Before and Afters Triangle House

Family Room Renovation

Happy April! Spring is here and I am sooo ready for the warm-up! One good thing about the cold season is, it lets us dedicate our time to indoor projects without being interrupted with grass cutting and yard work. Another one of our projects that we completed (95%) of is the family room, basement area. (Warning – Image heavy blog ahead!)

This was a project heavy area. Not just the basics cosmetic renovations but furniture and fireplace restorations, wall closure and electrical upgrades. So we began the family room journey in June of 2018. Right in the thick of yard work season!

Did you see it? Dark, dingy and moldy. Everything was brown! The walls were a mix of 1970’s paneling and aged cedar. Loved the cedar, hated the paneling. The ceilings were adorned with wood beams which were a keeper. They were about the only pleasing things going in this space. The next room beyond the opening is the bar. We have renovated the bar but that’ll be for another blog. So, here is a breakdown of all the projects we completed for the family room:

  • New drywall, paint for walls
  • New waterproof vinyl flooring
  • Widen wall space for tv or narrowed doorway to bar area
  • Paint existing floor tiles
  • Refurbish wood stove
  • Whitewash brick
  • A few furniture restorations
  • Install lighting
  • Refurbish steps

We began with closing in the dividing wall separating the family room and bar. We made the decision to install a door for heat preservation reasons. The wood stove in the basement works REALLY well. A bar is really only used for parties so no need to heat that space, hence a door. Because we are extending the wall, we decided to use half of the cedar for the material needed.

Again we had our awesome drywall friend come and do the finishing work and an electrician installed some lighting in the basement. While the ceiling was open, Yuri took advantage and ran the lines necessary for future electrical projects for the sunroom and man cavish ceiling speakers.

Then it was showtime for me, the painter of the house. Other than painting and priming the drywall, I painted the cedar using the same technique that was done in the living room. The basement was screaming to be lightened up! And what’s lighter than white? I think any wood that’s shiplapped or grooved looks best when white.

The staircase was an easier feat compared to the first floor steps. The wood was in fairly good condition. I didn’t really appreciate the previous owner using white caulk in the nail holes instead of wood filler…huh? That was a bit of a challenge to remove. Other than that, it needed some sanding and staining.

The fireplace was a two part job. First refurbishing “the beast”, our wood stove, and then whitewashing the brick. When we first viewed the house, I hated that wood stove! It was ugly, humongous and dated. That perspective all changed when I saw or better yet felt the heat output on that baby! It heats the entire house. Nevertheless, it stays and is now lovingly called “The Beast”. I gave it a makeover by scrubbing off some rust, cleaning it thoroughly and giving it a new paint job using high heat spray paint. The brick was the next thing to be lightened up with a whitewash of half water and half paint.

The Beast
The start of something beautiful

Now that the walls were all done and done, time for flooring. We decided on vinyl planking because they’re easy to install, look like wood, are very durable and waterproof. Lumber Liquidators is our favorite go to place for flooring (no affiliate association). We just like the quality, selections and prices.

Pandora on blast

Now…what to do about that brown tile? Well, contrary to some of my family members loving the 1970’s atrocity, we couldn’t get down with it. At the time our family room budget was thinning out. So instead of taking up and laying down new tile, I came up with the idea to paint it. WHAT!? Paint floor tile? Yes, you can. I researched about every tutorial on painting floor tiles, then dove in head first! I used three coats of shellac primer followed by two coasts of garage floor paint and then two coast of garage floor sealer. I then applied a decorative stencil to some areas using caulk paint.

So far it’s been holding up to the abuse of 2 kids a husband and dog. The only thing I really don’t like is the grey color (garage paint doesn’t have many options). The grey isn’t the correct shade. Also, the sealer is a little too muted for my liking even though satin was used. Later we will be taking it up and retiling but this is a good solution for our current budget.

There were also smaller things we had to fix, change, paint, pluck and scoot. Plus a couple of furniture restorations. Here’s what we have today:

Before

Dark and gloomy. But Hey! There’s a colorful blue ball!

After

Before

After

Before

Stairway to the little devil dog.

After

Before

After

Before

“The Beast”

After

Turned Beauty
Painted and stenciled tile
Canal driftwood

Bright and airy…how I like it!! We have a few more smaller projects to complete in the family room like trim, transitions and building a bookshelf surrounding the window in the back. I love how it doesn’t really feel like a basement because of the natural light that floods in from outside. Sometimes when I’m upstairs it looks like someone left the lights on in the basement.

Other than the complete renovation of the space, a few furniture restorations were done. The tv stand was a facebook marketplace find for $60. The seller was a little dishonest when I asked her if it was solid wood. Turns out its pressed wood but I got it anyway because we needed something in that space soon. I had the girls help me in giving it a paint makeover, priming and brightening it up with a pretty blue.

Before

After

The other update are two mid-century chairs I purchased off Craigslist. I love mid-century furniture but often its pretty pricey. I ran across these sisters and swiped them up. They were in bad shape as the owner had them outside! It took a lot of sanding to get rid of the dirt and old poly and get back down to the beautiful original wood. I decided to just seal them without staining. They did not come with cushions, wait yes they did! Patio cushions. Well, that’s not gonna work! So I got some cushions custom made for the chairs and the seating rewebbed.

Before

Sanded on left. Original on right

After

Now we spend a good amount of time in the basement for movie nights, playing games and Yuri’s favorite place to escape for a nap after work. It’s come a long way from the dark, moldy dungeon it was and is now comfortable and cozy! More renovations to come in the lower level.

3 Comment

  1. You and your husband have done a beautiful job on your family room.
    Can’t wait to see it. πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸŒΉπŸ˜Š

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