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  • Jessica Allison Chamberlin

DIY Basement Bar Makeover!

We moved into this house knowing we needed to do a lot of work to make it our own. We started demo on the kitchen the night we moved in, and SLOWLY moved on to other areas of the house. Over 2 years later, we have finally worked our way to the basement and can now say we actually enjoy the space!!! We don't know how long we are going to be in the house, so we wanted to make sure that the upgrades we made to the basement made sense financially. I will first share with you the before & after pictures of the basement bar, and show you how we achieved the overall look!


BEFORE: (This picture was from the original mls listing...... red walls, black & white polka dot floors, & checkerboard flooring in bar area..... just wasn't our style.)



AFTER!!:


There are still a few finishing touches that need completed, but it is pretty much finished and functional. Here is what we did to updated it!! First, we painted all of the cabinets. The cabinets against the wall are white, to match the trim, and the peninsula is a light gray. The cabinets were gray to start with, but they were almost a brown gray wood, so we wanted to paint them to brighten them up and modernize them. We then ripped out the floor, and put in a LVT in a darker wood finish to ground the space, and add the warmth. My favorite part.... is the countertop. We did not replace them, but used a marble paint kit by Giani. It was so much fun and the process took a few days, but I really enjoyed it and felt it was easy to do. I personally LOVE the look of Calcutta marble, so I tried to achieve that look....


For being my first time using the marble paint kit, I feel it turned out pretty well. The process is quite simple. (In a nutshell, you roll on 2-3 layers of base white primer, paint on the veins while using water sprayed and a thicker brush to get the veined effect you want, then finish with a few layers of the top coat.) I might actually use this in my daughters' bathroom too, and can video or share the process with that as well since it is a smaller space. I went a little darker with the veins, as well as thicker with a bunch of shadows and ghost veins to look like the Calcutta, but for my daughters' bathroom I might try a simpler, very light veining approach. (Stay tuned!) They also changed the top coat of the kit to Epoxy, which is different from when I used it. On my counters you could see the roller texture, but they have changed it so now the top should be completely smooth. I am super exited to get this and add the new Epoxy coat to my countertops to see the difference. The texture was my only (slight) critique on the marble kit.


We did change out the sink & faucet in the countertop. Luckily I have a great vendor with affordable sinks, and I had won the faucet from Danze many years ago and just never used it for a client. I also added some LED battery operated under cabinet lights, which are operated with a remote and have the ability to dim and timed off function... such a big impact for a small price.


Lastly, I wanted to add a backsplash, but didn't want to use tile because of the extra time, labor and mess. I ended up finding a gray subway adhesive tile. It comes in sheets and was pretty easy to work with. I finished it within a few hours once I got the hang of it. It looks great, and although not perfect (a few bubbles here and there, and areas where the edges are lifting), I would say it looks great!!




We still need to add some art on the walls, and some more updated decor, but in general we are happy with how it turned out!






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Cincinnati, OH 

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