Basement Bar Reveal

I am very excited to share our basement bar reveal with you today! This space came together relatively quickly, as we started the project just before the holiday season. My goal was to tackle this room on a budget, while keeping it functional and consistent with our aesthetic. Therefore, we kept the floor plan the same, worked with the existing cabinetry, and made impactful modifications using much of what we already had. Of course I’ll share all the details, sources, and design decisions in the post, so click through for the complete tour!

Basement Bar Reveal -

This renovation was honestly a spontaneous decision. I knew it would keep me busy while Emmett was working on the more tedious parts of our entryway renovation. We also spend so much time in the basement, lounging, relaxing, and unplugging, that I’ve been wanting to make this room feel more like us for quite some time. On a whim, I pulled together a basement renovation design plan, started scheming, ordered materials, and got to work.

Before Images & Project Goals

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Our basement kitchen has always felt like a bonus space to me. When renovating our main kitchen, I was immensely thankful to use this as our temporary kitchen. Aside from that, this room primarily functions as our home bar or a place to host & entertain. It’s open concept to our media room, and being in the basement with lower ceilings and minimal natural light, I wanted to lean into creating a cozy, quiet, and functional bar… a place to hangout, sit comfortably, have a drink, play games, snack, and enjoy down time.

 This kitchen area wasn’t terrible to begin with… just dated. We had a small budget for this project, so I had to get creative, using much of what we already had. The majority of our budget went toward replacing the countertop- which I think was a worthy splurge.

Renovation Updates: Flooring, Cabinet Fronts, and Countertop

Basement Bar Reveal -

Aside from replacing dated cabinet doors and choosing a beautiful marble slab to replace the plastic laminate countertop, the one material that HAD to go was the carpet. Kitchens and carpet just don’t mix. Our entire basement was carpeted upon moving in… this area, the main living space, the basement bedroom, the home gym, and even the basement bathroom contained carpet. It was everywhere, not in great condition, and I had been patiently waiting for the day to rip it all out.

Basement Bar Reveal -

I knew I wanted some sort of basement-friendly wood flooring to make this space more functional, warm, and aesthetically pleasing. We opted for Stuga’s All Aboard European White Oak flooring, which is approved for basement installations! We’re going to be replacing all of our basement carpet with this, room-by-room. I’ve got an entire blog post devoted to this flooring product, the easy installation process, and why it’s suitable for basements coming in the months ahead… so keep an eye out for that! I really like it though- and it gives me the opportunity to layer cozy vintage rugs.

Open and Closed Storage

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We immediately removed the upper cabinets, making the space feel lighter and more open. However, we did need a bit more storage than what the lower cabinetry could provide. My solution? We found a vintage hutch that we built-in to match the cabinetry. It created such a nice focal point, has quickly become my favorite feature, and really gives this vignette the look of a home bar. Check out this blog post on our vintage hutch transformation, for a peek behind-the-scenes at the process!

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What do we keep in the lower cabinets? Things like alcohol, mixers, napkins, flatware & serveware, kitchen linens, coasters, koozies, cocktail books, and some snacks. We actually still have a couple empty cabinets, so we ended up having more than enough closed storage. Let me know if you’d like a cabinetry tour, and I’ll take photos! I did add some easy organizational components to the cabinets.


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I think the refrigerator really makes this space! It’s the 30″ Classic Fridge from Big Chill in custom color Oyster White. I actually color matched the center panel of our cabinetry to it, and it inspired the entire color palette. The subtle warmth works perfectly alongside our marble countertops and I love the character it adds. It’s also super functional… it includes an ice maker (ideal for a home bar), a freezer, crisper drawers, and organizers.

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The only other appliance we kept in this space is our Aarke carbonator. Emmett uses it all the time- I got it for him for Christmas a few years ago, not knowing it would perfectly match our future cabinetry. We wanted this space to be the ultimate beverage station.

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Basement Bar Reveal -

I was adamant on sourcing counter height comfortable upholstered barstools- with a back. I wanted seating that was suitable for hours of conversation and game playing. After finding some decent vintage options, striking out five times, and feeling utterly defeated…. I finally landed on what I think are the perfect barstools for this space.

Basement Bar Reveal -

These Alexander barstools from Maven Lane swivel, they’re traditional in appearance, they perfectly fit my color palette & aesthetic, they have brass plated footrests (for durability), they’re affordable, and most importantly- they are comfortable. These stools are spacious, too! I reached out to them and they gave me a code to share… use code SARAH10 for 10% off any furniture on their site. They have lots of classic pieces.

The Sink

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We decided to keep the existing sink. Although I prefer a single basin sink, this one is made of heavy cast iron enamel, is a timeless white color, and functions perfectly. We spent that portion of the budget on the widespread faucet instead. Our previous faucet was broken and the sink had not been functional in over a year.

Since we kept the existing cabinetry, you’ll notice the sink area is a little quirky. The cabinet panels aren’t perfectly centered with the large sink- which was like this when we moved in. Rather than fighting it, I decided to embrace the asymmetry and add hook for a linen bar towel, which has actually been quite useful. I also enjoy the softness, texture, and pattern it brings to this vignette.

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Bar Styling

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Styling is always my favorite part of renovating… adding the finishing touches! I had a fantastic time filling our vintage hutch with our beautiful barware.

The hutch is primarily filled with glassware, cocktail items, coasters, books, and a few blue & white pieces that bring our navy color palette from the other side of the room into the vignette. I’ll link everything for you below.

Get the Look: Sources

Click directly on each item below to be redirected.

The only thing I wasn’t able to link in the above collage was the refrigerator, but you can find it here: 30″ Classic Fridge. If I missed anything else, please ask! I’m always happy to share sources.

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Could you please share the cabinetry colors?

Of course! The center cabinetry panels are custom color matched to the fridge, but the stiles or rails (the darker of the two cabinet colors) is Grant Beige by Benjamin Moore.

Why make this kitchen a bar and not a full functioning kitchen?

There was never a cooktop or range in this space… we previously had a microwave (which was here when we moved in), but we never used it. It’s also a small space! We primarily use our basement for lounging, entertaining, and watching TV. There is no exterior door to our basement, so it’s not a space that could ever be rented and would need a full kitchen. If I’m cooking, I’m doing it in our main kitchen. The only thing I could see us making downstairs is maybe popcorn… which I’d pop in our kitchen close to the salts & seasonings anyway.

What is the countertop material?

Viola marble! Check out these posts for a closer look… How to Choose A Marble Slab for Your Renovation and How to Select Different Countertop Edge Profiles.

Where is the cocktail glass artwork from?

My shop, Tuesday Made. It’s called Cocktail Hour! It comes in this frame and is ready-to-hang.

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Before & After Comparison

 Everyone loves a good side-by-side before and after image! For a fun comparison, this is how the room started and what it currently looks like…

I think it’s safe to say, we were glad to see the 90’s kitchen go. I love how much brighter it feels down here, and I’m happy it now looks cohesive with the rest of our home, better matching our aesthetic.

Basement Kitchen Renovation Posts

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If you missed any of this renovation, I’ll link some of the corresponding blog posts for you below!

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I can’t wait to hear what you think! We’ve been spending a lot of time down here lately. We’re wrapping up the media room side of the basement now, and I’m hoping to have that reveal for you by the end of the month! It includes our new sectional, a fireplace, and updated lighting.

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  1. Good morning! And hellllooooo gorgeous! (insert non-creepy whistle) I absolutely cannot stop savoring every detail. My naturally frugal heart loves that you worked with the existing cabinets, layout, and sink. Replacing the doors and drawer fronts completely changed the vibe, and I continue to be smitten by the two-toned paint treatment. My eye immediately noted the head-smack hand towel hook; when a “solution” simply reads innovative and intentional, that’s fab design. Speaking of which, why does your work always have me admiring elements I generally avoid…stacked bond tile, neutral paint? Sheer wizardry! And talk about presto change-o! The hutch transformation leaves me speechless. JK. The way Emmett raised it to create space underneath? Inspired. The integration of the crown at the top (that corner return?!)? Masterful. I basically want to gut my kitchen just to incorporate a vintage hutch now. Plus all the gleamy bar ware reflected in the antiqued mirror? Sigh. Your styling is unparalleled. You’ve also got me dreaming about a new fridge. I’ll take mine in “pastel violet.” Please and thank you. Of course, I must mention that out-of-this-world slab of perfection. Just know you’d find me perched on one of those cushy barstools, sprawled forward with my cheek on its satiny viola surface. I’m an awkward guest. But I’ll bring killer appetizers! Thanks for continuing to invite us into your wonderful home. I could not be more in awe of this renovation. All the celebratory hugs & high fives to Team Gibson! Happiest of March Mondays, Sarah!💜

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Hi Peggi! Thank you!! I was so excited to hear your feedback on this one. I’m also happy we worked with what we had for this one- it just makes sense and saved us a lot of money. I’ve actually loved having that handy towel there… a happy accident! I wondered if anyone would notice the notched crown- I had a feeling it would be you. We didn’t want to replace the existing crown moulding throughout the room, so we had to find a way to tie in it, and that return or transition made the most sense. I let Emmett design those and had nothing to do with it, ha. Can’t take credit there! The vintage hutch was such a great find for this room- I love the focal point it adds. Big Chill seriously has the most amazing appliance colors- I thought about going with a weird color and my neutral loving heart just couldn’t. Lol! Although, I’m pleased that I was able to color match our new range to the upstairs cabinetry. Come over to pet the marble and have a cocktail anytime… appetizer entry accepted :) Thanks for cheering us on and sharing the best encouragement. Have a fab day! xo

  2. Happy Monday morning 😎
    Holy Guacamole Sarah! The basement bar kitchen is just stunning 😍 Wow! Wow! And Wow! I obviously knew it was going to be amazing, but it blew me away this morning 💥 Does anyone else hear fireworks 🥰
    I’m not sure where to begin, let’s start with the floors. What a gorgeous floor and acceptable to use in a basement. I’ll be anxiously awaiting a post on those, beautiful and practical. You always seem to find materials I’ve never seen or heard of. Always ahead of the design curve Sarah and bringing new products and materials to our attention 🥳 We all appreciate this so much!
    The kitchen cabinets are just over the top, love the two tone and color selection. The door fronts you chose are timeless and elegant. And that hutch Emmett revamped for your bar with all the gorgeous details you added, my goodness you two never cease to amaze me 🤩 And the countertop is so very pretty, a striking and beautiful choice. Wowza!
    What a cool bar fridge, can’t say I’ve ever heard of this brand before. So very unique and the color is spot on with the cabinets. Your tile and tile work is beautiful and impeccable, just the perfect compliment with the counters. I’m glad you reused the sink, it looks brand new. The new faucet is just lovely with it too!
    And sweet Derby looks so elegant and a perfect place to be admired. Your styling of course is amazing as usual, everything is complete perfection Sarah! What a great bar and cheers to your enjoyment for many years to come 🥂🍻🍷 AMAZING!
    My family arrives this afternoon and I’m so excited to see them but your fabulous reveal kick started my happy mood this morning 😎 have a super week! Xo

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Happy Monday, Colleen! Thank you so much! I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed this reveal. I had a lot of fun with the design, and we’re excited to spend more time down here! We’ve got to finish the flooring throughout the rest of the basement, but it’s super nice. I’m very happy with that choice. I’ll be sure to share a post on it! I think for a budget friendly cabinet upgrade, they look really nice. I’m glad we saved money and worked with what we had in that department. Big Chill (the fridge brand) is the same as our range replacement in our main kitchen. I’ve been extremely happy with both appliances so far! Come visit and have a cocktail anytime :) We’ll house swap for your Florida home, haha! Have the most amazing time with your family this week! xox

  3. It looks beautiful! Definitely lighter and brighter and that marble slab just steals the show! How gorgeous! I love what you did with the hutch as well, can’t wait to see how the whole space comes together!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Michelle! I love the marble- I’m so happy with that choice. Emmett did such a wonderful job with the hutch. I like having a focal point on that wall to provide balance & storage. Thanks for reading!

    2. Absolutely beautiful choices, Sarah. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow!!! Incredibly beautiful update Sarah! Good morning- this is the inspiration I needed this morning. Every detail is impeccable. The hutch modification turned out stupendous, and the open storage Emmett created is genius. Derby looks regal in his new vignette- front and center and the most beautiful contrast. You even have your signature mini lamp- a detail I adore! Your solution with the towel hook is perfect- I may use that trick myself if I can keep Rocky from grabbing it to play- in limited space you got creative and the functionality is undeniable. Thank you for the introduction to Maven Home- I’ve never heard of the company before, but a quick browse served up all I needed to know. Your barstools are beautiful, and fit the aesthetic perfectly. I may have found a coffee table for the front room, so thank you for the recommendation. I can only imagine how this update must feel- you’ve brought the cafe, bistro vibe to your basement and it’s so much lighter and brighter. The many hours that will be spent enjoying this space will make the work worth it. You and Emmett did a fantastic job as always!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Lauren! Yay for Derby finally finding a permanent spot in our house. I love seeing him down here! I had a feeling you’d notice my tiny vintage lamp (snagged from an estate sale). I’m really impressed with our barstools, and was excited to discover Maven. They have so many beautiful pieces with really great prices. I’m glad to hear it looks brighter and lighter down here- it definitely feels that way in person. I’ll work on a home bar roundup! We have so many new fun things in the shop right now- so mostly everything is from Tuesday Made. Thanks so much for your encouragement and kind words! I was super excited to share this with you this morning :) Hope you have a great week ahead! xo

  5. I forgot to mention one thing: I spy a scattering of gorgeous ice buckets, scoops, and tongs for gathering. I’ve been on the hunt for just that, for a few years now. Perhaps a home bar roundup would be a perfect fit in one of your related posts. I’d love the designer seal of approval. 😉 Again, gorgeous can’t even begin to describe what you’ve done here!

  6. What an amazing transformation!!! Thank you for taking us along this project. So many great ideas! Love it!!!!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thanks so much, Mizé! Hope your week is off to a great start.

  7. This is simply stunning! Love the transformation

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Sara!

  8. You knocked it out of the park, Sarah! Love your reuse/recycle projects. Brilliant vision to remove uppers & replace w/ a stunning vintage china cabinet that takes the eye all the way to the ceiling…finally! Barware cabinet, refrig & marble are the statement pieces for me.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you so much! The vintage hutch just made sense down here- I’m really happy with how it came together. Those are my top three favorites as well… the cabinet, fridge, and of course- the marble. Have a great day!

  9. It looks fantastic! I love the little details, like the hutch hardware and how you used the off-center cabinets to your advantage with the towel hook. Such great ideas! Those stools look so comfortable and seem quite affordable for how high quality they look. Another great reveal!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thanks, Brittany! We lucked out with the vintage hutch- the hardware is my favorite. I’m really impressed with the stools so far! Thanks for reading. Hope your week is off to a great start!

  10. Christiane says:

    I love it! Emmett really outdid himself with the hutch DIY. I love that you kept the original hardware on it. The blue & white accents to pull in the navy color from the adjacent space is genius. I didn’t notice the sink was offset but I did notice the towel hook and it’s perfect. Where’s the trash can now? HA! It’s beautiful and I cannot wait to share a cocktail and swivel in a chair!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thanks, Christiane! He did such a fantastic job. I’m loving all of our blue & white in the shop right now. We upgraded the trash can to a cabinet pull-out, so it lives in the far righthand side of the cabinetry. I’ve got a blog post tutorial for that one :) Can’t wait to make you a cocktail and hangout in May!!

  11. This is gorgeous! And as a person with a quirky house that provides lots of opportunities to embrace non symmetry (sigh), I love how you made that space useful with a hook. I will be looking around my house for spaces I can better put to work.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you so much, Dawn! I actually love having the hook there- a happy accident to embrace the quirky :)

  12. Love it! Are you planning on adding glass to the upper cabinet doors?

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thanks, Natalie! The glass is already in- we just waited to install until after my photos (reflections are tricky).

  13. Sarah, I am so in love with this! What a fantastic job you all did. I have been so drawn to the off-white, creamy, warm colors these days because they are so cozy and just happy colors. With the marble and bit of blue and white, you sent this over the top. I’m glad you all get to use it all of the time, and I appreciate the inspiration. I’m also patiently waiting to replace carpet with hardwood floors. Ours is in such bad shape. We have 3 Golden Retrievers (a happy, rambunctious group, haha!) and I’m wondering what kind of havoc they might wreak on hardwood floors. Do you think it’s enough just to keep their nails trimmed, or should I expect there will be damage to the floors?

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Brittany! I agree with the color palette- so happy and light. I really wanted to brighten this corner up. 3 goldens?! What a dream! We have two dogs (one golden mix and a terrier) and we don’t have an issue with our hardwood floors. We trim their nails every couple months, and of course- I always expect natural materials to patina anyway, so if there is any scratching- it doesn’t bother me. I haven’t noticed anything crazy though! Hope that helps solidify your decision :)

  14. Gorgeous, like everything you touch, Sarah!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you so much, Arli!

  15. Lovely transformation!!
    What countertop edge profile is this considered? It’s exactly what I’m looking for in our fireplace surround!

  16. Ashley Morris says:

    Even when I don’t think you can surprise me with how epic something will turn out you prove me wrong. I knew it would be beautiful but had no idea you’d tell Beautiful to hold my beer.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you so much, Ashley! Cheers (with a good beer)! Hope you have a fun weekend ahead.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Michele!

  17. Stunning! I love every last detail in this reno. Well done!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you so much, Monica!

  18. This renovation is amazing! I’m always so inspired by your before and afters. Loved the many very practical tips from IG stories, like the adhesive backsplash!

    I’m fascinated by the thousand small decisions you make in each project. LOVE your mixed metals, but I’d always seen designers say to keep categories the same—how did you decide on mixing hardware color? How did you choose how far right to place the hutch? Where does the backsplash tile end on the right side of the hutch, and how did you finish the fridge corner where the tile meets the navy drywall? How did you know a light kitchen would balance well with your dark living room? What’s your solution for the new garbage can? I have so many more questions! These are all rhetorical (unless you do want to explain your thought processes because I’m ALL EARS! 😇).

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Alexa! I’m so happy to hear that- you made my day. To answer all of your questions…

      Check out this blog post on mixing metals:

      We ended up aligning the hutch doors with the largest base cabinet doors- that felt best visually and for functionality / countertop space!

      The backsplash tile ends at the end of the wall (on both sides), and we created a finished look by lining the edge with pencil trim tile, creating a vertical row. You can see it on some of the fridge images, and the other wall matches this same look.

      For the paint selection and choosing a light palette to balance the navy… I think it’s part instinctual and part design principles. It just felt right, but we also included other lighter high contrast elements (like the fireplace, sofa, etc) to make the lighter kitchen feel cohesive against the navy.

      The garbage can is concealed in the far cabinet! I’ve actually got a blog post scheduled for next Friday that shares that entire installation process (concealed, pull out trash can).

      I hope that helped to answer some of those :)