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 applied with a three-layer process. The first was white plaster, the second was a shade close to Sail Cloth, and the third was a shade close to White Dove 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!
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - January 16, 2023
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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.
WOW is right! Love the transformation.
Now that is a transformation!!! Wow!!
It’s a big change for sure!
For a minute, I thought the before was the after and was like, hmm that’s an interesting… choice. Lol! Looks amazing!
Well! That was the right choice! Looking forward to seeing how you will finish the space with art and rugs and lamps, etc but it’s already 1000% better.
I’m glad you like it!
Wow! It looks amazing! Nice you can have colorful paint upstairs and white downstairs. Best of both worlds.
My thoughts exactly! Thank you!
Wow! It looks fantastic. I really appreciate you sharing how you arrived at your color choices. The subtle variations make all the difference and really highlight the power of painting a space.
Thank you! I appreciate it!
It looks much more open and spacious; I love the colour and how fresh it looks — lovely!
Thank you so much!
Hi Kate! I love this transformation. I, too have a gargantuan brick fireplace. Mine is already painted white but it still has too much texture so we will be plastering ours in May. My question is how did your crew make the hearth flush with the firebox brick with the Dura rock board installed? It really looks amazing! I love how much calmer it feels now!
Looks good! Wonderful transformation.