I’m all about that basement.

If you’ve been here a while, you already know why this wood-paneled before basement is giving me the sweats.

If you’re new here, let me explain that I have a mild phobia of knotty wood. No joke. It’s not like I’m terrified of the stuff, but I just feel so jumpy and anxious and weirded out when I’m around it. I should probably look into that someday and figure out why, but my plan so far is to just avoid knotty wood for the rest of my life instead. So far, so good.

Luckily for me, this look is far out of style and most people prefer to paint their paneling, presently. Also, alliteration for the win.


Crisp Basement Before 1

crisp basement makeover after

Yes ma’am, this is the SAME room. Where did that paneling go? Who cares! Everything has been updated and brightened up from floor to ceiling. And from the windowww to the WALL! (I hope you read that in your best Lil’ John voice). But speaking of the wall, do you see the full-length chalkboard painted on the back wall? Not only does it provide the kids with a little fun, but it also provides a great contrast to the rest of the bright white space.

Why aren’t more basements painted white? It’s a great choice for an area that’s … I don’t know … underground.

Crisp Basement Before

Crisp Basement

Night and day difference, truly. And how much do I love those painted stairs? Enough to be giving my own carpeted stairs the stink-eye right now.

This fabulous makeover comes from Heather and Dave at The Heathered Nest, much more to see over there!

Happy weekend friends.

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Streamline Inclined

Some people might look at this before living room and find it absolutely dreamy. Cozy and warm! Lived-in and lovely!

Some people might find it way too busy and cluttered.

Some weirdos might only notice what appears to be Patrick the starfish wearing a firefighter uniform and holding a vase of flowers on the sofa table. Tell me you see it too.

But the people who bought this home from the previous owners were definitely in the ‘too cluttered’ camp. They streamlined it to suit their modern tastes, and you would hardly even recognize today.

modern living room makeover before


modern living room makeover after

I really, really like this version. So much more open, it’s like the room took a deep cleansing breath. The white walls keep the vibe calm and fresh, while the wood ceiling adds contrast and texture, in addition to disguising the beams. AND it frames the skylight so nicely now, instead of looking like an afterthought in the before. I also love the simplicity of the new windows. Looks like they have a great view, why cover that up?

What do you think? Which version would suit you best? Tell me, tell me!

From Denise and the pros at Decor Aid.


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Light it Up

I’m back from my vacation, all tanned and relaxed and ready to partaay!

That is false. I actually don’t get tan. Ever, at all. I did attempt to fake a summer glow by getting a spray tan before I left, but it vanished within two days. However, mysteriously, my armpits remain very tan. It’s been over a week now, and they are still super much tan and show no signs of letting go. It’s … not attractive.

Let that be a lesson to you. A lesson about the dangers of spray tanning. You thought fake tans were safe, HA! They’re not. You run the risk of spending your entire vacation with your arms clamped tightly to your sides, lest you expose your oddly over-tanned armpits to the world. Please remind me about these dangers because I will probably forget and do it again next time.

However, unlike me in a swimsuit, somethings are better lighter and brighter. Stephanie’s living room was a bit on the dark side, with a dreary paint color that did nothing to accentuate all the great things happening in this room.

Fireplace Living Room Before

Fireplace Living Room

After a few fresh coats of paint, it looks completely new! The overmantle was built out ever so slightly, making it more craftsman-like, and now it stands on its own since the paint color separates it from the wall. Before, that space blended into one long expanse. If you weren’t sure before who the star of this room was, now you KNOW.

I love how Stephanie incorporated just the right amount of color with her accessories to keep it from becoming too neutral as well.  High fives Stephanie!

See more on her blog The Divine Living Space.

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Wood Tile Style

Arranging seating around a fireplace can be tricky business.  Many people opt for a pair of chairs flanking the sides, like in the before picture below.  That looks fine, but is it really conducive to conversation? Or dreaming by the fire? You can’t really gaze into the fire that way; you can only side-eye it suspiciously. No, that’s not good enough, my flame-loving friends. Consider instead a pair of matching sofas facing one another, perpendicular to the fireplace.  What about that?

wood tile fireplace before

wood tile fireplace after

Also, what about painting your walls charcoal? That’s a pretty cool look too. And you could cover your fireplace in wood tile for a look so intriguing that everyone who comes to visit immediately runs over to it and strokes it gently and exclaims in wonder about it. Then they could all sit comfortably on your sofas, in full view of your awesome fireplace, and ask you again about your genius idea to use wood tile and two sofas, and you’ll just feel very happy about the whole thing.

Get the low-down on this space from Stephanie at The Divine Living Space.

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