48 Comments

  1. Oh, I’m so sorry that you have gone through so much with this room. But how far it’s come!!!! The hidden storage with doors looks so awesome – and I’m totally jealous of all that space to hide away the junk. So practical. I really don’t know how to handle the gaps – that’s one of those things that I know would bother me as a homeowner but I truly don’t even notice in the photos until you tell me. Not that it helps. But I just wanted to encourage you – because the space looks incredible. Take heart’!

    1. Thanks so much Kim, I really don’t have the energy or desire to style more shelfies in the house LOL. Shoving junk behind doors is awesome.

  2. first of all that first paragraph- YES to it all. you know i feel the same.
    secondly, i think the room looks awesome! the only thing i can think of would be caulk to fill the gap but i know it’s not really what you want.

    1. The gaps at the bottom are so big in some spots that I’d definitely couldn’t use caulk. Unfortunately because I love caulk. It’s so easy to use

  3. Marty Oravetz says:

    Oh i love all the changes to this room. Now I know more molding is not what you want, but it is probably all that is going to work. I don’t think anyone sees this as much as you and yes, I am a nut for things being finished right too, so I do understand.

    1. Thanks Marty, I want to find a solution that is easily removable should I ever need to slide them off the wall. I probably won’t find anything and will just have to live with it 😉

  4. Wow! The white makes such a huge difference in this space, Julia! I know it’s hard for you to not spot the things that are bugging you in here, but it’s an absolutely amazing transformation from my side of the screen! Fingers crossed you come up with a solution you like!

    1. Thanks Brynne, that’s why it’s nice listing the things I did do already and seeing before photos.

  5. The only solution is to paint a piece of wood to match and then scribe it to fit the gaps. This will work for the bottom and the corner. If you just pin nail it you can easily remove it if needed.

  6. Girl, you should come over and see our basement… you’d feel pretty good about yourself then. Ok, so we have uneven floors too… a trick that we’ve used is to use the jigsaw and shave off the top side of the trim (or bottom – whichever would be less noticeable). Do you think that would work?

    1. In some spaces it’s only a sliver of a gap and in others I can slide my hand in. I feel like I’ll hurt myself with a saw if I try to cut pieces like that 😉 I might just have to live with it

  7. Hi there
    This is my first comment ever: I am not a blogger, but I follow your blog just because I like to see the posts, and I like to see “real” people facing dilemmas on styling their homes. I have recently bought an old house and we are piece by piece renovating it. Therefore I am all the time looking for inspiration – particularly one on a budget. I think what brought me to your blog was your IKEA post.
    I live very far away from you; but not too far from your homeland: Switzerland.
    And, keep up the blogging. It is just difficult to leave a post when we are not bloggers ourselves.
    For what it matters – I find you house awesome looking and the space on your basement looks really bright and warm. Hope you can figure out a way to fix the small kinks and post all about it here!
    Tschüss

    1. Oh hey there! I love heating from non-bloggers! It’s the best. So thank you so so much.
      I also love Switzerland we just visited our friends a year and a half ago. They live in Küssnacht am Rigi. Such a wonderful place to call home. The cost of living is shockingly high though.
      Best of luck with your own home renovations. And hopefully talk to you soon.

      1. Yes, always check out your posts. It is the only blog that I have signed up for email alerts so far! Enjoy the skying season… not sure it has already started in Switzerland.
        Best, Alesssandra

  8. Love your post, because I have the same basement problems. My upstairs looks really nice and all the unwanted furniture are ending up downstairs. I have a mix from everything and I hate it. But like you said it’s a family room and hang out place for my teenage girls and they love it.
    One day it will look nice….. until then we just enjoy the mix of everything.
    Servus
    Simone

    1. Thanks Simone! Now that the room is changing to this I can’t get my son to use his own room anymore. He wants to be down there and my hubby gets upset because he hogs the tv with his PlayStation

  9. I think your basement looks fabulous, mine is an unfinished storage space so I would trade in a heartbeat. The defects you mentioned were not noticeable to me at all but I know how it is when you are looking at them everyday in your home and they are noticeable to you. A couple really simple suggestions. Instead of fighting the cabinets to line up with each other why not just slide your tv unit away from the big unit a few inches, or move it down further and put the plant between, make the gap large enough to look intentional. For the basement window I would put 1 or 2 floor length sheer panels either behind the curtains on a second rod or even a single panel on the same rod between the curtains (it will squish enough to still close. It will make it look more like a full length window overall. I love the bright white freshness of it all!

    1. Thanks so much Autumn. It already is hiding the gap ???? because I slid it away. Thankfully the fiddle leaf is doing a wonderful job hiding it. And you are so right, I was definitely considering curtains like that.

  10. I also have a dark basement. I love the way that the white lightened up your room!

  11. Ingrid Aller says:

    Considering the mishmash you started with and the crazy building imperfections (don’t you just love builder grade attention to detail – not!) you have come a VERY long way. Give yourself a break and call it good enough – how many people have such a nice family room? I love the white – you have so many other objects hung and displayed that it calms it all down. As for the wrestling mat…keine ahnung. Sometimes you just have to deal (!)

    1. You are right the white does calm down all the other stuff. And yeah, how about that wrestling mat ???? Männer!!!

  12. Give yourself a pat on the back. It looks lovely. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’ll do that or maybe I’ll tell my hubby to do it

  13. I love all the white, and I love the room. Wish I could help with the other issues. They are way more important to you because you’re a designer.
    Thanks as always for the inspiring ideas.

    1. Thanks so much Ursula! I guess you are right that they are way more important to me. Thanks so much for reading

  14. I’m a non blogger but read about a dozen decorating blogs each day. I rarely comment just because I don’t think my comments will make a difference. Maybe I need to rethink this. Your blog is great and you are obviously very talented. Thanks for your willingness to share your decorating adventures!

    1. Thanks so much Betsy. To me the comments mean the world. It’s hard sometimes putting all these posts out there for the world to read when you don’t know exactly who is on the other end. I love hearing from the other end and knowing who is there. Especially from the non-bloggers. So thank you so so much

  15. I haven’t commented in ages, but that’s not because I haven’t been following and enjoying your posts!! You are so real and believable-plus very talented! How is your daughter doing? I know blogging must be difficult at times, but please don’t be discouraged.

    1. Hi Jen, thanks so much. I do get discouraged often because blogging is changing. There is so much competition with people who take it really really serious and it takes so much time with so little money in return. Lets see how blogging will go with my seasonal part-time job. LOL! I might totally run out of energy.

  16. Arrgh Julia, I have many of these same feelings about my living room. It is a dark ,awkward space (and yes is extremely hard to photograph.) If it is any consolation the imperfections in your basement are probably aren’t noticed by anyone but you. (Haha except maybe the wrestling mat but hey that’s husbands for you. I guess you have to let them live there too :p) It looks amazing and since I don’t even have a basement I am pretty jealous. Keep on doing what you do “my German blogging friend” I love stopping by.

    1. Yeah Maggie photographing this space is crazy difficult and no fun. THE WRESTLING MAT!!!! Yes he lives here too and I’ve lived with it for 10 years now 🙁 Oh and thanks

  17. Hi Julia, I found your blog recently. You inspired me to paint my dining and living room and change all the decoration to a more neutral look with some pops of color. Your family room looks amazing.! I look forward to your posts every week. So keep up your awesome blog and don’t get unmotivated. You are doing great.!

    1. Oh thank you so much Maria, comments like yours make me keep going and then I know I’m not just talking to myself. So thank you so so much.

  18. It is so refreshing to read a blog where everything isn’t perfect all the time. As frustrating as this has to be fore you, I appreciate the dose of reality among a sea of perfection. In spite of your current feelings, I have to say your basement is gorgeous! I recently found your blog and have been reading it regularly ever since…keep on, keeping on!!!

    1. Thanks so so much Peggy. I will try my best to keep on going! Comments like your mean the world to me.

  19. The room is so light and bright now and I think the gaps bother you more than they are
    noticed by anyone else. Separating the low unit from the tall units is a good idea. Maybe you could
    put a shaggy rug in the area in front of the units.
    I would put a plantation shutter on the window and not use drapes. The shutters can be
    open to let in light but not drqw attention to the window. Your home is beautiful and I enjoy
    your creative posts. Do you have a small area somewhere in the room that you could put the
    mat and hide it with a decorative screen?

    1. Thanks Margaret, it would be so nice if my husband would let me put the same shag rug as under the sofa by the shelving units, but nope… and there is no other room for the huge mat. I tried to sell him on a yoga mat which is enough for other people and he’s not having it either. When the basement was a mess and just for the kids, it was fun to have half of the basement covered with the met. The kids went crazy down there for hours. But they aren’t that little anymore and now I hate it. Bummer

  20. I’m sorry the room has caused so many frustrations for you! But I do think it’s shaping up to be a great, relaxing family space. I love that sofa! And I think I could use a giant wall of shelves in pretty much every room in my house 😉

    1. I could use that too. Ain’t nobody have time for styling selfies either

  21. I have read your blog for a while but never subscribed, but after reading your first paragraph I decided I needed to and also needed to say, “Hey, what’s up?”

    I had actually never taken a good long look at the “before” but after today, with the wrestling mat, and LOVING how the room looks now, I think you should give yourself a break! I had to laugh after looking at the man cave items and then seeing your “Anger” pillow…it all kind of fit together 🙂

    I have a pretty big basement, mostly empty, expect for 3 litterboxes….so you can think of THAT when you aren’t happy with yours!!! 🙂

    1. LOL there is a lot of Anger in the basement between my husband screaming during football games and my son screaming and punching pillows during his playstation soccer games. I thought the Anger pillow was so fitting 😉 I have letterboxes down there too but they are tucked away under the stairs in a closet by the bar. I don’t want to sound like I’m unhappy with my basement because I’m not. I just run out of steam sometimes. Have a great weekend.

  22. Hi Julia. I have just started reading your posts this month. Your home is such an inspiration to me! I could go on and on about your DIY’s and decor, but should address today’s topic.
    Idea: Might you fill the gaps under the cabinets with narrow wood shims available at home improvement stores or even some (easy to cut) strips of styrofoam or foam board from a craft store? You could paint them to match your cabinet doors. Strong double faced tape or another temporary bonding product should hold them in place. The styrofoam might not need anything if the fit is tight enough.

    1. Hi Shari, thanks so much for deciding to leave a comment because the idea of foam posterboard might be a genius idea. I do have wood shims under the cabinets already and those are the ones bothering me the most because you can see them, so the pasteboard might work great. I’ll keep you updated. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

  23. Hi Julia, it is quite amazing, how difficult it is for you to decorate your basement – me I am struggling with my living room! I have a 25 year old wall unit with drawers, glass cabinet and shelves and I am so sick of it. And most of all all the hazzle with the cables of TV, suround system and the lot… But my problem is, I really love my beautiful country kitchen and dining room furniture, but I don’t want that for my living room. There I like it modern. But modern means fewer storing space… so what can I do?
    I like what you did with your basement-TV-wall, perhaps a solution I should consider..?

    1. Hi Evelyn, yes my wall unit is definitely modern. You can also attach some modern hardware to it but I think I won’t because I like the bare look and that it almost looks like a wall. Thanks so much and have a great weekend.

  24. My first time reading your blog and was brought here via holiday home tour. I skipped that and went directly to your basement which looks great! Love the light colors and the use of the Ikea storage. Was thinking of trying some out in my basement and when I saw yours I was inspired more.

    Have a great holiday

    1. Oh thank you so much I’m glad you like it.

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