Before and After: A Bright and Colorful Basement Makeover

This basement used to just need an update — then a tropical storm struck. HGTV Magazine shows you a remarkable comeback.

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September 01, 2020

Photo by: DANE TASHIMA

DANE TASHIMA

Photo by: DANE TASHIMA

DANE TASHIMA

A tree falling on your house isn’t usually a good thing … unless you end up with a dream reno. That’s what happened to Brandi and Cathy Lesesne’s family after Tropical Storm Irma plowed through Decatur, Georgia, in 2017, flooding and damaging the lower level of their 1964 split-level home. “We’d been meaning to renovate but never got around to it,” says Brandi. Suddenly they had no choice. The couple worked with designer Gina Sims to infuse their basement with color and take the cute factor from 0 to 100. Says Brandi, “It’s been the bright side of a bad situation.”

The Reno

Family Room

BEFORE

DANE TASHIMA

AFTER

DANE TASHIMA

Photo By: DANE TASHIMA

Photo By: DANE TASHIMA

This area used to be filled out with furniture from the family’s old home. “Taking everything out during the reno made us think about what we put back in,” says Brandi. The worn leather couch: not a keeper. Instead they got a blue velvet number from Article and geometric pillows from West Elm. Painting the brick fireplace blue and hanging orange grass cloth wallpaper above the mantel instantly upgraded the scene. "We have a formal living area upstairs, but this is the place everyone wants to be," says Brandi.

Game Room

BEFORE

AFTER

DANE TASHIMA

Photo By: DANE TASHIMA

Formerly part toy stash and part storage, this bonus room found its true calling. Gina had the idea to build a whimsical bench with an extra-high back, complete with storage for games. The chartreuse fabric by Crypton, spotted Brunschwig & Fils wallpaper and orangey-red plastic chairs by Kartell make the area practically magnetic, while a fun rug by Annie Selke’s Dash & Albert ties the colors together.

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