basement family room makeover | decisions

by | Jul 27, 2021 | All Things Home | 34 comments

Over the last few weeks, you’ve seen me meander through decisions about my basement family room makeover.  And, let me say, I am so glad I have given myself the freedom to change course and switch directions,  I believe that freedom – that relaxed, unhurried approach, will end up making for a better room.  Not that my initial plan was bad, but I needed to shift gears based on the materials I was able to source and what felt right in the room as changes started to be made.

As a reminder, this was the plan at the beginning…

And here is where we are now…

basement family room makeover | paint and fabrics | oval room blue | miss mustard seed

The first photo was the inspiration.  It was theory.  The second photo is the reality.  It’s fabric I have in hand that is the right texture, color, and feels right for the room and the direction I’m heading.

The best part is that these accent/pillow fabrics are ones I already have in my stash.

basement family room makeover fabrics | miss mustard seed

Let me take you a few steps back, so we can connect point A with point B.  My hope is that following this process, one that isn’t a clear, straight path, will help you when it comes to designing your own room.

My approach to this has been identifying the non-negotiables (the color of the built-in cabinets, the sofa, the rug, and now the wall color) and then allow myself plenty of latitude when it comes to all of the other decisions.  I don’t just want to find something that works, I want to find something I love that will support my vision and the non-negotiables in the room.  This can be much harder than working on a room entirely from scratch, without any non-negotiables, but most of us aren’t working from scratch.  We’re working within some parameters and we don’t want (or need) to replace everything.  It definitely takes a bit more patience, but it forces you to be intentional and creative.  Those are two elements that make for a great room.

I knew I loved the wall color, Oval Room Blue.  It is a beautiful, rich complement to the built-ins, but I wasn’t feeling the light beige and cream checked curtains I had selected.  They just felt too light in color for the cozy, gentlemen’s lounge library soft of vibe I was imagining for this room.  I tend to sway a little more feminine in my designs, so I have to keep checking myself to make sure I’m selecting something that feels a little more masculine or at least neutral.  I wanted to go a little darker and richer and I was hoping to find a fabric that tied the wall color and built-ins together so that everything looked intentional as if it was all selected ahead of time.

fabric samples | basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed

I ordered a bunch of samples (above), but I also ordered three yards of fabric that I thought might at least make good pillows if not curtains.  I had a good feeling about it and I couldn’t order a sample.  When the fabric arrived, I knew almost instantly that it was the winner.

I hung it up from one of the built-in cabinet doors to get a good visual and it was perfect.  It has almost the exact shade of blue on the walls and a brown that ties into the built-ins.  I also like that it has a tapestry/European vibe.

basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed

But, I couldn’t get too excited, yet.  I had to make sure it would work with the gray sectional and the rug.  I loved it.  Typically, I’ll wait a day or two before I order a ton of yardage for a project because I want to make sure I’m certain.  I want to watch the colors in the light during different times of the day.  But, I didn’t need more time with this one.  I needed to order it quickly while there was still enough yardage available.  I was certain that several people at that same instant had decided to use this fabric in their room and the race was on!  Not really, but I did want to make sure I could order the fabric I needed – enough for four curtain panels and some pillows.

basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed

The fabric is P Kaufmann’s Into the Woods and I am so excited about it!  I am going to make some simple full-length panels (like THESE), which will add some great color, texture, and height to the window and sliding door.  I have dark wood curtain rods and rings to hang them from and will use inexpensive dark blue twin sheets as lining.  (The back of the fabric is white, so it needs a liner.

Over the weekend, I painted the rest of the walls in Oval Room Blue and it looks so good.  I absolutely love this color and I am sold on Farrow & Ball paint.  (I am going to share a whole post about the paint, using the primer, the different finishes, etc.)  The boys also helped me rearrange the furniture over the weekend.  It’s a subtle change, but we turned the rug and pushed the sectional up so that it is a little closer to the TV and a bit more centered on the window.  It just feels so much better and I wonder why I didn’t do it years ago!

basement family room makeover | oval room blue | miss mustard seed

Turning the rug makes this side of the room feel more cohesive and like one intentional space.  It also leaves more space for the other side of the room to feel more like its own separate area.   Ideally, the rug would be 10 x 12 instead of 8 x 10, but it’s fine.

basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed

After living with the wing chairs in a sort-of circle for a few weeks, we really like the idea of having a round table for games and puzzles surrounding by comfy wing chairs (that we already have.)  We moved the empire dresser to fill the wall between the window and sliding doors.  I sort of imagine a wardrobe or hutch there to add height and provide more storage, but I haven’t found anything that is perfect for it, yet.  I also haven’t found a table, but there is a potential one on Facebook Marketplace that I’ve inquired about.  I am going to Gold Rush Days in a few weeks (it’s a huge antique market in my area) and I’m hopeful I’ll find things I need & want for this room there if I don’t find them sooner.

basement family room makeover | oval room blue | miss mustard seed

Just imagine a tall, stately hutch, cupboard, or wardrobe in that spot with full-length curtain panels on either side…

basement family room makeover | oval room blue | miss mustard seed

In addition to deciding on the main fabric for the room, I have decided I am going to paint out all of the trim and doors in the basement in Oval Room Blue.  The stairs, too.  We’re going Oval Room Blue all the way.

If you can’t quite picture it, here is an example of the trim and doors painted in Oval Room Blue

oval room blue inspiration | farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

And here is a picture of stairs painted in Oval Room Blue (although I’m painting my banister and newel post as well and I’m not installing a runner.)

oval room blue stairs inspiration | miss mustard seed

I don’t think it’s right for every room, but for a basement with a European/Library sort of feel?  Yep, that works.  I am going to install a chair rail and maybe do some picture frame molding if I feel like it would make a big difference.  There are some wonky walls and angles I’d have to work around, but I can always add that once I’m done with everything else.

I think it will really help with making all of these disjointed finishes and elements look cohesive.

basement family room makeover | oval room blue | miss mustard seed

And, I have a fun (and free) idea I’m going to try for the chandelier in here.  It’s a little crazy, but I think it’s going to be fabulous and it will make me so happy.  Just wait…

basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed

Next on the to-do list is to paint the fireplace, trim, and doors.  Then, I need to strip the carpet off the stairs, patch & paint the stairs, sew & hang the curtains, make slipcovers for two of the wing chairs, make covers for the poufs, sew pillows, refinish/paint the coffee table, and restyle the built-ins.  I’m also planning to try painting the hardware instead of replacing all of it.  I’ll likely replace the handles, but I’m hoping I can just paint the knobs to make them look like brass and save a lot of money!

basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed

Annnnnd, I want to do some really cool things with the art in this room.  I’m planning to paint some studies of old-world art (a portrait or two and a landscape) and I’d love to even find a deer head!  Jeff was shocked when I told him that, but I think it would be perfect for this room.

I’m having so much fun with this space if you can’t tell!  It’s stretching me but in a good way.


  1. Liz

    I have that Kauffman fabric on a chair and ottoman. LOVE!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I bet that looks great! It is a beautiful fabric.

    • Susan

      That fabric is perfect and just the right blend of masculine and feminine. Same for the paint color. It’s hard to make everyone happy but I think you’ve nailed it, deer head included!

  2. B Folk

    Wow, Marian, you have a long “to-do” list! Sounds wonderful and I am looking forward to watching the process.
    I would love to find smaller, swivel recliners like the two wingbacks that you have… where did you buy them?

    • Marian Parsons

      I know! That to-do is so long, but I’ll just take it one step at a time. Those chairs were from Target a few years ago, actually in the baby nursery department. I would suggest looking at swivel rocker/gliders in that department to see if you can find any that are smaller in scale.

  3. Monica

    Try Rub’nBuff for the hardware!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! I’m going to try that first!

  4. Lmg

    So glad your painting the trim, I think it will be more cohesive. I love everything you picked. Excited about gold rush.

  5. Lauren

    I’m thrilled you are going all out with Oval Room Blue on all the trim, doors, stairs, etc. Just please pace yourself because this is more than I could accomplish in five years. 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

    • Kim

      Hi – everything already looks so beautiful! Could you share where the rug was purchased

  6. Michelle

    I love your use of color and prints! That fabric for the curtains is absolutely beautiful! It’s so refreshing to see a blogger that uses color! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  7. Maureen

    I can’t wait for the final reveal. It’s going to be gorgeous.

  8. Julia

    Love it! Really glad you are going all out with the paint. Does that include painting the blinds? Chair rail and molding is the cherry on top.

    • Marian Parsons

      I am not going to paint the blinds, but I’m not sure about the trim around the windows, yet. That will probably be the very last decision I make. if the white blinds are just a major distraction, then I’ll paint them. I just really don’t want to have to do that and I don’t think it will be necessary. I’ve seen examples of rooms with painting trim and doors and white windows and it looks sharp.

  9. Holly Binns

    I just love that you found the perfect fabric! Switching the rug and moving the furniture a bit make the room feel cozier, too. I actually really like that dresser that’s a placeholder between the windows and doors, but could also see a pretty hutch there. I was definitely team #paintthetrim so I’m glad that’s the direction you decided to go. Can’t wait to see the progress. It’s going to be so great!

  10. Lisa P

    Oh boy, you will be busy but it all sounds lovely! Such a great Farrow & Ball wall colour that brings out the best of the stained built-ins too. And the P Kauffman fabric looks perfect in there! I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. Thanks for bringing us along as you work on this room 😀

  11. Marie Vitale

    Cannot wait to see your results!!! ❤️❤️

  12. Colleen Lang

    How about moving the empire dresser to the stair wall? Using the same lamp. The small piece that is there looks a little lost. I know it’s a family piece, but maybe there will be another place that could be used ? Just a suggestion! 🙂

  13. Catherine Kennedy

    What are the two fabrics second row up from the bottom in the last grouping of fabrics? (That wasn’t too confusing!!!). And would you mind saying where I could find them?

    Love the look and colors!

  14. Rebecca Miller

    LOVE the paint color. LOVE the fabric. Looking forward to seeing the painted woodwork and how it all turns out.

  15. Kathleen

    Love the choices you have made!! You’ve got it all together, and it’s going to be beautiful. I can’t wait to see the completed project!!

  16. monique odman

    There you go! Fantastic decisions you have made. The ‘into the woods’ fabric is fantastic with the wood color and everything around, it is rich in pattern and coloring.
    My family in Europe has used Farrow & Ball in two houses, there is something that stands out, not just the quality of the paint itself, but the finish and all their colors are wonderful. I am glad that you will paint the trims and more; the photo of an interior in Oval Room Blue shows how nice it is, instead of several colors competing. Also, the chair rail is another good idea.
    The only thing that bothers me, and who cares, is the fake angled fire place and the square poufs, so close to the large furniture and big TV. Never mind, you are your own decorator.

  17. Mary S

    Oh my… CAN YOU HURRY A LITTLE????? 😀 😀 😀 Just kidding of course. Just that
    I can’t wait to see it all pulled together. Wish you were for hire. I’ll do the work. You just tell me what and where and what color… 😀 Deal??? Can’t wait to see it all!! You are amazing!

  18. SueA

    That is a perfect fabric selection! I know I recommended a plaid (which I see that you do not do) but this is really wonderful. And painting all the trim Oval Blue will also be lovely. Dark, but that is the vibe in here! But I am not sure how the white shutters will look as the only white bit…
    Also your process is so true. Thanks for sharing that!

  19. Julia Ravensbergen

    Love love love the paint colour. I once did a wall in a colour that looked very similar – only i did it in oil paint and the way the light from the windows played with the colour was amazing – sometimes blue, sometimes green depending on time of day and season. i miss those large windows that allowed for that. Enjoy the process!

  20. Linda A Charlton

    I love everything about your home.

  21. Addie

    Hi Marian,
    That is so weird you said you wanted a deer head. As I was reading this, I thought about your antlers you have upstairs and thought they would look good down there!!! (great minds think alike 😉 )
    A good place to look for your deer head would be at a taxidermy. A lot of people never come back to pick them up. So they sell them…good luck.

  22. Crystal Brown

    OH YAAAY! So glad you are painting the trim, doors and everything, I know it will look fabulous. That fabric!!! yess! Love all your ideas and also the fact that you are having fun with this room. It’s going to be so freakin wonderful!

  23. Paulla

    Please, no dead animals on your walls, offensive to your pets.

  24. diane

    in case, you havent noticed, ive been riding on ur shoulder the whole time in this room. love all the u r doing.

  25. Robin

    You live in the right place for deer heads. I live in NW Iowa and my rental house came with a deer head in the basement. (previous renters didn’t take it with them) My sister hung socks to dry on the antlers. lol!

  26. Linda

    You have a long to-do list!!! I’m looking forward to seeing it finished. Also, I hadn’t considered painting my newel posts and rails, so I’m really looking forward to seeing yours finished. Good luck!

  27. Pamela

    I love the direction you’re going with this room SO much. It will be the coziest in winter and gives me the Colonial vibe I adore with all the painted wood trim and doors. My vote is for a deer head mount. The draperies fabric is gorgeous. Might I suggest you also inter line them with ‘bump’ which is a felt interlining. There’s another name for it but that’s the old fashioned word. I use it when dressing doors especially because it’ additional insulator and the hang and weight it gives is second to none. Can’t wait to see this space, bet it will be your favorite winter hangout ever.

  28. Jeanne Bell

    Where do you usually order your fabric from. The choices you have made are awesome.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company