One Room Challenge {Basement} – Week Two

Hi friends and welcome back to week two of my basement One Room Challenge makeover…

christine dovey one room challenge

If you stopped by last week, you got a glimpse of the very less odd space I’m trying to tackle with this round. Yup…starting at the top of these stairs…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

…what you see lurking is anything but pretty.

As 6 days ago, this is where we were in the first section of the basement…i.e. the part under the original 100 year old house..i.e. the super dingy part…


one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

To sum that up…weird channel in the ground so that you can actually walk in this section, walls jetting out in strange places, less then awesome framing, strange coated concrete…very low low low ceilings…dust…junk everywhere, unease lol.

But thanks to an amazing team and a ton of awesome building supplies from Home Depot, things definitely have already improved and I am super excited to share with you the progress and the grand plan as it were.

To start, the old framing of the storage areas was removed and new went up…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

The secret room, started to reveal itself…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

…and giant storage cupboards in front of the old storage area/now secret room, along with the framing for the stair bookcase, were constructed…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

As you can see, the channel on one side is now completely covered. What will visible in its current form is just the base of the channel in the middle. On the stair side, I have other plans…more on that later.

For now, I want to share more of this big secret space I keep talking about, because really, it’s what I’m most excited about I think…

Here’s the entrance from the hall…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

… and the very scary sort of before, which isn’t really the before…the real before was this room completely closed off and absolutely filled to the rafters with junk. Have a I mentioned that we’ve been paying for a storage POD for 2 years…kill me.

Anyhoo…the as of a few days ago situation…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

Thankfully, things are looking waaaaay up in here, which I’ll show you more of later in the post.

For now, here’s what’s been going on in the other main/decent ceiling height section…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

Three main things:

1. Sump pump got framed out for cabinetry to hide it since it sits in the middle of the living area.

2. The bench for the fireplace was framed so that concrete can be poured next week.

3. The little cold room/soon to be office/bedroom had some mold remediation completed and is now ready to be re-drywalled.

So to sum up, a lot happened everywhere.

And in fact, where we are right now is actually MUCH farther than what’s shown above because my contractor was here all day yesterday and banged out a whole ton of drywalling. I’ll finish the post off with that business.

And with that progress business out of the way, I think it’s high time I show you what the actual vision for the space is.

One thing I learned after the 2 year long reno of the main house, was that without complete drawings that show EVERYTHING, a whole lot can go wrong so before embarking on the untouched last bastion of this house, I asked my trusty architectural designer (who I’ll tell you all about in posts to come and who is PS, sooooo awesome,) come by and create a plan that dealt with all the inherent issues with the space.

First, the layout, which shows the 4 areas I’m dealing with: hall, secret room, living area and bedroom/office…

CAD plans Christine Dovey One Room Challenge

And then the elevations…

CAD plans Christine Dovey One Room Challenge

CAD plans Christine Dovey One Room Challenge

CAD plans Christine Dovey One Room Challenge

So going back to the before pictures of the different areas, what you can see is a main hallway completely lined on the one side with flat black veneered doors…like this original inspiration photo…


And also like in this shot, an oak vaneered box at the bottom of the stairs at the one end.

Behind one door, will be access to the furnace room. Behind the two middle doors, open storage and then there’s the bookcase at the far end. Behind that, will be the secret room, which I’ll now divulge will be made over into a hidden playroom for my kiddos!!!!

I’m SO excited about this one. The kids have tiny bedrooms and toys are literally eating those spaces and my living room right up. As of now, they think the basement is turning into a play area so on the big reveal I can’t wait to see what happens when I take them downstairs, show them what looks like a big living room and bedroom, watch them seem super bummed and then push open the bookcase to reveal their own secret little escape behind it. SO FUN!!!!!

As for the rest of the drawing plans, on the stair side of the channel will be an open bookcase separating the stair landing floor from the area behind the stairs…

orc inspiration

The stairs themesleves will be clad in oak, in a very linear modern way with…

one room challenge oak stairs christine dovey

…with oak covering the concrete at the base…then the bookcase and then in the little area behind the stairs, I’m going to do wall to wall super plush carpet so that this spot can serve as a little hangout/reading nook.

The living area’s main architectural feature will be a fireplace with floating concrete bench…along these lines…

inspiration orc lottaagaton blogspot

And then then in the office, I’ve switched gears a bit from the plan and have decided to nix the built in desk in favour of a custom made bed that I’ve just decided will look a little something like this…

master-of-illusion-taupe-living-room-526a82929ac35f911ade4daf-w620_h769 (1)

All the yassss on that.

So that’s the architecture.

As for all the other stuff that will go in there, here’s the grand moodboard plan for the main living area and office…

christine dovey one room challenge living room moodboard

And then the reading nook and playroom…

christine dovey one room challenge playroom 4

As noted last week, the general gist is very neutral and modern, with little pops of colour and whimsy.

The daybed shot above really sums up the vibe.

There is so much to break down in terms of the plans and this post is already getting super long so just quickly for now, all of the amazing ORC sponsors will be playing a huge role in making these spaces happen…

All Modern | Annie Selke | Arianna Belle | ATG Stores | Bellacor | Canadian Tire | Citizen Atelier | Bouclair | Crystorama | Drop it Modern | Dimplex | Emtek | Fabricut | Farrow & Ball | Framebridge | Fringe Market | GRASS | Haiku Fans | Hapi Art | Home Depot Canada | J & J Made | Jill Rosenwald | Karastan | Lamps Plus | Lazzaro Leather | Metrie | Mimosa Lane | Minted | Mohawk Home | NewWall | Parima Studio | Rove Concepts | The Shade Store | Varaluz

And as a starting/foundation point, lots of wallpaper happening…I want to go into tons on that later but for now, the Farrow and Ball striped wonderfullness arrived and will be going in the playroom…

one room challenge christine dovey basement farrow and ball wallpaper


As well, for the reading nook, this super fun print from NewWall will take center stage…

one room challenge christine dovey basement newwall

The rest of the space will be dosed in custom goodness from my favourite, Drop it Modern.

In terms of fabric, this floral number by Fabricut is seriously EVERYTHING and really leading the design plan…

one room challenge christine dovey basement fabricut

I’m using a ton of fabric in this one with re-upholstery happening (thanks to J and J Made) on a whopping 7 pieces! A pair of old French chairs I used to have in the foyer and were painted black, have been stripped and I’m so in love with them already!

one room challenge christine dovey basement upholstery

And with all my spaces, art will play a huge role. A few beauties from Minted have arrived and are making the rest of my house super pretty as they wait for the basement to get did…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

So much more art to come:)

And with that, I think I’m done for week two, with a quick final look at what the current construction situations…



one room challenge christine dovey basement




The ceilings might only be just over 6 in here, but this room is going to pack a whole lotta fun!

And then the rest of the hall…

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

one room challenge christine dovey basement

…all summed up in a little vid from me to you…

Next week will be the construction reveal because work in that regard is slated to be mostly done by then. As well, I’ll be showcasing the total wallpaper and fabric story, and starting to break down all the furniture, rug, lighting goodies that have started to roll in…all super awesome.

Make sure you link over and see the progress all my fellow ORC’ers have made…they’re all fantastically talented and I myself can’t wait to see how they’re making out…

ORC Spring 2017 Featured Designers

Centsational Girl | Chris Loves Julia | Christine Dovey | Dwell With Dignity | The English Room
Glitter Guide | House of Brinson | House Updated | J+J Design Group | Lark & Linen | Abby Manchesky
Nesting Place | Old Brand New | Old Home Love | The Pink Pagoda | Rambling Renovators
Erica Reitman | Sketch 42 | Suburban B’s | Erin Williamson Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by CIH

See you back here next week:)

  1. Meredith

    I never dreamed a basement could be so amazing! I’m devouring every word, Christine. We’re getting ready to move, likely into a smaller house with lower ceilings, and I’m dying to see how you glam up the space. Can you tell me how high your ceilings are in those rooms? I’d love to know the designer secrets for making small rooms look larger. You’re awesome!!

    • Thanks so much!!!!! For the ceilings: the hallway with the walkway – 6’5″, playroom – 6’2″, main room – 8’2″ and office 7′. So basically all super low lol. I’m determined to make spaces that would normally not be used for anything, into usable ones so crossing fingers:)

  2. You had me at “hidden door to playroom”. Your kids are going to flip! Even with just the framing and drywall, the basement makes so much more sense now. Love the moodboard. That floral fabric is everything.

  3. Dabito

    Dayam! Your basement is gonna be lit! Love the wallpaper choices!

  4. Neva

    You are incredible- I love the level of detail you go into and love getting a look into your process. Have been clicking over all week for this- thank you!

  5. Arli

    Hi, I’m following along on the ORC, and I read on my iPad. I just wanted to mention that all your own vertical pix are turned sideways (horizontal).. Only your own pix are affected, the ones you use as examples/inspiration come out as vertical. I tried turning my iPad sideways, but the pix autocorrect to horizontal again. Yours is the only site I have this problem with, and unfortunately, I can’t really see what is going on sideways! The horizontal pix are fine. Good luck with the challenge.

    • I just replied to someone else re: this issue as well. I don’t know why it’s happening and I think is device specific. On my computer, via chrome, all images look correct and vertical. I’m trying to figure out the issue. Thanks:)

    • Just installed a new pluggin so hopefully pictures are correct now:)

  6. Already such good progress! And you have me dying with curiosity over your secret room…

  7. Totally obsessed with all of your inspiration images and the pieces you’ve sourced for the space. We’re transforming our office into our very first nursery for the ORC, and although that’s exciting for obvious reasons, there’s nothing like a behemoth of a project like yours to set my renovation-obsessed heart aflutter! Look forward to seeing this space unfold. XO

  8. T. Lex

    Excited to see how this turns out…but the sideways pictures may keep me from following along. Sorry, it’s just tough to view.

    • So strange…they don’t appear sideways to me. Do you mind if I ask what browser you’re using? Are you reading on your phone? The pictures are taken on my iphone and are straight. When I upload them, they weirdly turn sideways so I spent time manually flipping each one to appear straight. On Chrome, they all appear vertically.

    • I just installed a pluggin so hopefully that corrected the sideways issue:)

  9. Erin

    Don’t be surprised when you find me living in your secret room, ok? Because this basement is going to be fabulous and I’m gonna move in!!!

  10. Can I come over the play? This is going to be amazing!

  11. Oh my dear God that was an amazing post…you’re just too damn fabulous for this planet…you should be renovating Mars and doing a development there….just so inspiring!

  12. This is an entire apartment size space. I am nervous for you. My fingers and toes are crossed on this one. Love the wallpaper.

  13. This is unbelievable! In awe of you as always. This is going to be luscious. CANNOT wait to see. Also, that hidden playroom is going to blow your kids away!

  14. Ariel

    What progress! Heck ya! It looks like with the new changes things will be a bit more orderly and make more sense. Can’t wait to see next week’s progress!

  15. I actually read your whole post with my mouth open, LOL. Love it all Christine but my absolute faves are the black veneer walls in the hallway and the last inspo pick with that custom bed! Gorgeous and usual, can’t wait to see it all come together 🙂

  16. This is going to be amazing! Can’t wait to see it all come together… Week 3 coming soon!

  17. So much getting done, and I love your selections. That paper is so cute! xo

  18. Everything looks fantastic Christine! The wallpaper in the main living room that’s white with the architectural details sort of thing is that Drop it Mod? I think I saw that on their site and love it for our new (125 year old) home.

    • Sorry I think I just re-read it and it is! Can’t wait to see how it looks in your space.

      • It is yes:) I’m doing it in a custom colourway and super excited to see it up:)

  19. Irene

    Wanted to commet re the antelope carpet from karastan…I tried to purchase it for my house and found it was discontinued… I ended up with this very simlar one from Masland which I love!
    I did it with farrow and ball calamine walls which is a gorgeous soft pink/blush…you would love it….
    Good luck!!!

  20. Lynn

    This looks great, but are you putting in some kind of fire alarm or warning system? It looks like this area is totally underground with no exit ‘window wells’ so for safety reasons a fire alert system would be useful.

    • There are most definitely fire alarms in the basement and all the windows are egress.

  21. Pingback: One Room Challenge: The Flooring | Bloggsom

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