Is it possible to get this basement room out of the '60s?

msfingers2March 30, 2014

House is 60 yrs old. When we moved in 18 yrs ago we painted the paneling. The cutout by TV and bookcase cabinet drives me crazy. Any suggestions would be appreciated. On the upside, the floor is heated and the windows are newer. Thanks in advance!! (Dog looks as flummoxed as I am!!)

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Looking at this picture and the one you posted in the Remodeling forum, I have to say your basement looks very nice, bright and cheery.

The only thing that really screams "1960" to me is the scalloped edge on the bookcase. And maybe the paneling under the paint. The wallpaper border and the flashlight track lighting fixtures say late 1980's.

If it were me and I wanted a change, I'd replace the paneling with white beadboard and redo the bookcase (or remove it), remove the wallpaper border and get different ceiling fixtures. The light green on the walls looks nice, but could be changed to another light color, if you like, for a change. Can't really say anything about the area by the TV; not clear what's there since you seem to be hiding something with the screens.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:29PM
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Here's another picture. Door to left leads to crawlspace so logical place for TV was alcove -- screens are there just to make it look less 'alcovey.' I will look into the cost beadboarding.
Thanks for taking the time to give me feedback!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 11:23PM
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If you don't like the bookcase and there's nothing behind it that's being hidden (pipes, etc.), you could take it out and continue with beadboard at the same height as the rest of the basement all the way around into the opened alcove and do drywall above that level. I'm assuming the foundation is at that level and that's the reason for the offset of the paneling into the room. If not, you could take it all down and redo with drywall to get a flat wall.

My personal preference for finished basements is very light colors for walls, ceilings and floors, unless the basement is more like a first floor, with a walkout and lots of windows. I don't like it if all the lights always have to be turned on during the daytime in order to use the space.

If you like the impact of the track lighting fixtures because you can focus light in areas that would not receive light from floor/table lamps or standard ceiling fixtures, try replacing those circular fixtures with a real track with some tiny, modern heads that don't stick down into the room too much. Do your homework as far as getting similar levels of illumination or go to a lighting showroom for some help. Different types of bulbs can provide focused light in a lot smaller package. There are so many different styles available. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Track LIghting Heads - filtered for 'Modern'

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 8:24AM
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Thank you SO much for your feedback, it's made me think in different ways about the space. The bead board sounds very intriguing, but I'll have to figure out what to do with the alcove and bookcase -- since that's all paneling. I could plan to drywall that whole wall -- have to think about tying it up with bead boarding the rest of it -- and of course -- ALWAYS -- the cost. I think the lighting you reference will make a big difference, too You've given me great ideas and I truly appreciate it!!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 11:00AM
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