Basement Progress: A Soft Basement

Four major projects have been completed since our last basement update at the beginning of May.

#1: Trim was cut, installed, and painted.

I must note how intricately Ross had to cut some of the pieces of molding. Given some of the tighter spaces between the wall and ceiling (i.e. tops of windows and door frames, the exposed beam, exposed vents, etc.), we had to use two different kinds of molding: your typical crown wide crown molding and a thinner cove shaped molding. The intricate cutting occurred any time these two pieces had to meet somewhere. Ross is a very patient person.

#2: Walls were painted. Rather than add another color to our home palette, we decided to go with the same color that we have on the majority of the first floor: Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Grey. We love how this grey has some warm undertones that goes so well with brown. We found out it also looks great with our wood hallway. The egress windows were going to be challenging to paint around neatly (even if I used tape) so we decided to keep all of the insides of the window boxes white to blend better with the window frame itself.

I like to work my way down when I paint. (Sidenote: I wore a mask and windows were opened as much as possible. Thank goodness for some nice breezy days!) So, I was adamant that the crown molding and door trim had to go up and be painted prior to painting the walls. Personally, I find it easier to get a straighter line when I do it in this order.
A big thank you to Ross’s mom (Gigi to Analiese) for coming up to Michigan for a few days to help me paint!

#3: Stair rail was installed. You can see the stair rail here (with Ross doing some pre-carpet installation prep in the background). We decided to hire this job out to a contractor who also happens to be a friend from church. He suggested two online sites where we could look at stair rail supplies and decided to go with StairSupplies because they offered unfinished, pine newel posts and hand rails that we could stain and poly the same way we did the wood on the walls. This is the newel post, hand rail, oil rubbed bronze iron ballusters and shoes we ordered. The bottom runner is a piece of extra 6″ pine we had left over from the walls. Ross had to trim it down to be 4″ before we did the distressing/staining process.

Once the supplies were in, we scheduled the install date with Mike and did happy dances in the kitchen every time we peeked around the corner and saw how great it looked.

Note: Before removing the floor to ceiling post that had been where the current newel post is, we confirmed with Mike that it was not weight bearing and would not cause our entire house to collapse if we removed it.

#4: And finally, the newest update to our basement is that we had carpet installed last week. What a transformation! I couldn’t wait to hide those blue stairs and painted brown floor (from the spray painting we did on the ceiling). The first time Analiese came down the newly carpeted stairs to our basement she said, “Oh, basement is soft!” She’s quite literal these days.


After having the space measured by Lowe’s (for free!) and perusing their selection, we decided to check out a local place where we had purchased our carpet for the upstairs three years ago. Independent Carpet One was great to work with and we found the options within our price range to be much softer than what we saw at Lowe’s. We also found that many of the multi-colored carpet options–both at Lowe’s and ICO–had a yellowish undertone that we wanted to avoid. Instead we were looking for something that would go well with our warm grey walls, be dark enough to hide stains, and pick up the brown in the ceiling. And we just so happened to find that at ICO at the right price. The brand name is escaping me, but the color name is Rolling Fog.

They were also great about scheduling the install as quickly as possible for us.

Later that day, Ross cut all of the base boards to size, but they still need to be painted and attached to the walls.

The doors have been planed down (thanks for your help, Dad!) so they close nicely and have an evenly spaced opening all the way down the seam where they meet. However, they still need to be painted and given some handles.

We brought the couch down and watched tv last night! How rewarding and relaxing!

Join the Conversation


  1. Wow!!!!! Looks great! Sure you all are thrilled with the results, as you should be! Enjoy! Can tell you and Ross do your research and have designer taste….just beautiful:)

  2. Saw it all this past weekend and the attention to detail is so very impressive. Even without much furniture moved in, the room had a warm at home feel. Ross and Heather outdid themselves! Nicely done you two :) :)

  3. Hi,
    Great post, I love the new look of your basement.

    I actually work for the company that sold your contractor the stair parts. We have recently changed our website from to

    Would you mind updating the 5 links in your post, to account for this change.

    Thank you very much!


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