New chart topper on our list of Scope Creep’s Greatest Hits.


The problem (technically a non-problem) with waiting six months to start your basement remodel, is that it gives you a dangerous 180 days of ponder time to reconsider everything else – potentially leading to an entire rest-of-the-house remodel. Once you start envisioning your awesome new basement, all the other rooms suddenly seem, well, less awesome. To be fair, those rooms have feelings too, you know. (They actually don’t, but if they did, there could be problems, like the kitchen all in a huff about how good the basement looks. Nobody wants a mad kitchen.)

So the single-space remodel often turns into a much bigger undertaking, which seems daunting but is really smarter in a lot of ways – particularly if you’re living in the house during the project. In that case, it often makes sense to knock it all out at once vs living in a dusty, noisy, revolving door of a construction zone, phase after phase…after phase. As soon as one thing’s done and cleaned up and all perfect, the crew comes back in and starts making a new mess elsewhere. It gets wearisome, and all homeowners have a different tolerance threshold for how much chaos they can handle before they are D-O-N-E DONE. (We check in often to make sure clients are safely in the non-imploding zone.)

Sometimes scope creep is more subtle, tiptoeing in when no one’s looking, adding some new paint here, different light fixtures there. And other times, it just pulls a chair right up to the table where we’re meeting and demands a whole first floor do-over. Like with this Glen Ellyn remodel. By the time we finally sat down to talk about the basement, we never even got to the basement. We spent the whole time discussing other, non-basement rooms, like the kitchen, mudroom, powder room, dining room and pantry. Which we fully embrace. Far be it from us to play favorites. We’re happy to make it all look great. Wouldn’t want a killer new basement making the other rooms jealous. So an almost full-remodel it was, starting with the kitchen.

The cabinets and counters were in good shape, so we kept what made sense to keep, then added/switched out things from there. The original appliances, sink and light gray cabinets stayed put, but we replaced the island, topped it with durable quartz to complement the marble perimeter counters, and installed a dramatic light fixture above it. We clad the range wall with a timeless, elegant tile, then added a new dark grey/blue custom range hood which we flanked with decorative sconces. The pièce de résistance was the polished nickel strapping which took the cabinets to next-level custom-ness. [Designer bicep-flex here.]

The pantry was where we saw serious room for improvement without too much demo-ing. Walk-in pantries inherently have a lot of wasted space (to make way for the walk-in part). So we decided to do a deep cabinet instead, freeing up space on the other side of the wall to make the mud room bigger and more functional.


The kitchen table was crafted by Gather, one of our favorite makers. It took some back and forth on the color, but they nailed the milky white top. It has a natural walnut accent embedded in the edges, and is coated with a hard-core finish that means business. No need to silently curse the culprit who left that sweating glass out. Wipes right off. No rings.

In the dining room, we added stunning, deep navy blue silk wall-covering above the wainscoting, silky grey drapery on the windows, and a massive chandy over their existing table and chairs. And ohhh that rug. A Storm Inspired custom beauty created through our showroom, it anchors the room with a palette that pulls everything together.

Then, in the powder room, we added a simple mirror and sconces, then did some cah-razy wallpaper for a li’l unexpected pizzazle. Side note here: Once the room was completely done, we started wondering if black trim would look better. PS: It did.

On this project, it was the husband of the homeowner duo who really pushed for the scope creep, adding more rooms to bring the whole house to the level they wanted it. So we ended up refinishing the floors, remodeling the master bath, bringing in new furniture, installing paneling up the stairs, repainting pretty much every room – annnnd last-est, but not least-est – remodeling the basement. He was so into the creative process, we half-expected him to hit us up for a job, if it weren’t for the fact that he already had two – a full-time corporate gig AND the 100-year-old family farm out in Paw Paw, which served as the muse for the basement remodel. The finished space so beautifully reflects the heart and heritage of the farm, it seemed worthy of its own post, so look for that big reveal in the coming weeks.

Until next time… thanks for reading!

Photos by Picture Perfect House

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