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Virtual Design – A Dated Basement Makeover

Basement Makeover After Shot

Nothing pleases my design loving heart more than a good old fashioned Before/After makeover – and in this case a basement makeover! The most exciting part about a home design or interior decorating project is dreaming up the possibilities and then watching them unfold!

I’m a visual person, therefore, before committing to a makeover project or spending a single dime on materials, I always like to plan a virtual makeover first using Photoshop!

Below is my virtual basement makeover for the farmhouse. The sale is not yet complete (there is still the appraisal hurdle to clear), but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. Plus, seeing the “what could be” vision is a constant and encouraging reminder as to why we are making this move; it motivates me and keeps me excited!

Virtual Design – Basement Makeover

Below I have outlined the “step-by-step” process on how I plan to update this outdated space and give it a basement makeover! I plan on taking this space from a dingy and dated basement to a warm and inviting living room – and I plan on doing it with a modest budget and (mostly) easy DIY projects!

Basement Makeover – BEFORE

Basement Makeover Before picture with outdated furniture, carpet and wall paneling

Basement Makeover – AFTER

Basement Makeover After

Dated, Dingy and in Desperate Need of an Update!

This farmhouse basement is the textbook definition of dated! With its dismal, square can lights, unappealing popcorn ceiling and vintage wood paneling, I think we can all agree that this room is desperate need of a makeover!

 Before of the entry room

Let’s look at the positives though… the space (as in the actual amount of room) is fantastic! This basement has plenty of storage, an adorable fireplace feature, and loads of POTENTIAL! This basement makeover is a DIYers dream!

Before of the entry room from the opposite angle

Let’s Get an Idea of the Space Shall We?

First, let’s get a lay the land and then we can get to the good stuff… the virtual basement makeover! As you enter down the stairs, you are standing in the room pictured above. From here, the space transitions into an “office” with the above mentioned fireplace feature! Although the fireplace isn’t being used, I plan on working it into the design. Anything that adds charm and character to this space I will gladly accept!

Basement Makeover Before office space

Just beyond the office space, you see a door. This door leads to a “bedroom,” and by “bedroom” I mean a windowless and closetless storage room that happens to fit a bed and dresser! Yes, I suppose you can call this a bedroom, but who wants to stay in a dark and scary box??

Basement Guest Room

So now that you all have a good feel for the space, let’s get to the fun part… the virtual basement makeover!!

Virtual Basement Makeover – The Step-by-Step Design Plan

1. Add light and charm to the Guest Bedroom

Let’s start with the most complicated portion of this virtual makeover… the guest room! This room has lots of potential, but simply needs a bit of life and cozy character breathed into it!

Framing out a larger door jam and adding a pair of antique sliding barn doors will provide our guests with the welcoming entrance they deserve!

 Basement Makeover - Adding French doors

In addition to the sliding doors, I would like to add in some unique, interior windows. Our previous home, in Kansas City, had antique, stained-glass windows framed into the linen closet (part of the previous owners bathroom remodel). I loved this idea! Installing these windows added instant charm AND allowed light to poor into the otherwise dark space.

adding sliding barn doors and antique windows

I’d love to apply that same technique in our basement makeover! Framing out and installing a pair of clear, vintage, stained-glass windows will not only add irresistible charm, but will also allow natural light to pour into the space, making it feel larger and more open – no longer will it be a dark and unwelcoming space for guests to lay their head.

2. Paint Changes Everything!

Now let’s move on to easier weekend projects shall we?! Paint! Paint is a no brainer – it’s such easy and inexpensive way to completely transform a room! Painting the dated paneling a bright and neutral white, will not only brighten up the space, but will seamlessly tie into the existing white fireplace brick as well.

The top half of the walls would also get a facelift with an easy and inexpensive DIY shiplap treatment, and a coat of fresh paint (perhaps a light taupe/grey for warmth and variation).

adding shiplap and paint to walls and paneling

3. The Popcorn Ceiling Solution

Next, let’s replace that dingy ceiling light, shall we?! Hanging this black, iron, farmhouse inspired chandelier will add warmth and charm, all the while drawing your attention away from that dreadful popcorn ceiling!

Basement Makeover - adding a new black, iron farmhouse style chandelier

4. Let’s Talk Windows Treatments

Next, let’s spruce up the windows! Adding natural, woven blinds will add warmth and visual interest to this otherwise dismal room. We used Select Blinds in our current home and cabin, and I absolutely love them! They are not only affordable, but easy to install provide quality as well!

Basement Makeover - adding natural woven window shades

5. Drop Cloth Curtains

Next, I plan on making some easy drop-cloth curtains. Adding neutral curtains and bringing them all the way to the floor, will elongate the feel of the window area, and provide a sense of coziness and luxury.

Drop cloths can be found at your local home improvement store, or on Amazon (my personal preference… who doesn’t love convenience?!) 🙂

Basement Makeover - adding drop cloth curtains

The Farmhouse Basement Makeover – Finishing Touches

Finally, now that we have a beautiful and neutral base, let’s bring in the finishing touches! Once the below details are added, this space will start feeling more like a usable living room, as opposed to a dated basement office!

5. Faux Reclaimed Wood Trim

Rooms that possess a lot of grey and white can feel cold and stark if natural elements are not added back in. To prevent this, I would like to add “reclaimed” pine trim (beat up and stained to give the look of reclaimed wood) to the corner of the far wall and as the crown molding! You could also use this option if you weren’t up to making your own. I love how the wood tones keep the space cozy and warm in a subtle and understated way.

Basement - adding faux reclaimed wood trim and molding

6. Add in a Large Area Rug, Furniture, Texture and Artwork

I love the idea of adding in a large area rug like one below. This rug is large, inexpensive and gives the look of a vintage rug! The vintage and muted colors add life to this room without being overbearing!

Basement  - adding the vintage area rug

Other finishing touches include a cozy couch, a vintage-inspired side table, a sophisticated table lamp, and lots of texture throughout by using baskets, plants, pillows and artwork!


Basement AFTER- adding in the white couch, side table, baskets, lamp, artwork and plants

Voilá! So much better don’t you think? This virtual basement makeover has certainly come a long way from the before photo below!


Basement Office Before picture

Shop This Look

Basement Makeover Office After picture

Woven Basket – on fireplace hearth

Spindle Leg Side Table

Area Rug

Glass / Brass Table Lamp

Drop Cloth – for DIY Curatins

White Sofa

Farmhouse Chandelier or try this similar version

Shiplap Panels

Reclaimed Wood Corner Trim

Reclaimed Trim Pine Board

Natural Woven Blinds

Woven Plant Basket

Cute Neutral Throw Pillows

Save this Basement Makeover post for later using this PINable image!

Basement Makeover Pinnable image PIN to Pinterest

Looking for more projects and tutorials? Make sure to visit these blog posts for easy DIY projects and inspiration!

Learn to make this cutting board HERE
Learn to make this vintage bud vase here

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