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A Finished Finished Basement!

Finished basement decorating ideas

We did it! Another week, another project completed! I’m taking advantage of the cold, windy Kansas days to finish the interior of our home. This week’s project was to complete our finished basement. What a difference a week can make!

How to finish a basement on a budget

We started our project by installing new floors. A friend stopped by today & couldn’t believe the transformation the new floors made. At first she thought they were the custom hand carved hardwoods we had upstairs, then pergo / laminate flooring. No, they are much easier & more cost effective vinyl plank floors from Lowe’s – the same we used in our bathroom remodel. Given that most basements have uneven surface due to the concrete subfloor, laminate isn’t always a great choice. This vinyl wood floor is perfect for a finished basement, and we were able to lay most of it in just 2 hours. The more difficult area around the stairwell took a couple additional hours.

How to finish a basement on a budget

Chris alternated the planks to create a pattern. The 6″ Style Selections planks grains & patterns matched incredibly, providing enough variation, while flowing beautifully. To install, we just cleaned the floors, peeled the backing off & adhered them over the original vinyl floors in an alternating pattern. We used an exacto knife to cut. It’s so quick & easy, really! The girls immediately rode their tricycles, cars & strollers over them to “test” them out! We have spent a lot of time in our basement this winter & it’s sure to be enjoyed even more now! The flooring cost just about $1/square foot. Seriously.

The Look for Less! An alternative to hand scraped wood floors

You can see how close they are to our significantly more expensive wood floors we have on the main level.

Tips for decorating dark spaces in your home - with charm! | A Beautiful Basement RemodelThe other hurdle I had to overcome was the lack of light and a few oddities…

Tips for decorating dark spaces in your home - with charm! | A Beautiful Basement Remodel

Basements tend to be dark. To add light & make it feel larger, we added mirrors.

Basement decorating tips and tricks


Since this finished basement had a tight budget, we used our sofa & chair from our first home. I made them feel fresh & up to date with linen pillows & a throw we could spare from our upstairs family room. It started out as an area for guests to relax as an ensuite since the guest bedroom & guest bath are also downstairs; however, I think this will quickly become my place to relax & escape for an hour or two.

Basement decorating tips and tricks

I found a bench for $60 at a discount store that I painted white to use as a coffee table. I didn’t want anything too significant because this allows for plenty of space for the girls to play. It was one of the few purchases we made for the room.

simple & beautiful nautical living room decorations

Of course one of my nautical rope vases made an appearance.

Finished Basement decorating tips and tricks

I placed an easy to care for tropical plant in a basket to disguise an unsightly pipe that I previously painted white. At most angles, you would never know it was there! We hung a bamboo shade to tie in the jute rug & make the space feel less like a basement.

simple & beautiful nautical living room decorations

I filled an empty corner space with a stool that doubles as a table when not in use.

Floors for a finished basement

simple & beautiful nautical living room decorations

For a pop of color, I added a stem of hydrangea in a bud vase. I always try to add something organic to the space whether it be a plant or fresh cut flowers. In this case, both! I’ll dry it to continue using the color year round.

Because “life ain’t always beautiful,” here is a before/during photo. As with most basements, the floor is not level. The flooring we selected works well with uneven surfaces.


How to finish a basement on a budget

The Allen & Roth jute rug is one of the softest I’ve found! I’m proud to partner with Lowe’s & the unique products they offer! Our next project is adding a wet bar & office space for Chris.

PIN this project for later here:

Tips for a finished basement on a budget

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38 comments on “A Finished Finished Basement!”

  1. I love the expanding table holding the hydrangea, but am I missing a description of it, where you purchased it, etc. can you tell us more about it?

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  3. Love the walls! Do you have the brand/color? The floor is fantastic. We’re planning a basement remodel and would love to try this flooring.

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  8. I am wondering, after living with this flooring for a while now, how you are liking it. Both in your basement and bathroom. We are considering something similar and need durable, yet attractive. I really don’t want to put more carpet in the basement, but want it to be warm enough in the winter. Also, in your bathroom, how is it holding up in the wet areas?

    • I love it! It’s very durable & wears well. I always use rugs with wood to give a room warmth & the same would apply to this, but you certainly don’t have to. We haven’t had any issues in the bathroom. There aren’t any “wet” areas, but of course the shower & sink are used. It can definitely handle minimal water. As with wood or laminate, I wouldn’t recommend it in a place where you have moisture issues/basement water leaks during heavy rainfall.

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  10. Hi Julie.
    Thank you for the wonderful ideas. Do you think the floors you recommend from Lowes would work on over concrete? And do you benefit if I purchase through your site’s link? I want to make sure I do if so. Thanks again!

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  12. Julie my husband and I are sitting here trying to decide whether to go or stop with this floor project in front of us, as we are seeing so many say the tiles are lifting up in their reviews. Could you please address this as you have been living it with now for some time. Thank you for giving a heads up in this regard as it will help in our decision today.

    • Ours is in a lightly used space – the girls played there through winter & guests use it occasionally, but not one issue with it lifting up. I would definitely suggest cleaning the floor well and allowing it to dry before installing as we did.

  13. Geez, I also meant to ask how long the glue smell lasted….another compaint I see in the reviews. thank you so much.

  14. I was just wondering where the couch came from? I loove it!

  15. What color/brand of paint did you use? Did you add overhead lighting? I’m getting ready to move into a basement apartment that has very few windows (so almost no natural light) and I’m trying to decide how I’ll make it look & feel airy and less cave-like. Your renovated basement space is gorgeous!

    • Thank you! I used untinted SW in eggshell (to reflect light. Check out my post on adding light to a room and my basement guest bedroom for more ideas. You’ll love your new space in no time!

  16. Where did you get your side table from? The brass one? I love the lamps and side tables you choose!

  17. Very beautiful! You did a wonderful job in turning this basement to a cozy and stylish place! I love the hardwood floor, the sofa, the carpet and every piece of decoration! Me and my family have moved house and now we are cleaning and preparing for renovation. I also would like to install hardwood floor (it looks stylish and beautiful, it is easy to clean <3), I want beige walls, soft furniture from IKEA and many other things! Thank you for sharing! All the best!

  18. I found your post on Pinterest, saved it, and talked my husband into doing this. The floors look beautiful and feel soft. Such a great upgrade!
    Thank you!

  19. I was wondering at this point how your floors were still holding up. I LOVE the look of your basement and at first went out and bought a box to get my husband excited, then I read on and on about the reviews and some did complain of peeling etc. I often don’t think about these when there are so many positive comments, but $500 is still a lot of money for my basement and my children will play in this are often, I hope. So I want to make sure it’s durable. Thanks for your help in advance!

    • We didn’t have any issues, I’d highly recommend that you start with a clean floor. We laid ours on top of laminate. If you’re laying on concrete directly, I’d purchase a piece or two to test {they sell them individually}. Please be sure to come back and leave a comment about your experience for others. Enjoy!

      • I will absolutely do that! I did purchase a whole box as of now, so I will put down the concrete sealer they recommended and put down a couple pieces. Talk within the next couple of weeks.

  20. It looks fantastic, Julie! What a great job you did on such a small budget! I love it!

  21. Oh my goodness, your basement looks SO wonderful! It is such a nice contrast to the “traditional” basement, which is usually a bit darker. Using all of that light furniture really paid off! If I had a basement, I would definitely do what you did. Thanks so much for sharing!

  22. I really love the floors. They really tie the room together.

  23. Your floors are so beautiful, upstairs and downstairs! How do they compare in terms of walking on them? Does the vinyl feel like real wood? How does the sound compare?

    • It’s slightly softer on foot than wood, but we put ours on top of linoleum that was on top of concrete, so not a significant difference.

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