Welcome to the deepest depths of our Milwaukee Victorian home! While it’s considerably more welcoming than a dungeon (or most of the unfinished basements we toured while house hunting), we just completed a major transformation of the space into something more usable for us.
All it took was a little planning, painting, and furniture shopping! Now, we’re loving our basement.
Here’s how it went down.
We were lucky to buy a house with a functioning and finished basement space, even including a wet bar! I love having this bonus area, which also includes a carpeted area, our laundry room, and a hidden storage space that also houses our treadmill.
Honestly, there weren’t a lot of issues with the basement other than being a little outdated; namely, a little bit of moisture, a bad paint job, and a few spiders lurking in the shadows. Otherwise, we just didn’t have anything to fill the space and we needed a solution to fix the breaker box eyesore.
You can check out the original tour of the house here.
First, we addressed the moisture by getting a dehumidifier (from Amazon, linked here) and a few smaller moisture absorbers and eliminators (from Amazon, linked here). Then, we hired a local company to spray for bugs (shout out to Jerry’s Pest Control!).
Next, we decided to paint the walls. (We even spent our Thanksgiving painting!) I wanted a darker color to cover the marks and perfections of the textured walls. We opted for a gorgeous black with a hint of green from Lowes, called Nocturnal Green from Valspar (5011-1). We love it!
There’s plenty of lighting, so the room looks spacious and bright, plus now smooth and luxurious. We painted all the walls downstairs that were previously a washed pink. We love the color and the change! Keeping the ceilings white was the right choice, which added a beautiful contrast.
From there, we added our couch: the Kova Pit from Albany Park (from the same company as our leather couch upstairs). This was definitely an investment sofa, but we were looking to prioritize comfort with a modular sectional—a piece that we could lay on, cozy up, and really snuggle into. It came in eight boxes and it took us about two hours total to unpack and piece together. We immediately loved it! I’m so excited to have this couch and to build the rest of the basement space around it.
In the next phase of our basement refresh, we have plans to add a statement wall with stick and peel wallpaper. The plan is to also work on the basement stairs: painting half, while wall-papering the other half. I have a vision…let’s see if we can execute!
After that, I think it might be a good idea for me to figure out what kind of furniture will go downstairs other than our couch. This will have to be a slow process—we’ll mount our TV to the wall and work from there and see what fits our needs best. I don’t think there’s any rush, which definitely goes against my instincts to go, go, go until it’s finished to perfection.
You might notice a cable box with a ton of wires behind our couch; we’ve got to figure out a solution for hiding that situation. I’m wondering if we can simply yank the wires? Maybe we can put a false cabinet over the entire panel, though I’m not entirely sure.
Also, down the road I’d like to do a little work to the bar, including updating the colors of the wood paneling and swapping out the light for something more modern. The shelving could use some work too, but that won’t be a concern for a while.
I’m excited for this transformation and to start using this space to its full abilities!