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Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

by | Jul 26, 2016 | Decorating Inspiration, My Basement, My Home Office, My Seattle House

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Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}Pretty office inspiration from BHG

Hello! Awhile back I mentioned that we were doing some construction downstairs so I thought today it would be good to update you with the latest. This post will be full of the before and progress shots, because that’s just how it is around here right now. After shots are slow in coming, but progress is always exciting. From what I hear, you guys enjoy seeing the progress too, so this post is for you.

My daughter Courtney (who has worked with me full time for over two years now!) and I meet at my house most weekdays for work. I don’t know if you have ever wondered how self-employed people stay focused on their work, but meeting together every day helps us to stay on a regular schedule.

While we often have projects to work on or errands to do, we also have a lot of computer work. We really need our own quiet space with a door so we don’t have to be distracted by the dogs and boys and other loud sounds in our day. We had a small office in our old house (see it here), but as our business has expanded with more books and projects, we also found we have more to store now. Our original office in this house was just too small for the both of us to work and store supplies so we decided our best option was to make that room a guest room and move our office downstairs.

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

Before we bought this house, we loved that the lower level was so filled with natural light. It’s a walk out basement, but partially underground. It was SO different from many of the other houses we saw in Seattle! Basements are often small and dark, or have crazy low ceilings so this one definitely was a winner from that standpoint. It also has a white brick fireplace, which was a nice bonus.

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

One of the other aspects we loved about this basement was the flexibility in the available space. Although we liked the wide open feel, we knew that we would eventually want to section off the space so it would be more functional and serve more purposes.

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

It took us awhile to decide just how and where to section it off, but we finally figured out a great plan that would work for us now and still be flexible for the future. When we hired a painter to paint our interior walls, he brought along a contractor.

While we weren’t originally planning to build the wall right away, a contractor was available and the price was doable. We were thrilled that he could get it done quickly and it made sense to just get it all finished at the same time as the paint.

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

Nothing makes me happier than seeing progress in the works! You can get a little peek at a change for our staircase in the photo above. We were happy to have discovered WOOD under the carpet on the steps. We removed the carpet and painted the steps (Kendall Charcoal from our last kitchen cabinets).

I’ll share a separate stairway makeover down the road, but you can see some sneak peeks of it so far in this post.

Excuse the dark and grainy cell phone pics, I always waited to take progress pics until the end of the day when the painters left and I didn’t want to lug out my camera :).

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}
The new wall for our office starts near the bottom of the steps. Our office is now a nice size. Not huge, but will work well for what we need. It actually has two sides, one will be the desk area and then the adjoining area (formerly known as “the workout room”) we will use for our studio and projects.

We had been excited about using it as an actual workout room to inspire us, but with a small house and lots of needs for space we just couldn’t justify an entire room for exercise equipment (because let’s be honest, working out on a machine doesn’t happen every day).

Luckily our laundry room down the tiled hall in this basement is a decent size (see it here) so we will have just enough room for a small treadmill or some other machine there.

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

We love having the outside door into our office. It is nice to open the door to get a breeze as well as to have easy access in and out as needed. Down the road this room would also make an amazing mudroom, so should we decide to relocate our office elsewhere (or even just use the studio side only), this could become the new mudroom entrance.

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

I’ll show you more about the family room side soon, but that space still feels really light. It’s nice that you can still see right through to the fireplace when you come down the stairs so it has an open feel.

It actually feels just as spacious, too, but definitely more comfortable and functional for furniture since the room ends with a usable wall now rather than meandering off into a less defined and awkward space.

All the rooms are still flooded with natural light in spite of my dark evening cell pics, so we are definitely pleased with how it’s coming along!

It all feels a bit rough still, of course, but the drywall is now finished and has been painted so we’ve come a long way. The next steps in this makeover will be brand new flooring and window blinds. The new flooring will make a dramatic difference in the space and finish up the rooms. I’ll have more updates as we make flooring decisions and see more progress.

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

Creating Our Home Office {Basement Remodel Update}

Projects like this always bring a lot of chaos in the house, which I don’t like. I like to feel settled and that’s nearly impossible during big changes! We still have so much more to do and that stresses me out a bit, but it’s definitely going to be worth it in the end. Most of what we are doing is fairly minor stuff in the grand scheme of home remodeling projects, but trying to live in a house while any work is being done is never a super fun experience!

All things and limitations considered, we are so happy to have been able to get this far in our first months of living here.

Have a great day!

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Inspired By: Pretty Office Inspiration Boards

Our white brick fireplace (the other side of this downstairs space!)


  1. Jo Jo

    Congrats on all the progress being made in your home! I like that you made your office in your basement area…it makes more sense to function that way, rather than a ” work- out room”. You reclaimed space in a very smart way! You will still have a lovely, bright cozy family room space down there too! Love the painted stairs! Hang in there, Melissa…it’s really coming along nicely. ?

  2. Dawn

    I don’t usually take the time to comment, but be assured that you are an inspiration to so many! Love the stair makeover and how you’ve reapportioned your space. Making great progress!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks for the encouragement, Dawn! I love knowing you guys enjoy the progress posts!

  3. Deanna Rabe

    I like it! Is the studio space in this new space also? I love progress reports!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks! Yes it’s actually not shown in the post because I couldn’t get to it with all the work being done! It’s connected to the office though, right through the opening. I’ll share it specifically once we get going on the floors!

  4. Ardith

    Melissa, what progress you have made with this fantastic space. Well done, team! Thank you for sharing and looking forward to seeing more updates. Cheers, Ardith

  5. Lorrie

    What a great space for a home office. It’s great to see all the steps. Love the colour of the steps!

  6. Gina

    Love it! Can you share how you painted the stairs?

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      There are special paints for floors that can hold up to the traffic! I’ll definitely share more on that project!

  7. Barb

    Will your stairs now be too noisy? Our basement steps are just wood, and I keep contemplating a runner or something to deaden the noise. It’s open to our family room so you definitely hear it when someone goes up or down. What do people do about stairs with no carpeting?

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I actually love the sound of wood steps in an old house! It brought more character to the house so it just feels right to us. We actually put in wood steps in our last house, too. Besides the look, I love how easy it easy to sweep and keep them clean. I’ve contemplated a runner but I don’t think I’d like the extra work to keep it clean.

  8. Diane Cummings

    Melissa-This is looking really awesome!! You are making good use of the space that you have. So fun to see how things are going for you.
    Diane Cummings

  9. Rebecca Turner

    Busy, busy! You have a lot going on, and I love what you’ve done so far! It’s really nice when you give us glimpses of what’s happening behind the scenes. A work in progress! (I’ve always been curious and loved seeing inside other’s homes since I was a little girl.) Reminding us that your daughter works with you, is helpful in understanding your need for space. I’m still waiting for an update on the side yard though. Did I miss something?

    And why is it that I suspect as soon as you’ve finished THIS house, you’re going to want to start on a new one? But maybe it’ll be your daughter’s abode next time, and you can stay where you are for awhile, and enjoy that view! Smiling!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hi Rebecca, thank you for coming by and your comment. Thanks, I’m happy to share my home, it is fun for me! I’m the same way, I love peeking inside houses and watching the progress. The side yard is a long story, very long and slow….I can hardly believe how crazy long it has taken to complete and all the issues that continue to delay it. My intention and expectation was for it to be completely done this last winter. :-( Alas, it’s nearly August. But I will update on it soon to give a report :-/, not done but I’m hopeful it will be soon … And oh no, I have no desire to start another house in the next decade, ha! There is plenty we can do with this house, so I think we will stay put for a long while.

  10. Leah

    I absolutely love home projects but can also totally relate to not always loving the chaos that goes with it!! I have to completely “gear up” for it mentally, before beginning anything – especially if it means having contractors of any sort coming and going!
    Love seeing progress pictures – thanks for sharing.: )
    That entire downstairs space is going to be so great!
    ~Leah: )

  11. teresa

    Love the step by step…we are still waiting patiently to get into our home….soon very soon….Then the fun begins!
    Thank you for all the ideas you have given me over the years.
    Have a wonderful day

  12. Kathy Cheek

    You do have alot going on with your home remodel, and it is looking great! The disruption will eventually be over and worth it. I can’t wait to see the finished remodel.

    I am also looking forward to that with our home, although all the work is exterior after two hail storms in the spring in our area, the worst hail I have ever seen in north Texas. When our fence was replaced, the fence crew trampled my vegetables. The window crew trampled some of my flowers, next week the roof crew is coming and then the gutter crew, and then the paint crew. By then I anticipate more of my flower beds will be trampled on…looking forward to starting over next spring and hoping I never see large hail again. But we have alot to be thankful for, it could have been so much worse.

  13. Morgan

    Awesome! You guys are really making great progress. Hope everything is coming together smoothly! Thanks for the update!

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