The Sparrow | Basement Ceiling & Can Lighting


January 16-17, 2021

On Friday, January 15th, 2021, we closed on our little pink cottage "The Sparrow" and immediately began the transformation journey of this Circa 1929 home sweet home. Here is how our weekend went...

We began our Friday afternoon with CLEANING. The previous owner had dogs and cats, and so I wanted to get the house smelling good and clean out all remaining stuff that the previous owner left behind. We filled up the trailer for the dump, and I got to work mopping the original pine floors upstairs, putting plug-ins in the wall, and diffusing smell good! All the upstairs windows were cleaned inside and out, floors mopped, and baseboard trim scrubbed to prep for paint.

And then we found this...

We climbed in the attic to look for. water damage and mold growth and didn't find either but we did find this little mummified friend!

With the area above the mold okay, now we had to check behind the mold and below. Behind the mold is a plaster wall, and then brick with no insulation, so the mold was just on the surface.

Now to check the basement... my heart started pounding... We went to the basement corner underneath where the mold would be and cut out a 4x4 section of ceiling to check and see if it went behind the walls and into the basement....thankfully, IT HADN'T!

But after doing this little cut, we realized underneath the whole ceiling were the original rough sawn beams and plank ceiling...ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. So, PMS went into full throttle and we began removing the ceiling throughout the whole basement.

The basement has always been the sketchiest part of this house because the ceilings were so low and it felt almost like a coffin. I am 5'9 and felt like my head would touch!

With the removal of the low drop ceiling, now we can see an original 1929 detail AND we have headspace!!!

Before: (Photos courtesy of previous MLS listing)

Process: We began by removing the ceiling fixtures that my head would bump if I walked underneath it, and trim around the whole ceiling....

This is the corner 4x4 cut that we did to check the mold issue...


Absolutely beautiful! I began sucking up 100 year old spider webs, dirt, and finding some treasures in the ceiling including SUPER OLD Staunton IGA grocery coupons which will soon be framed and hanging in the house somewhere, a high heel, a pair of underwear, and a gold earring.

My brother, Gabe, began moving wires and removing the ugly boob light to make the ceiling look a little cleaner. We are going for a "industrial tavern" look in the basement with a private master suite, and library sitting room, so the open ceiling will work perfectly with this theme.

Meanwhile, it looked like this off the back porch...

After cleaning up, it was starting to get dark, and we no longer had any overhead lighting the we then decided to put in some can lighting on Sunday. But Saturday was definitely a day well done.


The day began with myself going with my mom and sister to Dukes Antique Shop in Lexington to gather some finds for the little house, while the guys worked on the can lighting at The Sparrow.

It was a successful trip...I got an antique bar cart for the tavern library, two antique metal stools for the kitchen breakfast nook, a student desk for the bunk upstairs bedroom, and an antique side table for somewhere in the house.

Meanwhile, the guys were hard at work putting in lighting in the basement...

With the ceilings cleaned, and lighting installed, all that is left to do down here is hide remaining hanging wires, prep the walls and trim for paint, get our friends Nikitichuk Painting in here to get the walls painted, and get rough sawn skinny boards as trim to line the ceiling and clean up the look of the ceiling, replace the back door that leads to the back deck....make book shelving, and then DECORATE!! It is coming together....oh, but wait. I still need to clean up the mold.