A Change in Plans for the Basement Walls

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

If you've been following along on the longest basement renovation project of all time, you may recall that the last pictures I shared of our basement were of freshly dry-walled, primed, and painted walls. The top half of the walls were painted in Benjamin Moore's Silver Satin, and the bottom half of the walls were painted in Benjamin Moore's Simply White. At the time I was pretty dead set on having board and batten style wainscoting all throughout the basement.

Ahem. Change of plans.

The sudden change of plans happened when I submitted a photo of our fireplace to the lovely Layla at The Lettered Cottage. I was really hoping she could work some of her Photoshop magic to help me visualize how we could create a mantle surrounding a freestanding wood-look stove (you can read the post about that dilemma here).

Layla's Photoshop mock up was pretty awesome. She threw me for quite the loop though because I was not expecting either of her main suggestions! She suggested that instead of making a traditional mantle we use vertical paneling on the whole fireplace surround. She also suggested that we ditch the wainscoting for fully painted walls to make the basement appear taller.

{Check out the before and after inspiration pictures here in Layla's Pick My Presto post. So fun!}

It was hilarious when Alex read Layla's suggestions. He pretty much did the biggest happy-I-told-you-so-dance I've ever seen. You see, with so much finishing work still left to do in the basement, he was really overwhelmed with the idea of adding a huge wainscoting project to the list. It's also not the easiest space to work in since there are posts to work around, about ten thousand outlets and speaker holes to allow for, and lots of inconsistencies in wall depths and heights. 

So, as soon as he heard these words utter my lips, "Hmmmm, maybe Layla is right", he ran downstairs and repainted the basement walls before I could blink. What a guy.

Now we have all of the walls painted in Silver Satin by Benjamin Moore. 

Here is a most recent progress picture:

I'm absolutely loving how things are coming together. Now, I most definitely need to come back and explain why I haven't shared more basement progress pictures (ahem, floors!?! ahem, trim!?!? ahem, frosted french doors1?!?).

I also plan to share a few more changes we've made to our original plan in order to simplify things and, well, speed 'em up a little too!


In other news, the things my little stinker says / does are becoming more and more hilarious by the day. I know everyone says this about their kids but man, he is such a funny little character! And if you couldn't tell from the picture, he has been taking his pirate duties very seriously these days.


I have no idea why I just wrote that. ;)


  1. Your basement looks beautiful! I love it!

  2. Enjoyed seeing the PhotoShopped idea overlaid over the existing look. Very cool. Going to be a beautiful space when finished, whichever ideas you go with!

    1. Thank you so much, Elaine! We're still deciding about the fireplace, but I'm happy to follow Layla's suggestion about the walls. :)

  3. Hi Sarah, I still drop by for a visit but I don't comment very often. Absolutely love Layla's idea for the basement. Your little man has grown so much. Keep working on your house, I love the pictures. XO Donna from Australia

    1. Thanks so much for commenting today Donna! Things are speeding up a little with our baby #2 deadline approaching fast. Hopefully I'll have more pictures to share soon. :)

  4. I love the picture of Cooper! He takes pirating (not a word but it fits here!) very seriously. The basement is going to be fabulous when finished. It looks so bright down there. Great job and I love the fireplace inspiration by Layla. That gal is full of wonderful ideas.

  5. Hi Sarah! My name is Rhonda and I've been dropping by your blog from time to time over the past year or two because I love your style! LOVE the idea that Layla gave you for your basement! I think I also would have wanted to do wainscoating or board & batten up half the wall - but after seeing Layla's photo, I totally love the accent on the fireplace and one paint color on all the walls and think you should go that route!
    Also, just wanted to let you know how much I love your blog! You are great a photography and I love the light and bright feel of your house! And Cooper is stinkin' adorable! Please keep sharing!

  6. It looks lovely already and Layla's suggestions will be beautiful!

  7. I just came across this post and love it! I have a similar basement and the previous owners installed oak stained wainscotting on the bottom half and an ugly wallpaper on top. Not sure we can remove the current wainscotting but I totally LOVE what Layla suggested for you! I agree that the one color will make everything seem taller/bigger - but I never would have thought of it on my own, either! And that accent wall....to die for! You've given me many ideas for myown basement now...and for a wall on my main floor :) Can't wait to follow along as you finish!

  8. I love the wall color! So clean and bright, with a touch of warmth! Nice baseboard choice as well. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  9. Love the basement!!!! What color / brand are those floors?? I love them!

    1. Hi Jessica, we used laminate flooring in our basement. The exact brand color is: Quick-Step Reclaime - Mocha Oak. We purchased ours locally but there is a link to the same product available online:


      I hope that helps. :)

    2. Oops, sorry about all of the typos! Lol!


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