it all started! This is the exact view of our basement space when we toured the house for the first time. This basement room had a lot of natural light with a set of French doors and a large window – but lacked any type of purpose. I’ll admit that finding a function for this room was a journey and it didn’t come to me right away until we had lived in our house for a few months.
You can see from the photo below, there were only pockets of useable space. The main traffic pattern in any given direction fell right in the middle of the room. This really limits a furniture layout! The French doors lead out to a great spot in our backyard so I really wanted to maximize the potential for this room.
Here’s a better view of the space once we started demolition.
My original plan was to omit the side arch pass-throughs and create one larger arched opening in the middle. Once I removed the drywall, I found several jack posts that we were unfortunately not able to move. If you’re unsure of what it takes to remove something structural, you can usually hire an engineer for a few hundred dollars. This discovery led me to create the double arches and close up the middle (thank goodness!) The idea for fireplaces on both sides of the wall came shortly after. I presented the idea to my electrician and he approved!
I’ll write a lengthier post about selecting gas over electric for our fireplaces – but for now, I’ll tell you that I did originally want gas for energy savings. I had the local fireplace company come out as well – and there was no possible way to make it happen on an interior wall with the structure of our all brick home. Again – I usually always consult the professional in whatever area I’m dealing with. Advice and consultations are usually FREE!
It was easy to run electrical with the wall open so keep that in mind when renovating – think about ALL possibilities when you have walls open – it will save you time and money!
I knew I wanted a FRAME TV on the kitchen side of the wall so we could watch games while entertaining. For the sitting room wall, I made a decision to not run electrical for a TV. I think it’s great to have designated screen-free spaces in your home to encourage conversation and relaxation! I can tell you now that our sitting room is heaven. We use it often to unwind from the day with a glass of wine or chat with friends with minimal distractions.
We framed a bump-out in the wall to make room for 2 fireplaces. I went traditional for the sitting room and more modern linear model for the kitchen side. I plan to share a full review of both fireplaces soon!
Here’s an “almost” after shot with painted walls & trim. I went with Alabaster on all the walls and BM Collingwood cut to 75% saturation on all the trim. It’s a subtle contrast that looks lovely in person and will allow me to change wall color easily in the future if I decide to.
I DIYed these barn doors from plain shaker slab doors – and painted them in a very dark blue: Farrow & Ball Railings. I have this color all throughout the media room and the rest of the basement.
The latest addition I made was this DIY Fireplace surround! I love the warmth & personality that it ads while still being very simple in design. It was a relatively easy project and a great beginner build! I detailed all the steps in this Fireplace Mantle Post.
Eventually, I would love to add a neutral grasscloth to this room or even try to paint a faux grasscloth! For now, we have been enjoying it daily and I’ll ponder what other layers might make it truly complete for a later date.