Basement Bathrooms Laundry Room Play Room Studio

The (Mostly) Finished Basement

Ta da! Does it suddenly feel like December again? Because that’s when all of this was supposed to be finished. Here’s the floor plan:

Let’s head down the stairs to take a look around.

And now a before:

And after:



That’s as good as it gets for empty basement ‘before and after’ photos, because once we reached this stage we started moving in all of our stuff. Witness, we couldn’t even wait at this point to start filling up the storage area.

The play space used to look like this:

Now it’s a play room, and it looks like this:

And of course, we have the bathroom and laundry room sneak peeks you’ve already seen:

Our house feels so much bigger now. I think we added about 600 sq. ft. of living space to our existing 1400. Now it’s on to the fun part: decorating it!

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  • Mandy Ford
    March 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    It looks amazing! Love the green floor!

  • Beth
    March 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Can’t wait to see it once it’s decorated! It’s already come so far. :)

    • Andrea K
      March 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      agreed, looks just lovely!

  • Cristina
    March 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Amazing! It looks wonderful!

  • jen {das sushi}
    March 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Congratulations! It’s all so pretty. And it must REALLY feel like you added a-whole-nother floor to the house. Because, well, I guess you did…

  • April
    March 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    It looks SO good! You should be proud.

  • Danielle
    March 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm


    I love the green floors.

  • Patti
    March 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Like a fresh piece of Spring! Enjoy :)

  • kristen f davis
    March 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    wow! it looks so great – love the colors. can’t wait to see what you do with it – i know it’ll be amazing.

  • tracy
    March 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    wow fantastic work! I can’t WAAAAAAAAAIT to see what you do to the play room.

  • Erika
    March 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    It’s starting to look really fabulous. The colors are great and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  • onestorybuilding
    March 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Super lovely, Nicole! I love the blue door!

  • Kerry @ First Time Fancy
    March 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I love all of the colours! So fabulous… and looks like it was well worth the wait! :)

  • Karen @Sugarspicelivin
    March 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Wowza. Awesome. Totally worth the hard work. Great job.

  • nikki
    March 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Wow! It really looks wonderful! The colors are so cheerful and clean! Great job!

  • Ashlea Walter
    March 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    ooh la la. Love it all, but I especially love the green stairs! What a taste of spring today.

  • donaville
    March 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    phenomenal space! can’t wait to see all your decorating touches.

  • Arin
    March 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm


  • Alice
    March 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I love it! The blue door in your laundry room makes me smile every time – I think I need to paint something around my house soon…

  • Frances Bentley
    March 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Oh man, I’ve been so eager for this reveal you’d think it was my basement. Amazing! Love the colors and those stairs are GREAT!!

  • Redlilocks {Swoon Worthy}
    March 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    It looks amazing already and the olives and yellows are two of my favourite colours (and are being worked into my own home’s colour palette)… can’t wait to see what is to come!

  • Gina
    March 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    HURRY AND DECORATE!! We can hardly wait!

  • Kara
    March 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    It looks great! I am sooo jealous. The floors look so smooth. Did you have them re-poured or repaired in some way before painting?

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      Yes, they were ground down in spots, repaired, and smoothed out during the remodeling process.

  • Carla
    March 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I have serious basement envy, no such thing in California, and could I ever use more space. It already looks great, can’t wait to see it all decorated.

  • MJ @ viva la vida
    March 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    wow!! now i want a house with a basement!!! it looks amazing!

  • Lisa
    March 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Oh! I think my heart skipped a beat!

  • Jenny Joy
    March 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    So pretty! I, too, LOVE the green floor. It absolutely gives me hope that we can actually finish our basement, too.

  • Elizabeth
    March 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Holy smokes, it looks fantastic. The color on the floor matches the color of my envy. It doesn’t look like a basement at all. Well done!

  • Brianna
    March 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    this looks amazing!

  • Joy_UK
    March 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Oh WOW that is AMAZING!

    You use colour in such a fun and beautiful way. I wish I had the same courage and just went for it LOL I love colour but I am so afraid to use it yet.

    Well done it looks wonderful I can’t wait to see it all decorated. :)

  • Felicity @ Our Little Beehive
    March 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    It looks lovely! I’m so excited to get started on our basement, but really not looking forward to the mess. We’re going to have to bring everything upstairs…and that’s a lot of stuff!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      We rented a storage unit for the duration of the remodel. We still ended up with a lot of stuff upstairs though — which really drove me crazy (especially during the nesting phase of my pregnancy).

  • Judith
    March 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I’m so excited to see what it looks like finished. It almost feels like my basement was done over. I’m poor and in college, so I live vicariously through blogs like yours!

  • Jana
    March 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Wow! It looks fab…I know there was a lot more that went into it than just paint, but I am constantly amazed at the transformative power of color!

  • Leigh Anne
    March 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    So I’ve never posted before but have been reading religiously for a very long time. I totally laughed out loud (literally) when you originally posted about the basement remodel and your planned finish date :)

    It looks great and I can’t wait to see it fully operational!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Oh, I know. I thought the contractor’s original estimate was a bit optimistic, but I didn’t think it would take THIS long.

  • Danielle
    March 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Gorgeous! I am in awe! We have a finished basement in our 1940 bungalow, but it looks nothing like that! I can’t wait to see the end result!

  • Caro
    March 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    This is beautiful! It makes me wish I had a basement because now I see that they don’t always have to be creepy xD

    I can’t wait to see the finished result. Knowing you and your sense of style it will be gorgeous!

  • Ivana
    March 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm


  • Mike @HA
    March 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    It’s looking so good! We’re starting our basement reno next month and it’s such a sigh of relief to see that basements can look great when it’s all done. How do you like the glass block? We’re debating changing our old windows to glass block.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      I don’t mind it (and I thought I would). The privacy and security is nice, and we still have plenty of light coming through.

  • j9gini
    March 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Amazing! Can I ask what the flooring material is? I’m doing basement reno now and it is very similar in layout!

  • Maggie
    March 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    This is so nicely done, and so cheery! I’m househunting now and have seen more awful basement reno’s than I can count – how refreshing to see a great one!

  • amber
    March 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    wow! it looks amazing!! (& it makes me really sad that i don’t have a basement!!)

  • Dana @ House*Tweaking
    March 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    It looks so fun and playful! Love, love, LOVE the painted floors. Can’t wait to follow along as you get to the ‘good stuff.’

  • Mig
    March 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Fantastic space!

  • Alicia
    March 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I’m curious about your floors too? Did you repour, paint and seal? They look great!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      The floor was ground down in some areas, cracks were repaired, and then the floor was leveled in low spots. Then the whole thing was painted.

  • Diana Smith
    March 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I like what you have done so far! The lighting looks great for a basement! Very bright!

  • stephanie
    March 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Amazing! It looks wonderful.

  • jbhat
    March 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Holy Macaroni. What an incredible transformation. Hooray for you guys! WOW.

  • Houndstooth and Nail
    March 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Its looking really good! I can’t wait for the photos of it all done up! I am so jealous of people with basements, we don’t have them in FL.

  • creatissimo
    March 15, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Wow, this looks like a mirakle!! I love it and I love the green color! A perfect creative space! Go, girl!!

  • The Ravenna Girls
    March 15, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    This looks so good! Renovating is such hard business, having to live with all that dust and debris – but now comes the fun part. Can’t wait to follow along!

  • Lizzy
    March 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Fantastic! I’m sure you improved the value of your home significantly – in addition to creating wonderful spaces for your family to live.

  • ohbrooke
    March 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Congrats, it looks really amazing. You must be falling in love with your house all over again! {and sidenote: you should have won that Home Depot money, but glad you were able to do the remodel regardless}. Jealous of your adorable new space!

  • Kendra
    March 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Nicole! The basement looks amazing! I LOVE the floors. My folks just went through a major renovation, so I have an idea of how awesome it is to see things mostly finished. Congratulations on getting to the fun part!

  • Lea
    March 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    This is simply amazing! I don’t comment much but I HAD to commend you on this spectacular transformation! I simply adore the floor color.

  • Justine @ you're so martha
    March 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Love the green floors. Can’t wait to see it decorated!

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators
    March 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    What a transformation! Well done guys. It is so much more functional, bright, and cheery! I’m totally envious, especially of that playroom. How lucky you are to have a place for the kids to be kids.

  • Emily
    March 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Nicole, the basement looks amazing!

  • Natalie
    March 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Wow, that is amazing! Can’t wait to see it all decorated! :)

  • Aurelia
    March 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    The basement looks awesome! Totally transformed! Great job!

  • Sonja
    March 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Congratulations! You did a fabulous job. The space looks great.

  • Sari
    March 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I stumbled on your blog while looking for design inspiration for our new house. Our house was built in the same era as yours and we have a similar unfinished basement. How did you get the windows down there? And, does it smell “basement-y”?

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      The windows were already in place, we just replaced them with glass block. And no, there’s no musty basement smell (we’re lucky to never have had water issues down there).

  • Sierra
    March 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Oh yay, it looks fantastic Nicole!!

  • May
    March 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    What a lovely transformation! I can’t wait until I get to see how you style the rooms!

    Oh! And I think you already have a gorgeous elephant pendant, but I saw this on etsy, thinking it was adorable and thought of your love of elephants!

  • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
    March 16, 2011 at 12:56 am

    WoW! The green floor looks so pretty. It is lovelier than I imagined it could be from the bits and pieces. Fantastic job. I can’t wait to see some “stuff” in it . . .

  • Sara Spencer
    March 16, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Your basement looks so fantastic! I really enjoy visiting your blog and seeing the progress. I gain so much inspiration from this and it has me itching to make my own home a lovely spot. =)

  • Allison
    March 16, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Wow! This is just an incredible transformation. Were the windows already there or did you add those? It looks so bright and inviting now!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      The windows were there already. They’re hard to see in the ‘before’ photos because I took those at night, but they’re there.

  • mribaro
    March 16, 2011 at 3:47 am

    The green stairs are gorgeous, cheerful and inviting! And please do add a hand rail to them for safety (or two handrails – one for grownups and a lower one for the little ones :)). The rest of the basement is heaven – looking forward to seeing it decorated your style.

  • M
    March 16, 2011 at 4:32 am

    your blog is so nice dear!!

  • Ashley @
    March 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Looks great!

  • Elle {SWITCHEROOm}
    March 16, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Ohh I love the green floors!

    That’s a whole new apartment down your basement! Have fun decorating your new space.

  • Jordan@the2seasons
    March 16, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Looks great and i think the green floors make it. What a fun thing for a basement.

  • Valentina
    March 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

    The basement looks SUPER! Great transformation ;)

  • Katie
    March 16, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Oh, it’s looking so beautiful! You must be thrilled at the progress!

  • TeresaFisher
    March 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

    You are so amazing. Your new 600sq’ looks absolutely lovely.

  • Erika
    March 16, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Wow! Totally worth the wait, I’m sure.

  • luuvely
    March 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

    love the colors…more space!! :)

  • Kellie
    March 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

    It looks amazing!!! I really love the green floors especially the shot of looking down on the stairs. Wonderful!!

  • Kim at Yellow Brick Home
    March 16, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Most definitely LOVELY! And the colors are super fun and spunky. Love.

  • Carolyn
    March 16, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Wowzers! It doesn’t even look like the same space. How inspiring!

  • Hollyp
    March 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Fabulous work! Envy of your gorgeous new space has made me as green as the basement floor.

    One question I’m hoping you might be able to answer in a future post is how you anticipate controlling the noise level when the kids are in the playroom adn you are working in the studio.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Er, I don’t anticipate controlling the noise. I’m just happy to have a space where they kiddos can be near while I’m working.

  • Denise
    March 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    me encanto!! aca en Argentina no solemos tener esos espacios.. seria tan lindo!

  • CrystalC2B
    March 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I can’t wait to see how you set up the studio in the basement Nicole! Such a lovely space for you and the kiddos.

  • Paula/adhocmom
    March 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    We just bought a house with a finished basement but this kind of makes want to completely do the basement. .

  • Marcia V. of Precious Style
    March 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    That has got to be the most cheerful basement I have ever seen, and that’s before decorations. Yep, that’s talent you’ve got there Lady.

  • Debbie
    March 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Amazing makeover! Hard to believe it is the same space. I love the fresh colors!

  • Kelly
    March 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    It’s fantasik! So inspiring! Love before and afters! AND love all your color!
    Happy Spring!

  • Agnes
    March 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    We have a bright light blue door as well and I wish every day that I had painted it that way even sooner it makes our home so happy and fresh.

  • alison at refurnished living
    March 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Wow – wow – wow. These after pics make me happy- so bright and cheerful. Do you really have windows in your basement?

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Yes, they’re just above the foundation level. We replaced the original windows with glass block, but the openings were already there.

  • Down Comforter
    March 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    WOWZASSSS! How long did that take to renovate the basement?! It looks remarkable

    • Making it Lovely
      March 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      It took FOREVER. (Forever = 5 months. But it felt like a long time.)

  • Glenda
    March 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    love it so far. can’t wait to see after you’ve decorated! amazing!

  • Mama B
    March 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Love your blog and congrats on the great work that you have done to date. I am going through exactly the same thing as you except we are in France! I’m desperate to get one of my rooms finished.

  • Michelle
    March 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I LOVE that you painted the floors! And green! So amazing.

  • Lilly
    March 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    It’s HUGE!! I can’t wait to see it decorated!!! Post pics please! Though I’m sure you will make it lovely! ha! unintentional pun but so true! xoxo

  • katiedid
    March 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Just fantastic! We added 900 square feet by digging out our basement….so worth it! I can hardly wait to see what you do with the space. the colors are delicious.

  • Camellia
    March 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Stunning! That is seriously a fantastic renovation. Job VERY well done! Be sure to post pics when you move your studio down there and put finishing touches on the playroom. Congrats on finishing the hard part.

  • ArticulateArt
    March 17, 2011 at 1:34 am

    The basement looks lovely~ The colours turned out quite well!

  • Brandi H.
    March 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    LOVE!! Makes me want to hurry up and finish mine now! Love the painted floor. Much better than carpet. Will look great with an area rug. Look forward to your play-by-play decorating skills.

  • margaret
    March 17, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Are your floors painted cement? If so, what paint brand were you able to have tinted that great green? I have a cement floor in my laundry room I want to paint tiffany box blue and am worried cement paint can’t be tinted that color.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

      Benjamin Moore can be tinted in any color up to a base 4 (I believe), which is a pretty broad range.

  • kate
    March 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Wow! What a transformation. Love the colors.

  • Sheila
    March 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Looks great. Was wondering if the floor is painted?

  • Elaine
    March 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I am so jealous of your beautiful green floor and stairs. Is that concrete? What brand of paint/stain did you use? Would love tips on your flooring.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 18, 2011 at 11:05 am

      Yes, it’s painted concrete (Benjamin Moore paint).

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