Sheila Rich Interiors: Design Blog

Helpful tips and suggestions on designing your interior.

Basements: No Longer the “B” Word of the Home

For too long, basements haven’t served as useful living areas of the home, remaining unfinished, poorly designed or unkempt. But it doesn’t have to be this way - a basement can be just as warm, welcoming, and functional as the rest of your home with good, thoughtful design.

Basement-pool-table-481First, decide on the purpose you want your basement to serve. If you have a large basement, it can serve multiple purposes without looking overdone or crowded. By breaking your basement down into sections – delineated only by furnishings – you can turn your overwhelming basement into several comfortable, coordinated areas suitable for everything from adult entertaining to kids’ recreation.

The basement you see here could easily be in the mainstream part of the house; it doesn’t look or feel like what we imagine when we think of basements. A feeling of cozy intimacy was created with a fireside conversation grouping that features oversized, comfortable black leather and red velvet chairs. To coordinate this space with the adjoining pool table area, I covered the pool table with black felt to match the chairs and selected an oak table in the conversation grouping to match the wood of the pool table. Tying the different spaces together in this way creates a smooth aesthetic and, while each area can stand on its own, both of them still work together as part of the overall space.

The homeowners do a lot of entertaining in their home, so I designed a wet bar in the main area of the basement for casual business gatherings, parties, and family get-togethers. This self-sufficient space has all the amenities of a sports bar: a bistro table with four additional barstools; a television; and a microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher and sink. With still more room to spare, I created a separate home theater room with pilot chairs and a stage where kids can put on plays with their friends.

The geography of the property made this a walk-out basement, leading directly into the back yard. Because of this, I chose carpeting that could handle wet foot traffic without staining, whether the kids are coming indoors after playing in the snow or the family has been entertaining in the pool. The basement’s French doors and windows have woven wooden shades that allow filtered light into the room while still affording privacy; the top-down feature on the window shades permits both privacy and full light to flow into the room simultaneously.

With all these amenities working together in the same space, this family’s basement is the best of all worlds: kid-friendly, business-friendly, and family-friendly. Whether your basement is as spacious as this one or not, once you know how you’d like to use the space, you can coordinate the types of vignettes that would work best to suit your purposes.

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