Flip #4 · Uncategorized

Flip 4 Friday Feature: The Basement

I’m baaaaack. After an unintended hiatus due to travelling, I’m finally back and getting settled into my chaotic groove.  And while things are so chaotic right now, I’m trying to get back into my blogging routine, and that includes finishing up the Flip 4 Friday Features. Can you believe we’re almost done?

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In my mind, it’s really difficult for me to wrap my head around the transformation in this room. What served the previous owners as an unfinished storage unit transformed into Saturday football watching destination! As with all my projects, this was definitely a beer budget project with many, many roadblocks along the way.

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When we toured the space they were prepping for a huge yard sale, and it was quite obvious the room had been neglected for quite some time. It was a partially finished space, and I use that term very, very loosely. There was no drywall on the ceiling, the electrical was outdated, the insulation was falling out, the partial grid ceiling was detached, the flooring was mismatched, the lighting didn’t work, and the “wet bar” was a broken DIY cabinet. It was a complete eyesore that would turn most buyers away!

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Just getting the room cleared out helped tremendously. It was hard to even know what problems existed until the previous owners were completely moved out. And let me tell you, it wasn’t a lot of good news. It was just a really ugly, outdated space that seemed a little scary at night! I had originally plan to rip out the paneling, then decided to try a faux millwork cover over the paneling, and when that didn’t work, I decided to leave the paneling. Leaving the paneling is never my first choice, but sometimes it’s the only choice.

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I wanted to create a space that was defined and inviting. Initially, this space was uninviting and didn’t seem to extend any actual living space. I loved the idea of having a wet bar because I think it lends itself well to a game room/media room, but the original wet bar was far from an actual wet bar! I obviously had my work cut out for me!

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If you followed along on Instagram, you know the troubles I encountered with the ceiling in this space. As with the walls, I had original plans that eventually transformed into “it’ll do” plans. My initial plan was to create, again, a faux millwork pattern but quickly learned the spacing of the beams didn’t lend to that being a successful project, so my plan B was to drywall the ceiling. After having several drywallers and contractors evaluate the ceiling, we learned the ceiling was not square in any capacity which would make drywalling extremely difficult (which is code for extremely expensive). We even had some drywall guys say they wouldn’t touch it. Definitely not news you want to hear!

Left with no real viable options, my painter came up with another “it’ll do” solution: dryfall. If you aren’t familiar with dryfall, you aren’t alone. I had never heard of it until my painter suggested it. In short, it’s matte black paint that is frequently used in commercial and industrial buildings like bars and gyms. It disguises ductwork, beams, etc. in a room with an industrial design. It’s not that I was necessarily going for an industrial look, but I liked the idea that it would mimic a bar ceiling because I really foresaw this space as an in-home bar/game spot. It ended up taking 2.5 coats of paint because initially the paint didn’t adhere to the wrapping around the ductwork. My painter had to sand, then Kilz, and then reapply.

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Prior to the dryfall being applied, I had used some leftover paint from Flip 3 to paint all of the walls– cinder blocks and paneling. After the dryfall dried, my painter then painted all of the brown doors & trim with some fresh white paint.

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And then it was time to address the wet bar. I really thought this could be the feature of this space. In its original state, it was far from the feature! After Contractor #2 debacle, I was left with no custom cabinet for the wet bar. So at the 11th hour, I was scrambling to find a custom cabinet. As usual, Uncle Nuny came to the rescue! Using scrap lumber from Flip 4, he created a cabinet that would not only house a wine fridge but look great! I added trim from Home Depot to create a more custom look, and then I used leftover kitchen cabinet paint to give it a finished look.

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Before I actually installed the cabinet, though, I wanted to create a little pop of something unexpected. I had enough leftover vinyl plank flooring from the living room that I thought I could use the flooring…on the walls. It was the easiest thing to install, and I used  inexpensive molding to create a finished look. My last addition was to install an exterior barn light to add some industrial design to mimic the newly painted ceiling.

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To complete the cabinet, I needed to find a countertop. The depth of the cabinet prevented me from buying a pre-fab stock countertop, so, again, I was scrambling at the 11th hour. A friend recommended Lumber Liquidators for a butcher block countertop. They actually have quite the selection- which I didn’t even realize they carried butcher block countertops. And while their prices weren’t terrible, I think we have all come to realize one thing about me: if I don’t have to pay retail, I won’t. So I asked if they had any damaged ones or returns, and guess what? They did! They had a beautiful teak piece that was premade for a kitchen island which means it was too big. There was a large crack in one end, but if I cut it off, you would never know! So my countertop guy trimmed it, and I used liquid nails to attach it to the cabinet.

I used teak finisher from Walmart (in the paint section for about $10). It really highlighted the wood grain! And the last finishing touch was the brand new wine fridge I scored at an auction for $75! In total, this custom wet bar area cost less than $300!

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The next step was to create another serving area. I imagine this space full of friends and family on a Saturday watching the Hogs play, and one thing you can always count on at a football watch party is lots of food! I knew I had the drinks covered with the wetbar, but I wanted an area to serve the food as well. While perusing Lowe’s one night, I saw two identical single cabinets on clearance for $10 each. What?! They were special order returns, and I knew exactly what I could do with them. They were laminate and brown, but I painted them a fresh white. Two-tone kitchens are making a splash, so I felt confident switching up the cabinet color from the wetbar. I found a prefab countertop on sale at Lowe’s for $30 and a matching trim piece for $25.

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What I love most about this transformation is that the space is now defined. I try to envision a purpose and function of a space before I start my transformation. From day 1 I never deviated from this as a football watching room. There needs to be place for beer and a place for chips and dip: mission accomplished.

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The final addition to this space was a new sliding glass door. The original one didn’t actually close or lock. I ordered a custom one from Lowe’s, and it cost more than some of my paychecks in my previous career! It was an oversized door which is why it cost so much! Since this was a basement, and they can be dungeons, I wanted tons of natural light to flood the space. Lowe’s installed the door, and I love how it accents the space!

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This room gave me a run for my money. I feel like I say that all the time, but this one really did! I had originally planned to carpet the flooring, but, again, budget dictated I couldn’t. I purchased 3 gallons of porch paint in light gray and gave the floor a face lift. If the new owners want to add carpet or tile or whatever in the future they can, but the painted floor was better than how I found it, and, in this business, sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

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6 thoughts on “Flip 4 Friday Feature: The Basement

  1. The basement is absolutely awesome! The ceiling is my favorite feature. I am into industrial design and when I was reading your post that was the first option that came to mind. It was cool to finish reading and see how you did it. Now if I could just incorporate some industrial design here.

  2. I love what you did with this basement. I would love to do this with my basement ceiling, but here in New England, the ceiling is stuffed with insulation.
    I’m curious, did your basement floor have any cracks? If so, what did you do about them? If not, wow, lucky..again, must be the cold here makes foundations develop hairline cracks.

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