Save My Reno: Ken + Elisa’s Family-Friendly Basement

Guys, this is a bittersweet post. Last night was the season finale of Save My Reno on HGTV Canada. *tear*

Every week, I’ve been sharing these recaps and insights and it’s going to be so strange to not have to work on these posts weekly. The good news is I’ll have more time for other types of posts (look for tons of recently-neglected fashion, lifestyle and business advice pieces to come!), the bad news is that this signifies the end of Save My Reno season one.

It’s a strange time, but I’m trying to see it as the beginning rather than the end. Until a hopeful next season, I’ll nostalgically re-read all of my previous Save My Reno posts (nah, I probably won’t… but if you’ve missed them, you should)! Anyhow, on to the FINAL episode:

Ken and Elisa’s project was unique in that no demo was required.

Missed this episode? Watch it here.

The space was completely bare bones and ready for finishing which was actually a nice relief. Little inside scoop: all four of us actually do the demo. I ripped two pairs of jeans, sweat through many shirts (a pit blow dry was required for all of us at least once) and still have some scars and muscles from the various projects. I didn’t expect to be as involved in demo TBH, but I’m glad I didn’t miss out on it. From day one, I just hopped up on the countertop to unscrew cabinets, and that’s all she wrote!

So despite this project having no demo, we had quite the dramatic entrance. Slo-mo cord swinging, straight, boss AF faces, and sledges wielded with pride.


It was only a matter of time before we all cracked. That said, this is after all a TV show, so as this was the only non-demo project, we had to fill that formatted time somehow and I couldn’t think of a better way to do so. Team-wise, Elisa chose to stick with me to carry out the design process, and Ken went with Sebastian to deal with the build.

This basement had to serve multiple purposes. It had to become a great spot for entertaining Elisa’s massive family, square one for movie-nights, house an extra three-piece bathroom, and offer a zone just for the kid’s. In an open concept room, fitting in all of those functions could easily result in a cluttered-looking inconsistent space, so the name of the game was consistency, consistency, consistency. We carried through the same flooring through the whole basement (a distressed, grey laminate), stuck with a purple and blue colour theme, and kept the furniture style fairly similar (all modern and traditional).

In the living space, we geared the decor to the adults while still leaving everything very durable (performance velvet is actually very pet and kid friendly), and unfussy. With there same floors and wall colour throughout, we introduced variety in the materials and patterns. We layered a velvet sofa with knit pillows and blankets, threw a rustic barn board wall behind a textured modern credenza and glass jugs, and paired it all with abstract art, an oriental rug and a fun gallery wall of objects and prints. We also installed a ton of pot lights on dimmers so the mood and ambiance can be controlled, which is a must in a basement!


In the kid’s zone, we wanted to make sure that nothing was permanent. Because—you guessed it—kids grow up! We didn’t want to commit Ken and Elisa to anything overtly childlike, so other than the mural which is arguably for the adults too, it’s all furniture-based making it easy to swap and replace as needs change. We painted and framed out a chalkboard wall which can easily be painted over, but is also a versatile feature. I used a chalkboard to study for school well into my late teens! We also created an art paper roll as the DIY project to encourage creativity. 🙂

Like what you see, shop the look below and check out all of the before and after photos!

Shop The Look:

  1. Textured Chevron Pillow
  2. Velvet Sectional
  3. Blue Glass Vase
  4. Brown Glass Vase
  5. Dark Blue Glass Jug
  6. Blue Abstract Art
  7. Oversize Floor Basket
  8. Blue Over-Dyed Rug
  9. Reclaimed Wood TV Stand
  10. Oversized Textured Throw

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