A Basement Refresh

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Has your home ever felt finished? Truly finished, as in there were no more rooms left to decorate, no bathrooms in need of renovating, with even the landscaping established and lush? I feel like that state of home bliss is a unicorn; you want to believe it’s out there but you’re not quite convinced.
So it is with our basement. With a whole house to redecorate, we haven’t really done anything with this space since we moved in two years ago. I think most basements fall to the bottom of the priority pile. Money is better spent on kitchens and living rooms that we use daily and where we entertain guests. But basements? They can become homes for leftover furniture, unpacked boxes, and all the useful but mismatched things that don’t fit anywhere else. 
It was time to give our basement a refresh. I did just that, with little expense and just a few clever decorating changes.

The Before

basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room
Here’s what the basement has looked like for the last few years. This side is the lounge area. It’s where we have movie night, play video games, and where I’ll sit occasionally to leaf through my magazines.
basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room
Can you tell we just moved things from our old house, plopped them down here, and called the room ‘done!’? Let’s see if you noticed all these things that are wrong with the room:
– the rug is too small
– the painting is too small and hung too high (on an existing nail, ha!)
– the sofa is squeezed into the corner
– the dresser looks bare
– the wicker ottomans, while awesome looking, are almost 10 years old and are not great for sitting
– there is no design scheme and the colours and decor look… boring!
basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room
There’s also all this unused space behind the ottomans. The fireplace is a great feature to have but it kicks out a lot of heat and we don’t use it too often. And don’t get me started on the paint colour, the fireplace rock, and the black zone of tv and electronics. I have plans to make all of those things more attractive when we do a bigger basement renovation down the road but for now, they’re livable and functioning.
basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room
On the other side of the room is Chloe’s play area. We generally keep this area open so she has room to play on the floor with her dolls and LEGO – and of course do some gymnastics 😉 We moved the tufted ottoman to the basement for extra seating over the holidays and the striped pouf is one Chloe likes to sink into.
diy dollhouse, ikea dollhouse, ikea Ivar hack, american girl dollhouse
Sean built the dollhouse for Chloe out of two IKEA Ivar 2 section storage units. I do love it (it has shingles, siding, and a matching dog house!) but sadly, I think we’re almost at the end of our doll-playing years 🙁 Eventually, I’d love to turn this part of the basement into a cool tween hangout.
basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room
I know… things are looking a little chaotic down here. But with just a few design tweaks, this basement is looking like a new space!

The After

basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room
basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room
Doesn’t this room feel refreshed??

Let’s look at some of the small but impactful changes…
basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room
The first change was switching out the rug. We’ve had this jute chenille rug for years, most recently in our dining room. The larger size helps anchor this side of the room and define the space. The neutral colour tones down the scheme while the subtle herringbone pattern adds texture. Eventually, I want a more coastal look for the entire basement to match the new craft room, and this rug helps convey that feeling.
HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair
HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair
Another significant change was the addition of a pair of Modern Accent Chairs from HomePop.  Not only do they provide extra seating, but the clean lines and grey colour tie in beautifully with our existing IKEA Karlstad sofa.
HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair
HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair
HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair
I’ve enjoyed working with HomePop over the last year and have incorporated quite a few HomePop products into my home. I am consistently impressed by the quality of their products. This chair in particular has gorgeous stitching on the arms and the box cushions are nice and strudy but not too stiff. As well, as an online shopper, I appreciate that most of the furniture comes fully assembled!
One particular feature of these chairs made them a must-have for our basement…
They’re on a swivel base!
They twirl around easily and are super lightweight and easy to move around. It’s great to have the option to have the chairs facing the tv, each other, the fireplace…

HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair

or towards the play area. It gives Chloe and friends a place to sit, and its easy for us to spin around if Chloe wants to show us her latest gymnastics moves. Which happens frequently!
HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair

HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair

The swivel chair + wicker ottoman + personal bowl of popcorn makes for the ultimate movie night.

HomePop swivel chair, modern swivel chair, grey swivel chair, movie night, family night

Aside from the chairs, a few other details really helped create a more cohesive style in this space. 
I added in a side table beside the sofa. I used one we had on hand and it’s a tad short, but for now, it does a great job. We also needed a table lamp down here (the recessed potlights can be so harsh) and this one makes for more pleasant reading.

basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room, karlstad sofa

basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living roombasement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room, blue orange accessories
basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room, coastal vignette, teal dresser, large round mirror over dresser

I brought in more of that coastal feel with blue and white accents around the room, punctuated with bold hits of orange. I’m not normally an orange person but I do love it paired with blue.
The dresser is one which we repainted years ago. Chloe and I went through her plastic bins of toys and gave away many of the toys she had outgrown. Now this dresser is filled with the board games, craft kits, books, and puzzles that she still uses.
The dresser has given me another surface to decorate and I’ve taken full advantage of it! Surprisingly, all of the accessories were things I already had so this little vignette cost me $0.

basement update, budget basement makeover, basement living room, coastal vignette, teal dresser, large round mirror over dresser

I love how the orange vase on the dresser ties in with the orange artwork.

Seeing how easily this room came together, I wonder why it took me so long. Just because a room is temporary, and you’ve got bigger renovations planed in the future, doesn’t mean you need to settle for a mediocre design right now. All it took was some amazing new chairs and redecorating with things I already had to give our family a whole new space to enjoy.

Disclosure: This conversation was sponsored by HomePop. Thank you for supporting the brands whose quality products I bring into my own home.

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