Lake House Basement Project – Update Fourteen

My last lake house basement project update covered how we installed metal balusters on our staircase. In this update, I’ll share the other things that we accomplished over the last weekend of March.

Smith Mountain Lake House - April 4, 2020

We started work on this project last August and are finally nearing the end. These posts chronicle our work transforming our unfinished basement into a family room, bedroom, and bathroom.


While Mr. SP worked on installing the metal balusters on the stairs, I continued working on adding topcoat to the doors. The doors are now in place and I can’t wait to share how they look with you.

Working on wood doors


I caulked and painted the windows that had not been worked on in previous weeks. They are now done but realized that I forgot all about the trim around the double doors, so I still need to paint that trim and also the doors, both inside and outside.

Caulking Windows

I love the view of the flag from the bedroom window.

Framed window with American flag flying in the background.

Bathroom Work

The bathroom is finished other than hanging the door and installing the threshold. (Both tasks now done and I’ll share how it looks in my next update.)

Lake House Basement Bathroom

The shower is ready to be used. You can see that I still need to hang some towels in this space.

Lake House Basement Bathroom

The mirror was tricky to hang, but we got it done. This bathroom is very well lit!

Lake House Basement Bathroom

Bathroom Resources

Preparing the Family Room for Furniture

A sofa and two recliners were scheduled to be delivered on April 3, so I cleaned the floor in anticipation of their arrival.

Cleaning floors at Smith Mountain Lake

It was so nice to finally be able to thoroughly clean the floor!

Lake House Basement Family Room

I while back I mentioned painting the wall register beside the basement door green to match the walls. I accomplished this using spray paint and the register is somewhat camouflaged now.

Lake House Basement Family Room

A Rug for the Room

We spread the rug out in the room so that it would have a few days for the wrinkles to smooth out before the furniture arrived.

Lake House Basement Family Room

You can see that the first family member to enjoy the rug was Sherman.

Lake House Basement Family Room

Note that I chose a rug that matches Sherman’s fur.

Lake House Basement Family Room

Family Room Resources

Fun with Sherman

We’ve had really nice lake weekends. Our good friends stopped by on their jet skis and Beth snapped this picture of us. It was nice to visit with Cole and Beth from a safe distance.

Skulina Family on the dock at Smith Mountain Lake

A weekend isn’t a weekend for us without hikes at beautiful Smith Mountain Lake State Park.

My shirt was a Christmas gift from a good friend. The one I have has limited sizes available but this updated version is available in all sizes.

Hiking at Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Virginia.

Sherman loves to go into the visitor’s center at the park and visit with the staff. He doesn’t understand that the park buildings are closed.

Sherman Skulina at Smith Mountain Lake State Park

We also enjoy walking Sherman around the neighborhood. This is the boat ramp for a neighborhood next to ours.

Sherman Skulina swimming in Smith Mountain Lake

By the end of the weekend, Sherman is exhausted. Mr. SP always says, “A tired dog is a happy dog.” Of course our Sherman has a bed with his name on it. (Bed is from LLBean.)

Sherman Skulina sleeping

What’s Next?

We have some touch-up paint to do, the closets need doors and also closet racks inside of each, and we need to figure out a way to hide the septic tank alarm system. We have a cover that we are supposed to use but it is ugly with a capital U, so I’m hoping to hide this with art or a large mirror.

Septic Tank Alarm System Box

We have decided not to install the wallpaper on the stairwell ourselves since it’s such an awkward space to reach. Once we schedule someone to install the wallpaper, after that we will paint the steps and install the runner.

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Lake House Basement Project - Update Fourteen


  1. Gosh Paula, I hope you don’t think I sit at my computer all day!!! Just early mornings to get things dealt with.
    You, your husband and Sherman look so healthy, happy and content in these pictures.
    I can only imagine the sense of gratifying satisfaction you both are feeling; your home looks like a custom home build and you guys did so much of it (credit where credit is due!) yourselves.
    We had some storms come through Middle TN last night, so this morning there is a gorgeous wind and sun and the colors are simply amazing. Well, back to making some masks!!!!
    Have a great day and truly I meant what I said you guys look so good and I am just tickled about it.

  2. HI Paula, It looks amazing. We just added some updates to our basement and new LVF. I ordered a dark sisal rug (for the dogs) and don’t love it at all. I love your rug! Happy Day from Colorado! laura

    1. Thank you, Laura! So far we are loving our flooring and the rug that I chose. The next thing that I want is a robotic vacume to take care of vacuming that room.


  3. I enjoy your lake posts and can only imagine the work you all are doing. I am currently shopping for a new area rug and had to laugh when you mentioned matching Sherman’s colors. I am doing the same thing for our future rug. My heart wants cream or ivory background but that is not gonna happen.

    1. A cream or ivory rug is so pretty but when you live with a dog, it isn’t possible unless you want to clean the rug nonstop. I’d rather the rug camouflage the dirt! Ha-ha!


  4. It all looks so awesome!!!! Great job, I love the colors you
    Picked and the floors are gorgeous!!!! I would love to come see it all in person!!
    ♥️ Kiston

    1. When we can once again get out and about, I would LOVE for you guys to come to the lake. I also want to see the renovations at your house. I drove down your driveway after delivering a meal to your next door neighbor and the outside of your house looks fantastic! Love the color that you chose for the siding. Hope we get to see each other very soon.


  5. Love the shower curtain, rug and how you camouflaged the register. I had noticed that in a previous post. Your work on the doors looked super smooth. Such a great place and project. Happy Easter!

    1. Thank you, Rita! The register looks so much better painted green. The white stuck out like a sore thumb. The doors are now up and I love how they look. I’m waiting on a coffee table to come in and after it does, I’ll write another basement update post.

      Hope all is well in WV!


  6. Looking so good! i can’t wait to see the runner on the stairs. I’ve tried several times to open the link, but it doesn’t work for me.

    1. I’m sorry that the runner link didn’t work for you. It’s working for me now. The runner is the same pattern as the area rug in the family room.


  7. Paula, I just love this series. My goodness, you’re almost finished with this project! I know you’ve especially appreciated being able to get away to SML during this time of lockdown, and you’ve put your time to good use!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    1. Thank you for featuring our project, Richella! The project certainly kept us busy all winter and also during lockdown. It’s been nice to be able to go there each weekend to get a break from being home.


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