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Basement Update: A Reveal!

I’m looking forward to finishing the basement and offering up some fabulous after shots of the whole kit & caboodle.  It’s a tall order, though, because the lone window is the size of a (small) baking pan, so natural light is scant.  Our budget was equally small.  But still, it’s beginning to look pretty cute and awfully cozy.  Here’s a peek of the one, somewhat finished corner:

The before (well, it’s an in-progress shot, with the left wall and ceiling painted) & after difference: 

What’s different?

I painted the mismatched walls, and even painted the ceilings (plus the stairwell!) the same warm greige, to keep the old carpet from standing out in any way.  Because “bright and airy” wasn’t on the menu, I aimed for “cute and cozy”.  In this corner specifically, I removed the peeling wall paper (catch a glimpse in the right of the photo below or see here for more).  A little textured paint hid the paneling lurking beneath. 

I tidied, cleaned, de-cluttered, and even gave some furniture away to make the space more liveable.  The chairs, teak table and lamp had been languishing in the basement after becoming obsolete upstairs.  I tried my best to make this ragtag group of furniture look intentionally chosen for the space. Accessorizing and adding art in the same colour palette (pinks, turquoises, greens, black and white) helped the nook look planned.

The silk pillows are the only truly new addition, thanks to my sewing
maven Mom who whipped them up.  I almost saved them for the living room,
but the greige walls, greige carpet and greige chair combo need a pop of
colour.  The silk shines in the basement and lends such life to the room.

The gallery wall:

We laid everything on the floor and then hung it up.  No newspaper cut outs like with the silhouette wall, because our options were a little limited.  I would have liked something a bit “fuller” but the light switch and outlet are pretty high and pretty random and inhibited our art placement a bit.  I also need to replace them with some paint-able covers.

Maybe I’ll add more paintings some day.  The art was pretty thrifty because each piece was either gathering dust somewhere or a DIY project: 

I think I captured some of the feel of my inspiration photo.  I just couldn’t stick to the pale aqua and pink – I tossed in some other colours via the artwork.

Prudent Baby

What’s next?

The rest of the basement will be keeping with this feel (see more of the inspiration here).  Greige with pops of black, white, pale pink and turquoise.  If you remember, the stairwell has black and white and turquoise art, too.  The turquoise chair and black chair will live here eventually.  But first: a few more furniture makeovers, some more painting, a DIY curtain rod, some more art work, some sewing of curtains from you’ll never guess what, and more.  We’ll get there.



  1. Rachelle Falcon
    October 16, 2012 / 1:10 pm

    Looks great! I love the light and airy color palette, perfect for a basement.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2012 / 5:32 pm

      Thanks!! The basement needed some life – I'm happy the palette reads as light and airy because that's exactly what I was going for.

  2. erica | wicked bride
    October 16, 2012 / 1:12 pm

    Looks SO good – really inspirational! We have a couple ugly rooms in our house that need a quick and cheap makeover – been dreading taking down the wallpaper, but it makes such a difference with a little paint. Can't wait to see the rest!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2012 / 5:33 pm

      Quick and cheap, that's me! Haha. Oh yes, paint has made a world of difference down there, hiding mismatched walls and making what I thought was ratty carpet look much newer. Shall I bring my paint clothes when I visit?

  3. cred
    October 16, 2012 / 1:21 pm

    Wow! for a space with such a small window, this turned out lovely and feels light. I really like the soft colours- it is a surprising space for a basement- which in contrast can be dark, cool and hard with exposed concrete or rather utilitarian in design with berber carpet & furniture from the Brick. This looks intentional and styled rather than an afterthought.Lovely!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2012 / 5:35 pm

      Haha, my furniture is cheaper than Brick furniture: it was bought at the Superstore, lol. Yup, grocery store chairs from our first apartment. I'm glad it looks styled, because we had no money to really "decorate" – I've had to use leftovers.

  4. How2home
    October 16, 2012 / 2:09 pm

    LOVE the new corner! Its very relaxed and adult friendly. A place where you can just sit and hang out with a glass of wine, and enjoy the gallery wall.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2012 / 5:36 pm

      Oh yes, when the basement is totally done much wine will be in order. Much, much wine. I have to admit, when we bought the house I said I refused to hang out down there (centipedes) but now it looks cozy. And, frankly, the centipedes come upstairs, too, so really there's no hiding from them.

  5. Jeanette @ This Dusty House
    October 16, 2012 / 2:45 pm

    I love it, Tanya! The wall of art looks great and I love the furniture you chose to fill the space. It does look cozy, like the perfect place for a cup of tea and a book, or maybe a long chat with a friend. Excellent work!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2012 / 5:36 pm

      Awww, thanks Jeanette! I can't wait to finish and share the rest of the space. There's a little art corner and craft area, too, which will be very inviting.

  6. modern jane
    October 16, 2012 / 3:49 pm

    Gorgeous color scheme and artwork. That inspiration photo is a stunner! Looks super cozy down there!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2012 / 5:37 pm

      Thanks Jane! The inspiration photo IS a stunner, I totally agree. I ended up with a bit brighter palette because it made the space a bit more cheery. I like more subdued colours with more natural light.

  7. Nicole
    October 16, 2012 / 4:24 pm

    WOW! That is so beautiful! I can't wait to see the finished basement.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2012 / 5:38 pm

      Thanks 😀 I promise to get to work again right away when I return to Canada. But maybe we can talk Hubby into chipping away at it while I'm in Hungary??

  8. Dana@Mid2Mod
    October 16, 2012 / 5:36 pm

    Looking good! It's really becoming a lovely, usable space. Are you designating a workspace so you can continue to use the basement for projects too?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2012 / 5:39 pm

      Thanks Dana! I thought you might like the taupey colour because you've incorporated so many more neutral colours into your gorgeous home. The opposite corner will have my easel and a work table and hopefully some organization so I feel free to work and don't feel the need to tidy first every time!

  9. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication
    October 17, 2012 / 1:46 am

    This looks so good! I absolutely LOVE all of your art on the wall!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 17, 2012 / 6:09 am

      Thanks!! I also think it makes such a difference between a dreary space and a lively space. I am going to eventually FILL this space with art (basically, to replace the non-existent windows).

    October 17, 2012 / 6:09 am

    Not a fan of basements myself, I would even hang out down here! This looks fantastic!! You really did capture the essence of your inspiration room. Bravo!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 17, 2012 / 5:37 pm

      That is such a high compliment!! Thank you!! I'm happy to hear I've won over a fellow non-basement dweller because we hope to sell in a couple of years and part of my reason for making over the basement was to make it a space future owners could see themselves using and liking. So you have made me very happy 😀

  11. Designwali
    October 17, 2012 / 11:24 am

    wow…you did such a great job…i love your paintings

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 17, 2012 / 5:38 pm

      Awww, thanks! I am itching to work into the top left one a bit and it is SO frustrating I can't right now, lol.

  12. Jae
    October 17, 2012 / 3:11 pm

    This corner is fabulous! The pink pillows are yummy.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 17, 2012 / 5:39 pm

      The silk is so ancient – we've had it since I was a teenager. I originally wanted a long, tiered peasant type skirt and I'm so happy that idea fizzled because I am so, so, so much happier with the pillows. Plus there is more silk, for more pillows. And thus life is good.

  13. Sheila @sZinteriors
    October 17, 2012 / 4:56 pm

    Wow, it looks great, Tanya! I love that you went with pink – it really works, and is such an unexpected surprise. Your cute and cozy is lovely!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 17, 2012 / 5:41 pm

      It is a bit like the colour theme of the play kitchen I made, remember? Right now I am on a beige and pale pink kick. It's been so fun to try something (the tiniest bit) different than the white+bright look I love upstairs. It's a twist on what is becoming "my" style. I'm so glad you like it, because you have such great style and expertise!

  14. Martina
    October 17, 2012 / 5:48 pm

    You did a great job working on a minimal budget to transform the space. It is absolutely welcoming and cozy, which is not something many basement rooms achieve 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 17, 2012 / 6:46 pm

      Thank you, so much! It's very motivating to hear this part looks welcoming. I am getting really excited to finish the rest! Thanks for the motivation 🙂

  15. muchadored
    October 20, 2012 / 1:53 pm

    I cannot tell you how inspiring this is! Our basement is less than ideal, with ugly acoustic tile ceilings and no windows, ugly carpet, etc., and we don't have the budget to completely overhaul it. You've made this little corner look extremely cozy and welcoming. Excellent work!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 21, 2012 / 5:36 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment. It's nice to hear from folks who have the same dilemmas as me! It has been really challenging working with the existing elements (ugly carpet, older drop ceiling, funny walls). I am increasingly jealous of basement renovations that consist of just redoing everything. But I do what I can with our small budget. The trick was to use the beige paint (matched to the carpet, actually) to help everything blend in and fade away. I hope when it's all said and done, the whole space looks cute and cosy and less scary!

  16. Lesley
    October 21, 2012 / 3:38 am

    Beautiful! It's so bright and fresh! x

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 21, 2012 / 5:36 pm

      Thanks Lesley! I am so happy to hear it looks "bright and fresh"! That's the goal 🙂

  17. Amelia @ House Pretty
    January 4, 2013 / 8:50 pm

    I don't know how I missed this reveal. It's amazing what a difference some paint and you're awesome art makes! You're inspiring me to do some more work in our basement – we got started on freshening it up, but have put off finishing it for months. Now I'm actually excited to get down there!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 5, 2013 / 1:28 pm

      Awww thanks. Yay! Go basements!! I am hoping to actually finish it this year, seeing as last year I, well, didn't, lol.

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