Home decor Home Improvement Slide

Modern Traditional Basement Bonus Room Reveal

Hello Friends,

It’s finally time for the Basement Bonus Room reveal (ORC Week 6) and I gotta tell ya, this is one red-hot Before-and-After.

Are you ready?

Modern Traditional Basement Bonus Room Reveal

If you’ve been following along, you recall that our outdated basement got a time-to-decorate kick-in-the-pants back in June 2018 when an air conditioning pipe broke and soaked the carpeting on the floors. And, of course, water wicked up into the furniture and required some of the drywall to be cut away. Yes, it was a royal mess.

But what evs.

Every room was outdated and absolutely screaming for a redo.

BEFORE: Outdated TV room in the basement | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

So what’s a girl to do….whine about about a little water?

Basement floor soaked from the broken AC pipe | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

Huuum. No.

The way I see it, sometimes you pick your One Room Challenges and sometimes they pick you.

And with this, the basement renovation is launched.

Yes, it’s been a long road to end 2018 and begin 2019. But after all of these difficult months, things are beginning to work out for the entire basement…..slowly….but getting there.

So let’s get this reveal party started.

Warning. It’s kinda long. 🙂


I guess we’re pretty lucky because at the bottom of the boring, builder’s grade, bowling alley staircase is a super-deep and extra-wide landing.

BEFORE: Basement stairs to the open landing | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

BEFORE: The landing and bonus space in the basement | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

And I took full advantage of it. After the new drywall, paint and floors were done, the first thing I did was have this buffet (circa 1970 Drexel) hauled over to anchor the vignette. And thankfully, the area was spacious enough for me to refinish the piece right in its new forever home. Click here to see the paint and stain refinishing process.

In Progress: A 1970 Drexel buffet in the middle of a makeover | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

A little time and a whole lot of elbow grease later, here we are.

AFTER: A circa 1970 Drexel buffet gets a makeover using a paint and stain combo | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

And the view to the right.

Standing in the basement landing and checking the view to the right | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com


If you like modern barn doors, black hex tile and vanities made from furniture, you’ll surely want to have a peek at the full bathroom makeover  behind that sweet black door. This room was renovated for the Fall 2018 ORC so it’s still brand spanking new.

Well, I’m leaving the link up there…..you know….just in case.


The opening at the left, just beyond the flower arrangement on the buffet opens to the TV area.

AFTER: The basement landing and bonus room is renovated in modern traditional style | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

Maybe this view is better.

A new makeover for the basement landing and bonus area adds new living and entertainment space | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

The projection TV screen is built-in and finished, but sadly, the room doesn’t have one stick of furniture. So after the delivery truck graces us with its presence, I’ll take photos and write posts revealing this area and about how to DIY a built-in projection TV screen.

Doing a DIY screen saved a ton of space and several hundred bucks. So yes, it is worth the time and effort.

In Proress: A DIY built-in projection TV screen | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

But for now, this post will continue to focus on the landing and bonus areas. I know. I’m sorry.

Here is the view from the bonus area sofa. I’m thinking that crazy-looking, hand painted wallpaper kinda works (more on this DIY coming later in this post).

AFTER: A modern traditional basement bonus room makeover is fresh and fun | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com


In case the before photos aren’t clear, the landing and bonus areas create an L-shaped space.

An oversized ottoman gets a fresh makeover in khaki and black stripes | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

The shape allows for a full-sized sofa against the wall (the bottom part of the L) with room for an over-sized ottoman in front. Looking right is a full-on wall gallery of (mostly) my son’s photography. These photos are high school or college projects and I’ve been waiting all these years to get them up on a wall.

Photos taken by family members can be enlarged and turned into a treasured gallery wall | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

The original plan was to use all black and white prints, but removing the color from the buildings just didn’t seem to work. Without color, the photos just didn’t look like they did when he showed them as a student. Soooo…. since the over-sized black and white print was already messed up (Hiccup #2 – more on this coming), I just decided to print the gallery photos in color.

This allows orange and yellow to be pulled from the main photo (Cobb Civic Center, do you recognize it?) and used as color pops on the sofa and to coordinate with the wall unit in the next room.

Bright colors combined with white create a fresh look in basement spaces | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com


Tip: A wooden chair that folds can be moved for seating anywhere in the basement or stored away | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com


The large black and white print over the sofa was originally ordered as a 36-inch by 48-inch to hang where the gallery wall is now. But when it arrived, it was a whopping 48-by-60. The gal realized her error and immediately offered to reorder…which is nice…but it would take another week to arrive and I just didn’t have that kind of time.

And so…it’s hanging here.

For now.

A mistake by the printers created a super over-sized piece of art | Check back to see the replacement and the new home for this mistaken-sized piece | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

Next week, a different print that is better sized and probably has a bit of color will be ordered for the sofa. The photos are from my son’s collection so it will be interesting to see which photo has the digital strength to enlarge to this degree.

Small color pops floated throughout the room can lift a neutral base decor | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

And the mistake print will go into the adjacent room. See the opening to the right, just beyond the lamp?

AFTER: The bonus space in the basement gets a fresh organic base decor with a few color pops | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com


Here is a better look.

Total aside: Yes, there are still holes in the ceiling. 🙁 Don’t ‘cha just love construction? But they are coming to finish. I just needed time to get some photos before having to clean everything again…. sigh.

In Progress: A peek into the dining room where the wall unit is about 75% refinished and more furniture is on the way | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

Anyway, this is the opening to the dining room, which is one long room shared with the TV area.  The mistake-sized print should feel right at home on the big, empty wall to the right, don’t you think?

The dining room section of the wall on the right is fairly big …something like 15 feet long.

And yes, the rest of the furnishings are a’comin.

In Progress: On reveal day, this room shows off a wall unit that is about 75% refinished and a new light fixture from #target | Stay tuned for more | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com


But for now, let’s circle back to the bonus area for one last part of this reveal.

Tucked away in the last section of the L-shape is a little snip of awkward square footage. We considered adding a run of kitchen cabinets, but finally chose to leave the area open for other uses….like a mudroom or huge closet or TV media space instead of in the other room.

Honestly, I think the space has a boatload of potential. My list of possibilities is about a yard long.

BEFORE: The refreshment bar in the basement bonus space | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

But here’s what we settled on for this refresh.

An antique cabinet makes the perfect refreshment center and can be easily locked | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

I refinished this old cabinet with a food-friendly, one-step sealant and then filled it with all the goodies.

After: The cabinet is refinished with a food-friendly, one-step product and then loaded with all the goodies | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

The post for refinishing the cabinet isn’t live yet, but is coming soon.

After: A vintage cabinet stands in front of bubbly wallpaper ready to offer up all the goodies | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

Don’t ya just love this wild wallpaper? I’m thinking it’s one of my favorite additions. If you want to read about how-to create hand painted wallpaper, please click here. It’s super easy. I promise.

Handpainted wallpaper is so easy | The how-to post is on the blog | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com

OK, since I’m 26 photos into this post and worrying about blowing up your device, let’s call it a wrap. But hopefully, you get the gist about the refreshment center with just three photos. There will be more as the rest of the basement is completely finished. You know I can’t wait to shoot straight across all the spaces and into the next room. 

But for now, if you’ve enjoyed this portion of the renovation, please let me know in the comment section below (near the bottom). I appreciate and respond to every. single. comment.

And if you’d like to keep these ideas for later or share them with friends, please PIN the image below.

Modern traditional basement bonus room and bathroom (behind the black door) | Check out the amazing refresh during the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge | #basementbonusroom #moderntraditional #orc #oneroomchallenge #bhorc #betterhomesandgardens | www.thechelseaproject.com 
In case you missed:

Our Hosts

And as always, we extend a special thanks to our gracious hosts, Calling It Home , One Room Challenge and Better Homes and Gardens. And invite you to enjoy over 200 more room renovations,  click One Room Challenge. #oneroomchallenge #ORC #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc



  • Reply Susanne May 8, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Girrrrrl!!! That is amazing!! I am coming down for a drink and relax with you in that basement and the boys will just have to stay upstairs, lol!! You did a terrific job, so classy and relaxed. A perfect family hang out.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 8, 2019 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks Susanne! You’re such a sweetheart. And you bet we’d run the fellas out of the basement… LOL>.

  • Reply neenee72 May 8, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    I’m really more of a farmhouse-country type of gal, but I gotta say you have really done a bang-up job! That is a really classy upgrade and I lovelovelove what you did with the bathroom! And refinishing that buffet? Looks like a designer showroom item, gurrrrl! I give you an A+. Can hardly wait to see the completed project! BTW, your son deserves an A+ with his photography too.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 8, 2019 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks so much! You’re a doll to stop by and leave such a kind comment.

  • Reply Patricia Myers May 8, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Love your “new” basement. You do a GREAT job.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 8, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks so much! You are so kind.

  • Reply Libbie May 8, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Susie, it is so so good! All the details have come together to make this room feel polished and cozy. Good job!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 8, 2019 at 11:57 pm

      Thanks Libbie! It’s going in the right direction, but we’ve surely had hiccups galore. LOL…

  • Reply Tee May 8, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    Susie, you have such an amazing basement already! I know you still have big plans but it looks so cozy and pretty! I love that circle patterned “faux fab wallpaper.” It’s so clever! That cabinet you enhanced came out wonderful. I can’t wait to follow along your other plans for this space. Congrats on another wonderful ORC! Xo

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 8, 2019 at 11:56 pm

      Thanks Tee! You’re the best!

  • Reply Toni | Girl, Just DIY! May 9, 2019 at 1:21 am

    Congratulations friend, it all looks amazing! You worked so hard and it shows. Love that wallpaper and the gallery wall too. So much goodness from a once flooded area. I can’t wait to see the room filled with furniture and see that projection screen on action.

    You deserve a little rest now!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 7:14 am

      Thanks Toni! Yes…one day…you’ll see that projection screen in action.

  • Reply Emy May 9, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Susie, it turned out amazing!! I love the handpainted wallpaper more every time I see it. The sofa is gorgeous! Everything turned out so beautiful. Great job!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 10:11 am

      Thanks so much Emy! I’m working on the sofa now. Lessons learned and how to fix ooopsies will come in a post soon. Oh and I’m with you about the wallpaper. I can’t imagine painting over it now.

  • Reply Jewel May 9, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Holy smokes!!!! It turned out so beautifully! I need you to come show me how it’s done in our basement bc your mastered this one. I’m so proud of you!!!!!!

  • Reply Mary K Hunnicutt May 9, 2019 at 10:51 am

    WOW! You had a lot of space to work with and killed it! It hardly looks like a basement area. I love the details like the fun painted wall and gallery space. I can’t wait to see the rest when you finish!

  • Reply natashawashington May 9, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Wow, it turned out just beautifully! Love that painted wallpaper! You really did a great job with the space. Would never know it’s a basement by how bright and airy it looks. Well done!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks Natasha! You just made my day. If you couldn’t tell by the photos that it is a basement, then my tricks with paint and light are working. Yay!!! XO

  • Reply Delia Gibbs May 9, 2019 at 11:44 am

    This looks amazing Susie! That accent chest looks fabulous! I love the color-contrast. Good luck finishing the other side.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks so much Delia! I’ve already started on the other side. We are anxious to get the space usable for the hot summer months…

  • Reply Tina Bousu May 9, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Holy moly!! What an incredible transformation! The diy wallpaper, the buffet piece, the floors, the bar I can’t pick just one thing it’s all amazing!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks a million, Tina!! You’re a doll!

  • Reply Joannie May 9, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Wow Susie!!! What an amazing reveal!!! So many great changes and I love the “wallpaper” wall ❤️

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks Joannie!! I’m thinking the great solo cup caper of 2019 is here to stay… LOL… XO

  • Reply Cristina May 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    First of all… This space is huge! A completely different space from the one in the before pics. Love the landing spot, the wallpaper, the sofa, and that cool cabinet full of goodies. It’s the perfect hang out space.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks Cristina!! Come on over!

  • Reply Angela May 9, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Hiccups happen, but this room is well on its way! I still LOVE the circles on the wall, and the rest of the space is amazing! I hope everything else is delivered soon so you can have something bubbly and relax! Cheers!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks Angela! I went shopping for “midmodern” furniture yesterday. Just need a couple more pieces. Need you to come along.

  • Reply CoCo May 9, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    This doesn’t even look like the same space Susie! It’s so fantastic. Love, love, love all the mix of different prints and how you used all the black and white. You know I love these floors too. Great job, I love it! Hugs, CoCo

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      Yay!!! Coco!!! Thanks so much, girl. Your sweet comment is so encouraging.

  • Reply janpattersonrn May 9, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I enjoy the way you narrate as we walk along through the project. I feel as though I’m there with you and when we finish we’ll go upstairs for tea and more chat. AND I generally like the finished projects – they go with my taste to a great extent, so I feel comfy ‘walking around’ with you. Your son’s photos are lovely. And that mcm refinished piece? to die for.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks so much, Jan. I truly wanted readers to feel part of the room and the process. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  • Reply Lisa Shine Your Light May 9, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    These rooms look great Susie! Love the new flooring, white walls, black and white wallpaper, the refreshed bar cabinet, and all this great usable space!! You must be thrilled to be on this end of the renovation and have the water nightmare behind you. Great job friend!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      Oh Lisa! You have no idea how thrilled we are to have the construction done and done. But guess what? There’s one more room…that’s hidden….stuffed with junk we rescued from water. So there’s that. Sigh. But for today…we are celebrating. Thanks for your kind and encouraging comment. It is so very special.

  • Reply jadoreledecor May 9, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Whoo hoo Sue! This space is so warm, and the photos.. yeesh! That buffet is such a stunner. So many good things to see here. Enjoy every inch of it. Beautifully done my friend.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 10, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks so much, Ola. Your encouragement is so special to me.

  • Reply Jen @ Noting Grace May 10, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Susie – you always amaze me with your style! Even with it not 100% done – its still a jaw dropper! I can’t wait to see your TV room and I love the color on your cabinets in the dining section.

    Amazing job my friend!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 10, 2019 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks so much, Jen. I’ve taken a lot of grief about the orange cabinets, but I keep saying….just be patient….big picture…big picture. Thanks for the nice comment about those guys. I have about two more layers of finish to add so they will tone down a bit, but they will remain basically orange. LOL…

  • Reply Jen @ Jenron Designs May 10, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Wow Susie it looks amazing! The artwork really turned out great behind the sofa too and those fun pops of color you added play so nicely with the modern vibe of the black and white color palette. I am still in love with that amazing cup paint wall I really love that technique so much!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 10, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks so much, Jen! I thought I was going black and white and wood tones, but the color just popped in like it owned the place. LOL..

  • Reply Mary-The Boondocks Blog May 11, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Yay! You know I always look forward to your room reveals Suzy! Even if they are not finished there are tons of ideas to inspire us all. So much texture in one room! Once it is done you will really be able to enjoy this space!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 12, 2019 at 8:40 am

      Thanks so much, Mary! I’m working feverishly to get the finishing touches in place.

  • Reply Kristen May 13, 2019 at 10:56 am

    So pretty! It looks so fresh and inviting down there! And I like how you layered the rugs too!

  • Reply Denise - Salvaged Inspirations June 20, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    I LOVE your style Susie! The black and white contrast with wood reveal and greenery… can you come help me decorate my home!?! Gorgeous my friend. XO

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 20, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Denise! Such a compliment coming from you! XO

  • Reply Tina Bousu November 7, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Susie! It’s incredible! The black and white wall, the pop of orange the comfy and inviting feel. Absolutely fabulous job!

  • Reply Wendy March 25, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    LOVE YOUR BASEMENT BONUS ROOM!!! What is your wall color? Looks white but I’d like to know the name and make of it if you don’t mind. Thanks so much!

    • Reply theChelseaProject March 31, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Wendy and thanks so much. The wall color is Behr’s Arcade White in semi-gloss.

  • Reply Blake Riley Homes January 28, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Thank you for sharing the basement reveal. I am thinking of renovating and settting up my basement and I have got so many ideas for my basement from your article. Bookmarking this page. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for your comment!

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.