How to Build Faux Basement Windows

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Brighten up your basement without the hassle and expense of installing regular windows. This simple method uses thin LED light panels in window frames to create the look of a beautiful new window.

Although you won’t see the outdoors, it’s an easy way to bring in light. Let’s have a closer look.

Tools & Materials Needed

You’ll need to do some minor electrical work to power the panels, but they come with a remote control, so there’s no need for an extra switch. Here’s everything else that you’d need.

  • Drill/driver
  • Drywall saw
  • Miter saw
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Random orbit sander
  • Table saw
  • 1/4″ x 3/4″ Screen molding
  • 14-2 NM-B cable
  • 2’x4′ Tunable White LED Panel Light from superbrightleds.com
  • 3/4″ x 48″ x 96″ MDF
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Remote control for LED panel
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue

Part 1: Intro & Building Your Frame

Say goodbye to the darkness and hello to the appearance of beautiful windows without splashing out on an expensive installation. With a touch of creativity and some basic tools, you can enjoy the benefits of a brighter space. Let’s go:

Step #1: Build the Window Frame Create the front and back frames from 3/4-inch MDF, both cut to the desired size for your LED panel. Use a manageable frame size (4in width as a guide). Assemble the front frame using glue and pocket screws. Make sure the lengths of some parts differ for overlapping joints.

Step #2: Rabbet the Back Frame

Cut rabbets on the back inner edges of the frame to allow the LED panel to sit flush. Attach the back frame to the front frame with glue and finish nails. Fill gaps at the top and bottom with glue filler strips if visible.

Step #3: Add Trim for Decoration Apply corner trim to the face of the frame using pine screen molding, attaching it with brad nails and wood glue. Sand the frame, prime and paint. Three coats is better than two, and two coats is better than one.

Part 2: Lighting

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Step #4: Set the LED Light Panel Place a light bead of silicone in the rabbet and set the LED panel. If it’s already snug, skipping this step is fine.

Step #5: Run the LED Panel Wiring Cut a hole in the drywall for the wiring box, tap into an outlet, and run the NM-B cable to the hole. Turn off power, confirm with a voltage tester, and secure the cable with a clamp. Be careful.

Step #6: Power the LED Panel Connect the cable conductors to the LED panel terminals and secure the cable to the wiring box.

Part 3: Hanging the Blinds

Step #7: Hang the Window Using three-inch trim screws, attach the window to the wall studs.

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Step #8: Fill Screw Holes Fill screw holes with putty or spackling, and sand it flush when dry. Prime and paint the window.

Step #9: Hang the Blinds Complete the illusion by hanging blinds inside the frame. Leaving them slightly open adds to the appearance of daylight.

Get a Taste of Japan With Microwave Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Chicken and eggs stewed in a brothy sauce served over rice is something known as oyakodon in Japan. It is considered a comfort food and can be easily and quickly made at home. Oyakodon can be traditionally prepared on the stovetop or in the microwave, which reduces the cooking time to under 10 minutes.

A Dish from Japan – Oyakodon

Straight from Japan - Oyakodon Can Be Cooked On Stovetop or Microwave
A Dish from Japan – Oyakodon

In Japan, the oyakodon dish is a popular rice bowl dish that translates to “mother and child bowl,” a reference to the chicken and eggs used in the recipe. This dish is commonly served in restaurants and at home. The recipe begins with a broth made from a mixture of soy sauce, dashi, sake, and sugar that is both sweet and savory. The broth is then used to simmer sliced chicken and onions, to which lightly beaten eggs are added towards the end of the cooking process. Once the eggs are cooked through, the dish is served over warm rice, resulting in a simple yet satisfying dinner.

Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl

It is recommended to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts when making oyakodon. Chicken breasts can be easily overcooked and become dry and stringy, especially when cooked in the microwave. By using chicken thighs, the dish remains juicy even if it is microwaved for an extended period. Mirin, a sweetened rice vino, is one of the pantry staples in Japan but rather hard to find in its purest form. So, instead, aji-mirin can be used, which tastes like mirin. It’s a near-perfect alternative and largely available. It’s relatively inexpensive and does the job of adding umami, sweetness, and a little tang. Oyakodon is great for a busy week. It can be prepared by marinating the chicken and vegetables in the sweet-salty sauce right in the baking dish. It can be covered with plastic wrap before being stored in the fridge, where it can stay for a couple of days. Then all anyone has to do is cook it in the microwave and add eggs.

The Recipe

The Recipe

PREP TIME: 10 min; COOK TIME: 9 min; TOTAL TIME: 19 min; SERVINGS: 4 to 6 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 large eggs
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • Kimchi, for serving
  • * Skip the salt if using regular soy sauce or chicken stock