I always knew we would paint the basement. It felt like the best way to brighten the whole space, which is half the square footage of our entire house and is entirely underused. We have a long way to go to get the basement family room where I want it to be, but let us enjoy the first transformation moment, which was a big one.
I already have a favorite white paint color. It’s the same one we used all throughout the main floor in our previous home. In keeping with consistency, we decided White Dove by Benjamin Moore was the right choice for all the trim, wainscoting, and beams in the basement family room. We went with a semi-gloss finish to bring some dimension to the woodwork.
Selecting the second shade was a little tricker. I wanted to bring in a bit more of a taupe shade to the walls but when I looked at samples it was clear I only wanted a *whisper* of cream to be detected. We went with Sail Cloth by Benjamin Moore. I LOVE this shade and think it warms up this space while still bringing a light, bright feeling.
The plaster used on the fireplace was a three-layer process, first with white plaster, then with a mix closer to Sail Cloth, then with a White Dove shade to knock back the texture.
Um, WOW??? I knew it would look different but I didn’t anticipate the entire room would feel completely new. I am so glad that we didn’t paint everything the same shade of white. Highlighting the contrast of the trim, wainscoting, and beams makes the room feel more intentionally finished—plus it brings out the subtle nuances in the shades we used on the plaster.
We need to paint the rest of the basement, so that will be next on the list of projects. It was a huge bummer that our painter didn’t have the capacity to do the wine room and the stairs all at once. We’ll be painting EVERYTHING, but the wine room will have a subtle limewash over the brick to keep a lot of the texture that is already in that space.
Additionally, I’ll be updating some of the furniture and rugs in the family room. I have some rugs ordered and know which couch I’d like to purchase for this area. Before I make any purchases, however, I need to make a comprehensive floor plan and sit with it for a bit to confirm I’m making the right decisions. I am dragging my feet here and just need to make up my mind!
We are already using this space way more than even I anticipated with just this side of the basement painted. The space feels so much brighter and more inviting with the paint and plaster updates. I’m looking forward to wrapping this project up!
BY Kate Arends - January 16, 2023
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.