In the 50s, 60s, and 70s homeowners began to make basements into livable spaces.  Materials like panel board, and tiles  containing hazardous asbestos for the floor became popular items to use as finishes in these spaces.  Attempts to make the space warm and cozy were often made by adding electric fireplaces with fake logs and faux brick fronts.  So when it came time to renovate this basement the decision to gut it was a very easy to make.  Always frustrating is the fact that no attempt was made in a lot of these homes of this time period to place items such as electrical panels, furnaces, water meters, and hot water tanks all in close proximity so they could be housed in one room.  Now a days better known as the mechanical room.  Instead these items were often distributed around the basement in not so convenient places.  The brick fireplace in the picture along with its faux brick chimney were a way for the previous owners to disquise the panel box.
IMG_1503This house was purchased to function as a design studio/showroom for my clients, but when it came time to renovate the basement I needed to keep in mind that I might decide to sell the home some day.  This meant I needed to design the basement for a single family residence.  So in the basement I designed a family room area complete with wet bar, a 3 piece bathroom, walk in closet, bedroom and mechanical/laundry room.  In the photo to the right you will notice the wet bar in the back ground of the dining table set that is perfect for a show room, but if this was a residence the owners might decide to place a small bar height circular table along with coordinating stools in this space.  Table and bar stools similar to the ones manufactured by Midi pictured below and to the right would be a perfect choice.

For this design project I had to do the following:58

  • I had all existing walls torn down.
  • I redesigned the basement space to include a storage room, 3 piece bathroom, recreation room with wet bar, new laundry/mechanical room, and a large bedroom.
  • Designed a color scheme
  • Designed a furniture layout for the showroom and for livable space in a single family residence.
  • sourced and coordinated furnishings, flooring, cabinets, paint, window coverings
  • Designed a lighting and electrical plan

IMG_1491To cover the small ugly basement windows of this home I selected a roller blind and silk drapery to imitate a full size window to give the impression that this was a space on the upper level of the home.  A homer owner could do the same thing if they wanted to have the same look minus the logo on the blind.


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"Dear Sherri, Thank you so much for all your hard work. We were thrilled with the results and now hope to sit down with the architect to finalize the house plans."

- Irene and Dan Tapley

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