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A Bright and Neutral Basement One Year Later

by - Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Last year, we renovated our basement. It was a big undertaking that involved framing out a wall, installing new flooring, adding a kitchenette, updating a fireplace, new lighting, paint, decor, and wallpaper. Basically, a top to bottom renovation.

And we've loved the basement! We love spending time there as a family and functionally, it meets our every need. But there was one aspect that over time began to bother us so we made some changes. Come have a look at our newly neutral basement.

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

blue and white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement
white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

That's right, we've replaced the blue wallpaper. The Antique Kayaks Blueprint wallpaper was bold and fun and worked with our nautical theme, but I've come to realize I am not a bold wall person.

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

It's not entirely a surprise. I once painted a dining room wall (just a single accent wall!) a deep claret red, and within a week, I realized I could not live with it and repainted it. 

The blue wall, while pretty, always commanded attention. It jumped out at you as you came down the stairs and was the first thing you would notice. Even when we were sitting in the dark and focused on the television, in the midst of a marathon Netflix binge, the wallpaper would call out "Hey! Look at me!". It had to go.

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

We replaced it with this gorgeous faux grasscloth, Agave Bliss Light Grey Faux Grasscloth, from Brewster Home Fashion. I've used Brewster wallcoverings before, from the blue and white toile in my office, to the modern gingham at our cottage bedroom, to the faux blue grasscloth in Chloe's bedroom, and have always been impressed with their products.

brewster wallcovering grasscloth, faux grasscloth, grasscloth wallpaper, easy grasscloth wallpaper

Here you can see the wallpapers I considered. They have so many great grasscloth options! The Agave Bliss faux grasscloth is the "Paste the wall" variety and as I've written in the past, it is the easiest kind of wallpaper to install, even for beginners.

Looking for wallpaper for your home? Use code RAMBLINGRENO to get 10% off your order at Brewsterwallcovering.com until August 12th

Taking down the old wallpaper was a chore as it removed some of the drywall as well and we had to paint and repair that before we could apply the new wallpaper. I shared the entire process in my Instagram stories if you're interested. To prevent this from happening again, we applied a coat of Zinsser Shieldz wallpaper size. It helps with wallpaper adhesion and also ensures easier removal later on. 

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

You can see how the grey grasscloth blends in with the rest of the accessories and creates more of a monotone palette. I especially like how it picks up on the light taupe tile on the fireplace surround and the kitchen backsplash.

I also like how the faux black frame window inserts pop against the lighter wallpaper. This was an easy DIY project that helped to make this room feel less like a basement. The frosted acrylic still allows the diffused light to shine in and casts a nice blue hue.

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

I've toned the accessories down as well, shifting from a blue, light peach and white scheme to a grey, peach, and white palette. The feeling is still light and coastal, evoking the colours of sand, soft surf, and sun-kissed cheeks.

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

My single peony bush bloomed just in time for these photos. The soft pink and coral blooms fit in quite nicely and bring in a bit of life to this basement. 

I've switched out the chairs around our games table as well. The striped armchairs moved back to our upstairs kitchen. In their place, I've put these chairs. While they're a good quality and a great price, I can't recommend them because the company only shipped two instead of four chairs and it took me dozens of phone calls and emails and six weeks of waiting to get the mistake resolved. 

To lighten things up, I've put away the skirted tablecloth for now. This round table has such a pretty base that its a shame to have it covered up all the time. I will bring out the tablecloth and style the table later in the fall, just to switch up the decor.

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

The kitchenette that we added is probably my favourite feature in the basement. The undercounter beverage fridge and farmhouse sink get a lot of use. I repot and arrange my flowers here so its proven handy to have a sink nearby. 

There's also ample counter space to set up a popcorn station! You can bet that has been put in use over the past year.

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement


Even with fewer blue accessories, there is still a definite nautical feel to our decor. I will never give up my love for blue, or for stripes, for that matter.

I'm debating whether to repaint the craft room door. I specifically picked this colour to match the blue boat wallpaper so I have the opportunity to pick an entirely different colour now. I could go light? Or classic black? Or coral? How fun would that be! What colour would you paint the door?

blue and white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

white basement, bright basement, nautical basement, coastal basement

I don't typically change things up very often, but I won't hesitate if things aren't feeling or looking right. This feels calmer, cleaner, and more conducive to movie nights.

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