Basement Living Room Reveal – Speak Easy Theater and Chill Space

May 16 2021
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Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my Grandparents’ 100 year old farmhouse. I was single and the basement had a separate entrance so I immediately tackled it with the intention of putting in a rental suite. It was a ton of money and work that all went for nothing a couple of years later when my husband (now ex) decided that renters were a NO. I used this unfinished space (what a total waste) as my workshop for awhile until I threw him out in 2017. So, I emptied the space to, once again, try to move forward with the rental idea. A lot of life happened in the years since but, finally, all of my time and money down here is no longer for nothing!

(The entire basement is 500 square feet. The basement living room is half of that, sitting right under our upstairs living room.)

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

How we completed our Basement Epoxy floors using Rustoleum's RockSolid flooring Kit - after a thorough cleaning, scrubbing and acid wash Lodi

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

In quarantine back in early 2020 Lodi moved in and, with him, our need for more space. Also with Lodi came his incredible boredom during quarantine not being an essential employee at the time lol.

That adds up to him doing a lot of work down here without me that I can’t say I totally missed…

This basement living room has a ton going for it that most basements of 100 year old homes absolutely DO NOT have. Case and point: nine foot ceilings!

Back in the day my grandparents used it as a cellar and a place to store wood for the wood furnace that was down here. Eventually they retired and converted half of this space into a winter wood workshop. (I come by my DIY tendencies very naturally…)

We covered up the egress window because, legally, we don’t need it to just have a chill space in our basement.

We left the ceilings open because we didn’t need to insulate between the floors. (BIG yay on that one, drop ceilings are a pain in the butt and we saved a ton not having to buy the insulation.)

In the future though if we ever do want to use this as a rental we could easily put in a drop ceiling and open up the egress window.

When I talk about a lot of time and money I’m talking about the hundreds of hours I put in down here plumbing in a full kitchen, bathroom, laundry and a sump pump! Hacking through several feet of ancient granite and concrete to put in an egress window. And don’t even get me started on the the amount of electrical that I ran besides I even put in its own dedicated panel!

(If my time is worth nothing I easily sunk over $10,000 into this space back in 2015 on materials alone.

Just imagine how I felt about that for years when it was all for nothing…) Honestly, this basement was such a huge sore note for me that it took me awhile to even enjoy working on it!

Lodi emptied the space and our first decision about leaving the open ceilings got the ball rolling.

Leaving the ceilings open and spray painting them black.
Using a Rustoleum flooring kit on the floors.
Covering the walls with plyboard, paint and trim.
Installing some very cool Edison bulb lighting.
Installing rolling barn doors with DIY hardware.

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

Basement living room reveal a completely finished Edison bulb speak easy and guitar space for listening to music, drinking and relaxing

It was a REALLY good day to move his furniture (and some of mine) down here to finally get our garage back last fall!

Since then though I admit we moved at a snail’s pace getting to this basement living room reveal.

We also had other projects (such as Lodi’s room) that we wanted to complete too.

As we were working on our basement living room the feeling of it becoming a speak easy right out of the 1920’s came almost immediately. And that got me excited because it felt like I was still being true to the house’s age without sacrificing the kind of space we wanted.

Hanging Lodi’s guitars seemed like a no brainer and that, coupled with the Edison bulbs all over, really cemented the groove of this space for me.

It makes me think of smoky, underground Jazz clubs, found down long dark alleys, to partake of illegal adult beverages, snuck around in mason jars.

Lodi’s black leather couches and furniture fit in just fine with the whole ambience along with his Johnny Cash and musical prints on the wall.

I know its not always that fun trying to figure out how to combine two households but it worked out for us!

We only had to purchase an area rug and a coffee table for furniture down here!

The bootlegger wanted posters I purchased on Amazon. We considered framing them but I liked the idea of them being up like this – a little haphazardly like REAL wanted posters! You can see the wanted posters here

The prohibition protest print with all the We Want Beer signs is a print of a real photo of an actual protest!

Lodi loved the globe when I gave it to him for Xmas – I thought it was just perfect for down here – it opens up as a secret place to put alcohol and glasses!

I’ll take full credit for the idea of hanging the TV in front of the chimney though it was really the ONLY place it would work with everything else.

(If we ever become football people this is absolutely the space where we’ll be hosting super bowl parties lol which meant I had to find a spot for the TV that everyone seated down here could actually see!)

This is the TV mount we used.

Lodi’s prior liking of Edison bulbs meant we had two lamps that fit perfectly down here. See the table lamp here and see the floor lamp here.

I ran a couple of outlets behind the TV (I got lucky with being able to tap into a 12/2 line that was close) and it just made sense to use black pipe to support solid wood shelves beneath it. The running theme of black pipe is going to keep on going throughout the other spaces down here as well.

We hung blackout curtains at the bottom of the stairs to block the afternoon sun which, somehow, through the glass exterior door, all the way down the stairs, is actually a problem. And it was also to cover up the, so far, unfinished stairwell.

The bathroom is on its way though not QUITE done yet and I haven’t even let my mind wander to how much needs to be done in the kitchen and finally the stairwell too but all in due time!

It’s for our guests more than anything else though that I’m most excited about this space.

When the whole basement is complete its going to be like its own little apartment!

The closet will be getting storage shelves and space to include a queen blow up mattress, bedding and pillows.

So far we’ve spent nearly $5,000 down here and I expect the rest of the spaces (kitchen, bathroom, closet and stairwell) will set us back probably another $2,000 besides. I feel pretty good about that though, we added a whole other living space / floor to our home!

We’re really happy with our basement living room!

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

Basement living room reveal. So it all started back in 2014 when I purchased and began the renovation of my 100 year old farmhouse

Comments

  1. May 16, 2021 at 7:31 am

    That looks incredible! Well worth the effort😊

  2. Jan Riemer
    May 16, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Love it. Gorgeous job!

  3. Marybeth
    May 16, 2021 at 10:27 am

    WOW…. looks like you two need a TV show of your own…remodeling and all. I love the atmosphere you created in the basement!! Good job.

    • May 18, 2021 at 11:18 am

      Oh thank you!! Lodi would be perfect for a TV show but I’m way too camera shy lol

  4. Darlene
    May 16, 2021 at 11:21 am

    It is really nice to see all your hard work come to fruition. Good job! Enjoy it!

  5. MADELINE l NEWTON
    May 16, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    just love all of it ..you two work together and do great work …should be really proud and i bet the grandparents are looking down and so happy that you have done all of this….i just love all of it …take care and now both of you enjoy it all ….love and much happiness….

  6. Stephany Michel
    May 16, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    It looks awesome! Like you said, it’s the perfect place for casual entertaining, watching a ball game or even just snuggling up for a movie night.😊

    • May 18, 2021 at 11:19 am

      Thanks Stephany, we’re very happy with how it turned out!

  7. May 16, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    Lovin’ this space. What a transformation. I think that there are lots of good times ahead in this space.

  8. May 19, 2021 at 8:31 am

    You guys created really cool space down here. I love the rustic industrial vibe you have going on and it really does have that sense of an off-the-beaten-path blues club. Great job!

  9. May 22, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    Looks great! Excellent job!

  10. Angela Fitzpatrick
    May 28, 2021 at 10:30 am

    Thank you. Very inspiring.

  11. Barbara J Lewis
    June 23, 2021 at 1:20 am

    Absolutely AWESOME!!! Love, love, love the Wanted posters from the Wild, Wild West. All of your hard work definitely paid off on this project. Kudos to you!!!!!

  12. Anne Furie
    June 23, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Looks Amazing and really made me feel hopeful for my tiny basement – around the same size! Right now it’s nothing but storage – boxes from the floor to the ceiling. But I’m hopeful that one day soon we’ll work on it and make it as nice as yours!

    • June 23, 2021 at 10:18 am

      Hi Anne, good luck with your project! I’m really glad we finally got our basement done, its so great for guests etc. Nice to have some extra space!

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