Modern Tuscan-Inspired Basement

A tired, dated basement is in need of a modern redesign. Hosts Andrika Lawren and Emmanuel Belliveau redesign this dark and dated space with a Tuscan-inspired design plan.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe boring brick fireplace gets a Tuscan update with a textured limestone finish.
To support the Tuscan theme, the boring brick fireplace is refaced with a simple textured limestone finish. This spectacular new focal point is further enhanced with a distressed wooden mantel and a dramatic wrought-iron screen. To create a rustic mantel, determine the desired dimensions (it should be wider than the fireplace and at least six inches in height to give it visual weight) and secure using wood glue, nails and butt joints. To distress the wood, use hex bolts tied on wire, a wire brush, chain, nails, screws, hammer and/or chisel to remove the newness of the wood (you won't see the majority of the markings until it's stained). Rub stain on the mantel using a rag; it will settle into the grooves, highlighting the distressed areas. Let dry, and then apply satin varnish. Once dry, attach the mantel with L-brackets and dress it with your favorite wrought iron accessories.