The Gilbert's Basement
A few months ago my friend Bethany asked if she and her husband Allen could hire me to help decorate their basement. They'd recently finished a mini basement refresh in which their old carpet was replaced with an updated neutral, all the walls - including the existing dull sage green wainscoting - got a crisp coat of white, and they purchased a modern grey sectional for optimum Netflix binge-watching. All of these changes helped diminish the typical dark basement vibe and provide a nice neutral foundation. However, after living with the changes for a while they felt it lacked the coziness of a room interestingly and intentionally decorated.
Bethany is a talented photographer, incredibly stylish, and has great taste as evidenced by her already lovely home. So, I suspect she and Allen mostly wanted to throw their fledgling designer friend a bone. And I was incredibly excited to accept their offer!
Sometime between agreeing to work on the basement and before chatting with Allen and Bethany about their vision I saw this picture on Kelly Wearstler's Instagram. I was completely inspired. I couldn't get that rich cobalt blue out of my head and sent a quick text to Bethany asking how she felt about the color. To my joy she was into it! After we got together to chat about what they wanted for the space I came up with this inspiration board filled with cobalt, lots of pattern mixing, and a killer wallpaper from Graham and Brown:
Initially, my idea was to paint the wainscoting cobalt. I thought it would be just the right jolt of energy and enhance that detailed character around the room. While she was keen on so much of the inspiration board, in the sweetest way, Bethany expressed that she and Allen were both apprehensive about that idea. Having spent so much time covering the previous sage green she didn't relish the idea of an even darker color encircling the room's perimeter. Totally reasonable. She may have even saved me from making a big mistake anyway. Instead, we've decided to paint the back of the built in's and the media console cobalt. This should still give us the punch of our inspiration blue, but help keep the room looking light and fresh, and most importantly, not basement-y.
Tomorrow we'll wallpaper the accent wall and I'm excited for the room to start noticeably taking shape. At this point my only experience with wallpaper was watching my mother cover almost every room in our house during the mid-90s, but I'm feeling moderately prepared after viewing multiple youtube videos and googling various forms of the phrase "how to wallpaper." Wish me luck.