DIY Basement Makeover

Make your basement a room you actually want to use with this weekend makeover.

Take advantage of the space in your lower level by making your basement a room that functions for the whole family. This finished basement was a nice, big room with a lot of potential, but it lacked a purpose. We partnered with Chris and Julia Marcum from Chris Loves Julia to give this basement a new look in just two days. With basic supplies from a local hardware store, we transformed this space into a room perfect for game nights and guests alike.

When we started, there was plenty of floor and wall space that wasn't being leveraged. A Murphy bed on the back wall was the perfect solution to create a sleeping space when needed—it tucks up when guests are away. A built-in dry bar wrapped with walnut-stained wood looks high-end and makes an ideal location to serve light refreshments on family game and movie nights. Floating shelves installed above the dry bar utilize the otherwise empty vertical space.

Build a DIY Murphy Bed

small bedroom with pull out bed in cabinet

Murphy beds, also known as wall beds, are the perfect way to create a conventional guest room in a tight space. The back wall in this finished basement was bare and, conveniently, the right width to fit a queen-size bed. It was basically just waiting for us to build a Murphy bed on it! We built two frames—one that attaches to the wall and another that holds the mattress—and attached the two together with a Murphy bed hardware kit. We added trim pieces to the front of the bed frame (the underside base of the mattress) and painted it white to match the stock cabinetry used in the dry bar. The wall frame was painted the same gray as the walls, making the unit look less obtrusive. Simple handles make pulling down the mattress frame effortless when in use.

Make a Custom Dry Bar

wood bar with white cabinet refrigerator and shelves basement

Another solution for this finished basement? A dry bar. Dry bars are not only a dedicated spot for beverages and drinkware, but they can be put in virtually any room—all you need is an outlet for a mini fridge. For this basement dry bar, we started with prefinished stock upper cabinets that had the clean lines we wanted. Then we added a toe-kick underneath the cabinet so that it matched the height of the mini fridge. On day two, we built the housing for the cabinets and wrapped the sides and top with a walnut-stained wood, creating a high-end waterfall effect. Simple brass knobs add a pretty and functional finishing touch to the custom furniture piece.

Build and Install Floating Shelves

close-up white shelves above bar

There is no such thing as too much storage space. We built and installed sturdy floating shelves above the dry bar to leverage the vertical space above the dry bar countertop. With just some basic lumber, we were able to build an interior support bracket and a sleek outside shelf frame to cover it. We painted the outside frame a crisp white to mimic the white in the dry bar cabinet. These shelves create a sleek element above the bar and double as the perfect place to store games and display glassware.

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