Before and After: Basement Bedroom Gets A Rustic Industrial Makeover

DIY rustic industrial wall pendant light bedroom side angle

Since we’re talking rustic (the post previous to this), I thought you might like to see a before and after makeover/DIY project with a rustic industrial vibe. It’s from the basement of the same home as the 70’s fixer upper fireplace makeover that I shared here.

This portion of the basement remodel was actually one of the “easier” parts of the whole-house remodel (for me, at least), but it still took it’s share of work and planning.

The basement/bedroom.

As you can see in this pre-purchase photo, this basement definitely needed some sprucing up!  It needed a bedroom too and, because space was limited, this side of the basement was THE option to fit one in.

This room also looks like the perfect candidate for some rustic industrial inspired design.  Can’t you see it? :-)

70's bedroom before makeover with old paneling and painted floors

So we got to it!   Here you can see the new room framed up and sheetrocked, and the old walls patched and sanded.

70s fixer upper bedroom remodel in progress

Once that was done, we painted three of the walls with Oak Tone – Hirshfield’s paint (see below).  The fourth wall would become the “rustic” part of our rustic industrial inspired space.

Rustic wood accent wall.

Real barn wood can be expensive, hard to find in large quantities, and not always in the best shape, so we chose a different route for this accent wall.

Instead, we used new rough-sawn pine boards that had been treated with a combination of paint and stain to make them look like rustic barn wood.  We love the look, and we love the fact that the wood was new but looked old.

70s fixer upper basement makeover. Bedroom with DIY rustic wood accent wall and concrete floor. Rustic industrial

Installing the wall.

If you’re planning to install a wood plank wall yourself, my top tips are PLAN, and take your time.  Don’t just take the first piece of wood off the stack and then randomly grab pieces after that.

It’s also helpful to have two people, one to sort, choose, and design while the other cuts and installs the pieces.

Our wood came in stacks, and the color, distressing, and board style within those stacks varied quite a bit.  Thus the planning and organizing.  Before we started on the wall, I went through all of the stacks and divided the wood into smaller stacks of similar pieces.

new rough sawn pine made to look like old barn wood using paint and stain

Once the planks were organized, I randomly chose the type and size of the first row of boards to go on the wall.   I chose each subsequent piece, and the size to cut it to, based on what boards I was already seeing on the wall.  We used a pneumatic air nailer to attach each board to the sheetrock.

This method kept us from ending up with the exact same, or too similar, pieces too close together. As I look at the wall now there are still a few I would’ve done differently, but I can’t imagine what it would look like if I hadn’t used the method I did.

For even more interest, we carried the rustic wood wall treatment into the new hallway.  You can’t see it well in this pic but it gives you the idea.

Bedroom with DIY Rustic barnwood look wall and concrete floor

Concrete floors.

As you may have noticed in the before picture, the concrete floors were painted orange. Orange with blue spots, actually, because some of the paint was peeling.  (the floor was painted bright blue prior to the orange)

Since we didn’t want to carpet the floors, we decided to strip the paint, and we hired a floor technician to do it. He removed the paint with a hand grinder, using an abrasive pad and then sealed it with a water-based sealer.

Because the paint was difficult to remove, there is more pattern on the concrete (from the grinder) than we were planning and there are remnants of paint here and there.  I thought that might be a problem, but it really just ended up adding to the industrial feel of the concrete.

bedroom makeover with rustic barnwood accent wall and concrete floors

Rustic industrial cage pendant light.

We made the bedroom as large as we could, but it was still very small.  There would only be room for very small accent tables for nightstands, so we knew bedside lamps would not be a possibility.

Our solution was to DIY some rustic cage pendant lamps that hang from a wall bracket. We obviously aren’t the first to DIY something like this and, although our materials and measurements are different, Brown Dog Vintage’s tutorial was a great help in getting us started.

DIY rustic industrial wall pendant light in bedroom front view

Making the brackets.

We used leftover wood from the “barnwood” wall for our bracket and cut the pieces as follows:

  • 2 – 13 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 – 10 1/4″ pieces
  • 2 – 11 1/2″ pieces (cut at a 45 degree angle using power miter box)

We  notched a 1/4″ x 1/4″ groove into the back of the 13.5″ pieces, and notched one end of the 10.25″ pieces, for the cord.  Wood glue and a brad nailer worked perfectly to assemble all of the pieces.

rustic industrial cage light pendant in 70s basement bedroom makeover

Light socket kit and cage shade.

When I was looking for cord and light socket kits most of what I found could only be controlled by plugging and unplugging the cord.  Not happy.  I wanted something that was easy to turn off and on without digging for a cord or remote.

I finally ran across this socket and plug set at Menard’s and, even though I originally wasn’t thrilled about the look of the switch laying on top of the bracket, it turned out to be the perfect solution.  The switch is super easy to turn off and on, and there’s no hassle with plugging and unplugging.

Menard’s sells the industrial cage pendant light shades, too, but the size was smaller than I wanted. I chose this industrial cage pendant (and the light bulbs) at Lowe’s instead, and we were good to go!


Assembling the light fixture was pretty simple:

  • Screw the cage shade onto the light socket and the bulb into the light socket,
  • Lay the cord over the top of the bracket and push it into the notch so the light is hanging at the height you want it
  • Arrange the cord into the groove on the back of the bracket.
  • Measure where you want the light to hang.
  • Install the bracket using a brad nailer.

DIY rustic industrial wall pendant light bedroom side view

We were pleased with how the different elements came together.  The industrial light fixture, the faux barn wood wall, and the concrete floor all worked to create a fresh, updated rustic industrial inspired space in a tired old basement.

You just can’t argue with more function and a fresh new look!

For more rustic inspiration, check out this post:  7 Reasons to Embrace the Rustic Trend!

Dining room with rustic furniture, white walls, striped rug and blue and yellow accents

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