You know, when I bought my house 8 years ago, I really, really should have taken pictures of every single room since I knew that I was going to be re-doing all of them (1961 house with some super 1970's updates...then, time capsule until I came along). So, sadly, I do not have a picture of what my basement looked like the first time I saw it: Imagine, basement with 7 foot ceilings, dark brown paneling on 3 of the 4 walls, dark brown doors to closets, original single-pane windows and wait for it...shag carpet in multi-hues of avocado, orange and brown. And as a bonus, a sweet U-shaped built-in that included brown painted cabinets with floor vinyl as the desktop and even better, a seating area with pumpkin orange velour cushions. Yup, I'm pretty sure that this space (along with the avocado green kitchen) is the reason my house sat vacant for 9 months before I came along. The house did get its crazy carpet replaced with el-cheapo cream colored carpet by the seller before I moved in.
So, for a couple years the basement was just a "open door, toss down there and ignore" kind of space. Then I bought new furniture upstairs and thought, hey, its probably time to make the basement part of my living space.
Phase I: This is my first basement remodeling, which wasn't too bad (and I lived with it this way for about 4 years). I primed the dark brown paneling (about 4 coats of Kilz), filled in all the grooves with drywall mud, sanded, sprayed with Orange Spray texture, painted with the $5 mismixed paint from Smith's Marketplace. Really, not a bad re-do for under $50 (I also painted the built in desk cream and slipcovered the orange velour).
My brother had lived with me for a little over a year and the basement definately had a "guys room" feel (smell) to it when he left. I had never been a fan of the carpet and I knew I wanted to get more energy efficient windows, and THEN the water heater decided to leak all over the storage room--so I thought, now is the time to change it all.
1. Move out all the furniture (for a room that didn't look like it had much in it, sure had to move lots of stuff)
3. Convince neighbor with a truck to drive to Home Depot to pick up the new sliding glass door with you.
4. I found an inspiring picture in a magazine that had board and batten wainscotting which I decided was perfect for my room. I went back and forth about taking out the filled in paneling and replacing it with sheetrock, but after much debating, I decided to leave the paneling. The board and batten is just MDF that I cut into 3 inch strips and the baseboard is 5" MDF pre-primed trim that I got at Lowe's (much less than at HD). My Dad and brother (who just happened to be in town that day) decided to help me out by attaching the boards to the wall. Need a tutorial? House of Smith's has a great one.
5. Caulk, more caulk and then paint, paint, paint. (lower walls: Kilz Shaved Coconut upper walls: Kilz Dusty Road)
6. The built in bench with the old orange cushions got removed to leave me more floor space for fun stuff like yoga or movie watching :)
I took the doors off the built-in desk and glued on 2" poplar trim (from HD) to give it a more interesting profile. New hardware from Smith's Marketplace.