Several months ago, my husband and I listed our house on the market. It sold in four days. We were shocked at how fast it all happened. We were about to downsize from a 1500 square foot home with a full finished basement, to just that. A basement. My parents basement, to be exact. Yep, you heard me right, my husband, dog, and baby were moving in with Mom and Dad! I was about to be a boomerang kid. Again.
After months of hard work, mostly by my mom and husband, we were able to transform the dark, old apartment, into this! And we did it all for under $1000!
Let's start with the bathroom. This bathroom has not been updated in 45 years. Most recently, it was used as the dog-wash station for my parents pup. It needed a mega-gut.
Just look at that laminate floor (below)! During my first round as a boomerang kid, which was about 9 years ago, I somehow survived with this bathroom. I'll take credit for all the paint colors, which included terrible, blues, greens, and yellows.
We bought a new shower for the bathroom, but the vanity and tile was all leftover from a past project. When we gutted my bathroom at our old house, we saved our vanity thinking we could use it in a future basement bathroom. We never did construct that bathroom, but good thing we held onto it, because it worked perfectly in the apartment.
This is the finished look. I love it! It is clean, new, and we utilized many fixtures and finishes that my husband had on-hand. The American Standard toilet was a refurb from a demo, and the light fixture, towel racks, and mirror were all from a demo/past bathroom as well. The only thing new was the shower.
Oh - and our fabulous toilet tank flush levers! Did you even know you could purchase such an upgrade? Well, you can! Fluidmaster rolled this line out recently, and they have an amazing selection. My mom got one too! Talk about an upgrade!
Next up was the ceiling. The old ceiling was a water-stained drop ceiling. My Mom and Dad tore out the 45 year old ceiling, which was full of dust and mold. It had to go.
The wood underneath looked great! My mom was going to take on the task of painting the ceiling. After the purchase of a paint spray gun, and many many hours spent tarping the walls and floor (and also researching how to use a paint gun on a ceiling) the paint gun was a fail. Click here for all the painted ceiling details!
My mom resorted to painting the ceiling by hand with a brush. Over 100 hours and 9 gallons of paint later, the ceiling was done. It looked amazing! My parents have a good friend who is an electrician, and he redid all of the electrical work (the old apartment had VERY poor lighting). The white ceiling combined with the new can lights and fixtures looked AH-MAZE-ING!
The basement has a small bedroom. Very small - it is 6x8. It was a mess. This room needed a new ceiling, new floor, and new window trim.
The end result was fab. Leftover tile was used for the floor, and new drywall was hung on the ceiling. Mike cut out the bottom foot of the walls to ensure that there was not any mold behind the dry wall. He replaced it with oak boards and trim. It was 100% better than the old room. And how cute is Theo's Never Stop Exploring sign from The Wooden Word?!
Then there was the kitchen. The kitchen was one of the worst rooms in the basement. Check out that old back splash! And the paint - what was I thinking with the bright colors when I painted years ago?! Electric green and yellow!?
Mike did a new back splash for the sink using marble subway tiles, and put in a new faucet (using materials we had on-hand). He also needed to patch several holes. What do you think about this refrigerator? We took a 20 year old fridge and gave it a big make over. You can see all about it here!
The cabinets were in great condition, so my mom painted them contrasting colors. After painting the walls, Mike re-hung the cabinets. Slowly but surely, the room was coming together!
I loved the new light fixture above the sink! This "after" pic is before our faucet was installed. But already, it looked 1,000,000x better!
Mike constructed a gorgeous shelf in our kitchen. The wood was rescued from a 100 year old porch in Hyde Park.
The rest of the apartment was ready for paint. It was difficult to choose colors - it always is. You are NEVER going to know what paint will truly look like until you have the whole wall painted. We went with a light green color.
The light green on the walls brightened up the whole room. We ended up hanging up the artwork from our home that sold, which really brought the entire basement apartment together. We were ready to move in!
We saved our front entry makeover project for after we were settled in. I painted the stairs and walls, and mike put in a cedar ceiling and tile floor. It was another major improvement for pennies.
All in all, we love our upgrades. My parents do, too! The only items that we needed to pay for was Behr paint, light fixtures, and a new shower. It all came to $960. Everything else was refurbished or materials on hand that Mike had saved from past projects.
Cheers to living with your parents! I am thinking this will be my last boomerang home. But only time will tell ;)
It's not every day that you hear about a family living in their parents basement, which made for a hilarious bit on The Ellen Show last year. I still cannot believe this happened!
MBA, Master's of Human Nutrition, and Mom. Stephanie's subfertility journey has lead to the greatest adventure of her life - Motherhood. In addition to working full time, she chronicles her experiences of pregnancy and parenthood, and also shares nutritious recipes that are easy to prepare for busy families on the go. Feel free to send a message to Stephanie, as she loves to hear from her readers!