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.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
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.

Next Up

How to Overhaul Your Backyard

HGTV Magazine shares how one couple transformed their drab backyard into an exceptional double-porch sanctuary.

A Mother's Day Living Room Makeover

HGTV Magazine shows how Sabrina Soto, host of the The High Low Project, livens up her mother's living room.

30 Mini Makeovers in 30 Minutes or Less by HGTV

HGTV Magazine shares clever little ways to spruce things up superfast.

The Elements of a Happy Living Room

Tanika Ray, host of HGTV'd, tells HGTV Magazine what she loves most about her sun-splashed L.A. living room.

HGTV Magazine DIY Kitchen Art Downloads

Liven up your kitchen with these fun projects exclusively from HGTV Magazine.

Q+A With Kitchen Crasher Alison Victoria

DIY Network’s Kitchen Crashers host Alison Victoria answers your decorating and remodeling questions in HGTV Magazine.

HGTV Magazine Digital Back Issues

Looking for a DIY idea you forgot to save from a past issue? Pick up your first copy and can't wait for the next to hit newsstands? Compile your digitial archive, now.

HGTV Magazine: April 2013

Online content from the April 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine.

How to Make a Vintage Sign Coffee Table

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine recreated this flea market find. Here’s how you can, too.

HGTV Magazine Online Archives

Find a great DIY idea or catch up on your favorite stories from the pages of HGTV Magazine, past and present. If it's online, it's here.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.