Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Before and After - The Basement

So it's time for a little more before and after. I've been working away in the basement for the past few days, trying to remove the rest of the white left in the main room. Now that things are dark, the white is very stark, jarring.

This is part of the basement when we bought the house. 95% of the house was painted bright yellow, including all the ceilings. The tile surround on the fireplace was a cream ceramic and the mantel white. The carpet was old, off white, basic builder grade.

This is the fireplace now. The photos aren't the greatest, it's difficult to get a good picture in the basement, it isn't very bright down there.

We replaced the tile with Ostrich Feather slate, the walls are Restoration Hardware's Cappuccino, the trim is Ben Moore Black Fox. The carpet is loop pile sculpted. I have forgotten the name of it; it's almost the exact same color as the walls.

I painted the mantel in Cappuccino oil and then glazed it with some of the Black Fox just to make it all tie into the rest of the room. I wasn't looking to make a statement with the fireplace.

Then, onto the big built in shelves opposite the fireplace. These are the only built in shelves we left in the house, all the others were removed prior to refinishing the floors.

Before: Yellow walls and ceiling, white woodwork...

Then, after walls and trim were painted and carpet replaced, the white really stood out.
It took me a while before I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this piece and the bar. They're big and imposing but I didn't want them to conflict with the other finishes in the room. Black would be too harsh and the red of the sofa and the pool table felt was the third color. I didn't want to just paint it the Black Fox.

I found while looking through magazines I kept stopping at adds for Lorts new line of, I believe, mahogany furniture that has silver accents. That ended up being the inspiration for the built in and will eventually be the bar as well as soon as I get time.

This is part of the Lorts line...

The basement is very dark and I knew if I wood grained the back of the built in, it would look like a big black hole. Again, I didn't want to introduce another color but at the same time I needed to get light in the unit. I decided to silver leaf the back and do a tonal glaze over it to mellow it out.

This is a closeup of the silver leaf.

And this is the end result, quite a departure from the white. The backs are silver leafed and the rest is wood grained in a rich mahogany. The whole thing is made to look more like an antique by finishing it off with Liberon wax.
Here's a couple more shots:

Not quite the Lorts piece, but inspired by anyway. It's difficult to see in the photo, but I also put a little silver trim on some of the molding and on the door faces.


  1. Wow, so great to see the transformation! Beautiful job!

  2. You did a GREAT job! I love your style and taste!!!

  3. Amazing work! The new finish really shows the beautiful crown and detailing of the unit.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!