Projects & Improvements

Before and After: A Boring Basement Bedroom Gets a $2,000 Old-World-Inspired Redo

published Feb 16, 2022
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Adding texture and architetural detail to walls is a surefire way to make a home look custom and character-filled rather than builder-grade — especially in a bedroom. You can see what a huge difference it makes in designer Cerrissa Fitz’s (@piranhadesign) basement bedroom, which she took “sterile” and “boxy,” as she wrote on Instagram, to an “old world vibe.”

Although Cerrissa is an interior designer, this was her first time dabbling in DIY. She installed everything in the space from start to finish. “I was able to speak to a lot of my contractors to guide me while I was making my plans before executing them to ensure that I could do it correctly,” she says of her redo.

The new bedroom has a decidedly vintage feel thanks to a Roman clay treatment to two walls, faux stone to a corner wall, faux wooden beams across the ceiling, and wooden fluting on the bedroom’s open entrance.

Cerrissa says the glue-on stone ($90 from Amazon) and Roman clay treatment (made from a ready-mixed compound) were very beginner level — that “anyone can do these” and that the low-lift projects really transformed the room to have a bit of old-world European feel. She was surprised by how easy it was to install the beams and fluted threshold, too.

The beams make the ceiling feel taller, she says, and the wooden threshold “was a very last-minute add on, and it made such a difference.” She likes the modern feel the vertically mounted thin pine moulding brings to the space: “While the room gives off an old-world vibe, it’s still feels modern and clean with modern fixtures,” she says.

The clean lines of the fluting and board and batten — plus the new globe pendants — help keep the room from feeling like a time capsule.

But while the beams, fluting, and pendants were easy to install, the board and batten was a bit more difficult. “I continuously was off with my measurements,” Cerrissa recalls, but her finished product warms up the space and adds a lot of oomph behind the bed. Now, it’s the part of the room she’s most proud of.

Lastly, to add a bit of softness to the space Cerrissa layered rugs over the tile floor and reupholstered a rounded bench she got for free on Facebook Marketplace with a sherpa blanket from Target (a $20 piece of furniture, post-upcyle).

Her total budget for the room-transforming redo was $2,000, and she’s proud of how many DIY details are in the space. “Do it — don’t be afraid,” she says. “The only way we learn is to try.” Her can-do attitude certainly paid off, and now she has some new textural tricks up her sleeve to use on future design projects.