After our chat about un-wintering last week, I wanted to share a spot in our home that got seriously brightened up – Our basement. We did this project a few years ago, but it is such a great example of what some decluttering and painting can do to revive a space.

Our basement is divided into two sections, one side just a little bigger than the other. We have a generously sized laundry and storage area, and a finished side that we just love. 

When we first moved to our small house, we had a serious problem. Thinking we did such a great job purging before we moved from our big house, we had an enormous pile of stuff that landed in the basement. I’m telling you, it was embarrassing! We had to do another purge just to get through it, another couple to get it to a reasonable amount, another when we painted downstairs, and another when we moved into the studio. More things will probably accumulate over time, as it does, but I think we are finally in a good place in the basement.

Because we spent so much time purging we didn’t really notice how drab the basement was. As we cleared away the stuff, we really saw that the walls were painted a color that can best be described as dark cream. Not a dark color, just a dark cream color. There were also some spots that were painted a dark gray for accent. Both of these colors seemed to suck the light right out of the space, and in a basement, you need all the light you can get.

First up was getting the fireplace ready. I didn’t even tell you about that yet. The bricks were such a drab color that we knew we wanted to get those covered somehow, and the more coverage, the better.

So out came the Kilz.

It is recommended to use primer first if there is any staining from soot. We didn’t want anything messing up our lovely paint job, least of all show-through black soot.

It covered like a champ. Yay!

Oh – So much better looking already. You can see that gray above the mantle that was not helping the brightness case.

After the primer dried for a week, we were so ready to get the rest of the basement brightened up. 

We decided to paint the entire place the same color. The fireplace, the ceiling, the walls and the trim. It is Bistro White (Valspar) and is the same color as the trim and ceilings in the rest of the house. 

We did flat for the ceiling, satin for the walls and fireplace and semi-gloss for the trim.

Between Hero and I, we had two trays going at all times. He usually does ceiling and I usually do trim. And we share the walls. We just kept rotating what we were doing and switching up trays, rollers and brushes. Amazingly we did not get anything mixed up.

What a difference – we love it! It all looks so clean and bright. With everything the same color, the space really opens up. We needed that since there are so many different things going on – three slightly different ceiling heights, corner fireplace and a post right in the middle of the room.


After. Here is where we landed after all the paint supplies were put away.

And here is where we are today.

It really made a huge difference on the brightness and feel down here. More open, less light-sucking cave like.

And can’t forget the Murphy Bed!

Thanks for sharing the tour and the trip down memory lane with me. It’s funny how we forget the way things used to be. I love that it doesn’t take much to get things to a place that gives off all the good vibes!



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