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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Shiplap Look on Any Budget

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple of years, you are well aware of the trend known as ‘shiplap.’  If your cave has wifi, however, you’ve probably already shiplapped the crap out of it.  I bet it looks nice.

If you haven’t heard of shiplap, it’s basically wood paneling, most typically painted white and hung horizontally. It’s nothing groundbreaking or new, but it’s enjoying a resurgence of popularity thanks in part to Joanna and Chip Gaines and their massively beloved show “Fixer Upper.” They are big fans of the shiplap look, and so am I!

Here now are three ways to get the look yourself.

#1: You could actually hang some shiplap.

White Plank Wall Before


White Plank Wall

Chelsea at Creating Cotters Bay used white wooden planks to add some interest to the end of her hallway. Perfect place to add a little detail AND get some practice in before you attempt a larger wall.


If sawing up wood ain’t your thang, you can still get the look like Sarah did below. Can you tell what she’s using on her kitchen backsplash?

shiplap backsplash vinyl before

shiplap with vinyl planks after

#2: It’s vinyl flooring!

Easier to haul, cut, and much thinner than regular boards. And if that’s not enough to convince you, it costs less too. She made sure to space them out just enough by placing a penny in between the planks as she hung them. You want a slight gap to really nail that shiplap look. See her tips for painting and sealing on her blog All Things with Purpose.


Ok, so you can either hang actual shiplap, or you can ‘cheat’ with vinyl flooring, but is there yet another way?

Believe it or not, there is. And believe it or not, it costs zero dollars. That’s right, I said ZERO DOLLARS. Behold:

shiplap wall with pencil before


Can you guess?

It’s pencil! (Insert shocked cat-face emoji)

If you have access to a couple of pencils and a straight edge, you could be a member of Club Shiplap before dinnertime. Head on over to Emily’s blog The Wicker House to get all the details. I believe there is a coat of sealer involved at some point, so the pencil doesn’t smudge, but other than that, ZERO FREAKING DOLLARS PEOPLE.

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A very, very, very small house.

Do you ever watch those ‘tiny house’ shows? You know, where they feature homes with literally the same square footage as a generously-sized tent? Can real human beings really live this way? Happily?

You bet your sweet buns they can! Better After reader Sarah is one such human. Check out this itty-bitty apartment she recently remodeled for further proof.

Before, it was a termite-infested hodge-podge of shoddy workmanship. The home was built in 1908 and split into separate apartments in the 1950’s. Since then, it had received nothing more than ‘band-aid’ style improvements and was in need of a total gut job.

Black and Yellow Bedroom:Kitchen Before

Black and Yellow Bedroom:Kitchen

Sarah to the rescue! She opened up the wall and reconfigured the entire layout, keeping everything unified with a black, gray and yellow color scheme. She focused on packing as much function as possible into each square foot of this space, 240 to be exact. The kitchen is only eight feet long but has everything a standard kitchen would have. There’s even a pull-out spice rack wedged between the fridge and the range!

Below you can see the former bathroom. It was moved to the other side of the apartment and Sarah created a new office to take its place.

Black and Yellow Bathroom:Office Before


Black and Yellow Bathroom:Office


Bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom, AND office? It’s practically palatial!


See more of Sarah’s work on her website S Jane Design.

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Step by Step Staircase

Step by step … ooh baby … gonna get to you gii-ir-ir-irl!

NKOTB forever, am I right? I just watched this video in its four minute and twenty-seven second entirety, and it’s just as good as I remember it being in 5th grade.

Ok, perhaps not. Those were some … less than intricate dance moves. Although Jordan really was fiiiiiiine, kokopelli shirt notwithstanding.

Here are some timeless steps for you though.  Tasha hated her carpeted stairs, like 99% of people with carpeted stairs do.  I know I’d get rid of mine in a heartbeat. So she …

Numbered Staircase Before


Numbered Staircase

… tore up the carpet, replaced the treads and numbered them just fore cuteness sake.  So great!

Ooh stairs! I really want you in my wo-o-o-orld!

Check out her blog Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body to see how she did accomplished this in ONE weekend.

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