What happens when you have three boys who are gaming and sports enthusiasts and just one TV on your main living floor? Well, you send them down to the basement. But what if that basement isn’t warm, cozy or inviting and is a bit on the dark side? It’s time for a renovation! There’s nothing better than tapping into underutilized basement space and I’m happy to be sharing this latest charming farmhouse inspired basement remodel that I completed for this fabulous family of five.
When my clients Amy and Guy moved into their home approximately 16 years ago they embarked on a basic basement remodel of their 1925 English Tudor in Brighton, New York. The basement was a main thoroughfare since they entered through their ground floor garage into this lower level. The stairs were carpeted, support beams were wrapped, a closet was built, a full bath was added and drywall put up. They painted the ceiling and called it a day.
A small and dark cubby play space was created under the stairs when the boys were toddlers. A make shift mudroom was just outside the garage door. Although finished, the damp basement remained a combination of storage and play space. (Click to see an enlarged image.)
Farmhouse Style with An Industrial Flair
It was now time to bring this tired space to the next level by finishing it off for the whole family. Although Amy had to share the space with her four men she wanted to add an inviting farmhouse decor style that she could call also enjoy.
We started with the flooring. The existing carpet came up and down went the Armstrong Luxe Plank Limed Oak in Chateau Gray flooring. We recessed all the electrical and plumbing and finished off the ceiling with a cleaner board and batten finish. The walls were then painted in Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray SW7043.
Stepping Up in Style
The stairs up to the main floor received the biggest facelift. We removed the carpeting to find linoleum treads. They all came up. The dated railing was replaced with an industrial 1- inch pipe railing by Justin Russell and classic arts and crafts newell post. Drawing you down to the lower level we created a focal wall by adding horizontal darker wood planks. The treads got painted Sherwin Williams Porpoise and a commercial carpet runner was installed. What a difference!
The door to the exercise room was removed and replaced with a sliding barn door hung by black industrial metal hardware. We exchanged the traditional 6-panel doors throughout the basement with arts and craft 3-paneled doors. Now the exercise room is closed off in style. The door no longer opens into the the stair landing causing a traffic jam. Barn doors often are a more affordable and stylish solution to a pocket door.
Design Tip: Dont be afraid to mix woods. Here we have four woods all complimenting each other. Keep in mind to us similar species of wood or stay within the same color tone. I chose all gray washed wood kept the largest surface of the floor simple. The accent wall treatment has more graining variation and a darker tone. The counter top is stained dark to tie in with the stair treads and iron work. The smallest wood application on the stool tops add interest with contrast and pattern.
Creating A Cozy Corner
We were happy to find the wall that created the small play space under the stairs was not loadbearing. That immediately came down and opened up a new cozy reading nook. Amy mentioned that the boys often have sleepovers and would all sleep on couch cushions. Luckily, the space allowed perfectly for a twin mattress. I turned to my friends at Raymour & Flanigan for a Serta Perfect Twin Mattress. No more back aches and waking up on the cold floor. I purchased a decorative mattress cover and decorated the wall under the stairs creating a mini gallery wall. The drawers underneath the daybed house extra bedding and blankets. It’s now become one of the boys favorite spots to hang out. Large commercial sized cabinet hardware dress up all the drawers, cabinetry, and back mudroom.
Creating a Focal Point
With fewer windows in basement remodels there tends to be a lot of wall space. To break up this large area we added accent wood plank walls. This adds interest in pattern without feeling that you need to fill each and every wall with art. Front and center we added the Natalie TV credenza with electric fireplace from Raymour & Flanigan. The dark weathered wood matched the stair treads and the iron handles and hardware complemented all the dark metal finishes. This piece has become the focal point of the entire living space. Not only does it add warmth with the crackling wood fire we have added heat eliminating the basement chill. This was the smarter solution than adding a gas fireplace. No venting or gas lines needed!
All the gaming components are neatly hidden behind the glass doors. We accented this neutral decor with pops of denim blue, navy, and cream.
In The Details
When mixing furniture, hardware and accessories try sticking to a common finish. They don’t have to be an exact match but close counts! It’s virtually impossible to have all your finished match but we kept with a dark oiled rubbed bronze accent. The hardware on the fireplace/TV console adds so much interest and ties in with the new cabinetry hardware, framed artwork, accent decor, door levers, railings and even the switch plate covers.
Finishing off the TV area we added a large cozy carpet, swivel accent chairs, and a round tufted ottoman for putting your feet up. All soft surfaces for these active boys. We repurposed Amy and Guy’s existing sectional and added cozy throw blankets and comfortable accent pillows. For wall art, I added rustic maps, vintage sports photographs, fun message boards, family photos, and golden retriever artwork to honor their furry companion Otto.
The Snack Bar
Amy wanted to avoid eating on the sofa. We had roughly 8 feet from the back of the sofa to the back wall. Instead of a table and chairs I designed a 10-foot counter bar the entire length of the sectional. This way all the food could stay away from the living area and on entertaining nights provide additional seating.
Contractor John Spock of Oasis Design & Remodeling brought my simple sketch to life using stained maple wood and the same industrial plumbing pieces as the railing. Amy purchased four Oregon Counter Height Stools from Raymour & Flanigan. These black metal stools with wooden seats have a rustic farmhouse look and just the right amount of industrial flair. They tuck neatly under the table when not in use. These indestructible stools come in three different color combinations and two sizes. It was tough for me to choose. I love them all!
A Clear View
I made sure that the counter height table was low enough that when entertaining there’s a clear view across entire space keeping it as open as possible.
The Decadent Dry Bar
Just behind the counter bar was a small indented space that just screamed for a dry bar. There’s so much style packed into this little nook!
This functional space houses a 2-door wine and beverage fridge, a large drawer for holding bar and entertaining accessories, a pull-out garbage and recycle bin and upper open cabinetry with mesh metal allowing Amy and Guy to display their bar and glassware. To add contrast to the dry bar we painted the cabinets Sherwin-Williams Anonymous SW 7046. Oil rubbed bronze industrial hardware was added to this handmade cabinetry. To reflect light, I chose a white Geo Hex ceramic three-dimensional hexagon tile for the backsplash and bright white grout. It adds a modern touch and compliments the white quartzite countertop.
The Perfect Hideaway
Now Amy, Guy, and the boys are ready to RELAX IN STYLE. We’ve created a cozy, warm and inviting space for not only the boys day to day gaming but also an adult space equipped for entertaining and showing off!
I asked Amy if the boys were enjoying the basement? She said “They never come upstairs anymore!” I would say this remodel is a success. I’m off to tackle their living room next. I hope you follow along with me on my Meme Hill Studio Instagram account where I share more interior designs, painting, DIY, and everyday inspirations!
- Disclaimer: When I refer to “We” I really mean John Spock and his team of talented carpenters. No finger nails of mine were broken in this remodel.
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