YAY! YAY! It’s reveal day! Finally time to show you the full before and afters and all of the details behind our lower level.
We’ve been working on this space for the past six months, well actually, three years now since we first bought our home. This is phase 4 of 4 and hopefully our last.
This was our fourth and final round of refreshing our lower level since we bought the place exactly three years ago this month. We started designing this final phase this past June in collaboration with Mercury Mosaics, Room & Board, Solid Metal Arts, and ProSource and now come December, we can finally enjoy it…right in time for the holidays and cozy up for the cold winter months ahead here in Minnesota!
But first, let’s rewind back to the before and what took place during the first few phases…
One of the major reasons why we bought our home was because of the space, the potential, and how well it was maintained. And we knew exactly what we were going to do with this lower level area! We just didn’t know how fast we’d be able to do it, due to time and money, which is why we broke it up into multiple phases. We’re a family that loves to entertain and with this open space and blank slate we knew it’d make for the perfect hangout and bar area.
Phase one was new trim and lots and lots of painting and replacing the golden oak trim!
- Walls | White Dove by Benjamin Moore
- Trim | White Dove by Benjamin Moore
- Cabinetry | Naval by Sherwin Williams
One of our favorite features of the home was this entertainment center. It was well built and we knew we didn’t want to demo it out and spend the money installing new cabinetry, but we weren’t fans of the golden oak, so we decided to paint it Naval Blue by Sherwin Williams. We spent less than $200 and it totally transformed the look and feel of the space.
Since we went with a dark and moody cabinetry color, we wanted to brighten up the rest of the space, so we painted all of the walls White Dove by Benjamin Moore and updated all of the golden oak trim with Metrie Complete.
And I’ll be honest, we repainted our walls about five times. Choosing whites and the actual paint brand can be hard! At first we thought we’d just go with an inexpensive paint to save on some costs…and there were blotches all over. Then we thought maybe it was the paint color, so we bought a different color white in that same inexpensive brand and it was too yellow and still didn’t cover. So then we finally went with what we’ve used before in the past and have always loved, White Dove by Benjamin Moore and got it from Sherwin Williams in their Cashmere line. The coverage was great and the color was perfect. And we probably spent more money and time than if we would have just gotten that in the first place.
We loved how it looked, but we still knew we needed something more and that eventually, the bar area would be in this space.
During phase three came the actual bar. When we remodeled our kitchen, the cabinets were in such great shape we knew we could repurpose them to build out our bar. Full blog post on how we repurposed the cabinets and made a basement bar here –> Adding a Bar into our Basement.
We painted the cabinets to match the entertainment center in Naval Blue and we also put together a full blog post from this experience and things we learned through painting cabinetry –> 8 Mistakes to Avoid When Painting your Cabinetry.
We also knew we wouldn’t want carpet in this area, so we tore out the carpet and updated the flooring to a waterproof laminate.
Two years into living in our home and we thought it was complete…but, there was still something missing. It needed a little bit more personality or warmth. What that was we weren’t entirely sure at the time. And we also didn’t want to rush it just to do something, so we took our time and thought on it. And a full year later…
…hello phase four!
And finally, here it is…our last and final phase…fingers crossed.
After our kitchen remodel and absolutely loving not only the process behind our custom tile, but how happy we’ve been in the space since it’s been completed, we thought, well, maybe it would be fun to add some tile love to our bar area! Because after all, tile just doesn’t need to stay in your kitchens and baths and what is one to do with nooks like that?!
So we called up one of our favorite humans, Mercedes, the owner of Mercury Mosaics and she came out to talk through what we could do! (Psst…we’re chatting all about what that process what like in another post, HERE).
What I love about Mercedes is that she wants to know every other detail that will be in the room besides just the tile and then build the tile off of that.
And after many hours of brainstorming and chatting through how we use our space, color pallets we’re loving, textures, designs, the potential…it all quickly led to what other brands and products we should pull in. So we created our game plan and got to work!
I had this vision in my mind of some really cool shelves that I had designed out mentally, but couldn’t find the look or style anywhere. I brought this up to Mercedes and she quickly referred me to Solid Metal Arts, who are makers here in Minneapolis and do welding and metalwork.
We quickly sketched up this vision of what these shelves would look like, we reached out to them with the drawings and they responded that they could whip them up no problem. You can find a full post on what that process looked like HERE.
When the guys behind Solid Metal Arts delivered the shelves to me, I was completely blown away by how perfect they were! I think I screamed when the truck pulled up and he uncovered the goods in the back. Besides the drawings we supplied, these guys didn’t ask one additional question and they were built exactly how we had envisioned them. And the gold powder paint finish was the exact gold I had dreamed of, even better actually.
Next up was the furniture. We sat and talked through how we used our basement space and I talked about how on Saturday nights we usually have all of our friends and family over to watch the live Motocross race and the guys sit on the couch glued to the TV, while us girls are always sitting on the floor or at the bar chatting and playing games.
First, Mercedes brought up…you need a card playing area. Her knowing how talented Jamie is with his carpentry she said, he needs to build a bench, let’s create this nook style area that is so hot right now and that don’t only have to be in kitchens! I was immediately on board and Jamie quickly whipped up the bench-style seating to create this perfect little card-playing nook.
Then we started thinking about the furniture, colors, styles, fabrics, textures…all of it, every little detail and she said, we need to get Room & Board furniture in here. A local brand right here in Minnesota that speaks quality, luxury yet family and timeless comfort.
The only other piece of furniture that we had in our basement was our coach and that was a piece that was from Room & Board that we had gotten years ago and has stood the test of time so we couldn’t have thought of a better brand to ask to partner with us on this space when we’re already customers that love and believe in their product.
Working with the Room & Board team was such an awesome experience! We talked through what we were doing to the space and some of the products we loved and they were on board!
One of the first things we were searching for and chose was the round table. We knew we needed a small enough table to fit the space without overwhelming it but also large enough to do some good card playing!
Room & Board recently started carrying Mercury Mosaics tile within their Doro End Tables. When Mercedes showed me these online, I knew I had to have them. And I can’t tell you how much better they look in person than online. Not only the looks but the quality is top-notch. The metal fabrication is amazing, super sturdy and on top of that, I even spilled a glass of red wine on the white one and was terrified that the wine would stain the grout lines and after wiping it up, there wasn’t one speck of color variation.
Another piece we chose, for a busy family with two boys that love to still play in this space, was the Dodd Leather Storage Ottoman. While I thought this would be filled with toys, the boys have loved more to play hide and go seek in it, haha!
Then we landed our sites on the Cowhide Round Ottoman and fell in love! It was the perfect piece to add in a little fun style to the space yet still keeping it classy.
Since Jamie was making the bench around the two sides, we thought it would be fun to incorporate some fun ottomans instead of adding traditional chairs or stools. And we love how it brought it all together and also that we can just push the ottomans around when we’re looking for additional seating around the couch and TV area.
And the last pieces of furniture we sourced from Room & Board were our incredible barstools! We chose their Lira barstools in cashew leather. I was debating between a few and as their team helped me solidify the choice when asking which they would choose they said, “the color combination of dark navy and camel colored leather is a gorgeous combination that you often see in luxury vehicles…” And I couldn’t have agreed more once I got them in hand and down into the basement. The color, texture, and feel was perfect for the space to bring it that perfect touch of warmth, comfort and luxury.
Once we had the shelves designed out and the furniture sourced, Ashley Mary popped into our minds! I have been a long-time admirer of hers, but yet had never pulled the trigger to buy a piece. But after a deep and meaningful conversation with Mercedes she said, her art will complete it and I agreed!
So I went to Ashley’s studio and couldn’t make up my mind! Usually, I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl and I don’t overthink much of anything. But with her talent, I was debating between a few prints. Once I got it narrowed down to two, I asked our readers on Instagram what they thought would look best and this was the winner! (Also the print that I didn’t think would win, ha!) So I bought it and it mixed in with the elements in the rest of the space perfectly.
We also decided to swap out our beverage fridge for a legit dual zone french door wine and beverage cooler with Zephyr. Jamie’s a beer guy and I’m a wine gal and we could never get our temperatures just right with our previous fridge. With Zephyr’s new dual-zone cooler, we both now have our own sides. I think it looks pretty sleek too if you ask me!
Once we knew the shelving, furniture, and artwork, the tile elves at Mercury Mosaics got to work to make us a true one of a kind custom tile backsplash. You can find the full blog post behind the process of designing this custom backsplash HERE but after a few design iterations and back and forths here’s what they came up with!
Nine different colors went into this backsplash, pulling all the elements from the deep and moody colors we brought into the space – blues from our cabinetry, greens from our bathroom, whites from the walls, grays from the countertops and steel from the metals.
With every project and every conversation I have with Mercedes, she’s always educating me on something new. And within this project when it came to the tile design she said that the herringbone pattern is a classic design that will always be in style. Some of the most renowned places around the world have herringbone designs within their spaces. There’s something quite romantic and dreamy about this pattern. Even though it looks fancy it’s quite easy to create.
One of the major reasons why we had a little slow in our roll with this project was mid-summer we got water damage! We’re still unsure of what the cause was but we were thankful we put that waterproof laminate flooring in the bar area the year prior! But the carpet had to go and trim had to be re-replaced, which was fine because the carpet had seen better days.
Thanks to ProSource we chose their line of Reistsa Plus H2O in the color, silk. Full blog post on that process and why we chose what we did, HERE. But in a nutshell, we went with this product and line because it’s waterproofed, and we couldn’t have thought of anything better for our basement that just had water damage. And especially with kids, we wanted something that would be waterproof for them as well. So the cool thing is that with this new technology that Resista Plus offers, NOTHING gets underneath the carpet…regardless if it’s water, red wine, dust or dead skin cells. It all stays above until it’s cleaned up and will not seep through.
Now that the hard work is done, let the card-playing, hanging out, entertaining, and making lots and lots of memories begin!!
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table | shelves (custom design) | handmade tile (custom design) | wine & beverage cooler | bench (c2s custom built) | leather storage ottoman | cowhide ottoman | smaller end table | larger end table | bar stools | wall art (custom) | pillows | gold stemless champagne flutes | moscow mule cups | large terra cotta pot | small terra cotta pot | ferns | laminate flooring | carpet | cabinetry gold hardware | sconce lighting