Monday, April 1, 2013

Basement Decor Updates [Finally!]

We had some family over recently to visit, and heading downstairs to check out the kids playing in the basement, our niece commented “Oh!  You’ve done so much down here since I’ve seen it last!”
It wasn’t until then that I realized she was right – I shared this post when we first finished the space about two years ago. 
Since then, I’ve been adding touches here and there, but as with most projects you don’t realize the difference so much when you’re making little tweaks along the way.

So here’s what the basement has been up to lately:

When you last saw it, we were so thrilled to have it COMPLETE that all we wanted to do was watch basketball and revel in the additional space.
I could have covered the entire space with pink, floofy girliness and Mr. V. wouldn’t have batted an eye, as long as the TVs were functional.

Once we settled into the new space, though, he gently asked if the space wasn’t a hair too… girly?
Remember, his idea of “perfection” was something that looked like a Sports Authority explosion.
I conceded he was probably right, and went about finding a middle ground that we could both enjoy.
The compromise: Vintage Sports.
I love sports, but I didn’t want the place covered in Hawkeye Gold from head to toe.

First step was this gallery wall above the sofa. 

It’s devoted entirely to our favorite team and my alma mater: the University of Iowa. 
The elements have all been collected over time – the postcard with the vintage Herky logo that I got in my campus orientation packet many many moons ago,
A vintage aerial photo of Kinnick Stadium Mr.V. had saved from childhood,
and some of our autographed memorabilia, including one we got as a wedding present
signed by my CoachCrush, Kirk Ferentz.


He’s dreamy. : )

On the wall kitty-corner to the gallery wall, I framed some newspaper covers and special editions I had saved over the years (even before I met Mr. V).

Having something professionally framed is awesome, but ungodly expensive.

Since these weren’t super sentimental to me, we did it quick and dirty (read: cheap).
Here’s the quick way to getting custom-looking art without the custom price tag:
I bought these frames (half-off, natch) from Hobby Lobby, removed the matte they came with.  Then I took my newspaper pieces and my frames to Michael’s and had them cut custom mattes. 
When I did the math the price of my frames + custom mattes ended up costing exactly 16% of what it would have cost to have them professionally done.  
 I’d say that’s a win.

On the small wall by the bar, I hung up these awesome vintage baseball bats, that were my Dad’s from when he was a kid.  

I call this my “WonderBoy wall” 
(anyone else love “The Natural” like I do? : ) )

The frame above it is a classic little league pic from Mr.V’s childhood.

That’s him in the middle… so sweet and nerdy, so serious about baseball.
I love it!

Elsewhere in the room I just added some vintage sports memorabilia here and there

I updated the slipcovers and swapped out the smaller ottoman for this larger, upholstered cocktail ottoman.
It fits the room and how we use it perfectly.

So that’s what’s been happenin’ in the basement lately.




  1. I love your new basement! It is so bright (loving the white slip covers) yet is is not feminine. My hubby would love this. Please share this on my linky party, if you get a chance:

    1. Thanks for linking up :) Hope you have a great day.

  2. The basement looks fantastic!


  3. I love so many things, great job. Found you at suburbsmama linky party.

    Desiree @ YourCraftyFriend

  4. Your basement looks awesome. I had no idea that Michaels would cut custom mats for frames you didn't buy there. That is the best tip I've heard in a while. I am definitely doing that. Thanks for sharing at DIYbyDesign.

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  6. what a great way to make the space more family (ie guy) friendly.

  7. You had me when you mentioned "The Natural." Greatest Movie OF ALL TIME! I think the crowning touch was adding the big tufted leather ottoman, the perfect final contrasting color and texture and oh-so-functional -- and great place to put up one's feet next to a tray holding popcorn...

    1. High Five Jan! Such a great movie :) I LOVE the ottoman - hands down my favorite change to the space. The girls love playing on it, and we love having a space to put our feet without worrying about scuffing a coffee table. And now you mentioned popcorn... and I totally need some. :)

      Thanks for the kind words!

  8. Great job, Emily! Not so over-the-top sports theme-y. Love the gallery wall!

  9. Looks SO good!! I love how it doesn't feel like a basement, it's so warm & inviting.

    Aw yeah, Kinnick & Ferentz in the ha-ouse =]

  10. Love the basement! Wish I had one! Found you at a link party and I am following you now!

  11. Your basement is such a great room!!! I love the sports decor, especially that pic of Mr. V. Such a fun addition to the space! Thanks for sharing - we had our basement finished 16 months ago and there is not a thing on the walls…'s time for me to get on that! I love what you've done with yours.

  12. ISU! ISU! Just kidding- kinda! ;) ISU alum here!
    Love your basement!

    1. Hey, who let the cyclone in???

      (just kidding... I'll root for the Cardinal & Gold all but ONE game in the season... ;) )

      Cheers - And welcome!


  13. This was one of the few basement wall colors that me & my husband could agree on. Could you let me know which paint you used for the walls. Thanks

    1. Hi Maya! The color on the walls is Desert Forteess by Valspar.

  14. Do you know what size frame that was for the newspapers and do you remember where you got those baseball bat mounts? There only seems to be limited assortments for those mounts online and the nice looking ones seem to be expensive.

    1. Hi Mike! Off the top of my head, I don't recall the size, but I got them at Hobby Lobby. They came with the matte included, so I just eyeballed the matte size (and got lucky) with it being a good size for the newspaper. I agree, the baseball mounts were hard to find. I got these from Amazon, but they're definitely not fancy. I tried to find something that would nearly disappear, since I didn't want to spend much money.
      Good luck!