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wo(man) cave

January 9, 2012

Too tech-y and basement-y for a woman cave…too stylish, sexy and rustic for a man cave…. welcome to our updated (wo)man cave.

Our basement is large-n-in-charge, but only about 1/3 of it’s finished. It’s been nice to have a full work bench and lots of space to work on messy projects in the unfinished part, but we wanted to make full use of the only part of our house with warm, cozy carpeting and spend more time down there watching tv and movies.

When we first saw the house, the basement looked like this…sexy..right?

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It had a faux wood paneling over the cement walls with a strange pastel gray wood pattern. The paneling compliments an old lady’s beach house with pastel and white wicker furniture, dolphins and seashells (sorry Grandma!) but not gonna’ work for this wo(man) cave. Notice the lovely texture….

We chose the color Native Soil by Behr to paint all of the walls. We painted the paneling and the staircase walls and then painted the wood on the banister and baseboard a crisp white. Even with the warm update, the room still needed more love than a bucket of paint.

We decided the big wall, dubbed the tv wall..needed a little somethin’ something’ to make it pop.

I’m a sucker for textured walls…mmm mmmmmm, so when I saw “A” – an amazing nursery from here, and then I saw “B”– a pimped out basement theater…my light bulb went off and we got to constructing “C”!

We covered our entire “tv wall” with used and abused old shipping palettes. This final project cost us less than $25 (minus the cost of the tv + lights)

The process has about a million steps, mostly just measuring and custom cutting each piece…so I will spare you the amazing details of how we spent our last two Saturdays’..but here is the basic 411 on our fully loaded wall.

First we removed a strange bench/shelf that ran along the entire wall. We failed to take a picture..but you can see where it used to be. We still can’t imagine what it was used for..any guesses? We thought leaving it there might very a very awkward place to sit while others sat on the couch watching tv….”Uhh, what are you doing?… Oh nothing, just watching you watch tv…”

We collected palettes for a while until we had enough, and sawed each board off the base. Here is what we are left with..anyone need palette scraps?

The wall is thin drywall so we screwed in 3 sheets of plywood to re-enforce the nails and the palette boards with the weight of the tv and then added a tv mount.

This wall took 3 plywood boards, at $7 a piece from Home Depot, for a whopping $21..

I really have to give my wonderful and talented hubby all props for this project. He measured, number-crunched (accountant!), sanded, stained, hammered…basically the whole project..except for me interjecting my opinion, bringing him cold beverages, and coming up with the initial design idea, which is the most important part, right?! Or is it the cold beverages??

Before we added any boards, we mounted the tv on the wall, traced around it, and the took it off. Nick basically built the wall from side to side, leaving the middle area open where we traced for the tv.ย  A few progress photos…

As far as each board, once Nick sawed it off the palette base, he sanded it, and added stain. We used the same Jacobean stain as this project and this project, and just varied the length of time the stain was on the board before wiping it off. We wanted a random look of lighter and darker boards.

Notice the dark wood staircase..

…and the first coat of freshly painted walls..

Each board was custom cut, stained, and hammered in with 1 .5″ nails.

In-process with a puppy on the staircase watching judging my painting abilities…

Here is the view with your back facing the wall..(please ignore the green frog painting tape)…and speaking of awesome friends, can I take a moment to brag about how awesome mine are! They made this light for us a few years ago when we moved into our first apartment together!! And you’ll never guess how…out of a beach ball, twine, Elmer’s glue, white spray paint and an Ikea light fixture. How amazing are they?! And I love how perfect it looks in this room. Thanks ladies ๐Ÿ™‚

And the finished wall!

Great for tv and probably video games as well..but we wouldn’t know anything about that being professional, mature adults…

We loved it..but thought something was missing…looked at mini-theater pictures and discovered we needed some dim mood-sconce lighting..I thought a popcorn machine was missing..but my vote lost and we added this lighting to the wall..

Notice the freshly painted white banister and staircase trim…

My favorite part of the wall is all the old character in the wood..we purposely left in the old rusty nails, holes, dings and dents..

Do you notice anything missing?

Cords, outlets and hookups! There is one outlet directly below the tv that we really have no use for at this point. Nick cut a piece of wood to fit over the outlet, but not attached, just perfectly cut with a small nail to use as a handle if we needed to pull it off. We Nick was able to drill through the wall and pull all the cords, electronics, computer, DVD, light cords and all other techy-y things through the wall and out of sight!
Here is the back of the tv wall, in the unfinished part of the basement. I don’t really know how it all works, but know all I have to do is press a few buttons on the remote, and the wall knows to turn everything on!

For a small cost..and some precise cutting, sanding and staining, I am amazed at how we turned our blah basement into a cozy, sexy wo(man) cave!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2012 12:50 pm

    Love the wall, but I have to say that having the cords all hidden behind is genius! Nice work!

  2. January 9, 2012 1:02 pm

    Gorgeous! So warm and rich! You’ve inspired me to paint the paneling in our basement!

    • January 14, 2012 11:36 pm

      Yes! Do it – but scuff it up first..if its anything like ours, smooth and old school looking, the paint scratches off easily!

  3. January 11, 2012 7:52 pm

    Shut the pallet factory down!!! Looks amazing!!! Way to go y’all! You did an awesome job and now we are waiting for our invite over to watch football…or play modern warfare…whatever comes first ๐Ÿ™‚
    xo kb

    • January 12, 2012 10:47 pm

      Thanks for the great inspiration!! Would it be weird to do every wall in our house like this since I love it so much?? I don’t think so! And consider this your invitation to the great land of Milwaukee to watch football, play vids, or drink wine and watch hgtv ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. Even a basement laundry room deserves a little love. « Ivy in the Bay

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