Sara Raak’s unfinished basement used to be the kind of place she rarely let anyone see. “It was your basic scary and gross basement that we didn’t visit unless we had to pull something from storage,” she told TODAY Home.
But after a renovation, it’s become a new area of the house that the entire family can love and enjoy.
“You can’t help but smile as you head down the stairs to the basement,” she said of the bright and cheerful staircase that now leads to the space. Raak painted the steps a bright white so that the striped pattern of the runner carpet would pop.
Once downstairs, you’ll now find a living area, along with a guest bedroom and bathroom.
Raak’s husband is particularly fond of the living space since he uses it as his man cave. It features a cozy sitting area as well as a bar.
“Most people think I picked the seafoam green color for the bar area, but that was all my husband,” she said, adding that he wanted to have a calm vibe in the basement. “He designed the bar from beginning to end.”
Concert posters that had been in storage now cover the walls, and a colorful rug tops a vinyl floor that looks and feels like wood. “But if anything ever happens, like flooding in the basement, you unsnap the pieces, dry them off and snap them back into place,” Raak said.
The bathroom is her favorite part of the renovation. “I have a thing for tile and the bathroom definitely reflects that. We opted for a large walk-in shower instead of a bathtub, and that definitely became the wow factor of the room.”
When out-of-town guests visit, they can have a whole suite to themselves, complete with a kitchenette. And Raak said her sons, 8 and 11, love to entertain their friends there.
“When they have sleepovers, they all sleep down there and there’s no need to come upstairs when the bar fridge is stocked with juice boxes and the snack bins are full,” she said.
The basement project took a total of seven weeks to complete — a relatively quick timeline considering how much was updated. But Raak said they didn’t have to do much demo and the plumbing was already installed in the bathroom.
For a space that was once off limits to guests, the basement is now a functional place where the Raak family can enjoy dance parties, karaoke and sports games.
“But really it was the biggest game changer for my husband,” she said. “He now, deservedly, has a place to relax in the evenings, catch up on his shows, watch sports and listen to his music.”
See more before and after pictures of this amazing renovation at Raak’s blog SKG Designs.