Renovation Reality — Volume 7: The Basement

Basements often get a bad rap for being dark, dingy, moldy and damp. When we saw the one in our client’s English Tudor home, we were eager to transform this space into more than just a storage area, and add value to the home by creating an additional living space. Approximately 1000 square feet of additional space, the basement is split into 3 large rooms. While each space was partially finished, there was nothing warm and inviting about any part of this basement. Dark wood paneling lined the walls, cheap linoleum covered the floors, and ugly florescent lights were staggered across the ceiling.

Our goal for the main room was to create an informal and comfortable space for kids to play, where adults would also feel comfortable. We started the project by removing the florescent lights, and replacing them with recessed lights. Instantly, the room felt warmer and updated. We toyed with the idea of removing the dark wood paneling on the walls, but opted to paint the paneling in the same light beige that we used on the main floor of the home. This helped to give the room a brighter feel, and tie the basement in with the rest of the home.

The linoleum flooring was removed and replaced with durable low-pile nylon carpet. The low pile carpet makes riding toys and toy car driving a breeze, and keeps Legos and other little items from getting lost. We upgraded to an extra thick carpet pad, giving the carpet an extra plush feel, perfect for playtime on the floor.

A large sectional in a neutral beige microfiber is the perfect place for the family to cuddle up together. The microfiber fabric is durable and very easy to clean, and the neutral beige color allows us to add pops of color with pillows, artwork and accessories. A large oversized chair and ottoman, both with machine washable denim slipcovers, provide additional seating and help to round out the seating area.


Above the sectional, we created a gallery wall to showcase the children’s artwork. Framing these works of art gives the room a playful and colorful feel, without having to spend a fortune.

On the opposite wall, we added a whimsical vinyl wall quote, similar to what we used in the kitchen. This helps to bring color and interest to the wall. Below the quote are large storage cabinets that house games and toys.


Once a dark and dreary storage space, the basement is now a favorite family hangout. By reinventing this space, we’ve added value to the home, and given the homeowners an additional space to enjoy together.

For more information on this project, or our design firm, please visit us at

Filed under: area, basement, home, play, remodel, renovation, spaces
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