Basement Renovation : Inspiration + Mood Board

This story is part of our Basement Renovation series, where we design + build out our modern farmhouse style basement for use with our young family and small business studio space in our home. Follow the whole series here.

I’m thrilled that we are at last moving forward with our basement renovation project, as I’ve been itching to design a space since we completed our home over four years ago. I’ll be documenting + sharing the whole process here from start to finish so you can follow along with our adventure for this space.

This is a little mood board that I put together of our current living spaces, upstairs and downstairs. I think it’s always a great idea to start with a mood board when you’re working on any kind of designs, because it helps keep you focused as well as helps portray an overall desired end result to those you’re working with.

I’d describe my design aesthetic as clean vintage farmhouse, with an overall love of neutral tones + textures, simple farmhouse details and a mix of heirloom + antique pieces to help tell a story. I really want to carry the consistency of our style on the main level down into the basement, but also give it a bit of a more rustic / bunker / shelter / cove kind of feel for the space.

Our first step was to completely clean out the basement, which was a feat in and of itself. Here are a few “before” shots so you can see what we are working with and where we started.

In the basement space we will be creating a small kitchen + island workspace, a living area, a guest bedroom + bathroom and a bonus room that could be used as a playroom, gym or work area as things evolve. We are also opening up the stairwell area upstairs to remove the wall and door so that the basement is not so closed off and feels like it is more a part of our home.

Little did I know this would be the first thing to come out, so looks like we will be living like this for a few months.

I put together this mood board as my inspiration for the basement space. Overall I am going for a brighter, whiter space since there is less natural light in the daylight basement area and something that feels extra clean and cozy with some interesting details, a bit more rustic and less refined in the details.

Some of the elements I really want to include are low profile rafters, a rustic uneven tile backsplash in the kitchen, and a large table / island workspace that can be really multifunctional in purpose.

I am carrying our use of vintage plumbing fixtures into the basement as that is one of the most commented on features that I love about our home now. We are making the space feel very simple with shaker style cabinets, the same clean shiplap walls, using a skinnier plank look for the ceilings with the rafters, and going for wooden knobs on the cabinetry instead of metal finishes for an extra shaker touch. I’m also really hoping to pull off a herringbone pattern on the wood tile floors and use a lot of metal + vintage industrial lighting to simplify the space.

I’ve been ordering samples of paint, flooring, tile, countertops and pinning a bunch of inspiration for plumbing fixtures and lighting that I am finding for more inspiration to put the puzzle together as we select all the finishes. I personally love to do this all at once at the beginning of the project because then you have more opportunity to build in the features you really love.

For example, in the guest bath I’m wanting to do a wall mount faucet and rain shower which requires specific plumbing rough ins at the beginning. And a light over the kitchen sink on the backsplash which also requires pre-planning. Also, as I change my mind on one thing, I find it completely changes all the other fixtures and takes more rearranging so I’d rather do this at the onset than be rushed in the middle of the project and not love how things come together.

Stay tuned for more.


heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of “keeping heirlooms around for another generation.” Our blog features stories about my favorite made-from-scratch recipes, creating traditions with your family, farmhouse home decor, effortless entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, tips on gardening  creating a timeless capsule wardrobe, and small town + historic travel. Our product designs feature a collection of “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy” with an array of aprons, table linens, hand-poured candles and keepsake gifts. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

I’m an old soul based in Atlanta, GA and mom of 3 with a deep love of all things from the past with a story to tell, on a mission to keep heirlooms around for another generation - whether it be a tradition, splattered family recipe, or historic home.

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