Nov 13, 2014

before + after: basement rec room (the power of an hour)

often, clients will contact me in the middle of a remodel. there is something about seeing those ripped apart/raw walls, that prompts many people to finally feel "ready" for some professional design guidance.

this particular client was at the beginning of finishing a basement rec room. this space was to function as a play/toy and game room, as well as a movie watching area for the family. she needed some guidance narrowing down ideas for finishes and furniture layout.

here are the before pictures:
typical unfinished basement stuff...

i created a pinterest board filled with ideas and possibilities, and we spent our hour long phone call talking about:

*creating a functional layout despite the structural columns, access door to hvac system, and bathroom.
* paint colors and wall treatments (stripes, stencil, pop of color in the small nook under the stairs) to bring life and whimsy to the space
*furniture layout + space planning of future kitchenette
*tile ideas for bathroom
*adding large,  frames with stylized movie posters

 simple ikea bookcases function as storage and a seating area. once a table added, this area will be a place for games and crafts.

the striped wall and custom wall letters add a sense of whimsy.

the birch wall stencil and carpet add texture.

the movie posters are just the right balance between fun and chic.

the space under the stairs was painted a kelly green, and gold dots were added. an inexpensive home depot light, and a bean bag chair were added to create a reading nook.

how cute did the bathroom turn out?

 a special thank you to my client, who never lost site of the vision of the finished basement, throughout the construction, and for sending me these great AFTER images!

interested in working tougher on a space in YOUR home?
email me at to get started!
you can see more spaces i have worked on here.


  1. Do you have a source for the birch wall stencil? I've been eyeing the birch tree wallpaper at anthropologie, but the space I'm using it in is so small, a stencil might be better suited.

    1. This space is great by the way, love your blog.

    2. sure! here is the one we used:

      best of luck!

  2. Really nice Autumn! Yes, I've seen that stencil before, and you used it perfectly here…especially with that great, textured rug. Love the bathroom sink!

  3. Thanks again, Autumn, for your great design! We all LOVE the space--especially the kids!

  4. Though I am not sure I am brave enough to put an animal print carpet in my house, I'm in love with it. Do you know where it came from?