Our basement was a drab beige, with brown everything, no storage, cords everywhere and it was screaming for help. The beauty, this project only took me two weeks.....start to finish and I took breaks.
I started by researching other bloggers and found a few that fit my needs perfectly. Chris Loves Julia made over their basement last year and Julia is a genius. She taught me that you never paint a room with low natural light white, it'll just look drab. A lightbulb went off in my head when I read this, my basement was incredibly drab. She chose to do the opposite of white and painted her family room Greenblack by Sherwin Williams, I chose Inkwell also by Sherwin Williams.
How did I choose my "black" paint? I found another awesome resource. Tag & Tibby, who broke down RGB and LRV value for each black paint color. RGB represents how much Red, Green, and Blue is in each color. The LRV scale shows the light reflective value of a color, 0 absorbs all light (black) and 100 reflects all light (white). I knew I wanted a blue/black paint because I still had to play with browns and I wanted a coastal feel that coordinated with the rest of our home.
Then my next dilemma: paint everything black, paint an accent wall black, paint three walls black??? I found a great photo from Lushomes (see below) that broke down what different painting plans do for a room. I knew my basement needed it's ceilings to look higher (they're only 8' tall) vs the room needing to look longer or wider. So, I chose to paint all 4 walls black but to leave the ceiling white.
I knew my vibe was set but I had a few other problems: I needed storage (built-in book shelves were my dream), I wanted new seating and tables (we are still debating this), cords had to be hidden and our carpet needed help (it's the color of a creamy mocha coffee) which doesn't do what I need it to do. The quick solution for the carpet is layering a rug that pulls it all together. I chose our rug from Boutique Rugs (affiliate link). Their prices are right (we got this huge rug at 60% off), their return policy rocks and they deliver quickly. All a huge win for a girl renovating a basement during a pandemic. The rug I chose is light (to reflect light), has hints of gray, navy and gold/brown. It's perfect!
I ran all of the cords I could inside the drywall with wall plates. I chose to not build book shelves. After pricing out the base cabinets and lumber, plus the shipping timelines for the exact cabinets I needed, it just didn't make sense. I instead refinished our old entertainment center and purchased metal bookshelves from my boutique. Details to come on refinishing the cabinet. This chocolate brown cabinet with leather panels is now bleached, white washed and has cane fronts.
We are all loving the brightness of the space and how cozy it feels. I'm still debating furniture and I'm on the hunt for the perfect piece of art but the choice to paint our family room black was absolutely the right decision.