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I wish I could show you just how awful our basement stairwell, family room, and hallway were. The pictures are too dark to do it justice. Wood paneling, nursing home inspired wallpaper, and so many shades of green that were very in during the late ’80s. After weeks of removing wallpaper, sanding walls, skim-coating with joint compound, more sanding, priming, and painting, I solved the wallpaper problem. It was almost not worth it. I worked so hard and no one will ever be able to tell. That is the down side to certain aspects of home improvement.

Here is our family room in all of its green and brown glory.

family room 1

family room 2

 

I also patched up the wood paneling and primes and painted it. In reality, I should have ripped it out, re-framed the walls, insulated, then sheet rocked. This paneling was really cheap stuff that was warping off the walls. And there is no framework behind it. However,I cannot afford that at the time, so paint I did. Since the basement bedroom project meant tearing out and rebuilding the far wall of the family room, I painted all the paneling and drywall the same color: Sherwin Williams Unusual grey. I must say, this color is confusing. It picks up the tone of just about anything. Because our flooring will not be replaced until Phase Two, the walls look a  bit green from the reflection of the sage green carpet and tile.

However, it is amazing what some paint and furniture rearranging can do!

family room 3

family room 4

Seriously, all the same furniture and the same amount of stuff, just rearranged and with some added color coordination. I didn’t even add any extra lighting. I even hate the sage green tile less with the wood paneling gone.

Once I gave the family room and hallway/stairwell a makeover, I had to address the bathroom at the end of the hall. It was such an eyesore. The ratty roller shade, dark green walls, and stained grout looked so out of place.

basement bathroom 2

basement bathroom 3

basment bathroom 1

I can’t do anything about the shoddy DIY job the previous owners did with this bathroom, but I can make it look better. I used a grout colorant to paint the grout lines and make them white. I painted the walls Sherwin Williams Mindful Grey. I took out the stained roller shade and installed some white faux wood blinds. I patched up the walls and removed oddly placed towel bars and hooks. I installed a hook board near the shower.

The bathroom is tiny and the makeover may look bland, but it is a vast improvement.

basement bathroom 4

basement bathroom 5

basement bathroom 6

Again, no extra lighting. A change of color and window treatment just makes that big a difference.

I used this same color in the quarter bath upstairs. The previous owners had painted it a muddy brown and even painted the ceiling that color. It made the vintage pink tile look horrid. It is amazing how much bad paint can ruin a room.

Anyway, a couple hundred bucks in quality paint helped me makeover a big chunk of our house. Another couple hundred bucks spent on light, neutral colored storage baskets helps me keep it tidy. A whole home mini makeover doesn’t have to cost much.

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