Friday, February 3, 2017

BASEMENT DWELLERS




Allow me to begin the way I do many conversations lately, with an apology. These photos were taken with my iPhone (which, at one point claimed to be one of the best cameras on the market..NOT). I'd also like to apologize for Elmer Fudd (my contractor) in the first photo. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on to one of my favorite spaces to design; the BASEMENT. While images of dingy laundry rooms, exposed pipes, haphazardly tossed Christmas decorations and old furniture left for dead come to mind when I think of basements, but tapping into unused square footage can be a major asset. At first sight this basement fit the profile to a tee; mouse traps, cinder block walls, abandoned furniture, and a stench of dampness filled the air. Now I won't act like a politician here and tell tall tales, as this project doesn't fall under the philosophy of this blog of great design at attainable prices. This 850 square foot space was transformed into the family room you see above with a fireplace, large windows, sliding doors to a pool, gym, laundry room, full bath and storage area. While my main goal was to take advantage of unused square footage to increase the functionality of this home, it was also to design a basement that didn't look, feel or SMELL like a basement. While the budget here edged close to the cost of some homes (mainly from expensive add-ons like heated floors, integrated sound system, expensive tiles, etc.) many of the items I incorporated into my design added big impact at a lower cost. THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL...at the end of this large room I added sliding glass doors the width of the room, flooding the space with light year-round. We cut into the cinder block and introduced large windows on either side of the fireplace (smaller basement windows let little light in). FIRE AND ICE: the addition of an electric fireplace adds warmth and a focal point in the space. POP OF COLOR: adding a splash of color introduces drama in any space and, guess what, if you hate it next year, CHANGE IT!